Potential Changes to WCoP

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is a Smogon Social Media Contributoris a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributoris a Past WCoP Championis a former Tournament Circuit Champion
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how does it matter what the precedent was? this isn't a courtroom, and clearly precedent here shifts at the drop of a hat depending on who's in charge with facts being twisted to fit particular narratives.

the rules are only sacrosanct, until someone important's feathers get ruffled then the site just bends over backwards to accommodate said opinions, so why even bother pretending that there is any semblance of continuity?
As I said in my first post, it is more than just simple "following the precedent" so much as it is the fact that it was a good precedent -- I included the "why fix something that isn't broken" for a reason and with a clear emphasis on the fact that the old format was not broken. If you look at the quoted portion of my post, you will see pretty solid reasoning for why that format fits the desires of the tournament community in terms of what WCOP should be and to reiterate, I will take the specific part of it that stood out to me:
This will allow the tournament to constantly push innovation with half the starters playing in the current generation, while still giving respect to the past.
Sure, you can argue 4 and 6 does this as well to an extent, but if there was not much of an issue with 5 and 5 last year while accomplishing this and the TDs initially decided for it to be all SM, don't you think it would be fairly drastic to go from potentially all SM slots to even less than last year, cutting it from 100% to 40% of the tournament? On top of this, there have been little-to-no arguments as to why that extra RBY slot makes sense to add-in this year when it was not last year -- Ciele did not expand on that and Hogg merely echo'd him, if I recall correctly.

I am fine with the 4 and 6 format, even if I prefer 5 and 5 (specifically, the extra SM slot over including RBY), but there is much more than a simple precedent favoring the 5 and 5 and you tried to hone in on this in your post without considering actual context.

edit in response to your edit: You still neglect to provide any actual substance aside from the challenging of precedent, which clearly was not the substance of my argument to maintain the status quo. An actual argument on behalf of someone supporting RBY's inclusion would be very much appreciated as they seem to clearly be lacking in the thread as of right now.
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is a Tournament Director Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis an Administrator Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnusis the 5th Smogon Classic Winneris the Smogon Tour Season 14 Championis a Past SPL Champion
If it ends up being 4/6 vs 5/5, you'll probably please more people with 4/6, since you're including the entierty of the RBY OU playerbase, while SM OU is still featured heavily, be it with 4 or 6 slots. Not to mention the subs spots are a lot more likely to rely on SM OUer than a back up RBY OUer. SM OUer also has plenty of opportunities to prove/show themselves and snatch one of the 4 spots (+sub spot), while RBYers will just be left in the dirt if they're not included.

Of course, taking tournament decisions isnt all about pleasing the crowd, but I dont think it hurts the tournament at all to go with 4/6 this year for example. For once, it feels less arbitrary. Currently, you'd be including every old gen outside of RBY because.... the format "needs" to be locked? Because SM OU is the current gen and needs to represent half the tournament (once again, a very arbitrary reason)? At least including every old gen makes some kind of sense, since you're including old gens to begin with. Woud also like to mention that I strongly agree with eden's embrace's post about precedents in tournament policy decisions related to their format. Not only do we not NEED to blindly follow em, but we've clearly had instances in the past where we didnt care about them because we either felt it was a bad precedent, or because we deemed it to not be worth following anymore considering the general context/opinion of the players.

Also, even if last year's format wasnt broken, that doesnt mean we cant consider bettering it/changing it (hence why we dont NEED to follow it at all cost). After all, it seems the original decision of the TDs was to go full SM OU, which throws out last year's "locked" format in an even bigger fashion than slighlty modifying it to include RBY.

Additionally , I'd rather watch the top RBY players duke it out than the 5th best SM option for every country. Most country without an important pool of players will often have to reach out to find such a player, whereas finding ONE strong RBY player is often an easier task (this isnt backed up by facts though, just my sentiment).

Keep in mind this is all coming from someone who's been "bashing" RBY in the recent past, I wouldn't want people to think Im saying this it advantages my WCop team in the future.

