All Gens RoA Interviews


Spreadsheeter by day, Random Ladderer by night.
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RoA Interviews

Art by MayaPlayzz999

Room champions, room championship runners-up, room championship semi-finalists; number 1, 2 and 3 ranked room championship qualifiers; as well as RoA room tournament hosts, RoA interviewers, RoA forum staff and players with 15+ room tour night tournament wins, are eligible for an interview. At least a year must pass until you can qualify for another interview.

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Spreadsheeter by day, Random Ladderer by night.
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RoA Interview #1: Barbows

Lutra: To start off the RoA Room Championship Interviews, we are interviewing Barbows, who placed 3rd in the pre-Room Championship leaderboard and 2nd in the Summer 2017 Championship leaderboard. Welcome Barbows, how did you feel about the level of competition in RoA room tournaments?

Barbows: Hello Lutra ^^ well, honestly, i find it pretty interesting, because you find many casuals join the tour just for fun and don't even pay attention to the samples, for example, so sometimes you get easier finals than you do for round 1 because your round 1 was against a player who understands the meta they're playing better. On the other hand, every tour allows scouting, so you might find a skilled opponent already knows your team and that makes things harder, since you'd have to keep switching teams (which i'm personally not used to in such short period of time) in order to mitigate that. All in all it's pretty fun not knowing what level of play you're going to find next round, but I do reckon it's not as high a level as forum tours, 'cause most top players don't usually join room tours.

Lutra: Would you say the greater problem is motivating good players to actually spend the time to join these tournaments enough rather than the tournament quality themselves? Or were quite a number of tournaments lacking in quality too? I personally thought it was a bit easy to get in the top 8 for any great player.

Barbows: I guess it's a bit of both, I mean, if you know you're a top player at some formats and you hang out just a little bit on ps, just play those formats whenever they appear you can and get enough points to get to the top 8. You're going to easily win most tours like that because you're likely not gonna get contested in the quality of play (but maybe on the hax hahaha). But I personally think it's a little bit more to the side of motivating good players to hang out on PS, because forum tours have the advantage of scheduling matches, so you don't have to wait for your preferred format to randomly appear. That's why I'm pretty excited to RoA Room Tour Nights! If all top level players know when their format is gonna be hosted on RoA the level of competition is sure to rise.

Lutra: I agree. Let's talk a bit more about you. Where do you live? What are you hobbies outside of the Pokémon world?

Barbows: I live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil ^^ it's extremely hot here, but I grew up without an air conditioner, so i'm pretty used to it hahaha. I honestly mix some other hobbies with Pokémon sometimes, but I also spend my free time playing a tabletop RPG (only DnD so far), rehearsing with my band (we actually just finished recording our first album independently and it was awesome, all we gotta do now is find someone to mix/edit it) and reading (currently trying to finish all GoT books). Like I said, sometimes i mix things, so I'm currently making an adaptation to Ryuutama (another TTRPG) so I can play Pokémon on it with the friends I play DnD with lol, and my band learned the mt moon rby theme at some point, but sadly they didn't want to play it in any show :c. I'm also into speedrunning, but it's mostly watching AGDQ when the event happens and doing the occasional RBY red run myself. I don't have nearly as much time as I'd wish to focus on everything as much as I could, with college and internship and all hahaha. Forgot to mention I'm the GM of the DnD group, so it requires quite some time aside from the play alone.

Lutra: Interesting, what kind of ranking have you got with speed running RBY, and what kind of conditions/rules are there with your runs?

Barbows: Well my PB so far is 2:11 (ingame time) and I do the nidoran♂ route (which I believe is the one all serious runners do). It's almost 20 minutes away from the WR, so it's not that great, but I'm gonna get (close to) there one day, I haven't memorized the nuances of the route regarding the DVs you get yet. As far as conditions go, it's the glitchless format, but you're allowed to use the poke doll on the marowak ghost, which I always find fun to do ^^

Lutra: Sounds impressive. What is the origin of your name?

Barbows: Oh that goes back to 2008 lol... I was on the last year before high school and my beard started growing. At that time there was this fad in the school to try to make things sound stupid by adding -ows to the end of it (teenagers are indeed a weird thing) so a friend of mine called Raphael was being called Raphows and such and everyone was doing that to everyone's names. 'Barba' means beard in Portuguese, so people started calling me Barbows and it stuck even after the fad died out, since there were 3 other people with my first name in the class. When i was making an account on the chess website I played i discovered barbows was free (i dislike usernames with numbers on it) and now everywhere i make an account in it's called barbows since it's never taken hahaha.

Lutra: How did you first find PS and then work your way up to RoA room moderator?

Barbows: Well I was playing chess online at that time (a hobby I only occasionally do now) and a friend from college, who I was playing chess with, decided to challenge me on Pokémon on a gen I never played (I only played the games up to Leaf green) just so he could win for once lol... that's when I found PS existed, I got crushed by him (obviously) but a few days later decided to play a few gen1 random battle matches just for fun and got hooked to the point I quit playing chess online on my free time hahaha after that i lurked for about 1 year until I started talking in chats and learning new formats. Becoming mod to me was a surprise, I was voice for a while... and after I became driver, I started hosting tours like crazy, 'cause I always found the room lacked activity and that gets people talking and having fun. I guess that's what room owners want a driver to do (not so surprisingly) and a few weeks later I got promoted to mod. I find the hardest part of becoming auth in general is finding time to dedicate yourself to the room because aside from that all you gotta do is not be an asshole lol.

Lutra: What are your favourite PS tiers? Are you looking to make more of a name of yourself in a particular one?

Barbows: My favorite is always gonna be GSC OU. It was the generation I played the most in-game and I like the chess-like way the OU metagame is established around lax with long-term strategy plans being critical to success. That being said, being my favorite doesn't mean it's the one i play best hahaha. I find I'm pretty good at random battles in general and so far I've been trying to learn the OU metagames of every generation and at least making a team i'm comfortable playing with going up from RBY (currently on DPP). So right now I'm just trying to learn more things and enjoy the RoA community as a mod. Maybe after I learn enough tiers to be satisfied with my current knowledge I might try to make a name for myself in the one I excel the most, but that's not the main goal yet ^^

Lutra: I'm sure you'll want to join the All Gen Randbats tournament hosted by Jellicent that is scheduled to open signups tomorrow then. What things would you like to see more in the RoA Room or Forum?

Barbows: YES! I had no idea such a tour existed until you told me about it yesterday hahaha. I gotta start using my Smogon account more and find out what awesome things i missed all this time! I'm majoring in actuarial science and statistics, so I'm pretty interested in the information polls give us and RoA is lacking in that department. It's not a big thing, but I'll try to always keep a poll running in the room. As far as the forum goes, I really can't say cause I'm not much active with my Smogon account, but that's gonna change.

Lutra: Okay final question, what has been the most enjoyable moment on PS for you so far? Thank you for your in-depth answers.

Barbows: Wow, that's a tough question hahaha. I can't quite put a finger on anything in particular (and I also have terrible memory, so I'm probably forgetting some cool moments), but the best moments I can remember right now were topping the gen1randbats ladder; getting 90+ gxe on rby ladder; and my first RoA room tour win ever! - which I'll never forget, was a last mon Vivillon sweep after it dodged two Hurricanes from a Moltres in the gen5 randbats format. I reckon winning due to hax is not something to be proud of but it did feel good at the time (I also reckon I won't be able to call hax anymore after this becoming public hahaha). Thank you for your patience btw ^^I know I take long to formulate answers.

Lutra: No problem.
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Spreadsheeter by day, Random Ladderer by night.
is a Community Leader Alumnusis a Programmer Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnus
RoA Interview #2: Oibaf

Lutra: Today we are interviewing Oibaf, who achieved 3rd place in the qualifying for the RoA Room Championship. Oibaf, when did you first discover online competitive Pokémon?

Oibaf: Mmh probably it was during the 2015 when I discovered Pokémon Showdown thanks to an italian YouTuber. After, I discovered how competitive it could be for a supposed children game.

Lutra: What were your early successes on PS?

Oibaf: I think it was just ladder at first. You know... I build a (bad) team and then I play; I don't like a Pokémon so I replace it etc. In around 3 months I was at 1500 ponts. Then I discovered Smogon and sample teams, I tested them etc... I don't think I actually have a success except this tour (even though I join for fun).

Lutra: You first came to my attention with reaching the RoA Ladder Tournament playoffs, did you enjoy that experience?

Oibaf: Yes, that was probably the most important experience in these tiers because I learned to appreciate the first 4 tiers like 4 different games. I also learned basic rules that there aren't in oras like critical ratio in rby or growl like a competitive move in GSC.

Lutra: Then you went on to make the RoA Tour Playoffs too. Do you feel you've made a lot of progress in gens 1-4?

Oibaf: I certainly made a lot of progress in gen 1-4 thanks to battle for fun with friends, RoA tour and ladder tour but for sure I'm not at the same level of players like Honor, Troller, Luck>Skill, Alexander etc (I didn't cited not italian players cause there are so many players very good in old gens).

Lutra: What tournament would you most like to win in the future?

Oibaf: Smogon classic for sure cause my first experience was really fun. Also SPL or WCoP would be very nice to have the possibility to join and win.

Lutra: Which tier would you consider your strongest?

Oibaf: Well that's hard... probably ORAS OU at the moment 'cause I started to play it when I started on PS. I should resume SM LC since that is my main SM tier. I'm not a good builder, so my level in all tiers should be similar.

Lutra: Do you feel RoA (old gens) can ever be the most popular room (besides official ones) on Showdown? Why do people keep up with the latest generation too much at the expense of the old ones?

Oibaf: Another hard question... In my opinion a part of people in rooms like UnderUsed, NeverUsed etc are people that play just for fun without the competitiveness that you can find in Smogon tournaments. If this reasoning is correct, people just want to spend time laddering, building, playing with friends and just have fun. There are few people in old gens ladder, so current gen is popular.

Lutra: So the latest generation is just the easiest thing to allow that to happen? People are curious about the new generation, then everybody follows?

Oibaf: imho yes, the curiosity is the first thing that drive people to try that tier. I've seen italian players who haven't played for many years, to come back for talk again with friends and try this tier. I tried it too, but I don't like it

Lutra: Where do you live? What are your hobbies?

Oibaf: I live in Italy and my main hobbies are basically gym and computer, so I spend a lot time looking anime, playing on the PC etc.

Lutra: Interesting, what are your favourite anime at the moment?

Oibaf: Absolutely Assassination Classroom. I watched it recently and it's my favourite anime compared to classic animes like attack on titan, death note, no game no life etc... Food wars is very good too, i'm waiting the third season this fall

Lutra: Anything else you want me to ask?

Oibaf: You've asked me everything I guess.

Lutra: Thank you very much for your answers. Good luck with your competitive career!

Oibaf: It was a pleasure. Thank you and good luck too.
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Spreadsheeter by day, Random Ladderer by night.
is a Community Leader Alumnusis a Programmer Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnus
RoA Interview #3: EB0LA

Lutra: Hi EB0LA, you were no.1 seed in the first season of RoA Room Championships, what was it like qualifying? What tiers did you play?

EB0LA: Hello Lutra. It was a whole lot of fun! I got a chance to meet a bunch of other players, make friends, and sharpen my skills. Funny part is I had just joined Pokemon Showdown a month before the season had started, and only played gen1 random battles. Once the new season began, and the leaderboard reset; I realized I had to learn other tiers to be able to play in more tours, and to be able to climb on the leaderboard. Thus, I learned gen1 OU, Ubers, & Stadium.

Lutra: What kind of level do you feel you have reached in those gen 1 tiers? Is there more to learn?

EB0LA: I've come a long way since I first began, and every week I feel myself getting better, and better. I've even gone as far as reaching #1 on the ladder in both gen1 random battles & OU. However, there is always more to learn, and new strategies to be used. I ideally would like to build new teams that aren't necessarily meta, and for them to be successful against other top players. From using "less viable" Pokemon to weird "gimmicky" move pools.

Lutra: Along your journey, what players have you come to respect most?

EB0LA: One immediately comes to mind, and that player is FriendOfMrGolem120. FOMG happened to win the first tour of the new season, and it happened to be a gen1 OU tour. The following day, I messaged him asking him a ton of newbie questions about the tier. This was the beginning of our friendship, and I found my sensai. He was very polite & answered all of my questions. He thought me almost everything I know, and continues to help me improve- from making, and testing new move pools to even watching my replays and judging, and speculating if the play I made was optimal or if I could have played a turn differently for a better out come. So thank you FOMG for everything bud, couldn't of gotten this far w/o ya. Also shout outs to Barbows, Spitfire Arcanine, RevivalMaya, Beelzemon 2003, Kaz, and my buddy If exuded holding it down in rby randbatts.

Lutra: What are you main goals for competitive Pokémon?

EB0LA: To be the very best like no one ever was?

Lutra: Are you targetting winning any particular tournaments or accomplishing any particular ladder feats?

EB0LA: I found a cool forum, PokemonPerfect, where they host regular tournaments, and is home to some of the top gen1 (RBY) players. I hope to one day reach the same level of play as some of them, and to win the tournaments. Also, my short term goal is to hit 1700 elo in both gen1 random battles, and OU on the ladder and to push it even higher. And ofc trying to top the RoA leaderboard again.

Lutra: Are there other tiers you'd like to learn?

EB0LA: Right now, I am only focusing on gen1, as there is so much still to learn. I recently got into under used (2U), and it is almost a whole new style of playing. Involving new startegies, and tactics. I further would like to learn even lower tiers in RBY, such as rarely used (3U), never used (4U), PU (5U), and so on. Each new tier brings new challenges, and learning each new tier brings new insight to using Pokemon you wouldn't normally use in battle.

Lutra: Do you have hobbies besides Pokémon?

EB0LA: I enjoy biking, living in Chicago, it is always great to go biking along Lake Michigan, and seeing the beautiful scenery, and city. I also enjoy going to music festivals where I "glove". Gloving is an artform where you put LED lights into white gloves, and perform light shows for people. I also am a fan of animes. Dragon Ball Super is the one I am following heavily right now.

Lutra: Thank you for your answers. Anything else you want to mention?

EB0LA: I think that is about it. Thank you for the interview Lutra. Hope to catch the rest of you guys in a tour on RoA soon! Ciao.
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Spreadsheeter by day, Random Ladderer by night.
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RoA Interview #4: Crystal_

Lutra: Today top RBY battler, and Pokémon researcher and ROM hacker Crystal joins us. How did you first find out about competitive Pokémon?

Crystal_: It was a long time ago already, maybe 2006 or 2007. I had Pokemon Crystal and Ruby and I used to be quite perfectionist with training Pokemon, breeding, stat experience, that kind of stuff. So when I found out about a platform where you could battle against other people online, I thought it could be an interesting world to explore. It was the era of Netbattle; I remember I would join a server from time to time and challenge whoever was there in ADV. I remember it was the time where DPPt was starting to get implemented but I decided not to switch to it because it wasn't a generation of Pokemon and strategies that I would be familiar with. Regardless, without any kind of reference, and playing against opponents with maybe the same background as you, you don't see yourself progressing very much.

I remember that maybe around two years later I started to take competitive Pokemon a bit more seriously, and I decided to join Smogon and RBY2K10 soon after that. I switched to the first two generations (mostly RBY thanks to the latter community), and I think that's how I started to actually progress. It was fun, I played some tournaments against many quality players of the time, while the rest of the world of competitive Pokemon was mastering Gen 4 or maybe even moving to Gen 5 already. Even though I'm mostly retired now, after having spent so much time playing RBY and, to an extent, GSC, I think that it's a shame that the older generations are progressively losing relevance. I know it's simply bound to happen for a variety of reasons, but I look back with nostalgia to all the time spent; not just battling, but also metagame analysis, discussion, studying strategies, and closely watching the metagames develop.

Lutra: Why is your online name Crystal?

