Pokémon: Every City & Town In Sword & Shield, Ranked

The Galar region in Pokémon Sword & Shield is home to a number of elegant and beautiful countrysides and houses a number of interesting locations. The towns and cities range from little villages comprised of quaint cottages to sprawling cities with massive travel lodging and hotels.

As it’s based on the United Kingdom, you’re bound to find areas that let you experience every season and bit of weather the Earth can produce. Let’s now look at and rank every city and town in Pokémon Sword & Shield.

11 Spikemuth

Spikemuth lands at the bottom of the list simply because the entire town is essentially one giant empty hallway. Outside of the gym battle that takes place in the open concert venue, the city has little of nothing to offer the player when it comes to exploration or conversations.

Marnie and her gym leader brother Piers are the most interesting parts of Spikemuth. The town gets bonus points for the atmosphere of the town, but at the end of the day, that’s pretty much all it has to offer incoming trainers.

10 Wedgehurst

Wedgehurst is a tiny little town that players will encounter once they leave Postwick. The town itself lays on a hill, which makes it interesting in that sense, but the only point of interest it has for itself is that it is home to the Pokémon Research Lab that is run by Sonia.

The lab itself becomes a point of interest later in the game as the story progresses, but the town itself is an afterthought. This is usually the case for towns that happen to be the first location outside of the player’s starting area.

9 Turffield

Turffield isn’t terrible by any means, but it happens to suffer from the same thing that Wedgehurst does. Since Turffield is home to the first stadium and gym challenge, designers made the town pretty straightforward with not a lot of built-in exploration.

Entering and exiting the city isn’t too interesting as well, but the natural observation deck that looks over the hills is pretty neat in its own right. Turffield’s exit also happens to lead right into the daycare which is huge for pokémon breeders.

8 Hulbury

It seems that every region in the world of Pokémon has at least one coast city with a lighthouse, and likely a gym leader that specializes in water-type Pokémon. When it comes to the Galar region it seems that Hulbury is exactly that location, for better or worse.

The town is home to an incense shop which is important for trainers, but more specifically breeders who are looking to obtain baby Pokémon. After the player has become champion it also happens to have a special band show up to perform next to the lighthouse.

7 Stow-on-Side

Stow-on-Side, outside of having a really peculiar name, is the desert town of the Galar region. It also happens to be one of the cities where the gym leader differs depending on which version of the game you’re playing.

It’s home to the fighting-type waifu Bea if you’re playing Pokémon Sword, or the ghost-type lovable oddball Allister if you’re on Pokémon Shield. The town itself is a stopgap, but it does happen to be the place where a meaningful story revelation occurs when the side of a hill breaks open.

6 Postwick

Postwick is the starting location for trainers set to embark on their journey through the Galar region. It’s less of a town and more of a small village that’s home to both you and your rival, Hop.

Postwick is small, but does an excellent job of showcasing the beauty that the Galar region has to offer. It quickly introduces the legendary elements of the game while also showcasing the cute local goofs of the Galar native sheep Pokémon called Wooloo. It does a fantastic job of being the starting area.

5 Motostoke

Motostoke is to London as the Galar region is to England. Despite the grand scale of the city, it doesn’t have a whole lot to offer, but in comparison to the rest of the Galar region, it will feel like a good amount.

The city itself is divided between a lower and upper area with the higher level being home to the gym of the fire-type leader, Kabu. The city happens to have some hidden hallways and locations, and for those who play post-game content, make sure to look out for a special reward from a hidden non-playable character.

4 Balloonlea

Ballonlea is what every kid imagines to find when traversing the likes of the Peter Pan or Shrek worlds. Before you even enter the hidden village players must navigate through a dark forest that’s only illuminated by the glow of these vibrant mushrooms that are growing out of various trees and bushes around you.

The town itself is quite small, but it does a good job of feeling like it’s closed off from the world and really invokes the fairy-typing of the local gym leader you must defeat in hopes of becoming champion.

3 Hammerlocke

Hammerlocke is the flagship city of the Galar region and an awe inspiring place for players, even after traversing the expansive and exciting land that is The Wild Area. It very much invokes the same architecture and history that many of the more prominent cities throughout England and the greater United Kingdom showcase.

It will be the location of the final gym showdown where players fight against the dragon-type gym leader Raihan, before getting their chance to take on the reigning Pokémon Champion, Leon.

2 Circhester

Circhester is a mountain city that is quite cold, which means its residents have become tough and a reflection of their surroundings. It’s also a city whose gym leader changes based on the version of the game, and trainers can either try and defeat the rock-type leader Gordie or the ice-type specialist Melony.

