Niantic has announced that Pokemon GO's GO Battle League will begin rolling out this week. It'll be made available to players based on their Trainer level, which seems like the fairest way of going about it.

During this preseason, Niantic will continue to optimise and fine-tune the new feature to make Season 1 as good as it can be. But what it a 'preseason'? Well, in Pokemon GO's case, it's being described as "a period of time before a season of competitive play begins". Pretty self-explanatory, no?

Besides using the preseason as a way to optimise the feature, Niantic also aims to learn about how the GO Battle League is being used in order to work out, for example, the optimal length of each season and rating thresholds for ranks.

Trainer Battles held within the League will rotate between three separate leagues. You'll earn neat rewards for ranking, and you'll be able to rank against rival trainers. The preseason GO Battle League will start with the Great League, before moving on to the Ultra League, then will end with the Master League.

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You'll still be able to rank during the preseason, though note that your hard work will be partially reset once Season 1 kicks into gear. That said, there are still some decent rewards up for grabs, so it's definitely worth taking part if you're an avid player.

Here is the current schedule:

  • Great League: Available this week
  • Ultra League: February 10th
  • Master League: February 24th
  • Then the Great League returns on March 9th

You'll be asked to walk five kilometres before gaining entry to the GO Battle League and unlocking five online matches. This can be done a maximum of three times every day. Battles are a great way to get huge amounts of Stardust, though what you earn will depend on your rank. You can also expect to win some handy items, like TMs and Rare Candies.

Pokemon GO is available now as a free-to-play title from both the App Store and Google Play. In other Pokemon news, it was recently announced that the Pokemon World Championships are set to take place outside of North America for the first time. 

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