Pokemon Showdown Ladder Seasons [Season One Announced]

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Tiering Lead

Hello! I am here to announce that going forward Pokemon Showdown is going to be introducing Ladder Seasons for some of our ladders. These will be somewhat similar to what you would expect from ladder seasons you would see in other games and we have just decided to bring it to our ladders as well. The system

How the System Works

This system will be using ladder ranks as a way to determine placement and prizing, with the top 100 qualifying for a prize during each season. These seasons will last 3 months each, with ranking updates at the end of each month. During these seasons people who are in the top 100 on ladder will receive a medal that appears under their avatar whenever they are in game, anywhere on Showdown. We will start out with three tiers within the top 100, with Bronze, Silver, and Gold tiers all existing to start. The breakdown of these tiers is as follows:

Rank #100 -> #31 Bronze (70 People)​
Rank #30 -> #4 Silver (27 People)​
Rank #3 -> #1 Gold (3 People)​

As long as you are placed within the ranks above, you will receive the medal automatically at the start of each hour that will then display whenever you battle on Showdown with that username. At the end of each season there will be a Hall of Fame to record the Top 100, and then the next season will begin after a few days. Medals will be removed at the end of each season, but you can get it back just by placing within the Top 100 again on a participating ladder.

Like was said above, we are starting these ladder seasons with just our current gen, Official Metagames (OU / UU / RU / NU / PU / Ubers / LC / DOU / Monotype) + Random Battles (as our largest ladder). However, this would be too many active ladder seasons to be running concurrently, so instead there will be a rotation system in place. OU + Random Battles will have an active ladder season at all times, while 4 of the 8 other Official Metagames will be running concurrently, and they will take turns rotating at the end of the three months. As an example, this is what we have planned for the first two seasons:

Season 1 April - June: OU / Randbats / Ubers / UU / PU / Monotype​
Season 2 July - September: OU / Randbats / Doubles / RU / NU / LC​

To go along with this, OU and Randbats will each have a unique medal for their respective ladders, while the rotating tiers will all share the same style. Big thanks to deetah for editing these:
Random Battles:
Rotating Ladders:

Seasons will also have updates at the end of each month, with those in the Top 100 at that time also getting their names saved in the Hall of Fame. We will rotate the times of when each month / season ends, similar to how OLT handles their cycles. To go along with this, the last 3 days of each month all games that have someone with a medal will be made public and announced in a room similar to OLT, so people can watch the players at the top duke it out for their positions, and to help expand the metagame and get people interested in the placements. Starting from Season 2, the first week of each new season will also not have medals be given out, as a chance to have fresh faces get medals once they start again. There may potentially be ladder resets worked into this system as well, but that is still up for discussion.

I also want to give a massive thanks to Hecate for all the work they did coding this and helping me iron out details and ideas, this really could not have been possible if they didn't get the ball running right away when I brought this idea up. Also to deetah and Marty for helping with the medals, and to the rest of Upper Staff for helping figure out the details.
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Be the serpent under't
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How many medals can I have at a time?

You can technically have up to 6 medals at a time since thats how many ladders you can be in the Top 100 of, however, only your top 3 placements will be displayed under your name. This will take into account what color each medal is / where you are on the ladder to show which 3 to display. It will also default to always displaying the medal for the tier you are playing, so even if you have 3 golds, but on the current ladder you are a bronze, it'll show 2 gold and a bronze. The first medal shown is always for your current tier if it exists, so even if you have 3 medals in other tiers, only 2 will show up if you play a tier you lack a medal in.​
How soon will my medal show up?

So there isn't too much shifting around, the medals will be updated at the end of each hour, so your placement at that point will determine if you have a medal for the next hour and what color it is. This also gives you more time to show it off in other battles and gives the ranks more time to settle.​
Are there any other prizes?

Currently, no. This system is meant to promote active laddering and reflect the current state of the ladders. We already have OLT and other tier ladder tournaments that reward placement at the end of a cycle. We will still track and record the names of the top players at the end of each season, but currently there are no plans for those users to get anything more than that on Pokemon Showdown itself.​
Why isn't [insert tier here] part of this system?

To begin we wanted to start of small and figure out how well this system works and have the ability to iterate quickly from season to season. The more ladders and tiers we add on, the more noise gets added to the system, and it'll be hard to tell what actually works and what doesn't. Currently there is no set date as to when we will add more ladders or tiers to this system, and it will be an active discussion between staff as to when it'll expand and how it'll expand. Keep in mind this is just the first iteration of the system, and there likely will be a lot of changes as time goes on. That is OK, and we do not expect this system to be perfect on the first go.​
Also since I am sure it will be asked due to it being one of our most popular ladders, VGC is not currently included in this system and will likely not be included in the future either. The main reason for this is due to the fact that VGC ladders currently already do have a ranked ladder system in place on cartridge, and this is not meant to be in competition with that. They have a different ranked system, but at the end of the day they are similar enough that we do not feel comfortable running something in such direct competition with the official system. There also are issues between Bo1 and Bo3 ladder, and which one to give it to, but at the end of the day if you wanted to play ranked VGC, cartridge is the place for you. Feel free to try out our Smogon Doubles tier though!​
How many alts can I use to ladder?

Nothing is changing with our current ladder system and there are no plans for it to, so that means you can have as many alts as you want within the top 100 and they will all get corresponding medals! However, those medals will be tied to each alt, and there is no way to swap your medals between alts. So if you get Top 100 with a random alt, the medals will stay on that account and not show up on your main in other battles.​
Why not [x]? / Why doesn't this have [x]?

This is just the first season! We are going to be making changes as time goes on, and we will likely put out a survey to field suggestions after this runs for a few weeks. We do not expect this to be perfect, and will definitely take user feedback into account while looking to make this system bigger and better.​
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Be the serpent under't
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Season One Details

Season One is going to run from 0:00 GMT+0 on April 1st to 0:00 GMT+0 on July 1st.

There will be updates at the end of each month, with the deadlines for those being:

8:00AM GMT+0 on May 1st
4:00PM GMT+0 on June 1st.

The tiers with active ladders for Season 1 are:
Random Battles​

Your medals will display in all your games across Showdown on that alt, and we will begin with the current Top 100 receiving the medals to begin, but as soon as that first hour hits they will be updated again.

As a note, any form of ladder boosting or cheating will be punished harshly in this system and anyone found to be doing either will be disqualified from the season and future ones.
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Be the serpent under't
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  • Top 100 Placements on set ladders will receive medals that display under their name in battles through Showdown. These will update at the top of each hour.
  • These seasons will last 3 months each, with peoples names being saved in the Hall of Fame at the end of each season, and at the end of each month.
  • Battles that have a player with a medal will be forced public the last 3 days of every month leading into the Hall of Fame updates.
This thread will be locked and used as a place to announce future updates and deadlines. There is a thread in the Pokemon Showdown subforum if you would like to discuss or have any questions. There will also be a room on Showdown for the last 3 days of each month where all the games will be announced for people to spectate.
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Appeals + C&C Lead
Medal ladder battles will now only be forced public for the last three days of the season instead of the last three days each month, effective immediately. We do not anticipate changing it further.

Additionally, based on feedback about the difficulty of finding medal games, public battles those last three days will now be logged to the season discussion room, much like how ladder tour rooms do - thus making it a more centralized place to discover, spectate, and discuss high level battles as per the original intent of the feature.
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