Forum banned users still being allowed to play tournaments

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lax

the doublelift of pokemon
is a Tiering Contributor Alumnus
#1
This thread is to talk about users banned from Smogon forums (not being allowed to view threads or post on their account) while still being able to participate in tournaments they were in prior to their ban. Individual tier sub-sections should be allowed to determine their own policy regarding this but forum banned users should not be allowed to participate in any official circuits involving the ribbons or official tournaments.

The idea came up after watching imsosorrylol participate in Top 8 of Smogon's current OST. I talked with Hogg who said the TDs were still discussing how to approach this and suggested a thread to openly discuss it. It seems incredibly dumb for users banned for whatever reason to continue playing and receive a trophy at the end of their ban. Just imagine this scenario: sorry was banned for private messaging some kind of fucked up porn to a minor but still played through OST and eventually won. After his ban ends, you see the shiny trophy at his username. This is my own personal perception, but I think that would be really stupid. Forum banned users should be exempt from any possible benefits one might gain while banned, such as obtaining a trophy. Once the ban is over, it's as if nothing ever went wrong and the user is presented with this achievement.

Everyone reading this can just take a second to imagine "Official Smogon Tournament Winner trophy postponed because the user was banned for messaging rat porn to an underage individual" I mean, access to that shit at all for the matter makes me think "the fuck?", but that's besides the point. Not exact the best look for Smogon, if you ask me...

Something I considered was forum ban + potential to be removed from whatever tournament due to the severity of such actions judged by the TDs.. If you compare something like messaging porn to a minor and elodin's obvious joke post in SPL, the disparity between the two is blatantly obvious. However, making a policy relative to whatever circumstance may just be a bad idea in general so it should all be put under a single umbrella, probably.

Nothing else to say, the idea of this ever being allowed just seemed ridiculous to me.
 

jake

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#2
hello,

I thought about this when I was hosting SPL. at the time, one user was very adept at toeing the line and constantly danced on the edge of being infracted and banned. one concern with making "banned = autoremove from tours" a thing was that a user can be interacted and removed from a tournament on the jurisdiction of someone who is not tournament staff. it could be for something stupidly minor, or it could be a malicious way to prevent someone from competing. (our staff is great btw, just gotta take all extremes into account when deciding the big things.)

so, at the time, my ruling was that a tournament-related infraction or an infraction that leads to a permaban (rat porn, doxxing, whatever) would be enough to justify removing someone from a tournament. anything else and theyre ok, barring extenuated circumstances. there's no way to be completely objective but it was the closest I'd get while being fair to competitors and trying not to enable them to be jerks on the forum.

I can't say 100% that this policy is still what the current TDs uphold but it's what I ruled on the topic at the time and I think it still works today
 
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lax

the doublelift of pokemon
is a Tiering Contributor Alumnus
#3
hello,

I thought about this when I was hosting SPL. at the time, one user was very adept at toeing the line and constantly danced on the edge of being infracted and banned. one concern with making "banned = autoremove from tours" a thing was that a user can be interacted and removed from a tournament on the jurisdiction of someone who is not tournament staff. it could be for something stupidly minor, or it could be a malicious way to prevent someone from competing. (our staff is great btw, just gotta take all extremes into account when deciding the big things.)

so, at the time, my ruling was that a tournament-related infraction or an infraction that leads to a permaban (rat porn, doxxing, whatever) would be enough to justify removing someone from a tournament. anything else and theyre ok, barring extenuated circumstances. there's no way to be completely objective but it was the closest I'd get while being fair to competitors and trying not to enable them to be jerks on the forum.

I can't say 100% that this policy is still what the current TDs uphold but it's what I ruled on the topic at the time and I think it still works today
This makes a lot of sense. I think ruling subjectively is entirely fair if you just compare offenses or weigh out extreme vs mild, it could work. The issue is the public would always be against something they don’t agree with so drawing a line and saying “any ban means you’re out” is the safer option. I’d think there are only a few cases where forum banned users would be allowed to still participate (maybe smaller stuff like taunting a staff that dislikes them already), but for most scenarios, they probably deserve their forum and tournament removal.
 

Martin

You can always count on a murderer for fancy prose
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#4
Why should a user who gets banned be able to continue playing in a tournament that they are already participating in? Part of the deal with a forum ban is that you lose the ability to participate in any Smogon-mandated activities, whether that means participating in forum projects, playing mafia games in circus, accessing the official Smogon Discord server, participating in discussions in the various forums/subforums on the site etc.