Crystal_: It's interesting to see how decisions that you may spend only seconds making can stick with you for years. This is a probably a rare and inconsequential example among rare and inconsequential examples, but it's one nonetheless. The funny thing is, I don't know exactly how I made the decision about my online name. What I know is that, ever since I played Gold, Silver and Crystal, they have been my favorite games, the games I've spent the most time playing. Pokemon has been a big part of my life, and those games did leave a big impact on me. My online name comes from nothing but the name of the Pokemon Crystal game itself; I guess at the time I thought it just sounded cool, and I probably didn't spend much time thinking about it expecting it to be an irrelevant decision.

As for the trailing underscore, I have a theory about it, but I could actually be totally wrong! As far as I remember, Netbattle used to track wins and losses by display name, and the only way to reset your record was by essentially changing your name. I think the trailing underscore was an attempt to clear my win/loss ratio (which most likely was really bad in those early days!). I guess I already had some battling experience after the name change, so my record was never so bad to consider another reset -or maybe I simply stopped caring about it. That said, I also remember that we would 'tag' our names with the name of the generation that we were playing (at the time, you only had one team loaded at once!), as in Crystal_ [RBY], or Crystal_ [GSC], for example. The point is that this would also imply a name change, so I can't be too sure about this whole win/loss record theory; maybe the underscore just looked cool as well!

Lutra: Tell us about Pokémon Pyrite.

Crystal_: Pokemon Pyrite is part of what you could say is my 'second Pokemon career'. As the metagames I played slowly kept losing relevance, and I also parallelly kind of lost motivation to keep up with them, I saw myself starting to get into this world of Pokemon hacks and investigating glitches. You could say it goes back to the old days as well, as I used to enjoy messing with glitches in my Pokemon Silver and Crystal cartridges. In a way, being able to understand them now, I can relate to those days where I was only following mostly empirical tutorials and information that other people had made. Now that we have the resources to be able to figure out many things about my favourite childhood games, I enjoy being part of it. Anyway, going back to Pokemon Pyrite, I guess I've always liked to start exciting projects and make things in general, but always had trouble keeping the interest. I do remember that I got myself a map editor for Crystal for whatever reason, and started messing with it. Suddenly, you see yourself with a trillion of ideas in mind about how you want to make a Pokemon game, and as you keep learning and figuring out things about hacking, your goals change drastically and you kind of progressively want to make a more and more ambitious game. Finishing Pyrite was pretty huge for me because by the end I was coming up with ideas faster than I was actually progressing, so it was cool that I somehow maintained the motivation to finish it despite having to abandon all those exciting ideas and improvements that at some point I perhaps wished Pyrite had.

All things considered, Pyrite is what it is. It started as a difficulty hack, and it's a difficulty hack. The problem is, in my opinion, it stretches the concept of difficulty (when it comes to battling) more than what the game is able to naturally accept. It looks artificial, but it has to do with the nature of the base game, and with how several mechanics that we all take for granted work. Sure, you can reinvent the basics of the game in different ways that suit your objectives, but you also have to finish the hack. Because of that, I had to set myself some restrictions, as otherwise I could go on and on and never come up with a finished product. For example, one of the main rules I set myself was that if you were to make a competitive metagame off Pyrite, it would be exactly the same as the GSC one. Stats, movesets, types, move effects, everything. It looks like an arbitrary rule, but was an effective way of keeping myself from changing too many things that would've potentially made unrealistic to complete the hack. All in all, in order to enjoy Pokemon Pyrite, it has to be the kind of hack that you're specifically looking forward to playing, and, for most people, it probably isn't. But if it is, it can be quite a captivating adventure because it polishes or remodels some aspects of the game in relation to balance and difficulty more than any other hack ever has, at least to my knowledge.

Lutra: A couple of months ago Pokemon Pyrite featured on Twitch Plays Pokemon. Were you excited about that and did they complete it more quickly or slower than you were expecting?

Crystal_: First of all, I was quite excited that they were going to play it! I had followed the record-breaking TPP Red and TPP Crystal runs, and even though I knew that TPP didn't have the same reach or exposure anymore (because, frankly, it was impossible), I knew it was still going to be a big thing. It also helped rejuvenating the hack, in a way, because it had been finished for over two years and was a little bit dead already in terms of interest. To be honest though, I doubted TPP Pyrite would work out well because the hack was maybe too difficult to beat for a TPP run, but I then noticed that it was very different drom the early days. Not only there were less people participating, but they were also far more organized and methodical, and were able to progress steadily, even if understandably resorting to the Democracy mode at certain times (Democracy is a mode where all inputs over a small period of time are averaged into a single one). I think it turned out to be an exciting adventure because we had to combine the elements of strategy that were inherent to Pyrite with those that were consequence of TPP's unpredictability.

Lutra: You’ve been successful in numerous RBY tournaments. What times did you most enjoy and when did you feel you were playing at your peak?

Crystal_: The short answer is... always and never. I guess you could say that the SPL I played around 6 years ago stands out; we ended up winning it, and I won pretty much all the important games. The way I see it though, I rolled two dies and got a 12. It's not that I got particularly lucky in the games, it just turned out that way. What I'm trying to say is, it's hard to say what anybody's peak in competitive Pokemon is, particularly in RBY and GSC of all generations. Ultimately, If I look back, I just played a bunch of tournaments here and there that randomly popped up in different communities, and it's hard to gauge their relevance or how much I put into them. That's just how it is; the scene has never been organized enough to measure how good you've been objectively. We've never had an centralized entity that organizes structured tournaments and maintains a ranking, so to speak. Speaking of the two main generations that I've played, I don't think I've ever felt comfortable in GSC. I don't think I was able to adapt to it maybe as well as other players. It's complicated because, to begin with, you never really had the possibility to practice it consistently. Since I began into GSC maybe around 8-9 years ago, it's just been occasional tournaments with pretty much the same faces playing them. I don't think it's ever been a friendly metagame to get into and then we get a bit into catch-22 territory. All in all, the players that have dominated GSC are those who were able to adapt to it despite the lack of consistent practice, and I just wasn't one of them. I feel I've done a better job progressing in RBY. Flashy plays, short-term planning, I feel those things have more relation to what my strengths might be, or at least they don't highlight my weaknesses as a player as much.

Now, comparing the times, obviously I was playing a lot more 5, 6, 7 years ago than these days, so in that sense I had more of an habit to just get out there and let the game flow during those times. On the other hand, maybe the way I can approach the game now has changed because I've grown as a person. Playing last year's SPL was challenging in that sense because I never knew what to expect. And when you're playing a relatively renowned team tournament, you do feel the pressure to do well. In the end, I took two main conclusions from it; the competition was tougher than I expected, and my level was higher than I expected. If there's something I've learned from RBY after all those years that maybe sets it apart from the newer metagames is that you are in front of the same scenarios over and over. What experience gives you is not strictly more knowledge, but, in fact, being in front of the same scenarios even more times. This is what, I think, sets apart someone who has played 100 RBY games and someone who has played 3000. Some things that the first player sees as predictions, the sencond player sees them as routine. Prediction involves coming up with an idea. Routine already contains it, and because it does, it probably involves knowing what the idea that your opponent has to go through is. It's like a specific situation with a specific set of inputs leads to a specific action. You don't even understand or picture what those inputs are, but it's like something randomly clicks in your brain and you know exactly what it's going to happen. I don't think this is something you can understand until you've played hundreds, thousands of top-level competitive RBY games.

In that sense, I think that the current generation of RBY players could very well be the strongest ever, because the Pokemon Perfect community is encouraging steady competition more than anything else has before, almost week in and week out. Mind you, this is not meant as a compliment to a certain someone! Unfortunately, it's evident that the early generations keep losing relevance everywhere else, but it's refreshing to see a small but dedicated community that keeps RBY alive. For that matter, just as important as playing a lot is playing against similarly top-tier opposition. That makes you able to keep going thorugh the same scenarios we talked about, and progressively find their next level, which keeps putting you that little step above those who haven't. Something else that many would overlook but can also be critical is playing mentally demanding games in succession. It's also something you have to train. For example, in the last year's SPL, I was mentally struggling by the third game and I feel some players were able to capitalize. The reason I'm saying all these things is to illustrate why I'm skeptical about affirming that I used to be good, or that I used to be better, or whatever else. I just don't think I've ever reached that level. Yes, I've had my moments, but I've never had the commitment, expertise, or resources to actually reach that level consistently.

Lutra: What competitive pokemon players do you miss most and wish would return?

Crystal_: I'm not sure if this one has a lot to do with me anymore because I'm just not really into playing these days. So if they came back, I most likely wouldn't even notice. I could be wrong, but I think some veterans might be a bit in the same place as me right now, randomly coming back to play some prestigious tournament, although many are probably not coming back at all. I think, anyone of my generation who has been moderately into RBY or GSC, I've faced them at some point. We had legendary games, I won legendary battles, or so they looked back then. Okay, you probably want names, so here are some. Off the top of my head, if I was asked about my overall toughest opponents, Jorgen and M Dragon come to mind. Granted, it could be just because they are the ones I've played (and lost) GSC the most against; on the other hand, I look back at predominantly-RBY rivarlies in an understandably lighter way. You could dig up the RBY2k10 archives, but someone I've played a lot against is, for example, Isa. I think he's still quite active, even if mostly into the organizing side. There were others who used to be very active into metagame discussions as well, but I think most of them are nowhere to be seen in the world of Pokemon these days.

So, lots of legendary games, and yet now what? The experiences and adventures throughout have been exciting and undoubtedly a big part of my life, but ultimately, it's just a game that barely means anything. So like, when I noticed that they were going to get rid of RBY from the WCoP, I was a bit like, but why? Rest assure I don't even care for myself anymore, but I find it easier to reference it because it's one of the few things in the world of competitive Pokemon that I feel I still can have some connection with these days. I'm not going to get into arguments about whether RBY is serous or skillful enough, I don't think that's the point. The tournament has always had this fun, unique, cross-generation format. There's no need to try hard to reinvent it, just let it be the way it is.

So yeah, I don't know how many fallacies I've just committed, but I don't really care. You'd probably think that this doesn't have anything to do with anything (and you might be totally right), but any which way, I think it illustrates how I see my competitive Pokemon career looking back, and how I see it now. Lots of fun, lots of emotions, but there was no need to take some things so seriously.

Lutra: Have you got hobbies beside Pokemon?

Crystal_: I feel a bit of contextualization is needed first. I'm 23, from Spain, currently doing a masters degree in Telecommunications Engineering at the university. I guess I've always been a little shy, especially in large groups of people, but other than that I think I'm an easy guy to hang and meme around (does 'meme around' even exist? whatever). I don't consider myself very excessively freaky or nerdy (in a good way), but maybe that's only because I know people that are a lot more than me! I don't think I've spent a lot of time in my life playing video-games, for example, just a few that I really enjoyed over the years. I guess it's up to how many bonus points you want to give me from my diverse Pokémon-related interests, ranging from the competitive side to delving at the source code of the games. It's funny, in fact; I'd now say that the programming language I've messed around the most is Gameboy assembly, even though I've done personal things in other languages and enjoyed them, as well. In reality, I've actually always been a very lazy guy! Particularly for things that don't motivate me. I think I've been able to improve a lot lately in this aspect, even if only by necessity. Speaking of hobbies that most of you may not be able to guess, I like tennis a lot. Both playing and watching, even though I consider myself much better at the latter!

Lutra: Would you consider becoming a professional Pokémon player if it became viable to live off prize money?

Crystal_: That's not an easy one to answer because you just can't imagine how living off being a competitive Pokémon player would be possible. We're not even talking about the official VGC metagame, let alone the current generation, but about the good old RBY! First of all, you'd need a very large audience to be interested in watching people play competitive Pokemon so it can potentially become a business. The thing is, even in VGC, the current audience are just the actual competitive players, or those hopeful of becoming so, that either do, or stop caring. Anyway, let's assume for a moment that competitive RBY really is a thing and people can live off it. That would mean there are plenty of strong players competing to be the best, and just like with any sport or e-sport, only a few make it. Right now, I'm undoubtedly among the most respected competitive RBY players in the world, but where does this really come from? Pretty much anyone who has spent as much time playing RBY as me has been just as successful, if not more. If competitive RBY was a profitable game, competition would be absurdly larger, and in that scenario I don't see myself standing out. To be honest, considering the low margins of RBY, it would take something very special for someone to actually stand out consistently.

To actually answer the question though, let's take another step forward and assume that I can live off competitive Pokemon. It's honestly very hard to predict how it would be, but I might feel empty. You know, right now, I barely play competitive Pokemon anymore. Actually, I don't know. I could maybe be traveling around the world every other week to play tournaments and that could be quite amazing. Then again, you'd have to see if you're earning enough, how reliable it is, also what will happen when you're done playing. This is all too hard to picture anyway.

Lutra: Thank you very much for your in-depth answers!

Crystal_: Thank you for letting me take part in the interview and for the nostalgic trip down memory lane. It's been a pleasure!
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Spreadsheeter by day, Random Ladderer by night.
is a Community Leader Alumnusis a Programmer Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnus
RoA Interview #5: We Three Kings

Lutra: Today we are interviewing We Three Kings, playoff semi-finalist and RBY Cup winner of the latest Smogon Classic (III). W3K, what have been the most memorable battles you've played over the past year?

We Three Kings: I haven't had a lot of memorable games for the right reasons this year, despite a decent Classic run and a respectable WCoP record. I don't think I played great in any of my WCoP games outside of my 10-turn game vs CZ (where there really isn't anything to point out). I played the endgame vs UD poorly, made some passive moves vs dice, brought a poor team vs .Mx, made a positional error vs undisputed, and didn't scout for the Magneton with a Skarm+Dugtrio team vs Bad Ass, which could have ended horribly had the matchup been different. The most memorable of those is probably my game vs undisputed for semis, where a SubCM Jirachi caught me off guard, and with some luck won him the game in the end. It never should have come down to that in the first place however, as I made an error some turns earlier. Still hurts to watch, but we won the round in the end so it's no big deal. Some of my games vs Starmaster for Classic quarters were really poor, and I'm still not sure why I won series that in the end. I think I played a decent series vs dice in semis, but I still made poor moves in BW and RBY, which proves I need to polish my game if I want to win something meaningful.

Lutra: What old gen tiers would you like to see more tournaments or exploration for?

We Three Kings: I really don't care for any non-OU old gen, because there is little to no tournament value. I'll join BW UU tours etc. if they show up, but any tier that isn't in the official tournament circuit is really not worth learning at all.

Lutra: What makes tiers in the official tournament circuit worth learning for you? Is it the thrill of potentially winning something that lots of very respected players try hard to achieve?

We Three Kings: Staying relevant for Smogon Tour matters a lot, since it's my favorite tournament on Smogon. Being stuck in the past also seems rather lonely. I never understood people who exclusively play one tier, but are active throughout the year, especially if the tier is frozen. I'm also not tired of this game yet, and SM OU is a fairly decent metagame, so there's really no good reason for me not to play it. Getting my name is the history books is the primary reason I'd like to win a trophy tournament. Previously my goal was to make it into a playoff of an official tournament, and then playing in a official team tournament. This is the next step for me playing-wise I think. Since Smogon Tour is in my opinion the best and most fun tournament on Smogon, that's the one I hope I end up winning, although I've yet to come even remotely close. My team was very close in World Cup, but it still never felt like we had a real chance in my mind, and I was definitely more optimistic in SPL with the Sharks despite ending 5th in the tournament and missing out on playoffs.

Lutra: What is your favourite tournament format - Single elimination, Double Elimination, Round Robin etc. and for what reason?

We Three Kings: I like league-type of tours, especially Smogon Superstars' format. Long pre-seasons, with a 8 or 16-man single elimination playoff is probably what I consider ideal in terms of play-ability and viewer pleasure. Double elimination unnecessarily prolongs a lot of tournaments, but for some concepts I think it works fine (see OLT). I'd like to see seeding being tried out for something like OST (based on Smogon Championship ratings), but I definitely see the issue and it's not something I think will ever happen.

Lutra: Are there any old gen OU tiers you would like to alter the ruleset of and why/wynaut?

