Pokemon GO Battle League is down, it's not just cheaters [UPDATE]

Right this minute in Pokemon GO, users may notice their inability to access Battle League gameplay. Generally, users are able to get in and battle other Pokemon GO trainers in a league which allows remote play – gamers all over the world can usually participate. But because of a few rotten apples – or a bit of rotten game code – the whole bunch is rotten, and we've got to wait for a fix before we can battle once more.

According to Niantic, there was a bit of mishap in the game Pokemon GO in the Pokemon GO Battle League. In this system in the game, a player was somehow able to exploit a loophole in which they could use their "Charged" move time and time again, without consequence. While, at first, it would seem that the gamer was at fault, ringing up wins to get to the top of the league with impunity, we have reason to believe that the game code was the one to blame.

Early Friday we began to notice a bug in the game. The bug created a loop in gameplay. In a Pokemon battle in Pokemon GO, a player taps their touchscreen to initiate an attack. The user attacks with their "Quick" move as much as possible, knocking out energy from their opponent each hit.

As they attack, they also charge up a secondary, more powerful move. This "Charged" attack includes a challenge where the user must tap (or slice) through a series of bubbles that appear on the display at great speed.

This "Charged" attack was where the bug seemed to come into play. Once Player 1 initiated an attack, they saw the customary bubble-popping screen, the attack took place, and then... where the game SHOULD have gone back to the standard battle arena screen to continue said battle, Player 1 was brought back to the bubble popping screen – and that was the loop, on and on forever.

Either this was what was happening for the gamers suddenly ON TOP of the Battle League charts, or the error happened parallel to the exploit run by those chart-toppers. In any case, something was wrong with the Battle League.

With some sort of broken (exploitable) bug in play, users were able to rank up to the top of the charts, Rank: 9, score 2977+, with less than 300 battles under their belt. The second player on the list (before the removal of player "JesusG1301") was "shibu258" with a score of 2914 and 816 battles – that's far more normal.

Above you'll see some information from user Toshi9227, who shows how a Melmetal could use a Charged attack at such immense speed. It would APPEAR that they're continuing to gain an attack charge as they attack with said Charged move. This effectively makes the user invincible.

As Niantic realized what was happening, they shut the entire Battle League down for all players. Pokemon GO Battle League is officially shut down for now – until further notice.

UPDATE July 7, 2020: Once again, the GO Battle League is down here in the afternoon (Central time, Chicago, USA) of July 7, 2020. This time it's not nearly as clear why – imagine that!