In the SPL, 10 teams consisting of the best players we have today participate in a league type tournament which lasts for a duration of 9 weeks. After that, the top 4 teams enter a knockout stage, with the winners becoming the champion of that season. This format document will attempt to outline the entirety of SPL so that anyone looking at it will know exactly how the Smogon Premier League is run on any given week. Manager Sign-Ups / Manager Selection The first week or so of the Smogon Premier League opens with the manager selection process. What are managers and their duties you ask? Allow me to elaborate. The General Manager of a team is essentially the boss of a team. He is the final word in all decisions (barring the host) regarding his team. He decides which players play on the team, who plays in what position, and even handles the team finances (Yes, I said finances. Keep reading!). Managers also make sure that the team keeps running on a day to day basis. If a team fails to complete their matches by the end of the allotted time, the onus is on the manager to inform the host as to what happened in order to make sure that proper activity calls are made. Because of these responsibilities, The General Manager is probably the most important part of the team. As such, the position of GM is not one to be taken lightly. The Manager Sign-up thread, as stated, will begin approximately one week before the player Sign-ups. Anyone is welcome to sign up to be a manager, however there are a few things to note: • There will not always be 10 manager slots to fill. Past managers in good standing (as determined by Tournament Directors and the hosts of the tournament) will be invited to return as GMs of their respective teams at the beginning of the season. If they refuse the position, past Assistant Managers of the same team (in good standing, of course) will be offered the position. If he/she too refuses, the position is up for grabs to the general public. • General Managers are not eligible to play in the Smogon Premier League. You can either play or manage, not both. • General Managers are chosen largely on a subjective opinion of the hosts as well as Tournament Directors as to who they believe would be fit for the position. Being fit for the position includes the knowledge of excellent battlers in the community (for fielding a competent team), having above average activity on the forums and IRC (in order to ensure that you don’t abandon your team), as well as possessing a necessary amount of “gravitas” (If you can’t make a player do what you tell them to, such as play an undesirable metagame, you’re not going to make a good manager). General Managers are required to acquire at least one Assistant Manager. The General Manager gets full sovereignty in choosing his assistant manager. The assistant manager is essentially the second in command for the team. He has all of the functions and roles as the General Manager does, the GM just trumps him in head-to-head decisions. Lastly, the General Manager has the following duties: • He/she shall choose at least one Assistant Manager, but no more than two. • He/she shall make the host aware of any player retentions before the auction starts. • He/she shall be present at the live auction, or appoint someone to participate in the live auction in his stead. • He/she shall send the host weekly rosters. • He/she shall ensure to the best of his/her abilities that his/her battlers complete their matches on time. • In the event that a match fails to be completed, he/she shall inform the host as to why the match failed to be completed, and what his/her battler did in order to finish the match. • He/she shall communicate any grievances with the host. • He/she shall oversee all trades the team makes. Week 1: Player Sign-Ups After the managers have been chosen, Player Sign-ups will be opened. All players must sign up if they wish to play in the Smogon Premier League, even those who will eventually be retained to their past teams. It is important to note that the Smogon Premier League is a 9 week event and that the activity level of a player is significant. Do not sign up to play for a team if you do not intend to see the tournament through to the end. This includes maintaining a competitive attitude if your team is already eliminated from playoff contention. You never know whether or not winning your end-season matches will make you a more valued player next season, so even if your team isn’t necessarily in the playoff picture anymore, there’s always value in playing your best. Failure to complete matches in a timely manner consistently may result in being barred from entering the Smogon Premier League in future seasons. The format for signing up to play in the Smogon Premier League is as follows. The sign-up list will then be taken and sorted into appropriate lists for each of the 6 metagames. These lists will then be used by managers for the auction. Week 2: Live Auction This season will feature something entirely new to the Smogon Premier League, a live auction. In the weeks preceding the live auction, a time will be chosen by all of the General Managers to meet and perform a live auction in order to choose players. Managers will be expected to remain at the auction for the entire duration, which should take approximately 2-3 hours. If a General Manager cannot, for some reason, find any feasible time that he can attend a Live Auction, then the Assistant Manager will be called upon to fill in the spot. If the Assistant manager cannot fill the spot, then the second Assistant Manager (if applicable) will fill in the spot. If no manager can fill the spot for the Live Auction… then a new General Manager + Assistant Manager who can find time to make a live auction will be found to replace the old ones. Once a time Is set, all 10 managers + the hosts will enter #splauction on SynIRC.net at the given