It’s also the location of two characters that give the player special charms that help in both catching normal and shiny Pokémon. In the grand scheme of things, it’s a pretty important location for the post-game.

1 Wyndon

The final city of every Pokémon game tends to land near the top when ranking locations in a given region. This is mostly due to the fact that the designers want you to feel rewarded for partaking on a long and arduous journey that culminates in you hopefully becoming champion.

Wyndon isn’t only home to the ending of the base game, but it’s also a location where people will be spending most of the post-game if they’re interested in testing their skills and abilities in the Battle Arena.

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Sakurai Didn’t See Smash Bros. Win A Game Award Because He Was Busy Working

It seems that the rigors of working on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate are such that Masahiro Sakurai couldn’t even take the time out to see if it had won any awards during The Game Awards.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was released in December 2018, but it was still nominated in four different categories in the 2019 Game Awards, including Best Family Game, Best Fighting Game, Player’s Voice, and Game of the Year. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate only won the Best Fighting Game award, as it lost out to Luigi’s Mansion 3 for Best Family Game, Fire Emblem: Three Houses in Player’s Voice, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice for Game of the Year.


Related: Geoff Keighley Comments On The Missing Smash Bros Announcement At The Game Awards

It seems that Sakurai wasn’t aware that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate won the Best Fighting Game award until after it happened, as he said on Twitter that he was too busy working hard at that moment.

The question that fans are asking themselves is: what was Sakurai working so hard on? Or rather, who was he working so hard on? There is still one last character to be revealed as part of the Fighters Pass for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, due for release by February 2020.

It was speculated that the last Fighters Pass character would be revealed during The Game Awards, as Joker from Persona 5 was revealed as the first character during last year’s show. The fact that the last Fighters Pass character is meant to be released soon, along with the fact that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was nominated in four categories at The Game Awards also had fans anticipating an announcement during the event.

However, it seems that the decision was made to save the final Fighters Pass announcement for a later date for whatever reason. It’s possible that the character simply isn’t ready to be revealed yet, or that Nintendo wants the announcement saved for an upcoming Direct in order to hype up the 2020 Nintendo Switch schedule. Regardless of the reason, the lack of announcement and Sakurai’s tweet has fans abuzz in anticipation for the latest addition to the award-winning fighting game.

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BLAST Premier details announced – 12 teams, $4,250,000 in prize money

BLAST has revealed 12 partnered teams & new details for their upcoming 2020 Premier tournament series. The list of 12 teams includes many of the world’s top competitors including Astralis, Liquid, Natus Vincere, Evil Geniuses, and more.

While most of the teams from the previous BLAST series are returning, some new squads are joining in the form of the recently constructed Complexity and OG lineups. Vitality, G2, and 100 Thieves have also joined up with the tournament series.

You can find the full team list below:

  • MIBR
  • Natus Vincere
  • NiP
  • 100 Thieves
  • OG
  • Astralis
  • Liquid
  • G2
  • FaZe
  • Evil Geniuses
  • Vitality
  • Complexity

Many members of the community have already spoken up at the omission of both fnatic and mousesports from the list of teams attending, however, Nicolas Estrup, Director of Product & Experience at BLAST Pro Series has stated that these will not be the only teams attending the events.

The 2020 spring season is set to kick off in London with a studio series in January. More details about the schedule and locations are expected in the future.

During the spring season, the teams will be split into three groups of four with the top two teams advancing to an eight-team season finals. The same system will be used for the Fall season which will begin later in 2020.

The BLAST Premier Series will offer up $4,250,000 with $1,375,000 being given out in which season and the remaining $1,500,000 going to the Global Final. Of the Global Final prize pool, the champion will take home $1,000,000.

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Copenhagen Games 2018 confirms $100,000 prize pool for CS:GO tournament

The 2018 Copenhagen Games has announced that it’ll once again feature a CS:GO tournament, this time with a $100,000 (£70,822) prize pool. 

Broadband and television provider Waoo has come in as the main tournament sponsor. The announcement on the site stated the following: “With the new prize pool, we hope to secure top-tier invites for this year’s tournament so that we may give our audiences, world-wide as well as in-house, the best possible experience. At Bella Center Copenhagen, we’re expanding our streaming setup, our stage setup and our pro team lineup.”

The Owner and CEO of Copenhagen Games, Zahid Butt noted: “Waoo has been a significant name in the world of esport for a while now which is why I’m so happy they decided to sign on as the main sponsor of Copenhagen Games 2018. Lightning fast, fibre optic broadband ensures optimal conditions for an event such as ours and no one does that better than Waoo.”

