SPL 8 Power Rankings

By Finchinator and TDK.
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Official art by Ken Sugimori.

Welcome to the Power Rankings for the eighth edition of the Smogon Premier League. This will be the fourth edition of Power Rankings and the goal of this article is to hype up the upcoming tournament and give a representation of where each team is believed to stand in relation to the other teams. To obtain a general overview, we asked a few knowledgeable players 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 is important to highlight that these rankings are a far cry from 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 synergy, rotation of players, trades, hot/cold streaks, and potential bans (blooz). However, if you're overly sensitive and want to whine about how unfair they are, then feel free to complain anyway.

Special thanks to the following people for contributing in the creation of this article: -Tsunami-, Aberforth, ABR, anto, atomicllamas, Bedschibaer, BKC, blunder, boudouche, Braverius, bro fist, Checkmater, Ciele, Conflict, CrashinBoomBang, deoxys speed, dice, Fiend, Finchinator, FlamingVictini, FLCL, GOAO, HANTSUKI, Haund, Heysup, Isa, Jayde, Jirachee, kamikaze, Kingler12345, KratosMana, Kris, KyleCole, Luigi, Lumari, Lutra, Mazinger, M Dragon, mad0ka, Mael, MajorBowman, Memoric, Mr.378, Nayrz, Ojama, Omfuga, OP, P Squared, Pearl, piikachuu, Poek97, qsns, Quite Quiet, Rare Poison, reyscarface, Sken, Star, Stax, Steven Snype, TDK, teal6, Valentine, and ZoroDark.

The Alpha Ruiners


The Ruiners are a team led by the strongest SM OU core in the tournament and solid old generations that have some question marks throughout their line-up. Their strong suits that can power them through the tournament like the team last year when most of their OUs were strong while their lower tiers were mediocre. This time the dynamic shifts to an extent - leaving the main gen OU, Ubers, and Doubles and ADV through RBY as their fortes, but their mid-gen OUs and other SM slots as uncertainties. ABR, Blunder, IFM, MetalGro$$, Astounded, Memoric and Golden Sun are either proven or highly regarded players who should be capable of leading their team to victory. On the contrary, Smurf., Vinc2612, Fatty, and GeeMick all have some experience and varying degrees of success within the past few years, but will have to overachieve if they wish to be successful to the extent of their other teammates in their tiers. Sugarhigh can potentially fill-in for Vinc in BW while Vinc is a jack-of-all-trades, but master of none type of player, so there is room for change with these two and Smurf. being capable to BW and ADV as well, but none of these changes make them much better and there are still going to be weak spots in their roster unless multiple players overachieve. Luigi and HANTSUKI have their work cut out for them if they wish to have a balanced, consistently functional line-up, but that doesn't mean they can work the same way Ruiners did last year and perhaps have a surprise performance or two lead them to being one of the most threatening teams this season.

The Circus Maximus Tigers


tennisace's armada of 2009 superstars suits up for another edition of Smogon Premier League; this time around, the rusted-out players include the likes of McMeghan, JabbaTheGriffin, Tamahome, and Zebraiken. One Floppy shy of being the most bizarre conglomeration of veteran users past their primes ever seen in the history of SPL, the Tigers look to turn it around after a couple mediocre seasons. Criticism aside, the Tigers have a diverse group of players formed predominantly by the aforementioned group of old-timers and then a variety of newcomers such as p2, Eternal Spirit, Nintendi, DeepBlueC, and miltankmilk. These two different cultures are bound to clash this SPL, but that doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing if everyone on the team gets along and they are all open to each other and willing to do what it takes to maximize their teams' success. With this said, there are some doubts about the capabilities of the Tigers as a whole as they have various weaknesses or question marks such as their entire SM OU line-up, RBY OU, and the activity, motivation, and execution of Jabba in ADV OU. Even the supposed strong point of the Tigers, in McMeghan, could easily turn into a liability if McMeghan doesn't take the tournament seriously like his attitude and sign-up post indicate. Sure, McMeghan is a strong player, but the BW OU playerbase is fairly solid this year and nobody is able to consistently win against players of the same caliber of his likely opponents if they half-ass it and bring sub-optimal teams. Moreover, Tennisace, if he actually does anything whatsoever as manager, and Atomicllamas, who is a refreshing change of pace on a team like this, have their work cut out for them if they wish to lead their team to victory this season, but there is some potential there if they play their cards the right way.

Congregation of the Classiest


After an extremely dominant season that ended in disappointment, the Congregation of the Classiest are hoping to repeat in their success this season. However, their lineup lacks the same kind of superstars it possessed last year, especially after preseason drama had second-ranked blunder and Ojama leave via trade. With that said, the Classiest are certainly no slouch this season, getting three highly rated SM OU players, the top LC player, one of the best Doubles and ORAS OU players, and lastly one of the undisputed best at the game, Earthworm, in GSC. The team should be incredibly strong in these formats, as they are filled by players highly regarded within their area; however, remaining portions of their roster leave room for desire. AM, while always highly touted prior to his disappearance in 2014, is mostly an unknown for this season. The Classiest also dropped 3k on a completely unknown Ubers player, turning the heads of many. Perhaps Ubers specialist Omfuga has a few tricks up his sleeves? Regardless, the Classiest have one of strongest lineups in the league, but their success depends largely upon the consistency of their SM OU players; should they fail to pull out a good record, it would be a surprise to see this team come playoffs.

The Cryonicles


With 12k too much spent on njnp, pre-sales tax, and a raging GSC player who has been as inconsistent as humanly possible over the past few years, one could say this is a fairly predictable draft from the likes of Valentine. This self-proclaimed SPL economist actually didn't pick his team based off of the SPL 3 all-stars list like tennisace did, but his alternative method of prioritizing njnp over Sweepage and drafting a group of players that predominantly view him as a two-faced owl isn't exactly ideal, either. Despite all of this, the Cryonicles actually have a roster that's fairly capable and somewhat well-rounded outside of Ubers, which appears to have been completely neglected by Valentine during the auction. With a trio of strong Spanish old generation starters in Poek97, SoulWind, and Colchonero, the Cryonicles's attempt at having some form of team synergy is genuine and might help them get through some closer weeks when they lack the overall cohesion other teams have. Additionally, a scattered assortment of older, but generally solid, players such as mencemeat, Fakes, and Atticus provide a redeeming part of their line-up as well. Their remaining SM OU roster, outside of mencemeat, is about as big a question mark as any in the entire league, but at least Zamrock and njnp aren't entirely proven, so we can't flat-out say that they are bad quite yet, I suppose. With this said, Zamrock has shown to be more of a utility in support, so he will have to personally turn it up a notch, while njnp generally is regarded as mediocre and not worth putting up with, so he will have to work on his attitude at the same time as he improves upon his play. On a stronger note, the roster is rounded out by solid Doubles and RBY players, featuring KyleCole and Peasounay, respectively. Overall, the Cryonicles have what it takes to compete with anyone in terms of pure roster names and playing ability, but they have a lot of obstacles to deal with before they even think about competing down the road, so only time will tell here.

The Ever Grande BIGs


The Ever Grande BIGs continue to keep up the friendly vibe under management of Funkasaurus. Whether this season will present more success than last year's complete disappointment is likely, but not for certain. The first thing that jumps out from their roster is the return of the guy who Thunderbolted his own Rhydon: Laga. After his horrid performance last season, him finding his way back onto the same team he disappointed is nothing short of surprising. Outside of Ciele, their SM OU lineup remains either lowly rated or completely unknown; Destiny Device has been in quite the downward spiral since his last season with the BIGs, and mael not being known for his SM OU play makes it difficult to expect too much success. The BIGs surprised many with the retention of ZoroDark, which seemed like another typical Funkasaurus move of overpaying for people he liked (see: 40.5k McMeghan). This year, ZoroDark will be able to hopefully live up to the price tag, backed up by Coconut. The BIGs old gen players are rather average by SPL standards, only notably having the highly ranked dekzeh in ADV. However, within those old gen players is none other than resident tryhard Finchinator, who will do everything he can to make sure all 11 of his fellow starters are well aware of all of their opponent's habits. The BIGs roster has a multitude of highly touted players and their fair share of lowly rated players. Ciele, Finchinator, and dekzeh have a lot of pressure on them this season; not only do they need to consistently turn out wins for a successful season, but they also have to do what they can to assist their teammates to do the same.

The Firebot Falcons


Unfortunately for the Falcons, their manager isn't quite the SPL economist that Valentine is. Therefore, the Falcons went from having potential to be a solid SPL team pre-draft to being a mediocre SPL team with enough money to fund soulgazer's wig collection and anime addiction for the remainder of his sad time on Smogon post-auction. With 31k leftover, it's safe to say that the Falcon's pre-draft valuation of various players was quite off, but so was their belief that Leftiez was worth 16k, so maybe two wrongs will make a right. Besides the aforementioned series of questionable decisions, the Falcons demonstrated a clear plan to try and draft the core of the Afrabs WCOP team. Unfortunately for them, they're missing out on the most valuable piece of the puzzle in ABR, the teambuilder of the group and Ruiners retain, but perhaps the remaining pieces can still do well, seeing as they're not all in SM or ORAS, with Shoka in BW and Sweepage in DPP, and they have a certain element of synergy going for them if they don't implode. Reliable starters with varying degrees of experience in zf, Mr.E, and Bedschibaer help their overall chances a bit, as there will hopefully be a few reliable wins being brought in each week depending upon match-ups. Lacus Clyne and Sauga are two new players to SPL, but both of them have been labeled as high level prospects by prominent members of their respective tiers' communities and, therefore, there is reason to have hope in both having a solid first campaign in SPL if they can handle the pressure. On the contrary, xray, kamikaze, and Triangles look to improve upon average or mediocre past performances this season. Unless soulgazer and BLOOD TOTEM know something we don't about who is signing up during midseason or their entire plan now is to bank on someone big signing up that happens to fit into their scheme, then I have significant doubts about the Falcons, as they have a lot of work to do with their current line-up and will have 31k above their heads, pressuring all of their starters throughout the first half of the season to essentially play for their jobs. Moreover, expectations for the Falcons are relatively low, but they do have various strong spots in their line-up, and perhaps they can start off solid and then have a strong second half after an active midseason if they use their 31k well and they get the most out of their players.