time. The host will administer vops to the 10 managers, and place mode +m on the chat. Spectators are allowed to join in to watch the fun unfold, but will not be able to speak. Discussion on the bidding at hand should be relegated to #spl. It is at this time that each manager will reveal who (If anybody) they have chosen to retain from their roster last year. The order by which managers will reveal their retainers will be determined by their ranking from last year. There are a few notes to be made on the subject of retainers: • The cost to retain a player is 10000 Credits, or 3000 Credits added to the salary the player was paid in the season preceding the current one, whichever is more expensive. After retainers are revealed, those players retained to teams are taken off of the free agent list. Following this, the live auction starts. The host will first ask a team to nominate a player. The order by which teams will nominate players will go in a snaking pattern from the highest ranked team from last year to the lowest ranked team, then the lowest ranked team to the highest ranked team. The host will then tell the details of said player and bidding will commence, starting at 3000 credits, with the nominating team automatically placing the first bid. The auction will then be in real time. Managers will simply put in their bids in the channel, raising a minimum of 500 credits. If after 15 seconds there are no new bids, the player is sold to the highest bid in the channel. The host will provide a 5 second warning before bidding is closed on a player. The host will then post updated credit totals and will then prompt the next manager in the rotation to nominate a player. Managers are asked to please have a predetermined list of players you intend to nominate as well as potential bid caps, in order to make the process go as quickly and seamlessly as possible. Here is a sample of how the live auction is expected to take place. Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide <LonelyNess> The Scooters - 130k <LonelyNess> The Ruiners - 130k <LonelyNess> The Tigers - 130k <LonelyNess> The Scooters are up to nominate. <Synre> We nominate LonelyNess. <LonelyNess> LonelyNess - DPP UU | GSC OU <LonelyNess> The bidding starts at 3000 Credits to the Indie Scooters <whistle> 3500 <Synre> 4000 <thoughts> 6000 <Synre> 6500 <thoughts> 7000 <Synre> 7500 --10 seconds pass-- <LonelyNess> 5 seconds remaining. <thoughts> 8000 <Synre> 8500 --10 seconds pass-- <LonelyNess> 5 seconds remaining. --5 seconds pass-- <LonelyNess> SOLD to the Indie Scooters for 8500 Credits <LonelyNess> The Scooters - 121.5k <LonelyNess> The Ruiners - 130k <LonelyNess> The Tigers - 130k <LonelyNess> The Ruiners are up to nominate. A reminder to all managers that it is necessary for you to field a roster of 11 starters + 2 substitutes. Of which, all must be paid at least 3000 credits. This creates a soft cap on bids of 94000 credits, that is, the maximum amount of money you can spend on any one player and still have enough money left over to pay at least 3000 credits a piece on 12 more players. Another thing to remember is that there are midseason free agent pick-ups. It might be beneficial to save some credits in order to pick up players midseason. Weeks 3-7 | 9-12: League Stages It is at this time that the tournament will commence. The league stages consist of a Round Robin tournament. Every team will face every other team once through 9 weeks of play. Each manager will submit to the host a roster no later than the deadline of the previous week. This roster will list the starting players and what metagames they will play. The metagames represented in the Smogon Premier League are as follows: BW OU 1: BW OU 2: BW OU 3: VGC 2012: BW Uber: BW UU: BW RU: DPP OU : ADV OU : GSC OU : RBY OU : When the week starts, teams' players will face off in their respective metagames / tiers. The BW OU 1 from Team A will face the BW OU 1 from team B, BW OU 2 will face BW OU 2, and so on. Whichever team wins the most battles will be declared the victor for the week. Rather than score based on how many individual battles a team wins, the only thing that matters is who beat the most teams. As such, points are awarded based only wins and losses versus teams as a whole, not individual players. Beating a team in a week’s matchups is worth two points, tying with a team is worth one point, and losing is worth none, simple as that. At the end of the round robin, the top four teams in the points proceed to the playoffs and will be seeded into a knock-out style bracket where they will face off until only one team remains. There are a few regulatory things during the league stages that need to be outlined. 1. Substitutes – At any point in time during the week, a team may make a substitution for an inactive player. In order to do this a manager must PM a host on the forums (or IRC) saying which player is substituting out, and which player is substituting in. A player that has substituted out for a week cannot be substituted back in. In addition, in order to catch any attempts at garnering favorable matchups in BW OU (where the lineup you choose affects pairings), all substitutions are subject to veto by the host if the substitution is suspected to be attempting to “game” the system. 