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Tournaments are, as everyone knows, a huge part of Smogon. Dozens of topics go through the tournament section each year, from the official Smogon Tour, to VGC tournaments, LC tournaments, and even a variety of team tournaments that often peter out and die! But of those, none is looked forward to more than the Smogon Premier League (with the possible exception of World Cup, Smogon Frontier, Smogon Tour, and so on). The Smogon Premier League is a chance for new players to make a name for themselves, people who suck at every tier but obscure things like RU to have a chance at fame, and in general for everyone to simply achieve greatness in the Pokémon world!
So what is it that makes SPL so special? Is it the great managers, such as the well-known finals choker Bluewind? Is it the players, such as the lovable Smurf. and WhiteQueen? Is it the competition raging between players, as some of the greatest behemoths of each tier demolish each other for the amusement of those watching? Or, is it, as many believe, the drama that's centered around the tournament? In this article, you'll find in depth descriptions of a number of the SPL season's dramatic events, from the "Triple Scald Burn Crits" of week one, all the way up until week five, when we see our host retire, and even in-depth turn-by-turn descriptions of certain games in the SPL, such as Floppy versus Conflict (which is well worth the 700 turn wait to see how it ends!).
People familiar with SPL will remember the smacktalk thread. Season One was about 10 pages of Crimson Assassin getting trolled by nearly everyone in SPL. Season Two was throwing random insults at whoever they felt like, while also adding a bolded PICK ME at the bottom of their posts. We are still not sure whether that was detrimental or helpful. In Season Three, for some reason, starting with SOMALIA, the thread burst into poems that had Robert Frost rolling over in his grave, despite a claim of a certain user being tutored by him. And for the most part, they were not the best poems. Except for Stone_Cold's poems, which raised the bar, and nothing was able to top them. Then again, most of the poems couldn't top a 1st grader's poem about butterflies.
From the start of the auction, every manager seemed to be making mistakes. The Stark Sharks started off the auction by retaining both Conflict and Wilson46. The former was a highly controversial choice, as it's universally accepted that MoP was responsible for ghosting at least half his games last season. The Alpha Ruiners, led by the rumored sexual predator Scofield, proceeded to retain pi face and kael, the latter a player known for being one of the best ADV players out there, as well as for using some terrible equivalent of Google Translate whenever he posts.
the_chaser: how are you
The Wolfpack continued the auction, retaining quite a few players from their previous season's lineup, such as Iconic and reyscarface. Rey was a relatively surprising choice for those watching, due to his bad tendency to have his 5% HP Pokémon crit by super effective moves when he's down 1 - 5, thus haxing him out of entire games. The Indie Scooters picked up the known thug franky, along with Windsong, whose only real accomplishment is having destroyed Folgorio and Snunch on numerous occasions. The Circus Maximus Tigers picked up Delta 2777, the second luckiest Smogon Tour winner in history (after Kevin Garrett) while the Ever Grand Bigs retained DracoMalfoy and idiotfrommars, two of the greatest PO forums supporters in history. Congregation of the Classiest (having already been denied their name change multiple times) decided to get Snunch, the well-known A+ user onto their lineup, despite his incredible 2 - 7 record last season. It is rumored that this was done because when Eo Ut Mortus, a member of the Classiest looked at Snunch, he saw what he himself had been like as a young boy.
Eo: snunch reminds me of myself
At that point, the auction began in earnest, with players being nominated and bids being thrown out left and right. The Alpha Ruiners managed the first steal of the night, getting Earthworm at a mere 30k (which was only 2k more than what they could have retained him for!) while other top players such as Krack, Veteran In Love, and 6A9 Ace Matador were all bought soon after. By the end of the auction, many of the teams seemed to have gaping holes in them, or were simply downright hilarious. The Circus Maximus Tigers bought about half a dozen VGCers while totally neglecting multiple other tiers. Half of the members of the Wolfpack were rumored to hate each other. The Alpha Ruiners, after going all in for Earthworm, seemed to have lost steam and were relying entirely on xtrashine and his Torkoal and Mantine teams to change the metagame and win this season for them. The Ever Grande Bigs had chosen to spend 6k on Limitless and his limitless luck. In the end, it didn't seem anybody was completely happy with their teams. An excellent start to the season!