The Indie Scooters


The Scooters have had a rough few years in terms of results, but they've been relatively competitive each season nevertheless. bro fist finds himself managing alongside CrashinBoomBang again after the pair managed together during an interesting SPL 6 run that culminated in the team barely missing out on the playoffs. This year, the Scooters took a different approach than past years, trying to change their fortune and push themselves into the playoff picture. Trading for the retention rights of Ojama can be seen as risky solely due to the price tag of Ojama's retain post-trade, but Ojama consistently does well in SPL, and, therefore, the risk is minimized regardless of his high price. With limited funds going into the auction because of this, the Scooters found themselves incredibly short on cash after spending upwards of 20k on Phil7086 for DPP, who is a reliable option himself, relatively early on. However, they made the most of their remaining money and will have a generally competitive roster because of this. With Axel10, Sabella, and Hector Hard Mode in SM OU, the managerial duo of bro fist and CrashinBoomBang will need to be especially helpful due to their starters' lack of SPL experience, but this trio is manageable. All of these three players have participated in tournaments like WCOP and OLT, but none of them are truly proven, so there is a high level of uncertainty surrounding this SM core, comprised of three late-draft picks. Additionally, TheThorn is in the same boat as the SM players when it comes to lacking experience, but at least he is able to stick with his main generation, ORAS, as opposed to having to learn a whole new generation and grow comfortable, so perhaps he has a bit more upside than his teammates. The Scooters have lots of redeeming qualities, however, such as two incredibly competent and capable players in Jirachee and Star, playing BW and LC, respectively. With everything taken into consideration, the Scooters are going to need to do some work in SM and ORAS OU, but they're otherwise one of the better rosters and they have the ability to be a playoff team if they work together and play to their full potential as a team.

The Stark Sharks


The Sharks this season are a fairly experienced group, full of veteran players and two seasoned managers. This could work wonders or it could lead to a mediocre showing depending on the level of activity, motivation, and execution. Their SM and ORAS OU core happens to be anchored by PDC and Reiku, who have been successful over the past few years. However, these two will need to adapt to SM OU smoothly if they wish to repeat this and Trosko will need to prove he can live up to his potential against some of the strongest competition out there in this SPL. The old generations on the Sharks are what's truly going to make-or-break them seeing as they have a lot of very proven, but potentially inactive, unmotivated, or rusty players that can either dominate or render sub-par results. Moreover, M Dragon and Malekith will have to work to keep their team on the right page while also assuring that the few inexperienced players, such as Trosko, -Snow, Corporal Levi, I Am a Rookie, and Lord Outrage, are able to transition properly into the SPL scene. Additionally, I Am a Rookie specifically is a huge question mark seeing as he has no experience in Smogon's Doubles tier and his willingness to adapt from VGC is very much in question, so his results are not expected to be particularly good. If all of this goes well, then the Sharks can be one of the best teams, but if something goes wrong, then this role of the dice in drafting activity risks and newer players could lead to a mediocre showing comparable to SPL 6 for the Sharks organization.

The Team Raiders


The Raiders appear to be a group of highly-regarded players that fit into the same cliques and are generally a bunch of friends with some others, who they get along with, filling out the remainder of their roster. The vibe this roster gives is much like that of last year, when FLCL and Sam took over the managerial spots for the team for the first time. This season, highly-priced old generation player BKC looks to lead the team with a group of fairly average old generation OU players accompanying him. With his support, the Raiders look very capable of succeeding in these tiers, even if BKC is playing one of his lesser tiers in order to make the line-up work for his team. This purchase also comes with the same set of expectations put on any player when team dumps upwards of 30k into them, so there could be some potential letdown as well. The spotlight is now on BKC to a significant extent and given that this two-time Smogon Tour winner is likely to be slotted in GSC, there's a chance he isn't as dominant as he otherwise would be in tiers such as BW, DPP, or ADV. This could potentially tilt the team if BKC starts losing and the high expectations aren't outwardly met in terms of his win total, so the Raiders have to be cautious. On the other side of the spectrum, this line-up easily has one of the best core of SM players, including OU, Doubles, LC, and Ubers. This whole group has been ranked fairly high and big things are expected from them. However, it's worth noting that Nedor is their ORAS OU player and he's completely unproven after an 0-3 WCOP and this spot worth keeping an eye on, especially if he struggles, as it's one of their few weaker points. With all of this taken into consideration, the Raiders have a lot of hype to live up to and they're capable of doing so, but they need to avoid hitting a slump at the wrong time like last season if they wish to do so.

The Wi-Fi Wolfpack


The Wolfpack seemed to draft a fairly average to mediocre starting line-up filled with some expected friends and then they decided to take a blindfold, put it on, and then pick-up whoever they managed to select in the player spreadsheet. This roster has a very comparable feel to that of the Wolfpack last year, which also had Pearl as a manager, and the SPL 7 Wolfpack were able to work together at a high-level and generate above average results. However, it's going to be a challenge to emulate these results this season unless they all truly work together and overachieve as they still have a few holes despite drafting a whopping twenty-one players. On the bright side, the Wolfpack have Aim and Astamatitos, who are both regarded as strong overall players who should put up solid results in their respective tiers while also supporting various Overused tiers and perhaps Ubers in regards to Aim specifically. The support is certainly there for a team of this size, but the results stem off of the true fire-power and starting players' results, so weak tiers such as the third SM slot, DPP OU, and RBY OU will have to outdo their expectations while everyone else on the roster does their job, whether it be playing or helping, if this team wishes to be back in the playoffs this year. Finally, Rozes and Pearl are probably two of the most popular, charismatic figures out there when it comes to dealing with the group of players they selected and they also are knowledgeable in a fair amount of tiers themselves, so if any individuals are capable of surmounting all of the aforementioned obstacles, perhaps these two can do it and lead the Wolfpack back to the playoffs.

  1. ABR
  2. blunder
  3. Ciele
  4. TDK
  5. mencemeat
  6. KratosMana
  7. reiku
  8. Leftiez
  9. PDC
  10. Lysergic
  11. Sweepage
  12. reyscarface
  13. FlamingVictini
  14. Axel10
  15. Eo Ut Mortus
  16. Trosko
  17. Eternal Spirit
  18. IAmGingy
  19. Isza
  20. njnp
  21. Cicada
  22. Sabella
  23. Hector Hard Mode
  24. Zamrock
  25. Destiny Device
  26. Steve Angello
  27. Adam
  28. Seeme
  29. Mael
  30. Snowy.