If you get banned in the middle of a NOC mafia game you would be subbed out due to being unable to actually play the game (you can’t vote or discuss if you can’t post), or in the absence of a substitute player stepping forward in a reasonable time frame you would be God-Killed; I don’t think that tournaments should be any different for any user regardless of context. Being DQ’d for being banned sends the message that being banned isn’t just a casual inconvenience that lacks any meaning and it forces players who want to participate to behave themselves.

With that said I do think that unofficial things which don’t count towards ribbons/trophies or anything else of value should be left down to the discretion of the host and the section’s mods; I’d still lean in favor of preventing participation for a lot of things (especially if it’s a psuedomajor tournament like [Tier]PL), but ultimately provided that the person isn’t shitting up whatever they’re playing I can see arguments for allowing them to continue in something which is fundamentally valueless.
 

Kevin Garrett

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#5
Forum banned users should not be allowed to continue their participation in any tournament under any circumstances. This used to be the policy on the website.

If you want to use the argument about seeing all important matches through to completion, start forming alternative policy to activity wins and coin flips. The amount of these that occur, even in our prestigious tournaments, is unacceptable and alarming. Then we can revisit banned members participation in tournaments.

Members should respect the conduct that’s expected by the website. In a situation where a non-tournament staff member infracts a user that is not wholly merited for any purpose to disrupt a players participation in a tournament, that should be investigated by the tournament and senior staff immediately, with proper action taken to rectify the situation and reprimand the responsible party.
 

elodin

kingpin jr
is a Tiering Contributoris a Past SPL and WCoP Champion
#6
I completely disagree with the opinions being shared in this thread so far.

A user being forum banned might have absolutely no connection to his tournament runs. The Tournaments Section is obviously a part of the Smogon Forums, but that doesn't mean that what said users did to get banned warrant removing them from a tournament, especially in late rounds / in situations where their teams would be hurt. A friendly reminder that the whole point of tournaments is to have fair and high quality competitiveness. Why would it be right to remove imsosorrylol when he clearly deserved the run he had and was a potential contender for the title? Being forum banned has nothing to do with your skill, has nothing to do with your ability to schedule a game properly, has nothing to do with playing a tournament you've deserved a spot in. If I had been obstructed from playing Snake Draft after my ban I would've found that absurdly unfair, considering my ban resulted from some of the silliest infractions of all time, not to mention that the lack of interest in SS in proper handling infractions and bans heavily influenced my actions.

Which leads me to my second point as to why I disagree with this proposal: the way bans are determined in this site is a huge joke, both for tournament banned users and for forum banned users. I could write a whole essay about this, but just taking recent examples (undisputed's 3 months tournament ban for potential cheating and misconduct and people being forum banned over what they say in private Discord servers) you can tell the TDs and the Senior Staff are free to give out whatever punishments they want because there's nothing banned users can do to defend themselves. I remember I was forum banned after asking 2 members of SS if it was ok to create an alt to post a meme - just like people did in 2012 WCoP and nothing happened to them - but I was blatantly ignored by both, and I had no awareness of my previous infraction because I never received a PM from the moderator that infracted me to notify me about it, so I thought at worst I would have my post deleted and receive my first infraction. Thing is it doesn't really matter if SS fucks up the entire procedural process, because a banned user has nowhere to appeal but talking to the people that banned him in the first place. And you can't even approach all parties (unless you PM every SS / TD on Discord) because there is no mechanism designed for it on the site. In my case, I remember PMing the person who gave me my second infraction and explaining all this and he said "so I talked to a few people, right now your infractions will stay as is", but at the end of the day I never got a chance to know who he spoke to - or even if he actually spoke to someone, because that message is all I got -, why they shared his opinion that I should stay banned, why the procedural flaws in my process weren't taken into account to potentially reduce my ban, etc.

I can understand the appeal to remove forum banned users from tournaments, but at the end of the day all it does is remove players who proved their right and ability to compete for various reasons that do not damage their integrity to the competition. By doing so we're only hurting the quality of our tournaments and providing even more unfair treatment to our userbase. And what exactly are we getting in return? Making the site's image look better? lol
 
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lax

the doublelift of pokemon
is a Tiering Contributor Alumnus
#7
I completely disagree with the opinions being shared in this thread so far.

