The Competitor

By Tobes. Art by ium.
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The Competitor was originally created by Kinneas, meant to be similar to Duy's "NPA News." It's a common misconception, but The Competitor is actually not named after the infamously incomplete battle simulator. The Competitor was meant to serve as Smogon's premier tournament coverage, and was a little more similar to The Smog than The Competitor's current incarnation. Visually, it was quite impressive. The first two issues were produced during last year's Smogon Premier League, giving no shortage of events to cover. Kinneas quit after the second issue though, leaving Eraddd at the helm of The Competitor. Setsuna approached Eraddd about taking The Competitor to the main site, and after design consultation with Zracknel, The Competitor's current format was born.

From the very beginning, I wanted The Competitor's design to be a simple, yet aesthetically and functionally pleasing one. I think we achieved this. However, there is a lot that I had to leave out due to limitations within the current Smogon framework. So, what you see now onsite I have packed it to function within the framework Smogon has now, but there is more to come in the future.


The Competitor — Today

The Competitor's current format resembles a large news stream, with each new piece of information being added to the top. We function a bit differently in that there are no hard deadlines—we just do our best to get everything on site in a timely manner. Due to The Competitor's nature, we prefer experienced writers, especially tournament veterans. At The Competitor we have work divided into three main categories: Announcements, Articles, and Interviews.

Announcements are the bread and butter of The Competitor and make up a good chunk of its output. Announcements are fairly short, and usually announce events in the tournaments forum: sign-ups opening, winners of tournaments, updates on long-standing official tournaments, and so-on. Due to the sporadic nature of announcements, it doesn't take too many writers to keep them up-to-date.
Articles are similar to the articles here in The Smog. They're more elaborate, more informative, and can be entertaining. Usually, articles are reserved for known tournaments players, and they'll cover things such as up-and-coming tournaments players, predictions on how official tournaments will play out, and so-on. Articles tend to house most of The Competitor's artwork.
Interviews in The Competitor are also similar to their The Smog counterparts. We have some core interviewers, and we try to give those interviews with The Competitor's own personality. Interviewees are often successful tournament players (especially winners of major tournaments) or are just starting to make a name for themselves in the big circuits. Returning panels may also be common.

Interested in Joining?

At The Competitor, we're looking for talented and experienced writers and artists. Access to The Competitor's subforum is a bit exclusive—there is only so much news at any one time, and due to the nature of the news stream, we want to avoid an overflow that pushes the important news into obscurity. As such, we have less of a need for workers in regards to Announcements, grammar checking, and HTML work. However, we are keen to put out more Articles, so if you have significant tournament experience and are interested in writing for The Competitor, send a PM to Eraddd, Setsuna, or myself. Artists are always in demand as well, so if you want to help out there contact RitterCat.

The Competitor's Future

The Competitor is growing fairly quickly. We've already eclipsed 100 pieces of news, and we're still going strong. We hope to have some technical improvements in the future, and we also hope to expand content produced by The Competitor. Our development team is a little tighter than most others, but we're always on the lookout for experienced players to add to the fold. In fact, a brand new type of The Competitor article is going to be put out soon (hopefully after the finals of the Smogon Tour, if all goes as planned). For those of you who have extensive knowledge of various tiers and are interested in participating, keep your eyes open, because we could use a few extra hands.

My ideal long term would be to have something akin to what some of the major sports sites have: analyses on battles, different talk shows and opinion pieces, and a general hub for tournament news. However, knowing that we have users devoting their spare time for this endeavour, as opposed to paying them full time like most sports websites, I tempered my expectations in that in the long term, along with our announcements, we'll have more articles, interviews and other stuff that will interest our reader. One of my main goals is to have a monthly talk show with various tournament players, similar to the one we had for the WCOP, hosting Kevin Garrett, iconic, Hipmonlee and Stone Cold, based on the number of positive reviews I've received. In the end, we want to cater to our readers and promote tournaments on Smogon and I'm hoping The Competitor will do an effective job in reaching to our users.


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