  1. ABR (1), blunder (2) & Isza (19th) - Ruiners - After some not-so-Classy drama, YouTube sensation thunderblunder777 found himself a spot next to his friend ABR on the Alpha Ruiners. The Ruiners pose the most threatening SM OU core, fielding both the first and second ranked players; between the two they combined for 17 wins and 5 losses, with two games happening against each other. ABR coming off of one of the most successful years in terms of winning in major tournaments is surely ready to prove he isn't going to hit a wall after a solid performance akin to his jewish friend Tesung. blunder, similarly to ABR, is coming off of a very hot year and is ready to show he's capable having another solid year without the assistance of the Heatah Fajita Corporation. The Ruiners rounded out their core with the addition of quite the popular topic in Isza. Up and comer, OLT qualifier, Bloo alt, and weeb, Isza presents an interesting addition to the Ruiners. While mostly unproven in the tournament scene, if past tournament success from other mobile players is any precedent, Isza is surely going to be a scary foe.
  2. TDK (4), KratosMana (6) & reyscarface (12) - Raiders - The Raiders have a dynamic trio of players and personalities slotted in SM. TDK is generally regarded as one of the top teambuilding minds in the tier while KratosMana and reyscarface have both had success in various tiers in the past. All three are ranked fairly high and have had success in the past, so it is likely that they will continue to do well in this SPL. However, the SM OU metagame is still relatively new and now is as likely a time as ever for newer, inexperienced players to do well and highly regarded, experienced players to slump. With this said, TDK is coming off of a victorious WCoP campaign and is leading the way in a very strong OU core. Will the new gen cause woes for these three generally strong players or will these three live up to their potential and achieve some of the best records in the tier?
  3. reiku (7th), PDC (9th) & Trosko (16th) - Sharks - The Spanish core of reiku and Trosko alongside reigning WCoP Champion PDC represent the Stark Sharks. After a very consistent year, reiku returns alongside his Spanish brethren to repeat as SPL champions. While not the most flashy or controversial player, reiku has been one of the most consistent in recent memory, continuously playing at a high level. Trosko, unlike reiku, is not battle-fought. Trosko presents the Sharks with quite an unknown factor. While consistently getting shoutouts from OLT champion Poek97 for teambuilding assistance, it is a wonder how he will perform on the big stage. With a new gen upon us, PDC will surely find a way to present his vast fan base with the most boring teams possible. PDC, coming off of a year he'd love to forget, is surely ready to prove he can produce more than just memes as he tries to help the Sharks repeat.
  4. Leftiez (8th), Sweepage (11th) & Cicada (21st) - Falcons - While the Falcons surely turned heads with the retention of Leftiez for 16k, there is less criticism for the Falcons SM OU players as a whole. Coming off of a less than stellar year, Leftiez and Sweepage form an Afrabs core that consistently performs and plays at a high level. While neither have much to show for it, out of the six Smogon Tours that have happened since Smogon Tour 16, Leftiez and Sweepage have each appeared in playoffs five times. No other players have made playoffs as often as these two in that timeline. Will the two be able to turn out results, or will they meltdown similarly to past instances? Cicada rounds out the roster, seeking to establish himself. Our favorite French weeaboo, after a very successful WCoP '15 run and a spot in Smogon Tour 20 playoffs, was barely seen in the year 2016. Only playing four games in SPL + WCoP combined, Cicada didn't bring out any notable results. The Falcons SM OU players as a whole all have had success in the past, but failed to produce any notable performances in 2016. It's hard to tell how they'll do as a whole, but one thing is for sure; Falcons management hopes to avoid any form of drama, lest history repeat itself.
  5. mencemeat (5th), njnp (20th) & Zamrock (24th) - Cryonicles - Between the highly rated YouTuber, mencemeat, aka MrJamvad, past OST champion njnp, and resident vocal tryhard Zamrock, the Cryonicles present one of the more interesting clash of personalities. To make up for his poor SPL record, he swiftly won his group in dominating fashion, only losing two Pokémon in three games. While it is evident when mencemeat puts in effort he is a force to be reckoned with, it is not clear if he'll put in the effort to win. Someone who will surely put in the effort, however, is Zamrock. Coming off of a WCoP championship, Zamrock is more ready than ever to finally get red pixels underneath his username, after losing in finals two years in a row. While Zamrock has only played a handful of games last year between SPL and WCoP, he has found himself to be a regular within the tournament community even without consistent performance, due to his intense drive to win. Whether or not he'll be able to live up to the expectations as a starter is unknown, but he will surely have plenty of support from njnp. Coming fresh off a tournament ban and removal of his OST trophy due to a ghosting incident prior in the tournament, njnp is out to silence his haters. Well known for his OST antics and controversial teambuilding choices, njnp was a hot commodity in the auction, surprising many with a 15k price tag. Will njnp be able to perform up to par, or fail to live up to the price?
  6. Lysergic (10th), Eo Ut Mortus (15th) & Adam (27th) - Classiest - Classiest management selected an interesting group of people; between Eo and Adam you have years of experience and metagame knowledge, but little tournament performance on the current gen in recent memory. On the other hand, you have ORAS OU specialist Lysergic, formerly and commonly known as Mob Barley, who is a rookie to SPL. While his tournament career is minimal, he had a positive WCoP run and has plenty of experience topping the ladder. Eo and Adam, on the other hand, pose as big unknowns to many of the current gen mains, much like Lysergic. While little is known of their habits in Sun and Moon, it is known they are both more than proven players with plenty of experience in the tournament scene.
  7. Ciele (3rd), Destiny Device (25th) & Mael (29th) - Bigs - While lacking on the big personalities, the Ever Grande BIGs bring out a diverse core of SM OU players. After a five year break from team tournaments, Ciele is back to compete amongst the best. After a very successful year in individual tournaments, winning Smogon Tour 21 and reaching Smogon Grand Slam playoffs, Ciele is more than capable of producing a top record. His teammate Destiny Device, however, cannot speak to the same form of success. Seemingly in a slump since his successful WCoP '14 and SPL 6 seasons, Destiny Device surely will be ready to prove himself capable with the presence of a new gen. Mael, while not the most well-known current gen player, has proven he is a capable and competent player in past gens by tiebreaking with teal6 and hellpowna for a spot in the Smogon Classic playoffs. Will Mael be able to transition and perform at a high level?
  8. Axel10 (14th), Sabella (22nd) & Hector Hard Mode (23rd) - Scooters - The Scooters SM OU core consists of three players with zero experience in SPL. Even with this, they are not a group of players to pass off as a free game. The Sheriff, also known as Axel10, is coming off of a solid WCoP performance where he impressed many, including resident hypeman CrashinBoomBang. While he has never signed up for SPL before this season, he surely will be a force to be reckoned with. Sabella finds himself outside of the Monotype subforum and onto the big stage as an SM OU starter for the Scooters. Sabella, while rather inexperienced in official tournaments, is a two-time OLT playoff qualifier, where he was able to win over his managers. Hector Hard Mode is one of the more promising newcomers, generating quite a bit of hype from the community as a potential SPL buy, and eventually found himself alongside Canadian captain Jirachee once again. Will the Canadians find themselves with a more fruitful season than they did in WCoP?
  9. FlamingVictini (13th), IAmGingy (18th) & Snowy. (30th) - Wolfpack - The Wolfpack players posses varying degrees of experience, past success, and metagame knowledge. FlamingVictini has made a name for himself this past year between his success in both OU and RU. FV is commonly known for both putting in Finchinator-esque effort into getting activity wins and for using Cobalion in semifinals of WCoP, where he confidently assured his team of his eventual victory. While the highly touted Wolfpack retain is surely going to look for more ways to innovate, he very well could go overboard and cost his team. Speaking of innovators, the next Wolfpack SM OU player is the seasoned veteran IAmGingy. Gingy, now entering his third straight SPL, is hoping to bounce back after last SPL, where the Classiest lost to the Sharks in heartbreaking fashion. Gingy has commonly been known as one of the more wild ORAS OU players, whether using creative teams or portraying himself in a unique way, Gingy always makes every attempt to win and will surely be a threat this season. Snowy, while extremely new to the tournament scene, rounds out the ranking as the last ranked player. Snowy, like his teammates, is also known for his unique team selection. Whether or not he'll remain unknown to the community will be determined by his results, but the Wolfpack's Australian underdog will do what he can to leave his mark.
  10. Eternal Spirit (17th), Steve Angello (26th) & Seeme (28th) - Tigers - The Tigers picked a unique group of players. The batch of Tigers players include seasoned veteran Steve Angello, experienced Seeme, and relative newcomer Eternal Spirit. While Seeme isn't a first timer, he's only been around for a year and, simply put, remains rather unknown to the majority of the player base. In terms of tournament participation, he produced a poor combined record between SPL and WCoP but managed to reach round six of OST. Steve Angello, formerly a part of the defending SPL champion Sharks, is back and ready to eradicate those who stand in his way of repeating. Steve Angello, while not the most consistent ORAS OU player, constantly found himself in a starting position and met mild success. Let us hope his temper does not get the best of him, should he forget to smoke his ceremonial cig. Eternal Spirit has become one of the more popular topics towards the end of ORAS OU. While his playstyle may be reason to raise questions, he did have a fantastic OLT run, not dropping a single game up until finals where he lost to Poek97. Whether or not Eternal Spirit will be as successful as he was in OLT is unknown, but what is known is that he is ready to prove, like ORAS, people simply aren't at his level.

  1. Hack - Raiders - Recognized by most as the top Ubers player with the win of the Ubers Open to back him up, Hack finds himself at the top of the rankings. His other tournament performances and past years in SPL and Ubers in general give him a rather large lead over most of his competing Ubers players simply via experience alone, but is also a player capable of any playstyle in the tier, something the other players do not all have in common. Hack is also backed up by a very strong roster, with BKC also able to back him up in his adventures. This leaves him as the main man to watch and brings the expectations of many victories this SPL.
  2. Astounded - Ruiners - As a member of the community for a couple of years, Astounded has accumulated loads of experience from smaller venues. His Ubers seasonal performances have been consistently high, and he won the playoffs for that same tournament. While he lacks experience in this setting, his aggressive playstyle and strong fundamentals will surely net many wins.
  3. Level 56 - Bigs - In many ways Level 56 is comparable to his good friend Astounded. As a very proficient tournament player, even outside of Ubers, he is a great buy. The only complaint people tend to have with Level 56 is that no one really knows how good of a builder he is, while he is reputed for picking strong metagame choices for his games, it's rarely his own teams.
  4. Lord Outrage - Sharks - The most furious Ubers player has returned after his extended break. With excellent understanding of the tier as well as strong teammates in Dice and Minority to help him, Trout is looking poised to achieve a positive record. Lord Outrage is mostly known for his strong building capability, but it remains to be seen how he has improved what many describes as his biggest weakness: his temperament.
  5. Gunner Rohan - Scooters - The previous Anything Goes wonder landed in Ubers and has consistently improved by taking any chance there was to play in tournaments. As evidence of his almost constant rate of improvement, his best placing was in the last seasonal tournament he played, where he lost in the grand finals. Gunner is a consistent builder and player alike, which is needed with the limited support Scooters can offer him.
  6. PROBLEMS - Wolfpack - The brit is back after being rather inactive for the large majority of ORAS. While his performances in the previous two SPLs have been on the positive, many would doubt how on point he is at this point. Still, Problems seems to thrive playing against high level players and his aggressive playing style is bound to net a couple of wins.
  7. Edgar - Tigers - Much of what can be said about Problems can be said about Edgar. As an old time Ubers great, his opponent will have a large degree of respect for him. Edgar is known for his creativity, but in a tournament like this, the amount of victories is what matters. This is a wild card and it can really go either way.
  8. Lacus Clyne - Falcons - While Lacus in new on this scene, she has been around for quite a while, being good friends with Astounded and such. Which brings us to the first question mark: is she self-sufficient enough? It's hard to tell, as there is bound to exist loads of uncertainty with new tiers. Also, her playing ability has been subject to criticism by other top players. She knows Ubers well enough to the point where she can't be counted out - her managers will have to cross their fingers and hope for the best.
  9. Sin and Victimization - Classiest - While this absurdly long-named character is supposedly full fledged Ubers main, it doesn't help much when you have no tournament results to speak of whatsoever. Many feel there were a few Uber players would have been a better pick up here. At least his manager, Omfuga, is a very proficient Ubers player himself, but can he really hope to salvage this alone?
  10. psychicmewtwo - Cryonicles - There is a long standing tradition of there always being a manager(s) who inexplicably "forgets" to buy an Ubers player. The mentality is somewhat understandable - a good enough player who puts in the time should be able to achieve good results anywhere. It's only Pokémon after all. Rarely does this work in practice, and many high level Ubers players have facepalmed at general high level players attempting to play the tier in short notice. Maybe this sort of stunt worked with Pokeaim but at least he had heaps of support and a high fundamental skill.

