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Discussion in 'VGC' started by Cybertron, Jan 27, 2012.
I thought zog was next. anyway great interviews!
...Learn your priorities boy.
Great interviews once more. I dunno what else to say but they just are that good.
....oh god no.
Also guys, I'd really love some more feedback/criticism about how we're currently conducting the thread. Are you guys getting bored of the same format over and over again, or do the different people make it interesting? What would you like to see, going forward? Are there any players you would like us to cover? Is the current number of 4/5 interviews a week alright? The more feedback, the better! Thanks to everyone who has been supporting this thread so far, it's really great to see everyone enjoy it so much!
To add to what Cybertron said, let us know if there is anything else you find thats missing from our interviews! I tend to ask the same generic questions but if there's something you all want to see more of, you need to post your thoughts!
I love the whole idea and format! I was actually thinking of a good idea.
Cybertron or dtrain, when you interview them, you should also battle and save the footage. It would be interesting. Oh and about battling, you should have everyone vote on two people that should have the battle of the week or have two interviewees battle each week. Continue your great and hard work that everyone enjoys!
Maybe extend interviews to like, upcoming promising battlers and how they prepare for vgc or :P
furthermore I like it how it is at the moment so keep up the good work you two :D
Guess we have to lay that suspicion to rest.
Don't worry Gec. The title was America's Cutest Trainer. Not the World's. You still have your title.
Aside from that, great interviews and keep up the good work. Personally, the people make it interesting, not the format for me.
I didn't know girls play Pokemon?
in the sake of feedback I must agree, this would be AWESOME.
Oh and I laughed when I saw "currently featuring two of the best female players in vgc" and shoelace was nowhere to be found XD
OMG YOU MENTIONED GHOST TRICK AND PROFESSOR LAYTON!!!!
Maski, you will always have the best taste in video games of anyone I know ever.
Women and their Elektrosses (Elektri?). I think it would be cool to have a battle highlights section for each player, with some of their favorite or most defining battles they saved.
all these interviews and questions about worlds and fun answers about how much of a good time it was
why did i skip worlds
i will never forgive myself
so angry right now
This is a really sweet idea, and it's a great way to promote my YouTube as well! I think I'm going to try and bug everyone we've interviewed thus far for either a VGC 2011/2012 battle to showcase their abilities (as well as mine :P). Thanks for the awesome suggestion!
The Self Proclaimed Pokemon Master: Daniel Nolan
Daniel "Zog" Nolan poses with Ruben "RubenNCB92" Puig Lecegui at the 2010 World Championships.
2009: Top 16 at UK Nationals
2010: Round 2 at UK Nationals, Round 3 at Worlds LCQ
2011: Top 4 at UK Nationals, Top 8 at Worlds
2011 Nationals: Invitation to compete in the 2011 World Championships.
2011 Worlds: 3DS, various Worlds exclusive items
Biography and History
Despite being one of the strangest posters on Smogon's VGC section, Daniel "Zog" Nolan is actually one of the best European VGC players and has finished the highest out of any Master from UK at the World Championships. Having played since 2009, Daniel had some bad luck the past few years, falling short of qualifying for Worlds in both 2009 and 2010. However, his luck changed when he finished in the Top 4 of last year's UK National Championships, losing to Smogon's very own twash. He then flew out to San Diego to represent the UK and Europe at the World Championships. He had an incredibly tough lineup of opponents, including 2011 US National Champion Wolfe "Wolfey" Glick, 2011 Italian National Champion Francesco "_AlexiS_" Pardini, Min "Giant Enemy Crab" Datoo and Kamaal "Sixonesix" Harris. An incredible game between him and Kamaal can be found on YouTube here. After an impressive 5-1 finish in Day 1, Daniel was seeded 4th and had to play 5th seed Matteo "Matty85" Gini for the quarter-finals. He eventually ended up losing due to the 15 minute time limit per game: It's interesting to note that Daniel lost both his match against Kamaal and Matteo (his only two losses) due to time outs. He finished 5th overall in the whole world. You can read about his incredible team here.
Many users though Daniel was just a silly user who made very strange posts at first, but he has clearly proved himself to be an excellent player who actually has a lot of wise and interesting things to say. I think the interview we had will highlight a lot about the type of the player he is! He is definitively a threat at this year's European National Championships, and I think he will be one of the strongest competitors there.
