SPL 7 Power Rankings

By dice and reyscarface. Art by boudouche, Bummer, and Zracknel.
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Welcome to yet another edition of the Preseason Smogon Premier League Power Rankings. As with last year, the point of this is to give a representation of where each team stands in relation to the others. To obtain a general overview, we asked a few experts of each respective tier to rate the expected players for it, averaged the rankings, and ended up with an attempt at a mostly unbiased list. Number 1 gets ten points, number 2 gets nine, and so on.

As per usual, it's important to highlight that these rankings aren't perfect. They take mostly raw individual skill into account, as opposed to many things that can have an influence in a team tournament, such as cohesion, rotation of players, trades, and even bans (hi Cased). However, if you're overly sensitive and want to whine about how unfair they are, then be my guest; I've been drinking enough water to not be dehydrated by your salt.

Special thanks to the following people for contributing in the creation of this article: Atticus, babidi1998, Baika, Bedschibaer, BKC, Stathakis, McMeghan, Valentine, -Tsunami-, M Dragon, Isa, Lutra, KratosMana, Tamahome, e7e, Christo The Gr8, King UU, Sam, Meru, Ciele, Stratos, Mizuhime, deoxys speed, kamikaze17, Sweep, GOAO., fatty, Celestavian, Shaneghoul, Cased, soulgazer, Finchinator, Kotori, trc, Diogo, TDK.

The Alpha Ruiners

The Ruiners this season are a very two-faced team. On one hand, we've got what could be considered the strongest old gens lineup in the tournament. On the other hand, we have a very inexperienced and unproven group playing lower tiers. And this is finished off by a relatively new but very experienced and solid OU pair, which includes who might be the most in-form OU player right now—ABR. They have a pretty straightforward lineup that might not be moved around a lot. One possible option is the addition of TewMew to the main lineup, a solid UU player that might need a couple weeks to get used to SPL since he is very reserved and is quite known for being very one dimensional. If Kushalos or Mazar doesn't pan out, they can move TewMew to UU and Mazar to bench or RU.

Key takeaways:

The Circus Maximus Tigers

Tigers stay true to their tradition of buying as many players as humanly possible coming into this SPL. They have added the requirement that you must have only played ten games maximum in the past six months as well. But for real, activity will make or break this team. They have an extremely solid lower tier lineup, one of the best in the tournament, but they took too many gambles everywhere else (including being 10k down from getting gr8astard). Their OU pair is solid, but again, they haven't played too much in a competitive setting lately; however, if they get fired up, they can do pretty well. Their old gens lineup isn't exactly a world beater, but if Earthworm gets going, he can carry really hard from there. Get him to uninstall League and you'll be good, Tigers.

Key takeaways:

Congregation of the Classiest

Following the steps of the Cryonicles last season, the Classiest have decided to place their bet on a French core led by Ojama. Although it didn't work out last season, there is no doubt he is one of the best players on the site, and if he can get his pals to function, then this might just be the year. Classiest's weakest point is definitely their ORAS OU pair. blunder hasn't been too active in tourneys since his OST run, and daftmau5 is inexperienced and unproven. Their subs are lackluster too, so if the main players don't work out, they're in trouble. They have two of the best in panamaxis and Ojama, but the rest of the French players are big question marks. Aside from this, they have really solid lower tiers with a lot of SPL experience, so it's a matter of them being able to do what's expected of them.

Key takeaways:

The Cryonicles

The Cryonicles drafted a solid team that can be divided into two sections: the old gens one full of veterans in SPL and tournaments in general, and an ORAS lineup full of newcomers (Teddeh being the only one to have played in SPL before). That said, all the newcomers have a lot of hype surrounding them, with Alexander. being close to winning OLT, kamikaze17 being considered one of the top dogs in Doubles, and Star. ripping apart LC tournaments lately. Fakes in ADV is a question mark, DPP being his main tier, but the support he can offer Rocka is probably good enough. Colchonero returns to SPL and his mindset will be very important, but if he can't shake off last season, jira will be a suitable replacement. Lohgock and Shoka offer support to kami and Sweepage, respectively, finishing a very complete team.

Key takeaways:

The Ever Grande BIGs

The BIGs are probably the most versatile team this year. Pretty much their whole squad could be moved around to different tiers and they would still be very competent. Usually when this happens you end up with a team with many jack-of-all-trades instead of top-tier players, but that's not the case for the BIGs. They were planning on being able to slot Malekith in GSC, but sadly he has expressed hatred towards the tier, so DPP is the destination for him, moving boudouche to ORAS. This leaves a hole in GSC, and d0nut has big shoes to fill. As they sport a solid French core and very potent subs, it will be strange to see the BIGs struggling, as they can fix their weaknesses every single week. This ain't a McMeghan-only show, everyone.

Key takeaways:

The Firebot Falcons

The Falcons are perhaps the most straightforward team. They have a couple players that can play several tiers like Tesung, dice, and reyscarface, but moving them around puts someone else out of a job. They have a very fine balance at that, but it's countered by the fact they are very solid all around: very strong old gens with plenty of experience in veterans Tamahome and Mr.E and newer blood in Leftiez and Triangles, coupled with a terrific OU led by who is possibly the best player right now in Tesung, backed by Ary, who can step up reliably any time. Their lower tiers have a few newcomers, so it will be vital for them to get used to SPL as soon as possible due to the lack of replacements; fatty is able to put in work if ZoroarkForever doesn't pan out, but that's about it for changes.

Key takeaways:

The Indie Scooters

The Scooters have a rather straightforward lineup as well, but they have a bit more flexibility than the Falcons. Isa and Bedschibaer are seasoned players in both RBY and GSC, so they could easily swap places if need be. Besides that, though, the Scooters are rather set in stone. The front end of the team, a solid German OU core, and the back end of the team, a solid RBY and GSC tandem, are the keys to this team's success. Sporting no real superstars in other slots, the Scooters need these four to achieve consistently week after week, or they need a breakthrough star in one of the more unproven lower tier slots. The Scooters' subs are all OU based barring Mael, so they must have confidence in their lower tier players.

Key takeaways:

The Stark Sharks

The Sharks have a rather peculiar lineup. With old-timers like The_Chaser and gene, the Sharks will be relying heavily on Conflict to help whip them back to shape in their respective tiers. Marth's suspect activity is rather worrying as well. However, if he can become involved in the team environment, he, alongside Conflict and Golden Sun, can be a cornerstone of reliability in their somewhat shaky old gen core. The Sharks' saving grace is their rather secure lower tier core. Hikari, Cased, and blarajan are all the cream of the crop in their respective tiers, and it is predicted they will all be very reliable wins on a week-to-week basis. The ORAS OU core of reiku and Steve Angello is mostly unproven. How they fare against a very high-level OU playerbase will make or break how the Sharks will match up against their competition. With an interesting combination of lower tier, old generation, and OU subs, the Sharks at least have a decent backup plan if one of their pieces doesn't work as intended.

Key takeaways:

The Team Raiders

The Raiders are an interesting mix of old-timers and new kids on the block. The most noticeable facet of the Raiders lineup is the ridiculously sturdy twosome of TDK and CrashinBoomBang in ORAS OU. Both are seen as two of the most elite players of the tier, so they will definitely be able to pump out a consistent lead for the Raiders against their opponents. In the lower tiers, however, the Raiders are a bit more unreliable. Former UU tier leader kokoloko is heading the UU front, and he has been relatively removed from competitive play for quite some time. iplaytennislol and Kingler12345 are both unproven individuals as well, and BLOOD TOTEM has never been able to perform in a tournament setting. On the flip side, at least they have Ginku, one of the most consistent players in SPL history. In past gens, there is a lack of reliability too. LuckOverSkill hasn't played for two years, and VIL is known to treat SPL as an individual tournament. Tobes played RBY during WCOP, but he isn't the most proven player. Picollo and Marshall.Law will have to step their game up and be the steady core in these slots.

