It looks like Pokemon Go Team Rocket (opens in new tab) is blasting off again as Niantic drops teases for a big event starting today.
The next Team Rocket invasion was signalled by some extremely relatable content: Team Rocket accidentally hitting "send to all" on its employees-only mailing list. Pokemon Go (opens in new tab) players got the mail this morning which includes a pep talk from Team Rocket's three new leaders, Sierra, Cliff, and Arlo, a link to free in-game goodies, and confirmation that the nefarious organization is coming back with more hot-air balloons this time - including in real life.
Team Rocket first emerged in Pokemon Go last year, taking over Pokestops and challenging encroaching trainers to battles. Beating one of their grunts would make them drop some handy items, and it would also give you the option to capture and purify their Shadow Pokemon. Or you could just leave them as Shadow Pokemon if you prefer creepy mist effects and menacing red eyes over a high CP.
It's not clear if Team Rocket will change up their tactics this year (though balloons are definitely involved), but it looks like this is all going to be part of the big leadup to Pokemon Go Fest 2020 (opens in new tab), the online-only, everybody's invited big fan event that's set to run across July 25 and July 26. Trainers everywhere are still banding together to put together the best Pokemon Go Giovanni counters (opens in new tab), placing him as the game's de facto final boss at the moment, and it will be interesting to see if and how his role changes with the resurgence of Team Rocket.
While you wait for the Pokemon Go Fest to begin, check out this commercial for it directed by superfan Rian Johnson (opens in new tab).