A user being forum banned might have absolutely no connection to his tournament runs. The Tournaments Section is obviously a part of the Smogon Forums, but that doesn't mean that what said users did to get banned warrant removing them from a tournament, especially in late rounds / in situations where their teams would be hurt. A friendly reminder that the whole point of tournaments is to have fair and high quality competitiveness. Why would it be right to remove imsosorrylol when he clearly deserved the run he had and was a potential contender for the title? Being forum banned has nothing to do with your skill, has nothing to do with your ability to schedule a game properly, has nothing to do with playing a tournament you've deserved a spot in. If I had been obstructed from playing Snake Draft after my ban I would've found that absurdly unfair, considering my ban resulted from some of the silliest infractions of all time, not to mention that the lack of interest in SS in proper handling infractions and bans heavily influenced my actions.

Which leads me to my second point as to why I disagree with this proposal: the way bans are determined in this site is a huge joke, both for tournament banned users and for forum banned users. I could write a whole essay about this, but just taking recent examples (undisputed's 3 months tournament ban for potential cheating and misconduct and people being forum banned over what they say in private Discord servers) you can tell the TDs and the Senior Staff are free to give out whatever punishments they want because there's nothing banned users can do to defend themselves. I remember I was forum banned after asking 2 members of SS if it was ok to create an alt to post a meme - just like people did in 2012 WCoP and nothing happened to them - but I was blatantly ignored by both, and I had no awareness of my previous infraction because I never received a PM from the moderator that infracted me to notify me about it, so I thought at worst I would have my post deleted and receive my first infraction. Thing is it doesn't really matter if SS fucks up the entire procedural process, because a banned user has nowhere to appeal but talking to the people that banned him in the first place. And you can't even approach all parties (unless you PM every SS / TD on Discord) because there is no mechanism designed for it on the site. In my case, I remember PMing the person who gave me my second infraction and explaining all this and he said "so I talked to a few people, right now your infractions will stay as is", but at the end of the day I never got a chance to know who he spoke to - or even if he actually spoke to someone, because that message is all I got -, why they shared his opinion that I should stay banned, why the procedural flaws in my process weren't taken into account to potentially reduce my ban, etc.

I can understand the appeal to remove forum banned users from tournaments, but at the end of the day all it does is remove players who proved their right and ability to compete for various reasons that do not damage their integrity to the competition. By doing so we're only hurting the quality of our tournaments and providing even more unfair treatment to our userbase. And what exactly are we getting in return? Making the site's image look better? lol
Ok dude, I obviously know how smogon does stupid shit with bans sometimes so I said it could be looked at case to case, but the rest of your post makes no sense.

Some dude pms rat porn of all things to pick on another user that everyone messes with already, but we should ignore this shit and let him play? It should not matter if they prove their skill or not that’s dumb and practically allows 0 reprocussions on users that do completely stupid things and are still allowed to play. As everyone knows, smogon is mostly filled with tournament players. If they get banned from the site for, say, doxxing someone, what happens then? We ignore the fact that they committed a crime and fucked with another person’s life just so they can keep playing tours? So they can keep doing what they want to be doing? I don’t see it. Smogon is the site for tournaments and if they do something to get removed from the main site they should not be allowed to walk away like this.

I’ve never fit a kind of justice warrior mentality ever on this site but I don’t know how you can deny dudes doing stupid shit on the site being allowed to continue off as if nothing happened. Maybe looking at it case by case is the real idea because of random factors relative to Moderator capability. However, there are some obvious things that need to be btfo’d.
 
#8
If you want to use the argument about seeing all important matches through to completion, start forming alternative policy to activity wins and coin flips. The amount of these that occur, even in our prestigious tournaments, is unacceptable and alarming. Then we can revisit banned members participation in tournaments.
can these things not be addressed simultaneously
 

tcr

stay trippy little hippie
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#9
maybe users should just try to be good users and NOT incur infractions if they don't want to be banned in a team tournament? is this really that difficult of a situation to work out

edit: like yeah theres gonna be some trashy infractions ive gotten a 3pointer before for double posting when i was just starting out but like come on if you intentionally break rules that you know are site rules (alting, linking porn) it shouldn't matter if its a "meme" or not like you're going against site rules and you're gonna complain because other people got away with it and you didn't? it should be the other way around, demanding equal justice for all alters. tour players expectations that the rules should bend around them just blows my mind from the tourban---> positions of power thread now to this
 
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Kevin Garrett

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#10
can these things not be addressed simultaneously
It’s a question of should not can.

