Game Informer previously reported that Pokemon Sword and Shield would feature 18 Pokemon gyms to challenge on October 1st: 9 Major and 9 minor gyms. Fans were extremely excited as it would defeat Pokemon Gold and Silver in overall amount of gyms to challenge (it featured 16).
Unfortunately, it seems Game Informer mistranslated communications with Game Freak. What Game Freak meant was that there are 18 across the league in Pokemon Sword and Shield. There are just 8 gyms as usual but each have version exclusive gyms.
This comes as a huge disappointment from fans but hopefully the other features in the game will remove their fears.
Pokemon Sword and Shield releases worldwide November 15th, 2019.