It’s a big win for the Copenhagen Games, which has been running since 2010, to get Waoo in as the main tournament sponsor. The company is well known in its native Denmark. They’re far from new to esports sponsorships and involvement however; back in 2016 they launched a dedicated esports channel, they’ve sponsored the team Tricked and run leagues too. They also added Pixel.tv to their channel offering more recently; this focuses on esports and gaming more broadly. 

Waoo CEO Jørgen Stensgaard said of the partnership: “Esport has long been a special focus area for us and so we’re very happy to support Copenhagen Games, one of the largest, most well-established events in Denmark. Our fibre optic broadband product is already a perfect match for esports, but we’re also seeing esport move into the entertainment universe with a stronger and wider appeal than ever before. Esport is evolving into a solid TV product which interests more and more of our customers and when our customers ask for a quality product, we’re happy to deliver.”

The Copenhagen Games has also confirmed that FIFA 18 will play a role at the event’s new venue come late March. 

Esports Insider says: Nice to see Waoo committing in a significant way to a local event which has flourished over the past few years. With the BLAST Pro Series, run by Copenhagen locals RFRSH, this week announcing a CS:GO event in Istanbul, it’s a great few days for Danish CS. 

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Blizzard DOWN: Server Status news as BattleNet games show login errors

Blizzard Servers appear to be down this afternoon with huge spikes reported on Down Detector.

Games such as Overwatch, World of Warcraft, Call of Duty and Hearthstone are also showing huge reports of the game servers going offline.

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PS5 gameplay teaser: First EVER PlayStation 5 gameplay footage revealed

PS5 news has come thick and fast this week, with the first PlayStation 5 game getting confirmed and in-game gameplay footage getting also revealed. This year Sony has confirmed a number of details about the PS5 ahead of a rumoured big unveiling event next February. The PS4 makers have announced that the PS5 will be out next year, will support 8K visuals and boast ray tracing graphics.

Sony has also announced that the PS5 will be backwards compatible and have a controller which features haptic feedback instead of the current rumble tech.

And, as expected, it has also been confirmed that the PS4 successor will be called the PlayStation 5.

As the year comes to a close more PS5 news has dropped ahead of the console’s holiday 2020 release date.

This week at The Game Awards 2019 the first PlayStation 5 game was unveiled to the world.


  • PS5 games list already looks unbeatable: Is Xbox 2 doomed to fail?

The upcoming PS5 game is called Godfall and is a fantasy loot slasher from Gearbox which is “focused on melee combat”.

The TGA trailer for Godfall showed in-engine footage, but since then gameplay footage of the PS5 title has also emerged.

The short snipped of in-game footage was revealed in a post by PlayStation Lifestyle who did an interview with Godfall’s creative director Keith Lee.

The short PS5 gameplay footage merely shows a small part of a melee fight in Godfall, with hefty looking weapons-based combat teased.

Lee said that the Monster Hunter series was an influence on Godfall in terms of the gameplay, pinpointing the fast combos and diverse weapon playstyles.

Explaining what Godfall is about, Lee told PlayStation Lifestyle: “The trailer sets the context at the beginning of the game when you’re about to select your initial playable character.

“As an avatar, you play as one of the last remnants of an exalted Knight’s Order intent on stopping the apocalypse and preserving the last vestiges of their world.

“You will be able to play all three of the heroes you see by acquiring and donning their armour sets, known as Valorplates.

“Besides these three, you will uncover and equip additional ancient Valorplates lost in time in your journey, each with their own characteristics and historical lineage.”

Speaking about the benefits of working on the PS5, Lee said: “The exceptionally powerful SSD on the PlayStation 5 offers a new level of detail for each individual object as well as seamless loading of our expansiveness world.

“Our combat is kinesthetic in nature, so the new controller’s ‘adaptive triggers’ and haptic feedback will make moment-to-moment combat feel exhilarating and visceral.”

The game’s creative director and CEO of Counterplay Games also confirmed that Godfall would be a PS5 launch title.

• Stay tuned to Express.co.uk for more PS5 news and updates ahead of its 2020 release date

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H1Z1 Pro League to form, minimum player salary guaranteed

Daybreak Games, the creator of H1Z1 has partnered with Twin Galaxies to establish a new H1Z1 Pro League Division. Ultimately, the aim of the league is to create a sustainable ecosystem in partnership with teams for the benefit of H1Z1 players, viewers and partners.

The League will launch its inaugural season in 2018, and will include minimum salary (around $50,000 subject to governance discussion), team owner and player representation on the governance committee as well as a “Player Bill of Rights” and a revenue-sharing model for those involved. 