Reading a contrary viewpoint in this thread illustrates the divide that many people know exists between tournaments and the rest of the website. This was not the case when the rules did not permit banned players to participate in tournaments. My philosophy is to fix the root cause—address the divide and improve the rules. Without looking at specific cases, I can’t say for certain how out of bounds the forum rules offenses were to prompt bans that carryover to tournaments. On a fundamental level I am opposed to banned members participating in tournaments. If the tournament participation means anything at all to the user, they will carry themselves responsibly in other areas of the site to avoid getting into a bad spot. Instead of making bad fundamental decisions to compensate, how about a course of action is drawn up to correct the system overall?
 

elodin

kingpin jr
is a Tiering Contributoris a Past SPL and WCoP Champion
#11
Ok dude, I obviously know how smogon does stupid shit with bans sometimes so I said it could be looked at case to case, but the rest of your post makes no sense.

Some dude pms rat porn of all things to pick on another user that everyone messes with already, but we should ignore this shit and let him play? It should not matter if they prove their skill or not that’s dumb and practically allows 0 reprocussions on users that do completely stupid things and are still allowed to play. As everyone knows, smogon is mostly filled with tournament players. If they get banned from the site for, say, doxxing someone, what happens then? We ignore the fact that they committed a crime and fucked with another person’s life just so they can keep playing tours? So they can keep doing what they want to be doing? I don’t see it. Smogon is the site for tournaments and if they do something to get removed from the main site they should not be allowed to walk away like this.
Seems like your point is completely misfocused here. There are rules that clearly state that permanently banned users aren't allowed to continue playing in tournaments they're engaged in. If you believe a user does something so tremendously bad and isn't punished with a permanent ban, that's something the Senior Staff should look into to maybe make rules harsher depending on the circumstances. Also what doesn't make sense here is your logic, because even if you remove these users from tournaments they'll still "keep doing what they want to be doing" after their ban expires regardless. If you really feel like what imsosorrylol did was so horrific then you definitely should be advocating to make rules harsher regarding sending porn to minors, not to make rules harsher for virtually every other member on the site because 1 user out of the past 10 that have been forum banned and continued playing in a tournament broke past your moral compass.

Looking at it case by case just gives TDs and SS more room for bias and unfounded reasoning to ban members due to unclear rules. I'm 100% against this proposal as well.

maybe users should just try to be good users and NOT incur infractions if they don't want to be banned in a team tournament? is this really that difficult of a situation to work out

edit: like yeah theres gonna be some trashy infractions ive gotten a 3pointer before for double posting when i was just starting out but like come on if you intentionally break rules that you know are site rules (alting, linking porn) it shouldn't matter if its a "meme" or not like you're going against site rules and you're gonna complain because other people got away with it and you didn't? it should be the other way around, demanding equal justice for all alters. tour players expectations that the rules should bend around them just blows my mind from the tourban---> positions of power thread now to this
It's funny how you completely misinterpret my post in order to make a point that doesn't even respond to my main criticism regarding the proposal in the OP, which is that prohibiting forum banned members from playing in tournaments they're already engaged in only hurts our playerbase and removes quality from competitions. Bolding it again to see if you any of you are able to reply to it this time.

Talking about my case now: I never complained "because other people got away with it and I didn't". Those people created alts to bring fun to the community and the Senior Staff was ok with it at the time. I believed the same could happen again because the rule for creating alts clearly isn't to prevent people from posting memes, it's to prevent people from doing negative things to the community on their alts (playing with more than 1 account in tournaments, increasing like/post ratio or making multiple posts from different accounts to defend their views in discussion threads etc.). If you feel so strongly that me creating an alt to post a meme after asking 2 members of SS is "equal justice" as someone creating alts under proxies to play the same tournament under multiple accounts... you probably don't know what equality means, or why this rule was created in the first place.

The last part of your post is particularly funny because you mention previously in your post how you received a 3 point infraction over something silly. And now you accuse me of wanting the rules to bend around me and other tournament players? If you sign up for a tournament and do something silly again I'd like you to keep playing as well. It's not about bending the rules for the tournaments community, it's about making them fair for any member of the site who wishes to compete and therefore contribute. Because like it or not, playing in tournaments is contributing to Smogon, and removing forum banned users from tournaments only hurts this notion.
 

Oglemi

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Secret Boss Mod
#12
I completely disagree with the opinions being shared in this thread so far.