We Three Kings: I'd ban Excadrill (or at least Sand Rush Excadrill) for reasons stated hundreds of times in the Policy Review thread [insert link somewhere]. I think Sablenite could and should be unbanned in ORAS after Arena Trap got banned, because it helps vs Mega-Medicham, and I never personally found it banworthy. The DPP Evasion Clause ban was horribly done from a policy viewpoint, but it seems set in stone, and any attempt to change that would get harshly shut down by certain people. If we completely ignore policy and focus purely on making the metagame better, I would 100% ban CurseLax is GSC.

Lutra: What are your main goals for competitive Pokémon? Such as tournaments you most want to win, resources you want to make.

We Three Kings: Winning an individual trophy is the obvious main goal, although I won't beat myself up if I never win one. I truly believe it would be a tragedy if I ended up winning an individual before someone like Heist, but as a proud competitor I will play for myself before anyone else. There are several policy changes I would like to implement on Smogon, such as removing an incredibly rushed and a very flawed tournament concept in The Smogon Snake Draft. OLT has identity issues with changes to the format every iteration, and I think they should either settle with whatever they have now, or completely revamp the system. The Smogon Classic sort of allows people who are 'retired' from modern Pokemon to still have a yearly chance at a trophy, something I really dislike. There's also no real reason as to why dead generations need to have official tournament representation outside of team tournament. In terms of resources, I'm always looking to do more work regarding statistics. While I think they're useless 90% of the time (and often twists the truth), they're fun and interesting to look at. I like analysing the players and the tournaments like they're an e-sport, and it gives new faces with an interest in the community an option to read up and invest themselves in the game.

Lutra: Do you think there'll be a point where you decide to retire from competitive Pokémon?

We Three Kings: Ideally as soon as possible, but I have too much free time as of right now, which I mostly spend on Pokemon. I plan to speedrun Super Mario Odyssey in the near future and maybe return to Gold Glitchless as well with the new route (Manip for Lottery Masterball, early Morty, etc). Eventually I plan to pick up Red Glitchless as it's the most competitive category to run. I don't think I can force myself to quit yet, so I hope it just comes naturally when I lose interest. I agree with Heist that there should be a time in the yearly tournament cycle where there are no official tournaments running. I think a lot of people feel obligated to play in everything, thus it being hard to retire unless you force it on yourself. This would obviously suck for Smogon though.

Lutra: Any predictions for players that could become big names in the future?

We Three Kings: In terms of SM, we’ve seen a surge in french talent, in particular cdumas, Kickasser & Kory2600. I think they have several other prospects coming up, and it wouldn’t surprise me if we saw for example Michy47 or Simiatic perform in the near future. We saw Will of Fire support Italy with teams during WCoP and I’ve seen a lot of his stuff around recently, so I hope he makes a good run in something like OST or even SPL if he’s bought (unlikely, but good builders are worth gold these days so he’s an interesting sleeper pick). Italy have had a lot of one-time-wonders in the past (see: Inflikted, Mix, darkdevil) and only Alexander & Tricking stand out as truly established newgen players to me, so I hope he sticks around and does individuals. While we're on the topic of italians, Santu is a player that had a solid showing in Smogon Tour and could definitely be someone to look out for next WCoP. Players like BHARATH_THEBEST and Ban Manaphy were hyped a lot after WCOP and they both are doing great in Snake so far. Latin-America had a good WCoP run with a relatively unknown squad, so we can probably expect more coming from them in the near future. Spain and Brazil will in similar fashion grow talents within their own community, and we’ll probably see them during WCoP 2018. It’s hard to pick whos the next ABR though. Maybe hiye if he hangs with the right crowd. For oldgens there will be very few breakout players. Sulcata is going to have a great SPL, but aside from that I don’t think we’ll see any breakthrough performances from any newcomer (I don’t count Troller as a newcomer despite this being his SPL debut). In ADV I believe zf is the obvious standout, but I am clueless if he’s even playing in SPL yet. There are a lot of hyped players who have done well in different communities (POCL, RoA tournaments), but I think success there is grossly overrated and good managers won’t base their picks on results there unless it’s exceptional.

Lutra: Thank you for your well thought-out answers.

We Three Kings: My pleasure.
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The words were voted out by a landslide
is a Community Contributor
RoA Interview #6: Maya Chansey

Sceptross: Ok, here we have Maya Chansey, which is more known by her PS name RevivalMaya, who finished first place in the Ruins of Alph January leaderboard! When did you find out about competitive Pokemon? What do you like the most about it?

Maya Chansey: I first discovered Showdown when I casually watched two guys at my school library playing on the website. At first, I didn't have any particular interest in playing it but one day I decided to try it out. When I first logged on I was amazed by the teambuilder feature, which let players create any type of team they wanted. Then I was scrolling through the list of chatrooms and saw the Ruins of Alph room. This one stood out to me since I've always had a special interest for the older generations of games. From there, my addiction to playing online pokemon battles grew. I'd say that my favorite aspect of Showdown is the community centered around the lower tiers of generations one through four.

Sceptross: Interesting, we both joined Ruins of Alph for the first time for the same reason. You say you like the communities that focus on the lower tiers from gens 1 through 4. What's your favourite generation, both competitive and in-game wise? What would you like to see more exploration of in those gens?

Maya Chansey: My favorite generation to play competitively is probably RBY, since it is simple to understand and gives me fond memories of the original pokemon games. However, I find that DPP is my favorite generation of games to play casually, since I started out with Pokemon Diamond when I was six years old. I think that virtually all old gen lower tiers deserve more exploration. Due to the lack of attention that they generally receive, these tiers have underdeveloped metagames that provide a huge opportunity for future discoveries.

Sceptross: That's something that I've been battling a lot against. The mentality of 'old gens are not supposed to be changed'. Like you, I think they are currently being played in ways they never were and are still evolving. Not continuing the tiering process on them is a big mistake, in my honest opinion. But let's change the subject. Let's talk a bit about the players you met on your time on Showdown. Who have you come to like and respect the most on your stay in this community?

Maya Chansey: There are too many people who fit this category to list, but I'd like to give a special shoutout to these users: Sam Samantha, FOMG, Beelzemon 2003, TheMissingnoXpert, Bug Catcher Aydon, Nickydicky, Sabrina Ariel, Chuuster, LOJH, Stealth Croc, and Sceptross.

Sceptross: Thanks for the shoutout, I appreciate it. Let's talk a bit more about you now. Where do you live? What are you hobbies outside of the Pokémon world? Describe yourself in a sentence.

Maya Chansey: I live in southern California near the beach. My hobbies outside of showdown are pretty scarce, since I'm usually at school or doing homework when I'm not online. If I could describe myself in a single sentence, I would say that I am a curious and creative individual who finds the greatest amount of enjoyment in learning about and experiencing things that capture my imagination. This explains why I have such a great love for the Nintendo games of my childhood, since each of these games is united by their vivid storylines that few other franchises have been able to capture.

Sceptross: What's the origin of your nickname?

Maya Chansey: My username is a combination of my actual name, 'Maya', with the name of a monotype league I joined in my first month of showdown, called the 'Revival' league.

Sceptross: What is your favorite book, movie, song and Pokemon?

Maya Chansey: I don't have any favorite book in particular, but I tend to prefer fictional novels from the fantasy and science fiction genres. For example, Dragon Rider and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy are two books from these genres that I found to be very enjoyable reads. Many of my favorite movies are ones that were created by Studio Ghibli, a company based in Japan that made films revolving around themes of fantasy, environmentalism, and self-knowledge. One of the best movies created by Studio Ghibli is, in my opinion, Spirited Away. This movie is about a girl who becomes trapped in a spiritual world and must work at a bathhouse to save her parents, who, at the beginning of the movie, are turned into pigs by the ghosts who inhabit this realm. In the process of completing her quest, she learns to have more confidence in herself, making Spirited Away a movie with an important message and a vividly creative plot. The movie is truly quite beautiful and I recommend that people of any age group watch it. My taste in music is pretty diverse and I find that genres ranging from classical to modern electronic/pop music interest me. From the latter genre, I enjoy songs by Rihanna, such as 'What's My Name?' and 'B*tch Better Have My Money', the most. I also enjoy music written by Harry Styles, who, beyond his music, is literally like the perfect human lifeform. Shoutouts to Rihanna and Harry Styles, and also Beyonce and Beethoven. In regard to the final piece of this question, I truly cannot pick any single favorite pokemon. However, some- like Mew, Shaymin, Jigglypuff, Clefairy, Chansey, Piplup, Gengar, Steelix, Articuno, Darkrai and Lucario- stand out when asked this question.

Sceptross: Interesting... I must say you actually left me interested in that movie! Let's now speak about PS in general, moving out of the old gens scope. What do you like the most about PS? What would PS be like if you were in Zarel's spot? What would you change/what rules would you make? (besides having a Harry Styles picture as a default background option)

Maya Chansey: I like the large range of teambuilding opportunities presented by PS, since the website lets players create any type of team they wish to make. I also enjoy the large selection of tiers that are available to play on this website. However, I think that the website has a large problem with toxicity in its playerbase, and I would work to improve the environment so that all players would feel comfortable using the website if I was in a higher position.

Sceptross: What about RoA, what do you like the most in the community? What do you think that could be improved in RoA?

Maya Chansey: The RoA community is very important, since it brings attention to the older tiers and makes sure that they don't die out. This is the aspect of RoA that I cherish most, as old gen tiers are something that add diversity and depth to the overall experience on Showdown. However, I think even RoA has a problem of denying the lower old gen tiers the attention that they deserve. Additionally, there unfortunately tends to be an annoying presence of trolls in the chatroom, especially during the hours when mods are absent from the room.

Sceptross: Let's talk a bit about what earned you this interview. How challenging was it to get to the top of the leaderboard? Was it a goal for you or did it happen naturally? What is your opinion on the leaderboard/RoA Tour Nights?

Maya Chansey: I didn't have an explicit goal to top the leaderboard, and it mainly happened naturally. Due to the design of the leaderboard, which allows people to accumulate points by entering tournaments of only a single tier that they're good at, I found it relatively easy to get to the number one position. I mainly entered RBY tournaments and was able to get first usually, since the generation 1 tiers are the ones that I am best at. I think that the room tour events provided by RoA, such as the room tour nights, are very enjoyable and appreciate the staff for hosting these events.

Sceptross: Thanks, we definitely appreciate to see support from the users in the events we try to organize. You also did very well in RoA Olympics, winning gold in all the three tiers you were assigned to play. How was your experience playing in the tournament like?

Maya Chansey: I enjoyed my experience playing in the RoA Olympics, especially since it was the first official tournament that I entered. Of all the RBY tiers that I played, OU had the most competition and presented the greatest challenge for me. I would like to give a special shoutout to WcJay, who was my hardest opponent, and who also exhibited great sportsmanship when he waited 15 minutes for me after my internet failed. Overall, the tournament was well-organized and I hope too see more iterations of it in the future.

Sceptross: What has been the most enjoyable moment for you in PS?

Maya Chansey: I think that the most enjoyable moments for me on PS were the friendly battles and conversations I shared with close friends. I will always remember my rants about Larry Stylinson with fellow fans such as Sam Samantha, Beelzemon 2003, FOMG, Nickydicky and Sceptross.

Sceptross: Once again we feel the same way. I also feel my most memorable experiences in PS where the hours-long conversations I had with the people I met in this website. This has been a wonderful interview for me to conduct and I hope you enjoyed it too. One last question: what are your plans for the future?

Maya Chansey: Although it has been a fun ride, my future plans will probably consist of eventually quitting Showdown (or at least reducing the time I spend here) and focusing more on school, because I find that the time I spend on PS has been cutting into my actual life. I also plan to buy pokemon Ultra Moon and get back into playing the main games.

Sceptross: Well, I personally wouldn't like to see you leave, but I obviously understand that real life takes priority and when one feels they're putting Pokemon above real life, they obviously need to start making decisions. In spite of that, Maya Chansey, thank you for accepting our offer to be interviewed. See you in RoA!

Maya Chansey: Thank you, Sceptross. It was a pleasure.
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RoA Interview #7: Sceptross

FriendOfMrGolem120: Here we have my good friend and RuinsOfAlph moderator Sceptross who also was promoted to global voice recently. First, do you want to tell us something about your offline personality (where do you live, how old are you, other hobbies etc.)?

Sceptross: Sure! I live in Portugal, more specifically in Porto (one of the biggest cities of the country). I'm 21 years old and I'm currently in my last year of my MSc in Computer Engineering, although I'm considering, once I end it, take a BSc in Management. I like Programming a lot, but I don't like the 'bureaucracy' around it that much. I think I want to use my Programming skills in conjunction with a social science, and Management seems the most appropriate considering what I like and the demand there is right now. About my hobbies, apart from playing, my main hobby is probably reading - be books (both fantasy and more technical books, like things about finance), blogs (about self improvement and finance, once again) and general knowledge reads. It's not uncommon for me to go to Wikipedia and start reading things. Apart from that, I also like watching sports. I usually watch football games, although I must admit my interest has been fading out lately. I also like Formula 1. I also like cylcing, but sinceI went my semester in Spain (September) I haven't really cycled much. I also tend to get involved in projects and to sign up for stuff a lot - I recently signed up for small courses in Time Management, another one in Leadership and another one in how to position ourselves on the job market. This means I usually end up with too much stuff to do. I guess the Time Management course will be useful.

FriendOfMrGolem120: When did you start playing competitive pokemon and what was your most memorable battle? How did you find out about Pokemon Showdown?

Sceptross: If by competitive Pokemon we mean joining tournaments regularly, that would be last year, in September. If we mean playing in online simulators, I started when I was 11, in Netbattle, but I only battled more seriously in PO / Pokemon Showdown, obviuousy with a lot of breaks in the middle. My most memorable battle... Well, I can mention several. I remember a Gen 5 UU battle I had back in the BW days vs a stall user. It lasted like 2 hours, his team was very good, but in the end, when I was almost losing, I crit the mon that was locking everything up and his team fell apart. I felt really bad for him. More recently, my most memorable battles were a gen 1 battle without using the 'Big 4' vs RevivalMaya and a gen 2 battle I had vs Sam Samantha. These two were my favourite non-tournament battles and the battles I enjoyed the most to play in each gen respectively. Lastly, my most memourable tournament set would be a very recent one, in gen1, vs roudolf13, where I won 2-1. roudolf was the closest thing I had of a tutor in RBY, and beating him for a tournament was very satisfying, it felt like all the time we spent talking and playing was completely worth it. I found out about people started talking about it in Smogon's PO Server, back when PO was Smogon's official simulator. Eventually Smogon adopted it as its main simulator and everyone slowly started moving here. Eventually PS started having more users than PO until it came to what we have now.

FriendOfMrGolem120: I already know the story but what is the origin of your username?

Sceptross: Well, most people know it already :) One day me and my best friend's brother, who is also a huge Pokemon fan, were talking about Pokemon. Eventually the topic changed to how I never really liked any of the nicknames I used. I decided to 'merge' his favourite Pokemon (Sceptile) with mine (Heracross) and decided it sounded good. I grabbed SCEPT from SCEPTile, ROSS from HeracROSS and thus Sceptross was born.

FriendOfMrGolem120: If you could choose a custom avatar, how would it look like? A Sceptile mixed with a Heracross? That seems fitting to me.

Sceptross: To be honest, I think a fusion of Sceptile and Heracross would look quite weird. I'd probably use something involving bugs - it's my favourite Pokemon type. Most likely Heracross, obviously!

FriendOfMrGolem120: You are moderator in the ROA. How did you become a tour host/staff member? Tell us about your experiences in that role.

Sceptross: Well, I initially became a tournament host when Lutra was asking for volunteers for hosting the live tournaments of RoA Tour II. When I say the announcement I thought: 'Well, that sounds fun!' and volunteered. The rest is history - I found my hidden passion for hosting events. Since that moment, I hosted 19 RoA Tour Nights, 3 RoA Room Championship Playoffs, 5 Live Tournaments and several other tournaments outside Smogon. The reason I became a staff member is only known by the RoA Gods themselves - but I can theorize about it. My contributions to the room (I hosted some of those tournaments I mentioned as a regular user), overall being a helpful user in the room, a common presence in the chat and more important than all, always doing what I comitted to do. If there's one thing I must thank our room owners for, CZ and Lutra, is for always supporting me when I needed, always encouraging me to do more things and doing something I value a lot - making me feel wanted in this community. Our staff is very united and I couldn't really ask for a better group (that includes you too voices, you are all awesome too!).