At the end of the day, my personnal take is that the format should either be full CG OU, or 4+6, maybe even 6+6 (dont think going up to 12 slots should be out of the equation personally). No 5/5 arbitrary middle of the road bullshit.
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grubbing in the ashes
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UU & Tour Head
Just a quick update so you folks don't think this is getting ignored or swept under the rug:

The TD team is still actively discussing the final format for WCOP, and is continuing to monitor this thread and the WCOP Discord.

While we're still figuring out what the final format will look like, one thing I can say safely is that unless there is suddenly a significant shift in opinion, we will be shelving the option of all current gen OU for the time being. While we all still believe it is the most sustainable option over the long term, based on the community reaction and posts in this thread we have decided we will not move forward with it this year. I would like to keep the discussion going for how the future of WCOP and the tour circuit as a whole should look down the road.

That still leaves us with the question of what format to go with for this year. We're still discussing how WCOP 2018 should look and reading every post in this thread. While we know that teams are eager to find out what the finalized format will look like, we don't want to rush into any decision at this stage.
I personally support 4+6 for my own personal preference and for Team Canada's chances, but I think 6+6 is the best for the health of the tour. Honestly I think the quality of battles is better with a 10 slot roster; however, I think there are significant pros to expanding the overall roster to 12 slots and the CGOU slots to 6 that outweigh that cost, specifically that there is a significant increase in the availability of camaraderie and support which is inherently greater in a country based format (as compared to spl or snake) which I believe has a non-trivial impact on the overall increase in player skill and by extension site skill over the course of the tournament when considering the increased activity inherent to the higher volume tier. I think that 6 CG OU strikes a good balance of players (plus 2-4 subs) where player quality doesn't drop off too substantially, at least not when given a reasonably effective team provides training and support, that both provides a good competitive environment to balance against old gens while also serving as a barometer test for future possibilities of all CG OU, such as in a WCOP occurring after a newly released generation. I finally think that 12 man starting rosters result in an optimal overall distribution of results as compared to 10 slots or 14 slots such that fights for playoff spots and the playoffs thereafter will provide the greatest amount of interest, impact, and entertainment.

- i prefer 4+6, think 6+6 better for tour
- individual battle quality higher in 4+6, worth the trade off in overall increase in playerbase skill within countries and over course of tour
- 6+6 is a good balance of avoiding quality drop off while increasing creative input
- 6+6 can serve as a barometer test for future inclusions of great numbered CG OU setups
- 12 man rosters give the best entertainment in playoffs races and H2H playoff matches
Credit to the TDs for reevaluating their initial decision. It always takes a big call to go back on major decisions but in this case it was the right one to make. As for where to go from here, I believe the 4-6 option is what will be best.

The reason why RBY was the lone excluded old gen last time was because of an intended lock on the tournament. It was supposed to forever remain ten slots and have old gens drop periodically or else they'd eventually take over. Now that it's been established that the lock is no longer there and will not be returning any time soon (as confirmed by Hogg indicating that all current gen might still happen in the future), the original justification for dropping RBY and not anything else no longer applies. It's not as if RBY was dropped because it's a Bad Gen or anything. The lock was actually the main reason for doing it. There's also no fear of old gens taking over because there's clearly already plans to change the entire format when the next generation releases.

The only other real reason behind it I guess is to keep current gen accounting for 50% of the slots. This seems like a good cause on paper, but really the goal is as arbitrary as most everything else. It's not as if this brings any notable benefits, it merely gives a perception of balance. As I mentioned in my earlier post, Snake ended up going with 4/10 current gen OU slots and that saw the (subjective) best SM OU we've seen in a team tour so far. This was also achieved with only ten teams instead of World Cup's sixteen (twenty pls). SPL has an even lower number with its two (sometimes three) current gen OU slots and only ten teams. World Cup will still have the most current gen OU starters of any team tour, even with a drop to four slots. Do we really need more than 64 USM OU starters just for the tier itself? This doesn't seem likely. Besides, you'd also get the exact same number of USM OU pools with four slots and twenty teams as you would with five slots and sixteen teams. Something to consider, imo.