(21:08:08) %Philip7086: god eternal expensive as fuk, lets ditch that boy
Many people reading the SPL smacktalk thread had simply assumed that kd24 was just the sort of person who liked to talk about bans (as a subtly veiled threat towards Smurf?) when they saw his post stating that he had got an entire family banned today. However, this is not the case, for kd24 and a possible conspiracy group within the Smogon moderation (most likely led by Iconic) was responsible for not only banning one user after the SPL auction, but banning an entire family of five! The event took place soon after the auction, during which the Ever Grande Bigs had bid on the rather suspicious user Orichalcos Owl. Orichalcos was suspected to be an alt of the notorious locopoke, and was thus alt checked, at which point the incredible was discovered—he was not a locopoke alt, but appeared to have four additional alternative accounts! He was immediately banned.
Within a few hours, the users responsible for his ban received his explanation. He was not a single user with multiple accounts, as had been believed earlier, but rather one member of a five-person family where everyone played Pokémon! Within hours there was a cry of FREE ORICHALCOS on the channels of IRC, as the user had posted a picture of his entire family, each holding up a piece of paper with their username printed. Inevitably (although according to various administrators, rather reluctantly) they were unbanned.
(19:34) FelixMinamimoto: blara, can I ask you something?
(19:35) FelixMinamimoto: I have a fairly large family, all of whom, including recently the parents, play on smogon because we all love Pokémon. but today it appears that someone did an "alt check" and says we're all the same person. so we were banned. all of us. is there any way to remedy this?
(19:37) FelixMinamimoto: and if not you, who should I talk to?
(19:45) blarajan: oh um.
(19:46) blarajan: were you.
(19:46) blarajan: orichalcos owl?
(19:46) FelixMinamimoto: she uses my computer to play, yeah
(19:48) FelixMinamimoto: well I got banned too, and my brother (Brotom) got banned as well.
(19:48) FelixMinamimoto: and my dad and my mother.
(19:48) blarajan: kk.
(19:49) FelixMinamimoto: thank you so much. we've kind of grown closer over Smogon lately and I really hope that we don't have to stop doing that. :(
Note: Despite the sentiments of Orichalcos Owl's brother, it is not recommended that you tell your parents and siblings that you play Pokémon unless you want it to be brought up by your parents at public functions in front of large groups of friends and attractive girls that are too good for you anyways.
Judging from the matchups, the Sharks looked like they already had this week in the bag. The Bigs lineup looked remarkably weak, consisting of users such as Kevin Garrett, most notably famous for successfully haxing his way through the final two rounds of Smogon Tour 12 to win his trophy, and Limitless, well-known for his near-insane levels of support for none other than KG. The Sharks, as the SPL 2 championship team, were looking at what they thought would be an overall easy win. But of course, nothing is as easy as it seems, for disaster struck, as various members of the Sharks began to choke away their games, leaving the score in the favor of the Bigs. However, Ojama had one last-ditch attempt to earn an extra win for the team against Limitless. As expected with Ojama, luck turned against him, and the match was lost. Later that day, tour host LonelyNess was searching on the French time server and found Ojama complaining about user Eternal ghosting for him (and managing to lose nonetheless). After this was determined to be true, Eternal was asked for his take on the matter. The below log is a transcript of his response:
(02:47:27) +Eternal: also
(02:47:28) +Eternal: not to mention
(02:47:40) +Eternal: there is no rule that says "ghosting is forbidden"
(02:47:46) +Eternal: on SPL rules or Smogon tourny rules
(02:47:52) +Eternal: it's frowned upon
(02:47:57) +Eternal: not forbidden
Despite ghosting not being explicitly forbidden (otherwise we'd have banned MoP from all team tournaments a long time ago!), Eternal was banned from the remainder of SPL 3 and Ojama was given a one week penalty, further damaging the former SPL champions' chances at a second victory. Eternal also makes it into the history books as the first player to lose two SPL matches in one week!
Both the Wifi Wolfpack and Alpha Ruiners ended up with very strong players off of the SPL auction (other than The_Chaser's rather dubious buy of Earthworm for 30k... next someone's going to start spending that much money on tito or Snunch). This battle matched McMeghan, a user described by established player reyscarface as "one of the most overrated singles players" with the somewhat lesser-known badabing. Despite the vast majority of the predictions against him (gambling odds were 30 - 1, for the bookies reading this), badabing was managing to hold his own against McMeghan. In fact, the match was totally in the bag for him, barring McMeghan accomplishing the near impossible: three critical hit Scald burns. Of course, nothing ever goes smoothly in major tournaments, and the massive amount of lag on the Smogon server at the time caused badabing's timer to run out. McMeghan posted in the thread, taking the win, which was initially accepted by LonelyNess, what with badabing timing out and disconnecting.
