Just a few days ago, we reported on Uniqlo’s UTGP (UT GRAND PRIX 2019) Pokémon t-shirt design competition winners. In a shocking follow-up, it seems the contest’s first-prize winner has been disqualified.
After the winners of Uniqlo’s contest were announced, fans in mainland China found the exact design grand prize winner Li Wen Pei submitted, but sold in the form of a phone case. Because Li Wen Pei submitted this design to Uniqlo, and it was previously used, the company can no longer accept it. The official contest rules for UTGP 2019 state that to qualify, all submitted designs must have “never been published before.”
The phone case was sold on TaoBao.
After discovering that his old phone case design was floating on the internet, Li Wen Pei tried to clear up the confusion via his Weibo account:
“Hello everyone. I sold a small number of smartphone cases with the same artwork (before I submitted it for Pokemon UTGP 2019). Unfortunately there are pirates who have pirated my artwork. Therefore please do not share the pirated goods.”
Unfortunately, that self-incriminating message was enough for Uniqlo to disqualify him from being the grand-prize winner of this exciting Pokémon design contest. Li Wen Pei basically ratted on himself, confirming that he’d made his design before submitting it, and it wasn’t originally created for Uniqlo to reprint and manufacture.
Additionally, the “Ocean King” shirt, which shows off a mighty Gyrados sandwiched in between a few Magikarp, was set to appear as an in-game item for the upcoming Pokemon Sword & Shield games. That will no longer be the case. Ouch…
As of now, there’s no news as to who will replace Wen Pei as the global UTGP contest winner. The t-shirt design has been pulled from the official UTGO2019 website. Uniqlo has yet to replace the competition’s first-prize winner, and it’s unclear if both the second/third-prize winners will move up in ranking, and a new third-place will be chosen, or if a new design will be taken in as first-place altogether. Nintendo Enthusiast will update accordingly as the news breaks.
Kevin Cortez is a writer with bylines at Genius, Ambrosia for Heads, Mass Appeal, Leafly and EARMILK. He plays video games in his spare time.