2. Pre-Week Battling – Because there is a set schedule generated at the beginning of the season, it is possible to accurately guess what players you will be facing in any given week (especially if you play a metagame that isn’t BW OU). However, because the next week’s rosters are not set in stone until the day before the next week, there is no telling what a manager will do with regards to who he slots in one spot… especially if he has more than one player in any given tier. Asking to battle early for future weeks is essentially asking the opposing manager to short himself options and forces him to make his roster early, perhaps without all of the knowledge he might have gleaned over the course of the week. Due to this, battling early for future weeks is not allowed. Do not ask to battle early for a future week. You will be denied. No exceptions. This is what you have substitutes for. 3. Trades – Teams may trade players with each other at any point during the regular season. In order to complete a trade, both involved managers must submit a PM to the host detailing which player(s) on their team they are trading away, as well as which players they are receiving as compensation. Trades are finalized at the end of the week they are conducted in. In addition, due to potential conflicts of interest, any players involved in trades must be substituted out of the week they’re involved in a trade. For example, if it’s Week 3 and LonelyNess is scheduled to play Folgorio, but LonelyNess’ team wishes to trade LonelyNess away for someone new, LonelyNess must be substituted out for another player. LonelyNess is valid for slotting into the roster of his new team at the beginning of Week 4. There will be no more trading following the end of the league stages, with any trades happening during week 9 coming into effect during round 1 of the playoffs. 4. There will be no trades allowed following the conclusion of the midseason pickups. 5. Any trade may be vetoed by a vote of 6/8 of the uninvolved teams managers. Any manager wishing to challenge a trade has 48 hours from the time the trade is announced to call for a veto vote. 6. Activity decisions – There are inevitably times where two players simply fail to complete a match, however, the nature of the tournament system sometimes makes it advantageous to purposely fail to play (such as when a team is up 4-3 in a week). Because of this, it is necessary to make activity decisions on matches. Hosts are required to make thorough investigations regarding each and every potential failed match during a week. If both parties are deemed to be equally apathetic or enthusiastic about getting the match done, but just have not had the opportunity to make it happen, the match will result in a no contest. However, if it is deemed that one party made significantly more effort than the other in attempting to get the match done, then a win will be awarded to that player. Things that will make it very likely that you will lose via activity include: failing to PM your opponent immediately upon the week’s start, scheduling a match and being documented as missing the match time, failing to provide any concrete times for which you can be reached, failing to respond to an opponent’s PM at all. Note that this is a tournament that requires a very high level of activity and diligence, if you don’t think you can get your matches done, quite simply don’t sign up. 7. Rule Breaking – There is no excuse for breaking any of the predetermined rules. If you are caught breaking a rule, you will lose your match. There is no lenience with regards to this. Break a rule, you lose. Period. 8. Reversing Rulings - No ruling will be retroactively overturned once the week following the week that the ruling has been made has ended. This includes: activity rulings / rulings based on rule breaking / anything else under the sun. I'm not going back in time to reevaluate every single decision I've made throughout the tournament on Week 9 because you think you were gipped 1-2 wins along the way and now they're the difference between you and a playoff spot. Any appeals to a ruling must be made during the week that the ruling is made, beyond that all rulings are final once the week ends. Week 8: Midseason Free Agent Pickups Because players are bound to miss the original sign-ups, as well teams are bound to have players that have to leave for a significant portion of the season, in the middle of the season, sign-ups will reopen for 3 days. Players will sign up and a new free agent list will be made. Note: even if you signed up the first time around, you must re-signup in order to get on the midseason free agent list. After sign-ups close, the host will remind each manager how many credits they have left over from the original live auction. If a team has any remaining credits, he/she are free to send the host a PM detailing which players they wish to purchase, and for however many credits (a minimum of 3000 credits is necessary to purchase a player). If two players happen to put a bid in for the same player, whoever placed the higher bid will acquire the player. For example, say Synre sends the host the following PM: And whistle sends in the following: At the end of the week, Synre will have picked up Player B, where whistle will have picked up players C, D and E. In the event of a tie (such as in the case of Player A), whichever manager submitted their bid first wins. Therefore Synre would win Player A as well in this particular scenario. There is no use for credits leftover after the midseason free agent pickups, so it is in every manager’s best interest to spend all of their remaining points at this time. Weeks 13 – 14: Playoffs At the end of the league stages, there will be a knockout style playoffs involving the top 4 teams in the points. In the event of a tie in overall points standings, the following criteria is used for breaking ties. • Overall Points > • Battle Difference (total # battles won - total # battles lost) > • Head-to-Head outcome (which team beat the other in the league stages) After the top 4 have been determined, each team will be seeded. The #1 seed will play the #4 seed, and the #2 seed will play the #3 seed. The victors of these matches will advance to the finals match. The winning team of this match will be declared the ultimate victors of the Smogon Premier League. Reward Each member of the winning team’s roster, as well as the general manager and any assistant managers will receive an official Smogon Trophy in their postbit.