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I walk up to a large building marked with a Mighteyana and the words "Wi-Fi Wolfpack." This is the headquarters of the winning team of the Smogon Premier League. I walk right in, flashing a quick The Competitor badge to the guards at the front. I was told where the person I would be interviewing would be, and I find them with no problem. Sitting behind a desk is a user recently thrust into the Smogon spotlight by leading his team to victory. Sitting behind the desk was the Wi-Fi Wolfpack manager, DittoCrow.
Hi, DittoCrow, and thank you for doing an interview with The Competitor. As head manager of the winning team, the Wi-Fi Wolfpack, what were you thinking going into the season, and coming out of it?
Going into the season I thought that we had a pretty solid team, with a great past gens lineup as well as lower tiers. The only problem proved to be BW OU, which we fixed after midseason.
We'll get back to rosters soon. From what I heard, you were not always the head manager. What was your personal journey, from original tryouts to the final move that clinched victory?
I originally had planned to play BW RU and to try to get on the Wolfpack. However, Limitless told me that he was going to make me an assistant manager, so I suggested that he try to get SilentVerse since the two of us work really well together. Ultimately, in the finals, SilentVerse clinched the victory for our team, so everything worked out.
How did you accept the position of manager when Limitless was banned? Was it a vote, or more of an informal thing?
Well, Kevin Garret and gr8astard declined the position of manager. I kind of wanted to see what it would be like to manage, because I originally thought that all they did was send in the roster and occasionally test with their players. If I was to become manager, I wanted to have more of an impact on the team than just testing with players. Everyone on the team was ok with me taking the position, so I accepted it.
Right, then. Was there any administrative move, be it done by you or Limitless, that you wish you could undo? Any that you are proud of?
I don't regret any move made by me, though Limitless only screwed up by drafting King instead of ShakeItUp. In particular, I think that the best moves were trading Poppy for DarkLoic and turning King into SapphireBirch.
Any administrative moves from other managers you liked / didn't like?
I can't recall anything that other managers did that I didn't like. I wasn't one to sabotage other teams and veto trades and such, so I just stayed out of that. I guess I was only a bit upset when the sellback of King was vetoed, though it worked out fine in the end.
OK, let's move onto rosters. Was there anyone in particular you wanted, but couldn't get?
Yeah. We originally planned to get RT. for BW UU, but all three of our bidders lagged when he was nominated during the auction. However that also worked out, because we got PK Gaming instead!
Hax gods, obviously. You seem pretty positive about it all, though. Who did you think was the best guy for the price he / she cost? We also planned to get different BW OU players, such as CTC and pokeaim.
Well we got Marth at midseason for 3k. His 6-1 record was very helpful, and he also boosted the team's confidence by usually starting us off 1-0.
Why'd you gamble on him?
Basically, we needed a strong BW OU player or we were screwed. I asked gr8astard who he thought was good. Uomo Solo and others like Novaray were among the top choices, but gr8astard was friends with Marth and knew that he could really improve our BW OU (and he was right.) It was a steal because no one knew him. I even told a few people that gr8astard made that bid without my permission, just to secure the deal. ;D
Looking at your lineup, it looks extremely solid. What does it compare to the pre-auction lineup, and do you have any regrets about not getting a player you originally wanted? Also, is it possible to have a list of the pre-auction roster?
Our BW OU completely changed after midseason, as well as BW Ubers. We also switched DracoMalfoy from ADV OU to DPP OU, which was a great choice in my opinion (he ended up 5-0 in DPP OU. I don't have the pre-auction roster since I wasn't as involved at that time. I helped choose the players while Limitless and Malfoy figured out the necessary bid amounts. Like I said, I really don't have any regrets about the roster.
DittoCrow seemed to think about something, and a look of discontent appeared on his face. However, it was quickly replaced with a calm demeanor.
I probably would have regretted picking up a few people, but it all worked out for the best.
Was there anyone who you wish you could give an 'honorary' trophy?
DittoCrow's face lights up.
Yes! I think that Lohgock deserves a trophy. He's been with our team the entire entire time, helped people test (especially Fakes,) and always brought a positive attitude with him.
DittoCrowthinks about something for a second, then continues.
I would also give one to ShakeItUp, although, I think he's ineligible. He supported myself and my team the whole season, except when we faced the Sharks, of course. Plus, he has a 10-0 record in multiple tiers.
DittoCrow mutters something about prices, and then laughs for a second. On seeing my confusion, he quickly explains that he's quoting ShakeItUp.
Alright, one final question: Will you be back next year, and what would you say to aspiring SPL'ers who want to play?
I'm not sure if I will be back next year. This SPL ate up a lot of my time and I'm not sure where I'll be in a year from now. Maybe I would even like to play next time, who knows. For people who want to sign up for SPL again, all I have to say is that you should have a goal when you join and fight to accomplish it.
DittoCrow takes a sip of water and continues. I note that it has the Wi-Fi Wolfpack symbol on it. Obviously the Wolfpack, after winning SPL, now have corporate endorsements.
I told my players in the finals that their goal, whether it be to get a trophy, to get better, to experience team play, or for pride, was the main thing to focus on. As long as they walked away from the tournament feeling good, they would still be winners. You just need to believe in your own potential and work harder than your opponents for the win. I think most of my players—especially those who were skeptical about joining the tournament—eventually learned this and are proud of their performances despite any records.
You sound like a role model manager. Thanks for joining us, Dittocrow. If anyone reading this wants to find out more information about SPL, click here to find out more. Thanks for reading, and congratulations to Dittocrow and the Wi-Fi Wolfpack on their victory!
As I thank DittoCrow and leave the room, I notice something I didn't when coming in: A giant trophy, with a sign hanging from it, addressing it to the Wi-Fi Wolfpack. I also notice signs on the walls. Most are too old to read, barely holding onto the walls. One however, put up recently, was readable:
So we've finally made it and this is, sadly for me (maybe not for you guys xD), my final message. Whatever you guys joined this tournament for, whether it be the trophy, for pride, to get better, or to experience team play, now is your chance to prove and accomplish everything you've worked for. It never mattered who our opponents are; that's just a name. What matters is that the team we are facing is also in the finals, and they will bring it all. In order to win, you have to try harder than them! Here are some final tips for you guys. I'm not going to do shoutouts this time because every single one of you have pretty much fully improved, and knows what it takes to become the champions.
As I try to read more, I get interrupted by someone yelling the team catchphrase, "AWOO". I turn around to see the guard from the front, looking upset and pointing at the door. I take the hint and leave the building.
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