The gist of it, as laid out by TechRaptor, is as follows. There are three currencies in the game:
- Aeos Coins: Earned in-game and from events.
- Aeos Tickets: Earned through in-game events.
- Aeos Gems: Premium currency that costs real money.
The game’s shop, the Aeos Emporium, offers game-affecting boosts that can be purchased with Aeos Coins or Aeos Tickets. If you don’t have enough of either, the game (helpfully!) gives you the option to spend Aeos Gems to make up the difference. Additionally, you start with a few Pokémon for free, and more can be purchased with Aeos Coins or Aeos Gems.
All of that isn’t too unusual; League of Legends, as an example, also sells champions and other stat-boosting effects for either its in-game currency or cash-shop currency. On that level, I dismiss TechRaptor’s claim that such transactions are inherently pay-to-win.
The issue with Pokémon Unite is that there’s a cap on how many Aeos Coins you can earn per week. That’s set at 2,100, and the screenshot of items showed all of them costing 1,000 apiece. The Pokémon themselves cost 8,000 to 10,000 Aeos Coins, meaning you’d have to farm up for about a month — apart from a few early-game bonuses — to earn one, and that would leave you with little left over to purchase anything else.
As it stands, the weekly cap serves no gameplay purpose and solely exists to push players to spend real money, which is the worst way to do monetization. It transforms Pokémon Unite from a game where players want to spend money to a game where they need to spend money, and that will likely make it a no-go for a large portion of its intended audience.