Michael Steranka discusses City Safari, Pokemon GO PvP and more at StadiumCast!

Michael Steranka, the director of Pokemon GO has recently given another interview. The interview was conducted by Inadequence & Lundberger, two PvP players.

Move update

In the current season, GO Battle League has introduced a significant update to its moves. Michael Steranka says that the decision was made because it was a good time to make some big updates to the game for a new season. Gligar, Lanturn and other Pokemon are in a good place. They’re still powerful but nothing groundbreaking. He also expressed his satisfaction that the Grand Final 2023 World Championships will feature 11 Pokemon.

World Champion 2023

ItsAXN, the world champion at present, used more Pokemon spawns. It was simple to achieve, since ItsAXN had no mythical or legendary Pokemon. This season, these Pokemon will be included in the regional, world and international championships. This is due to two factors:

  • Trainers can access these meta-Pokemon while they are at a tournament.
  • The team observed that viewers of VGC and TCG tournaments showed an interest in GO. If they are able to catch Pokemon on the stage, they may be encouraged to play Pokemon GO.

Championship points

In order to qualify to the World Championships, you can also collect points at stores in the United States to earn championship points. Michael Steranka thinks this will encourage more players to play PvP. The players will be able to meet up in the local store and learn from one another. The three biggest challenges are:

  1. Organise a store event and offer prizes to encourage participation.
  2. Encourage players to take part
  3. Marketers

If this goes well, it would be great if the product was brought to Europe!

Tips for beginners in PvP

Are there some great tips to share with beginners? What are the best tips to get started in PvP? He also advised that players should focus less on high IVs, especially at lower levels. It is possible to build a great team later. Michael Steranka, what are your personal suggestions? Shadow Swampert (Gligar, Lanturn) and Gligar.

Popular Pokémon

Then the obvious question: how does Niantic, who is responsible for Pokemon Go PvP, decide on the rebalancing of the game every season? Michael Steranka answered that it’s based upon a ladder. The team does not only look at the top Pokemon but also the best Pokemon within each ELO level. The goal is to not make any Pokemon obsolete.

Charge TMs

A hot topic is the lack of Charge TMs in PvP. Michael Steranka suggested a focused grind to achieve this goal: for example, taking part in raids at level three to obtain TMs in addition to what you receive in GBL. These Charge TMs are needed by different players. A GBL participant will require fewer TMs compared to a player in a basic tournament. When creating events, we try to consider the different types of players. However, it’s impossible to include something for everyone.

Play! Pokémon

Play! The Pokemon Company’s live tournaments are hosted by Pokemon. Pokemon GO being a real-time service, trainers will have to decide between a Pokemon GO tournament or an event. Michael Steranka revealed that there was a seasonal 10-month plan for Pokemon GO. They are also doing everything they can to work with Play! Pokemon, so trainers do not have to choose.

City Safari

Also, it was stressed that City Safari and Safari Zone are separate events. City Safari was inspired by the GO Fest city experience. Niantic can now focus on digital aspects of events taking place in different cities. Michael Steranka explained that Osaka had been chosen deliberately for GO Fest in order to have trainers present at both GO Fest as well as the World Championships around the same period. It was part of the 10-month plan.


Michael Steranka says that it is possible to give feedback to the Pokemon GO Team. The social media are monitored closely to find out what is going on. You can provide player feedback by taking part in in-app and post-live surveys. The User Survey is also a great way to get feedback. The aim is to ensure that all players have fun and are not overcharged.

Shadow Lugia and Shadow Mewtwo

A black Shadow Lugia, unique to the Gamecube version of Pokemon XD Gale of Darkness is also available. A unique Shadow Mewtwo in black and orange from Pokken Tournament. Many people asked whether these Pokemon would be available in Pokemon GO. Michael Steranka acknowledged that he also would have loved to see game-exclusive Pokemon, but they’re harder to add to Pokemon GO. They are so closely matched to the games from which they came.

Preview World Champion 2024

Michael Steranka, as a final question in the interview was asked to name the person he believes will be the winner of the world championship. Who is this new, relatively unknown or young player that they’re aiming to? Wdage has been mentioned as one of the possible candidates, having finished third at the previous championships and winning the first regional championships in this season. ItsAXN could, of course also win two consecutive championships. Chemcoop, a less-known opponent was also mentioned. Michael Steranka will not be participating in any tournaments as his contract prohibits him from doing so. However, he would like to participate in practice matches.

Source: Stadium Gaming

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