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Season 8 of the Smogon Tour was a season of change. Perhaps the most major change was the addition of Friday Tours from week 4 onwards, which was also a larger Tour, offering 128 registration spots, instead of the standard 64. However, members were only allowed to enter two of the available three Tours per weekend.
With the season holding 24 Tours, the competition was always going to be close. With 18 winners, six people managed to win more than one Tour; DarkLucario, imperfectluck, Krack, romeojustdie, Twist of Fate, and Zak91. Five of these six players managed to make the final 8.
At the end of the nine weeks, eight players had more than the rest, albeit by a small margin. Below are the eight players and their point totals in each of the tiers (and in total).
|5.||Twist of Fate||2||17||14||33|
|7.||Eo Ut Mortus||10||3||16||29|
As you can see, only nine points separate first to seventh. imperfectluck held his own in UU with ease, scoring five points in Week 1 (reaching the semi-finals), and winning two UU Tours in the succeeding UU weeks, receiving nine points per Tour. The 23 points earned in UU (the highest in a tier by any player) meant imperfectluck only needed six points from the other tiers to get into the top 8, a feat he achieved easily. Second-placed Kevin Garrett managed to get off to a flying start, winning the first OU Tour. Kevin also came second in a Friday OU Tour, which netted him nine points instead of the usual seven due to the additional round needed. Solid performances in Uber and UU saw him reach second place, just losing to imperfectluck's score by a minimal point.
Loki was rather solid in all tiers, scoring at least nine points in each. Winning one UU Tour helped him reach the finals for the third season in a row. Krack, a previously unheard of player, managed to grab fourth place by getting large OU and Uber scores: 15 and 13 points respectively, winning a Tour in each of those tiers. A mere six points in UU was still enough to place him in the top half of the finalists. Loki finished just three points behind imperfectluck, and Krack only four, highlighting how close this season really was.
Twist of Fate had the lowest score of all the finalists in OU, but made up for it via a huge haul of 17 points in Uber, courtesy of a Tour win and consistent high scoring. 14 points in UU was also one of the larger scores, and the 31 points accumulated through the Uber and UU tours would have put him fifth anyway. Twist of Fate finished on 33 points, meaning the top five seeds were only separated by 5 points. DarkLucario, the season's eventual winner, was seeded sixth on 30 points, mostly due to his Uber score of 18, the highest of all the players. 10 points in OU allowed him to threaten the boundaries of the top 8. A lowly two points in UU allowed him to secure a top 8 place, proving that every point counts!
Eo Ut Mortus was another player who excelled in some tiers but was more average in others. 16 points in UU was one of the highest scores (courtesy of a win in the first UU Tour), and 10 points was a very solid score for OU. Eo Ut Mortus only scored three points in Ubers, but it was enough to sneak him into the top eight over ninth placed Deep Thought (28 points), and Zak91 (27 points). romeojustdie managed to take eighth place by getting the highest OU score out of everybody: 21 points. His OU scores and UU scores (five and three points respectively) were just enough to give him the coveted spot, allowing him to get into the playoffs.
However, points weren't just close in the top 8. As previously mentioned, Deep Thought was just one point from Eo Ut Mortus and romeojustdie, with Zak91 close behind. Celebi Trainer Ice amassed a gargantuan 19 points in UU, but only managed mediocre amounts on OU and Ubers, which meant he just missed out on the finals. Lady Bug, Bad Ass, and Sapientia also all did well, getting 23, 22, and 20 points respectively.
Round 1 consisted of four matches. Matches were decided via seeding, as shown below.
 imperfectluck vs.  romeojustdie  Kevin Garrett vs.  Eo Ut Mortus  Loki vs.  Dark Lucario  Krack vs.  Twist of Fate
Despite being the eighth seed, romeojustdie got a fair amount of backing behind him. Many people expected imperfectluck to walk away with victory against the guy who just squeezed into the top eight, but others felt as though romeojustdie had the ability to give imperfectluck a good run for his money, if not beat him. In the end imperfectluck won OU and UU, losing Ubers.
Kevin Garrett and Eo Ut Mortus was an interesting matchup from the start. Kevin Garrett had been dominant in OU throughout the season, with Eo Ut Mortus doing well in both UU and OU, but less well in Ubers. Once again, people predicted relatively evenly, although Eo Ut Mortus provided a shock result and won all three tiers. Admittedly, he explained he got lucky in OU, but that's Pokémon!
Loki, the previous season's winner, was the clear favourite against DarkLucario. Loki's recent good form meant he got almost all the predictions his way, barring the fellow Germans of DarkLucario's! Loki ended up losing 3-0 in UU and 5-0 in OU, providing one of the biggest shocks of the season. Loki congratulated DarkLucario, and proved the haters wrong by saying DarkLucario did not in fact get lucky.
Finally, Krack faced off against Twist of Fate, another great matchup. Nobody could be certain who would win, especially in OU. Krack had a good points haul in OU and Ubers, but Twist of Fate has a great battling reputation and scored well himself. Krack ended up victorious, winning Ubers and UU, sneaking into the second round after a first round full of surprises.
With the numbers halved, only four players remained. Yet again, matchups were made by the original seedings. Here are those matches.
 imperfectluck vs.  Krack  DarkLucario vs.  Eo Ut Mortus
With Loki out of the tournament, many players felt as though imperfectluck had the trophy already. imperfectluck was the favourite in this matchup against Krack, the relatively new name. Krack ended up winning Ubers and UU whilst losing OU, the exact same as what happened versus Twist of Fate. Securing his place in the final, he could merely sit back and wait to see who his opponent would be.
DarkLucario was yet again the underdog, unfortunately with few people expecting him to win. Yet win he did, beating Eo Ut Mortus 6-0 in Ubers and 3-0 in UU. This was shaping up to be an odd but classic final!
Just two players left—Krack facing off against DarkLucario. Both were relatively unheard of prior to this Tour season, making both the underdogs. Speculation was rife as to who would win.
 Krack vs.  DarkLucario
Krack was the favourite for the final, undeniably, but DarkLucario had gathered some support as well. DarkLucario had beaten Loki and Eo Ut Mortus—two recognized good players. Krack had no easy run either, being pitched against Twist of Fate and imperfectluck.
Eventually the matches were played, with DarkLucario pulling through 2-1. DarkLucario won UU 4-0, lost Ubers 1-0, and proceeded to victory in OU, 4-0. Interestingly, Krack did not lose a single Uber match throughout the finals, but unfortunately lost all of his OU matches. However, getting to the finals is a great achievement regardless, and skill is needed to proceed so far. Congratulations to Krack on getting second place!
I caught up with DarkLucario after his match...
Huge congratulations to DarkLucario for proving many, many people wrong. You don't win a Smogon Tour without skill: that is near impossible to deny. Of course you need luck along the way, but luck is an element of Pokémon and it happens. I would especially like to say that DarkLucario did beat many players in the season without the luck that people seem to claim wholeheartedly that he gets, and there are many good sports such as Loki, who said he won deservedly, and on a personal level, I fully agree.
Secondly, I thank Aeolus for providing us with yet another great Smogon Tour season, and of course, all the hosts. It really would not be possible to do the Smogon Tour without you hardworking people, so well done on making it enjoyable once more.
Thanks for reading!
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