The pop-up Pokémon Center was always going to be one of the biggest attractions at this week's Pokémon World Championships, yet despite a seemingly organised pre-booking system, it seems that the store has already succumbed to huge queues.
London last hosted a Pokémon Center in 2019, producing a similar result of queues around the block; however, the attention gained by the World Championships had us suspecting that a firmer level of organisation would be in place this time around.
One Twitter user, @Jimray3mta, shared a video of the lengthy line, which reaches outside of the ExCeL venue and stretches some way along a nearby road:
Looking at the tweets collected by our friends over at Eurogamer, it appears that even those who had pre-booked a slot to enter the Pokémon Center in advance were being subjected to the same extensive wait times. It is unclear as of yet whether this is due to a system failure on the part of the booking system or simply a large influx of walk-in visitors on the store's opening day.
Here's a selection of tweets to give an idea of the queue lengths on the opening day of August 17th:
With the World Championships officially starting tomorrow and running throughout the weekend until the 21st August, we can only assume that these queues are going to get longer — unless a more thorough booking system is put in place to prevent a wave of guests descending on the entrance all at once.
Those eager to get into the store are not doing so without reason. The pop-up Pokémon Center is currently the only place where you are able to pick up the World Championships exclusive Beefeater Pikachu and Roserade plushies, as well as the official London coin set.
It's not all bad news though, as Twitter has also seen examples of those customers who were lucky enough to make it through the queue and live to tell the tale. Looking at some of the hauls below, we are almost tempted to say that the ridiculous wait times are worth it. Almost.
The Pokémon Center opened today and will be at the World Championships in the ExCeL arena until August 21st.
Are you attending the World Championships this year? Maybe you got caught in today's queues? Let us know in the comments!