  1. Heysup - Classiest - One of the most prominent LC players during ORAS, Heysup makes a return as a top player in Gen VII. Not only did Heysup have the best record in the last season of SPL, but he has much more tournament experience than the rest of the LC player pool. With both the metagame knowledge and the playing ability, he seems set up to have a great season this year.
  2. Star - Scooters - Star has remarkably consistent year-round performances in forum tours and other team tournaments such as POCL in LC. Like Heysup, he is considered to be very well-versed in knowledge of the metagame and playing skill, but his tour experience falls a bit short of his fellow LCer. His high activity throughout the previous year should give him an edge over the rest of his competition, and it makes him worthy of the number two spot on this list.
  3. zf - Falcons - zf is considered a top player by many people in the LC community. He has a fair bit of tournament experience and can teambuild at a high level. With a helper in fitzy, another SPL-level LC player, on his team, we can expect to see good things from zf. With a consistent presence in the tier and continually solid results, it's fair to see zf ranked among the top three players in his tier. Expect big things from the Falcons' LCer.
  4. Corporal Levi - Sharks - The "Finchinator of LC", no one on this list is a bigger tryhard than Corporal Levi. Coming off winning the LC Open this year, Levi is considered a creative teambuilder and good player in the community. He has Vubon, who can test and build with him at a fairly high level, on his team, which gives him a slight advantage over some of the other players in the pool. However, outside of the LC Open, his tournament experience is highly limited, and he is the only player on this list to have never played in SPL. If Corporal Levi can get through the nerves of competing in SPL, he should have a moderately successful season.
  5. OP - Tigers - With a solid 5-4 record last year, OP is regarded as a good, albeit somewhat predictable player in the LC community. However, OP is just returning from a long hiatus at the end of Gen VI. How well OP can shake off the rust will determine whether he ends up near the top of the ranks or close to the bottom. Like Corporal Levi and mad0ka, OP also has the advantage of a sparring partner in the form of Zebraiken, something that could help him get reacquainted with LC more quickly.
  6. mad0ka - Raiders - mad0ka has been playing LC since the start of last gen. She is a very creative builder and solid player, though at times, she can be seen as a bit inconsistent. Her debut in SPL last year was slightly lucky yet ended on a strong note. She also has the support of Kingler12345, assuming their personalities mesh well. mad0ka has a reputation of being prone to quitting when things don't go her way; if she has a rough start to the season, it is unlikely she will be able to turn it around. If she doesn't get along with the rest of her team, she may end up backing out before midseason.
  7. ZoroDark - Bigs - The BIGs' season pickup of last year returns for yet another season with the team, managing to steady the ship rather well after his rough start in the season. There are several questions when it comes to how proficient ZoroDark actually is in Little Cup, given the majority of his wins occurred after the BIGs picked up Sken midseason. He is primarily going to be helped by Coconut, who is comparatively less proven than Sken was, in learning and teambuilding. However, with his general skill in most tiers and results here and there, ZoroDark could end up pulling a strong season this year.
  8. Sken - Wolfpack - A midseason pickup for the BIGs last year, Sken finds himself as a starter position for the Wolfpack. Sken is regarded as a strong teambuilder, having contributed to ZoroDark's turnaround after midseason in SPL 7. Sken isn't widely known for his playing ability, however, with his tournament record being incredibly sparse. He has recently made an effort to get more involved in the tournament scene, but it remains to be seen whether or not his efforts have paid off.
  9. fatty - Ruiners - fatty finds himself in the starters spot this year after spending the entirety of SPL 7 riding the bench. He is a fairly old fixture in the tournament scene, having participated in four previous editions of SPL, but hasn't had much success in its recent iterations. Fatty does have plenty of experience in Little Cup, but his previous runs have shown that while he has tournament experience and metagame knowledge, whether or not he has the skills to succeed in a high-level field like SPL remains to be seen.
  10. Ice Tea - Cryonicles - The Cryonicles have decided to try the age-old strategy of taking a general tournament player and sticking them into a lower tier, a strategy with historically mixed results. Ice Tea isn't completely inexperienced in LC, however, as he won the most recent iteration of the Grand Slam, winning all of his LC games in the playoffs, in spite of losing LC Open early on. If Ice Tea in his form from playoffs shows up this SPL, he could surprise everyone with a highly successful season. He is completely on his own, however, as no one else on his team has ever touched Little Cup. The question is, to what extent can his tournament experience make up for his general lack of metagame knowledge?

  1. MajorBowman - Tigers - MajorBowman was a 3k pick for VGC last year, mostly known for his Nugget Bridge Major win, which proved his haters wrong with an excellent 4-0 record in DOU. This year, he's the only DOU retain, and for good reason: he followed up his great results with the second place spot in the Doubles Open, as well as going undefeated in the main season of the smaller DPL tour. Expect Bowman to be a powerhouse this SPL and pull similar results for the Tigers.
  2. KyleCole - Cryonicles - KyleCole is the most consistent player on this list, being defined by overall solid results despite occasionally wacky teams. Although he's known for cheesy teams within the DOU community, such as often using setup spam, his wide variety of preferred playstyles, from rain to bulky offense, will keep his opponents guessing week after week. Kyle boasted an impressive 6-3 record last SPL, but he hasn't participated in many tournaments in the past year, perhaps leaving him slightly rusty.
  3. Stax - Raiders - Stax has had consistently amazing records across the board this last year, most recently conquering the Doubles Open. While he doesn't have prior SPL experience, he's the best new player to start playing the tier, using solid teams to dominate the field. Stax doesn't seem to have any glaring weaknesses going into the tournament and will pull a good record.
  4. Braverius - Classiest - Braverius will always be high on this list, as he always performs well in SPL. The most expensive buy at the auction, he makes hard-to-read plays and varies his teambuilding constantly, and his runner-up placing in the most recent Seasonal shows that he keeps up with the tier and its tournaments. His massive amounts of experience should give him some great results this year as well.
  5. Memoric - Ruiners - Memoric, like MajorBowman, went 4-0 last SPL after being picked up midseason. Memoric's teambuilding tends to be either bog standard or insane to the point of no return, making him an interesting player. However, a lack of notable results in any other tour, with many believing his excellent SPL record to be a fluke, leaves him at #5 on this list.
  6. SamVGC - Wolfpack - SamVGC has had good results yearlong, performing excellently throughout DPL and the Seasonals. Though he lacks prior SPL experience, he's in a similar boat as Stax, boasting strong results that should translate into SPL wins. He'll also have the support of cute user qsns.
  7. kamikaze - Falcons - There was a lot of hype behind kamikaze last year, but he simply failed to live up to it, going 0-3, even with support from his teammate Lohgock. Mediocre tournament results in the meantime as well as a complete lack of teambuilding have decayed his ranking down to the seventh spot. It should be noted this year he'll have the support of his manager, BLOOD TOTEM, which could help him remedy the teambuilding issue.
  8. Laga - Bigs - The legendary "Doubles God" Laga returns to SPL after an absolutely disappointing season, going 0-3 after being bought for 12.5k, leading to a midseason sell. However, he has been practicing more with DOU regulars and is getting back into the tier. If he can avoid boneheaded plays like last year and direct his weird teambuilding energies in the right way, he could produce some good results.
  9. Biosci - Scooters - Despite consistent records in SPL, Biosci is ranked #9 on this list. He is usually underestimated towards the beginning of a season, being outshined by flashier names with more recent DOU tournament results, but don't be surprised to see Biosci at the top. Like a lot of the shakier picks this SPL, metagame knowledge could prove to be his downfall.
  10. I Am a Rookie - Sharks - Rookie's performance this year will be the most interesting story this year: either VGC players prove themselves yet again to perform spectacularly in SPL, or the lack of experience leads to many crushing defeats for the Sharks. With a grand total of zero games of DOU played before the SPL draft, poor metagame knowledge could prove to be the downfall of their only Doubles player. Though Rookie has impressive results in VGC, winning the most recent Nationals with some innovative teambuilding picks, he seems to be the most volatile name on the list.

  1. Poek97 - Cryonicles - Poek97 has made a name for himself as a very solid player in the short amount of time he's been known; after hiding in the depths of PokeSpain forums, he emerged to play for Spain in WCoP '16, in which he made his mark. After a very positive WCoP run, Poek97 added a OLT trophy to his resume with a victory over Eternal Spirit, whom he knocked out in two series from the losers bracket in impressive fashion. Poek has won the hearts of many managers, as evident by his price tag and fanbase, but regardless of the hype, this is his first SPL, and nothing is for certain. Poek has plenty of support alongside other well known ORAS OU players mencemeat and njnp, who will assist him whenever possible to assure a successful season. Everyone's favorite weeaboo is going to seek to continue his stellar performance while being apart of the Cryonicles.
  2. aim - Wolfpack - Everyone's favorite YouTuber, pokeaimMD, is back and ready to rejoin his Wolfpack brethren for another SPL season. Whether or not he stays in ORAS OU for all nine (and maybe more!) weeks is highly doubtful, but we'll mostly find him in ORAS OU. Joey was one of Smogon's more consistent players during the entirety of gen 6, pulling out 27 wins since the release of XY, only losing 12 times, consistently performing at a high level throughout every tier he played. Although he isn't most well known for his teambuilding, he'll be able to produce plenty of teams between his teammates and mencemeat's PM box. Joey, being one of the most diverse players to grace the big stage, is an extremely competent player and will be a vital asset to the Wolfpack this season.
  3. High Impulse - Classiest - High Impulse, after a year of no SPL, returns to the big stage to play ORAS OU for the Classiest. After his break, High Impulse proved to be a consistent ORAS OU player, making OLT playoffs and performing successfully. Later on, he participated in WCoP for the Afrabs, again playing at a very consistent level in ORAS OU. Formerly a BW OU main, High Impulse now finds himself as one of the highest rated ORAS OU players in the tournament, where he'll likely face tougher competition than past tournaments. Whether or not High Impulse will be able to perform without the assistance of ABR is unknown, but in an older generation such as ORAS OU, what can stop him should he decide to bring out his trusty Mega Lopunny sand?
  4. GeeMick - Ruiners - After last year's tiebreaker against ABR, GeeMick returns to ORAS OU, hoping him and his team don't meet a similar fate. GeeMick, while a relatively new face the tournament scene, has been around since WCoP '15, where he caught the eye of his eventual Cryonicles managers. Since then, GeeMick has has solid results, consistently being found performing well in multiple different tournaments. GeeMick now finds himself alongside some other strong ORAS OU players in ABR and blunder, surely able to support their teammate throughout the season.
  5. xray - Falcons - Once seen as one of ORAS OU's best players, xray had an incredibly average 2016. Barely breaking .500, xray didn't perform up to expectations. 2016 was full of disappointment for xray, between being apart of the SPL 7 Scooters, who were practically eliminated from playoffs just after midseason, and then apart of a loss in WCoP finals at the hands of US East and -Tsunami-, wielding the infamous team where all 6 Pokémon were walled by Amoonguss, and then getting temporarily tournament banned for the Germany ghosting scandal. Even with all of this, xray has never been thought of poorly and surely can put up quite a challenge against the other ORAS OU players this SPL. He still has the potential to live up to expectations and silence his haters, but also could end up failing once again.
  6. Posho - Bigs - Next up on the list is (former) meme and current BIGs ORAS OU starter, EG Posho. Coming off of a run to finals of Smogon Tour 22, where he eventually fell to BKC, Posho has met a mild success and enough to be a worthwhile pickup for the BIGs. Between his Smogon Tour run and qualification for OLT playoffs, he's solidified himself as a SPL-level player and is more than capable of matching up to the competition. While we certainly won't be finding Posho playing SM OU, he's more than capable in ORAS OU and will be able to challenge every potential opponent.
  7. Nintendi - Tigers - After being defeated by njnp in the finals of OST, Nintendi has stuck around in the tournament community, making a name for himself with his performance in OST, WCoP, OLT playoffs, and now as an SPL starter. Nintendi is incredibly new to the tournament scene, and was rather unknown prior to his OST 12 run, has constantly participated in tournaments and performed well in them. Even with this, he largely remains unproven, solidifying himself as nothing more than an average tour player. Could SPL be his opportunity to become more?
  8. Nedor - Raiders - Despite having a poor WCOP showing featuring an 0-3 record, Nedor is looking to bounce back and make his first big splash in the tournament scene. The mini-TDK and Canadian prodigy is regarded as a teambuilding sensation, but his battling and tournament handling capabilities are certainly in question going into this tour with minimal experience and a lackluster WCOP campaign in the books. Despite the lackluster WCOP showing, many people see potential in Nedor, and he certainly has potential if he plays his cards right in preparation and steps up to the plate come game time. With a questionable overall ORAS playerbase, now might be as good a time as ever for Nedor to test his true worth and capabilities. Will Nedor live up to his full potential and compete at a high level in his first SPL, or will he crack under pressure and repeat his previous results?
  9. TheThorn - Scooters - Similarly to the Scooters SM OU players, TheThorn finds his way onto the roster by impressing his managers with his play during OLT playoffs. While he did get eliminated in the first two rounds, he displayed solid metagame knowledge and play, as three of his four defeats were at the hands of some rather unfortunate bits of luck. Even with this, TheThorn largely remains an unknown to the entirety of the tournament community, and how he does up against the majority of SPL competition is completely unknown.
  10. -Snow - Sharks - The Italian and former catfish is making his second SPL showing this season after two seasons of being overlooked by managers despite various attempts to seduce their draft plans. -Snow is seen as one of the most unpredictable and gimmicky players out there, using things such as regular Altaria and Mega Aggron in XY, Pachirisu various times throughout the generation, and the core of Mega Glalie, Rotom-Fan, and Empoleon in recent months. Overall, -Snow has had varying levels of success in WCOP over a few appearances, but he has never stood out as a consistently above average performer in the context of his fellow Italians, and Italy has never been seen as a powerhouse in terms of ORAS talent, so this does not bode well for -Snow when it comes to competing in an SPL field. With expectations set incredibly low, perhaps spectators should be looking for gimmicks and surprises from -Snow's Pokémon and movesets moreso than wins from him this SPL.

