The world’s number one Pokémon GO player has had his account suspending for violating the game’s terms of service by selling Mewtwos.
As of August of this year, Brandon Tan had 600 million XP, caught 450,000 Pokémon, visited 430,000 Pokéstops all over the world, participated in 12,100 raids, and consumed 180,000 berries. Those are some ludicrous statistics, even for the most dedicated of Pokémon GO players.
How’d he do it? Well, to start, Brandon is a full-time gamer who streams his adventures on Twitch and posts videos to YouTube. Next, he uses multiple accounts in order to amass an army of Brandons who can take on raids without anyone else’s help.
That, by the way, is strike one against Mr. Tan as using multiple accounts violates Pokémon GO’s terms of service.
But it turns out he also has turned his army of raid-grinding clones into a business, selling Mewtwos to accounts too low-level to actually acquire a Mewtwo, or to people who just can’t spend the hours upon hours grinding out raids in order to get a Mewtwo with decent stats.
That last bit was strike two for Niantic, who have suspended Brandon Tan’s account for 30 days.
The suspension-hammer fell on September 28th, but Brandon had been selling Mewtwos since September 20th, when an earlier tweet (which has since been removed) detailed the going rate for a Mewtwo. Any old Mewtwo will run you $23 each, with bulk orders getting a discount. A 95% IV Mewtwo would run you $145, and a 100% perfect Mewtwo would cost $365.
If you’re wondering how Brandon could guarantee these perfect Mewtwos while trading--which randomizes the ‘Mon’s IVs on the receiving end--he didn’t actually trade them. Instead, he’d login to the buyer’s account and simply include them on the raid with his army of alternate accounts. It might take dozens of raids, but eventually he’d get lucky and land a good enough Mewtwo for the buyer.
Logging into other people’s accounts is also a violation of the terms of service, which was strike three for Niantic.
Looks like I won’t be able to achieve my goal of 2,000+ Mewtwo raids and 6*100% Mewtwos due to my suspension as I planned to do an avg of 69 raids per day, 2,277 raids in a month. My account will only be back after 30 days, but will my passion and motivation for the game be back? pic.twitter.com/KcYU0Zd6Sg— BrandonTan91 (@brandontan91) September 30, 2018
Brandon is now uncertain he’ll want to return to Pokémon GO once his suspension is over. Niantic will probably be just fine without him. It was recently revealed that the Pokémon GO developer has grossed $2 billion since the game’s release.