Pokémon Sword and Shield version-exclusive Gym Leaders

The Pokémon Company dropped two new trailers today, revealing tons of info about Pokémon Sword and Shield. The new footage revealed Gigantamaxing as a battle mechanic and introduced new Pokémon from Galar. Additionally, it introduced us to some new Gym Leaders and important people from Galar, including some that will be version-exclusive. These elites gather together for an annual event called The Champion Cup. If you missed the trailer, you can watch it below. Then read on to learn more!

The Champion Cup

At this event, trainers compete for a chance to challenge Galar’s Champion and take his seat. Trainers who have completed the region’s Gym Challenge can join the competition, and it’s all broadcast live around the region. Here’s some of the people you might see there.

Leon is the strongest Trainer in the Galar region, and he won the Championship in his first-ever Gym Challenge—without being defeated in battle a single time. To this day, his winning streak continues to grow, and his formidable talent for Pokémon battles is unmatched. He’s aided in his countless victories by his partner Charizard, and he’s known to go all out during battles, no matter who he’s facing. His battle style has captured the hearts of the people of Galar.

Chairman Rose
Rose is the chairman of the Galar Pokémon League and the president of a large business conglomerate. He’s made the Galar Pokémon League famous by implementing Gym Battles featuring the Dynamax phenomenon. Chairman Rose was also the first to endorse Leon for the Gym Challenge.

Oleana is Chairman Rose’s secretary and is known for her calm and collected personality. She also serves as the vice president of Rose’s company and is largely in charge of the day-to-day running of the company.

Bea is a prodigy in Galar karate, carrying on its century-old traditions and techniques. Known for her stoicism and rarely showing her emotions, Bea is also an expert on Fighting-type Pokémon. Her battle style remains very precise even when she’s backed into a corner.

Allister is a talented Trainer of Ghost-type Pokémon who has taken on the mantle of the Ghost-type Gym Leader at a young age. He’s extremely shy and fearful, and he always hides his face with a mask when around other people. Allister rarely makes public appearances and apparently spends most of his time around ruins or in cemeteries.

Version-exclusive Gym Leaders

Today’s press release also revealed a surprise relating to Galar’s Gym Leaders. As it turns out, some of them will be version-exclusive to either Sword or Shield. For example, you can only challenge Bea in Sword, and you can only challenge Allister in Shield. This is a change of pace for the series, and it will be interesting to see just how many differences the two versions have. Will there be a story reason to explain the discrepancies? We’re not sure. It sounds like the gyms themselves will be different as well. This makes sense, as they’re typically themed after the Leader’s preferred Pokémon type.


Ben Lamoreux
Nintendo Enthusiast's Managing Editor. I grew up on Super Nintendo and never stopped playing. Been writing video game news, opinions, reviews, and interviews professionally for over a decade. Favorite franchises include Zelda, Metroid, and Mother.

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