  1. SoulWind - Cryonicles - SoulWind has been regarded as one of the best BW OU players for a few years now, earning him the top ranking. Furthermore, this Spanish player has branched out to using more than just conventional styles and sets over the past year or so, making him even more threatening and unpredictable. With this said, SoulWind has also demonstrated an inability to truly dominate competition in a consistent fashion, struggling through the first round of the recent WCoP against some weaker opponents due to some bad luck and questionable team choices. If SoulWind does his homework and sticks to his guns when he needs to while resorting to outside-of-the-box tactics from time to time, then he can lead the pack in BW. Alternatively, SoulWind can struggle to gain traction this year if he finds himself in a similar predicament to that of WCoP. Only time will tell how SoulWind manages his games in preparation and play this season, but there is certainly a high ceiling for Spain's best BW player.
  2. McMeghan - Tigers - McMeghan is among the best players of all time on this website; there are very few things that this man has not achieved over the course of his prime. Unfortunately, the Belgian's prime has passed after a mediocre campaign with the Bigs in ADV last season. Since then, McMeghan has become a self-declared meme and also claims that he will not be taking this tour entirely seriously, willing to use unconventional and fun strategies, sets, and Pokémon in his matches. His success will boil down to the viability and effectiveness of these gimmicks and unconventional strategies. With such a high ranking, it can be believed that despite this potential red flag, the star power of McMeghan is enough to warrant him in consideration as one of the best players in the playerbase given his incredibly high ceiling. However, he is certainly seen as a flight risk, and it would be hard to label him as reliable or a sure thing given his likelihood to use strategies that can be inconsistent and simply suboptimal.
  3. Jirachee - Scooters - The Canadian tournament director looks to maintain his standing as one of the better BW players in SPL's recent history after good showings in the past few seasons. Jirachee was seen as one of the tier's weaker players going into SPL 6, but he changed the opinions of many after a strong campaign that season and is looking to be one of the top players in the tier again this season as a member of the Scooters. We have seen Jirachee branch out a bit in SPL 7 from being a fairly one-dimensional player during a fair portion of SPL 6, including most of his victories, but Jirachee will need to continue to assert himself as a diverse, yet effective, player in this season if he wishes to continue his recent SPL success.
  4. Finchinator - Bigs - Finch is the epitome of hard work. One would be hard-pressed to find someone more dedicated to pre-battle preparation, as well as someone with more passion for the tier he's playing. These two factors combined with generally solid teambuilding skill make Finch a good pick for a win against just about anyone in BW. However, while his play is certainly solid, he can occasionally play too fast at the beginning of the game and wind up digging himself into an early hole that's hard to climb out of. He can also be tilted if his opponent makes a play or uses a set he doesn't agree with; thus, if someone has the awareness to exploit this, Finch could have a bad time. However, he also has the ability to make the right call on what team to bring, and his teams generally hit hard. He's not afraid to make ballsy plays, either, which will make any battle he's in a close contest, at least at the beginning. It'll be interesting to watch him play, especially because he's always searching for the next creative thing that will give him an upper hand, and if he's not packing one of those then his team will be overall solid, much like Finch in BW as a whole.
  5. Jayde - Raiders - This US East product is back for his third crack at SPL, this time with the Raiders. Jayde has been consistently above average in BW in the past, demonstrating a fair amount of versatility and competence in teambuilding and play. However, he took a break from playing tournaments prior to this past Spring and is now coming back for his first SPL in a while, leaving some question marks in regards to his ability to win games with consistency in the present. Despite this, Jayde is certainly capable of keeping up with the best in the tier if he plays to the best of his potential, demonstrating this in a few of his WCoP games this past year. Additionally, Jayde has recently demonstrated flares of creativity in some of his builds; one may wonder what he has in store for the biggest tournament against the best players when there isn't too much information on him in recent years from a scouting standpoint. With a solid overall BW playerbase this SPL, Jayde's true capabilities will certainly be put to the test.
  6. dice - Sharks - One of the community's most interesting users enters the BW ring this SPL, post-tournament ban, in Dice. Needless to say, Dice has experience in the tier, as he was first known as a BW OU player, and he has kept in touch with the metagame as it has developed through the years. However, Dice hasn't played a full SPL or WCoP in BW OU for a long time, so his ability to consistently perform in the tier is in question. Dice isn't exactly a gimmicky mastermind like Reymedy, but he surely has an interesting take on various Pokémon, styles, and sets in the metagame that will make his preparation a spectacle for all that follow the tier's games. Additionally, he has been training in the mountains for months in order to play BW OU this SPL, meaning that he's likely ready and motivated to do his absolute best in the tier and live up to his 12.5k price tag. Some may question this pick solely due to a rough past with Dice not working out on various teams and recently being banned, but given the older, laid-back environment of the Sharks this year and Dice's recent attitude towards BW OU, it seems likely that he will be giving this tour his best, and the result of his campaign this season will certainly be interesting.
  7. Reymedy - Classiest - After a few mediocre SPL campaigns in the past couple years in ORAS OU, Reymedy is getting a shot to consistently start in a tier that many people believe he has belonged in the whole time, BW OU. The creative Frenchman will be facing some strong competition throughout the season, but many believe that he will be up to the test now that he is in a tier in which he tends to excel. Reymedy is one of the most interesting players out there, and many believe that he is a top teambuilder in BW and XY, so the prospect of him playing BW OU this SPL could lead to great success. However, despite being one of the most innovative thinkers and original teambuilders out there, Reymedy will still have to show a high level of competency and obedience in teambuilding and play if he wishes to compete at a high level, and some say that this element of his game has been lacking in the past. Overall, Reymedy is quite experienced and this may play to his advantage, but he has been playing XY for such a long time in big tournaments that this is a bit of a new setting for him, and how he adapts, prepares, and executes are all question marks, to an extent. Will this opportunity blow up into a fit of angry rage for the feisty Frenchman or will Reymedy make the most of his opportunity and display his capabilities as one of the most outside-of-the-box BW players out there?
  8. Tokyo Tom - Wolfpack - Residential best set poster and BW ladder tour victor Tokyo Tom looks to tackle what some believe to be his best tier in this year's SPL. Another creative builder who favors some unconventional styles, such as bulky sun, moreso than other players, he certainly has his work cut out for him this season, facing many more-experienced players. However, Tokyo Tom certainly has the edge on almost everyone when it comes to unpredictability, and this is something that he can certainly use to his advantage in many cases given the stagnant nature of teambuilding of some of the top five ranked players in this tier. It would not surprise me whatsoever if Tokyo Tom outdid his number eight ranking because there is a small sample size of him in the past, which might misguide rankers in the first place, and it plays to his advantage in the information game, which is vital in a tier such as BW OU. However, it is also foreseeable that he does poorly due to lack of experience, and he does not demonstrate the level of competency and play that his opponents have shown they can demonstrate on a consistent basis in the past. Will the Wolfpack's risky BW OU pick work wonders or will Tokyo Tom fade into mediocrity like some other unproven BW OU players have in the past?
  9. Shoka - Falcons - Now-veteran and long-time Afrab BW OU player, Shoka, is back for another season in BW, but this time on the Falcons. Despite being ranked ninth, Shoka has certainly had a fair amount of success historically despite the periodic mediocre showing in recent months. The avid Moltres user is going to have to mix it up a bit if he wishes to be successful in a top-heavy field such as this and, moreover, many are questioning his ability to do so while remaining on top of his game. Shoka certainly is capable of pulling out wins given his reputation and past results, so one may question him being ranked so low, but the playerbase for BW OU is relatively strong, and he has to prove himself again to an extent after the past year or so of not being among the top players in the tier and finding himself more interested in dabbling in tiers such as GSC. With help of players such as Leftiez and Masterclass, Shoka will have an easier time preparing and being at his best than some of his competition, so perhaps this will be a difference maker. Regardless of that, Shoka has an uphill battle if he wishes to claim one of the best records in BW OU this season and only time will tell if he's able to fight that battle or not.
  10. Vinc2612 - Ruiners - Jack of all trades, master of none, Vinc2612, is trying to mount a successful campaign in BW OU this season. Unfortunately, staple old-gen OU tiers aren't too friendly to non-specialists who tend to dabble all over the place, and Vinc happens to fit that description to a significant extent. However, he does have some experience in the tier and has played a few games in BW back in SPL 6. Regardless of the small sample size and the lack of experience compared to his likely opponents, Vinc will have to refine his playstyle and play if he wishes to compete with the best after resorting to some interesting teams and making some questionable plays in the past in the BW OU tier. He is unquestionably capable of winning in many competitive environments, as he displayed in the past Grand Slam and various other tournaments throughout the years, but it is fairly easy to see why many doubt his ability to go into a tier such as BW OU and emerge victorious, especially with some question marks surrounding his activity and supporters on his team, bar manager Luigi and bench player Sugarhigh, who both are competent in the tier. It seems unlikely that Vinc will have a strong campaign this season, but more unlikely things have happened throughout the history of SPL and there's certainly potential, so it will come down to his execution in the teambuilder and on the battlefield.

