Pokémon GO will host GO Fest 2021 from July 17th – July 18th this summer. We have been told very little about the event so far, so let's see if we can cook up some theories about what is to come in this blockbuster event. Remember, this is going to be taking place during Niantic's fifth anniversary with the franchise and the overall 25th anniversary of Pokémon as an IP. I believe we can expect some truly special releases. Here are my predictions for Team GO Rocket that we will see released during GO Fest 2021.
Last year, the second day of GO Fest was taken over by a Team GO Rocket invasion. I don't believe we will see the same this year. Instead, my theory is that we will see increased Rocket and Rocket Balloon activity throughout the entire event in Pokémon GO, so their presence seems more spread out, making the battles simultaneously more available by adding them to both days and less dominant by narrowing players' focus with a one-day invasion.
As far as how the rest of Team GO Rocket activity plays out, I do think we can model our expectations this year off of last year's event. In GO Fest 2020, the Team GO Rocket leaders had their normal slate but defeating them unlocked the Shadow Birds of Kanto. These encounters were locked to Research so you couldn't just go out and get endless Shadow Legendaries. I'd predict we see the same for this year, but with the Shadow Beasts of Johto.
The real question is… what will Giovanni have? Last year, Giovanni encounters rewarded Shadow Persian while the "Beat the Team GO Rocket boss" offered an encounter with Shadow Mewtwo. Note that this was Shadow Mewtwo's release in Pokémon GO. It was, at the time, the most anticipated Shadow… with perhaps the exception of Lugia. I believe that this year, GO Fest 2021 will see the release of Shadow Lugia through Giovanni.
So there we have it. Shadow Beasts from the leaders, Shadow Lugia from Giovanni is my prediction. Whereas my Shiny releases were full stabs in the dark, this time, I feel like we're making educated guesses based on what came before. What do you think we'll end up seeing?