The Pro League will see 15 teams compete over the course of two 10-week splits, leading up to the Championship in late 2018. As aforementioned, a Governance Committee will oversee the league, including representatives from Daybreak, Twin Galaxies, team organisations and players. There shall be no buy-ins or costs for teams to enter the league, but the teams will be selected through an application process to take place towards the tail-end of 2017. 

The teams set to compete will be announced in 2018, and those that are interested are able to attend a private briefing that will take place at TwitchCon on Friday, October 20th. 

“H1Z1 burst on to the esports scene with its first Battle Royale tournament over two years ago and has continued to serve the community with events like the H1Z1 Invitational, Elites Series at DreamHack and the primetime broadcast of Fight for The Crown on The CW Network. Our goal with the H1Z1 Pro League is to create a world-class experience worthy of our incredibly competitive community,” said Anthony Castoro, H1Z1 General Manager at Daybreak Games. “We chose to partner with Twin Galaxies because they bring a unique and compelling vision for how H1Z1 can reshape the world of professional esports, and they share our core value of putting players first.”

“Twin Galaxies’ Pro League Division’s mission is to create, govern and operate best-in-class esports leagues, tournaments and special events in a true partnership with leading game publishers,” said Stratton Sclavos, Board Member at Twin Galaxies and a Partner at Vision Venture Partners. “Daybreak’s leadership in bringing the Battle Royale format to esports creates a tremendous opportunity to elevate this amazing category into the next true professional esport ecosystem. As the Managing General Partner of the San Jose Sharks professional hockey team from 2011-2015, I’m well aware of the benefits of raising the profile of the players, establishing economic incentives for all constituents and delighting the fan base with compelling content. H1Z1 Pro League will be maniacally focused on those goals.”

It’s certainly a big move from H1Z1 as they look to regain arguably lost momentum following the ridiculous numbers that Battle Royale competitor PUBG continues to bring in. There remains a big crossover between many H1Z1 players and PUBG players, and should these people not be convinced of PUBG’s sustainability, they may well be tempted to be involved in the Pro League.

With the salary base believed to stand at a whopping $50,000 (depending on governance discussions) it’s certainly no small investment for a team, and equally not a bad salary for a player at all. It will definitely be interesting to see just how many teams go for a spot in the latest league that has popped up.

Esports Insider says: Big, big moves from H1Z1, Daybreak and Twin Galaxies. We may well see a resurgent H1 scene with this news, as those that made hopped over to rival PUBG may well be booting up a different game tonight with this kind of money being wafted around. 

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Virtual Bundesliga: Gladbach ist Herbstmeister – Woche 6 der VBL – VBL

Bevor wir uns alle in die VBL-Winterpause verabschieden werfen nochmal einen Blick auf die vergangene Woche. Wo stehen die Teams nach den ersten elf Spieltagen?

Gladbach auf Platz eins

In Mönchengladbach gibt es ordentlich was zu feiern, schließlich sicherte sich die Borussia zumindest auf dem virtuellen Rasen bereits die Herbstmeisterschaft. Aber mit nur drei Punkten Vorsprung auf Leverkusen bleibt das Rennen um den Titel eng. Auch Vorjahresmeister Werder Bremen ist mit sechs Punkten Rückstand noch auf Tuchfühlung mit den Fohlen. All zu entspannen dürfen sich Richard “Der_Gaucho10” Hormes und  Yannick “Jeffryy95” Reiners während der Feiertage also nicht. Die Konkurrenz schläft nicht und bis zum Saisonende kann noch viel passieren.

Weihnachtsmann Hertha BSC verteilt Geschenke

Die “alte Dame” von der Spree ist an sich ja nicht für ihre Großzügigkeit bekannt, aber im Featured Match gegen die Werkself aus Leverkusen bot sich eine ausgezeichnete Möglichkeit für Wohltaten. Mit einem Sieg gegen Leverkusen würden die Berliner nicht nur selber auf den Playoff-Rängen überwintern, sie würden auch Gladbach zur Herbstmeisterschaft verhelfen. Deshalb gab es sogar eine Portion Intensivtraining der Berliner auf der Anreise.

Im Studio selber reichte es für die Berliner dann aber nur für zwei Punkte. Bei den beiden Unentschieden im Doppel und auf der PS4 wäre sicherlich mehr drin gewesen, aber so konnten die Herthaner nur noch die Gladbacher beschenken und nicht sich selber belohnen.

