Today was the first day of the 2014 Pokémon World Championships, bringing the best players of both Pokémon X & Y and the Pokémon trading card game from around the world to convene on Washington, D.C. in hopes of claiming eternal glory for their Mudkips. While the tournament proper doesn't begin until tomorrow, the Last Chance Qualifiers were today, allowing hundreds of players to compete for a handful of remaining non-invitational spots in the Championships.

Outside the LCQs, today was also a simple celebration of Pokémon, with fans gathering around the Washington E. Convention Center to battle for fun, trade, cosplay, and revel in mutual 'mon appreciation. We've decided to produce a gallery of images to kick off our coverage for the weekend; you can click on the photos to enlarge:

We'll have more photos the the next two days, as well as interviews, coverage and live streams of the tournament itself! Be sure to stay posted to Nintendo Life.