This is only an announcement. This tournament will begin on September 8th. Take the upcoming week to familiarize yourself with the rules explained below. The TD team has decided to implement an Official Ladder Tournament to emphasize and promote a currently mocked, unemphasized but very active area of our competitive space: the Pokemon Showdown OU ladder. It's not uncommon to hear that there is no incentive to ladder nowadays in addition to the quality of the ladder being bad. The implementation of this tournament aims to eliminate those negative perceptions many individuals have of our ladder by representing it in an official setting. Giving the ladder official representation will breath life into the various competitive aspects of our website and increase activity in these areas substantially. With that said, let's get down to the specifics, outlined below: 1. The hosts of the tournament will be myself, Haunter and gr8astard. We will be using the regular OU ladder for this tournament, not a new one. This will ensure maximum activity and competition. 2. The qualification period for the OLT will run for a total of 64 days with 8 day cycles, which is 2 months to put things into perspective. After each 8 day cycle, the top 8 accounts that appear on the leaderboard (using ELO) at the end of the cycle with the sign-up criteria explained in #4 below will qualify for the playoffs of the OLT, which will be a 64 man, best of three, double elimination tournament. The tournament is not seeded. Pairings for the qualified 64 are randomized. The ladder is not reset after each cycle, only alts are (meaning you create new alts after each cycle). 3. Since there is a possibility we will need substitutes for the tournament, we'll take the 9th and 10th people in each period (so 16 total) and randomize them as subs for the 64 man tournament. 4. In order to participate in the OLT, you must sign up with your exact forum name, accompanied by a tag that we will require. YOU MUST SIGN UP WITH YOUR ALT BEFORE STARTING BATTLES WITH IT. Your alt must be registered on the day of sign-ups or onwards to prevent people from registering an account beforehand and laddering with it to gain and unfair advantage. It's very easy to check when an account was registered and we will be checking to make sure people comply. You will be allowed to include 2 to 3 alts in your sign-up for each cycle. You will not be allowed to edit these alts after you include them in your initial sign-up for any given cycle. The tag we will require will be [LT##] Main Forum Name, with the first # representing the cycle the OLT is in, and the second # being a letter of your choosing. Below is an example of what this means: 5. Once you make the top 8 and qualify (this does not mean making the top 8 at any given point during the cycle, it means being in the top 8 at the end of the cycle), you’re qualified for playoffs. You are free to ladder any other week you wish. However, making the top 8 more than once won’t give a player anything other than personal satisfaction and bragging rights. If a person qualifies again during a week after their initial qualification, the newly qualified account will be skipped and the next unqualified account will be selected from the leaderboard to participate in the tournament. 6. To quote Aldaron here, the intent of the project this time is increase ladder activity and quality. If we set up set time periods that were always Monday - Sunday, we estimated we would primarily see activity boosts at the end. By shifting, we hope it, even on a minor level, helps spread activity which in turn translates to a more spread increase in activity, as opposed to just on the weekends. 7. In the case of one person having more than one account in the top 8 during any given cycle, their highest ranked account will be the one to qualify and the duplicates will be skipped. Let's say one person in the top 8 holds positions #1, #2 and #3 on the ladder during cycle 1 with the alts he signed-up with. In this scenario, #1 will be the only account of theirs to qualify and #2 and #3 will be skipped over because they are the same person as #1. In this same scenario, position #4 on the ladder will be the second qualifier of the cycle and so on. 8. Given that this is a ladder tournament, many of you are likely thinking there are ways people can cheat the system. We are aware of these issues and have been working with Zarel to monitor and patrol instances of cheating. Any person found cheating will be subject to strict punishments. 9. As with all official tournaments, there will be a trophy given to the winner of the OLT. The trophy will be well-earned. The qualifying period requires an estimated minimum of 50 wins with the playoffs having 64 at least "OK to good players" (so a non arbitrary, good field), followed by a best of three, double elimination. That's arguably harder than most of the official tournaments we have in place today. We are thinking of having a black-colored trophy for this. A current example of what it'd look like is this, which is subject to change: We are confident that having an Official Ladder Tournament will be a big boon to the entire competitive aspects of the Smogon community and are excited for its launch. Again, this is only an announcement. This tournament will begin on September 8th. Take the upcoming week to familiarize yourself with the rules explained above.