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My car broke down, and so did my GPS. I have no idea where I am, other than on some desolate road in California. I have no idea how I ended up here...I know I put in the coordinates my interviewee gave me just right. I look at the road ahead of me, and see a small sign. Perhaps that could provide me some useful information on my current location...but when I come close enough to read it, I am flabbergasted. Instead of an indication of a city, road, or anything that would be of use, all it says is:
"Philip7086 was here, Mekkah is a loser!"
Infuriated, I grab my cell phone to call him, and as I'm about to press the Call button a car appears on the horizon. It approaches me, only slowing down when it's near enough to see who is in. It just had to be Philip himself, in a car full of cheerleaders. I figure I might as well take the lift before punching him in the gut...and while I'm in his car anyway, might as well interview him!
So, first question. Can you tell us a bit about the man behind the mask and his numbers? Where you're from, what your current occupations and/or educations are, and whether or not you are the youngest of 7086 identical brothers all named Philip?
Phil laughs, his large batch of cheerleaders giggling along, and I resist the urge to pat myself on the back.
Well, most of my 23 beautiful years of existence has been spent in California, but I lived in Japan for three years growing up. I actually was living in Tokyo when Pokemon Red and Green first came out (that's right, Green), and I bought a copy and have been hooked since. I'm the oldest of three, and I just graduated from college with a (useless) degree in Marketing and am currently interning at a start up company.
Oh and to set the record straight, since I get asked this a few times a week, here's the story behind my name.
As some of you might know, my real name is Michael. In middle school, I had a pretty sweet mustache, but with that mustache came the stereotype that I was Mexican. When people found out that I was in fact half Filipino and half white, I picked up the nickname "Phil" or "Philip". When it came time to make my first AIM screen name, I was told not to use my real name so that bad people wouldn't steal my identity, so I used Philip.
Though, some admirers of mine already took Philip7086 on PSN and eBay, so I had to go with different usernames there...
Hey, Japan. Does that mean you can actually read the moon runes?
I used to be able to read a lot more, but that was pretty long ago. Now my reading comprehension is limited to Hiragana, Katakana, and a little bit of Kanji. I can still speak decently though, and I'm told I don't have an accent at all!
Well, that's more than I can at any rate...
Aren't you bilingual yourself? Mr. Dutch.
Comparing Dutch to Japanese, at least in usefulness or importance, is like comparing sprinkles to Jimbo.
You're right, Jimbo is pretty useless.
One of the things you are known for is the page-stretching badge collection you have. Where and how did Philip8076's e-journey to become a PokéTyrant begin?
I'm not gonna lie, when I first came to Smogon, I found those badges to be pretty mesmerizing, but that's not what sparked my e-journey. When I joined my first World Cup of Pokemon, our US West (Best) team decided it would be cool to meet up one day. Remlabmez, Scofield, and I decided to go spend the night at TAY's house, where we chilled like regular bros. That's when TAY told me about this mysterious place on Smogon called The Inside Scoop. He even gave Rem and me (both badgeless at the time) a sneak peak of this secret subforum, and I was sold.
When I got home, I asked Blue Kirby if he thought I had a shot at becoming a Tutor, and after that it was history. But really though, I was pretty much put on the fast track to getting badges with the help of users like Blue Kirby, Tangerine (RIP), and Aeolus. Blue Kirby hooked me up with my Shoddy Mod, Tutor, and Moderator badges, Tangerine got me my IRC AOp then SOp badges, and Aeolus got me my Site Staff, Super Moderator (well, this can be contested... special thanks to Jimbo, Genny, and BK here too), and Tournament Director badges. For my other badges, I have always enjoyed dabbling in every area of Smogon, so they came with time. Also, I got 11 badges because I'm the best Pokemon player the world has ever seen, so it came naturally.
Fun fact: I have more badges than even Gary Oak now. I'm actually the reason he gave up on Pokémon training, and he even gave me this car full of babes!
The best player in the world? Surely you must be joking...I see a lot of badges, but no trophies. Do you actually consider yourself a top tier player?
