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Pokémon GO fever hits Cape Town and SA release date news

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Pokémon GO fever has hit South Africa as trainers from around the country have been gathering at various locations in the attempt to catch 'em all. One of the biggest events to hit Cape Town, The Great Gyarados Grind, took place this weekend where thousands of players made their way to the Sea Point Promenade to add to their collection of digital monsters. Some breaking news has also shead light on when local players can expect the official application in the country. 

The Great Gyarados Grind

Yesterday, at 10am on a sunny Sunday morning (24th of July), the iconic Mandela inspired big sunglasses began to see a change, as Pokémon hunters from all around Cape Town descended into view. Although the game hasn't officially launched in South Africa (but will potentially be soon - read below), Pokémon GO enthusiasts young, old and in-between found themselves among an enthusiastic crowd - hunting Magikarps, Psyducks and even some more elusive augmented reality creatures like Gyarados.  


If you are not exactly up to date with Pokémon lingo, Gyarados is one of the higher level monsters in the game that is difficult to capture due to its rarity. One of the most common ways in which to acquire a Gyarados is by evolving a Magikarp, a common Pokémon which can be found in most areas near water. The problem is that Magikarp requires 400 candies of its type in order to become a Gyarados, more than any other Pokémons requires in the game . The candies can only be earned when players catch more Magikarp, which makes the process a rather repetitive process, aka a grind. 

The Great Gyarados Grind saw some people manage to achieve what was, by the game's standard, the main goal of the event by catching enough Magikarp to evolve into a Gyarados.

As far as event standards go, the team behind it all managed to supersede their expectations. Speaking to co-organizer Kyle Hoffman-Barrett, he had the following to say,"I'd say that it was a wild success, I made a fairly aggressive prediction of 2 000 people attending. And I was completely off, it was closer to the region of 4 000."

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Kyle continued, "It is simply amazing to be part of this, in my 20+ years of gaming I have never enjoyed a community as much as this one. We will be hosting bigger events with great sponsors all geared towards bringing the community together and having fun together."

More to come

The Great Gyarados Grind event was created in the Pokémon GO South Africa Facebook group which has managed to reach close to eight thousand members (at the time of writing). The next scheduled event in the group is the Pokéhunt at Montecasino, which is taking place this Saturday in Johannesburg. The main events organizer, who also co-organized Gyarados Grind event, Garret Eriksen, said the following regarding the Pokéhunt at Montecasino:

"This weekend the Johannesburg Pokemon GO community will finally get to experience one of the high-quality events the Pokemon GO South Africa group is becoming known for! And this event looks to be our biggest and best so far with prizes, cosplay, free wifi and more (and of course, POKEMON!) We're doing this all for the community and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. The more support we get, the bigger and better our events can be! See you there this weekend Trainers!"

Pokémon GO Plus releasing in South Africa this September - Date TBC

Edit: Please note that this is the release date of the Pokémon GO Plus device and not the application. 

News on the official release date of Pokémon GO Plus for South Africa comes via Raru

"The latest release update information on the Pokémon GO Plus device is that it will only be available in September 2016 (Final date TBC). We will keep everyone informed as we get more updates from Nintendo SA"

You have to expect that if the device is available, that the game will be too! That's great news for Pokémon GO enthusiasts who have been using third party platforms to play the game in the country. 

How is Pokémon GO affecting your local community? Let us know by commenting below or hitting us up on Facebook or Twitter. 

Image Credit - All the above images were shot by Christopher Grava, JP Slabber and Mathew Day, a big thanks goes out to them for letting us make use of the photos. You can watch a YouTube video from Mathew 'PikeyZA' Day who was at The Great Gyarados Grind event below.

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"We will be hosting bigger events with great sponsors"

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