Hundreds race in one of the world’s first Pokemon Go competitions

Over 600 people race against the clock to catch 12 Pokemon in Hong Kong

HONG KONG, CHINA (AUGUST 6, 2016) (REUTERS) – Hundreds whipped out their phones and sped across the streets in a race against the clock to catch designated Pokemon in Hong Kong on Saturday (August 6).

With their heads glued to their phones, over 600 people participated in the “Pokegame” competition, one of the world’s firsts, despite the sweltering 34 degrees Celsius (93 degrees Fahrenheit) heat.

Starting at 1400 local time (0600GMT), organisers began announcing on their Facebook page which Pokemon must be caught in certain districts. Contestants had to take screenshots of all 12 designated Pokemon in three districts.

Father-and-son duo Nelson and Lucas Leung took the contest so seriously that they hurried to the Mong Kok district right after the 10-year-old’s violin class. They also skipped lunch.

“If it wasn’t for this event today, after his violin lesson we would have gone home, hidden indoors, enjoyed the air-conditioning and played with our phones separately. Today even though it is really hot and we are sweating a lot, we are having a lot of fun. I think this event is great,” Nelson Leung said.

Apart from the 12 key Pokemon, participants could also catch designated rare Pokemons which would take off some minutes from their total time.

Champion of the competition, 21-year-old Frankie Chu, won HKD 3000 (USD 386) which he said he would use to pay his educational fees.

“When I heard I won, I was surprised, then I got so excited I screamed and shouted. Also, I have been running around since 2pm and I am extremely tired,” Chu said.

The augmented reality game has been a hit in Hong Kong since it was launched on July 25. Local media report that over a thousand people often flock to certain parks at night to catch the virtual monsters.