FriendOfMrGolem120: What generations do you like the most (competitive and in-game)? Did you play any pokemon games besides the ones from the main series (e.g. Pokemon Conquest)? What was the first pokemon game you have played?

Sceptross: My order of preference for in-game generations would be 2 > 3 > 1 > 5 > 6 > 4. I didn't give a proper opportunity to gen 7 yet, so I'll abstain on that one. Competitive-wise, I only really play two gens, gen 1 and 2, and I like both very much, with a slight edge to gen 2. About the others, my preference goes for gen 3. It seems a really fun metagame to play. Gen 4 also picked my interest lately. Those are the two gens I expect to pick up soon, once all the team tournaments are over. About gen 5, I sticked to the lower tiers because I don't lie BW OU very much, too weather based for me. In fact, the most recent gens seem too offensive for me - even gen 4. For a gen1/2 player, seeing OHKOs being such a common thing, and neutral hits doing 70 and 80%, is a really wild concept! I didn't play many spin-offs, but I liked Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue team a lot - Which makes sense, because roguelikes are one of my favourite game genres - especially the old ones from the 80s like Nethack. The first Pokemon game I played was Pokemon Sapphire, but that's because, ironically, I didn't like Pokemon much when I was very young. But all my friends from school were playing Pokemon Gold/Silver/Crystal and I eventually decided to try it too, which happened around the time Ruby and Sapphire came out.

FriendOfMrGolem120: I also like Pokemon Mystery Dungeon a lot and we seem to think in similar ways about the pokemon gens. What do you like the most about the RBY and GSC metagame? If you could change something about them, what would it be?

Sceptross: About RBY, I like its simplicity! I also think people exaggerate how much more luck-based RBY is when compared to other gens. In fact, one thing I was told today was that for the untrained eye, RBY was really luck-based but when you study it thorougly, you see that it's much deeper and less luck based than it initially seems. And this came from a really respectable DPP player. It's a really fun metagame, and I encourage everyone to give it a try - one thing I see players that come from other gens do a lot is not play around the possibility of bad things happenning. Maybe this is why so many people think it's so luck based. Gen 2 players tend to not have this trend so much, though. Now, about Gen 2. Gen 2 is a really good gen. It's, in my opinion, THE best generation to ever exist, because of how hard it is to learn it, how hard it is to master it, the really complex challanges it provides in every game. It's not for everyone, and definitely not for people that like quick, easy games - gen 2 will challenge you a lot, it will force you to think a lot, it will force you to build really complex gameplans and personally, it gives me a lot of pleasure to play. The most enjoyable games for me, both in gen 1 and gen 2, are the ones that lasted 150+ turns. About metagame changes - in RBY, it's a really controversial topic. Some people think we should play with paraslams again, others think we should ban Tauros because of how centralizing the gameplan is around it - I'd be very curious to see how would the metagame change if Tauros wasn't present. I mean, if we used Smogon's current rules, Tauros would certainly be banished to Ubers. In GSC, I wouldn't change anything. The metagame is almost perfect. The only thing I don't like is perhaps how much games can be decided on matchup - but I guess that applies to any gen but gen 1.

FriendOfMrGolem120: Did you set yourself any goals in pokemon? Which of them did you already reach?

Sceptross: My ultimate goal is obviously to have fun - that's what I'm here for after all. About goals, competitive-wise, I like team tournaments a lot, I like the environment around them. That's why I am so quick to join them. I think the only RBY team tournament I have yet to participate in is SPL (since I'm hosting RoAPL), so we can say I have that as a goal. Fortunately, a decent amount of RBY SPL players seem to think I'm on the right track to get there, but we'll see how things go. I'll do my part! About ladder play, I've done almost everything I wanted. I topped the ladder several times already, I reached 90% GXE already (which I consider to be the threshold for a really good player). One thing I wanted to do that I never did is hit 1700 ELO. Maybe one day I'll do a run for that. Tournament-wise, I think I am already considered a really respectable and skilled player, which was my initial goal. Lots of players come to me for metagame discussion and games - even top level players. Setting aside the competitive scene, I'd really like to see RoA continuing to grow. I'll continue doing my job as a staff member to see it grow more and more. The people that are closest to me know how much I like our subcommunity and nothing pleases me more to see the encouragement people give us to continue working for it.

FriendOfMrGolem120: Good luck reaching the remaining goals you set yourself! How are you doing so far in the RBY Global Championship?

Sceptross: The RBY GC is being a really fun tournament - it's currently in round 5 (quarter-finals) and we are only 12 players left now. I think I'm doing really well - I have a record of 9-1 so far, with wins versus really respectable opponents already. The goal is obviously to win it, but as long as I put up a respectable performance, which I believe I have so far, I won't be mad at myself. I'd much rather lose to hax than to my own mistakes.

FriendOfMrGolem120: What helped you to reach your current skill level? What tips would you give beginners?

Sceptross: First of all, passion. Lots of it. This applies to everything in life - you need to have passion to accompish your goals. More specific to Pokemon itself, talking with top players helps a lot. As I previously mentioned, roudolf13 was like a tutor to me. He helped me go from a decent player to the level I am at right now. Also, obviously, don't forget to play the game! You won't improve by speaking only about theory. Watching replays of top players also helps a lot. Lastly, don't put Pokemon on the top of your priorities. Caring too much about the game will actually make you worse at it - because you willl start to overthink things too much. Have goals in life, different hobbies, do sports. It's really important to be well psychologically to be good at anything and putting this game in the top of your priorities will eventually start taking a toll on you and your well-being, which will make your performance worse.

FriendOfMrGolem120: I don't have anymore questions. Is there anything else you would like to say?

Sceptross: One thing I forgot to mention in my hobbies is that I listen to music a lot too - I like almost any type of music, but my preference goes mostly to Rock, specifically Punk and to a lesser extent Grunge. Apart from that, no, not really. Thank you for having me for this interview!

FriendOfMrGolem120: Thank you, it was nice to have you here.
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RoA Interview #8: FriendOfMrGolem120

Beelzemon 2003: Hi all, I am Beelzemon 2003 and today I’ll interview FOMG who finished 1st on the June ladder of the Ruins of Alph. Hi FOMG.

FriendOfMrGolem120: Hello.

Beelzemon 2003: To celebrate your success on the June month ladder, I’ll ask you some questions about yourself and Pokémon, are you ready?

FriendOfMrGolem120: I am.

Beelzemon 2003: OK, let’s a go! First question, where are you from?

FriendOfMrGolem120: Germany.

Beelzemon 2003: What does your nickname mean and how did you get it?

FriendOfMrGolem120: The first name I played under was "Newbie85365095" since I just wanted to try PS out and didn’t think much about the name. The first person I had a longer conversation with after playing was "MrGolem120". There was no friend list on PS and because we didn’t know when we would meet again and my initial name would be harder to remember and to type, I just took his name and added "FriendOf" in front of it so that we would remember the name of each other easily. Just some days later he said that he wanted to quit PS and I haven’t seen him since. Later I decided to use the acronym “FOMG” as well.

Beelzemon 2003: Oh, too bad. I hope you can see him again. Well, now, tell me, how did you find out about Pokémon? Which was your first Pokémon game?

FriendOfMrGolem120: My father gifted me a Game Boy Color when I was a kid. Pokémon Red was my first game. I also watched the anime and we kids used to collect the cards in the school.

Beelzemon 2003: Red was my first Pokémon game too! Well, now tell us, how did you find Pokémon Showdown? When did you join the Ruins of Alph?

FriendOfMrGolem120: Years after I played the cartridge games as a kid, I stumbled upon my Nintendo DS and decided to try to get the symbols in the Emerald Battle Frontier, which I haven´t managed before. I used Sceptile, Pelipper, Pikachu, Castform and Metagross back then. I read about EVs and other mechanics and built decent Frontier teams still using the old safe file so I couldn't access TMs I didn't have any more or use Swampert. Eventually I got all the gold symbols. The Battle Frontier got me interested in competitive Pokémon and I looked for a simulator online. I played the cart games of gens 1-4 as a child so Ruins Of Alph was the most logical room choice for me.

Beelzemon 2003: Which is your favorite generation and why?

FriendOfMrGolem120: Gen 2. I think that the first two generations are the easiest ones to learn. They are very basic, you don't face the difficult task of choosing EV spreads and can also just copy teams from replays quickly. On the other hand, on Gen 2 there are less weird glitches than in Gen 1 and there are also a nice amount of Pokémon you can use.

Beelzemon 2003: Gen 2 is vast and has many formats: Little Cup, Middle Cup, Underused, Overused, Ubers, Item clause, etc. Which is your favorite format of Gen 2

FriendOfMrGolem120: OU, but that is mainly because it is the format that is played the most overall and thus the tier I have the most experience with.

Beelzemon 2003: If Gen 2 were new, do you think Snorlax, Raikou and Zapdos would be banned by players?

FriendOfMrGolem120: They apparently didn't get ban when gen 2 came out so no. It takes time for people to find the best strategies for new games. If we assumed the meta would be already the same at that time, then, it is possible that they would get classified as Ubers. I myself don't mind the current state of the tier and am used to play with them.

Beelzemon 2003: As a player, you are known for being patient, taking good decisions and overall, for being a formidable opponent. How would you describe your play style?

FriendOfMrGolem120: I started on ladder where playing recklessly is not great if you want to reach a high rating. You could lose many points for a single loss against someone who is much lower rated than you, so I tried to be very solid there. In tournament settings I try to not be predictable, use different team types and also switch up my play style overall so that my opponents (hopefully) don't get an advantage if they prepare for me specifically.

Beelzemon 2003: Now let’s talk about your in-game preferences. Which are your favorite starter pokémon of every gen?

FriendOfMrGolem120: I will just list the ones I choose when I played the games for the first time: Charmander, Totodile, Treecko and Chimchar. I would probably have picked Snivy and Froakie if I had played their respective gens. Maybe Litten in the last.

Beelzemon 2003: Which are your six favorite pokémon?

FriendOfMrGolem120: Golem, Graveler, Geodude, Golem-Alola, Graveler-Alola and Geodude-Alola. To be a bit more serious now, that is actually a tough question to answer for me. I don't think I have clear favorites but I would include Golem because that is the pokémon that represents me now.

Beelzemon 2003: Ha, ha! I like your team full of geo friends! Ok, now I will make you a question about a hypothetical case. If you could travel to the past and could work on the development of the first Pokémon games, would you change something? If that were the case, what would you change and why?

FriendOfMrGolem120: I think the games are great overall but some things could have been made better, lots of which happened in the following generations e.g. adding descriptions to the moves so you don't overwrite an attack for a new one without knowing what it does (even though it can be fun to figure it out yourself). The Battle tower and later the Battle frontiers were also great additions that made the post-game parts a lot more fun. P.s. Nidoking and Nidoqueen would be able to breed together.

Beelzemon 2003: I too have always found odd the fact that Nidoqueen and Nidoking can’t have babies. Maybe Game Freak will fix that mistake on Gen 8. Well, let’s continue. I was told that you used to play and host tournaments of Yu-Gi-Oh! Would you like to talk a bit about that experience?

FriendOfMrGolem120: Sure. Strictly speaking, I was a judge and not a tournament organizer, so I didn't decide myself when tournaments get played, I just tried to make sure that they ran smoothly. It was a nice hobby, but eventually I lost interest. Getting into the game later again is quite hard since there are a lot of new cards and the metagame has changed dramatically.

Beelzemon 2003: Now it’s time for some questions from your fans. Sam Samantha asks: “If Seto Kaiba played Pokémon, which pokémon would he use?”

Sam Samantha: How many Sam Samantha's does he know?

FriendOfMrGolem120: Only you, Sam Samantha ;p I think Kaiba would use pokémon with high stats. Maybe some of them would look like dragons. Ice types would also fit him perfectly. Mewtwo, Lugia, Articuno, Gyarados, Suicune, Tyranitar, Dragonite, Steelix, Cloyster, Kingdra - something along those lines.

Beelzemon 2003: Do you think he’ll use Mega Rayquaza too? After all, it is the strongest dragon of the game...and the strongest monster of the game!

FriendOfMrGolem120: Maybe. I only listed pokémon from the first two gens.

Beelzemon 2003: Oh, I see. Well, another fan called Ransei asks: “Have you played Pokémon Conquest? If so, do you think it is a good game?”

FriendOfMrGolem120: I have not played it, but speaking of side games, I really liked Mystery Dungeon.

Beelzemon 2003: Alfredo_Rivero✘ asks: “What is your favorite pokémon of Gen 2?”

FriendOfMrGolem120: Snorlax is obviously the most dominant pokémon of GSC. I actually like to use Golem in that gen and think that many people underrate him, despite having the amazing niche of being a Rapid Spinner that learns Explosion (besides Forretress).

Beelzemon 2003: Do you play other videogames aside from Pokémon? Which are your favorite ones?

FriendOfMrGolem120: Yes, but not much. I’ve played some Mario games, racing games, Fifa and some others.

Beelzemon 2003: Let’s talk a bit about you. What do you do when you’re not playing Pokémon?

FriendOfMrGolem120: Some of my hobbies are chess, cycling, jogging, hanging out with friends, walking with them in nature, watching movies/series, listening to music and reading.

Beelzemon 2003: Which are your favorite music genres?

FriendOfMrGolem120: I like different genres, but I'd say rock (pun intended), metal, indie and classic.

Beelzemon 2003: Ha, ha! Looks like Rock and roll is here to stay and it will never die. Now, tell me, what is your favorite food?

FriendOfMrGolem120: Hard question. For dinner probably rice with vegetables. Fruits are of course great as well and there are too many good ones to list. I like to eat raisins or cranberries with nuts and also dark chocolate (the higher the cacao percentage the better).

Beelzemon 2003: Returning to Pokémon, you are the Ruins of Alph Room Owner. How did you get your rank?

FriendOfMrGolem120: I almost never talked in the ROA, but when I did, it often was to answer to someone’s questions. The sample teams for GSC had wrong DVs, so the validator rejected them. I thought it would be better to just fix them instead of explaining many times how to adjust the DVs so the teams could be used, so I sent Lutra a pastebin with the updated version. Soon after I got voiced. I think I got promoted to driver after I was offered to host the ADV Wednesday tour nights and agreed to do it, with that I became part of the staff team and talked with some of its members I didn’t use to talk much before, that also gave me the opportunity to engage more in the room.

Beelzemon 2003: Do you feel that things have changed since you became a room owner?

FriendOfMrGolem120: I am more confident to make decisions myself and to make suggestions for the room.

Beelzemon 2003: Cz asks: “How has your position as room owner has influenced your approach to competitive Pokémon? For example, do you have less time to spend on practicing?”

FriendOfMrGolem120: I don't think that being a room owner has influenced me competitively. It doesn't take that much additional effort if someone is generally active before becoming one.

Beelzemon 2003: What is your favorite memory on Pokémon Showdown?

FriendOfMrGolem120: The talks with friends I met there.

Beelzemon 2003: What tips would you give to players that want to be good at Pokémon?

FriendOfMrGolem120: Be open minded! I often hear people claim that pokémon or strategy X is broken and should be banned even though they just don't seem to understand the metagame well enough to know how to properly react to a certain threat. Some people also restrict themselves to not using legendaries (and then complain about others who use them). A good way to get better is to copy the strategy of people who beat you consistently. Either it works well for you or you learn how other people win against this strategy which you can then try to execute yourself.

Beelzemon 2003: Wise words FOMG. Well, this is the last question. Why are you so awesome?

FriendOfMrGolem120: Haha, thanks if you think I am.