Wehen Wiesbaden kommt nicht vom Fleck

Die Wiesbadener waren auch letzte Woche schon ins Studio gereist, um endlich kostbare Punkte zu erspielen. Gegen die Berliner kamen sie damals nur auf zwei Punkte und ein einziges Tor. Gegen den FC St. Pauli wollten die Rheinhessen nun alles besser machen. Hehre Ansprüche, die jedoch wieder nichts einbrachten. Zwar steigerte man sich auf drei Tore diese Woche, aber mehr als zwei Punkte gab es trotzdem nicht. Seit dem ersten Spieltag tragen die Wiesbadener nun schon die rote Laterne mit sich her und es scheint keinen Weg aus der Misere zu geben. In der Winterpause muss Taktik-Picasso Alexander “Bono” Rauch wohl Überstunden machen, damit man endlich die Laterne weitergibt. Aber vielleicht hat man sich in Wiesbaden ja an das schöne Leuchten gewohnt…


Alle weiteren Infos zur VBL gibt es in unserem Mega-Thread: Alle Infos zur deutschen Meisterschaft

Mit der VBL geht es am 09.01.2020 nach dem Ende der Winterpause weiter!

Was war euer Lieblingsmoment der ersten elf Spieltage? Sagt es uns über die sozialen Medien!

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City League realigns focus from Overwatch to CS:GO

City League, a grassroot esports initiative that was set to make a geolocated Overwatch league in Europe, has shifted its focus to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

This initiative was shut down when the Overwatch League came about, with Blizzard instructing City League to cease any operations it planned for Overwatch.

Sjaak Kuil, General Manager of City League told The Esports Observer: “We’ve started the pre-season for Overwatch because of its recent popularity. The pre-season was a blast, but unfortunately, Blizzard decided to kill the City League project for Overwatch. We tried to find a way to run City League for Overwatch within the criteria of Blizzard, but this was undoable.”

For City League to have followed through with its plans in Overwatch it would have had to have obtained a licence from Blizzard, but Kuil discussed the obstacles that stood in the way. “First of all, you’re not allowed to run a league. You can host individual standalone tournaments, but these may not be connected with each other,” he explained. “Secondly, teams are not allowed to have a connection with a city. Lastly, teams are not allowed to play from a physical venue against another physical venue.”

Kuil continued, explaining that there was enough interest in the City League to still go ahead with it – but it needed to involve a different title, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was the choice. The League will see eight teams take part, including locations that have just participated in the inaugural season of the Overwatch League.

The first official season for the City League will commence during July, registration is currently open for venues and closes on July 1st. It will see teams play in their own physical venues around Europe for five weeks, starting with a group format that will transition into playoffs.

Esports Insider says: The Overwatch League may have geographical-based teams, but they’re yet to actually compete out of their own home venue. While this is the case, the City League has quite a unique offering across esports – and especially in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. We look forward to seeing how it’s executed.

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MDL Dota 2 Major confirmed to be hosted at Disneyland Paris

Mars Media has confirmed that its upcoming Dota 2 Major will indeed be hosted at Disneyland® Paris, as Esports Insider exclusively reported on February 8th.

The MDL Disneyland Paris Major will be the fourth Dota 2 Major of the 2018-2019 DPC season, taking place over May 4-12th.

Zhang Yu, CEO of Mars Media commented on the event in a statement: “We are very excited and proud to bring our own MDL to France thanks to Aymeric Magne and his team at Disneyland® Paris. We couldn’t have hoped for a better place and partner to host the very first MDL outside of China. We are looking forward to collaborating with Disneyland® Paris which marks our first, but not last, foray into the western esports market.”

Six online regional qualifiers will determine the teams that will end up competing in the Disney Events Arena in front of 6,300 spectators. This is the first time that the Mars Dota 2 League, other wise known as MDL, will be hosted outside of China.

Aymeric Magne, Director of Disneyland Paris Event Group added: “We are extremely proud to team up with Mars Media to co-produce a Dota 2 Major for the first time in France. Disneyland® Paris will host the best teams in the world for nine days promising our visitors a spectacular one-of-a-kind experience. This new event will further consolidate Disneyland® Paris’ position as a go-to destination for live events as well as a major esports partner in Europe.”

So far in this DPC season there have been three Majors: The Kuala Lumpur Major hosted by PGL, The Chongqing Major hosted by StarLadder & ImbaTV, and DreamLeague Season 11 hosted by DreamHack. Each event had had $1,000,000 (£760,475) up for grabs.

Esports Insider says: This is an exciting Major for a whole number of reasons and it’s great to see it finally confirmed so players and fans can start to look forward to it. Valve and Mars Media taking Dota 2 to another country, which is honestly rather underutilised, and at Disneyland no less, is great for esports. We expect to see the arena sell out not long after tickets are made available. We can’t wait to see the Disneyland resorts make further strides in esports!

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