As for RBY itself, it's pretty well known by now that RBY has one of the largest and most committed communities of any old gen. Yes, a lot of it is based outside of Smogon, but that doesn't take away from the quality or the numbers that it boasts over other gens. Many highly rated players such as Peasounay, marcoasd, and roudolf13 might not feature in this tournament should RBY not be included, whereas dropping the 5th USM slot will merely result in the otherwise intended USM player replacing a likely unused substitute on the bench. There's also no shortage of RBY players across a high number of teams, either. The three players I mentioned are all from different teams, and then you have others such as Lusch, MetalGro$$, Tiba, and of course, let's not forget the legendary GGFan. Even if a team doesn't have a reliable RBYer right now, there's no easier old gen to pick up and become decent at than RBY. That's not even to say anyone can be good at it, just that it takes far less time to learn the fundamentals and put on a respectable showing.

6-6 is something I could support if the playerbase continues to grow, but it's probably a little too soon for it right now. I don't have any objective reason for thinking this, it just seems like it would stretch less privileged teams a bit too much compared to certain others. If it is thought that the teams can deal with it then I'd be pleased to see it happen. If not, 4-6 with RBY should be the play.
I support 4 SM + 6 Old Gens.

RBY has one of the most dedicated player bases around. I'd honestly like to see some more of superstar Roudolf13, Peasounay, Lusch, and all the other RBY mains playing on the big stage.

Furthermore, it's very easy to become proficient at RBY if necessary. Any team that can't field a serviceable RBYer just isn't trying.

Finally, we should be striving for inclusivity in our tournaments. There's nothing of value to gain by telling RBYers to go away. If an extra SM OU slot is really that important why not just bump it up to 6 SM + 6 Old Gens? God forbid we allow two more players per team to enjoy the official tournament scene.


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As a preface, we would like to thank the Tournament Directors for listening to what the community had to say and changing the format from the full CG OU option to accepting the addition of Old Gens. That said, this post will explain what the community at large would prefer as the format for this year's World Cup of Pokemon.

We believe the best format for this tournament would be the 4+6 option. The reasons for this can be seen in the posts by Ciele and McMeghan, but we will highlight some big points as to why this is the way to go:

- Although some TDs mention that the "sustainability argument" is not one of the most important, we consider the opposite to be true. It is extremely important to understand the reason why the decision to go for a 5+5 format was made last year. Long story short, the reason for the format change was a shift in TD policy making. They were going for a long-term approach, and as such they locked the formats of several official tournaments. This isn't to say that move was right or wrong. The issue comes from the fact that the approach they were going for is no long going to be applied for this tournament. The current TD team has proven that they are free to go against precedent if they believe it will increase the quality of a tournament. As such, they went back on last year's format. The reason this gains relevance is that, by proving that sustainability is no longer a problem, it means we can tailor tourney's formats to be the best in a particular year. A tier was kicked out last year under the false premise that it would be to make the format locked. The tier that was kicked is irrelevant to this, the only thing that is relevant are the motives behind the removal. To better illustrate this, imagine instead of RBY, it was ORAS that got kicked. Or BW, or ADV. One of the main arguments that the 5+5 side are giving is that a 5th SM is much better than RBY, because they greatly dislike RBY. But this isn't about personal bias as to what tier each person believes is best, and as such, the tier in question should be irrelevant.

- Another important thing to note, is that people are looking at things from a different point of view. 4+6 does not mean that "SM is overrun by Old Gens", because it is not 6 of one Old Gen. It would be 4 SM, and 1 of each Old Gen. SM has 4 times the representation of any other tier in the tournament, and that should be good enough. This was proven in Snake Draft last year, as nobody made an issue out of the tournament having "4 SM and 6 Lower Tiers".

- I would also like to talk about the "Old Gens" vs "Current Gen" debate. In 2018, calling previous generations "Old Gens" bother me. These are highly respected tiers, each with a huge and active community. These tiers are all unique, with their mechanics and specificities, independent of the others, and they all should be put on the same level. I entirely agree that the "Current Gen" should be more represented and therefore should get more spots than the others, but it definitely shouldn't justify the unfair removal of a tier just to "balance" the spots between "Old Gens" and "Current Gen". This is totally arbitrary. What makes Pokemon such a great game and makes its strength is its diversity of tiers, mechanics and specificities. It's a chance to play a game with so many different tiers, all unique, with the possibility of playing against the best players of these tiers, or even just watching them play.