  1. Philip7086 - Scooters - Being one of the most well-respected and experienced users and players in the community, Phil is set to have a solid season on the Scooters. Dating back to a time before most people reading this were even a part of Smogon, Phil has been one of Gen 4's better battlers in the OverUsed tier, and that fact was certainly not forgotten, seeing how he went for upwards of 21k in the auction. Despite not participating in SPL during 2014 and 2015 as a player, Phil has shown that he hasn't lost any of his battling ability in recent WCoPs and the last edition of SPL. Phil is without a doubt one of the most seasoned veterans in the tournament, and he is a favorite to do well in the DPP OU tier this season.
  2. Tamahome - Tigers - A Brazilian old gen SPL staple, Tamahome comes back for another SPL season after playing every SPL and WCoP for the past five plus years. Tamahome needs no introduction as a battler, having had incredibly successful runs in both DPP and ADV in the past while also dabbling in other gens enough to be considered universally competent. This season, Tamahome finds himself in what many consider to be his best metagame, DPP OU, and there is little standing in the way of him emulating his past success. However, there are some lingering concerns about his activity and ability to be consistently unpredictable in his games, as people have years worth of information on him in the DPP OU tier. With this said, he has gotten over these barriers many times in the past, and there's a reason why he was a highly contested player in the auction. While there are some small barriers standing between Tamahome and dominating the DPP OU playerbase this season, it would not be surprising whatsoever for him to shine like he has in the past and put up a winning record for the Tigers this season.
  3. 6A9 Ace Matador - Classiest - As an enigma rising from the shadows to play in this SPL, AM looks to build on past success in ADV and DPP this season in DPP for the Classiest. Despite being nonexistent for the past two years, AM is still regarded highly as a battler, and this is reflected in his ranking. There are clear concerns when it comes to his activity and ability to put up results with two years of inactivity under his belt, but he is very capable of overcoming these barriers and putting up similar results to those that he did in the past, when he was regarded as a top player. Another concern might be the prospect of AM clashing with management on his team; AM has been known as a skillful player with a bit of an attitude, and his team's assistant manager, Omfuga, is quick to get into conflicts with others who might not see eye-to-eye with him. If the team can avoid any dysfunctional, toxic behavior, then AM might just be the perfect fit for a team like the Classiest. If any of the aforementioned negative factors come into play, then it might be a long season for manager -Tsunami- and other players, though.
  4. Atticus - Cryonicles - Another respectable and longtime DPP player, Atticus, takes the fourth rank. Atticus is undoubtedly capable of defeating anyone in the tier of DPP OU, but one must question how in touch he is with the game of Pokémon as a whole currently, let alone high-level tournament play. Atticus has surfaced here and there for some tournaments and posts over the past few years, dating back to his OST win and SPL second-half comeback as a player, so he has a bit to prove in terms of activity and dedication, especially on a team such as the Cryonicles, who have a manager who isn't favored by many. With this said, if he gets it together, then he is one of the best players out there and he will do well if he plays at the same level he has in the past.
  5. Sauga - Falcons - Contrary to the first four players, Sauga (Osgoode) is a newer player to the tournament scene. Not all too much is known about Sauga when it comes to his ability to perform in tournaments, but many prominent DPP OU players have said he has what it takes as a builder and has demonstrated capable play, too. DPP OU and old gens in general tend to be kinder to more experienced players, so this might be an uphill battle for Sauga. However, Sauga has an element of unpredictability, and he clearly is competent in the tier, so perhaps he can turn the tables and end up being successful this season if he commits himself fully. With this said, all eyes will be on Sauga as he plays his first official tournament games in DPP OU this SPL and the bar is set high in terms of expectations with this top five ranking.
  6. Roscoe - Raiders - Roscoe, also known as liberty32, is playing DPP again this season, but for the Ruiners. Roscoe seems to form a dynamic core with BKC in old gens whenever they can be on the same team, and, needless to say, both are capable players. While Roscoe isn't as well known as BKC, he's certainly a capable DPP player, and he has shown this in various tournaments when he has played and wasn't slotted in Gen 6 OU. One might question the activity, motivation, and preparation of Roscoe going into a big tour like this against some of the best players, and this could be a valid concern, but with some of the best support out there and on a team full of friends, I think it's safe to say that Roscoe will be at his best in this environment, giving everyone in the field a run for their money.
  7. Smurf. - Ruiners - Longtime Oceania player and winner of last year's SPL as a member of the Sharks, Smurf. now looks for another successful SPL campaign. Unfortunately, Smurf. wasn't the biggest contributor to his team last year in terms of victories, but he certainly was a pivotal member when it came to support and being a solid team member. The question posed here is if he will be able to translate his experience in the tournament setting and his various showings in BW in the recent years to success in DPP this SPL. Smurf. certainly isn't the most traditional DPP SPL pick-up, but he is competent in the tier and generally knows how to play, so perhaps he can turn a few heads and do well this season in DPP. With this said, it will certainly be an uphill battle, and it wouldn't be surprising if Smurf. struggles against some of the top dogs out there in the tier.
  8. ToF - Sharks - Another veteran player who has done well in WCoP, SPL, SmogTour, etc. in the past, ToF takes a crack at DPP this SPL. Unlike some of the others, there are some clouds of doubt casted above ToF and his ability to compete at the level he has in the past. However, he is very much capable of competing with anyone in the tier and should be taken as a serious contender given his past performances. For someone so experienced, he is probably one of the biggest question marks in the field in terms of what kind of results he will generate. Despite a very solid WCoP showing, ToF hasn't been seen around too much since then, and many people believe he wasn't too diverse in his team choice during his 3-1 WCoP run in DPP, so one might wonder if his results from WCoP or the past will translate to this SPL or not.
  9. Porengan - Bigs - At one point, the German also known as TV-Rocka was the best DPP player around, with consistent success in Smogon Tour and SPL. His play was strong, but his true strength was great metagame knowledge and a fondness for creative teams, letting him whiz right by his befuddled opponents as they struggled to figure out what he had just hit them with. He remained in the top echelon of DPPers for quite some time, but last SPL he finally hit a rough streak - he was inactive, which led to him recycling teams, not all of them great, and not playing particularly well, resulting in a very subpar record and a spot on the bench. He hasn't been active since then, either, which leads to his low placement on this list (to compare, look at his other rankings in the historically stacked tier DPP has been from SPLs 5-7 - 4th twice and 3rd, respectively). To succeed, he will need to be active, and support from his teammates will be crucial; luckily, he's got active DPP enthusiast Mael on his side. If Porengan doesn't perform up to par, though, Mael could easily take his place. That said, there's little scarier than an in-form TV-Rocka in DPP; perhaps we can see him regain some of his old spark if he isn't too consumed by VGC. This is, after all, the man who single-handedly made Endure @ Custap Berry the standard Magnezone set.
  10. Void - Wolfpack - A veteran in terms of time spent playing the game, but a rookie in terms of SPL experience, Void is in for a major uphill battle if he wishes to be successful this SPL. Generally seen as an average player who has made a WCoP appearance here and there while also playing in some PO tours, Void needs to do some work to become a standout DPP OU player like many of the aforementioned happen to be. With that said, Void certainly is knowledgeable and competent in the tier given his extensive playing of the tier throughout the years in smaller tours and different environments. The Wolfpack also have quite the large roster full of close players, so perhaps they can work together in order to make matters a bit easier for Void in prep and, if he's at his best game, then he can compete with the top players. With that said, it seems very likely that Void will struggle, at least at the start of the season, to keep up with some of the best, and who knows what that will lead to.