A user being forum banned might have absolutely no connection to his tournament runs. The Tournaments Section is obviously a part of the Smogon Forums, but that doesn't mean that what said users did to get banned warrant removing them from a tournament, especially in late rounds / in situations where their teams would be hurt. A friendly reminder that the whole point of tournaments is to have fair and high quality competitiveness. Why would it be right to remove imsosorrylol when he clearly deserved the run he had and was a potential contender for the title? Being forum banned has nothing to do with your skill, has nothing to do with your ability to schedule a game properly, has nothing to do with playing a tournament you've deserved a spot in. If I had been obstructed from playing Snake Draft after my ban I would've found that absurdly unfair, considering my ban resulted from some of the silliest infractions of all time, not to mention that the lack of interest in SS in proper handling infractions and bans heavily influenced my actions.

Which leads me to my second point as to why I disagree with this proposal: the way bans are determined in this site is a huge joke, both for tournament banned users and for forum banned users. I could write a whole essay about this, but just taking recent examples (undisputed's 3 months tournament ban for potential cheating and misconduct and people being forum banned over what they say in private Discord servers) you can tell the TDs and the Senior Staff are free to give out whatever punishments they want because there's nothing banned users can do to defend themselves. I remember I was forum banned after asking 2 members of SS if it was ok to create an alt to post a meme - just like people did in 2012 WCoP and nothing happened to them - but I was blatantly ignored by both, and I had no awareness of my previous infraction because I never received a PM from the moderator that infracted me to notify me about it, so I thought at worst I would have my post deleted and receive my first infraction. Thing is it doesn't really matter if SS fucks up the entire procedural process, because a banned user has nowhere to appeal but talking to the people that banned him in the first place. And you can't even approach all parties (unless you PM every SS / TD on Discord) because there is no mechanism designed for it on the site. In my case, I remember PMing the person who gave me my second infraction and explaining all this and he said "so I talked to a few people, right now your infractions will stay as is", but at the end of the day I never got a chance to know who he spoke to - or even if he actually spoke to someone, because that message is all I got -, why they shared his opinion that I should stay banned, why the procedural flaws in my process weren't taken into account to potentially reduce my ban, etc.

I can understand the appeal to remove forum banned users from tournaments, but at the end of the day all it does is remove players who proved their right and ability to compete for various reasons that do not damage their integrity to the competition. By doing so we're only hurting the quality of our tournaments and providing even more unfair treatment to our userbase. And what exactly are we getting in return? Making the site's image look better? lol
I was pleasantly surprised by the support given to the op thus far and was waiting for a post like this.

Newsflash elodin and co.: it isn't 2012 anymore. Just to give you a little insight, 2010-2012 was a supremely shitty time on this site from a staff perspective, because a ton of people were getting away with a ton of really shitty things. Nobody wanted to punish anybody, either because they felt they lacked authority, or because they didn't want to have to deal with the incoming flak from punishing x person but not then the other x person. None of the head TDs from Jackal to Bloo ever wanted to deal with punishments because they were "frends" with the people doing the stupid shit, or because they held your archaic mindset that these people were somehow invaluable to the competitiveness of the forum, and if we banned or removed them from tournaments, then our tournaments would stink. Myself and Aldaron spent a lot of time trying to turn that mindset around and stamping out the hold the people infamously coined as "The Entitled" had on the tournaments section so that some form a justice would at least hit the majority that were doing shit (ie. ghosting, flaming, etc.).

Turns out, nobody on this fucking site is irreplaceable. Bloo, Phil, Aldaron, myself, Arti, Doug, the last 6 head TDs, you name it, we've all been replaced... and easily at that. That was the really big lesson that I think most people learned from things like the Stratos incident(s), since as it turns out, DOU is just fine without him and is thriving on its own with even better users at the helm now. This extends easily into tournaments. Some big names have come and gone, as they are wont to do, and at no point has one person leaving left an irreplaceable void in the competitiveness of our tournaments. We've seen some "big" names get tournament banned recently (conflict, marco) but the quality of play in those tournaments was still high from what I can tell. I think the only argument you could use here is that McM stopping playing in regular tournaments all the time has lowered their quality, since he isn't trying to win them and people aren't trying to beat him, but people still play them and they are still what I would call competitive.

You know what would have happened if you missed Snake elodin? Probably nothing. It may have affected one team's final score or another, but you wouldn't have been missed by the people playing. You would have missed it, but that's the point. Why would we allow someone that did something shitty play on our tournaments? What reason do we have to keep you around? Now, I don't know the circumstances behind your incident, maybe nothing there was justified, and in which case you probably should have been allowed to play, but I think we can all agree most of the punishments that are doled out around here are perfectly justified (I think banning for PMing someone rat porn is pretty fucking justified).