Key takeaways:

The Wi-Fi Wolfpack

The Wolfpack seems to have drafted practically everyone left in the signup list that wasn't bought by another team. But seriously, they have hella substitutes. This can be seen as a good thing, because they have a lot of support for their main roster. It's more of a negative in my opinion, though; the money spent on substitutes, especially a 10.5k badabing, could have been allocated to improve the starter slots on the roster. At any rate, the Wolfpack are still sporting a pretty solid ORAS lineup. PDC had a reputable 8-3 record last year, and aim has done well in SPLs past as well. The Wolfpack have a rather peculiar lower tiers lineup featuring two dodgy players in Omfuga and Afro Smash. Bouffalant, Mambo, and Braverius finalize the core with an above average skill set. For old gens, the Wolfpack have a few trusty veterans in undisputed and thatsjustpeachy to lead the way. Ortheore is a newer RBY player and will have to adjust to the SPL scene, while Stathakis hasn't played DPP in quite some time. Lavos Spawn wraps up the pack donning decent GSC records, but nothing fabulous.

Key takeaways:

  1. Tesung
  2. cosine180
  3. ABR
  4. TDK
  5. cbb
  6. xray
  7. PDC
  8. Alexander
  9. boudouche
  10. aim
  11. ben gay
  12. TheEnder
  13. Reymedy
  14. mencemeat
  15. reiku
  16. Destiny Device
  17. blunder
  18. GeeMick
  19. Steve Angello
  20. daftmau5

  1. (2) cosine180 & (6) xray: 18 points - Scooters - The highly regarded German duo of xray and cosine180 leads the ORAS OU rankings. After both had very convincing OLT runs, the two are seen as top-tier metagamers. Unlike many other duos ranked below them, cosine and xray have been friends and building partners for quite some time. A sense of camaraderie between the two ORAS OU players in a team is always essential because they often will be building with each other quite a lot. Given how strong the two players are individually and the prevailing friendship between them, the Scooters have a monster in their hands.
  2. (4) TDK & (5) CrashinBoomBang: 17 points - Raiders - TDK and CBB form the "wannabe BKC three-letter acronym" squad. TDK made a splash in the SPL scene last year, but he finished with a negative record. He gained hype after helping Team East win World Cup and making Smogon Tour playoffs this season. Known as a strong teambuilder, he will be able to pump out some neat squads for us to see. Loverboy CBB has been a tournament player for quite a while and has an established tenure. Known as an aggressive player and person, CBB will surely bring some high-powered squads to try to overwhelm his opponents. Hopefully he doesn't fight Tesung, though.
  3. (3) ABR & (12) The Ender: 14 points - Ruiners - Coming in third is a very hyped core: ABR and TheEnder, two rather new players to the tournament community with varying experience. ABR is currently known for being in the finals of the Official Ladder Tournament, where he's been very successful, as well as helping out some of his friends in the tournament. TheEnder was a very vital part in East's World Cup of Pokémon victory, helping craft many of East's ORAS teams. Both players may have a good track record, but both have some big questions surrounding them. Will ABR be able to transition to the big stage, or will the competition SPL has to offer be too much for our OLT finalist? TheEnder may have a trophy in his postbit, but after he got his pixels, he took a long break from Pokémon and just recently got back into it. Will he be able to shake off the rust, and will he be able to perform without East's support?
  4. (1) Tesung & (16) Destiny Device: 13 points - Falcons - After winning his second Smogon Tour trophy, Tesung comes in to defend his place as the top ORAS OU player in SPL yet again. Will Tesung be able to keep up his stellar performance and have the best ORAS record in SPL again? Or will the rest of the competition catch up to him? This time, he'll be accompanied by a more proven player than he was in his last SPL. Destiny Device came onto the scene in 2014, where he was a vital part of Brazil's World Cup trophy, later made it to the semifinals of Smogon Tour 18, and helped the BIGs nab the top seed in SPL by going 6-3. Afterwards, however, the Brazilian star hasn't had the same kind of success or publicity that he did prior. This core will be a very interesting one to watch, as not only will we get to see if DD can get back into form, but we'll also see if Tesung can continue to pop a molly.
  5. (7) PDC & (10) aim: 13 points - Wolfpack - PDC and aim, the East Frens, are quite the antitheses of each other in a few regards. PDC is a fan of utilizing the "pick the safest move for each turn" strategy that Team East used for most of their World Cup battles, while Joey is more of a balls-to-the-wall guy. PDC is also a pretty terrible shoutcaster, unlike everyone's favorite YouTuber. One thing they do share, though, is that neither is well known for his teambuilding, so they'll need to step up their game for that. After quitting Team East because he got timered, Joey's hopefully going to tell his sister to not turn off the Wi-Fi so he can win some games. PDC's been on an upswing as of late, but he managed to get outplayed by McMeghan turn after turn in a recent BW Smogon Tournament semifinals match, so let's see how he comes back from that embarrassing defeat.
  6. (9) boudouche & (13) Reymedy: 10 points - Bigs - The BIGs come in with the French core of boudouche and Reymedy. They may not be known for their ORAS play, but both are more than capable of performing. Aside from World Cup, where they helped Team France lock the #1 seed in Round 1, both with 2-1 records, boudouche and Reymedy have had some results that leave room for improvement. boudouche had a nice run in OLT playoffs, where he defeated both High Impulse and Tele, but still was eliminated by ABR in the loser quarterfinals. Reymedy, on the other hand, is hoping to make up for a less than stellar performance last SPL, where he went 0-5 in ORAS. Both players will come in motivated and ready to prove they are threatening ORAS players, and they have the tools to do so. The BIGs also have some solid ORAS support in Improbable, Finchinator, and McMeghan, so there's no doubt the BIGs will bring some solid ORAS games this season.
  7. (11) ben gay & (14) mencemeat: 9 points - Tigers - ben fren is back! After losing to East in the World Cup semifinals because he used a team they knew and it had a Camerupt, ben has finally grown the balls to show his face again! PJSalt aside, ben possesses a pretty unique teambuilding style. He often can get a little too crazy by bringing some bad ideas, like Pikachu and Cofagrigus in an OU environment, but if he stays within reason, ben has some stellar builds. mencemeat aka Jamvad is a bit of an enigma. After the Wolfpack spent an exuberant amount of money on him last season for relatively mediocre results, he faded away from the Smogon tournament environment until now. What did the Wolfpack and now Tigers see in him that's worthy of such praise? Maybe he'll prove it to us in the next few weeks.
  8. (8) Alexander. & (18) GeeMick: 9 points - Cryonicles - It seems there is a positive correlation between getting tournament banned and achieving tournament success afterward; Alexander is living proof of this. Readers, this may be something you will want to look into if you're looking to up your game. That aside, Alexander has had a dominating performance in OLT by making the winners' finals. The Italian with the aggro playstyle has been aggressively outplaying his opponents, and with past SPL experience as well, he is likely to perform on the big stage. GeeMick is a relatively unknown French, but he apparently has very good teambuilding skills, as proven by his helping other top players like Leftiez. Look out for this dude, folks, because I think he may be the breakout star come April.
  9. (15) reiku & (19) Steve Angello: 4 points - Sharks - The Sharks took a major risk this year and opted to snatch two relatively unproven players. On the bright side, both reiku and Steve Angello have tournament experience of sorts, but how much will this help them against mostly proven experts? reiku helped bolster Spain's record through a surprising World Cup performance, but he was surrounded by hella other teambuilders like SoulWind. Steve Angello has done really nothing of note. The Sharks must have seen potential in these two, but it seems like a very risky gamble.
  10. (17) blunder & (20) daftmau5: 3 points - Classiest - After getting styled on in OST and subsequently falling out of the spotlight, blunder is back. During his OST run, blunder received help from several players, including CTC, gr8astard, Bloo, and CBB. Without these people on his team to rely on, it will be interesting to see if blunder can achieve the same level of success. daftmau5 is relatively unknown as a player besides having some success during World Cup. These two aren't the most well-equipped to take on the behemoths of this list alone, so they'll need some spunk in their preparation together to trump the expectations. Really, though, it'll be unlikely that either of them goes in the black.