Thanks for speaking with me today Zog. Introduce yourself!
HOLA look it's me Zog!! ;3 Probably Smogon's most well ace user and stuff. I should hope I'm pretty distinctive, anyway. Officially I'm world's strongest blonde, English and beetle owner.
But yeah I've played Pokémon since I was 7, like a lot of people. With competitive since I was about 12 (That old game on 3rd gen Netbattle, chaos vs Serebii Joe with the Hyper Beam Tyranitar and everything? I was spectating that). It's just that good a game: it was incredible from the start and still is today, and only keeps getting better. In fact it's not even a game so much as a cultural phenomenon. I don't say that lightly, either. Pokémon is just that amazing, as I'm sure you know already. That said it's not perfect as a game lol but who cares, to me Pokémon's about culture and the world championships bring that across more than anything. (Wow I am such a Pokémon intellectual who'd have thought lol)
Anyway I like to think that I see the game really broadly and understand it very well. I look like a dumbass saying that but whatever it's true lol, Pokémon isn't just a game. Think of competitive Pokémon as being like poker: anyone can play it and it's fundamentally luck-based, but do it enough and you discover it's not so much about the cards as it is the player.
See, I'm not actually an idiot! I'm just good at making it look like I am. It's a really good skill, and even Sun Tzu says so. I use quite a bit of EAST ASIAN MILITARY PHILOSOPHY both in general and for Pokémon, and as it happens will be writing an article on it when I've done UK nationals next month. So look forward to that.
Otherwise you may have heard some of my outrageous (and regrettably true) stories on irc which are probably the best things I do on there. Favourites include: "Hide-and-seek turns into a near-miss with a black guy's willy", "I accidentally encourage a boy to full-on rape the Incredible Hulk" and "Kid tries to touch Zog inappropriately while pretending to be Gollum; receives justice in the form of a dirty bog brush". And many more. It's a wild life.
How did you get introduced to VGC and what made you stay?
To be honest, I'm actually not sure how I found out about VGC back when it started here in 2009. I think I was playing singles on Smogon and saw a post about it. Straight away I organised to go meet my longtime bezzie mate Shoe down in London for the tournament, which was funny since he didn't even play Pokémon at the time: his first game was Pearl which he got cause I asked him to lol.
Something some of you brits may find interesting is, remember that show on CBBC called BAMZOOKi? For you non-brits it was a kids' game show based on a really good 3D design kit where you made robotic animals. Anyway that's how I met Shoe and a lot of others through that back when I was a young Zog and we've been best friends since <3. I hold the record for the most different zooks shown on TV also lol, I think I got 18 or so broadcast in the end despite not getting on the show in person. Myself, Shoe and my other bros basically ran that site through ages 13-17 to the extent we all frequently had kiddies posting fanclub topics, got our stuff shown on TV all the time and in the end pulled dumb stuff like topping the leaderboard with a wiggling model of a giant black phallus in a top hat before being eventually banned (lol) and making our own site.
But yeah VGC started as an excuse to meet my wonderful friends from BAMZOOKi, and gradually I got to know the actual Pokémon people too and it's really quite brilliant. In terms of the best annual events for me VGCs are all better than, say, my birthday lol. It's just that much fun. Close tie with Christmas.
What was your first VGC experience like?
At the time I was actually really shy and stuff which is pretty funny in retrospect. But yeah it was UK nationals 2009 down in London, and it was a great thing to do. Basically I sucked awfully even though I could RNG and had practised on Netbattle a ton with a couple of mates, namely Shoe, MrsBlackbird/Rees and a dude named Biggenz. The main reason I sucked wasn't because I couldn't play Pokémon: it was because I was a great heaving dumbass who insisted on using explosion Gengar and a gravity rain team using RNGed shinies with bad IVs. What I was thinking I don't even. Anyway in the end I made it to the top 16 somehow thanks to the guy who beat me in round 2 getting disqualified for an "illegal Blissey" whatever that was. I lost in the end to being critted out by the eventual winner Sadman, while Shoe beat both Rees and Biggenz on his way to the final where he came 2nd after deciding to use this terrible Camerupt I recommended him. The amount of fun Shoe later had in San Diego with Sadman and Wichu's brother Matej really drove me to get better at Pokémon for the next year!
