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As I curse under my breath, and three scarves, I wonder why the airplane that The Competitor officially doesn't have but somehow exists anyway was not available for me to fly to my next interviewees, but I had been told that Jellicent was liquidating the plane for funds to feed his addiction, so there wasn't much I could do. I kept the fireball I had summoned a good foot or so in front of me, providing me warmth and light for the long, cold trek in the middle of Antarctica.
Later, I saw a monstrous mountain in front of me, approximately where the X on my map was. Surely they couldn't have made their base on top of a mountain...? My fears were confirmed when a shout echoed from atop the large ice construct, calling out to me to climb up. As I conversed with the person brave enough to come out in this cold without a trusty fireball, I learned a couple things, such as that his name was Snunch, there was a giant ice castle ontop of this thing, and most shocking of all, the thing I was climbing up was a monumental Regice.
Twenty minutes later, the four of us are in a locked room somewhere in the castle, and I had a hot chocolate in my hand to warm me up. When I felt warm enough, I initiated the interview.
Hello, Cryonicles! Thanks for your time doing this interview!
M Dragon: Hi.
I immediately decide that having four users manage a team should be a thing, if only to have a quartet of "Hi" whenever I do this again.
Preparing for SPL before actual signups happened, what was your game plan regarding changes?
M Dragon: We had a pretty solid base last year, so there wasn't much we needed to change.
Snunch: We retained a lot of players, seeing how solid our team was last year.
yondie: After the LC/Doubles vote happened, we had a pretty solid idea of what our team needed—UU, RU and NU, specifically.
Yes, I remember being encouraged to try out after the poor performance of Sweet Jesus.
Snunch: Sweet Jesus is an OU god.
yondie: A true hero.
Instead, you picked up BasedVictory.
Snunch: We were lucky to find him; he's very skilled at his tier, and came cheaper than we expected.
yondie: He was 4K, if I remember correctly. I was willing to bid up to approximately 10K for him, for what it's worth.
M Dragon: Based was our goal from the start of SPL, his record is impressive.
Snunch: Past the numbers, he's been a brilliant member of the team, improving team morale and becoming friends with nearly everyone in the channel.
yondie:He was great in tryouts, and wanted to be a Cryo.
A steal, then?
M Dragon: For sure.
yondie: Probably the steal of the draft. A 6-1 record (as of this interview) and only 1/10th the cost of Bloo! Hopefully, he'll be a long time Cryo member.
Snunch: He's cheaper than Afro Smash, and they have the same record.
When choosing your rough draft of the squad, what were the most important factors in terms of players that you wanted to see on your team?
yondie: The most important part to me is activity. Of course, I'm looking for the best, but if they're going to be AFK in the IRC channel all day, or are just altogether inactive, that's a preliminary red flag. Guys like dragonuser and blarajan are who I'm looking for, they keep the channel going, helping other team members test.
A small commotion is heard outside, and Snunch steps outside to deal with it, returning quickly.
yondie: Also, I like to get a mascot of sorts—a player our team can rally around, and bring some entertainment into SPL and our team. Last season it was users like Blightbringer and badabing, but this season it has to be CyberOdin. He's been a hysterical poster, as well as being incredibly funny on the IRC channel. He's also incredibly skilled, and has helped me brush up on my Spanish.
M Dragon: He also gives us zero problems, and is willing to help wherever.
yondie: Oh yeah, he never complained when I moved him between XY and ADV, so that's a large plus.
M Dragon: Also sub players, like Pocket and jason, who don't actually play, always help out.
Snunch: Yeah, it's hard to sit on the bench and still be invested in SPL. Those guys have earned my respect. Same goes for others, like atomicllamas and Vinc2612 (back when he was a Cryo).
Speaking of not playing, let's move to the assistant managers—M Dragon, why did you abandon your old team to assistant manage on the Cyronicles?
M Dragon: I am pretty busy with IRL stuff, so I decided a while ago I wasn't going to play. After I co-captained with Blim in POCL, which we won, I guess some of the Cryonicles on the team recommended me, and I was asked. So... Why not? I had played in every season up until now, managing might be fun!
Was it difficult to adapt?
M Dragon: Nah, I have had experience managing before, like in POCL. Although, with the high skill level of ADV this season, playing would have been great. I would make the same decision again, though.
Cool. Snunch—what made you end up where you are now?
Snunch: As with M Dragon, IRL obligations prevented my actual playing, but I enjoyed SPL last season, so I decided to come back in what capacity I could.
Awesome, yondie must make being on Cryonicles a fun time!
Snunch: yondie is amazing. He works hard pre-draft, keeps attitudes in check if needed, and deals with administrative stuff M Dragon or myself cannot. He's also the best XY OU player among us.
yondie quickly thanks his assistant managers, clearly not interested in having his praises sung.
Sounds like an excellent person to be around! What did you guys think of the Bloo upbid war?
yondie: We were laughing the entire way. It was an excellent way to break the tension for me, at least at the beginning.
Snunch: I'm not sure if the reset was the right call, but a furious McMeghan is always an entertaining sight.
M Dragon: Ruiners did something similar in the past, with Earthworm, and they won that SPL. I don't know if LonelyNess really wanted Bloo, but it was an entertaining war.
Supposedly, LonelyNess didn't want Bloo, but that's from macle—and who trusts him?
