Players have been asking for the feature since the game was released in 2016.
Niantic spent all of Friday morning teasing the announcement with a series of mysterious tweets, each one clearer than the last. One of them, trading, was added to the game earlier this year, and Niantic is signaling the arrival of another major feature: trainer battles.
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The game's official Twitter account has uploaded an enigmatic image of a Trainer standing on the opposite side of what looks like a battlefield, with that familiar exclamation point above their heads. There are still not many other details such as how players can access the leagues or if there are any other league rules which have not been announced yet. CP limits will be in place for each tier, beginning with a 1,500 CP limit for Pokemon used in the Great League.
To ensure balanced gameplay between battles and players, there will be three different Trainer Battle Leagues: Great, Ultra, and Master. "With Leagues in Trainer Battles, we hope to create a system that's accessible to many Trainers". Niantic has addressed the first two issues in the months since launch, but it was still unclear when player vs. player battles would be added to the game. It'd make a lot of sense if Niantic were to transfer this battle style over to Pokemon Go as we've seen the formula works time and time again.