All Gens RoA Room Championship

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Lutra

All generations forever.
is a Community Leaderis a Community Contributor
RoA Co-Leader
#1
RoA Room Championship

Every month, the top 8 of the room tournament leaderboard will qualify into a seeded 8 man single elimination tournament playoffs and play a first-to-3 wins (best of 5 wins) match in all gen OU tiers (RBY OU, GSC OU, ADV OU, DPP OU, BW OU, ORAS OU) with the higher seed picking 1st, 3rd and 5th tiers, and the lower seed picking 2nd and 4th tiers. The winner of each of these seasonal playoffs can display a green mini-trophy
in their signature and qualifies for the year-end RoA Championship - a super tournament of RoA major tournament winners that will include RoA Ladder Tournament, RoA Tour, RoA Major League, RoA Standard Tournament winners.


Qualifying periods will be monthly:

1: December 21st - January 20th
2: January 21st - February 20th
3: February 21st - March 20th
4: March 21st - April 20th
5: April 21st - May 20th
6: May 21st - June 20th
7: June 21st - July 20th
8: July 21st - August 20th
9: August 21st - September 20th
10: September 21st - October 20th
11: October 21st - November 20th
12: November 21st - December 20th


The top 8 will be recorded and leaderboards reset at ~ 06:00PM EST (20th) / 12:00AM CET (21st) on the 20/21st each season.

Additionally the top qualifier of each season's leaderboard will be interviewed by me.

RoA Room Link
 
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Typhlito

One Activer Dawg
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#2
Today marks the start of the RoA Room Summer Seasonals! The room leader board has been reset so everyone has a chance of leading the leader boards. Lutra already explained this but the goal is to hold on to one of the top 8 spots before the season ends in 3 months from today. If you manage to do that, you'll qualify for a spot in the exclusive RoA championship! However, if you make it into the top 3, you will also get to be interviewed by me! While the leader board before the reset doesn't count, I will still give the top 3 some recognition. They are....

We'll work out a time that works best for you guys to have your interview. Anyway, good luck everyone!
 

Lutra

All generations forever.
is a Community Leaderis a Community Contributor
RoA Co-Leader
#4
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Lutra

All generations forever.
is a Community Leaderis a Community Contributor
RoA Co-Leader
#5
RoA Room Interview #1: Barbows

Lutra: To start off the RoA Room Championship Interviews, we are interviewing Barbows, who placed 3rd in the pre-Room Championship leaderboard and 2nd in the Summer 2017 Championship leaderboard. Welcome Barbows, how did you feel about the level of competition in RoA room tournaments?

Barbows: Hello Lutra ^^ well, honestly, i find it pretty interesting, because you find many casuals join the tour just for fun and don't even pay attention to the samples, for example, so sometimes you get easier finals than you do for round 1 because your round 1 was against a player who understands the meta they're playing better. On the other hand, every tour allows scouting, so you might find a skilled opponent already knows your team and that makes things harder, since you'd have to keep switching teams (which i'm personally not used to in such short period of time) in order to mitigate that. All in all it's pretty fun not knowing what level of play you're going to find next round, but I do reckon it's not as high a level as forum tours, 'cause most top players don't usually join room tours.

Lutra: Would you say the greater problem is motivating good players to actually spend the time to join these tournaments enough rather than the tournament quality themselves? Or were quite a number of tournaments lacking in quality too? I personally thought it was a bit easy to get in the top 8 for any great player.

Barbows: I guess it's a bit of both, I mean, if you know you're a top player at some formats and you hang out just a little bit on ps, just play those formats whenever they appear you can and get enough points to get to the top 8. You're going to easily win most tours like that because you're likely not gonna get contested in the quality of play (but maybe on the hax hahaha). But I personally think it's a little bit more to the side of motivating good players to hang out on PS, because forum tours have the advantage of scheduling matches, so you don't have to wait for your preferred format to randomly appear. That's why I'm pretty excited to RoA Room Tour Nights! If all top level players know when their format is gonna be hosted on RoA the level of competition is sure to rise.

Lutra: I agree. Let's talk a bit more about you. Where do you live? What are you hobbies outside of the Pokémon world?

Barbows:
I live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil ^^ it's extremely hot here, but I grew up without an air conditioner, so i'm pretty used to it hahaha. I honestly mix some other hobbies with Pokémon sometimes, but I also spend my free time playing a tabletop RPG (only DnD so far), rehearsing with my band (we actually just finished recording our first album independently and it was awesome, all we gotta do now is find someone to mix/edit it) and reading (currently trying to finish all GoT books). Like I said, sometimes i mix things, so I'm currently making an adaptation to Ryuutama (another TTRPG) so I can play Pokémon on it with the friends I play DnD with lol, and my band learned the mt moon rby theme at some point, but sadly they didn't want to play it in any show :c. I'm also into speedrunning, but it's mostly watching AGDQ when the event happens and doing the occasional RBY red run myself. I don't have nearly as much time as I'd wish to focus on everything as much as I could, with college and internship and all hahaha. Forgot to mention I'm the GM of the DnD group, so it requires quite some time aside from the play alone.