What happened in VGC 2010?
Well, yeah, that's just it isn't it. By 2010 I still sucked. For some incredible reason I'm unaware of I decided to use this stupid team with Mewtwo and Ho-Oh in it, seemingly forgetting the fact it was horribly weak to scarf Kyogre which funnily enough I knew would be popular. After annoyingly being matched vs Picollo in round 1 and not being allowed to friend rule (because we were the last into the area, but not helped by my accent confusing poor Picollo lol) I managed to make it to round 2, where I soon screwed up. I had this guy 2-2, ubers vs ubers everything at full health when, to my Mewtwo and Ho-Oh, he sent out... Palkia and scarf Kyogre. Contrary to what Ray bloody Rizzo will tell you, this guy's Pokémon actually weren't unEVed and I lost just because of matchup and stupid team choices.
Unfortunately he isn't trolling when he tells you how I lost the next time. Well, I managed to convince my dad to take me and my brother on holiday to Hawaii and Los Angeles in time for worlds, so I was able to enter the LCQ. I got a lot better in time for worlds, and had a good enough team to put up a fight in the swiss. I was hardly good enough to top cut, but pretty good as players go. Worlds itself was a pretty amazing experience, as was getting to meet mis amigos and just chilling out in the middle of the Pacific ocean with nothing but sun, sea, friends and that kid who peed on the floor during the movie then stole loads of people's towels and walked around in them and soaked up the pee and then hid in said pee-soaked towels for the rest of the night. And the other kid nearby who was humping a small statue of a pony for like half an hour... proper at it. It was during this worlds that I had a bit of an impromptu interview with Shigeki Morimoto too, where I'm pretty sure he confirmed to me that 190 Pokémon were intended for Red and Green. You might've read about that elsewhere on the forum lol (I've had people irl quote my own "Weird Pokémon fact" to me it's great).
But yeah I made it to the final round of the LCQ in the end, using a rather nice rain/tailwind team but I'm not going to elaborate too much on this because it was a complete and utter mess. Let's just say I lost to a one-move autopilot team that was being used by someone I'd expected to be a competent player, and that I lost only because of this. I would have been okay with this had the player in question not been (almost certainly) playing incredibly slowly on purpose, which was the main reason this hurt so much. I actually thought to myself "No this Pokémon can't be choiced they're taking ages to move", and that seems to have been the idea. Anyway it sucked horribly and if anyone can't understand why I was upset at the situation I'll be surprised. Giving a one-move team to someone is literally an insult to everyone involved: its intended user, their opponent and even the game itself. Anyway that was pretty much it. Probably the most valuable lesson I got out of worlds 2010 was that even if you've heard of someone on Smogon it doesn't mean they're actually a good player. REMEMBER THIS NEW VGCERS everyone has a chance to win; don't be put off by names. So long as you're actually good you should win.
You did really well in 2011, talk about how Nationals and Worlds went, as well as your teams!
Yeah, I was quite impressed by myself actually jajajaja. But lol 2011 was kind of an interesting metagame and I was one of the few people who actually liked it. With not too many Pokémon available it was easy to use the most popular Pokemon but at the same time surprise people with nonstandard movesets and whatever, giving you the best of both worlds. My worlds team in the end was full of NON-STANDARD STANDARD POKÉMON like bulky scarf Terrakion and Tornadus, with gems everywhere. And a Beheeyem. It was pretty much just a continuation of my UK nationals team which was, while pretty good, not perfect. That had fast guts Conkeldurr and a fast Scrafty alongside the same Terrakion, Tornadus and Jellicent as my worlds team. Overall, fairly solid.
UK nationals, like before, was just a great experience. I made it to the top 4 without too much difficulty (save a close shave round 3 where my bulky terrakion survived a mach punch on 2hp for the win), eventually losing to twash in the semi final because, of all bloody things, I clicked the wrong button. I'm pretty sure I went from 4-2 to 2-2 in one turn entirely because I clicked rock slide over the intended eathquake, meaning twash's krookodile survived on about 10hp and killed my tornadus, leading to my conkeldurr then being flinched the next turn by a rock slide and me losing. Either way I had the game won and screwed up. I'll just blame my hair colour, that usually works. Thanks to that misclick I had to have my parents pay for me to go to worlds again. As an additional annoying thing top 4 get paid invites this year so... yeah. Lol.