  1. Hikari - Sharks - Current tier leader Hikari is the big kahuna of this bunch. With his years of SPL experience and repeated exposure to the UU metagame, there's no doubt that Hikari knows how to work in a tournament environment. Hikari's quite apt at using a unique combination of Pokémon and gimmicks on solid teams to overcome his opponents. With the peculiar UU pool this year, there isn't much doubt that Hikari will boast a great record.
  2. dodmen - Tigers - dodmen is without a doubt the most hyped UU player going into SPL. In UUPL, dodmen managed to have an undefeated streak of 7-0 during the regular season, and he has been dominating UU tournaments in general as of late. He is certainly learned in the tier, and his solid concepts will help net him wins. SPL is a different beast than UUPL, however. This is dodmen's first time playing on the big stage, and this ranking doesn't reflect his relative inexperience compared to other players. That being said, it's likely he'll do quite well if he can overcome the pressure.
  3. teal6 - Cryonicles - This year's UU Open finalist teal6 was recently eliminated in the Grand Slam playoffs, but that shouldn't take away from the fact that he's done admirably in the past few months. teal has demonstrated a keen grasp on the tier through his articulate posting and RMTs, and he generally has a discerning eye for the tier. Much like with dodmen, this is teal's first SPL, which could be a cause for concern. The future weeks will show if he's able to persevere in the spotlight.
  4. Omfuga - Wolfpack - Omfuga's back with a vengeance after a rough first SPL. After cancering last year, Omfuga is ready to prove to the world he can bring Ground-resistant Pokémon and not attack his teammates personally. To give him credit, he is far more cultured in the UU metagame than most and seems to have evolved into a more respectable player, so he can probably rack up a positive record if he keeps a positive attitude as well.
  5. dice - Falcons - Perhaps more known for being one of the best teambuilders on the site rather than for his playing, dice is a competitor that can do well in any given tier due to his knack for learning their intricacies very quickly and becoming extremely adept at creating great teams. He is relatively inexperienced in the UU tour scene, so that is a big disadvantage for him, but besides Hikari he is the most tenured player in SPL playing UU, so he's also got things going in his favor.
  6. bugzinator - BIGs - PO transfer bugzinator, not to be confused with Finchinator, has a pretty mediocre track record. Although he certainly has a unique take on the tier, bugzinator never seems to really be able to match up well with the top players and always finishes tournaments with unremarkable records. The UU player pool this year is quite scanty, though, so this could be bugzinator's year to shine. It seems more likely that he'll have a middle-of-the-road record, though.
  7. kokoloko - Raiders - Former UU tier leader has fallen from grace as one of the figureheads of the tier. After becoming inactive in the XY era, kokoloko descended to tournament frequenter to SPL manager and low-key ladderer. koko's major distance from playing is a question mark in his ability to play this SPL, and no one is quite sure if he's as apt at teambuilding as he once was. koko's general inactivity is his Achilles' heel, and we're not quite sure he'll overcome it.
  8. Calloflochie - Classiest - Another former UU tier leader joins the ranks of SPL yet again. Since last SPL, Lochie has been uncharacteristically quiet. Given this major distance from the tier, Lochie will have to plunge himself back into the very changed metagame yet again. Much like with kokoloko, Lochie's inactivity makes it seem unlikely he'll be able to grasp the metagame on the level he once did. On top of that, he has exuded some cancerous tendencies that make him prone to tilting. We'll see how he fares in the upcoming weeks.
  9. Mazar - Ruiners - I would say Mazar is the guy to look out for in terms of the lower-ranked players on the list. He's currently on a Grand Slam rampage and is doing quite well for himself in UU games especially. Certainly, he's unproven and UU isn't exactly a "main" tier for him, and the Ruiners' lower tier players always tend to become breakthroughs or duds. In this case, we could possibly see a breakthrough with Mazar overtaking others above him with his solid play and decent teams.
  10. xMarth - Scooters - xMarth was quite a big surprise in the draft. No one really expected the last UU slot to go to him. Having helped popularize hyper offense in UU and generally being a solid ladder hero were his main points of promise... six months ago. As of late, xMarth has been super low key, which makes this a questionable buy. The Scooters might need to start scouting for another UUer, since the odds are stacked against xMarth's favor.

  1. 49 - Falcons - This numerically referred user is currently the man to beat in this tier for SPL 7. A recurring theme through the RU rankings is the relative removal from the metagame. Not being aware of current metagame trends can be a huge downside in regards to teambuilding and playing. However, throughout the past year, 49 has been extremely active and knows the metagame in and out. During his last SPL, he sported a rather mediocre 2-2 record, but with the first-year jitters out of the way, everyone plans to see the pseudo-hipster emerge with a rather quality record.
  2. Esteemed User Ginku - Raiders - Being one of Bloo's top five favorite players is serious business, and Ginku is always decisive and consistent in his play. Given that he has one of the best W/L ratios in SPL history with a large number of games, our Esteemed User is looking to repeat his success in RU once again. There's always a bit of dubiousness whenever Ginku returns to play SPL year after year due to his periods of inactivity, but he never seems to be affected by rust. What Ginku lacks in metagame knowledge compared to his competitors, he makes up for in his play, and it will probably show in his record.
  3. atomicllamas - Tigers - Much like 49, llamas is one of the few RU players that has remained active since last SPL. This gives llamas a distinct advantage over his competitors. In spite of this, llamas has never been able to perform well in a major tournament. His past SPL matches are rather lacking, and he only had an average Grand Slam run. Being a forerunner in the knowledge department will reap him wins for sure, but this ranking doesn't reflect how he'll fare if others can reimmerse themselves in the metagame. If llamas overcomes his lackluster play, though, he could definitely be worth the retainer fee.
  4. New Breed - Classiest - New Breed recently performed admirably in this year's Smogon Classic, but he shocked everyone when he dropped out after making the playoffs. Regardless, this shows that he can play well in almost every tier, and this certainly can translate to his RU skill. Additionally, New Breed was well known in former SPLs to be one of the most cultured players in the metagame. With proven skill and a grasp on the tier, the only question that remains is whether his flaky tendencies will emerge once again. If not, New Breed will be a force to be reckoned with in the upcoming weeks.
  5. Meru - Sharks - Meru helped hold down the RU fort on the Ruiners with Bouffalant last season, but he's never been seen as an aficionado of the tier. He boasted a relatively mediocre record last year in a mix of UU and RU, so this is his year to prove he is deserving of an SPL slot. As Meru is repping a longer tournament tenure than many of his lower-ranked combatants, his likely record is less variable than theirs. Because of this, he's ranked directly in the middle of the pack.
  6. Scythe. - Cryonicles - Scythe is a recent breakthrough in the tournament scene. By making a splash in the Grand Slam, he was given an opportunity to do so in SPL by the Cryonicles. As this is his first major team tournament, it's unsure whether he'll be able to endure the pressure of playing mostly elite players on a week to week basis. If Scythe can maintain the mojo he had during some of his Slam games, this could be an extremely profitable buy for the Cryonicles.
  7. galbia - BIGs - galbia used to be one of the most active RU players, but with the birth of PU as an active tier he has been seen less in his home field. His tournament credentials are also lacking as well. galbia's surely going to be able to delve back into the roots of RU, but many are wondering if he'll be able to play at a high level. He has almost never performed in any tournament to date, so this will be a new experience. It will be interesting to watch how he executes.
  8. Afro Smash - Wolfpack - Afro Smash's hype was at its peak two years ago, and he joined midseason last SPL for just a middling showing. The last two years have made Afro Smash's once-dominating status dwindle into obscurity. If the trend continues, Afro Smash will have yet another SPL disappointment. However, if his PokéSpirit is rekindled, the RU battles could become far more interesting for the spectators and the Wolfpack's team could be seen as more legitimate. Honestly though, if he gets a positive record that'd be a shock in itself. Reports from teammates have said he isn't particularly interested anyway (Smash 4 will do that to you).
  9. Windsong - Scooters - Much like Afro Smash, Windsong used to have a lot of hype surrounding him. After dipping his SPL team for two years straight, Windsong is about as liable to remain motivated as Bouffalant is to not choke in a high-pressure match. There's no question that Windsong is a skilled player, but my money is on the Scooters having to pick up an RU player at midseason. If he can get back into it, though, he's got the highest peak of any player in this list and this ranking is very unfair for him.
  10. Kushalos - Ruiners - Kushalos is the underdog of RU. As he did do well in the RU Open, there's no reason for anyone to discount him. Ciele always seems to have a knack for finding diamonds in the rough of the lower tier player pools. Compared to his competition, though, he has lackluster teambuilding abilities and game sense. Maybe if the two users above him quit, he could get activity wins against them. I don't see him winning many matches otherwise.

