Ask the Admins (3)

By martha. Released: 2019/09/23.
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Have you ever looked at the Smogon admins and wondered what they were like? Do you want to know about the experiences, opinions, and thoughts of the people who run the forums? A few weeks ago, you guys were given the chance to ask some of the admins their questions, and here are, over the span of three articles, the answers from tennisace, Hogg, and Sam!

tennisace Hogg Sam


How did Pokémon Showdown and Smogon impact your life? — Mimas

I was pretty sheltered as a younger child. Smogon gave me a chance to talk to a ton of different people from different backgrounds, with different worldviews instead of just staying in my safe little bubble. It also helped me become more confident in talking to people and made it easier for me to make friends with people in real life because on a daily basis I was chatting with all sorts of different people.

If you had to learn a new language, which one would you choose and why? — lyd

I really wish I had continued with Italian past college; I have family in Italy I've been meaning to visit, and while they speak some English, it'd be way easier to get around there in general.

What do you like the most about Smogon as a community? — Ryota Mitarai

There really is something for everyone here. Through the years I've been involved in all kinds of different things on this site, and I've never really felt like I had to join a different community to satisfy my changing interests.

How and when did you get into competitive Pokémon? — TJ

The year was 2005 or so. I was hanging out with my buddy John, who a couple years prior had legit claimed his uncle worked at Nintendo and they were about to release Pokémon Pink, featuring all pink Pokémon. We were at his house doing whatever when the topic of Pokémon came up. I think we were trying to find some info online because he had hacked some mons with his Game Shark or whatever, and we stumbled across Netbattle. Then a pop-up came up and he accused me of giving his computer a virus, so we both dropped the subject. Then in 2007 DP came out and I wanted more info and stumbled across Smogon, and uh I guess I just forgot to leave.

pineapple pizza n/n — Scizorphobic

Pineapple is an entirely valid pizza topping when paired with a pork-based meat (bacon, ham, sometimes sausage, chourico). However, objectively the best pizza is pesto sauce + bacon.

Favorite Smash Ultimate Character? — Leader Wallace

Isabelle is precious and must be protected at all costs.

Favorite anime? — Lux92

One Punch Man is the only anime I watch tbh, mostly because it makes fun of all the anime/superhero tropes.

Does anyone in real life know you're a Smogon admin? If yes, how did they find out? — Mitsuki

Most everyone I'm close to knows about it, because once I got to college I wasn't hiding it anymore.

If badges were edible, which one would taste the best and why? — Estronic

Social media looks like a bento box, and I'm a sucker for sushi.

What's your opinion on jorts? — Estronic

I've worn jorts once and it was not a pleasant experience, but in the future if I need to embarrass a teenaged child of mine I won't hesitate to weaponize them.

If you could time travel, when would you go? — Mimas

I really want to go back to the 80s so I could make abhorrent fashion choices and have them called stylin' instead of hipster.

In your opinion, If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always afraid of making a mistake? — Mimas

Deep shit man. I think people just aren't prepared to deal with consequences and the work required to fix unintended outcomes from mistakes. It's easier to do nothing than to try, fail, fix your mistake, then try again. With very few exceptions, no mistakes are unable to be corrected.

Why and how did Fly Dragonite suddenly become a thing? — Social Media

It was a thing at the end of gen 6 and then gen 7 rolled around, and people realized Dragonite with a good Flying-type STAB move was pretty damn good, since most teams only had like one, maybe 2 targets you want to hit with it anyway. See: every OM ever existing as an excuse to give Dragonite Brave Bird or Aerilate Extreme Speed.

Interview HOGG

Do you practice any sport? If yes, which one you like the most? — lyd

These days I don't play any team sports, though I still like staying active with general outdoorsy stuff (biking/running/climbing/backpacking). I played a bit of baseball growing up, and in my twenties I played and coached roller derby for a while.

If you could immediately change one thing in the forums, what would it be? — lyd

The search feature. I understand why it doesn't let you search short strings, but that makes it impossible to search references to a lot of nicks and Pokémon terms.

How heavy is your workload as admin? What are some responsibilities as admin that you didn't have as a smod? — TJ

Hm, it's hard to quantify. On a day-to-day level, the workload isn't really very different from normal (i.e. leading a couple of sections + supermod). But there are times when it can get pretty busy, especially when we implement big changes (such as the circuit standardization that went into effect this year). Also, I get a lot more PMs and questions as an admin than I did as smod.