This naturally caused a flurry of dismay and anger from all of the Wolfpack supporters, who were disgusted to see their win stolen away from them when they had almost no chance of losing the match. This resulted in the entire Wolfpack raging at our host LonelyNess, and ensued in a huge argument regarding who should receive the win. Both sides wanted the win, and they turned to their best people to diffuse the situation. Bloo began the argument in favor of badabing receiving the win he deserved, while adding 7086 to the end of his name in a bid for more power. He peacefully and calmly suggested that badabing get his well-deserved win. But then what nobody had expected happened—Bloo himself apparently made a post admitting to McMeghan that "taking the win was alright and he would have done the same thing." Sadly for the Ruiners, this turned out to be nothing more than a devious ploy by Folgorio to award the Ruiners a win, and after Hawkstar was friendly enough to calculate the percentage of the "Triple Scald Burn Crit," LN's ruling on the match was swayed, and badabing got his win.
Week One, the Classiest were up against the Cryonicles. The Classiest sent in Snunch for the BW UU slot, who got put up against Smurf of the Cryonicles. However, Smurf threw away the game by bringing an Abomasnow, who was banned a week or so before Week One started. The game was called in Snunch's favor, and Smurf went bonkers. For unknown reasons, his target was JabbaTheGriffin, manager of the Team Raiders. Hours later, he was put in the ICBB usergroup, and calmed down. However, a discussion in #insidescoop ultimately lead Synre to infract him with Repeat Offense, banning him and putting him away until about Week Eight. Smurf and some others tried to get the ban reversed, but it failed, and Smurf is now the Cryonicle that helps his teammates test teams, at least until the ban ends, when Smurf will unleash terror on UU again, I assume.
The Dragonspiral Tyrants, led by our very own moderator Solace (most well known for being known as a guy for multiple years before suddenly changing his (?) gender to female and getting mods) had a rough start to the SPL season, losing their first week to the Indie Scooters 8 - 3. However, this week they were prepared for a comeback! They started out strong, although eventually fell to the Stark Sharks (also known as team MoP) 4 - 7. The highlight match was undoubtably the ADV pairing between 199 Lives of the Stark Sharks, and ENZ0 of the Dragonspiral Tyrants. The match looked hopeless for ENZ0, but the Tyrants weren't prepared to give up yet! The entire team prayed to Lady Luck, who was kind enough to grant ENZ0 exactly what he needed in order to pull through and take the win home!
fatty is watching the battle.
Start of turn 30
ENZ0's Heracross used Megahorn!
A critical hit!
As of this match, praying, begging, and attempting to bribe any gods of luck has been banned from SPL. We apologize to players such as reyscarface and Ojama who frequently rely on luck to pull off victories.
In an epic clash of titans, Floppy of the Indie Scooters and Conflict of the Stark Sharks faced off in an incredible GSC battle this week. Both players had been preparing for the match for quite some time, and had taken great pains to schedule the time to play—in fact, it was around four in the morning for Conflict, and midnight for Floppy! Both players expected a nice, quick and easy GSC match (although that's an oxymoron if ever there was one) and hoped that they'd be able to get some sleep soon afterwards. Alas, this was not the case, as the match continued for hours. By turn 200, things looked rather bleak, as both players had lost their best shots of breaking each other's teams 189 turns earlier. By turn 300, the managers of both teams were debating fitting both players with catheters to make sure that neither would time out due to having to leave for their bodily functions. Another 300 turns later, and both players were at the end of their wits, having been switching and double switching the same four Pokémon around for nearly two hours. Another hour later, and the match reached turn 700.
Then the unthinkable happened. Despite having refused offers to take a draw (hoping for disconnects, timing out, and so on), Conflict got disconnected, timing out of his match. The standard solution when this occurs is to replay the match with the same moves, although the players and every single person watching the battle agreed that this would cause both Floppy and Conflict to go insane. Thus, the match was eventually ruled as a tie, despite both players fighting to take the wins for their teams.
