Now that we are one week into GO Battle League Season Three, Niantic has posted the current Leaderboard for Pokémon GO. This shows the top players and their ranks… and none of the top 50, not even one single trainer, is at Rank Ten. This is, of course, because the season just started, but it demonstrates with brutal clarity how difficult the ultimate GO Battle League reward of Pikachu Libre is to achieve. Now, though, with the former GO Battle League exclusive Pokémon Scraggy entering the Research Breakthrough box for the month of August, can Pokémon GO trainers hope to one day see this exclusive (and elusive) form of the iconic electric mouse outside of GBL rewards?
The Leaderboard can be explored here, with the current rankings. Currently, Pokémon that be encountered through GO Battle League are:
- Machop: Rank 1 and up
- Treecko: Rank 1 and up
- Torchic: Rank 1 and up
- Mudkip: Rank 1 and up
- Pidgeot: Rank 1 and up
- Dratini: Rank 4 and up
- Galarian Zigzagoon: Rank 4 and up
- Galarian Farfetch'd: Rank 7 and up
- Scyther: Rank 7 and up
- Rufflet: Rank 8 and up
- Scraggy: Rank 9 and up
- Pikachu Libre: Rank 10 only
This means that no one in GO Battle League Season Three has yet earned the Pikachu Libre. Some inevitably will reach this ultimate rank, as we are, of course, just getting started. Considering Scraggy's role here, though, as the second-highest reward and how it's, as of August, available to any trainer, it would make sense that Pikachu will follow. Personally, my prediction would be that Niantic will hold back the wider release of Pikachu Libre for up to a full year to continue to incentive leveling up in GO Battle League. It would make sense for them to make it available at a more attainable rank such as, for example, Rank Seven, before releasing it in the wild or as a Research Breakthrough. Interest in GO Battle League is hard to gauge, but just a few months ago, Niantic allowed Legendary Pokémon encounters through PVP before stripping them from the game. In order to continue to keep players engaged in a system that, outside of Pikachu Libre, Deino, and Rufflet, has overall very poor rewards, Niantic may have to keep shifting once-exclusive rewards down to lower ranks.
In any case, the race for the number one PVP player in Pokémon GO can now be tracked via the Leaderboard.