Lutra: Interesting, what kind of ranking have you got with speed running RBY, and what kind of conditions/rules are there with your runs?

Barbows: Well my PB so far is 2:11 (ingame time) and I do the nidoran♂️ route (which I believe is the one all serious runners do). It's almost 20 minutes away from the WR, so it's not that great, but I'm gonna get (close to) there one day, I haven't memorized the nuances of the route regarding the DVs you get yet. As far as conditions go, it's the glitchless format, but you're allowed to use the poke doll on the marowak ghost, which I always find fun to do ^^

Lutra: Sounds impressive. What is the origin of your name?

Barbows: Oh that goes back to 2008 lol... I was on the last year before high school and my beard started growing. At that time there was this fad in the school to try to make things sound stupid by adding -ows to the end of it (teenagers are indeed a weird thing) so a friend of mine called Raphael was being called Raphows and such and everyone was doing that to everyone's names. "Barba" means beard in Portuguese, so people started calling me Barbows and it stuck even after the fad died out, since there were 3 other people with my first name in the class. When i was making an account on the chess website I played i discovered barbows was free (i dislike usernames with numbers on it) and now everywhere i make an account in it's called barbows since it's never taken hahaha.

Lutra: How did you first find PS and then work your way up to RoA room moderator?

Barbows: Well I was playing chess online at that time (a hobby I only occasionally do now) and a friend from college, who I was playing chess with, decided to challenge me on Pokémon on a gen I never played (I only played the games up to Leaf green) just so he could win for once lol... that's when I found PS existed, I got crushed by him (obviously) but a few days later decided to play a few gen1 random battle matches just for fun and got hooked to the point I quit playing chess online on my free time hahaha after that i lurked for about 1 year until I started talking in chats and learning new formats. Becoming mod to me was a surprise, I was voice for a while... and after I became driver, I started hosting tours like crazy, 'cause I always found the room lacked activity and that gets people talking and having fun. I guess that's what room owners want a driver to do (not so surprisingly) and a few weeks later I got promoted to mod. I find the hardest part of becoming auth in general is finding time to dedicate yourself to the room because aside from that all you gotta do is not be an asshole lol.

Lutra: What are your favourite PS tiers? Are you looking to make more of a name of yourself in a particular one?

Barbows: My favorite is always gonna be GSC OU. It was the generation I played the most in-game and I like the chess-like way the OU metagame is established around lax with long-term strategy plans being critical to success. That being said, being my favorite doesn't mean it's the one i play best hahaha. I find I'm pretty good at random battles in general and so far I've been trying to learn the OU metagames of every generation and at least making a team i'm comfortable playing with going up from RBY (currently on DPP). So right now I'm just trying to learn more things and enjoy the RoA community as a mod. Maybe after I learn enough tiers to be satisfied with my current knowledge I might try to make a name for myself in the one I excel the most, but that's not the main goal yet ^^

Lutra: I'm sure you'll want to join the All Gen Randbats tournament hosted by Jellicent that is scheduled to open signups tomorrow then. What things would you like to see more in the RoA Room or Forum?

Barbows: YES! I had no idea such a tour existed until you told me about it yesterday hahaha. I gotta start using my Smogon account more and find out what awesome things i missed all this time! I'm majoring in actuarial science and statistics, so I'm pretty interested in the information polls give us and RoA is lacking in that department. It's not a big thing, but I'll try to always keep a poll running in the room. As far as the forum goes, I really can't say cause I'm not much active with my Smogon account, but that's gonna change.

Lutra: Okay final question, what has been the most enjoyable moment on PS for you so far? Thank you for your in-depth answers.

Barbows:
Wow, that's a tough question hahaha. I can't quite put a finger on anything in particular (and I also have terrible memory, so I'm probably forgetting some cool moments), but the best moments I can remember right now were topping the gen1randbats ladder; getting 90+ gxe on rby ladder; and my first RoA room tour win ever! - which I'll never forget, was a last mon Vivillon sweep after it dodged two Hurricanes from a Moltres in the gen5 randbats format. I reckon winning due to hax is not something to be proud of but it did feel good at the time (I also reckon I won't be able to call hax anymore after this becoming public hahaha). Thank you for your patience btw ^^I know I take long to formulate answers.

Lutra: No problem.
 
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Lutra

All generations forever.
is a Community Leaderis a Community Contributor
RoA Co-Leader
#6
RoA Room Interview #2: Oibaf

Lutra: Today we are interviewing Oibaf, who achieved 3rd place in the qualifying for the RoA Room Championship. Oibaf, when did you first discover online competitive Pokémon?

Oibaf: Mmh probably it was during the 2015 when I discovered Pokémon Showdown thanks to an italian YouTuber. After, I discovered how competitive it could be for a supposed children game.

Lutra: What were your early successes on PS?