  1. Astamatitos - Wolfpack - A legend from when Advance was simply standard OU in the days of NetBattle, Astamatitos went on hiatus around the time of Platinum and thus was relatively unknown to the community at large when he appeared in Team Greece's ADV slot in WCoP despite having returned to play low-key in 2013. Those years in the proverbial mountains certainly paid off and then some, as he clinched Greece's spot in the tournament with a pre-round one tiebreak win and proceeded to go 5-0 against an incredibly stacked set of opponents. Coming in at an incredibly high price of 25K, the expectations are high, but it's almost certain that Asta will meet them. He knows the tier as well as anyone, and he's also big on the importance of "conditioning" to best read his opponent's playstyle and react accordingly, both with plays and teams. He's constantly coming up with new, creative teams such as his Agility Zapdos RMT, and sets—several big ones can be attributed to him, most notably defensive Body Slam Jirachi —to catch his opponents off guard. When Astamatitos is combined with incredibly solid moves in-game, seeing out a well-laid game plan, and the support of his Greek partner in crime, fellow NetBattle Advance legend Fear, it is almost guaranteed that he will have the best record in the tier and thus easily deserves the #1 spot on this ranking.
  2. Ojama - Scooters - The fiery Frenchman has been been one of the all-time greats for several years now, and he's back for another season. Last SPL saw him post a very impressive 6-1 in Advance with his sole loss to undisputed; he did go 1-2 in World Cup but played very well in a group of tough opponents, including the #1 player on this list. He brings solid teams that are able to go head-to-head against almost anything, and his fondness of putting lots of bulk on his offensive Pokémon such as Salamence and Heracross gives him a weapon that is hard to prepare against. He used to be criticized for being unable to think outside the box, but that criticism is no longer valid, with Pokémon such as dual status Rest Zapdos in the post-Sleep Talk meta, Impish Metagross, and even the rarely-seen Dragonite making appearances in his games. Some may find some of his tactics (such as non-maximum Speed Jolly Aerodactyl) odd to say the least, but it's hard to argue against someone who's won so much. Outside of the rare slump, he's a cinch for a solid record and can easily go on a hot streak. He doesn't really have Advance support on the Scooters, but that shouldn't hold him back at all. Plus, there's a reason why he's earned the nickname "The Fisherman": he's been known to get his fair share of luck, and that can only help!
  3. Golden Sun - Ruiners - Golden Sun has been a big gun ever since he won Smogon Tour 11, the first of the ADV / DPP / BW format. However, he truly established himself as an Advance menace with his brutal SPL 5 performance, going an incredible 8-2 and marking down some signature Pokémon along the line with his newly favored bulky offense playstyle (having been known to primarily do nothing but stall before). He's been putting in reliable performances in the two big team tournaments ever since. Despite being less enthusiastic about the game than he once was and putting up less impressive records than he did at his peak, he is still a threat to be feared, which is why he is fourth on this list. While not quite as boom-happy as his Oceania partner-in-crime Smurf, who is sure to provide lots of tests and general support, GS's fondness of Metagross means that any game he's in is sure to be close. The metal monster can mount a comeback, even a game out, break a game wide open, or cement a victory without much trouble; it's that effective, and GS is one of the best at using its many talents. Expect solid work from him, as usual.
  4. dekzeh - Bigs - There aren't many things more certain than dekzeh in Advance. Ever since his return in SPL 4, where he almost single-handedly created Calm Mind offense with Porygon2, he's been churning out the wins with the use of several more creative Pokémon / sets under his belt to boot. He knows what to bring and when—his rare uses of stall always seem to pay off when they do happen—but since he also knows that Advance is not won in the teambuilder 99% of the time, he focuses on making the most solid teams possible to give himself opportunities to win against anything; there is a reason his teams were spammed in the last two seasons of ADV's Smogon Tour and his newer ones are spammed in ADV Cup. However, solid teams are not all that make up his reliability; that would be his playing, managing to strike the perfect blend between being aggressive, safe, and generally unpredictable. Top this off with support from his teammate Mael and you can expect this Brazilian to put up another solid record, although he would like to play SM, so there's a chance he does not remain in Advance for the entire season. Some thought 24.5K was a rather high price tag for dekzeh, but he can easily make it worth it and then some.
  5. UD - Raiders - Short for Ugly Duckling, UD is a returning NetBattle-era player, but make no mistake—he's anything but rusty. Ever since he surfaced around May, he has consistently been at the top of the ADV ladder, which, for the unacquainted, is very competitive, found success in Pokémon Perfect tournaments, and has generally been playing non-stop, giving him a ton of momentum coming in. He's even already shown his stuff on Smogon, having won the ADV No Johns tournament not long after his return. He has a fondness for underrated Pokémon, such as Venusaur and Hariyama, but that doesn't mean he can't come out swinging with the old standards. Anyone who's played him can attest to him knowing what he's doing in-battle as well; he can easily come out on top against anyone on this list. The only thing preventing him from being even higher in the ranks is him being currently relatively unproven, but there are plenty of top-tier ADVers who will vouch for him. One of them is his teammate BKC, who will provide valuable support in testing and team choice; the Raiders also have reyscarface, one of the best Advance players from a few years ago, to assist in this department. It'll be exciting to see UD performing in his first big tournament; there's no reason BeerLover can't put up a very strong performance.
  6. undisputed - Sharks - Another member of the SPL + WCoP scene, undisputed has been all-around solid ever since his start in the DPP days. He discovered his talent for Advance in Smogon Tour and has been a reliable choice for a win in it ever since. Some criticize him for preferring stall a little too much, but there have been instances of him putting subtle touches of creativity in such teams, and more importantly, there's no denying the wins he's raked in over the last several years. He is also more than capable of busting out offense; in fact, one of the main teams he used en route to winning the ADV Cup (which is impressive no matter how much you slice it) was highly offensive. The competition is very tough, which is why he's this low at the moment. However, he's more than capable of locking in and occasionally throwing in a surprise move that no one sees coming thanks to his generally safe nature; he's not a particularly dominant or flashy player, but what he lacks in showmanship, he more than makes up for in solid play. Lastly, last season, he defeated the two top dogs in Advance—Jabba and Ojama. If he branches out and uses his offensive teams more, and perhaps plays a bit more aggressively, his record is very likely to surpass what a #7 rank would suggest. He's also got incredible team support—there are several more-than-capable ADVers on the Sharks, but his manager is M Dragon, so the team issue could be a total non-factor!
  7. Fakes - Cryonicles - In the age of excessive scouting and counterteaming—sorry, "counterstyling"—even in metagames that don't demand it in the slightest, Fakes' relaxed, almost laissez-faire approach of merely bringing a solid team and attempting to outplay his opponent (which he is extremely good at) is very refreshing. This approach is not without drawbacks, however, as while Advance is extremely balanced, the teams Fakes uses are almost always other users' and can be recognized early, which isn't good. Passing up on optimizing teams can also hold one back (although it is much better than trying to fix everything). These, along with Fakes' occasional activity issues and tendency to play extremely quickly are all that hold him back. The teams he brings are solid, proven and his play is the perfect mix of both cautiously solid and aggressively unpredictable. He does prefer a certain playstyle: M Dragon's brand of bulky Tyranitar balance with plenty of Blissey, Salamence and a bulky Water-type, throwing in other things such as Aerodactyl, Starmie, and Spikes with the occasional trapper, but he plays very well with it, and it's not exactly something you can counterteam easily, especially because there is variety among them, and he is capable of throwing the occasional curveball team-wise. Not that Advance lends itself well to counterteaming tactics anyway. Fakes might not innovate the metagame, but he uses good teams and plays well, which may not be enough for those who watch Pokémon for the latest CrispE Innov8ion; however, those who like seeing good battles will be more than satisfied, and so will his team, as he's very likely to have a good record.
  8. JabbaTheGriffin - Tigers - Last season, Jabba went for a low price, with his best days seemingly behind him; he took a bad week one loss to Golden Sun and then shocked everyone by proceeding to dominate the rest of the competition. This led the Tigers management to retain him this season. Jabba employed some really wacky, out-of-left-field strategies last season, such as a seemingly standard SkarmBliss team whose Celebi ended up passing Swords Dance to the Zapdos, which ended up being an Agility mixed sweeper—this unpredictability factor is nothing but bad news for his opponents. His play was also stellar in several games; if he can bring that back, he's capable of beating anyone. Sometimes, his teams can struggle against stall, but he's also more than capable of absolutely destroying it. A locked-in Jabba is one of the most dangerous players in Pokémon; if nothing else, his games will be entertaining. He's also got McMeghan and Tamahome on his team, so he's sure to get good tests, and if he hits a team slump, they can help him out. This could easily be what pushes Jabba over the edge; he's rolled primarily solo for the last few years. It'll be interesting to watch.
  9. Danilo - Classiest - Danilo is a reverse of his old self. When he first burst onto the Advance scene, he never did too well in the Smogon Tour (although he did supply many of its contestants with teams), but he was a major threat in his first two SPLs, especially in his debut, where he managed to win two incredibly clutch playoff games, even showing off the power of the until then-unseen Camerupt in a huge finals battle. His last two SPLs, on the other hand, have been rough to say the least, combining for a total of 2-10. However, he has done incredibly well in both ADV Cups, winning the first and making it to round 6 (quarterfinals) of the other. It's clear to see that Danilo most definitely has the potential for a good record; this is even more true when one considers the passion he has for the tier and his willingness to use creative things. He's even got support from several very capable ADVers on his team. It is up to him to bring out his best, because he is more than capable.
  10. Triangles - Falcons - Several ADVers on this list are renowned for their creativity, but Triangles makes them look dull and mundane in comparison. He's been fearless in bringing offbeat tactics from the very beginning—in his second SPL game ever, he brought a team with Medicham and Thunder Wave Gyarados against the legendary Halloween (and won!). He knows the tier inside-out and attacks it in creative ways, both with sets and teams (remember kids, a team of 5-6 standard Pokémon can still be creative; look further than the surface). It's not all sunshine though, as like Danilo, Triangles' consistency has not been the greatest, and he's had some not-so-great losses. However, he has also had some very impressive wins against the best of the best and can potentially thrash just about anyone. He even has the support of zf on the Falcons for tests and bouncing ideas around. It'll be interesting to watch Triangles play, as always.

  1. Earthworm - Classiest - Earthworm needs little introduction. Finishing with a very good 7-2 record in SPL 7 and 3-1 in WCoP XI, as well as being the player with the most overall wins in WCoP, he has shown that he has stood the test of time and is a reliable source of victories for his team. Expect a lot of good games in his wake.
  2. idiotfrommars - Ruiners - idiotfrommars, also known as IFM or HODOR, has been in the GSC business for a long time. Finishing with a solid 6-4 record in SPL 7 and 4-3 in WCoP XI has put him as second among the ones ranking him. Noteworthy is that despite having played in every SPL since SPL 2, IFM has never finished with anything worse than a tied record. Will he able to repeat his great 9-2 showing from SPL 3, or will this year be the first time he finishes with a negative record?
  3. Mr.E - Falcons - Mr.E is one of a very small selection of players to have played at least one game in every single iteration of SPL, and he will be the sole one if neither Lady Bug nor Floppy gets picked up at midseason this year. He also has the third most SPL wins of any player, though with a win rate just barely above 50%. Finishing SPL last year with a disappointing 3-6 record was not in the plans for Mr.E; however, the Falcons decided to retain him despite that. Can he prove to his managers that they did not make a mistake by finishing with a better record this year?
  4. giara - Tigers - giara is a relative newcomer to the GSC scene but has made great progress in a tier considered by many to be difficult to get into. Making his SPL debut in NU two years ago, he was moved to GSC the following year and finished with a 4-6 record. Since then he has finished as the top seed in Smogon Classic II and had a 3-0 run outside GSC in WCoP XI, showing his skill across multiple tiers. Will he convert his solid performances in 2016 to a splendid start in 2017?
  5. Veteran In Love - Sharks - Veteran In Love is one of the most seasoned players around, winning Smogon Tour 1 and 3 back when those tournaments featured the first three generations. He is well known for his willingness to use unconventional Pokémon in each and every tier he plays, though not necessarily combining them with success, shown by his 3-6 record from SPL 7. There's also questions regarding his willingness to cooperate with his team. Can VIL silence his doubters?
  6. Fear - Wolfpack - Fear is similarly to Veteran In Love one of the players that started out back in Smogon's infancy. However, despite that, this is actually Fear's SPL debut. He is not without official team tournament experience, though, as he played for Greece in the most recent World Cup of Pokémon and finished with a fair 2-2 record. An innovative fellow that has plenty of ability to defeat the best, no victory of his should be seen as an upset.
  7. Colchonero - Cryonicles - Colchonero used to have one of the best SPL records after finishing 8-1 in SPL 5—but the 0-9 record from SPL 6 destroyed that and was not helped by going 3-4 in SPL 7. No longer finding the same joy in GSC as he used to, Colchonero has stated his dissatisfaction with being tiered in the same tier again and may not fire on all cylinders this time. Still, do not underestimate him, as his potential is enormous.
  8. BKC - Raiders - BKC is a familiar face for many—not so in the GSC tier, though. Being known as a giant of many metagames and winning the most recent Smogon Tour, nobody can question his legacy as a Pokémon Trainer. His GSC résumé is more shallow, however. Losing in the first round of GSC Cup II to ZoroDark and making it to the third round in GSC Cup I marks the extent of BKC's participation in past official GSC tournaments. Will this be the SPL where he shows that he has greatness within himself in yet another tier?
  9. d0nut - Bigs - d0nut is the Bigs favorite from SPL 7, making his return as a retain. Making his debut in official team tours in WCoP X where he finished 2-2, he has since finished with a good 5-4 record in SPL 7 followed by a poor 0-3 record in WCoP XI. However, one should not forget that d0nut also made his way to GSC Cup finals, so he has firmly established himself as a competent GSC player. This is the time for d0nut to shine and show that he should not be questioned.
  10. Mr.378 - Scooters - Mr.378 was the last GSC player picked up and he has ways ahead of him. Having no prior first-hand experience with playing official Smogon team tournaments (though participating from the bench in WCoP) and thus making his debut here, the scene is set for him. Can he show that his inclusion is not undeserved and make his mark? Time will tell.