Beelzemon 2003: Thank you very much for your time. I want to congratulate you once more for your triumph and I also want to thank you for being a supportive and friendly player to all the Pokémon Showdown users. Thank you FOMG.

FriendOfMrGolem120: Thanks for interviewing me.

Beelzemon 2003: Well, that’s it everyone. Thank you all for having joined us in this interview. FOMG and yours truly hope that you have a good day. Good bye.
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Spreadsheeter by day, Random Ladderer by night.
is a Community Leader Alumnusis a Programmer Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnus
RoA Interview #9: Lavos

Lutra: I'm joined tonight by Lavos, who has lately been the guy to beat in GSC, having won GSC Cup III, been runner-up in IV, achieved the second best record in the latest SPL and won GSC OU Global Championship. He's also a top player in other gens, having won Smogon Classic IV. Lavos, out of all the Smogon Classics you joined, which did you find the hardest and do you intend to still join future classic cups now that you've claimed the trophy?

Lavos: In the third edition of Classic, I won the GSC Cup, but missed qualifying for playoffs by a single point due to a few activity losses and coinflips in early rounds of the other cups. That made me realize that with a little extra effort, I could make the playoffs next year, so I tried to take each matchup seriously, and it paid off when I qualified with some points to spare. It's funny, the results were almost exactly as predicted. I was knocked out early in RBY/DPP, made solid runs in ADV/BW, and reached finals in GSC, which I think aligns with my strengths and weaknesses as a player. As for the future, I'll play in Classic V, but I'm not sure how seriously I'll take it yet. Depends on what's going on irl, I suppose.

Lutra: What have been your favourite moments playing gsc in team tours?

Lavos: Every time I get to bring out a creative set or risky new team, that's an important moment to me. Some memorable ones off the top of my head are my MiracleBerry Charizard sweep in Week 1 of SPL 9, Mirror Coat Smeargle OHKOing a lead Zapdos in Week 4 of SPL 9, and pulling out Baton Pass to sweep Floppy in the prelim round of WCoP X.

Lutra: Interesting. What is the tier (any format in any gen) you would most like to explore more of?

Lavos: Probably DPP OU. It has the most room for creativity without the hindrance of team preview. I don't have any interest in playing what's "meta" anymore, regardless of the tier. I think it would be fun to experiment in almost any tier, but I already have some ideas for directions I could take DPP, and I'd like to play it in the upcoming SPL if possible.

Lutra: What was your first simulator and did you play old gens on NetBattle?

Lavos: I started playing on Pokemon Online in late 2010 on the PokeBattleCenter server, and didn't begin to frequent the main server for almost a year. I didn't become interested in old gens for a while after that, I mostly laddered in BW and Dream World OU, and participated in the fledging clan scene with groups like LoD, IMP, and PTOB.

Lutra: Was your alias Lavos Spawn? I can't say I remember you, unfortunately. Who are your biggest rivals in competitive Pokémon?

Lavos: Ouch lol. Guess I wasn't noteworthy back then. Right now I don't have any rivals. The players I most look up to are Earthworm, BKC, and Ojama. Ciele and McMeghan also stand out to me as competitors who aren't afraid to buck the trend.

Lutra: If you could boost any small tier (something that maxes out at 32-man mini-tournaments on Smogon) to a medium size tier (like an old gen OU), and boost any medium-sized tier to current gen OU popularity, what tiers would those be?

Lavos: For the small tier, any GSC lower tier or alternative format would be nice. I've enjoyed Ubers, UU, Monotype (no Normals), and I'm excited to try NU. For the medium tier, I think ADV OU is a great teacher when it comes to long-term thinking while still maintaining some nice variety and the occasional game-deciding prediction, and current gen players would benefit from it. Overall, I think old gens build strong fundamentals that are necessary in becoming a great player, and the skillset is definitely transferable to current gen, so I'd like to see more people play them.

Lutra: Are there any changes you’d like to make to the rulesets of official tiers?

Lavos: If you asked me a year ago, I would have said that we should implement a one-layer limit to Spikes in ADV OU, but since then the meta has shifted away from awful SkarmBlissGar stacking wars, and players like UD have proven that you can exist at the top of the tier with minimal to no Spikes usage, so I've changed my mind on that. In BW OU I'd ban Shadow Tag, ban Sand Rush Excadrill, unban Sand Rush + Sand Stream so Stoutland is free, and unban Chlorophyll + Drought now that relevant trappers are gone and Sun is nowhere near its former self, and either ban Latios or free Genesect. For DPP OU I'd unban Latias. In RBY OU I'd ban Wrap for the same reasons I pushed so hard to get a SleepTrap ban in GSC. That's all I can think of right now.

Lutra: Anything else you want to mention that you haven’t covered in your answers?

Lavos: Nothing that hasn't been said before by someone more eloquent. Thanks for the interview!

Lutra: Thank you for some great answers. It was a pleasure.
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Spreadsheeter by day, Random Ladderer by night.
is a Community Leader Alumnusis a Programmer Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnus
The qualifications for room interviews have been updated:

"Additionally the room champions, number 1 ranked room championship qualifiers, as well as RoA room tournament hosts and players with 10+ room tour night tournament wins, will receive an interview from an RoA Staff member. At least a year must pass until you can qualify for another interview."


The words were voted out by a landslide
is a Community Contributor
RoA Interview #10: SamuelBestt

Sceptross: Ok, here with me I have SamuelBest, who finished first place in the Ruins of Alph August leaderboard! It's a pleasure to have you here friend :smiley:

SamuelBestt: Hello there, It's quite the pleasure for me to be here too.

Sceptross: Ok, let's start the inteview. When did you find out about competitive Pokemon? What do you like the most about it?

SamuelBestt:I found out about competitive pokémon around, mid 2013, very much at the end of the BW2 era. at the time I had no idea competitive pokémon was even a thing, I simply was looking through pokémon videos and stumbled into some vgc matches and I got pretty hooked on it. So I started by playing vgc/battle spot, poorly, for a couple months, until in april 2014 I randomly managed to find PS, and that's how it came to be. As for what I enjoy the most about it, it's really a combination of multiple things. Probably the thing I like the most that it is a perfect time waster for someone like me, seen as I tend to do multitasking quite often. Plus I just, like playing pokemon in general, in any format, really, so there's that.

Sceptross: Interesting, you've been around for quite a while already. I share the same feeling as you in enjoying to play Pokemon in pretty much any format. What's your favourite generation, both competitive and in-game wise?

SamuelBestt: In both case it does happen to be GSC. GSC if by far the competitive gen I have the most fun with, despite what many people seem to think, and when I feel like playing casually I usually tend to go back to gsc/hgss, or different versions of those two. However if I had to rank all of them up, competitively it would probably be: 2 > 3 > 6 > 5 > 4 > 7 > 1, and in-game it would be: 2 > 5 > 3 > 6 > 7 > 1 > 4.

Sceptross: Awesome, our favourite gens are the same, both competitively and in-game. I like gen 1 a lot though :frowning: Let's move our focus away from the main games for a bit. Did you play any Pokemon games besides the ones from the main series (e.g. Pokemon Conquest)? What's your favourite one?

SamuelBestt: Well yes, I played, basically all of them! Most of the Dungeon games, every Pokémon Rumble, Pokémon Snap, Colosseum, XD, the list goes on. However, my favorite Pokémon spin off, my second most favorite Pokémon game, and the first Pokémon game I ever played, is actually Pokémon Stadium.

Sceptross: I see you are quite the Pokemon enthusiast. Let's talk a little bit about the Pokemon community. Who have you come to like and respect the most on your stay in this community?

SamuelBestt: I have loads of respect for a lot of people in the community , It's not that hard to gain it, really. However, I think the two people I have the most respect in this very moment, are Troller, and well, yourself, Sceptross.

Sceptross: Thank you buddy! You are also one of the people I respect the most in the community, and easily one of the best friends I have ever met online, here or anywhere else. Let's talk a bit about yourself. Where do you live? What are your hobbies outside of the Pokémon world? Describe yourself in a sentence.

SamuelBestt: As for now, I reside in Piedmont, Northern Italy, very close to Milan. As for my hobbies, Outside of pokémon games themselves, I'm quite the hardcore gamer, with a pretty notable interest in speedrunning. Another thing that I'm really into is card games, namely Yu-Gi-Oh, tho I also used to play Magic and Shadowverse. Outside of gaming completly, irl I mostly spend my time playing piano and I sometimes enjoy playing ping-pong, as weird as that may sound. If I had to describe myself in one sentence, I would say that there's no better way to describe myself than "Kinda of a weirdo, I guess.", nothing more, just that alone is enough to describe me.

Sceptross: I also played my fair share of card games and ping-pong too, although I haven't played in like 5 years. You mention you play the piano. What's your favourite music genre? Do you have a favourite song?

SamuelBestt: Favorite genre? Quite indecisive, but I have to say that I really like both rock and classic. Favorite song? As of right now, not a specific one, no. I really just listen to things without having one that I like most, I really just either like music or I don't, without any favorite or least favorite.

Sceptross: Interesting, I'm also a fan of both rock and classic music myself. Makes sense that you like classic music, considering you have that musical background. Let's talk about your nickname now. What's the origin of it?

SamuelBestt: Honestly? There's no interesting behind it. Samuel is well, part of my irl name, And best part came to be because the day I logged on sd the first time I ever entered a chat I saw at least like, 5 people with the word "Best" in their nicknames, and so I just came with the idea of calling myself Samuel-Best. Considering that I now use it everywhere I definitely think that it stuck nicely.

Sceptross: It does sound nice, at least in my opinion. If you could choose a custom avatar on Pokemon Showdown, what would it look like?

SamuelBestt: Dragonite's DPP sprite. Straight out, without anything else. It's my favorite pokemon and that's the best sprite of it, so why not.

Sceptross: Zarel wants trainers or trainer-like avatars as custom avatars, so you'd probably need to change it a bit if you'd want it accepted.

SamuelBestt: If literally anything is not an option, then I guess lance and dragonite would work fine too.

Sceptross: What has been the most enjoyable moment for you in PS?

SamuelBestt: Well I mean, what else but the moment that will probably go into legends forever, flinching 7 rock slides against swampert in an adv game. It's a moment so magic that nothing that I'll ever do will probably be able to top it. I wouldn't call it enjoyable since 7 rock slide flinches are considered a torture, but I mean nowadays I always let out a laugh when I see that moment, so I consider it such.

Sceptross: Oh I remember that, that was glorious. You literally needed the 7 flinches followed by Struggle crit to win and you got it. That's going down as one of the most epic endgames I've ever witnessed, if not THE most epic one. What are your plans for the future? Did you set yourself any goals in pokemon? Which of them did you already reach?

SamuelBestt: The only plan I have for the future is just to keep improving and making a name for myself, not much else. That very same thing is also my main goal that for years I've been pursuing in this game, and that drives me forward. I would say that, if I considered how I started, as guy that didn't knew how IVs worked after playing for months, and was a childish, crybaby dick to most people, then yeah, I definitely say that those goals are something that I've alredy kinda reached in one way or the other, I just want to make myself even better than what I currently am, because I feel like it's something in my capabilities.

Sceptross: I'd say you can definitely go even further, specially considering you are so passionate about the game. Thank you Samuel, it was great to have you here. I wish you the best, not only in Pokemon, but also in life!

SamuelBestt: Again, It was a great pleasure for me to be here, and I wish you the best of everything aswell.
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Spreadsheeter by day, Random Ladderer by night.
is a Community Leader Alumnusis a Programmer Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnus
RoA Interview #11: Lycans

Lutra: Today we are interviewing Lycans, known for being one of only 2 players to become RoA Room Champion twice. He's also had success in other tournaments. Lycans, what do you consider your most important achievement in competitive Pokémon? Is it RoA Room Championship-related or something else?

Lycans: Not all people on the site can play the Smogon's ''exclusive tours'' such as SPL or Wcop so I'd say to be able to play at the highest level in the big tours of the web is always a success to me. Same as for RoA tours, not many people are able to have a good knowledge of all old gens so I'm glad to show that I can play them at good level, not even being my strong point in competitive mons.

Lutra: How did you first find out about Pokémon Showdown (and/or other simulators)?

Lycans: I used to play Pokémon in console, nothing competitive, just fun battles with friends etc, until a day that Nintendo Wi-fi Central stopped working so I couldn't do those fun things anymore. A friend told me about a website where you could build your teams and play them at same time so I deciced to try it. The first time I didn't know about the Main or Smogon servers cuz I used to play in a Spanish Server, which was where I learned all about competive mons. When it died I moved to Smogon/ Main.

Lutra: What generation of Pokemon do you enjoy playing the most?

Lycans: In the ingame aspect, the first game of Pokémon I ever met was Diamond so I have a special feeling with it. As in the competitive case, during XY / ORAS was the gen where I started to play competitively so there is where I feel comfortable and enjoy playing more.

Lutra: What is your favourite tier in gen 6?

Lycans: All ORAS lower tiers are quite fun to me but as is well known I really like to play UU in most of the gens. It is not so monotonous as OU usually is, and you can find fun stuff to use and innovate frequently.

Lutra: Is there any tournament you dream of winning?

Lycans: My only expectations in the web were sometime to win a team tour as SPL, so I didn't really have any expectations to win a big single tour. But this last year I've been monitoring closely one of the hardest tours that Smogon has, in my opinion, the Grand Slam. Unfortunately I couldn't make playoffs this year, missing by a few points, but I'll keep trying.

Lutra: Do you have any rivals on PS?

Lycans: Besides the people I have to play for tours, I don't see anyone as a rival in the sense that I'm not looking to get something over someone.

Lutra: Is there any tier or tournament you'd like to change?

Lycans: At this moment I'd say all the Smogon Tournaments are okay as they are. There is a discussion about Retains on SPL right now, maybe i'd agree about what people says with Retains being a important part of that tour and they shouldnt be removed at all - but at same time I think they should be changed somehow for the good of the tour.

Lutra: Thanks for the interview. Is there anything else you'd like to mention?

Lycans: Thanks for the interview to you as well :smile: okay to finish i'd like to say for those people that may read this. If there is something I've learned these last years is that it doesn't matter how much effort you put into improving, if you don't enjoy what you do, you wont get the results you want. Also sorry for my bad English lol :[
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RoA Interview #12: Mindnight

Lucix: We know you as "Mindnight", but where does your pseudonym come from?

Mindnight: My nickname comes from pokébip, a french website for console players. I was a fan of the anime "fairy tail", so I decided to take the nickname "Midnight" adding a "n" in it.

Lucix: What is your favorite Pokemon?

Mindnight: My favorite pokémon is Weavile since DPP. It was the pokemon that I absolutely wanted to have. He was very good, fast and does good damage - a true sweeper. I also like Lucario and Infernape.

Lucix: When did you start competitive Pokémon?

Mindnight: I started competitive Pokémon in 2012 on pokébip exactly - that's where I met some people that I'm still in contact with, such as weshbien, BBK, Kantio. They helped me a lot when I started.

Lucix: Do you have any goals with Pokémon?

Mindnight: Not really, I have no precise "goals" regarding Pokémon. I have just the will to play matches which puts pressure on me to win them to feel pleasure, both of which are indescribable in teamtour matches. Otherwise, I would like contribute in this community, since I love it so much. There are super guys such as Rageeee, FOMG, tjdaas, Lutra, Ransei, Samuelbesttt, cz, but I won't mention all of them.

Lucix: What is the performance that you are most proud of?

Mindnight: It is not really a performance, but what I am the most proud of to-date is the WCoPPs in Benelux/USSR with tjdaas, Mister Tim. I did 6-3 as ratio, as a steal and as I wasn't aware that BP was banned, I was dq'd one week. I could have done better, but in my opinion that is still a "good" performance, knowing there was really good players in dpp. s/o WcJay

Lucix: What is your favorite tier?

Mindnight: DPP - I've been playing it since 2016 now and I still love it. Recently, I've found the joy of teambuilding again which I used to find "painful" when the nidostall teams were spammed, but now it is more fun.

Lucix: What are the main faults you find in this tier?