Worlds was amazing fun too, like anyone will tell you. I got to play so many good people with so many different strategies (including the pleasure of playing Wolfey in tournament :o thank you based cursed body), and finished swiss 5-1 alongside mis amigos Ray and Ruben, and at 4th seed. I ended up losing to Matty in the quarter final though, finishing 5th place. After winning the first game, losing the second and then the last game ending on timeout when I was going to win next turn ;_;. This kind of happened because, unlike me, Matty is actually a strong and smart player who takes note of the time rofl. Incidentally my only match losses at worlds came about because of the timer, the first in an excellent match with Sixonesix which the lovely Cybertron has uploaded onto Youtube- check it out great game. Also leftovers. 9.9
Anyway there's not much more to say about worlds other than it being incredible. You like a good time? Go to worlds. You like Jewish chocolate? Go to worlds. You like Gyarados? GYARADOOOOOOOOOOS~ go to worlds. I even wrote about worlds in my university application and talked about it for my interview. I got an unconditional offer based on said interview. WORLDS IMPROVES YOUR LIFE.
What's the European experience like? You've been to Worlds so you know what other competitors throughout the world are like, how do Europeans compare to them?
It's honestly not that much different lol. Although, that said, the patterns in playstyles you see worldwide are really, really interesting. Kind of like national stereotypes but actually with basis rofl. The way I see it, consider the Americans as basically the "standard" kind of player that most people play like. Strong Pokémon, solid predictions but generally nothing unexpected, that kind of thing. Quite a lot of American players are like that. Generally UK players are basically like American players but crappier lol. Meanwhile the Germans love non-standard standard Pokémon (like myself), and the Spanish and Italians tend to use standard Pokémon but instead concentrate on playstyle. And the French... I have no idea... they just get invaded every year rofl. The very best Japanese meanwhile literally do have that zenlike quality of being able to see through the game. Read some of the top-notch analysis articles by the Japanese and you'll see it. Sounds like weak national stereotypes I know but it's funny how this actually does happen. However there are a few players who behave totally like foreigners for their country. Like, to me Ray is more of a Japanese person and TTS is sort of like a German. This is probably due to his longtime alt Graf Eisen during the 2010 season and that incredibly German Palkia but whatever lol.
Which Europeans are you afraid of playing in VGC 2012?
I dunno about being afraid to play certain people, since everyone's beatable. Things might seem uncertain for a newer player when put up against a big name early on, but you do always have a chance. If you know your stuff, you don't even have to believe in yourself: just believe in the Zog who believes in you. Just never overpredict, always play solidly and have a good team and you should win every time.
That said, I think the best players in Europe right now are probably Ruben, Matty, drug duck and Massi. Yoshi is very good too. No GEC, Dozz or Kinneas cause they're rubbish lol. GEC even attacked his own Pokémon when I played him at worlds!!! On purpose!!! What a terrible player lol. Kinneas even finished worlds 2010 with NO WINS. Weak. Dozz does get props for Kevin Durant though.
How have you been preparing for VGC 2012?
Tons of PO(even though I actually hate it lol) and a great deal of testing/theorymon with various people. I've been teambuilding with Wolfey, Massi, Yoshi, Ray, Dozz and many more. Even a magical girl named Seyiku Miki helped me make my team. It's all led great results in teambuilding, anyway. Then again I currently have no WiFi because I live in terrible university accomodation with Keelhauled in Wales (no homo) which pretty much means I can't RNG or get free Pokémon off anyone else until VGC week. Kind of a shambles but I'll work it out.
European nationals is next month, are you ready?!?!
NO ;3 But I'm so looking forward to seeing everyone again. I hope I can win this time; it's not an unreasonable suggestion lol. One thing I am ready for is VGC night though. It's my very good friend Blasto's 18th the night before... things are undoubtedly going to get messy. Within reason, of course. Some of you've seen what happens IRC when I've been on "the green stuff" (Midori melon liqueur: I recommend) and I'd say it's not pretty but I actually don't physically look bad at all IMO.
