In the latest Pokemon Go update, Spark, the leader of Team Instinct, has mysteriously disappeared.
For whatever reason, players on Team Instinct after installing the new Pokemon Go update are now being greeted not by Spark but by Candela, the leader of Team Valor. Still, this Candela uses the dialogue that Spark usually uses, meaning this is likely just a graphical glitch. It also doesn’t mean that Team Instinct players have been accidentally converted to Team Valor; it’s just that the wrong character is showing up on screen.
Although Spark being swapped out for Candela is obviously not a huge deal, it did instantly spawn a great deal of confusion online, as well as tons of memes and jokes questioning what happened to Spark since yesterday. Reddit user ngxmorpha jokingly speculated, “he probably accidentally walked off a cliff or something… the adorable lemming he is.”
Others joked that perhaps Spark is away helping to set up for Pokemon Go Fest Chicago on Saturday, and Candela has taken over his duties including providing appraisals of Pokemon. Reddit user JonnyPerk suggested that this would be a great setup for an event, writing, “He has been kidnapped by Team Rocket, only defeating Mewtwo in Chicago can save him!”
Some of the more optimistic Pokemon Go fans speculated that perhaps the reason this glitch ocurred is because Niantic is testing out a new feature that would give players the ability to switch teams. This is something that fans have been requesting for months, even if it’s just a one time opportunity to switch. Still others have speculated that perhaps Team Valor and Team Instinct are actually being merged into one so that there will only be two teams going forward; this would help deal with the team imbalance. But really, knowing Niantic, this is almost certainly just a random glitch, as usually occurs following any given Pokemon Go update.
UPDATE: A spokesperson for Niantic told Polygon this week that Spark will return in the game’s next update, although they did not specify when this update will be released.