And what do we get by removing banned users from being able to play in tournaments? A semblance of actual responsibility and community is what we get. When what you say in Cong matters in Tournaments, it makes you think twice about dropping that (BAN ME PLEASE) remark in the heat of the moment because "oh shit if I say that I might get removed from OST" etc. I get the argument that not all things are equitable, ie. What does plagiarism have to do with tournaments? So I agree with lax about the case by case thing. But at the end of the day, I would far rather we hold our users accountable across the board.
 

tcr

stay trippy little hippie
is a Tutoris a Team Rater Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus
#13
how does removing users that acquire enough infractions to be forum banned somehow lower the quality of tournaments? if you're a shitty enough forum presence to be banned then that's on you and you don't get a free pass to shitpost, link porn to people, create alts just because you're a good enough player to be deemed a boon to the skill of the tournament playerbase.

the rules don't state "alting is allowed if you're going to meme its only to prevent people from wintrading in tours," the global rules very clearly say
Smogon Global Rules said:
Outside of "Firebot Development Lab", trolling is not allowed. This means keep purely joke posts and one word replies out of the serious forums. If you do not have something substantial to contribute to a thread, do not bother posting. Just think to yourself, "Does my post add something to this thread?" If the answer is no, think twice about hitting that submit button.
They also very clearly state
Smogon Global Rules said:
Do not register multiple accounts, ever. This is self-explanatory. If you create an alternate account when infracted or banned, your ban will be extended or made permanent.
This says nothing about "its ok as long as you're meming and not maliciously doing it or trolling with it" it very clearly says otherwise. Maybe you're just so used to the toxic tour community that gets away with shitposting doubleposting and flagrantly abusing the rules that this is new to you and you have never read the actual global rules. Alting is alting whether you're xenu doing it in firebot or whether you're bloo doing it to cheat the rules stay the same. Yeah you can get nuanced punishments from staff members by appealing it and they may say "ok yeah maybe we were a little harsh in our judging" but that can't be expected nor should it.

edit: "preserving the integrity of tournaments" give me a break lmao. should we unban bloo jsut because they were an excellent top tier player? should we unban casedvictory just because they were an excellent player? stratos? what about mazar? no because the rules are the rules. I have nothing against you personally but this whole concept that some rules can be bent and some rules can't be is just nonsense and is a clear reminder of the cultural divide between the tournaments community and literally everyone else on the site. "integrity" my ass. it sounds like you just have a grudge against SS / TDs and just want immunity from anything you post on the tour forums because there's a small chance that an infraction can be biased or a TD could ban someone to get ahead / free pass in a tournament. That type of stuff should be handled on a case by case basis, and the community is so small that it would be a pretty obvious thing to spot and appeal for.
 
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Kink

Same great taste with zero calories
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Moderator
#14
It comes down to accountability. The reason we have these standards isn't to punish anyone in particular, but rather to maintain integrity across all aspects of the site. Just like any other community, everyone in a staff/TD position wants to do their best for not only the current generation, but the generation to come.

If you guys think even for a moment TDs enjoy tourbanning people, then you understand nothing. The goal, just like with all policy, is to avoid as many bad situations as possible. Anyway, a lot of stuff that I agree with has already been said, I think it would be a farce to let smogon banned users play in official Smogon Tours. If you don't want to miss out due to bad behaviour, well, we have a saying in UU: "don't be an idiot".
 

elodin

kingpin jr
is a Tiering Contributoris a Past SPL and WCoP Champion
#15
Newsflash elodin and co.: it isn't 2012 anymore. Just to give you a little insight, 2010-2012 was a supremely shitty time on this site from a staff perspective, because a ton of people were getting away with a ton of really shitty things. Nobody wanted to punish anybody, either because they felt they lacked authority, or because they didn't want to have to deal with the incoming flak from punishing x person but not then the other x person. None of the head TDs from Jackal to Bloo ever wanted to deal with punishments because they were "frends" with the people doing the stupid shit, or because they held your archaic mindset that these people were somehow invaluable to the competitiveness of the forum, and if we banned or removed them from tournaments, then our tournaments would stink. Myself and Aldaron spent a lot of time trying to turn that mindset around and stamping out the hold the people infamously coined as "The Entitled" had on the tournaments section so that some form a justice would at least hit the majority that were doing shit (ie. ghosting, flaming, etc.).