What does it take to be good at Pokemon? :D
Pokémon is a game of MIND and SPIRIT... have both the knowledge and the courage and YOU WILL WIN just look at me I'm clearly the perfect example. It's a totally mental game: look I used a double meaning.
What you do outside of Pokémon?
I'm currently at University in North Wales, studying zoology. Animals are something I've always liked a lot, so it made sense really. I mean at home I have a cat, a dog, 8 lizards, a snake, a tarantula... a terrarium of giant cockroaches and a whole cabinet of both live and preserved bugs and spiders and stuff. My brother's an accomplished scarab beetle keeper, even. It's actually nowhere near as weird as it sounds though, even with the box of cockroaches and the beetles. Plus you can still be cool at the same time as being different. BEAR THAT IN MIND KIDS.
As for what I do otherwise uhhh... student stuff really. It's kind of fun cause stupid things happen wherever I go; it's a little talent of mine. I wonder why.
Something I've been doing lately is teaching myself Japanese, pathetic nerd cliche I know but I'm actually good at it and can read and write in both alphabets so it's okay. I was good enough at Japanese to have Shigeki Morimoto understand my 190 Pokémon theory written on paper lol. Then again I do watch the odd bit of anime too, Madoka and Nichijou being my favourites at the moment. Solid stuff.
Any concluding words?
Honestly, the VGC community is absolutely wonderful. Truly the best I've ever encounteredanywhere and it puts pretty much any game-based community to shame. And to any new players reading these interviews who might be thinking the whole thing is kind of elitist and cliquey: really, it's actually not. Just be a nice person and good at the game, and who knows it could possibly be you being interviewed this time next year. A good number of people who've been interviewed already were new to Smogon just last year, and Pokémon can be anyone's game. So long as you're a cool guy it all works out.
yay more interviews these are great to read. Good idea on the battling interviewees(is that the correct word(i doubt it)). It's odd how many people claim to "misclick".... don't we all sometimes.
don't you dare accuse people using misclicking as an excuse. not until it happens to you in a match at the world championships that almost determines who moves on to the top 8 and who doesn't. don't you dare. i'm not kidding when I say that it's a serious thing and that it happens, the worst part is when people think you use it as an excuse to cover up a loss.
*flashback to 2011 worlds*
me: oh man this is great there is no way i can lose unless rock slide manages to miss both of his pokemon!
rapidly taps a, not thinking after having an intense set of three matches
*three seconds later*
me: Terrakion used Close Combat on the foe's Thundurus! It wasn't very effective!
tries to pull a comeback out of my ass and brings it down to 1-1, i just need a double protect to win
but it fails
wahhhhh. bye bye hopes of becoming 2011 world champion
worst moment of pokemon in my life. ever.
ok I'll stop whining now but seriously... >_>
Yeah... just to point out by "Misclick" there I mean I thought I'd clicked earthquake but tapped the wrong button.
Usually when someone loses like that it's because they actually did click the wrong button. It's not helped by touchscreens either. You don't know it until it's happened to you so don't, y'know, diss people it's actually happened to it's pretty thoughtless.
Otherwise though lol "Self-proclaimed Pokémon master" jajajaja.
Guys I am sorry for having offended, I know people that manage to play as competitively as you 2 wouldn't use it as an excuse. It just comes from knowing a few people who can't admit a momentary lapse in strategy
Never use the stylus. Drifblim why would people click Run on purpose =[
No problem Cybertron. I'm just here to help!
Oh and interviewee is a word. Check the dictionary ------> DICTIONARY
I hate it when I misclick. It's just horrible. You don't wanna know......
Technically Zog, I didn't attack my own Pokemon because when I tried to, you Rage Powdered. I think that makes you the worst in the UK really.
And I just remembered when I tried to Drain Punch your Jellicent at Providence, Cybertron.... I don't know if I am now a hypocrite or if that was just me being dumb lol
sorry couldn't help myself (Move your mouse to reveal the content)
sorry couldn't help myself (open)
sorry couldn't help myself (close)
nice interview zog
／人◕ ‿‿ ◕人＼