The boss is back. Or at least he will be. Before the COVID-19 pandemic led Niantic to make temporary changes in Pokémon GO, monthly Team GO Rocket research was given to trainers on the first of every month. After completing a series of tasks that included defeating Grunts and Leaders, catching and purifying Shadow Pokémon, and more, trainers would be tasked with finding, battling, and defeating the Rocket Boss, Giovanni. Giovanni's final Pokémon was always a Shadow Legendary and defeating him would lead to an encounter with that Legendary. With the exception of a brief appearance in GO Fest related events, Giovanni's removal was part of the quarantine-inspired changes. Now, as Niantic is pulling back those changes, they have quietly confirmed that Giovanni will return this month.
Niantic, ever the prolific supplier of information, wrote: "Giovanni Special Research will resume in October."
And that's it.
While an update is likely coming that will detail the Rocket Boss's plans, the research did not appear in-game on October 1st at midnight as in the past. It is likely that this return will be an event in and of itself. Also, Niantic also released the Victini Special Research just yesterday, so there will most likely be a gap between the rollout of these respective quests. The big question is, though, which Shadow Legendary will Giovanni feature?
- Mewtwo: This was given to trainers who paid for GO Fest tickets so, as with Victini, it is only fair to expect that a free equivalent will be released at some time.
- Ho-Oh or Lugia: The Legendary Birds, Mewtwo, and the Legendary Beasts have all been done. If the plan is to do each Legendary, these are the next logical steps.
- The Regis: Maybe Giovanni likes trios of Pokémon. Skipping the Johto birds and going to Registeel, Regirock, and Regice is feasible, especially considering releasing Shadow Lugia, an icon in and of itself, will be a bigger event than just a Giovanni return.
- Repeats: Everything that leaves Pokémon GO is destined to return. One day, we will see him feature the Legendary Birds and Beasts again. It's unlikely that October be that day, but it's a possibility.