However, there is a lesson to learn from this display of perseverance from Floppy and Conflict: Sleep is for the weak. Food is for the weak. Pokémon is for the strong. Sacrificing sleep and food for Pokémon is perfectly acceptable in all tournament situations. So next time that guy who you need to play for Smogon Tour tries to john you again on basis of the fact that it's 3 A.M. his time, don't let him! Force him to play you when he's half-asleep, and if he match goes on for four hours, don't accept the draw if he disconnects, always replay it with the same moves.
anonymous: this looks like the worst generation ever
User Zracknel is one of Smogon's lesser known, but most important users. He's been responsible for the logos of all the SPL teams, along with a variety of other tournament art. Naturally, he was remarkably busy this season, due to the many new logos that had to be created (and the Congregation of the (Classiest / Dalmatians / Pirates) repeatedly complaining about their logo not matching up with whatever new name they had concocted. However, Week Four of SPL rolled around and there was still one logo that had not yet been completed: the Dragonspiral Tyrant's. This infuriated many of the team's members, but none more so than Mr.E, the GSC veteran. In response to having to wait for weeks on end for a logo, he decided that the only good option was to create his own.
Sadly, this logo was shot down, partially because of the rude way in which Mr.E presented it, but more so because the Tyrants did not want people to get the wrong idea and confuse them with the Tigers, due to the VGC motif of Zapdos and Garchomp printed on the logo. After that, the Dragonspiral Tyrants managers had a stern talk with Mr.E, explaining that although they were all VGC players, the team itself lacked the half dozen VGCers that the Tigers had, and thus the logo would have to go. It was regretfully cast aside, eventually replaced with a new logo made by Zracknel.
ENZ0: Man, when I saw that Zracknel had last posted I thought he was gonna give us a surprise. DAM you MrE.
Both Team Raiders and the Alpha Ruiners started off this season strong, securing three solid victories in the early weeks of the tournament. The Raiders were looking to get a solid start for the first time in SPL history, while the Alpha Ruiners, especially manager Scofield, were eager to do better than their yearly run to the finals in which they proceeded to choke repeatedly, losing horribly to teams that they'd demolished earlier in the season. Both teams were ready to mar the other's perfect record, and the action climaxed in a match between Lizardman and Folgorio. Despite outplaying Lizardman time and again, Folgorio's demise was sealed due to a misclick.
After the battle, a good natured "GG" was posted by Lizardman. Folgorio utterly despised this sentiment. It was not a game deserving of a "GG" in his opinion, but rather one deserving of a qq or, for users Joel and iss, along with most of #littlecup, 9.9. This invoked the rage of a variety of users, even drawing the elusive whistle out of hiding to actually do something other than kickban Stone_Cold from IRC. He calmly entered the arguments as one of the sole voices of reason (despite his post not being reasonable in the slightest).
whistle: lizardman please don't offensive gg especially when it wasn't a gg it's very annoying and bad manner :)
This didn't do anything to calm the fires of the argument, however, and it continued throughout the remainder of the week, by the end of which, claiming a match was a "GG" was enough to cause a rift between teams unlikely to heal for the remainder of SPL. Although the whole thing was never entirely settled, some people still aren't quite sure what went on that week, as evidenced by Scimjara's post in the middle of the debate.
Scimjara: It was clearly a GG against Folg. Why wouldn't it be? Wasn't any significant hax and Lizard capitalized on a shit play.
So let it be a lesson to you all: saying good game will result in endless arguments regarding how good the game was, how bad Thatsjustpeachy is in bed, and whether or not MoP ghosted a match that wasn't for his team or not. Thus, it's always worthwhile to say "GG" after a match!
Thus, SPL begins, the first few weeks being a delightful flurry of frenzied activity, teams all vying for top spots, and so on and so forth! Eventually, SPL will simmer down a notch, as teams find themselves knocked further and further down the totem pole of standings, only to be revitalized again in the climatic semifinals and finals. We're looking forward to a third great season, expecting to see the Ruiners manage a choke sometime earlier than the finals this year, and overall expecting Tigers to pull off the victory regardless of whether or not they make it into the playoffs! With that being said, it's truly the drama of the season that makes it fun, and it's highly recommend that you all attempt to join in next SPL season!
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