Oibaf: I think it was just ladder at first. You know... I build a (bad) team and then I play; I don't like a Pokémon so I replace it etc. In around 3 months I was at 1500 ponts. Then I discovered Smogon and sample teams, I tested them etc... I don't think I actually have a success except this tour (even though I join for fun).

Lutra: You first came to my attention with reaching the RoA Ladder Tournament playoffs, did you enjoy that experience?

Oibaf: Yes, that was probably the most important experience in these tiers because I learned to appreciate the first 4 tiers like 4 different games. I also learned basic rules that there aren't in oras like critical ratio in rby or growl like a competitive move in GSC.

Lutra: Then you went on to make the RoA Tour Playoffs too. Do you feel you've made a lot of progress in gens 1-4?

Oibaf: I certainly made a lot of progress in gen 1-4 thanks to battle for fun with friends, RoA tour and ladder tour but for sure I'm not at the same level of players like Honor, Troller, Luck>Skill, Alexander etc (I didn't cited not italian players cause there are so many players very good in old gens).


Lutra: What tournament would you most like to win in the future?

Oibaf: Smogon classic for sure cause my first experience was really fun. Also SPL or WCoP would be very nice to have the possibility to join and win.

Lutra: Which tier would you consider your strongest?

Oibaf: Well that's hard... probably ORAS OU at the moment 'cause I started to play it when I started on PS. I should resume SM LC since that is my main SM tier. I'm not a good builder, so my level in all tiers should be similar.

Lutra: Do you feel RoA (old gens) can ever be the most popular room (besides official ones) on Showdown? Why do people keep up with the latest generation too much at the expense of the old ones?

Oibaf: Another hard question... In my opinion a part of people in rooms like UnderUsed, NeverUsed etc are people that play just for fun without the competitiveness that you can find in Smogon tournaments. If this reasoning is correct, people just want to spend time laddering, building, playing with friends and just have fun. There are few people in old gens ladder, so current gen is popular.

Lutra: So the latest generation is just the easiest thing to allow that to happen? People are curious about the new generation, then everybody follows?

Oibaf: imho yes, the curiosity is the first thing that drive people to try that tier. I've seen italian players who haven't played for many years, to come back for talk again with friends and try this tier. I tried it too, but I don't like it

Lutra: Where do you live? What are your hobbies?

Oibaf: I live in Italy and my main hobbies are basically gym and computer, so I spend a lot time looking anime, playing on the PC etc.

Lutra: Interesting, what are your favourite anime at the moment?

Oibaf: Absolutely Assassination Classroom. I watched it recently and it's my favourite anime compared to classic animes like attack on titan, death note, no game no life etc... Food wars is very good too, i'm waiting the third season this fall

Lutra: Anything else you want me to ask?

Oibaf: You've asked me everything I guess.

Lutra: Thank you very much for your answers. Good luck with your competitive career!

Oibaf: It was a pleasure. Thank you and good luck too.
 

Lutra

All generations forever.
is a Community Leaderis a Community Contributor
RoA Co-Leader
#7
RoA Room Interview #3: EB0LA

Lutra: Hi EB0LA, you were no.1 seed in the first season of RoA Room Championships, what was it like qualifying? What tiers did you play?

EB0LA: Hello Lutra. It was a whole lot of fun! I got a chance to meet a bunch of other players, make friends, and sharpen my skills. Funny part is I had just joined Pokemon Showdown a month before the season had started, and only played gen1 random battles. Once the new season began, and the leaderboard reset; I realized I had to learn other tiers to be able to play in more tours, and to be able to climb on the leaderboard. Thus, I learned gen1 OU, Ubers, & Stadium.

Lutra: What kind of level do you feel you have reached in those gen 1 tiers? Is there more to learn?

EB0LA: I've come a long way since I first began, and every week I feel myself getting better, and better. I've even gone as far as reaching #1 on the ladder in both gen1 random battles & OU. However, there is always more to learn, and new strategies to be used. I ideally would like to build new teams that aren't necessarily meta, and for them to be successful against other top players. From using "less viable" Pokemon to weird "gimmicky" move pools.

Lutra: Along your journey, what players have you come to respect most?

EB0LA: One immediately comes to mind, and that player is FriendOfMrGolem120. FOMG happened to win the first tour of the new season, and it happened to be a gen1 OU tour. The following day, I messaged him asking him a ton of newbie questions about the tier. This was the beginning of our friendship, and I found my sensai. He was very polite & answered all of my questions. He thought me almost everything I know, and continues to help me improve- from making, and testing new move pools to even watching my replays and judging, and speculating if the play I made was optimal or if I could have played a turn differently for a better out come. So thank you FOMG for everything bud, couldn't of gotten this far w/o ya. Also shout outs to Barbows, Spitfire Arcanine, RevivalMaya, Beelzemon 2003, Kaz, and my buddy If exuded holding it down in rby randbatts.

Lutra: What are you main goals for competitive Pokémon?