Mindnight: The main problem of the tier are: the number of pokemon "viable" in this tier - alas, there isn't much. We find mainly the same Pokémon, the same cores on different teams, and in some of them, we can have 3 or 4 of the same Pokémon.

Lucix: Are there people with who you get along well?

Mindnight: Yes, of course, like everybody I assume, s/o to pokestrat and RoA, after there are people such as Lucix, Algeria4ever, dark4ever, kaideos, BlazingDark, Sanjl, Sd_Jay, Givrix.

Lucix: Do you follow any high level players very closely ?

Mindnight: Yes, BKC mainly. He is for me the strongest player on smogon - he is good everywhere. He's the kind of guy that you can put in all slots, you know that he is a solid slot. His DPP buids are always very good. I love them - after those, there are Tamahome's and Raspberry's.

Lucix: What was the most pleasurable match that you ever played?


This battle, this is the battle which gave me the most pressure. When I won, I was really happy - it was the 4th week of a french team tour.

Lucix: What are the teams that you're the most proud of?


These are the teams which I am the most proud of atm. I built them for different french team tours. These teams are really strong and I can easily play them for other team tours.

Lucix: Do you play at other games?

Mindnight: Not really, except Dokkan Battle on Mobile, but that is it.

Lucix: I'll give you the last word.

Mindnight: Don't get worked up with Pokemon, it is a game before anything else.

s/o for the translation: Staxi Hira Sakito Futtoka
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RoA Interview #13: k3nan

Sakito: Yo, today I'm going to interview k3nan who's known to be a pretty good old gens player as well as a driver in the RoA room. Can you introduce yourself in a few lines?

k3nan: I'm k3nan, Léo for friends. Mainly an ADV and GSC player, occasionally DPP as well as ORAS (tier that I mained when the games came out).

Sakito: What is your favorite Pokémon?

k3nan: Competitively speaking, Tyranitar. Outstanding versatility for all generations. It is a safe and reliable mon that fits into any type of build and will always do its job.

Sakito: What was your first Pokemon game and when did you get into competitive Pokémon?

k3nan: I'm 24 years old, so I started Pokémon with the Red version. I started to be interested in competitive Pokémon in 2007 with the Pearl version. I dropped when the 5th gen was out, to come back with XY. And since then I didn't give up.

Sakito: We know you mainly for being an old gen player, which one do you prefer and why?

k3nan: I prefer ADV, it's above all a matter of habit. I find the tier fairly balanced in general. In my opinion, the number of the threats in the tier is perfect. There are not too many, which makes the no-team preview really interesting and predictable enough to not be surprised at the last moment. The absence of items such as Choice Scarf or Life Orb, makes the tier less agressive compared to the more recent generations and I like that. For the teambuilding, it's also in this tier that I prefer working, especially in terms of EVs spreads, where I do not take any pleasure in GSC because I feel like everything has already been done.

Sakito: If you could change something in a tier, what would it be?

k3nan: ban baton pass + boost in ADV.

Sakito: You already did spl, wcup and you reached finals of the last DPP Cup, what are your projects right now as a Smogon player?

k3nan: Make a big performance in old gens obviously, a big record in spl/wcop or win a Classic. Even if currently it seems more complicated since I'm not as active as I used to be.

Sakito: Your best and worst match memory ? you can share replays if you have any.

k3nan: My best memory is my series against Earthworm in the quarter finals of the GSC Cup III. It was really this series that propelled me on Smogon because it was decisive for my wcop slot with France.

( /

My worst memory is against choolio in spl 9. I had the control of the game during the 21 first turns it was a one way trip, until i click a useless fire blast against a burned misdreavus who's doing destiny bond. Yes it's nasty.


Sakito: Are there any players you are looking up to?

k3nan: No, but there are players for who I have a lot of respect for like Lavos, Earthworm, Ojama or Astamatitos because they are really huge players in terms of skill.

Sakito: Do you play other games in addition to Showdown?

k3nan: I'm a Fifa player since the adolescence.

Sakito: Do you have anything else to add?

k3nan: I think we talked of everything, thanks.

Sakito: thank you!
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RoA Interview #14: pasy_g

Excal: Hello everyone! I'm Excal, and today I'll be interviewing pasy_g, who qualified as 1st seed for the October Playoffs. How are you?

pasy_g: Hi everyone! I'm fine, thanks, how about you?

Excal: Doing fine myself! So to start, when did you first get into competitive Pokemon, and how did you find out about it?

pasy_g: In 2010 I found out about EVs and shit via a real life friend - and upon looking stuff up on the internet I got in contact with a german pokemon forum and was very intrigued. From that point on, I tried to become a better player and to have some success in tournaments, since I am a really competitive type of person. Sadly i wasn't that successfull at my first period of playing, but I am doing better now after my comeback!

Excal: That's very interesting, and it's great to hear how well you've been doing recently! You've definitely been hyped up a lot for your incredible performance in the WCoP where you beat both Asta and Ojama in ADV OU. I definitely know you as someone who is very versatile and plays basically everything. So that said, if you could rank your skill in each OU metagame from best to worst, how would that look?

pasy_g: Oh, well, yeah I don't really have a lot of noteworthy achievements besides those 2 wins tho, lol, but I hope I'll try my best to get some more in the future. I definitely like and enjoy the versatility throughout the generations and also enjoy a lot of different tiers within gens, so yeah, i would say I basically play everything. Hmmmm, it would probably look something like ADV>DPP>BW>SM>RBY>nothing>GSC=ORAS.

Excal: You definitely have at least shown you are more than capable! And that's a good list. Which would you say is your favorite to play and why?

pasy_g: That would probably be DPP - mainly because I absolutely love the graphics, but also because it was the current gen when I started to play first, so there is that nostalgic part about it. Outside of that I also enjoy the tier in terms of raw playing. It's fast paced, has cool mons, a TON of opportunities and you get rewarded for good play a lot, even though a lot of people might think differently about that, lol.

Excal: We seem to think very similarly about DPP! I started in 2009 when DPP was the current gen as well, so I feel the same nostalgia. So, regarding your playstyle, how would you describe it, and does it change depending on which meta you're playing?

pasy_g: Uh, I wouldn't really say I have a "playstyle". I just try to make the "right plays". That obviously depends on the team I play, the opponent plays and also on the current state of the game. Like I wouldnt describe it as either defensive or offensive or whatever. I check out and try to figure out what I have to do to win the game and play according to that. No need to pull unnecessary triggers but you also gotta pull em when you need to.

Excal: I see, that's a really solid perspective on playstyle! Let's talk a bit about the Pokemon community. Who are some people you have come to really respect/admire in the community?

pasy_g: In terms of skill, my absolute GOATs I look up to always have been, and still are, M Dragon and McMeghan. Endless results, cool and chill guys, and this incredible presence you can feel in a game when they're playing. Currently I am amazed by how incredibly good Ojama is and also how well he keeps it up since, basically, forever. Also I think my friend Astamatitos approach to the game is incredible and in my opinion he is the single best player at a tier at the moment (if you know what i mean), and I really mean that. He seems unstoppable, won ADV Cup and is still holding it up in countless tournaments (6-0 in wcopp currently too, btw).

Excal: That's awesome! M Dragon and McMeghan are certainly great choices. Ojama as always has been very impressive, and I have been following Asta's run in wcopp, which is nothing short of amazing. Now, this is a non-sequitur, but I must ask (even though I know the answer already): Which Pokemon is your favorite and why? Is there an interesting backstory to your choice?

pasy_g: No backstory at all, I simply love Quagsire because its adorable and cute :D

Excal: As expected :D! So let's talk a bit about yourself. Where are you from? And what are some of your hobbies outside of Pokemon?

pasy_g: Okay! I am from Germany. Outside of Pokemon I enjoy all kind of sports. I really enjoy playing football, table tennis, and whatever comes up really. Also I started to work as an automation technician not long ago and really, really enjoy the work (which consumes a TON of my time currently).

Excal: Very cool! What type of music do you enjoy listening to the most? Do you have a favorite song?

pasy_g: I don't have a certain genre really, I listen to whatever song I like - mainly music I can sing to tho (lots of lyrics) and music that makes me feel good.

Excal: Yeah, I also just listen to everything! Do you have a favorite food?

pasy_g: nope, not really ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Excal: Oh well! Last question: what is the origin of your username?

pasy_g: It's a homage to Ali G (google it if you dont know who that is :O), who was a big hero of my childhood. It fits really nice with my real name and sounds great I think, so that's what I have been going as, for forever, now.

Excal: Awesome! Do you have anything else you want to add? Any shoutouts?

pasy_g: Hey, everyone reading this! Jesus man.

Excal: LOL, well thank you so much for the interview! It's been a pleasure! :D

pasy_g: It's been a pleasure for me too! :D
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RoA Interview #15: Zokuru

Lucix: We know you as "Zokuru", but where does your pseudonym came from?

Zokuru: Well... That's a really stupid story to be honest. I was making an acccount for " Dofus " (A Tactical MMORPG game), and I was 12 and I had no idea for my username, so I used the ancient technique of "Random Consonent + Random Vowel x3" and I ended up with "Zokuru".

Lucix: What is your favorite Pokémon?

Zokuru: Kabutops, Ho-oh, and Aerodactyl. Those three are the best, then Chansey and Blissey <3 But yeah, Kabutops first.

Lucix: When did you start competitive Pokémon?

Zokuru: It's been ... Long. Well, it depends what you mean by "competitive Pokémon". I played on Shoddy Battle and Pokémon Online at the time, so I think I only started playing this game seriously and at a good/high level during the ORAS era, with a bunch of french guys who stopped Pokémon right now sadly, but they were all beasts.

Lucix: do you have some goals with Pokémon?

Zokuru: Of course, who doesn't have goals here ? I want to be the very best ! Nah, seriously, I have 3 main goals. 1) Reach the lowest misplay rate possible, 0 misplay is undoable but I think everyone can play much better and I try to polish my plays as much as I can. I'm such a perfectionist lol. 2) I want to Top 32 every major individual tours on Smogon. 3) The last one is also the trickiest. When I started playing on Pokémon Online with my friends Dann_1 and Tom0410, we were really impressed by the player "Lusso" who played for France in WCoP as a sub at the time - that's why I want to get pick'd in SPL and WCoP at least once before I stop competitive Pokémon.

Lucix: What is the performance that you are most proud of?

Zokuru: I made OLT PO 2 times in a row, that's not really impressive but I know that I can't do huge performances with my current playstyle, I'm too easy to counter. In a non-replay competitive scene I could play Stall everygame and beat a lot of great players but with replays they can scout my techs, so yeah, I'm fine with my Playoffs. And oh ! I did 4-2 first time I got pick'd in RoAPL, 3-1 in ORAS, 1-1 in RBY, for 3k. That's not super impressive either but that was my first TeamTournament on Smogon so thanks again to Typhlito and z0mog for that.

Lucix: What is your favorite tier?

Zokuru: ORAS, before Sableye got banned. Now I think GSC is the best tier, with ADV a close second.

Lucix: What are the mains faults you find in this tier?

Zokuru: The players. I think there's only a few people that can play this tier really well, and I noticed they often choose to drop certain matchups to counterbuild their opponent in tournament. I don't think that's a great way to play that tier, GSC is the tier where your skill is enough, just bring solid teams. (Curse EQ Lax does so much damages nowadays, USE SKARMS DUDES)

Lucix: Are there people with who you get along well?

Zokuru: My adoptive WCoP team, aka the greatest team of all time, TEAM GREECE ! (until Team France become great again ). Also I don't want to forget anyone so I won't tell any username, they will know anyway. Wait, special highlight for my boy Excal! This guy is just the best <3

Lucix: Do you have any high level players that you follow very closely ?

Zokuru: Astamatitos, Fear, Undisputed, Kickasser (learn to stall dude), Shoka (when he returns). Those guys are my favs.

Lucix: What was the most pleasing match that you've played?

Zokuru: I don't know dude, I think it was a ladder match. I lost it, and I don't have the replay anymore, but I was playing Shedinja Stall, and my opponent was playing that DJTrump Stall in ORAS. Trust me or not but that's the only guy who managed to beat me with hard stall in a not friendly battle, as long as I remember correctly - it was a couple of 50/50 in the last turns, very close and long battle, 700ish turns I think. s/o to this guy if he read this.

Lucix: What are the teams that you're the most proud of?


This is the definitive version of the Wonder trio team. I reworked this team, maybe you remember it, with togekiss, SpD Seismi etc... I'm super proud of my rework, because I transformed a MU gimmicky team into a solid team that should be a staple if Duggy and Sableye were still there.

This is the definitive version of the best SM OU team ever made. ILikePinkMons PM'd me with the 6 Pokémon as an idea he had. I made the tests and the spreading stuff, this is insane. In the current metagame Chansey would have either counter or confide I guess.

My techs to GSC Hard Stalls, it's better because I made it, anyone should know it right know anyway so I can show it. If you're confident that your opponent won't play stall or will hard wall your snorlax you can change the set. This team is insane, sadly it loses to Curse RSlide Steelix, but who use that in 2018 ? :]

Lucix: Do you play other games?

Zokuru: Yes, a bit of hearthstone, Pokemmo and some solo games. I also speedrun crusader of centy, best Genesis game dudes.

Lucix: I'll let you have the last word.

Zokuru: Stall players are the most skilled ones. No hate. <3
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RoA Interview #16: Roseybear

Sakito: So I'm here with Roseybear, who's a moderator on the RoA room. Hello Rosey, how are you?

Roseybear: I'm not too bad thanks for asking!

Sakito: First of all, can you introduce yourself in a few lines?

Roseybear: Hello! I help moderate the Tournaments and Ruins of Alph rooms on Pokémon Showdown and I also like to play Pokémon on a competitive level.

Sakito: Can you tell us the story behind your name? I'm quite interested to know!

Roseybear: Just a disclaimer, I'm planning to change my username soon but I will explain. So my old username used to be Roserade26 and I used to hang on one specific Pokémon Showdown server a lot (which doesn't exist anymore). I used to know someone who usually calls me Roseybear instead of Roserade26 and because they usually called me by that a lot, I decided to change it Roseybear - at first as a joke, but because I was on the Roseybear account for quite a long time and most people started to know me as Roseybear, I decided I may as well stick with it so that was the origin of the username Roseybear.

Sakito: Oh pretty cool, does that mean Roserade is your favorite Pokémon?

Roseybear: Yes, Roserade for the longest time has been my favourite Pokémon. Not too sure why but I always liked its design and I always remembered me trying to evolve Roselia into a Roserade and finally evolving was a cool achievement of mine - since it was my most wanted team member when I played Pokémon Diamond for the first time.

Sakito: I see, haha! Speaking of Pokémon the game, which generation did you start with?

Roseybear: Generation 4 was my first gen and my first Pokémon game was Pokémon Diamond.

Sakito: Same thing for me! :D When did you start getting into Smogon/Competitive Pokémon?

Roseybear: I started to get into Competitive Pokémon when Gen 5 OU was the latest gen, and I started off playing on the OU ladder without knowing some of the basic mechanics like the Physical/Special split and STAB moves. I was the type of person to use Bug Buzz Scizor and Poison Jab Roserade, so I basically taught myself learning the mechanics of the game and started to get better at the game.

Later on, around Gen 6, I mostly just played scripted tours in the Tournaments Room but never played a single Smogon Tournament, until maybe either the last Smogon Tour with DPP OU or the Grand Slam being my first tournament played on Smogon. Since then, I started to play more Smogon Tournaments now.

Sakito: What is the gen you enjoy the most when playing and what is the one you hate playing?

Roseybear: Right now I have been enjoying Gen 5 OU the most. I really enjoy playing Gen 5 OU with friends and on a competitive level - it's gotten a lot better since the Dugtrio and Arena trap ban, and the meta right now is fun. It may even get better depending if Sand Rush gets banned or not. I don't hate any gen at all but my least favourite is probably Gen 2. I haven't put much time into it though, so I can't say much but I do like every Gen competitively in their own way, which includes Gen 2.

Sakito: So you're a BW enthusiast. Do you have any competitive goals you want to achieve?

