art by Blue Frog Welcome to the final round of the Pokemon Showdown Premier League! The format of this tournament is simple: if you're familiar with the soccer World Cup, it's identical (as we were lucky enough to get 32 teams signed up). Anyway, the idea is that there's eight groups, with four teams in each. Within each group, the four teams face each of the other three teams in their group once. After three weeks, the teams will be ranked (3 points for a win, 1 for a draw, 0 for a loss). The top two teams advance from their groups, while the rest are eliminated. Now we'll have sixteen teams - two from each group. Each group winner will play a second-placed team from another group, in a straight knockout format. After all eight matches in this round are over, the knockout format continues into a quarter-finals -> semi-finals -> finals. Matches will be in standard Smogon tiers, so challenge your opponent in those. Obviously, play on PS. Series are best of one. Basic tournament rules - you absolutely should read this, especially if you're new to forum tournaments required reading (Move your mouse to reveal the content) required reading (open) required reading (close) Sportsmanship: don't be an ass. Not to your opponents, not to your team, not on PS, not on Smogon, not to me. The punishment for this could be a server ban (which means an instant loss for you), forum infraction or disqualification. Think before you type, please. Activity wins and scheduling: Contact your opponent as quickly as possible on their Smogon wall, and look out for them on PS too. Unfortunately, I'll have to make some activity calls - I'll be making these based on activity posts (make these detailed, please, and explain why you deserve an activity win) and VM conversations, so be active and schedule as early as you can with your opponent. Use VMs and you will be fine. No extensions, sorry. Disconnections and timer: a timer loss is a loss. No ifs, no buts. If you disconnect and your opponent's nice enough to replay that's fine, but they're free to take the win. Ghosting and identity: don't take or give battle advice or make moves based on the suggestions of others, and don't pretend to be someone else in order to play as them. You will be caught and you will be disqualified. Don't be silly. Substitutions: managers, you're free to sub in players for inactive ones at any stage. Subs are taken from your /roomauth list. This follows the same requirements for legitimacy as your starting 7, so be aware. I'll accept substitutions from the manager and any roomowner. Matchups format: Smogon Name (PS name if different) Standings format: [points] Team Name [wins-losses-dead games] Final group standings standings (Move your mouse to reveal the content) standings (open) standings (close) Topaz Group  Social Media (14-7-0) (MikeDecIsHere)  Português (11-9-1) (zdrup15)  Community Mentoring (9-11-1) (Redew)  CAP (7-14-0) (jas61292) Emerald Group  Neverused (14-5-2) (Raseri)  Italiano (13-7-1) (The Quasar)  Trivia (9-10-2) (Sunako)  Monotype (5-15-1) (Nani Man) Onyx Group  Rarelyused (14-7-0) (barton)  Wifi (13-8-0) (Darnell)  Challenges (8-12-1) (Bean)  Anime and Manga (7-13-1) (Kostitsyn) Amber Group  Underused (14-4-3) (CoolStoryBrobat)  Deutsche (10-8-3) (asgdf)  Meteor Falls (6-9-6) (Vacate)  Cafe Le Wow + TVBF (4-13-4) (Osiris) Amethyst Group  Español (12-6-3) (Astyanax)  Doubles (11-10-0) (Audiosurfer)  Roleplaying (9-11-1) (Formerhope)  Health & Fitness + Sports (7-12-2) (jdarden) Sapphire Group  Ubers (10-8-3) (MAJISTRATE)  Scavengers + Battle Spot (12-9-0) (Spydreigon)  Other Metagames (11-9-1) (The Eevee General)  Game Corner (6-13-2) (WintryCourtney) Ruby Group  Overused (12-8-1) (MattL)  Tournaments (12-8-1) (Scene)  Free Time (8-12-1) (Champion Albert)  The Studio (8-12-1) (evir) Quartz Group  Competitive Tutoring (17-2-2) (Royalty)  Français (10-8-3) (Vinc2612)  Old Gens (5-11-5) (ashiemore)  Mafia (4-15-2) (Transmuter) Road To The Final - Italiano (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Italiano (open) Italiano (close) The Italians had high expectations that are natural when you've got a strong squad like theirs. Managed by The Quasar, not