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As I walked back home from Trafalgar Square, passing by the Big Ben tower, a Hoothoot flew up to me, landing on a plant nearby, calling to me. As I walked over to it, I noticed a little paper tied to its leg, and took it off. There was a small The Competitor logo on the front, and a postage stamp at the top. Dumb Americans, having to use a postage stamp whenever they wanted to send a Hoot overseas. I quickly opened the letter, signaling to the bird to bugger off, and started reading it.
"Hey FM I'm lazy, do one or two interviews for me"
I groaned, skimming over the names of teams yet to be interviewed. One name stuck out, so I quickly scheduled an interview with him when I got home. Eventually, we met up at The London Eye, and I started interviewing him as we walked down the road to places unknown.
Hello, McMeghan, and thanks for doing this interview! How goes SPL for you and the Alpha Ruiners?
It could be going better, but enjoyable nonetheless. We're currently preparing for the comeback!
Haha, best of luck! Don't you need to win the next three weeks?
With some big names on your team, I'm certain you'll be able to pull it out of the bag. One of those is Bloo—care to tell us what happened between you and LonelyNess of the Smog Frogs regarding him?
There was a bidding war on Bloo between Lonelyness and I, and the bot gave it to us at 35, because LN didn't upbid that. Supposedly he mistyped his bid, after 30K+ of doing it right, and the auction was restarted, which stinks because we had to pay an extra 5k or so because of that. This impacted our late game strategy, due to us being down 5k than we should have been.
How much did you originally budget for him?
35K, but we eventually decided to go to 40K.
Due to that, did you have to cut anyone you originally planned on getting?
Sort of. There were players we wanted, but we couldn't get them due to the missing 5k, but we had a list of 2-3 players we could pick up for each tier, so we didn't get hit too hard.
So you did your homework!
McMeghan sighs as he dodges some kid charging down the street in the opposite direction, clearly still salty over the bid reset.
What tier was the hardest to buy for?
DPP; the top tier players are well known, and they go for a lot. We couldn't afford spending a lot of money on a single tier, at least not after the 40K Bloo and the Ojama / CrashinBoomBang retain. However, our DPP slot ended up being one of our strongest, with Marshall.Law being an absolute beast.
Absolutely. He's one of the players that have impressed me the most. I knew he was good, but the level of skill he shows in his games is outstanding.
Just goes to show that even lesser-known names can be good or better than the big names! Jumping back a bit, you said you retained Ojama and CrashinBoomBang—who did you choose to retain (aside from those) and why?
Annoyer is one of the best BW NU players, as well as being a great team player. CBB is a great team player as well, and is one of the only people who actually got into XY OU seriously before SPL hype began. He's also a well-rounded player, and can help just about anyone with testing teams. Ojama has proven to be one of the best players in every OU metagame for the past few years, allowing him to help test where needed.
All of them are excellent players, indeed! Did the inclusion of Doubles and LC affect your bididng strategies?
I got into VGC for the official tournament in 2013, so I know how Doubles works to an extent. From the start, we decided on getting Laga, as he was an unknown and pretty good. As for LC, we scouted a lot of players, and then decided on the one that would be best for our money/opinion.
You originally decided on dcae, yet obtained Chieliee in the midseason auction. Why?
We had exactly 3k left, and on our team's roster, dcae was the person we could help the least, as few/none of us knew the tier. We decided to pick up another LCer to help him test/teambuild, as well as eventually give him some competition for the starting slot.
That's helpful, you sound like an excellent manager! Did you have any regrets post-auction?
My blatant attempts at perking up his mood works, and a smile grows on his face before the responds.
Well, we finished with 13k leftover, and there were some players we could afford with that, but we honestly don't have too much regret, as every player we purchased had been taken into consideration, and was on our short list. The only player we really wanted was Boudouche, for DPP, but Marshall has proven himself to be absolutely amazing.
That he has. Moving away from the auction, what are your thoughts on the General Talk thread?
Just like every year, there are good and bad posts. The Jabba post regarding ghosting pre-Week 1 was pretty good!
Indeed! Are you a fan of WhiteQueen? Any favorite posts of his?
I don't mind his posts, and find some of them good. His rankings were pretty funny!
That's a no-brainer. For those who recall, you were one of the biggest players last year. How has transitioning from player to manager been?
It went OK, I suppose? I really enjoy managing and I really enjoyed playing, as well.
How are you feeling, being on the other side of SPL?
McMeghan stops walking for a second, trying to understand the question. Eventually he understands, but not soon enough, and the light changes to red, prohibiting us from crossing the street. We stand there for a minute as he responds.
I like not having to build a new team each week! Also, I played a metagame I didn't enjoy last season, so that's nice too.
What's the biggest challenge you've faced, being a manager as opposed to being a player?
I can't reliably answer that until SPL ends, as there may be a bigger challenge happening in the next 3-5 weeks!
The light turns green, and after a car turns left, blocking our way, we continue walking.
Right, but so far?
Keeping track of teambuilding and scheduling is quite the task.
Finally, a real answer! Which team has been the toughest to fight, or will be the biggest obstacle in future weeks?
Cryonicles, but we did lose to the Wolfpack and Sharks as well.
And for upcoming weeks?
Classiest, from a record/performance point of view.
Has managing hindered your other Smogon duties?
McMeghan goes silent for a bit, trying to figure out what exactly he does on Smogon.
Aside from Tournaments, there really isn't much I do on Smogon. I guess I'm on Council, but seeing as we keep in contact via IRC, and I'm needed on IRC for SPL, there really isn't an issue.
Speaking of which, you're currently celebrating Tournament Win #27, putting you ahead of Earthworm for Smogon's Most Successful Tournament Winner. How's that feel?
Good! Especially the Battle Factory victory, as we ran it to a Finals .3. I enjoyed winning that tournament (as well as the BW UU one) becuase it was a personal accomplishment—I've always wanted to tie or outrank Earthworm since we've first talked about it like a year and a half ago.
Perhaps out of happiness, or just on a whim, he stops by a nearby store and comes out with two bags of crisps, handing one to me before continuing down the street, munching on the fried potatoes.
How were you feeling during the BW UU games? Did you prepare a bit harder?
If anything, I prepared less, as I was tied up in Battle Factory, trying to make new teams and strategies. I had a general idea of what I was going to use—hail—I just needed to edit my teams slightly to my liking.
Do you have a favorite tournament?
I like a lot of tournaments! Smogon Tour is really fun, and probably my favorite. Live tournaments are just fun in general. The points system is cool too!
I agree! Do you have any shoutouts before we wrap up?
Earthworm for being Earthworm, and setting that goal for me.
I hear, off in the distance, two people talking to each other. I can just barely make out a word—nikie? niaki? I make the decision to ignore it, and turn back to my interviewee.
Any new goals?
Just keep playing and enjoying it, as usual.
I need to try that sometime. Thanks for your time, McMeghan! Best of luck!
McMeghan immediately presses a button on his cell phone, and a couple of seconds later, a helicopter with this image on the side appears above us, and a ladder is let down. McMeghan grabs onto it with one hand, crisps in the other, and the helicopter flies off. I stare as the helicopter flies off, and look around. I curse as soon as I realize I'm in deadly territory—chavs...
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