'Pokémon Sword and Shield' Gen 8 Starter Evolutions: Clues and Theories that Fit Sports and Entertainment Themes

The starter Pokémon for Sword and Shield were revealed alongside the Gen 8 announcement, trainers will spend the next few months figuring out whether they will select Grookey, Scorbunny or Sobble as their partner for the Galar region when Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield release this Fall.

But many players will wait until the starter Pokémon's evolutions are revealed to make their decision.

The Pokémon's looks, typing, and aesthetics are important. Since the reveal, the community has had their thinking caps on trying to figure out what the Grass Monkey, Fire Bunny, and Water Lizard will become and what their connective theme - if any - is.

We've thought about it too, and have our own speculation about the Starter Pokémon and what they may evolve into. We recognized that f there is a theme between the starters, The Pokémon Company will go either the sports or entertainment route.

With that in mind, here's what we've come up with.

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Is there a theme connecting Grookey, Scorbunny and Sobble? Pokemon Company/NewsGeek


Grookey,described as mischievous, is clearly a monkey but some tidbits shown during the Sword and Shield trailer give some hints to what the rest of Grookey's gimmick is. We see the Grass-type bang a rock with a stick in its hair before running off.

Immediately, we thought about how a baseball or cricket player hits the base before taking their at-bat. Cricket originated in the U.K., which the Galar region is based on, so it seems to fit the sports theme.

As for its name, Grookey could be a combination of green and rookie but that's not as definitive as other Pokémon like Scorbunny.

If we go the entertainment route, Grookey could be a drummer. This connection comes from Grookey's French name, "Ouistempo." It's a combination of e words "ouistiti," a type of monkey, and "tempo" meaning the speed of a passage of music.

Perhaps the banging Grookey does in the trailer is not the Pokémon preparing to take an at-bat but is keeping rhythm.

Knowing this, the name Grookey could actually be a combination of Groove and Monkey.


Scorbunny has the easiest influences to pinpoint no matter if you're looking at it from a sports or entertainment standpoint.

The fleet-footed Fire-type and its slender frame immediately made us think of a soccer player. Its large feet, while typical of rabbits, could also be seen as Scorbunny's shoes. Soccer, or football as it's known for the rest of the world, is the U.K.'s most popular sport and the country is often credited as the birthplace of modern soccer.

Scorbunny's name is also likely a combination of Scorch and Bunny or Score and Bunny.

If we're seeing an entertainment theme, sports is still one of the major forms of entertainment as spectators crowd stadiums to enjoy soccer, baseball, and other sports.


Sobble is definitely the hardest to figure out. All we know about the Water-type is that it's some form of lizard, can use camouflage and is timid.

The only thing we can gain from its name is that it's a chameleon. It's Japanese, French, and German name contain the word chameleon or parts of it. We also know from the English name that it sobs a lot.

But what if the theme shared between the starters is sports? Sobble could evolve into a water polo player, as the sport also originated in the U.K.

How about if it's entertainment themed? If Grookey represents music, and Scorbunny sports than Sobble could be based on the theater.

England is well-known for drama thanks in part to the writings of William Shakespeare. Sobble's sad face resembles the tragedy side of the comedy and tragedy masks. Perhaps when it evolves, it becomes more comedic to represent the other mask?

With Sword and Shield releasing later this year, more and more information will come out and Pokémon fans will learn what the overarching theme is and what the starters will evolve into.

Pokémon Sword and Shield will release in late 2019 for the Nintendo Switch.

What do you think of the new starter Pokémon? What do you think these three will evolve into? Let us know in the comments section below.

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