  1. Cased - Sharks - Following some sweaty preseason drama, Cased is fired up and ready to attack these bushy-eyebrowed folks. Being quite possibly the most creative teambuilder in the tier, he'll be able to surprise his opponent with some neat techs and Pokémon. At times Cased could be considered "too creative", which could possibly be a reason for his negative SPL record year. If Cased can innovate within reason, he'll definitely be worth the price tag of the most expensive lower tier player.
  2. soulgazer - Classiest - SG is only really good at three things: wasting all his time watching anime, speaking in broken English, and playing NU. Since the third is what he's being ranked on, it's no wonder he's given a solid #2 slot on the power rankings. soulgazer knows the metagame like the back of his hand, and he'll certainly be able to throw a few curveballs at his opponents by using this knowledge. This is soulgazer's third SPL, so he's a proven NU player and probably will win consistently for yet another year.
  3. Teddeh - Cryonicles - Teddeh was the breakout NU player from last year. After obtaining the best NU record in SPL 6, he became one of the faces of NU. Cased even believes that Teddeh could possibly have the best NU record for the second year in a row. Seeing as he is yet another solid player in the tier, #3 doesn't really do Teddeh justice, but the other two have him beat in one thing: tourney experience. In reality, all of the top three seeds are evenly matched with one another and could win any given game.
  4. Blast - Tigers - Blast emerged from last SPL with one of the better records. A self-proclaimed mediocre teambuilder, Blast often is just able to make use of solid play and strong Pokémon to beat his opponents. Personally, I felt as though his teams were a bit clunky, which is why he is ranked below the triad, but Blast is certainly able to beat any player in this tier on any given day. Don't be surprised if Blast takes home a better record than any of the three users ranked above him.
  5. rozes - BIGs - metaphysical is trying to prove that those associated with the homosexual clique can actually play Pokémon! soulgazer and Cased have mentioned that rozes is one of the most promising up-and-comers, and he is trying to live up to the hype this SPL. 10k is a rather hefty price tag for a player who hasn't really done much in tournaments, so rozes's transition will be interesting to see. Will he live up to the hype, or will his nerves get the best of him?
  6. Realistic Waters - Scooters - Known as Cased's protege, RW's trying to take after his #1 ranked pal. He was a bit pricy in the auction; BKC must have had a void in his heart after he couldn't obtain Cased, so he just paid for a mini-Cased. RW's ability to adapt to a tournament environment will be the factor that will decide if his heftier price tag is worth it. Being taught by Cased, RW probably knows a lot about the metagame. He now just has to transfer theory into practice.
  7. Bouffalant - Wolfpack - Bouffalant has come a long way since his past SPL blunders. He gained notoriety for his frequent choking in high-stakes SPL games in the RU and UU metagames. Now, a year later, it seems Bouffalant has perhaps turned over a new leaf. Having won the NU Open and being a current Grand Slam semifinalist, Bouffalant seems to have transformed from the choker he formerly was into a respectable player. In spite of that, Bouffalant lacks the experience many of the higher-ranked players have, and he often had support in the Open from many of these players as well. Now that he's on his own, can Bouffalant overcome the odds and prevail?
  8. Can-Eh-Dian - Falcons - After seeing him perform decently in POCL and gain clout from his NU posting, the Falcons decided to take a risk on Can as their NU player. An up-and-comer in the tier, Can wants to overcome some low expectations set by players ranked above him like Teddeh through performing well in SPL. Can's tier knowledge is definitely one of his redeeming factors, but almost all the NU players have been active in the tier for quite some time. If Can can step up his game through plays, he might be able to snag some games.
  9. Kiyo - Raiders - Kiyo's the dude who helps with Smogcasts, right? He's pretty good at setting those up at least, so he has a redeeming factor. Besides that, though, I've never seen Kiyo perform in anything for years. After moving from PO to Smogon, he seems to have taken up NU, and I guess this is his time to prove that he is worth something. With the competition actually being pretty good this year, it's unlikely he succeeds, though. He has one redeeming factor, however, in that he has a solid backbone behind him of iplaytennislol and Hack, both of whom could take over if things don't go too well.
  10. Jarii - Ruiners - After his decent NU Open run, Teddeh's protege is ready to remove his training wheels and play on the big stage. His unwavering motivation and desire to prove himself are the most redeemable qualities Jarii has on the team, but he apparently plays very poorly under pressure and only tends to use Teddeh's teams. Against an above-average NU field, Jarii will struggle to do well without his senpai's support.

  1. blarajan - Sharks - The man that got LC into SPL a couple years ago (well, it was BKC mainly, but blarajan helped) is back for another round in SPL. Let's not forget the ridiculous season he had back in the day, going completely undefeated throughout the tournament, making his name as undisputed king of LC. This time, the metagame has changed and the game isn't what it used to be, and after a long period of competitive inactivity, it's up to blarajan to get back into the groove and repeat that massive season.
  2. Heysup - Classiest - HeYsUp is one of the oldest members still active in tournaments. That alone should tell you the level of experience this player has, but if it doesn't, let's just say he has been playing LC since the time LC was contained in a forum completely different from Smogon. That was about seven years ago. That he is still relevant speaks a lot about how skilled of a player he is, being able to adapt very easily to tier shifts. When Heysup is on a roll, no one can stop him—he is the best at LC. He is, however, very tilt prone, so let's pray he doesn't get haxed.
  3. mad0ka - Ruiners - The opposite of the first two members of this list, mad0ka is a relatively new player to the LC scene. Despite this, she has gotten some really solid results in the LC forum's small tournaments as well as a ridiculous record in the Elite 4 equivalent of the LC subforum. There is a lot of hype surrounding mad0ka, who is a very imaginative player, and being one of the most motivated players this year plays in her favor. If the top two don't care enough, she could easily surpass them, but her lack of experience in the tournaments forum is the one thing that puts her in doubt.
  4. fitzy72 - Scooters - fitzy is a PO tier leader-turned-Smogon player who made a name for himself after a great SPL last year, taking over for the Scooters' LC spot during midseason. In raw playing ability, many consider fitzy to be the best that LC has to offer, surpassing even the best of the best. His weak point is that his teambuilding isn't as solid as that of players like blarajan, so sometimes he will find himself in a position in which he can't outplay opponents due to a disadvantage from the get-go.
  5. OP - Tigers - Although he receives some criticism for being a very linear and predictable player, OP is still a solid competitor that will rake in wins more often than not. He can become predictable regarding the style of teams he brings, but he almost always has a few neat techs hidden that can give him the edge in the middle of a battle. Regardless, OP's the kind of reliable LCer that will play the game well, and if he can diversify himself a little bit there's no reason he won't do well.
  6. Star. - Cryonicles - Like mad0ka, Star. is an LC subforum regular that thrives in a team environment. Seeing as he sports a great record of 4-1 in POCL as well as 5-0 in LCPL, it's easy to see why Star. is a safe bet for SPL. He's a good player with lots of practice in LC, although his lack of experience in the biggest tourneys you can find in Smogon may end up hurting him. He hasn't had the same level of success as other LCers in individual tournaments thus far, but that could easily change this year.
  7. ZoroarkForever - Falcons - ZF rounds up the trio of newcomers with mad0ka and Star. Being labeled a steal by some of the more knowledgeable LC regulars, ZF might be one of few players in this list (the others being blarajan and Mambo) to have dabbled in OU tiers to good success, as evidenced by his playing in ADV tournaments in which he obtained decent results. This gives him an edge in fundamentals over his opponents, resulting in a higher possible peak. That said, his builds range from really good to questionable at best, and his relative inexperience in tourneys might prove to be a big hurdle for ZF.
  8. Kingler12345 - Raiders - A Grand Slam semifinalist, the Indian has received harsh criticism by a lot of players for not building any of his teams and for relying on other people to feed him said key part of the game. Personally, I feel that's probably exaggerated; you don't get to Slam semifinals as a top seed with teams alone, so that speaks levels of his playing skill. LC regulars compare him to ZF, giving the edge to the latter in raw playing skill. It's time for Kingler to show his Slam performance was no fluke.
  9. Mambo - Wolfpack - Quite possibly the most charismatic member in the LC community, MamBo3 has a ton of experience in LC in general as well as having solid success in RBY during World Cup. Mambo's a consistent player that will very often defeat competition under his level, but when playing against the very best he might look a bit overshadowed. He's definitely got potential, though, and him being the lovely player that he is, many will be cheering on him to make a good show this SPL.
  10. ZoroDark - BIGs - ZoroDark is the only player in this list to not be a part of the LC community. He is perhaps better known for his involvement in other tiers like Ubers, as well as tournaments in PO. Very little is known about him in LC, but if we use his success in other tiers as a metric and couple it with his potential lack of experience, things aren't looking too bright for the member of the Finch gang. That said, he has the element of surprise in his side, and we have seen how devastating it can be.