Turns out, nobody on this fucking site is irreplaceable. Bloo, Phil, Aldaron, myself, Arti, Doug, the last 6 head TDs, you name it, we've all been replaced... and easily at that. That was the really big lesson that I think most people learned from things like the Stratos incident(s), since as it turns out, DOU is just fine without him and is thriving on its own with even better users at the helm now. This extends easily into tournaments. Some big names have come and gone, as they are wont to do, and at no point has one person leaving left an irreplaceable void in the competitiveness of our tournaments. We've seen some "big" names get tournament banned recently (conflict, marco) but the quality of play in those tournaments was still high from what I can tell. I think the only argument you could use here is that McM stopping playing in regular tournaments all the time has lowered their quality, since he isn't trying to win them and people aren't trying to beat him, but people still play them and they are still what I would call competitive.
I think you're misinterpreting my post here. If someone is forum banned I do not believe they should be allowed to play in whatever tournaments they want to depending on who they are because their presence makes tournaments better. The issue I'm bringing up is removing people from on-going tournaments because they have already helped shape the tournaments they're participating in. You mentioned everyone is replaceable and I tend to agree, but I'm curious as to how you'd replace Malekith if he was banned today while keeping OST's competitiveness untainted, for example (Malekith is in OST semifinals in case you didn't know). It's not about the fact that Malekith is "somehow invaluable to the competitiveness of the forum" like you described, but he does seem important to keep OST's competitiveness at its best.

This is merely one hypothetical example out of infinite amounts, so please don't bother responding to it directly. Just trying to make it clear that it's not about the users, it's about their values attached to on-going competitions prior to their bans.

You know what would have happened if you missed Snake elodin? Probably nothing. It may have affected one team's final score or another, but you wouldn't have been missed by the people playing. You would have missed it, but that's the point. Why would we allow someone that did something shitty play on our tournaments? What reason do we have to keep you around? Now, I don't know the circumstances behind your incident, maybe nothing there was justified, and in which case you probably should have been allowed to play, but I think we can all agree most of the punishments that are doled out around here are perfectly justified (I think banning for PMing someone rat porn is pretty fucking justified).
The only reason I brought up my incident was to illustrate how nuanced the ban process is and how easy it is to find irregularities throughout the site. It seems as though mentioning it started a discussion that completely derails from the issues brought up in the OP, so I'd appreciate it if we stopped focusing on it.

I do recommend that the next time you come to a thread to spread misinformation about a tournament and a user you do it with some facts to defend your claims, though. Try PMing my Snake managers and ask them if they agree with your assessment. If you're too lazy to do that, try looking at the Snake Draft spreadsheet or the Snake Draft threads. Unfounded and incorrect statements have no value in any serious discussion, and that's all this paragraph contains.

And what do we get by removing banned users from being able to play in tournaments? A semblance of actual responsibility and community is what we get. When what you say in Cong matters in Tournaments, it makes you think twice about dropping that (BAN ME PLEASE) remark in the heat of the moment because "oh shit if I say that I might get removed from OST" etc. I get the argument that not all things are equitable, ie. What does plagiarism have to do with tournaments? So I agree with lax about the case by case thing. But at the end of the day, I would far rather we hold our users accountable across the board.
I'd completely agree to hold users accountable across the board over what they do in one section of the site. The issue here is that playing in tournaments is also contributing to the site, so this should be a two-way street. What you say in Cong matters in Tournaments, so what you do in Tournaments should matter in Cong and every other portion of the site as well. If this route is the one we go for, then I argue a user who receives a tournament ban should also be punished in different areas of the site. It might seem like this is wrong, but if we don't commit 100% to unifying the community then the Tournaments section will always feel like a world entirely apart from the rest of the site.

Playing in tournaments means you're actively helping in shaping metagames that thousands of people play on the ladder every day, means you're helping to bring attention to the site via different media platforms, means you're putting on display the analysis written on the site at the highest level of competition. This contribution has as much value as any other, so if we're prioritizing a sense of community and responsibility than such sentiment should also exist in the Tournaments forum, which would also help in making cheating less appealing in the heat of the moment given your own example.

Either way I don't think it should be decided case by case. That's just lazy policy-making in this situation and opens up room for bias and inconsistency. I'm sure moderators have a list of infractions they get to throw around, so why not just separate the ones that are severe enough to warrant a user's removal from an on-going tournament from the ones that are not? E.g.: Sending rat porn to a child = removed from on-going tournaments. Plagiarism = not removed. Probably not the most optimal solution but still better than doing it subjectively case by case. There should be a clear designation for what forum punishments constitute removal from tours and what ones don't.
 