EB0LA: To be the very best like no one ever was?

Lutra: Are you targetting winning any particular tournaments or accomplishing any particular ladder feats?

EB0LA: I found a cool forum, PokemonPerfect, where they host regular tournaments, and is home to some of the top gen1 (RBY) players. I hope to one day reach the same level of play as some of them, and to win the tournaments. Also, my short term goal is to hit 1700 elo in both gen1 random battles, and OU on the ladder and to push it even higher. And ofc trying to top the RoA leaderboard again.

Lutra: Are there other tiers you'd like to learn?

EB0LA: Right now, I am only focusing on gen1, as there is so much still to learn. I recently got into under used (2U), and it is almost a whole new style of playing. Involving new startegies, and tactics. I further would like to learn even lower tiers in RBY, such as rarely used (3U), never used (4U), PU (5U), and so on. Each new tier brings new challenges, and learning each new tier brings new insight to using Pokemon you wouldn't normally use in battle.

Lutra: Do you have hobbies besides Pokémon?

EB0LA: I enjoy biking, living in Chicago, it is always great to go biking along Lake Michigan, and seeing the beautiful scenery, and city. I also enjoy going to music festivals where I "glove". Gloving is an artform where you put LED lights into white gloves, and perform light shows for people. I also am a fan of animes. Dragon Ball Super is the one I am following heavily right now.

Lutra: Thank you for your answers. Anything else you want to mention?

EB0LA: I think that is about it. Thank you for the interview Lutra. Hope to catch the rest of you guys in a tour on RoA soon! Ciao.
 
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Lutra

All generations forever.
is a Community Leaderis a Community Contributor
RoA Co-Leader
#8
RoA Room Interview #4: Crystal_

Lutra: Today top RBY battler, and Pokémon researcher and ROM hacker Crystal joins us. How did you first find out about competitive Pokémon?

Crystal_: It was a long time ago already, maybe 2006 or 2007. I had Pokemon Crystal and Ruby and I used to be quite perfectionist with training Pokemon, breeding, stat experience, that kind of stuff. So when I found out about a platform where you could battle against other people online, I thought it could be an interesting world to explore. It was the era of Netbattle; I remember I would join a server from time to time and challenge whoever was there in ADV. I remember it was the time where DPPt was starting to get implemented but I decided not to switch to it because it wasn't a generation of Pokemon and strategies that I would be familiar with. Regardless, without any kind of reference, and playing against opponents with maybe the same background as you, you don't see yourself progressing very much.

I remember that maybe around two years later I started to take competitive Pokemon a bit more seriously, and I decided to join Smogon and RBY2K10 soon after that. I switched to the first two generations (mostly RBY thanks to the latter community), and I think that's how I started to actually progress. It was fun, I played some tournaments against many quality players of the time, while the rest of the world of competitive Pokemon was mastering Gen 4 or maybe even moving to Gen 5 already. Even though I'm mostly retired now, after having spent so much time playing RBY and, to an extent, GSC, I think that it's a shame that the older generations are progressively losing relevance. I know it's simply bound to happen for a variety of reasons, but I look back with nostalgia to all the time spent; not just battling, but also metagame analysis, discussion, studying strategies, and closely watching the metagames develop.

Lutra: Why is your online name Crystal?

Crystal_: It's interesting to see how decisions that you may spend only seconds making can stick with you for years. This is a probably a rare and inconsequential example among rare and inconsequential examples, but it's one nonetheless. The funny thing is, I don't know exactly how I made the decision about my online name. What I know is that, ever since I played Gold, Silver and Crystal, they have been my favorite games, the games I've spent the most time playing. Pokemon has been a big part of my life, and those games did leave a big impact on me. My online name comes from nothing but the name of the Pokemon Crystal game itself; I guess at the time I thought it just sounded cool, and I probably didn't spend much time thinking about it expecting it to be an irrelevant decision.

As for the trailing underscore, I have a theory about it, but I could actually be totally wrong! As far as I remember, Netbattle used to track wins and losses by display name, and the only way to reset your record was by essentially changing your name. I think the trailing underscore was an attempt to clear my win/loss ratio (which most likely was really bad in those early days!). I guess I already had some battling experience after the name change, so my record was never so bad to consider another reset -or maybe I simply stopped caring about it. That said, I also remember that we would "tag" our names with the name of the generation that we were playing (at the time, you only had one team loaded at once!), as in Crystal_ [RBY], or Crystal_ [GSC], for example. The point is that this would also imply a name change, so I can't be too sure about this whole win/loss record theory; maybe the underscore just looked cool as well!

Lutra: Tell us about Pokémon Pyrite.