Roseybear: It would be nice to win a Smogon Tournament like Smogon Tour or OST which would be awesome. It also doesn't have to be a trophy tour, like for example it could be a circuit tournament, e.g. a modern NU tournament or even an old gen like DPP or BW. I did came close in a DPP tournament on Smogon this year and got finals, which is still a good achievement for me - but winning a forum tournament would be a great achievement for me.

I don't think I'm at a level to win a whole tournament yet, but getting to playoffs for tours like Smogon Tour, Grand Slam or OLT would be nice, or even getting more consistent and better results like in like Opens or Smogon Classics (top 16 range) would be a good goal in my book.

I also have one more goal, but it's not about winning tournaments, but rather just playing better as a player and improving my mental game. If I improve mentally as a player, it would be much easier for me to gain the results I want in tours since I do remember getting pretty nervous for the semi-finals and finals for the DPP tour I was in. I also just need to improve as a player in general, just extra things like think of more possible outcomes on what would be the best play for me in each game and just take my time more when it comes to important turns.

Sakito: Oh yeah, I completely understand what you mean. I wish you the best for it! Who are the closest people you've ever met on Smogon?

Roseybear: I really don't talk to many people on Smogon, but the people I have worked with in the Tournaments room and Ruins of Alph room I have gotten along well with in general, which includes the people who are regulars to either room. However, on the Smogon website, in general - the only times I get close with people is when I enter in team tours, either if I'm playing for a team, on the bench, or managing a team.

Sakito: Do you have a favorite battle theme in Pokémon?

Roseybear: I really like Cynthia's Theme, the best especially the DPP version.

Sakito: Ah, I love this one too! To finish this interview, what's the most memorable battle you have had? You can share a replay if you have one.

Roseybear: I can't really say what is the most memorable battle I had, but it's usually the wins you get against players that are top priority picks for SPL and 'usually' get playoffs or even win trophies. It's even better when you win against someone in a forum tournament. If it's in round 5 as an example ,it can be quite satisfying.

Sakito: Great! I think we're done unless you want to add something?

Roseybear: I think I said enough, thanks for interviewing me.

Sakito: Thank you as well, it was nice!
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RoA Interview #17: Blackoblivion

The Kyle: Hello everybody, today we're gonna have a chat with the winner of January Room Championship: Blackoblivion. How are you doing?

Blackoblivion: I am doing fine, thanks for asking. How are you?

The Kyle: I'm doing great, thanks. Tell us a little bit about your competitive background.

Blackoblivion: I started playing mons back in 2012, playing all the old games on my GBA emulator. Shortly after finishing the games, I started playing the rom hax - which was very challenging (I love challenges). Since I was a kid I always loved mons, so one day I was talking with my friend about which pokemon we loved design wise and that sparkled my interest in the game again. After that conversation I went on and purchased pokemon omega ruby, which I loved a lot, and started meeting people online and wifi battling, etc. I always wanted to play the best battlers so I started challenging clan leaders which I defeated pretty easily, the last clan I fought was a clan named 3DHD and after being crowned "champion" my friend told me that some site called "smogon" holds a mons tournament for money and i didnt hesitate to sign up, during my ost run i met some friends whom were crucial for my development as a player like my man njnp, kratosmana (which I lost to that ost), ricardo, matty brollic and some other people who supported me after that, after njnp won ost I pretty much hanged out with him alot and became the player who I am today, and the rest is history.

The Kyle: If I'm not mistaken, you are kind of a newer player and joined smogon in 2016. What brought your interest in old gens?

Blackoblivion: Well my interest in oldgens was always there since I started playing pokemon fire red when I was a kid, so after playing some OSTs, a world cup, winning Snake Draft and performing well in my first SPL (6-3) I wanted something different, and I basically started playing oldgens for fun when someday I literally became decent to good at it (GSC cup finals) and of course winning this RoA tournament.

The Kyle: What do you enjoy the most about the game? What do you hate the most?

Blackoblivion: What I enjoy most about the game is the long OLT qualification periods and the tough games vs very good players like Bro fist, ABR, FV (FlamingVictini), and lots of others I played in official tournaments those were for me the best times, and what I dislike is the stours chat and ignorant childish comments made by non-tour players (and even tour players) this is something really unnecessary and pointless, and I wish they made a tourplayer-exclusive chat to solve this problem.

The Kyle: Who are some of your favorite players to watch and your closest poké-friends?

Blackoblivion: My closest pokefriends are: NJNP, r!cardo, matty brollic, alexander, mana, xray, obliviate, snow and most of Team France, the whole of team Europe, my SPL team, and all of the side tours I joined and every person in it are pretty much my closest friends, my favorite players to watch: Bro fist, peak Njnp.

The Kyle: Do you have any specific moment playing the game or chatting that you want to talk about it but never got the opportunity?

Blackoblivion: Yeah that one time when my hands were sweating when playing my SPL game vs. ABR, that was a memorable one, I had lots of these games but this one I remember being pretty big for me.

The Kyle: You told me earlier that you don't play the game anymore and this interview would be your farewell interview, why? Is this decision temporary or what?

Blackoblivion: Haha well that was more of a joke, but at the moment I'm certainly ''temporarily retired'' because of my personal life, but who knows maybe sometime I will be back and playing again...

The Kyle: I see, I'm glad to hear that. If you had a non-overpowered superpower, what it would be?

Blackoblivion: If i had a non-overpowered superpower it would be being able to use instant-transmission (yes that's from Dragonball Z)

The Kyle: Do you play other games?

Blackoblivion: Yes I do actually. I'm a diehard FIFA player, well, I was a diehard FIFA player, and I played lots of games on the ps4 like the DBZ games, FIFA as I said before. However, I'm not playing anything much because of priorities in life.

The Kyle: Do you have any shoutouts or callouts? Use this to say whatever you want!

Blackoblivion: I want to thank every single person who helped me with anything 'mons related, may it be teambuilding, playing for fun or just having a general talk, thanks for the fun times and I hope to see you guys maybe shortly, sayonara.
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RoA Interview #18: Snøfall

Excal: Hello everyone! Today I'll be interviewing Snøfall, formerly known as Akiko Yosano, who has won over ten RoA tour nights! How are you?

Snøfall: Good what about you?

Excal: Doing fine myself! So to start, when did you first get into competitive Pokemon, and how did you find out about it?

Snøfall: First was when a friend in school introduced me to a German youtuber called suishomaru. I think that was around 2012. After that I somehow found Pokeaim’s channel and found out about showdown and smogon. In 2016 I decided to join smogon because I was watching a smogon tour and wanted to join it. Since then I’ve been playing tours on smogon.

Excal: That's interesting how you just stumbled upon it in a sense. So what are the main gens that you play, and which are your favorite(s) to play?

Snøfall: I mainly play dpp but also enjoy other old gens as well as the lower tiers of the current gen, especially gen7nu, which is a lot of fun rn. But yeah dpp is still my favorite to play.

Excal: I also love gen7nu and am starting to get into it as well! A great tier. So regarding DPP, you just played it in wcopp and if I remember correctly you had an absolutely dominating run in the tier (I think the best record of any DPP player) which definitely helped your team tremendously with making it to playoffs. Tell us about that experience! Who were the most challenging opponents you had to face? What was prep like for your opponents? Who was your favorite teammate? Feel free to add anything additional!

Snøfall: I don’t feel like there was anyone in specific who was the "most challenging”. All my opp were solid imo. It was more difficult to get into the mindset of not putting myself under pressure to win, which was really challenging me during the first 2-3 weeks, but that got better after that. I didn’t prep at all week 1, I poorly tried to cteam your usual stuff and I lost. Weeks 2-5 I brought the same team that pasy sent me, and in semis I just asked pasy again and used what he posted. Teaming with Lusch is always a pleasure because he’s a really nice and chill guy, but all in all the whole team was really fun to be with. I was pretty happy with going 5-1. Losing in semis to Brazil was kinda disapointing because luck made it impossible for our team, but overall I think this tour was definitely a success.

Excal: That's really cool to hear that you adapted eventually and that it became easier even after losing early. I definitely consider you somebody with a crazy level of consistency, so it makes sense. Speaking of adaptation, how would you describe your playstyle, and perhaps does it change depending on who you're playing?

Snøfall: I mostly just play with my gut feeling because the more I think, the more I start doubting if my first thought is actually the right thing to do, and I often tend to start overthinking the plays, which often costs me. My play style definitely changes depending on who I play, like if you know your opponent is someone who doubles every turn to get momentum you obviously try to do something against that and play accordingly.

Excal: I'm always surprised how different the answers are to that question, I like the "avoid overthinking" part a lot. I can't remember how many times I've wanted to make an extremely ballsy play in a big tournament but didn't have the guts and it backfired. So a quick aside about the Pokemon community, who are some people in the community that you've come to really respect/admire?

Snøfall: Mindset wise I have huge respect for Lusch. I could not stay that chill and calm after getting robbed 2 games in a row. He always knows how to calm people down and he just is a really nice person. Player-wise, I have huge respect for people like BKC and Ojama who keep up strong performances in multiple tiers over so many years.

Excal: I've never talked to Lusch personally, but he really seems like a nice dude. Being diverse is actually so impressive to me because I'm currently working on diversifying my gens played myself. That's really interesting though. So back to DPP, obviously it's a very interesting time for DPP because Latias has just been freed onto the ladder, which has spurred a ton of attention and discussion to the meta. As an active DPPer, what are your thoughts on Latias returning?

Snøfall: Unsure right now. Before I expected it to be really centralizing but now that it’s there it seems fine to me. Competitive wise I think with or without it dpp will be fine. Personally I don’t like the rather slow lati meta and I would like it to stay banned but that’s just my subjective opinion.

Excal: Yeah I too lightened my opposition to it. I do agree with you that I still want it banned. I'm definitely looking forward to at least getting a result because right now it feels like there's not really an official meta. But anyway, let's talk a bit about yourself. What are some of your hobbies outside of Pokemon?

Snøfall: I play table tennis in the club in my town, and go running with a friend on the weekends. I really enjoy reading, mostly fantasy books but also some crime stories. Studying for a job 8h a day is taking most of my time, but I enjoy that as well. I have really nice colleagues and it’s quite fun.

Excal: That's really cool! I didn't know you were into reading. That sounds really chill. What type of music do you enjoy listening to the most? Do you have a favorite song?

Snøfall: Mostly all kind of different rock directions. Bands like Billy Talent, Linkin Park, Papa Roach. Occasionally I’m listening to some more mainstream radio type of music as well just to have variety. My favorite album is the first LP album Hybrid Theory. Favorite Song rn is from Billy Talent called Horses & Chariots.

Excal: I've actually never heard of Billy Talent, but I do like rock and that kind of punk-rock edgy-rock (whatever you wanna call it) direction as well. Do you have a favorite food?

Snøfall: Curry meatballs with rice made by my mom.

Excal: Aw that's amazing! Certain homecooked dishes are just incredible. Last question: what's the origin of your username? (Both Akiko Yosano and snøfall)

Snøfall: First was a character from the anime bungou stray dogs that I really enjoyed, and I picked it because my username before that was really bad and I couldn’t think of anything better at that time. The second one is the name of the instrumental opening of an Album called "Silence in the Snow" from the band Trivium.

Excal: Wow, definitely two very different username origins! Very cool. Do you have anything else you want to add? Any shoutouts?

Snøfall: Thanks to all the people I’ve met through this site and made it an enjoyable time for me.

Excal: Wonderful, thanks so much for the interview! It was a pleasure :D

Snøfall: Been a pleasure for me as well. Thanks for having me.
RoA Interview #19: Joyverse

Sakito: Hello everybody today I'm in the presence of Joyverse, who's one of the RoA Tour Night host and one of the Interviewers himself. He also has been promoted to room voice recently on RoA. How are you doing, Joy?

Joyverse: I'm doing fine, Sakito. Pretty nice, actually. How about you?

Sakito: I'm fine too, thanks! so to start this interview, how did you discover Pokémon Showdown?

Joyverse: I only had experience playing on Wifi on Pokémon Platinum, that too not that well. I wanted to learn competitive 'mons but had no idea how to. I ended finding some videos of people playing on PS on a fansite called Psypoke late-2013. That's how I ended up here.

Sakito: Awesome! playing wifi battles on Pokémon Platinum must have been fun. Can you tell us where you nickname comes from? I find it funny.

Joyverse: It's actually quite simple really. Joy's my nickname irl and I just added Universe. It's short for Joy's Universe.

Sakito: Pretty cool! Do you have a favorite Pokémon?

Joyverse: Hmm. I have lots of them. But I were to pick just one it has to be Reshiram. I love both the types and the design's cool. It's just an extremely handsome pokémon!

Sakito: I see, I know that you're playing Ubers, do you prefer Ubers more than Overused and why?

Joyverse: I sure do prefer Ubers more than OU. It's more or less the childhood dream of spamming multiple legendary/potent pokémon all at once which has solidified into maining the tier (and the past gens of em) as whole. I still keep in touch with OU though.

Sakito: I had this childhood dream too haha, what is the best Ubers metagame between all the gens according to you?

Joyverse: ADV Ubers. ADV Ubers is my most favorite gen. The fact that each threat can cover up and take on different threats makes me feel it's the most balanced generation so far. The true power-creep wasn't evident until Gen 4. DPP comes next due it being an extremely offensive gen while still being interesting thanks to the amount of stuff you can bring out combined with the surprise factor of no-preview. That said; BW Ubers comes next followed by XY (yep) and ORAS and SM for last in the order.

Sakito: Alright, what's your favorite Legendary theme in Pokémon?

Joyverse: It's a tie between Giratina-Origin's theme from Platinum and Necrozma's theme from USUM. Can't pick between those two.

Sakito: Who are the best people you've ever met on smogon?

Joyverse: Oh, boy. There are and have been a lot. I know a lot of them from an earlier stint in Pokémon Online but I'm to name people I've met in PS/Smogon they're probably TJ, Rageeeee, Lutra, xJoelituh, and Ransei from the RoA side of things. Eseque and the Indian/Bangla squad deserve a mention as they're a hecking jolly bunch to mix with. And last, and most important are the Mukkers (my UPL team) especially Absdaddy, Lasen, Tape, Reje, Wreckdra and Lucos and the people from Ubers whom I play and talk with daily (Shrang, Henri (;-;), Terra, Jase Duken, Dovah, Skysolo, and Rabbit) and there's also the new peeps at RoA such as Excal who're chill folks. I've many more to name but I'll stop here.

Sakito: Do you listen to music ? if yes what are you listening to?

Joyverse: I listen to a lot of music! Maybe too much. It's mostly metal (and its many subgenres), Folk Rock, Prog Rock, Hardcore Punk and occasional Electronica/EDM. Currently I'm listening to a rotation of Led Zeppelin, Warbringer, Death and, The Human Abstract. This'll change by next week but genres will be similar.

Sakito: We have similar tastes I would say, I love Led Zeppelin too! What was the best battle you've ever had on PS ? you can share a replay if you have.

Joyverse: I truly don't have any one best battle for myself. I've had some extremely bad matches and some awesome ones. My Ubers Classic and RoAlympics run were some quality games. Most of my best matches happen to be from roomtours so it's especially hard to pick one!

Sakito: Haha I see. Do you have any goals on smogon right now?

Joyverse: Hmm. It's been a while since I've assumed position as both a Tour Night host and Interviewer for RoA. I'd like to do more for this community one way or the other and possibly polish my battling skills in other tiers alongside which is not something I'm really focussed at.

Sakito: To finish this interview, I saw that you were a pepe emote abuser on discord haha, what is your favorite emote?

Joyverse: This cursed combination of pepe emotes:
Sakito: Amazing haha, do you want to add anything before the end of the interview?

Joyverse: Nothing more. Peace people and may pepe bless your memed souls! :]

Sakito: Well, thank you very much, it was a real pleasure.

Joyverse: Sure thing, thanks for interviewing me!
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Spreadsheeter by day, Random Ladderer by night.
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RoA Interview #20: Jellicent

Lutra: In this edition of RoA Room Interviews, we are talking to Jellicent, founder of RoA, and also of RoA Mini-tournaments and Old Gen Tour Nights. Jellicent, how did you find Smogon and what was your first simulator?