  1. Laga - BIGs - In the number 1 spot, we find a player that can be described with one word: consistency. Laga has consistently been a solid player for the past couple of years, and he has also consistently gotten better, starting with a 5-4 record and upping it to 6-3. Many people call his seasons a fluke, due to a few games in which luck occurred. Laga silenced the haters by getting to the finals of the Doubles Open, thus confirming he is indeed a top dog. It won't be surprising to see Laga keep improving his record, especially considering he has support from Mizuhime.
  2. kamikaze17 - Cryonicles - There is a lot of hype around kami in Doubles. He is considered by his peers to be one of the elite players of the tier, obtaining solid results in the Seasonal Circuit and just being an overall great player. Add to this that he has probably the best team support in Vinc2612 and Lohgock, and kami will probably be in his best form for this SPL. There's a good amount of uncertainty, however, as this is his first SPL, so although this won't be his breakthrough if he does well, it will confirm the hype and cement him as one of the greats.
  3. Arcticblast - Classiest - Arcticblast used to be a really big choker. During his first two SPLs many people questioned his ability and whether he really deserved to be in SPL, due to a big number of badly played games. The key word is "used", as he is no longer that Arcticblast. The most recent winner of the Doubles Open demonstrated a level of skill that nobody expected from him, winning some very unfavorable matchups throughout his run. His main weakness is that he is very prone to being counterstyled, as he vastly prefers defensive builds. Still, if it's Slam Arcticblast that shows up, he will do well.
  4. Braverius - Wolfpack - Braverius is the other Doubles player (alongside Laga) who is a very consistent SPL player. In his two years of SPL, he has gotten some solid records, helping the Classiest win the whole thing last year. A reliable player that you can count on to win when you need it, he has a ton of experience fighting nerves, as he has played in front of crowds. He also deserves a distinction in that he is one of the few VGC players to actually play Doubles consistently, thus making him a very big threat.
  5. KyleCole - Falcons - The handsome YouTuber is regarded by many Doubles players to be one of the best teambuilders in the tier, and arguably the best at adapting to his opponents in order to get a good matchup. Teambuilding isn't all he has, however, as evidenced by his fantastic year in Doubles, winning the Fall Seasonal and getting the second most points overall. He is solid enough to pull a good record in SPL, but the ability of his opponents to adapt to his tricky teambuilding will be the difference between "good" record and "great" record.
  6. BLOOD TOTEM - Raiders - There have been stories about how dangerous a motivated TOTEM is. Sadly, most of his time is spent in anime and dank memes, which doesn't leave much time for Pokémon. Fortunately, he has been more active in the scene lately, which gives us hope to see if the legends are true. Perhaps the most gimmicky teambuilder in Doubles, TOTEM can craft very unusual teams with low-priority choices that give him the element of surprise. He hasn't done a whole lot in tournaments, but this is probably the year that changes.
  7. qsns - Tigers - qsns is another of a few players in this list to have support from another Doubles player in his team in MajorBowman. He has been on a roll this year, reaching the finals of the Doubles Open and doing well in the Fall Seasonal. Like Kyle and TOTEM, he is one of the more creative builders in the tier. He is very young, however, and he is the most prone in this list to choke a game and/or tilt. His mental game will be the most important thing for him, and if he can patch that up he will surprise people.
  8. TheFourthChaser - Sharks - TFC had a very disappointing last season. There was a lot of hype around him for the first time ever, and he blew his chance. He is a good player and he knows what he's doing, but his huge lack of motivation causes him to make some bad choices both in teams and in game. Perhaps having a manager he is friends with will give him the much-needed motivation he lacks, because it'd be a shame to see TFC have another bad year when we know what he is certainly capable of.
  9. Biosci - Scooters - Biosci is one of the most successful VGCers in Smogon, having won the VGC tournament. In Doubles, however, unlike Braverius, he hasn't had much activity if any, so that puts him severely behind his competitors. He is a smart guy, though, and he can probably learn the metagame very quickly if he puts his mind to it. Throughout SPL, Biosci has brought very similar teams, which makes him one of the most predictable builders in the tier, and with the competition getting tougher every year he will have to turn this around.
  10. checkmater75 - Ruiners - I am personally very excited about checkmater in SPL. It's a win/win for everyone involved. Either he does bad and a solid team like the Ruiners becomes easier to defeat, or he does well and we can make fun of Stratos for fucking up. Anyways, odds are stacked against checkmater. He had a solid year in tournaments, but many people say this was because of very lucky, easy brackets. He is very predictable both teambuilding- and playing-wise, and many of the top dogs are already aware of them, making him very easy to defeat.