Crystal_: Pokemon Pyrite is part of what you could say is my "second Pokemon career". As the metagames I played slowly kept losing relevance, and I also parallelly kind of lost motivation to keep up with them, I saw myself starting to get into this world of Pokemon hacks and investigating glitches. You could say it goes back to the old days as well, as I used to enjoy messing with glitches in my Pokemon Silver and Crystal cartridges. In a way, being able to understand them now, I can relate to those days where I was only following mostly empirical tutorials and information that other people had made. Now that we have the resources to be able to figure out many things about my favourite childhood games, I enjoy being part of it. Anyway, going back to Pokemon Pyrite, I guess I've always liked to start exciting projects and make things in general, but always had trouble keeping the interest. I do remember that I got myself a map editor for Crystal for whatever reason, and started messing with it. Suddenly, you see yourself with a trillion of ideas in mind about how you want to make a Pokemon game, and as you keep learning and figuring out things about hacking, your goals change drastically and you kind of progressively want to make a more and more ambitious game. Finishing Pyrite was pretty huge for me because by the end I was coming up with ideas faster than I was actually progressing, so it was cool that I somehow maintained the motivation to finish it despite having to abandon all those exciting ideas and improvements that at some point I perhaps wished Pyrite had.

All things considered, Pyrite is what it is. It started as a difficulty hack, and it's a difficulty hack. The problem is, in my opinion, it stretches the concept of difficulty (when it comes to battling) more than what the game is able to naturally accept. It looks artificial, but it has to do with the nature of the base game, and with how several mechanics that we all take for granted work. Sure, you can reinvent the basics of the game in different ways that suit your objectives, but you also have to finish the hack. Because of that, I had to set myself some restrictions, as otherwise I could go on and on and never come up with a finished product. For example, one of the main rules I set myself was that if you were to make a competitive metagame off Pyrite, it would be exactly the same as the GSC one. Stats, movesets, types, move effects, everything. It looks like an arbitrary rule, but was an effective way of keeping myself from changing too many things that would've potentially made unrealistic to complete the hack. All in all, in order to enjoy Pokemon Pyrite, it has to be the kind of hack that you're specifically looking forward to playing, and, for most people, it probably isn't. But if it is, it can be quite a captivating adventure because it polishes or remodels some aspects of the game in relation to balance and difficulty more than any other hack ever has, at least to my knowledge.

Lutra: A couple of months ago Pokemon Pyrite featured on Twitch Plays Pokemon. Were you excited about that and did they complete it more quickly or slower than you were expecting?


Crystal_: First of all, I was quite excited that they were going to play it! I had followed the record-breaking TPP Red and TPP Crystal runs, and even though I knew that TPP didn't have the same reach or exposure anymore (because, frankly, it was impossible), I knew it was still going to be a big thing. It also helped rejuvenating the hack, in a way, because it had been finished for over two years and was a little bit dead already in terms of interest. To be honest though, I doubted TPP Pyrite would work out well because the hack was maybe too difficult to beat for a TPP run, but I then noticed that it was very different drom the early days. Not only there were less people participating, but they were also far more organized and methodical, and were able to progress steadily, even if understandably resorting to the Democracy mode at certain times (Democracy is a mode where all inputs over a small period of time are averaged into a single one). I think it turned out to be an exciting adventure because we had to combine the elements of strategy that were inherent to Pyrite with those that were consequence of TPP's unpredictability.

Lutra: You’ve been successful in numerous RBY tournaments. What times did you most enjoy and when did you feel you were playing at your peak?

Crystal_: The short answer is... always and never. I guess you could say that the SPL I played around 6 years ago stands out; we ended up winning it, and I won pretty much all the important games. The way I see it though, I rolled two dies and got a 12. It's not that I got particularly lucky in the games, it just turned out that way. What I'm trying to say is, it's hard to say what anybody's peak in competitive Pokemon is, particularly in RBY and GSC of all generations. Ultimately, If I look back, I just played a bunch of tournaments here and there that randomly popped up in different communities, and it's hard to gauge their relevance or how much I put into them. That's just how it is; the scene has never been organized enough to measure how good you've been objectively. We've never had an centralized entity that organizes structured tournaments and maintains a ranking, so to speak. Speaking of the two main generations that I've played, I don't think I've ever felt comfortable in GSC. I don't think I was able to adapt to it maybe as well as other players. It's complicated because, to begin with, you never really had the possibility to practice it consistently. Since I began into GSC maybe around 8-9 years ago, it's just been occasional tournaments with pretty much the same faces playing them. I don't think it's ever been a friendly metagame to get into and then we get a bit into catch-22 territory. All in all, the players that have dominated GSC are those who were able to adapt to it despite the lack of consistent practice, and I just wasn't one of them. I feel I've done a better job progressing in RBY. Flashy plays, short-term planning, I feel those things have more relation to what my strengths might be, or at least they don't highlight my weaknesses as a player as much.