Ow, you hit me where it hurts. Let me take you on a trip through what I like to call Trophy Lane...
I created my Smogon account to join Smogon Tournament 5. I made it all the way to round 5, I believe, where I was matched up against the mighty Maddog. I was up 4-2, with one of his Pokemon being useless when he brought out the fearful Swords Dance Gliscor. The rest of the match went like this: Swords Dance, Encore miss, Swords Dance, Encore miss, Stone Edge KO; Trick miss, Stone Edge KO; Trick miss, Earthquake KO; Gliscor sweep. Then I joined my first Smogon Frontier where I set the record for most wins ever achieved (my record was either 7-3 or 8-3, I can't remember), but that record has now been shattered by the two Canadian cheaters. In Smogon Tournament 6, I got matched up against the mighty Zak91 in round 1, where his British Gliscor was too much for me to overcome and I took a nasty round 1 exit. Finally, I have never been too good in the Smogon Tour because I am not very experienced in tiers outside of OU.
There are also my adventures in Smogon's official team tournaments, such as the World Cup of Pokemon and, Smogon Premier League. In the two WCoP tournaments I have joined, my US West team always came out of the prelims seeded first or second, but we never have been able to finish the job. Two years ago, I lost the tie breaker to Husk (also known as The Philslayer...) in the semifinals in a match I still re-live sometimes today. I started off my SPL season in the slumps and got traded, but went undefeated ever since the trade and we made it to the playoffs. Unfortunately, we ended up losing to a team we had just beaten the round before...
To be honest though, I do feel like my skill blade has gotten a little dull over the last few months, due to being extremely busy both IRL and contributing to Smogon, but I think I can definitely still hold my own against the current top players. In my prime, I'd say I was at least top 5 in OU, and I'm sure a lot of top players would agree.
Don't worry though, I foresee a shiny golden trophy inscribed Smogon Tournament 7 winner tacked onto the end of my already long set of pixels below my name soon...
So in the recent past, you were bombared to head of Pokémon Policy on Smogon by the Doug. From that moment on you were in charge of resolving many, many issues at once. How has this experience been for you so far?
Of course there would be a question about this... Yeah, I was asked by the man, the myth, the Doug to head Pokemon policy through the 5th generation as everybody probably knows by now. It has definitely proven to be a lot more work than I anticipated. I give major kudos for Jumpman16 and Aeolus for taking up this position through the 4th generation.
There was obviously that one big controversy I went through a month ago or so regarding Smogon's philosophy, but I'm happy to report that I came out alive with a pretty overwhelming majority support at the end of the day. Since then, things have been running very smoothly, and we just started the first round of suspect testing for the 5th generation, which is exciting! If you're reading this, STOP READING AND GO PLAY INSTEAD!!! I'm looking forward to seeing this process through, as I feel it is arguably the most important thing Smogon does for competitive Pokemon. I am honored to have been picked for this position.
Policy aside, how are you liking the fifth generation so far? Both the RPG and the competitive metagame?
The RPG was fun, but Team Plasma? Lame.
The competitive metagame is freaking awesome if you ask me. There are so many new toys to play with, and so many uninvented sets waiting to be discovered! If this is your first time being active at the start of a new Pokemon generation, you're in for a treat. My favorite time in the 4th generation was early 4th gen where there was plenty of unexplored Pokemon and moves for me to get creative with, and that is exactly what 5th gen reminds me of right now. Here's to a hopefully never static metagame!
Agreed! Agreed! Now, last question, the most anticlimactic one...what is your favourite Pokémon? Criteria don't matter.
I would like to break this question down into two answers. Favorite non-legendary Pokemon is Machamp. He is a true bro.
Favorite legendary Pokemon is Mew. Mew is so freaking cute and awesome and I've been obsessed ever since I got my first legit Mew back in 1997. If you ever see me make the ":3" face on IRC, just know that I'm imagining Mew. Also, Pokemon Snap... enough said.
Alright, thanks for your time. If there are any lines in the article you don't recognize, it's because I made it less boring!
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