  1. Sweepage - Cryonicles - "The Great One" (as he likes to refer to himself) is ranked number 1 this year in BW and deservedly so. A ridiculous win percentage of over 70% in BW during Smogon Tour, reaching playoffs consistently, and staying at the top of his game for a long while are all reasons why he has earned this spot. If you could find a flaw in him, it would be that that he seems to always underperform massively in team tournaments, but after his recent streak, this might be the year he finally breaks through. Unless he gets banned two weeks in.
  2. SoulWind - Ruiners - This Spaniard has been ranked at the top of BW for several years now, and despite this year being quieter for SoulWind than past years (he did make BW Cup finals, though, so he's clearly still got it), he is still a force to be reckoned with. Last year, he had success with the Ruiners and earned a 6-5 record in one of the most stacked years for BW, so this year is surely one in which he will achieve an even better record if he doesn't get too unlucky.
  3. Leftiez - Falcons - One of Sweepage's many proteg├ęs, Leftiez also boasts a massive >70% record in BW in recent tours. This, coupled with playoff successes that match those of Sweepage, puts him high in the rankings this year. He also carries on a big amount of momentum, earning the most BW points during the last season of Smogon Tour. Last SPL was one to forget for Leftiez, but this year, he has the support of some of the best teambuilders and testing partners in dice, Tesung, and reyscarface, so a repeat of last year seems highly unlikely.
  4. GOD MARTH - Sharks - Marth is very hard to rank because of how inactive he is. One thing is for certain, though: he always shows up despite that. Boasting experience in SPL (going 6-1 one year), as well as being quite possibly the most inventive teambuilder in BW this SPL (flashbacks of Ojama vs Marth's Jirachi last SPL), he could overtake the people on top of him depending on how much he cares. But how hard will he actually try?
  5. thatsjustpeachy - Wolfpack - peachy is like Marth in that she disappears and reappears whenever she feels like it. Despite this, she reached Smogon Tour playoffs recently, and out of everyone in this list, peachy has the most experience in both World Cup and SPL, and maybe even tournaments in general. She is not as consistent as the other four players in getting "huge" results, but you can always rely on her going even at the very least.
  6. Jirachee - Scooters - Rachee has finally been reunited with his bff BKC, and that will do wonders for his motivation for sure. A strong player in both BW and DPP with plenty of tournament experience in both SPL and World Cup, Jirachee is the kind of solid player that will always win against lower opposition, and if he manages to snag wins against the top dogs this year, he will surely end with a positive record.
  7. Finchinator - BIGs - One of the most prominent PO players, Finch has made a name for himself on Smogon by getting solid results in tournaments. His breakthrough in OU generations came after almost defeating favorite McMeghan and falling just short due to bad luck in the Smogon Tour playoffs. Since then, he has gone relatively quiet in OU, but he remains a good player who will do his absolute best, and he has a lot of support from his team and a big amount of experience in the tournaments scene.
  8. Evuelf - Classiest - There was a lot of hype last year around Evuelf, with several big-name players calling him the next big thing. After a good SPL in which he did well in Ubers, Evuelf kind of just disappeared until now. It is hard to tell if he will be able to go back to the level that resulted in him being surrounded by hype, but this time he is playing his main tier, so we can only watch and see if he manages to achieve big things.
  9. Asuya - Tigers - The last pickup of this year, Asuya has big shoes to fill after gr8astard *very surprisingly, nobody expected this* decided to be an asshole and ditch his team. The Italian's biggest achievement is winning in SPL finals last year to crown his team champions, but there hasn't been much besides that. If there ever was a time for Asuya to prove Sweepage wrong and give a good impression, it'd be now that he has a starting position.
  10. LuckOverSkill - Raiders - Another Italian finds himself at the bottom of this list just coming back from an extended hiatus from tournaments. After not playing in World Cup or even last SPL and being surrounded by ghosting drama, the OG Spooky Italian is back this year, but he faces very tough competition from much more prepared foes. It also seems that most Italians have moved on to greener spooky pastures (Alexander.), so it will be surprising if Luck manages to go positive this year.

  1. panamaxis - Classiest - Luckily for the spectators, panamaxis is slotted into his main tier in DPP for this SPL. As he is regarded as one of the best DPP players of all time, it's no wonder that pana leads the rankings. His impressive 3-1 World Cup record earlier this year cemented the fact that pana still means business. With his quirky yet clever teambuilding coupled with incredibly solid play, it would be a huge upset to see anything but a positive record at the end of the season.
  2. Tamahome - Falcons - Much like in every other year, Tama is one of the frontrunners in the DPP department. If you had to describe him in one word, it would be reliable. The Japanese-Brazilian wonder manages to consistently do well and have one of the best records. He's often given flak for being predictable, but Tama has previously shown much diversity in his teams and has brought more than the stereotypical stall. With solid play and solid teams, Tama's practically destined for a great record once again.
  3. TV-Rocka - Cryonicles - Porengan's performance was a big surprise last SPL. Many expected his relative distance from Smogon to result in a mediocre record, but he proved everyone wrong with a dominating 8-2 record. With that in mind, the Cryonicles decided to retain Rocka this year with hopes he could repeat this stunt. Being teamed up with Fakes this year can only improve Rocka's chances to succeed this year, and he certainly can repeat his success.
  4. Marshall.Law - Raiders - Smogon Tour winner Marshall is well known for his stellar DPP play. Although his teams are sometimes quite gimmicky, his unique flair often brings in many wins. Marshall's potential has a bit more variance than the users ranked above him; when he plays at his peak, you see glimpses of greatness, and his status as an elite player is impossible to refute, but he can also slump hard, as evidenced by last SPL. Which Marshall will show up: the Tour winner or the tilted version?
  5. Malekith - BIGs - Malekith requires no introduction. The Smogon Tour and Classic finalist, much like Marshall.Law, utilizes more unconventional builds than many of the others on this list. However, Malekith is one of the most resolute players in the tournament and is a player who will perform in practically any tier he's put in. He even managed to get the best NU record in SPL 5 with hardly any prior knowledge in the tier. Being the dominant force that he is, his solid play could land him a solid record as well.
  6. Bad Ass - Ruiners - Bad Ass is an ol' reliable. Throughout the years, Bad Ass has never gone negative in any SPL. With a good record this season, he could even take over Mr.E for the highest number of wins in SPL overall. That being said, there are a few hurdles being tossed at the Bad Ass this SPL. With the DPP pool being as strong as it is, he'll be hard pressed to maintain his chronically positive SPL records. Bad Ass isn't necessarily known for being the best DPP player there is, but he could surprise us. With his vast Pokémon knowledge, there could be a few upsets with Bad Ass shining through this SPL.
  7. Stathakis - Wolfpack - Having been a rising star in the DPP era as the hyper offense master before fading away until last year, Stathakis has undergone many ups and downs in his tenure. As he is primarily known for his ORAS play as of late, it will be interesting to see if Stathakis can reenergize his DPP spirit and take on the behemoths in the tier. The tier has evolved dramatically since Stathakis last actively played it, so it will require a lot of persistence to match up with folks who are more in tune with the current metagame. That being said, if Stathakis can step up his game, he could surpass several users above him on the rankings.
  8. Go10 - Scooters - Go10 showed all of us last SPL that his infamous 0-5 was a fluke. A solid showing of 5-3 in SPL 6 proved that this baguette eater meant business. In spite of this, many question his effectiveness without his trusty sidekick Ojama. Although he has the support of BKC, it's a huge question whether Go10 will be able to perform up to par with his last appearance. On top of that, being pitted against such a practiced crowd could mean that the 0-5 might rear its ugly head yet again. However, Go10 could as easily defeat the odds and mark his name as a solid DPP player.
  9. gene - Sharks - To be quite honest, it's surprising to see gene DPPing. More well known for RBY and GSC play, gene's attacking this SPL in a different light. Anecdotes from teammates suggest that gene isn't the most active teammate and often is quite silent, so he may not be receiving the help that he needs to achieve. Maybe gene has been training in the mountains and will emerge a DPP stallion (not the user... that would be a downgrade), but it seems unlikely that he'll get a positive record with these odds, especially considering that when he plays DPP he is known for very high risk / reward offensive play.
  10. Honor - Tigers - Honor's not really known for much besides being an Italian that joins tours at times, with "at times" being highlighted because he hasn't done much, if anything at all, as of late, which puts into question how ready he is for SPL. He has made some unique builds and is generally a decent player, but decent is not going to cut it when you're against the best of the best. Honor is quite a fan of employing strategies like Togekiss, Machamp, Jirachi, Gliscor, etc. though. When in doubt, hax it out!

