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There was this kids show aired in the 2000s.

The plot is about characters battling each other in 1v1s, choosing creatures (hybrid animals, armoured) to fight in randomly chosen arenas. The arenas are chosen by one side and characters are their own or randomly chosen?

The fights were either simulated or controlled. The fight scenes were animation I think and there was sort of a ranking system were you fight the next opponents. I vividly remember them choosing a lava arena and the main character found was stuck in a maze or found it difficult.

It’s definitely not Pokémon, Huntik. I saw it as a kid sometime during the early 2000s,it was a mix between 3D animation and 2D, no live action involved. I can’t remember the characters at all, there was maybe a guy with dark navy hair. It definitely has Pokémon vibes to it as in the characters have there creature and they watch them fight in arenas.

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    Is it Digimon. They were animal creatures with armour that battled like Pokemon
    – A.Steer
    Commented Jun 27, 2022 at 11:17
  • I'm not so sure about Digimon: while it features many battles between some kind of monsters, I dont' remember neither a ranking system nor arena battles between kids.
    – lfurini
    Commented Jun 28, 2022 at 12:44
  • It might be Bakugan or it might be Beyblade. The description of characters sounds more like Beyblade (youtube.com/watch?v=N74cnBa_Bmc ). Although 3D animation sounds more like Bakugan. Check both and tell me if it rings a bell.
    – jo1storm
    Commented Jun 28, 2022 at 13:54

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While you say "early 2000s," the show you describe does fit my loose memory of the animated show Chaotic.

There was this kids show aired in the 2000s.

Chaotic was commissioned by 4Kids Entertainment. It aired in the United States from 2006 to 2010 during the 4Kids TV programming block and, later, on Cartoon Network and/or Toon Disney (under the Jetix brand).

The plot is about characters battling each other in 1v1s, choosing creatures (hybrid animals, armoured) to fight in randomly chosen arenas. The arenas are chosen by one side and characters are their own or randomly chosen?

In Chaotic, the characters get into organized matches consisting of one or more individual combats. In each combat, the players take on the forms and abilities of various creatures that they've "scanned" in an alternate world. The majority of creatures are humanoid, but fall into a diverse range of styles, such as but not limited to: ogres, demons, beast hybrids, and humanoid but with different skin color.

The fights were either simulated or controlled. The fight scenes were animation I think and there was sort of a ranking system were you fight the next opponents. I vividly remember them choosing a lava arena and the main character found was stuck in a maze or found it difficult.

In each game that is more than a 1v1 contest, each player lays out a set of locations on a grid, with those locations being dealt from their individual location decks. On each turn, a player takes various setup actions that ultimately result in one of their creatures fighting one of their opponents creatures on one of the locations. As a competitive game, a rating system of sorts was in play, but the specifics of it are not particularly explained.

The lava arena you remember could have been Lava Pond, and the maze might refer to Labyrinth of Linsic (which exists as a location in the creatures' world, but doesn't seem to have been used as a battle location for the characters).

It’s definitely not Pokémon, Huntik. I saw it as a kid sometime during the early 2000s,it was a mix between 3D animation and 2D, no live action involved. I can’t remember the characters at all, there was maybe a guy with dark navy hair. It definitely has Pokémon vibes to it as in the characters have there creature and they watch them fight in arenas.

The first season was animated in Flash before transitioning to a more traditional animation style for season two. Characters gain access to new creatures and support abilities by "scanning" them - a process analogous to catching a Pokemon, except the scan is instead creating a copy of the creature as they are at that moment. The fights themselves are public events in the game world which are hosted at various BattleDromes and can be spectated on.

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As pointed out in a comment above, this may be Digimon: Digital Monsters. The show aired from 1999 to 2007. The guy with the dark navy hair may have been Tai Kamiya. His creature was Agumon, which I always thought looked like a yellowish-orange tyrannosaur.

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