Is the Gen 9 Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Bonsly region leak real or fake?

It looks like a tiny cork tree.

There’s been no shortage of purported Pokémon Scarlet and Violet leaks going around in the last few weeks. For anyone familiar with Pokémon, this should come as no surprise: the weeks and months prior to the release of major new Pokémon titles are always filled with leaks, some more reputable and properly sourced than others.

In the last few days, a leak that supposedly shows a new regional variant of the Pokémon Bonsly has been floating around on social media. The leaked image was reportedly first posted on 4Chan and has since spread to Reddit and Twitter, where it’s received more widespread attention. Could this screenshot of a new Bonsly be real?

Evidence

It’s difficult to find evidence of the Bonsly leak anywhere other than Reddit and Twitter. The Reddit post on PokeLeaks that mentions 4Chan and Twitter as a source doesn’t list any additional information, nor do many of the tweets that feature the same screenshot. One Twitter user supposedly found the original 4Chan post and shared a screenshot of it, which claimed that this Bonsly is a grass-type that evolves into a Sudowoodo that looks like a wine bottle. Reddit commenters mentioned that it looks like several pieces of cork, the creation of which is a big industry in Portugal. As Scarlet and Violet‘s upcoming region is supposedly based on the Iberian Peninsula, this could lead some credibility to the leak.

There’s much more evidence against the leak’s validity than for it. A reverse Google image search revealed no other instances of the image than tweets and the Reddit post. This means it isn’t obviously fanart, but that also means none of the usually reputable sources have shared the same screenshot. On Twitter, the image is being used mostly to promote Pokémon content creators’ videos and generate discussion. The idea that a Pokémon would be based on a bottle of alcohol is also somewhat suspect, given that the franchise’s biggest audience is kids.

Real or fake?

Reddit commenters noted that Bonsly’s eyes are textured rather than modeled in the “leaked” screenshot. In newer 3D Pokémon titles, Pokémon’s eyes are usually modeled in order to allow them to display expressions more fluidly. This Bonsly’s eyes appear to be part of its body texture rather than individual modeled entities. Others note that the background in the image looks very low-quality and poorly textured, which could indicate a fan creation. According to the fan who shared the 4Chan screenshot on Twitter, it looks somewhat similar to the earlier Oddish leak, so they may have come from the same person. An artist who supposedly created the Oddish variant claimed that the leak was fake, but that hasn’t been proven.

Based on the information we found, this Bonsly leak is likely fake. While we were unable to find any direct evidence as to its validity, the deck seems stacked against this unfortunate regional variant. It’s likely that Scarlet and Violet will still have some kind of regional variants, but this Bonsly probably won’t be one of them.

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