  1. McMeghan - BIGs - Recently appointed administrator and head TD McMeghan had a monstrous season last year. Earning an 8-1 record in ADV, one of the most stacked tiers, is quite a ridiculous feat, and it is very showing of his capability in the tier. Although his retain was at an unprecedented cost, everyone's favorite Belgian is almost guaranteed a fabulous record. Tour after tour, McMeghan is simply consistent, and that is why he's solidified his #1 slot on this list.
  2. Ojama - Classiest - Along with McMeghan, Ojama is one of the most established players on Smogon and one of the most fearsome competitors. Ojama's last SPL where he manned the ADV slot was a bit disastrous, but he's looking to redeem himself this year. The first Smogon Classic winner definitely has a wholesome grasp on any tier he touches, and Ojama is always using unique and solid teams coupled with advanced play. Ojama's SPL 5 performance will probably be seen as a fluke after his showing this season.
  3. dekzeh - Ruiners - This Brazilian is one of Smogon's elite ADVers. Not only is he a fantastic team player, but dekzeh also consistently performs well against the stacked players ADV has to offer. Although he is a little too rough on Swampert, dekzeh has an acute sense of what works in the metagame, and he is very apt at making consistent squads. His ability to popularize CM spam and innovate with Pokémon like Solrock speaks wonders to his ability. He always plays effectively, and it would be a shock to see him not land positive.
  4. Golden Sun - Sharks - Golden Sun is just a safe pick. During SPL 5, Golden Sun and his Magic Meta were unstoppable forces. He didn't quite have the same impact in SPL 6, obtaining a much more middling record, but Golden Sun can easily overcome that slump this year. GS manages to put himself in advantageous positions even in the worst scenarios, and he has a load of experience to back up this claim. I reckon that Golden Sun putting in the effort would result in hella wins for the Sharks this season.
  5. undisputed - Wolfpack - Much like Golden Sun, undisputed is usually a safe pick as well. A solid performance in World Cup and a decent SPL record last season both showed Kevin is still in the game. Usually on the safer, more defensive side with his builds, undisputed is a bit more prone to being counterstyled than almost everyone on this list. If undisputed can adapt and maintain activity, expect good things from BKC's former tutor.
  6. Veteran In Love - Raiders - Following a dominating WCOP performance, VIL showed that he's still got it. In recent years, VIL has almost exclusively GSCed in SPL, so seeing what he can do in ADV is interesting. He's been relatively active on the PO ladder for years, so he is definitely still familiar with the metagame. VIL is rather unconcerned with being involved in the team environment, though, and treating SPL like an individual tournament definitely puts you at a disadvantage. It will be interesting if he can follow suit from WCOP, or if he'll just use gimmicks like in prior SPLs.
  7. Triangles - Falcons - Following a negative record from last year, Triangles is wanting to prove that he's a top ADV player. His motivation to do well is definitely one of the driving factors that can cause some upsets, but his past records aren't too impressive. Triangles has a very unique take on the ADV metagame compared to some of his competitors, so that gives him a distinct edge as well. He knows how to play ADV, but can he play it well enough against the tough player pool it has to offer?
  8. Fakes - Cryonicles - Fakes is more often known for playing a DPP role, so seeing him in ADV is rather interesting to say the least. He is familiar with the metagame, but his prowess in ADV is surely weaker than in DPP. In light of this, his lower ranking parallels that fact. Fakes is a competent player, but he's been relatively low key the past year or so. He doesn't seem to be too particularly involved with Pokémon in general, so activity concerns are a valid question. In one of the most loaded SPL tiers, Fakes just doesn't stack up as well as he should.
  9. Floppy - Scooters - If you were to describe Floppy in two words, it would be perpetually mediocre. Floppy manages to consistently average around 4-5 in SPL. If the Scooters were wanting a decent ADVer, then they surely paid for it. Gorgie sports interesting teams, and he can possibly catch some of his opponents off-guard with some avant-garde choices. Floppy's rather set in his ways after playing for 20 years, so it'd be a shock if he did anything differently.
  10. JabbaTheGriffin - Tigers - Jabba's a coinflip. He'll either be a huge upset or a huge flop—7-2 or 2-7. Jabba did decently in R1 of WCOP this year, only losing to BKC, but he exudes a rather dated style that can be exploited by his elite competitors. I wouldn't go so far as to say Jabba is washed up, but he's certainly not a spring chicken in metagame theory. If Jabba can get back in his groove, though, he could easily contend with even the best of the tier.

  1. Conflict - Sharks - After being retained for what seems like the 50th season in a row, Conflict is back yet again to GSC for the Sharks. Having played the tier practically since its inception, Conflict knows all the ins and outs to the metagame. With a wealth of knowledge and solid fundamental play, Conflict is almost ensured to have good records year after year. He may have some funky views on policy, but he at least knows a ton about GSC. On top of that, Conflict has M Dragon, another seasoned GSC player, to support him in his endeavors. The Sharks have this tier on lock, especially when this man can go on for 1000 turns.
  2. Picollo - Raiders - Maybe eugenics play a role in being good at Pokémon, because another German in Picollo takes the #2 slot for the GSC ranking. Picollo, much like Conflict, has played this tier forever and is extremely versatile in his teams. He had a bit of a falling off in SPL 5, but the Cryonicles took a leap of faith and retained him for SPL 6, and he performed quite well for them. Also, Picollo has solid GSC support in Veteran In Love if he ever happens to come online, so that can only bolster Picollo's possible success too. Expect good things from Picollo week to week.
  3. Mr.E - Falcons - Mr.E is one of only a few players to have played in every SPL, and he currently holds the record for the most SPL wins of all time. On top of this, he has played GSC in almost every SPL game. The self-proclaimed best GSCer in history is attempting to follow up from his success of 7-4 last year. Mr.E may be the most infuriating, sarcastic, and maddening player ever, but he certainly isn't unreliable. And to top it all off, he has disproven the myth that he can only run one team. He's already as strong as a Machamp; he doesn't need to have one in every team anymore.
  4. idiotfrommars - Ruiners - I personally don't agree with this ranking, but IFM is ranked astronomically high at #4. To give him some credit, he has played GSC during World Cup and SPL decently prior to this year, but he's never been too remarkable. In SPL, he had his peak in SPL 4 in BW OU with a huge score, and after that, he's just done rather okay. Maybe I'm wrong and IFM is deserving of a top-half rank, especially considering he has Tiba and Baika to support him, but I'm not quite sure about this one. This will definitely be the last test for IFM to prove he's indeed top tier.
  5. Earthworm - Tigers - Everyone thought Earthworm was done with Pokémon forever when he was absorbed by the Fields of Justice, but the former head TD was coerced into playing for World Cup this year with several other old-timers. This tournament may have sparked his Pokémon fire a bit, as he now is playing for SPL. During World Cup, Earthworm showed the same level of dominance he emitted during his prime, and everyone knows that Earthworm is one of the greats of all time. His only loss during all his World Cup games being to a timeout, it will be interesting to see if the Earthworm of old can emerge during SPL this season. The key will be motivation; if he gets going, he could easily be #1 on this list.
  6. Colchonero - Cryonicles - Colchonero is the first player in SPL history to ever go 0-9. That's right, he was the biggest bust of SPL last season. During World Cup, Colchonero at least won some games, but he created some drama by essentially calling out his team publicly in the finals. It's pretty self evident that Colcho is a pretty huge risk at this stage in the game. He used to be one of the most reputable GSC players, but he has since fallen off to play other games and is generally inactive. Will he pull another bad year, or will he prove he's still one of the best? It is all about the mental game; for the sake of good matches, let's hope he doesn't tilt.
  7. Isa - Scooters - Although he may still have PTSD from getting smashed by Earthworm in World Cup, Isa's ready to come back for seconds this SPL. Most well known for his well-trained Tauros in RBY, Isa's now rotating with Bedschibaer in both of these tiers. Having a phenomenal support staff in Beds and BKC to support him, Isa should probably perform decently. In my opinion, though, Isa's play in GSC felt a little lacking, and he won't have as much success as he would if he were playing RBY. He can't win without luck, people!
  8. Lavos Spawn - Wolfpack - Lavos's Smogon career is essentially a sine curve. When he first appeared on the scene, he had lots of hype behind him due to an admirable performance on Team West for WCOP. Afterward, his abrasive tendencies eventually got him debadged and later banned. He had an upswing last SPL after learning and doing well in GSC, but many accredit a lot of Lavos's success to Isa babysitting him. During World Cup, Lavos had a pretty quality record of 2-1 before yet again getting banned by admins. If Lavos can stay out of trouble, will he continue the downhill spiral, or will he rekindle his hype yet again?
  9. giara - Classiest - One of the most peculiar trades in the preseason involved giara. The Cryonicles managed to trade away his 3k retainer to the Classiest for a whooping 4k. giara is presumed to have gone for much less at auction, so it baffled most other teams why the Classiest would intentionally overpay for this Frenchie. Were there any under-the-table additions tacked onto this bid? Regardless, giara is known for being old and French. He astutely picked up NU last season for the Cryonicles and achieved a decent record, and he played GSC for France during World Cup. He's no connoisseur of GSC, but he can at least put up a good fight against mostly anyone.
  10. d0nut - BIGs - After Malekith elected not to GSC this season, the Bigs had to scramble to find a replacement from their roster. d0nut, an age-old Serebii player, opted to take on the burden of playing GSC. As the tier is known as one of the most skill-based in SPL, d0nut may be playing against ancient users who have years of experience under their belt. d0nut's saving grace is the fact that he has players like McMeghan and Malekith as teammates to help him, but it's still going to be a tough nine weeks for d0nut. The BIGs may want to look into some midseason pickups or trades to help fill this hole in their roster.

