Pokemon Go Tournament to Be Held in Poland

Pokémon Go
The augmented reality mobile game Pokemon Go is shown on a smartphone screen in Palm Springs, California on July 11. Ukraine is concerned that players may endanger themselves or others via the app. Sam Mircovich/Reuters

While the smartphone sensation Pokemon Go has captivated players the world over, Poland is launching the first tournament of the augmented reality game.

Pokemon Go simulates the adventures of characters in Nintendo's Pokemon series. The aim is to capture as many of these fictional creatures as possible. The game uses a smartphone's camera and GPS to project an image of a Pokemon near the location of a player in real-time. A user-generated map of Pokemon activity in European reveals Poland to be a hotbed, with nearly 37,000 active locations, dwarfing the same number for Germany, France, Spain and the U.K., which combined total fewer than 4,000.

Come Sunday, Poland's Pokemon Go players will get a chance to test their skills, competing in the first Pokemon Go Cup in Warsaw. The tournament is organized by the private Vistula Academy of Finance and Business and by the digital strategy and advertising company Mr. Target.

"This is the first event of its kind in Poland and maybe also of its kind in the world," Jaroslaw Nowak, managing director of Mr. Target, says. "We suggested it as a campaign for the university, [to help attract] students. It is important to do things like this because mobile phones and games help get young people interested in education."

The tournament has already attracted between 150 and 200 entrants. Competitors will have eight hours on Sunday to scout the area around the university for Pokemon and whoever catches the most by 6pm will be declared winner. The winner will receive a year of tuition at the academy and an iPad, while the one in second place will receive a 50 percent discount for the first semester of tuition and a tablet. The third prize is 25 percent off.