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DragonWhale

It's not a misplay, it's RNG manipulation
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Battle Spot Leader
#16
I do think removing people who actually won their games from a tournament isn't a good look, but it's a even worse look for the site as a whole if a tournament was won by a banned user. Removing banned users from tournaments sounds like the lesser of two evils. This is also talking about forum bans. It's not hard to not get 4 points in such a short timeframe. If there really was a misuse of moderation powers for the sole purpose of removing a player from a tournament it can easily be reviewed and reversed, with consequences for the mod in question.

This isn't some new one-way anti-tournament campaign either. If you accumulate 4 points from tournament infractions, you lose the ability to contribute to C&C even if you're in the middle of an analysis, do a RMT rate/writeup, participate in cong, engage in format discussions, or do whatever CAP does. It's always been a two-way street. If anything it has been a one-way street in favor of tournaments because these users could still do one thing and one thing only on this forum while banned: play in their active tournaments.
 

Bughouse

Like ships in the night, you're passing me by
is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a CAP Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus
#17
All competitive leagues have codes of conduct unrelated to the rules within the games itself.

NFL players have been suspended over tweets before. Soccer players in Europe have been suspended over saying racist things to opponents and fans. I could go on.

That’s all these site-wide bans turning into tournament bans are: violations of a code of conduct
 
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#18
At the the end of the day, you as a player are not entitled to participate in a tournament. Playing in tours is a privilege granted contingent on you adhering to the rules of the community and the site has zero obligation to tolerate abuses of the rules in the name of some misguided sense that one user or group of users has a meaningful impact on the collective quality of the tour.
 

WaterBomb

Two kids no brane
is a Forum Moderatoris a Live Chat Contributoris a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus
Moderator
#19
It doesn't matter how much an individual has done to "shape a tournament". If that individual does enough to earn a ban from the forums, their continued presence in the tournament does just as much, probably more, to undermine the integrity of the tournament than removing them does. "Tournament quality", even though it is subjective to begin with, is not more important than obeying rules. This will never change. The second we prioritize it over rules we open the door to a zillion potential abuses.

Rather than trying to justify and find exceptions, why aren't we simply expecting people to behave like civilized human beings and, you know, not be a twat and get themselves banned? This is not rocket science. Obeying the rules on this site is not challenging.

The best way to maintain integrity in anything in life is to raise standards, not lower them.
 

HoeenHero

The Misspelled Hero!
is a Battle Server Administratoris a Community Leaderis a Programmer
Community Leader
#20
To offer another perspective, Pokemon Showdown will not temporarily remove or reduce punishments to accommodate users who are playing in a tournament. This includes room tournaments, smogon tournaments, and any other tournaments that originate off site. This includes temporary bans (usually just from the main server) and permalocks/permabans (which affect all servers including smogtours).

I feel that users banned from the forums should not be allowed to participate in tournaments hosted on the forums, that's part of a ban (not allowed to participate in forums activities), though I won't dive in deeper as its been said above.
 
#21
The Tournament Directors agree that forum bans should be enforced in tournaments. As users in this thread have pointed out, it's not only a bad look to have a banned user winning a trophy but it's a weird exception to the ban that is not found elsewhere in Smogon.

With that said, imagine if a user gets banned for plagiarism (a serious infraction to be sure, but not one that has anything to do with tournaments) in Smogon Tour finals. Their opponent would get the trophy having done 75% of the work that every other Smogon Tour winner had to do and it would invalidate their win in the eyes of many. It is undeniably a huge blow to the integrity and competitiveness of the tournament to have something like that happen.

So, as a compromise the policy going forward will be:

Forum bans will suspend the banned user from any tournaments they are participating in.

The only exception to this is if a user is in the playoffs of an individual tournament, (Top 16 being considered the playoffs for OST) they will be allowed to finish their tournament run, unless their ban was permanent or the result of a 4 point infraction. This means that forum bans functionally result in tourbans in the majority of cases, only being excepted when it would have catastrophic consequences.

And to clarify my language, this a suspension instead of a disqualification, so for example, if a user gets banned for 3 weeks during week 1 of SPL they won't be allowed to play weeks 2, 3 and 4 but will be allowed to resume playing in the round after the round their ban expired in.
 
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