  1. Tiba - Ruiners - RBY is Tiba's court. Considering he sports an incredible SPL record with him not losing more than three times in the past three years, a game with Tiba makes completing Dark Souls look like kid's play. The big thing here is that Tiba has seemingly been inactive for long periods of time, which could contribute to "rust". However, this isn't that big of a deal in old gens, as the metagames tend to not shift and, well, the playerbase also takes long breaks. All in all, Tiba is the player to beat in RBY this SPL.
  2. reyscarface - Falcons - The irony of one of Smogon's loudest hax haters playing RBY (known as the luck-filled generation) is too much. However, momentum is a big thing in everything competitive, and the player who can rival Tiba's massive streak in RBY is reyscarface. The Mexican is currently unbeaten in RBY Bo3 Smogon tournaments, holding the title of winner of the RBY Cup in the Smogon Classic, as well as going undefeated during the World Cup. It will be interesting to see if he can carry on this insane streak coming into SPL, which historically has been his weakest tournament.
  3. Lutra - Cryonicles - Lutra can be called the Professor Oak of RBY. He definitely has the most knowledge of the tier out of everyone he could fight, and it doesn't stop at just the tier, but the competition itself. Hosting ridiculous numbers of tournaments and participating in many more, he is probably the most practiced player coming into SPL. He will be looking to surpass his average record of last year, and with several top players like Isa and marcoasd, who used to be his toughest opponents, not playing RBY, he will probably end up with a very positive record.
  4. Bedschibaer - Scooters - The meme master is worth his price in dankness itself, but don't be fooled—he is also a very capable player. Many people probably don't know, but there's an active RBY scene in a forum outside of Smogon that holds very high-level RBY tournaments throughout the year. Bedschibaer accrued the second-most number of points in the Seasonal, one of the toughest tournaments in that forum, just behind marcoasd. Bedschibaer is probably just as practiced as Lutra, and with Isa on his team offering support, he will definitely have a good showing this SPL.
  5. MetalGro$$ - BIGs - He first made a splash in the tournaments scene on PO and then made a name for himself as a great RBY player on Smogon. MetalGro$$ had an average SPL record, but he followed it with a great World Cup one, finishing 3-0 in his group. He has remained relatively quiet in old gens afterwards, focusing instead on the Smogon Tour and just missing the playoffs after losing in the tiebreaker. He is one of the few RBY players who have a vast knowledge of several tiers, so if he can apply several fundamentals and mix up his play, he is going to be a threat.
  6. Tobes - Raiders - Tobes is a relatively new presence in the RBY scene. After an extended hiatus from the tournaments scene—I think it's been a few years since he had a few solid tour wins in ADV—he came back for World Cup and had a very strong showing in RBY. Known for his characteristic use of Cloyster and trapping moves, Tobes may not be as practiced as a few of the players in this list, but he makes up for it with his raw skill and interesting teambuilding.
  7. Golden Gyarados - Tigers - GG is a veteran in RBY. He is, like several players in this list, a very active player in the aforementioned RBY forum, PokémonPerfect, in which he has obtained good results throughout the years. He hasn't had a big showing in any Smogon tournament yet, despite having several chances in team tournaments like World Cup and SPL. Although he might not be on the same level as the players above him, he is still an imposing threat and his vast experience compared to his opponents could help him clutch games.
  8. Ortheore - Wolfpack - This is Ortheore's first SPL, which puts him behind the players in this list who have a good amount of experience. He is still a strong player who comes from PokémonPerfect like almost half this list, and although he has gotten good results there, he has yet to make any kind of name for himself in Smogon. He also has very little team support and has admitted that he's a very quiet and reserved team player, so unless he manages to step up massively it doesn't seem like he will get a good record.
  9. The_Chaser - Sharks - The_Chaser is the original Smogon RBY all-star. After almost ending one SPL season completely unbeaten in RBY, he made a big name for himself. Sadly, after that, he took a very extended hiatus and randomly joined tourneys here and there, but all that is left for now is his legacy of that one SPL. His activity may drop at any time, and he doesn't have the degree of practice that the others do, as he does not play at PokémonPerfect. Chaser has a very high skill ceiling though, so if he steps it up he could do good; it's all up to him.
  10. Agammemnon - Classiest - This Frenchman is kind of an enigma. He used to be an avid tourney player, and although he had decent results here and there, he never really made a huge impression. He took up RBY for a couple SPLs in which he, frankly, did pretty badly. Afterwards, he disappeared, only very recently coming back (he didn't even play in World Cup for France despite a very lackluster performance from froggy25). He has experience in SPL, but a huge lack of practice not only in RBY but also in the game in general is a big hurdle that he will have to overcome.

Overall Team Rankings

Week 1 Prediction by Ranking

The Alpha Ruiners (7) vs The Wi-fi Wolfpack (5)
OU: TheEnder vs aim
UU: Mazar vs Omfuga
RU: Kushalos vs Afro Smash
NU: Jarii vs Bouffalant
LC: mad0ka vs Mambo
Doubles: checkmater75 vs Braverius
BW: SoulWind vs thatsjustpeachy
DPP: Bad Ass vs Stathakis
ADV: dekzeh vs undisputed
GSC: idiotfrommars vs Lavos Spawn
RBY: Tiba vs Ortheore
The Cryonicles (9) vs The Indie Scooters (3)
OU: Alexander. vs cosine180
OU: GeeMick vs xray
UU: teal6 vs xMarth
RU: Scythe. vs Windsong
NU: Teddeh vs Realistic Waters
LC: Star. vs fitzy72
Doubles: kamikaze17 vs Biosci
BW: Sweepage vs Jirachee
DPP: TV-Rocka vs Go10
ADV: Fakes vs Floppy
GSC: Colchonero vs Isa
RBY: Lutra vs Bedschibaer
The Congregation of the Classiest (5) vs The Firebot Falcons (7)
OU: blunder vs Tesung
OU: daftmau5 vs Destiny Device
UU: Calloflochie vs dice
RU: New Breed vs 49
NU: soulgazer vs Can-Eh-Dian
LC: Heysup vs ZoroarkForever
Doubles: Arcticblast vs KyleCole
BW: Evuelf vs Leftiez
DPP: panamaxis vs Tamahome
ADV: Ojama vs Triangles
GSC: giara vs Mr.E
RBY: Agammemnon vs reyscarface
The Stark Sharks (7) vs The Circus Maximus Tigers (5)
OU: reiku vs ben gay
OU: Steve Angello vs mencemeat
UU: Hikari vs dodmen
RU: Meru vs atomicllamas
NU: Cased vs Blast
LC: blarajan vs OP
Doubles: TheFourthChaser vs qsns
BW: GOD MARTH vs Asuya
DPP: gene vs Honor
ADV: Golden Sun vs JabbaTheGriffin
GSC: Conflict vs Earthworm
RBY: The_Chaser vs Golden Gyarados
The Ever Grande BIGs (6) vs The Team Raiders (6)
OU: boudouche vs TDK
OU: Reymedy vs CrashinBoomBang
UU: bugzinator vs kokoloko
RU: galbia vs Esteemed User Ginku
NU: rozes vs Kiyo
LC: ZoroDark vs Kingler12345
Doubles: Laga vs BLOOD TOTEM
BW: Finchinator vs LuckOverSkill
DPP: Malekith vs Marshall.Law
ADV: McMeghan vs Veteran In Love
GSC: d0nut vs Picollo
RBY: MetalGro$$ vs Tobes
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