Pikachu and friends are coming to Boston this weekend as the Pokemon World Championships kicks off here in the Hub.

This is the big one for followers of the iconic Japanese game. Thousands are expected to descend on the Hynes Convention Center starting Friday, squaring off over Pokemon cards and video games. The event runs through Sunday.

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It’s invitation-only for the world’s best duelers from worldwide tournaments. But amateur Pokemon fans are also invited to attend and play one another on the side, according to a promo page for the bonanza.

The pot for winners this year is more than $500,000 in scholarship money — the biggest ever. Winners in the card game category could take home as much as $25,000.

You can also watch the action live on the Pokemon website.