Now, comparing the times, obviously I was playing a lot more 5, 6, 7 years ago than these days, so in that sense I had more of an habit to just get out there and let the game flow during those times. On the other hand, maybe the way I can approach the game now has changed because I've grown as a person. Playing last year's SPL was challenging in that sense because I never knew what to expect. And when you're playing a relatively renowned team tournament, you do feel the pressure to do well. In the end, I took two main conclusions from it; the competition was tougher than I expected, and my level was higher than I expected. If there's something I've learned from RBY after all those years that maybe sets it apart from the newer metagames is that you are in front of the same scenarios over and over. What experience gives you is not strictly more knowledge, but, in fact, being in front of the same scenarios even more times. This is what, I think, sets apart someone who has played 100 RBY games and someone who has played 3000. Some things that the first player sees as predictions, the sencond player sees them as routine. Prediction involves coming up with an idea. Routine already contains it, and because it does, it probably involves knowing what the idea that your opponent has to go through is. It's like a specific situation with a specific set of inputs leads to a specific action. You don't even understand or picture what those inputs are, but it's like something randomly clicks in your brain and you know exactly what it's going to happen. I don't think this is something you can understand until you've played hundreds, thousands of top-level competitive RBY games.

In that sense, I think that the current generation of RBY players could very well be the strongest ever, because the Pokemon Perfect community is encouraging steady competition more than anything else has before, almost week in and week out. Mind you, this is not meant as a compliment to a certain someone! Unfortunately, it's evident that the early generations keep losing relevance everywhere else, but it's refreshing to see a small but dedicated community that keeps RBY alive. For that matter, just as important as playing a lot is playing against similarly top-tier opposition. That makes you able to keep going thorugh the same scenarios we talked about, and progressively find their next level, which keeps putting you that little step above those who haven't. Something else that many would overlook but can also be critical is playing mentally demanding games in succession. It's also something you have to train. For example, in the last year's SPL, I was mentally struggling by the third game and I feel some players were able to capitalize. The reason I'm saying all these things is to illustrate why I'm skeptical about affirming that I used to be good, or that I used to be better, or whatever else. I just don't think I've ever reached that level. Yes, I've had my moments, but I've never had the commitment, expertise, or resources to actually reach that level consistently.

Lutra: What competitive pokemon players do you miss most and wish would return?

Crystal_: I'm not sure if this one has a lot to do with me anymore because I'm just not really into playing these days. So if they came back, I most likely wouldn't even notice. I could be wrong, but I think some veterans might be a bit in the same place as me right now, randomly coming back to play some prestigious tournament, although many are probably not coming back at all. I think, anyone of my generation who has been moderately into RBY or GSC, I've faced them at some point. We had legendary games, I won legendary battles, or so they looked back then. Okay, you probably want names, so here are some. Off the top of my head, if I was asked about my overall toughest opponents, Jorgen and M Dragon come to mind. Granted, it could be just because they are the ones I've played (and lost) GSC the most against; on the other hand, I look back at predominantly-RBY rivarlies in an understandably lighter way. You could dig up the RBY2k10 archives, but someone I've played a lot against is, for example, Isa. I think he's still quite active, even if mostly into the organizing side. There were others who used to be very active into metagame discussions as well, but I think most of them are nowhere to be seen in the world of Pokemon these days.

So, lots of legendary games, and yet now what? The experiences and adventures throughout have been exciting and undoubtedly a big part of my life, but ultimately, it's just a game that barely means anything. So like, when I noticed that they were going to get rid of RBY from the WCoP, I was a bit like, but why? Rest assure I don't even care for myself anymore, but I find it easier to reference it because it's one of the few things in the world of competitive Pokemon that I feel I still can have some connection with these days. I'm not going to get into arguments about whether RBY is serous or skillful enough, I don't think that's the point. The tournament has always had this fun, unique, cross-generation format. There's no need to try hard to reinvent it, just let it be the way it is.

So yeah, I don't know how many fallacies I've just committed, but I don't really care. You'd probably think that this doesn't have anything to do with anything (and you might be totally right), but any which way, I think it illustrates how I see my competitive Pokemon career looking back, and how I see it now. Lots of fun, lots of emotions, but there was no need to take some things so seriously.

Lutra: Have you got hobbies beside Pokemon?

Crystal_: I feel a bit of contextualization is needed first. I'm 23, from Spain, currently doing a masters degree in Telecommunications Engineering at the university. I guess I've always been a little shy, especially in large groups of people, but other than that I think I'm an easy guy to hang and meme around (does "meme around" even exist? whatever). I don't consider myself very excessively freaky or nerdy (in a good way), but maybe that's only because I know people that are a lot more than me! I don't think I've spent a lot of time in my life playing video-games, for example, just a few that I really enjoyed over the years. I guess it's up to how many bonus points you want to give me from my diverse Pokémon-related interests, ranging from the competitive side to delving at the source code of the games. It's funny, in fact; I'd now say that the programming language I've messed around the most is Gameboy assembly, even though I've done personal things in other languages and enjoyed them, as well. In reality, I've actually always been a very lazy guy! Particularly for things that don't motivate me. I think I've been able to improve a lot lately in this aspect, even if only by necessity. Speaking of hobbies that most of you may not be able to guess, I like tennis a lot. Both playing and watching, even though I consider myself much better at the latter!

