While most details about Pokémon GO are still unannounced, there is one thing we do know: it will feature Pokémon Gyms of some sort.
In the main Pokémon games, Gyms are required stops along your journey. Inside, you battle stronger trainers and finally face off against the Gym Leader, the strongest trainer in the Gym. Some Gym Leaders are important characters within the story, as well. Once you win, you’re rewarded with a new move to teach your Pokémon, as well as a Gym Badge. Beating the Gym Leader is often necessary to progress to the next area, and obtaining all of the region’s Badges is the only way to gain access to the Pokémon League, where you’ll fight the Elite Four and Champion.
Since Pokémon GO isn’t a traditional story-driven game, it’s unlikely Gyms will work in the same way. On the other hand, we don’t know enough to discount the possibility of a story or Pokémon League, either. It could have PvE battles, like in MMORPGs, that require players to fight Gym Leaders. Maybe specific regions of the world will have their own Pokémon Leagues for players to work their way to—or perhaps Gym Leaders will play other roles in the story, like Giovanni, who doubled as a Gym Leader in the first Pokémon generation and the leader of the villainous organization Team Rocket.
Where will players be able to find Pokémon Gyms? Will actual gyms and sports-related buildings be Pokémon Gyms in the virtual world of Pokémon GO? It opens up many intriguing possibilities that could make the game even more immersive.
Whether or not there are official Gym Leaders, players will set up their own unofficial gyms and Pokémon Leagues. Friends might construct their own leagues with prizes for defeating all of them, and many fans are already forming regional Pokémon teams in their areas. Competitive battling is already popular with the handheld games, and this will only take it further.
Since Gyms have been announced as a part of the game, there should be some sort of official format. Which are you looking forward to more—official Gyms created for Pokémon GO, or unofficial Gyms created by the people around you? Would you participate in a fan-created league or tournament?
And if you had the option, would you become a Pokémon GO Gym Leader?