a bad player in his own right, the Azurri brought known players like galbia, Lord Elyis and Tricking to the table. More important is that they performed, as did extremely reliable Randbats player trev among others. Certainly the favourites here, the Italiano room is widely regarded to have a pretty good team. Group Stages: In a pool also consisting of Trivia, NU and Monotype, the Italians were favourites to qualify along with NU. That's pretty much how it happened, with a Week 1 4-3 win over Monotype just about doing the job. Week 2 saw them face Trivia, and they qualified for the second round a week early by comfortably winning 5-2. Facing NU in a battle for first place during Week 3, a tough series saw Italiano lose 4-2 but still escape the group. Round 2: Facing one of the tournament favourites in Social Media, Italiano beat MikeDec, aim, Edgar and co 4-2 in a great series, with only one haxy win taking the shine off what was a really impressive win. SM going out was a shock for the rest of the tournament and sent a strong signal out that Italy's finest were actually quite good. Quarters: Deutsche were the next opponents for their fellow language room Italiano. asgdf's boys put up a good fight, but ultimately went down 3-4 after a great comeback from by the Italians. Semis: The semifinals of the tournament saw yet another language room v language room matchup, with Italiano this time facing the Spanish room. In a tournament that saw a lot of very tight games this was another one, with Italiano scraping by Español 4-3 thanks to Mix, Livio, galbia and trev. Road To The Final - Wifi (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Wifi (open) Wifi (close) By contrast, nobody thought Wifi were destined for great things. The team has no well-known tournament players and few frequent ladderers, and severely lacks experience compared to others in the tournament. They do have some advantages, however. Being managed by Darnell has given them great team spirit and togetherness, while a lack of egos means there's no drama within the ranks. More importantly, though, the team has played well and surpassed expectations, while getting a few lucky rolls of the dice along the way. Group Stages: Pitted against RU, Anime & Manga and Challenges, the Onyx Group was certainly capable of being beaten. Wifi didn't necessarily prove that Week 1, though, losing 3-4 to what many would have called the group's weakest team, A&M. Week 2 proved to be a lot more fruitful, with a 6-1 demolition of whipping boys Challenges being a huge morale booster. RU beating A&M meant that Wifi had to hope Challenges beat A&M in Week 3 to progress. As it happened, Bean's team picked themselves up and knocked out A&M, meaning Wifi's 2-5 loss to RU was inconsequential as they became the only team in the tournament to qualify despite only winning once. They'll lose next round facing a group winner, right? Round 2: Lined up opposite a UU team which comprehensively cleaned out their group with 3/3 wins, nobody gave Wifi a prayer. They pulled through 4-3, however, with an activity win over Dutch lord Kushalos sealing the deal after good wins from the likes of Anto and snakeindagrass. Quarters: It didn't get any easier for the intrepid Wifiers this round, either. Matched up against a hugely talented NU team containing players such as Zebraiken, FLCL, Soulgazer and more, Wifi were really up against it. Luck as well as skill played a significant role here, but another narrow 4-3 victory was enough to progress. Semis: Competitive Tutoring had pretty much blitzed the tournament up to this point, while Wifi scraped through previous rounds. Yet another 4-3 win sealed the deal in the end, with smelliott defeating Psychotic in the decider. Matchups Italiano (4) v (2) Wifi Ubers: Lord Elyis v Cranham OU 1: Inflikted v Hairy Toenail OU 2: Mix (Mixxx) v snakeindagrass UU: Livio v adilbilal (adil) RU: galbia v smelliott NU: Tricking v slayerx725232 Randbats: trev v Darnell This week ends Sunday the 26th of October (one week from now) at midnight EST. Thanks for being great participants in what turned out to be a really successful tournament. I hope you've all enjoyed it!