Lutra: Would you consider becoming a professional Pokémon player if it became viable to live off prize money?

Crystal_: That's not an easy one to answer because you just can't imagine how living off being a competitive Pokémon player would be possible. We're not even talking about the official VGC metagame, let alone the current generation, but about the good old RBY! First of all, you'd need a very large audience to be interested in watching people play competitive Pokemon so it can potentially become a business. The thing is, even in VGC, the current audience are just the actual competitive players, or those hopeful of becoming so, that either do, or stop caring. Anyway, let's assume for a moment that competitive RBY really is a thing and people can live off it. That would mean there are plenty of strong players competing to be the best, and just like with any sport or e-sport, only a few make it. Right now, I'm undoubtedly among the most respected competitive RBY players in the world, but where does this really come from? Pretty much anyone who has spent as much time playing RBY as me has been just as successful, if not more. If competitive RBY was a profitable game, competition would be absurdly larger, and in that scenario I don't see myself standing out. To be honest, considering the low margins of RBY, it would take something very special for someone to actually stand out consistently.

To actually answer the question though, let's take another step forward and assume that I can live off competitive Pokemon. It's honestly very hard to predict how it would be, but I might feel empty. You know, right now, I barely play competitive Pokemon anymore. Actually, I don't know. I could maybe be traveling around the world every other week to play tournaments and that could be quite amazing. Then again, you'd have to see if you're earning enough, how reliable it is, also what will happen when you're done playing. This is all too hard to picture anyway.

Lutra: Thank you very much for your in-depth answers!


Crystal_: Thank you for letting me take part in the interview and for the nostalgic trip down memory lane. It's been a pleasure!
 
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Lutra

All generations forever.
is a Community Leaderis a Community Contributor
RoA Co-Leader
#9
RoA Room Interview #5: We Three Kings

Lutra: Today we are interviewing We Three Kings, playoff semi-finalist and RBY Cup winner of the latest Smogon Classic (III). W3K, what have been the most memorable battles you've played over the past year?

We Three Kings: I haven't had a lot of memorable games for the right reasons this year, despite a decent Classic run and a respectable WCoP record. I don't think I played great in any of my WCoP games outside of my 10-turn game vs CZ (where there really isn't anything to point out). I played the endgame vs UD poorly, made some passive moves vs dice, brought a poor team vs .Mx, made a positional error vs undisputed, and didn't scout for the Magneton with a Skarm+Dugtrio team vs Bad Ass, which could have ended horribly had the matchup been different. The most memorable of those is probably my game vs undisputed for semis, where a SubCM Jirachi caught me off guard, and with some luck won him the game in the end. It never should have come down to that in the first place however, as I made an error some turns earlier. Still hurts to watch, but we won the round in the end so it's no big deal. Some of my games vs Starmaster for Classic quarters were really poor, and I'm still not sure why I won series that in the end. I think I played a decent series vs dice in semis, but I still made poor moves in BW and RBY, which proves I need to polish my game if I want to win something meaningful.

Lutra: What old gen tiers would you like to see more tournaments or exploration for?

We Three Kings: I really don't care for any non-OU old gen, because there is little to no tournament value. I'll join BW UU tours etc. if they show up, but any tier that isn't in the official tournament circuit is really not worth learning at all.

Lutra: What makes tiers in the official tournament circuit worth learning for you? Is it the thrill of potentially winning something that lots of very respected players try hard to achieve?

We Three Kings: Staying relevant for Smogon Tour matters a lot, since it's my favorite tournament on Smogon. Being stuck in the past also seems rather lonely. I never understood people who exclusively play one tier, but are active throughout the year, especially if the tier is frozen. I'm also not tired of this game yet, and SM OU is a fairly decent metagame, so there's really no good reason for me not to play it. Getting my name is the history books is the primary reason I'd like to win a trophy tournament. Previously my goal was to make it into a playoff of an official tournament, and then playing in a official team tournament. This is the next step for me playing-wise I think. Since Smogon Tour is in my opinion the best and most fun tournament on Smogon, that's the one I hope I end up winning, although I've yet to come even remotely close. My team was very close in World Cup, but it still never felt like we had a real chance in my mind, and I was definitely more optimistic in SPL with the Sharks despite ending 5th in the tournament and missing out on playoffs.

Lutra: What is your favourite tournament format - Single elimination, Double Elimination, Round Robin etc. and for what reason?

We Three Kings: I like league-type of tours, especially Smogon Superstars' format. Long pre-seasons, with a 8 or 16-man single elimination playoff is probably what I consider ideal in terms of play-ability and viewer pleasure. Double elimination unnecessarily prolongs a lot of tournaments, but for some concepts I think it works fine (see OLT). I'd like to see seeding being tried out for something like OST (based on Smogon Championship ratings), but I definitely see the issue and it's not something I think will ever happen.

Lutra: Are there any old gen OU tiers you would like to alter the ruleset of and why/wynaut?