Favorite movie or series? — lyd

Oof, that's a tough one. I don't watch a lot of new movies these days (hard to get to the theaters when you have a kid). As far as shows go, my overall favorite is probably a tie between the Wire and Parks and Rec. For recent shows, Russian Doll has been my favorite 2019 show so far, and Tuca & Bertie (rip) was a lot of fun.

If it wasn't already revealed, how would you feel if your favorite Pokémon does not make it into Sword and Shield? — Estronic

I wouldn't mind. I'm not particularly attached to any Pokémon in particular.

Which badge is the best/worst looking out of them all? Similarly, is there any badge you would want but wouldn't realistically obtain? — Kalalokki

I really like the looks of both of the media badges, and I'm unlikely to ever get them, so let's go with those.

What is the most hilarious or interesting case as a whole you had to deal with as a Tournament Director? — Ryota Mitarai

There have been a lot of very silly reasons why people have gotten themselves banned, so it's hard to say what the most interesting case is. That said, I think my favorite was the person who decided that they always made better decisions while ghosting other people than while playing, so they had a friend log into their account and play one of their tour games for them while they ghosted them. It takes some ingenuity to figure out how to get banned for ghosting yourself, but I'll be damned if someone didn't find a way.

Cereal first then milk or milk first then cereal? — vzxt

You're a monster if you even have to ask this question.

Have you ever considered or have had strong feelings of leaving Smogon? — Havens

Never super strong feelings; if I felt it strongly I'd leave. Smogon is largely a hobby for me (albeit a time-consuming one), so even when the workload gets heavy or things get stressful I can always just take a step back and focus on other stuff for a bit.

In general how do you feel about gen 8 and the Galar region, outside of Dexit? — Lux92

It looks fantastic! The Gyms look amazing, and just seeing Pokémon out and about in the world is what I've always wanted in a game. I'm not entirely sold on the Dynamaxing/Gigantamaxing mechanic, but I'll reserve judgment until we get a bit more info on that. But overall it looks really fun, and I plan to buy a Switch specifically for these games.

On a scale of 1-10, how responsible do you consider yourself? — Mimas

8ish? Super responsible about some things, absolutely terrible with others. I've checked a lot of the "adulting" boxes, though (stable job, own a house, married with a kid etc), and a lot of people read that as responsibility.

What is the best piece of advice you've received? — Mimas

Read every email and text message twice before you hit send.

How would you like to change the world? — Mimas

Do I only get one answer? Un-fucking the climate would be nice for a start, I guess. Or do you mean how do I personally plan to have an impact on the world? That one's a bit harder to answer, but I try to stay active locally, I work for local government, and I hope to be a published author one day, so I guess that's a start.

Interview SAM

What's the best match you've ever played, and what made the game so good? — Lux92

I think my favorite game was vs Christo in a tour called Lower Tier Premier League that was run when SPL didn't have the lower tiers. It was a really close game that came down to a pretty much perfect set to win the endgame, and it was looking pretty bleak until I got to that point.

When you're having a bad day, what do you do to make yourself feel better? — Mimas

I'll usually go take pictures or something.

What genre of music do you like the most? — lyd

I guess it's just easiest to describe my music taste as “alternative/indie”, though as of late my favorite genre has been art rock.

Favorite movie or series? — lyd

I'm not really a movie person, but my favorite is Full Metal Jacket.

How did you come up with your username? — TJ

I was born with it.

I've heard criticisms that US Midwest has a shallow talent pool, so what do you look for when scouting potential WCoP team members? Or is that not your department? — Unbreakable

A lot of it is about performance in previous tours. We had a lot of guys who were easy to pick out from SPL, etc. Doing well in other tours (OLT, OST, etc.) is probably the best way to get noticed if you aren't already established in team tours.

If it wasn't already revealed, how would you feel if your Pokémon does not make it into Sword and Shield? — Estronic

I'm not like, super attached to any Pokémon (even though I have my favorites), so I wouldn't really mind.

Does tennisace have admin privileges on the official "Prince of Tennis" fan site or subreddit or whatever, or are we being led by a complete fraud? — Social Media

tennisace has many aliases and identities. He is involved in many secret organizations.

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