  1. Peasounay - Cryonicles - Widely considered RBY's finest talent of 2016, Peasounay came to attention for defeating Earthworm in RBY Cup II's quarterfinals and followed it up with a decent 2-1 record while representing France in WCoP. He finished off 2016 with back-to-back 2nd places in the RBY community's seasons. Will his immense talent finally allow him to claim the number one spot? SPL Power Rankers think so.
  2. MetalGro$$ - Ruiners - MetalGro$$ first caught Smogon's attention when he beat Floppy, marcoasd, and Raish consecutively to obtain a 3-0 lead in his debut SPL. Soon after he achieved runner-up in RBY OU World Championship. He also went 2-1 in this past year's WCoP. He only managed records of 3-3 and 3-5 in the last two SPLs, but with some veterans out of the picture, this could be his chance to finally show dominance.
  3. Lusch - Classiest - When you think of new RBY talent, this is the guy you think of along with Peasounay. Lusch has already won a season in the RBY community since debuting at the end of 2015, unlike his newcomer counterpart, but is also yet to make a strong mark on Smogon. Those who have witnessed his intelligent predictions in battle have no doubts he has at least the capability for greatness.
  4. Alexander. - Bigs - Runner-up in RBY OU Super Cup 2016 with a very impressive 10-4 record and an insane winning streak in the RBY community that surpassed legendary marcoasd's record and culminated in winning four consecutive 32-man tournaments and achieving maximum points in a season. So you must be wondering, why on Earth isn't he listed #1? Well, he has doubters, particularly after going 0-3 last SPL, which included a bad end-game choke in his first match.
  5. Bedschibaer - Falcons - Despite recently storming to claim the number one spot in the latest RBY season, going 6-3 last SPL, and achieving good results in a couple of POCLs, as well as winning a PO RBY Super Cup, there are question marks of whether he is consistent enough, for example after going a mere 2-10 (4-10 on activity) in RBY OU Super Cup 2016. Let's hope we see the best of Bedschibaer, because he could cause a big upset.
  6. The_Chaser - Sharks - Famed for his 10-1 record back in the paraslam days in SPL 2, this guy showed he's still got plenty of skill left when he recorded a 7-4 last SPL in post-paraslam RBY. His presence hasn't been felt much otherwise, which is probably why a cautious average ranking was given. Hopefully The_Chaser can do the rest of the senior veterans proud by returning to the pinnacle.
  7. Crystal_ - Scooters - Spanish legend Crystal_ topped SPL 3 with an impressive 8-3 record but would return the following SPL with a miserable winless 0-3 record. He's topped an RBY community season a couple of years ago since, but the aura about him post-para slam has not reached anywhere near that of his paraslam days. Off the back of a 3-1 record in the latest WCop, some believe he could return to being considered the best.
  8. Tobes - Raiders - Tobes has impressed since he went 3-6 last SPL, with getting the highest RBY record in WCoP (4-1) and recording a decent 5-7 in the RBY OU Super Cup before not being able to play the last two games. He is certainly short of achievements but is strengthening as times goes on. Will this be the Smogon tournament where he finally stands out?
  9. Nails - Wolfpack - Nails is the biggest surprise in RBY this SPL. Known for playing quite a few generations, he has helped serial trophy collector BKC prepare for RBY on occasions and has had good success on the RBY ladder. A creative teambuilder, he advocates for Fire Blast Tauros. He has the least recognizable achievements in RBY, though, so this will be his first big test to see the extent of his ability.
  10. Golden Gyarados - Tigers - RoAPL 2 RBY hero Golden Gyarados returns for a third SPL. After going 0-1 and 3-5 in the previous SPLs, GG hopes to better those records this time. A decent 6-8 record in RBY OU Super Cup and improved performances in RBY community seasons help to make the case for a good record, but the fact that he has entered so many tournaments and achieved relatively little means he's a certain underdog. We wish him good luck.

  1. Sam & FLCL - Raiders - The fierce combination of the mIRC- and triangle-purchasing UUTL and the 2D-loving and NU-playing weeaboo ranks first among managerial pairings. Despite a rough ending to an otherwise decent showing last season as managers of the raiders, Sam and FLCL both have a fair amount of experience as players, and they're also both very well liked by a majority of the community. Overall, these two have the ability to keep their players composed and help them in preparation in order to maximize their ability to win as a roster, which is already quite high after the draft in the opinion of many. As long as these two stick with their guns and don't see continued tilting like how they ended the season last year, the Raiders will have solid management and their team will get along quite well.
  2. Funkasaurus & boudouche - Bigs - Funkasaurus finds himself at the helm of the Bigs once more, but this time alongside longtime player and Frenchman boudouche. These two form a dynamic duo of funny and friendly personalities who both have some degree of competence in older gens of OU, and Boudouche also is familiar with current gens of OU. With easygoing attitudes and plenty of experience as manager, the Bigs managerial duo is set to help their players do well this season and hopefully return to the playoffs like they did in SPL 6. Both of these managers will be active and provide a significant part of the team and their functionality, for better or worse, this season.
  3. bro fist & CrashinBoomBang - Scooters - Another experienced pair of managers, bro fist and CrashinBoomBang look to lead the Scooters to victory this season. With some weak spots in SM and ORAS OU, these two are the perfect pair to help improve their team with general preparation and building assistance. Hopefully, everything will go smooth and there will be no big disagreements so that the team does well and there aren't any potential repeats of past incidents. If they stay out of harm's way, each of these two have a genuinely enjoyable presence and will improve their team to a significant extent, so there are high hopes for this managerial pair.
  4. rozes & Pearl - Wolfpack - Two very well-liked members of the community who also have some experience as players under their belts manage the Wolfpack. After a fairly successful campaign as assistant manager of the Wolfpack last season, Pearl returns, but this time rozes is his partner in crime instead of Nails, who is still a member of the team. Despite drafting more players than any other team by a significant margin, the Wolfpack have a team full of friends, and they're going to have to heavily rely upon synergy, preparation, and overachieving if they wish to compete with some of the top teams. These two are probably the most suited managers to pull that off given the nature of their team and the players they picked, so the Wolfpack's results will be highly dependent on their execution as managers; many believe it'll be hit or miss depending on how well everything fits at the start and if they can gain momentum at any point or if they will tilt and never come back.
  5. -Tsunami- & Omfuga - Classiest - King of making playoffs and old generation lord -Tsunami- pairs with the enigma known as Omfuga to manage the Classiest. Many wonder if Omfuga will turn out to be a poor assistant manager choice on -Tsunami-'s behalf after he clashed with retains, Ojama and blunder, who proceeded to mutually part ways with the team. If he happens to clash with anyone now, it'll be too late to get rid of them and the team will be in constant turmoil, so Omfuga has to be at his best behavior while -Tsunami- has to continue his winning ways this season if they wish to replicate past results.
  6. M Dragon & Malekith - Sharks - This Spanish duo has certainly had tournament success in the past and looks to carry that out into this SPL. After a victorious campaign last season, M Dragon looks to take home a second SPL trophy in a row. While these two are not the most charismatic duo, they certainly have experience, as they've both been playing and leading their teams for a long time. One might wonder if there is a spooky side to this managerial duo, too, due to the nature of the Sharks and M Dragon himself, but regardless of that, there is still lots of upside here thanks to the vast knowledge and skill both of these guys have. Will they be able to hold up and do what's best for their team, or will there be some issues with the Sharks like in SPL 6?
  7. Luigi & HANTSUKI - Ruiners - This Brazilian duo is poised to continue past success of the Ruiners, a team that has often been playoff bound under the leadership of Ciele. With a relatively solid draft and a group of capable players, the Ruiners hope to continue upon old trends for their team, but also to expand upon this and take their team to the trophy. However, there might be some things in their way, seeing as neither of these two have SPL managing experience. With this said, both Luigi and HANTSUKI are down to earth and capable of helping players, communicating with players, and doing what is in their team's best interest, so perhaps they can lead a successful campaign!
  8. soulgazer & BLOOD TOTEM - Falcons - New managers soulgazer and BLOOD TOTEM look to turn their playing experience into managerial success for the Falcons this season. These two are genuinely enjoyable presences who will do their best to bring the team together and, assuming there is no tension among the various Afrabs on the roster, they will probably be able to do so successfully. However, their roster's ability to consistently win is in question after the draft, and only time will tell as to if they did well enough in the auction to be a playoff team.
  9. Valentine & teal6 - Cryonicles - A pairing that presents one of the least mentally stable and most mentally stable users on Smogon, economist Valentine and tournament director teal6 manage the Cryonicles together. These two are regarded as vastly different, but they appear to work together quite well after last year, and perhaps they can improve slightly upon last year's performance to make a run into the playoffs this season; only if Valentine drops his normal antics and grows up a bit, though.
  10. tennisace & atomicllamas - Tigers - To the dismay of many, tennisace is still at the helm of the Tigers. There was a large pre-season outcry to remove him from the managerial position due to lack of activity, communal knowledge, and general care, but he retained the position that he has held for the past few years. tennis's passive style of managing can be a major disadvantage for players in need of assistance or support, but it can work out for more laid-back, strong players, who make up some of his roster. atomicllamas, on the contrary, is a genuinely solid presence who will surely light up the mood in the chat and help with the overall team synergy and functionality. Unfortunately, he isn't exactly a specialist in any tier in the tournament, but he will still be helpful and a much-wanted presence to counteract the lack of a presence in the managerial spot.

Overall Team Rankings

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