We Three Kings: I'd ban Excadrill (or at least Sand Rush Excadrill) for reasons stated hundreds of times in the Policy Review thread [insert link somewhere]. I think Sablenite could and should be unbanned in ORAS after Arena Trap got banned, because it helps vs Mega-Medicham, and I never personally found it banworthy. The DPP Evasion Clause ban was horribly done from a policy viewpoint, but it seems set in stone, and any attempt to change that would get harshly shut down by certain people. If we completely ignore policy and focus purely on making the metagame better, I would 100% ban CurseLax is GSC.

Lutra: What are your main goals for competitive Pokémon? Such as tournaments you most want to win, resources you want to make.

We Three Kings: Winning an individual trophy is the obvious main goal, although I won't beat myself up if I never win one. I truly believe it would be a tragedy if I ended up winning an individual before someone like Heist, but as a proud competitor I will play for myself before anyone else. There are several policy changes I would like to implement on Smogon, such as removing an incredibly rushed and a very flawed tournament concept in The Smogon Snake Draft. OLT has identity issues with changes to the format every iteration, and I think they should either settle with whatever they have now, or completely revamp the system. The Smogon Classic sort of allows people who are "retired" from modern Pokemon to still have a yearly chance at a trophy, something I really dislike. There's also no real reason as to why dead generations need to have official tournament representation outside of team tournament. In terms of resources, I'm always looking to do more work regarding statistics. While I think they're useless 90% of the time (and often twists the truth), they're fun and interesting to look at. I like analysing the players and the tournaments like they're an e-sport, and it gives new faces with an interest in the community an option to read up and invest themselves in the game.

Lutra: Do you think there'll be a point where you decide to retire from competitive Pokémon?

We Three Kings: Ideally as soon as possible, but I have too much free time as of right now, which I mostly spend on Pokemon. I plan to speedrun Super Mario Odyssey in the near future and maybe return to Gold Glitchless as well with the new route (Manip for Lottery Masterball, early Morty, etc). Eventually I plan to pick up Red Glitchless as it's the most competitive category to run. I don't think I can force myself to quit yet, so I hope it just comes naturally when I lose interest. I agree with Heist that there should be a time in the yearly tournament cycle where there are no official tournaments running. I think a lot of people feel obligated to play in everything, thus it being hard to retire unless you force it on yourself. This would obviously suck for Smogon though.

Lutra: Any predictions for players that could become big names in the future?

We Three Kings: In terms of SM, we’ve seen a surge in french talent, in particular cdumas, Kickasser & Kory2600. I think they have several other prospects coming up, and it wouldn’t surprise me if we saw for example Michy47 or Simiatic perform in the near future. We saw Will of Fire support Italy with teams during WCoP and I’ve seen a lot of his stuff around recently, so I hope he makes a good run in something like OST or even SPL if he’s bought (unlikely, but good builders are worth gold these days so he’s an interesting sleeper pick). Italy have had a lot of one-time-wonders in the past (see: Inflikted, Mix, darkdevil) and only Alexander & Tricking stand out as truly established newgen players to me, so I hope he sticks around and does individuals. While we're on the topic of italians, Santu is a player that had a solid showing in Smogon Tour and could definitely be someone to look out for next WCoP. Players like BHARATH_THEBEST and Ban Manaphy were hyped a lot after WCOP and they both are doing great in Snake so far. Latin-America had a good WCoP run with a relatively unknown squad, so we can probably expect more coming from them in the near future. Spain and Brazil will in similar fashion grow talents within their own community, and we’ll probably see them during WCoP 2018. It’s hard to pick whos the next ABR though. Maybe hiye if he hangs with the right crowd. For oldgens there will be very few breakout players. Sulcata is going to have a great SPL, but aside from that I don’t think we’ll see any breakthrough performances from any newcomer (I don’t count Troller as a newcomer despite this being his SPL debut). In ADV I believe zf is the obvious standout, but I am clueless if he’s even playing in SPL yet. There are a lot of hyped players who have done well in different communities (POCL, RoA tournaments), but I think success there is grossly overrated and good managers won’t base their picks on results there unless it’s exceptional.

Lutra: Thank you for your well thought-out answers.

We Three Kings: My pleasure.
 

Lutra

All generations forever.
is a Community Leaderis a Community Contributor
RoA Co-Leader
#10
Top 10 RoA Fall 2017 Leaderboard

Top 8 into Playoffs

1. Kaz-Gasai [Interview]
2. Barbows
3. enfos [Interview]
4. k3nan
5. EB0LA
6. retro metro
7. PasY_G
8. Ade50


Substitutes for Playoffs

9. Emo Secret
10. The Kyle
11. legendary40
12. Maya Chansey
13. SnowyTheGlaceon
14. Dj Breloominati♬
15. Elcoolio


Starting from now, playoffs will be every month with only the top player getting an interview (if they haven't been interviewed before or at least a year has passed).

The Quasar is hosting the Fall Playoffs.
 
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