- Most of the 5+5 arguments come purely from a subjective standpoint. And as such, the 4+6 supporters also have subjective arguments to be made. One of them would be that (subjectively) a 5th SM spot is much weaker from a competitive standpoint than 1 RBY one. In fact, while some think 5+5 helps "the little teams" to find a more complete roster, the opposite is true. The teams that would have the least amount of userbase, funnily, would prefer having RBY in the tournament. Why this happens is a good question, and there can be plenty of answers, ranging from RBY being easier to get into from scratch than SM, that the RBY playerbase is much bigger than we once thought, etc. But the point stands that removing RBY from the tournament would be doing a disservice not only to the teams you're trying to protect, but also to the massive RBY community at large. I'd also like to understand what is your reasoning behind the sudden come-back of the 5+5 format when you have stated several times that the GSC cutoff isn't an option. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

- Not everyone shares this opinion, but we believe that part of the mission of the TD team is to achieve the goals the community at large wants to achieve. Maybe this shouldn't happen with every decision, especially not unanimous ones from the TD team, after all if all the members that we entrusted with this power feel so strongly about something without much dissent between them, they are probably right. But in this situation the TD team is split on the decision, and the community feels very strongly about it.

Because of these reasons and more, we have conducted our own survey as to what every (known) team wants for the World Cup of Pokemon. The alleged captains of each of the following teams have had an in-depth talk with their teammates, reaching the conclusion that they (not as players, captains or users, but as TEAMS) support the inclusion of RBY in the tournament and the 4+6 format.

The teams, in no particular order, are:

1. France
2. Greece
3. Germany
4. Italy
5. Austria
6. Brazil
7. Asia
8. Oceania
9. Canada
10. United Kingdom
11. US Southeast
12. US Midwest
13. US West
14. Spain

We urge the split TD team to please act with the community's wishes in mind. Thanks for reading.


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Community Leader
The format for this year's World Cup of Pokemon will be: 4 SM OU / 1 ORAS OU / 1 BW OU / 1 DPP OU / 1 ADV OU / 1 GSC OU / 1 RBY OU

With that decided, and I truly mean 100% decided here, I'd like to explain the TD process regarding this format the last 1-2 months. Retrospectively I think some things could have been done differently (by us) but that's a conversation for another time and I'd simply like to illustrate some transparency here.

Upon the initial survey's creation, the TD team did not have any particular leaning towards any specific format. We were simply thinking that since we weren't set in stone on what we wanted that it'd be beneficial to gather input from the community. Given the 2 choices at hand, there was a fairly large majority supporting last year's format as opposed to the all SM OU format. Despite the results of the informal survey, the TD team saw significant advantages to making WCOP entirely current gen OU, and we decided it was still our preferred option. However, we underestimated how strongly people actually felt about the topic, so we ended up discarding the all SM OU format for this year. With that out of the way, we were mostly deciding between 5/5 or 4/6, with 6/6 being discarded relatively early as to not hinder overall player/competition quality in this tour. The 5/5 and 4/6 formats aren't too different and for one reason or another some TDs preferred the 5/5 option, but it was still only three 5/5 vs two 4/6 after we all voted. So, it was always close and we wanted to remain patient because of this, and we also wanted to feel out the community's stance. We knew that there was always some sort of majority favoring 4/6 as well but the 5/5 people still stuck to their guns because we, again, didn't realize just how strongly this majority felt. When the internal vote is so close, both formats are similarly "acceptable", and there is a clear majority favoring, the decision becomes easier to make.

We had our internal stances, waited patiently to feel things out, and adapted to what we witnessed. Anyone who knows me knows I don't believe in merely listening to the masses but with all factors considered here, especially with how we left this open ended from the start, I can respect many people unifying over a cause. I never hated 4/6 so I don't mind making a decision that strays from my internal beliefs a bit if it means satisfying a significantly larger amount of our players. That is how we reached this decision, and I'm glad to say it is one that will leave tournament players content.
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