I could already feel the text message from macle, yelling at me...
yondie: LonelyNess probably had a bid cap in mind, but he caught on McMeghan wasn't going to give in, and took full advantage of that. At 40K, he probably could have pushed it up 5K or so more, too.
M Dragon: That wasn't his only upbid, he was doing it consistently through the auction.
Snunch: He had a really strong auction, I'm glad he was allowed to manage again.
Interesting, I'm glad you all had something to laugh at and break the ice, then.
M Dragon looks around the room in fear, the whole building suddenly shaking. yondie assures him that it was just Regice's reaction to the horrible joke I made.
What team in the upcoming weeks will pose the biggest challenge?
The door creaks open, and a new figure steps in the room, scanning it before his eyes settle on me, confused.
M Dragon: Leave, please.
BasedVictory: Oh, sorry.
BasedVictory quickly steps out, and yondie closes the door behind him, locking it.
yondie: Hmm, biggest challenge... Honestly, this season has the most "parity," so to speak. There are plenty of teams capable of beating each other, and plenty of close series. If I had to choose the biggest challenge to us specifically, it'd be the Stark Sharks. They have the most changeable roster—where will Heist, ShakeItUp and Malekith be? I don't know! And then there is kael, Stellar, and The Wolf, among others, on the bench, easing the change.
M Dragon: This is a hard question, there are a lot of good teams, and this is the closest SPL as of yet. Wolfpack, Ruiners, Sharks, and Frogs look strong on paper. Sharks, if I had to choose one.
Ok, judging from your forums presences, and my perception of yondie being a solid OU player— between the three of you, do you feel there are tiers you struggle picking players for? I mean, you all play a lot of tiers between the three of you—there must be something that none of you were terribly well informed upon.
Snunch: It was never a matter of just the three of us picking a player. We retained, like, 6 people, of whom could help us scout the tiers we weren't confident in—stuff like BW RU and NU.
M Dragon: The hardest tiers were UU and RU, probably.
yondie: Last season, the only ones returning were Blim and I, so he helped scout a ton last season, giving us even more to retain—blarajan, dragonuser, and Picollo, for example, who could help us scout.
So your retainees helped you build a team?
yondie:: For sure.
Snunch: Yeah, that's how we found players like BasedVictory and atomicllamas.
yondie: And Light The Thunder / Bad Romance in midseason.
M Dragon: They were a giant help with try outs and looking for players, for sure.
If there was a hard cap of retainees, say, 3, who would you keep?
yondie begins muttering to himself about something or another, and both M Dragon and Snunch look slightly cross at the idea.
Snunch: First off, I hate the idea of having a hard limit to retainees. The relative cost to retain a player is much less than it was in early SPLs and should be adjusted of course. To answer your question, it would depend on how active people are next season—someone like blarajan is chasing 9-0 this season, but I don't see his activity holding up next season. Blim / BasedVictory / CyberOdin are the people I see still actively playing at a high level this point next season. I'm probably forgetting someone, though.
M Dragon: Very hard question. It depends on a whole lot of things, like activity and if they're still skilled at their tier. BasedVictory would be one, because he'd cost 10K to retain, and his season is being great. Then players like Blarajan (13k, the best LC player atm), Blim (16k, the best Uber player on Smogon at the moment), CyberOdin (10k, very versatile, he always does pretty well), or dragonuser (16k, even if he is not having a really good season). Aqualouis (13k, very active/versatile/helpful) as well.
yondie looks back up at me, and nods.
yondie: Echoing the point Snunch made about retainees, but... Someone who I think my assmen overlooked is Aqualouis. Probably the first guy I'd retain, he's the definition of consistency. Plays his matches early, builds new teams, is active in IRC, and helps several OU tiers. For 13k, this is a no-brainer. After that, it gets harder. I'm not quite sure where blarajan / blim / dragonuser's activity levels will be at next SPL. And with Doubles replacing VGC, Randy may not return.
Snunch gets up from his chair, excusing himself, claiming a prior arrangement. He slips out of the room, and M Dragon listens for the distinctive sound of the door being locked. On hearing that, yondie continues.
yondie: With that being said Cased has got to be my second retain, he's proved himself as a strong player and a team player another no-brainer at the price of 10k. After that, it comes down to most active. Probably Blim, he's a long-time Cryonicle and would cost the most in auction. Nothing against dragonuser and blarajan, they're just as integral to the Cryonicles, and I would hate to lose them in the draft.
That's incredibly thought through, wow. Any shoutouts?
yondie: HSA, I didn't get to mention him in the interview yet, and he's been a huge part of the team. Phil, Rmega and my other GameFAQs bros. Stone, BKC, Gr8astard, and the rest of EAST, and of course the Cryonicles—gonna get the red trophy! Slops, CTC for getting banned a ton. Oh! Here's your LizardMan Quote of the Day, live:
[&LizardMan] 80 minute fap sessions
[&LizardMan] really make your back hurt
Haha, they sure do! Not... not that I know... M Dragon?
M Dragon: After SPL; my list is huge.
Don't forget to include me!
On walking out of the room, I suddenly realized I had no way back to England. After getting yondie's permission to stay for a bit, I head into a guest room and dial The Competitor's office number, only to reach the answering machine.
"You have reached the offices of The Competitor. Sadly, we cannot answer right now, so leave a message and a call-back number after the beep. If you're a certain interviewer stranded in Antarctica, then say so and I'll figure out some way to get you back to England. Hopefully. BEEP."
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