Jellicent: Well, I first found out about competitive Pokemon during DP era, while looking for more to do in the post-game on a nifty walkthrough site called PsyPokes. I quickly found Smogon and lurked for a few years, just reading warstories / usage stats threads / RMTs / early Smog stuff. I also enjoyed messing around in UU (and OU following Crobat's ban) on Shoddy Battle, though I couldn't even tell you what names I was using back then since I'd usually make a new alt after losing a game, haha.

Lutra: So what were you doing on Smogon when you finally joined and how did RoA come about?

Jellicent: It was an article in The Smog about the Grammar / Prose Team that actually got me interested in joining. After reading up on the standards and checking out some other people's checks for reference, I started doing am checks with my first posts. I mostly stuck to C&C for a couple months, but I sort of switched focus when Orange Islands was introduced. The budding in-game community was a lot of fun and I ended up modding it early on.

Ruins of Alph was a total mess at that time. Most discussions were in-game related, with threads like "Which starter did you choose in GSC?" and RMTs for beating the Elite Four. There was some talk of moving all of them to OI, which would've muddied up the sort of scene we were starting there. I volunteered to clean it up and wound up reading through everything. Stuff like bad RMTs with really thought out responses were left, along with actual competitive discussions. A handful did get moved to OI, but about 1800 threads were just dumped into a hidden forum (and eventually hard deleted, I guess). From there, I set up a few stickies like the Resource Archive and SQSA, as well as the IRC channel and first Mini-Tour. Some cool folks like sandshrewz, Umby, and Hipmonlee helped get the ball rolling with new discussions and projects, and the community just slowly grew from there.

Lutra: What are your thoughts on the current state of RoA? Do you have any goals for it?

Jellicent: I think RoA's in a good place right now. We have several quality discussions going at the moment, as well as a steady amount of tournaments. Granted, it's a naturally quieter joint than the other competitive forums, so we could always use some new blood to liven things up a bit. As for goals, I don't really have anything major planned at the moment, just smaller things that I'd like to get around to when I have a chance (like C&C / resource stuff, some discussion topics / projects floating around in my head, etc.)

Lutra: What generations, now, interest you the most competitively?

Jellicent: RBY is hands down my favorite. It's just Pokemon battling at its most fundamental. Risk vs reward dominates decision-making, from the crazy crit rates to the high-chance secondary effects (Psychic, Body Slam) to the total status dominance of paralysis (the limited rivals just being inaccurate sleeps and inconsistent freezes) to the dicier powerful attacks (Hyper Beam, Explosion). You need to constantly adapt and reassess your best odds, understand how to maximize instances of luck in your favor. On the flip side, most competitive teams are fairly similar and the hits are a bit softer, so a poor matchup isn't as big of a factor as in later gens (which is an element of luck that I'm happy to drop).

After that, it's a toss-up between GSC and DPP. GSC because of its more calculated pace, and DPP for its overall balance with room for creativity. BW's probably fourth, mostly for RU, though I dig some NU and OU too. ADV is one that I never got quite as into for some reason, but I still enjoy playing every so often. I honestly haven't seriously played ORAS and SM, mostly just messed around with Randbats a bit. On that note, GSC Randbats might be my second favorite format, after RBY OU.

Lutra: Do you feel there will be a time when people won't favour the current generation over old generations?

Jellicent: Any time a new gen comes out, there's always a decent chunk of folks that prefer the previous one (which makes sense, since it's more familiar and has already been balanced.) Overall, though, nothing matches the hype of a new generation launching, and the main focus will always be on that. Whenever they finally stop making new Pokemon games, though, we'll likely see old gens grow in prominence as the community itself slowly shrinks.

Lutra: Which users do you miss most out of those no longer active?

Jellicent: Tough question. There are too many to list without forgetting some and feeling bad later, haha. I still occasionally chat with some buds that've gone inactive, though a handful haven't been around in years. I really miss having certain old crowds together, if that makes sense. Like, back when #grammar was super active, #orangeislands on movie nights, #thesmog during crunch time, various staff and social chats where I could just shoot the shit with friends. If any of my old IRC buds happen to be reading this, hit me up on Discord some time to catch up.

Lutra: What achievement are you most proud of in this competitive Pokemon community?

Jellicent: As far as competitive achievements go, nothing in particular springs to mind. I rarely actually join tours since I hate trying to schedule battles each week. I'd say I'm more proud of what I've been able to accomplish for the community. Over the years, I've been involved with a lot of different aspects of this site and managed to make some cool changes for its betterment. In that regard, I'm probably most proud of building up the RoA scene. Leading the transition from The Smog to The Flying Press was also a fun but hectic endeavor that I consider quite successful overall.

Lutra: Thanks very much for your answers. Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Jellicent: Nah, just thanks for taking the time to interview me.
RoA Interview #21: Alpha Male Psyduck

(Interview took place on 28th October 2018)

Joyverse: Alright then folks, and good evening! I'm Joyverse and I'll be interviewing Alpha Male Psyduck a.k.a AMP who's currently one of the top 8 finalists for the October RoA playoffs! So tell me, AMP, how are you feeling?

Alpha Male Psyduck: Well I'm feeling pretty excited about this current playoff. The field is stacked with good players, it should be a lot of fun. I'm also happy with the RoA community as a whole right now, it seems to be active with lots of quality players and good competition.

Joyverse: The field is sure stacked up with some dangerous players. Anyone you're looking out for?

Alpha Male Psyduck: Well, my round one match up against pasy will be a hard one, then if I get lucky enough to get past that I might be facing Excal who is a total beast in the later gens. I have his number in RBY though, so that could be a fun match up if it happens.

Joyverse: Ah yes, the mighty pasy_g. That'd be a hard one. Excal too knows his stuff well. But hey, speaking of competitive Pokémon and Pokémon as a whole, how were you introduced to it?

Alpha Male Psyduck: I had the Pokémon Stadium games as a kid, for N64. I actually still have them, they're great games! I also played Pokémon Silver for the Gameboy, but that was the only cartridge game I've ever played! Showdown was my first introduction to playing competitive Pokémon, and I actually found it by complete accident. I saw someone casually mention it on another site and I thought the concept seemed cool. It brought back memories of playing pokemon stadium as a kid! I'm glad I stumbled upon Showdown and Smogon though, it's a really cool place.

Joyverse: Quite similar to how I ended up in competitive mons myself. Since we're on the subject of tiers and competitive 'mons, how would you rate the generations so far and what are your favorite tiers to play. Why?

Alpha Male Psyduck: RBY will always hold a place in my heart, it will probably always be my favorite. The first Stadium game is the one I really played as a kid and when I joined Showdown RBY randoms was the tier I first learned to play! I also started recently playing GSC seriously and I love it as well, I like the methodical approach to it. ADV is a fun challenge. The first three gens are my favorites for sure. Though the one thing I like about RoA is that it allows me a chance to experience all types of tiers that I wouldn't have tried otherwise.

Joyverse: Agreed. RoA does make you experience a lot of tiers you wouldn't have touched. Now, that we're done with the nitty-gritty of competitiveness, let's get to the community, shall we? What are the aspects you enjoy most about this community you're in? Especially in terms of RoA, what facets catch your eye first, who do you look up to? What other rooms do you hit upon and such?

Alpha Male Psyduck: Honestly the thing that first drew me to the RoA community was the opportunity to consistently play in room tours in old gens that I liked playing in. I was on Showdown for like a year or so before I found RoA, surprisingly, and whenever I saw tournament games going on of the old gens I thought it would be cool to be able to consistently play in them. RoA was the perfect fit for that. As for cool people I've met through RoA, there are too many to list, but I'll give a few shoutouts.

Beelzemon: he's always down for a game, and has introduced me to many funky tiers in gen 1 and gen 2. I always enjoy our practice games, buddy.

HML AM: Same thing, we've played tons of practice games in lots of gens.

As for some other shoutouts: Czarpokemon, Excal, Sam Samantha, TJ and many others, this community is definitely full with cool people who I've appreciated getting to know in some capacity. The trivia room has a very cool community, probably my favorite room outside of RoA. I'm a pretty competitive person, and they frequently have trivia competitions, so that caught my attention. Also most of the time you get to create your own trivia question. And I also frequent the sports room, and chess (though the community there is super small).

Joyverse: I see you're quite the competitive person, aren't you? Let's talk about what you do out of 'mons? How competitive are you in real life?

Alpha Male Psyduck: Hmm, well I play a lot of chess and other strategy games. I also play poker as a hobby, which oddly has some similarities to competitive pokémon, particularly in luck manipulation. I played sports in high school and can still get pretty competitive in pick up games.

Joyverse: Right-O, my guess on point. Let's get to know more about you, shall we? Where are you from and what are you currently doing? And, of course, what are your goals for the future?

Alpha Male Psyduck: Alright, I'm from the US, New England specifically. I'm currently in school, as a physics major. I will probably go on to grad school after I graduate if I can't find a great relevant job in engineering. Outside of that though, one of my biggest goals is to put myself in a position where I can consistently travel. I visited South America last spring with a group of friends and it was a really great experience.

Joyverse: South America? It's on my bucket list for sure, I really want to hit places like Brazil myself. That said, what's the story behind your name: Alpha Male Psyduck?

Alpha Male Psyduck: Ha, I wish I had a cool story for my name! When I first joined showdown I'd just make silly names, play on them for a bit and then change them. This must have just popped into my head and I thought it was kinda amusing so I just ran with it.

Joyverse: Silly names? Mind giving us some examples?

Alpha Male Psyduck: Haha, my memory isn't that good. Of course, I'm still doing that though, most of you probably know I've been laddering on RBY recently with "Beelzemon3002".

Joyverse: Yes, I did, in fact, know that was you but had my doubts. So, chess, pokemon and such aside. Are there any other interests that have caught your fancy over the years? Books? Music? Movies? Other video games?

Alpha Male Psyduck: One of my favorite books is "Kafka on the Shore" by Haruki Murakami. It follows the story of a teenage boy traveling alone through Japan but also interweaves in other storylines, there is a lot of cool surrealism in the book. I also have read a lot of Stephen King, a lot of his stories take place in Maine or New England, in places I'm familiar with, which adds to why I like him. But my favorite series by him is the Dark Tower Series, which takes place both in our universe and in an alternate one.

In terms of Movies, I'm a big Tarantino fan, Inglourious Basterds (yes spelt that way) being my favorite. Also a big fan of Lord of the Rings. Donnie Darko is a great movie, I'm a fan of dumb comedies too, so got to include Superbad and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Music is way too extensive to list. I like a lot of Punk and Alternative. Grew up listening to Classic Rock because of my parents. I've dabbled in playing the piano, guitar, and drums but I'm no expert.

Joyverse: Ah, Murakami. I've read A Wild Sheep Chase by him myself, that was a solid book. LoTR, seen the movies and read the book just to be sure, hehe! Oooh, those music genres are something I listen to regularly. What are your favorite band/artists?

Alpha Male Psyduck: Too many to list, but here's a random group of the top of my head: Streetlight Manifesto, Bad Religion, Alice in Chains, Regina Spektor (yeah), The Doors, The Devil Makes Three, Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen (because of my dad), Antiflag, Fleetwood Mac (because of my mom), Audioslave, Lorde, BORNS, etc.

Joyverse: Hah! That's a nice and balanced list out there. I listen to quite a bunch of them myself. I'm almost towards the end of my question list. Let's bounce back to Smogon and PS! What's your most memorable moment in PS? Doesn't have to be specifically from RoA.

Alpha Male Psyduck: My most memorable moments are honestly just random chats I've had with people I've met through Showdown, making friends through this cool community. I also remember I forgot to give Socks & Crocs a shoutout, he's been super helpful in my pursuit of playing GSC, always down to talk strategy and help out with teams. If you're asking about personal achievements, it was pretty cool to sweep and win all 3 tours in a RBY tour night. Also topping the RBY randoms ladder and staying on top for a few weeks was nice.

Joyverse: Topping a Random Battle ladder sure is hard, not just a grasp of the mechanics. But, you're also dancing with luck every game. Sure is a hard ladder to climb. It's about time I wrap up this interview. Anything else you wish to say to the spectators and the people who'll soon read it?

Alpha Male Psyduck: I think we've covered everything! I appreciate the spectators for sticking this out and putting up with listening to me talk about myself for so long! Thanks for the interview, this was fun.

Joyverse: Thank you, AMP for taking the time for this interview. I'm quite pleased with how the interview turned assuming the time it took us both. And thanks to the spectators for being here while we chatted away!

Alpha Male Psyduck: Yeah, thanks guys for sticking it out!
RoA Interview #22: Rageeeee

Mindnight: Hello, Rageeeee! You are known to be a moderator of the RoA Room, can you tell us a little bit about you?

Rageeeee: Hello there! Thanks for having me. There's not too much to tell: I'm just a Canadian who likes old gens and music!

Mindnight: What is your favorite Pokémon?

Rageeeee: Espeon of course, the only true eeveelution!

Mindnight: Can you tell us the story behind your name?

Rageeeee: I wish I had a good answer for that, but honestly I have no clue. I used to float around with non-registered accounts, then for some reason I decided to register this.

Mindnight: What tiers do you like especially and why?

Rageeeee: Gen 3 and Gen 6 OU, Gen 1 and 6 Ubers, and Gen 4 UU (because Donphantastic forced it onto me).

Mindnight: What was your first Pokemon game and when did you get into competitive Pokémon

Rageeeee: Pokemon Emerald, a game I've played far too many times, and probably part of the reason I like gen 3 (and what I know of 6 so much), and only about a year ago when I realized that showdown was more than just random battles

Mindnight: Do you have any goals for Pokémon?

Rageeeee: My only goals lately have been to help RoA be a better community, but competitive wise I'd like to get better in RBY, ADV and DPP.

Mindnight: Do you have any high level players that you follow very closely?

Rageeeee: I don't really follow players, but I've seen the likes of Lavos, Sceptross, CZ and FOMG play remarkably well and would aspire to be a quarter of how good they are.

Mindnight: Do you have a replay that you like particularly?

Rageeeee: One replay that always amuses me is this Gen 2 Little Cup Item Clause battle with Beelzemon:

Mindnight: Are there people with whom you get along well?

Rageeeee: There are tons! I love the communities of both RoA and the Studio, having made awesome friends like yourself, Sceptross, CZ, Joyverse and many others along the way!

Mindnight: Do you play other games besides Pokémon Showdown?

Rageeeee: I’ve been a fan of the CoD Black Ops Zombie series throughout the years, and the latest release has kept me into it.

Mindnight: Alright I don’t have any more questions. Do you have anything else you want to say?

Rageeeee: Not really, other than thanks for waiting over a week for me to finally put this together! Sorry I don't really have much to say.

Mindnight: No worries, thank you for the interview!
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RoA Interview #23: Golden Gyarados

Sakito: Hello everyone! I'm joined today by Golden Gyarados, who's a Driver and a tour host on RoA room. How are you doing today?

Golden Gyarados: I'm doing well, thanks, how are you?

Sakito: I'm doing well too, thanks. So to start, can you tell us more about yourself?

Golden Gyarados: Sure. I'm definitely one of the older players here on Smogon - I'm in my early 30s and played RBY on cartridge when they first came out! I work as a consultant, and as a hobby I'm a competitive dancer - both of which keep me on the road a lot.

Sakito: Fantastic! When did you discover Showdown? And how many years have you been playing on the simulator?

Golden Gyarados: I've been playing on the simulator for over 5 years - I played a liiiiiittle bit on NetBattle, then migrated over to Pokemon Online, and then finally made the switch to Showdown when the Gen 1 mechanics were stabilized.

Sakito: I'm guessing you're a RBY enthusiast, is it your favorite generation? Can you sort all the generations from the one you like the most to the one you like the least?

Golden Gyarados: Haha I am almost exclusively a Gen 1 player :) I dabble in Gen 2 competitively because I love the GSC cartridge games, and I host GSC Tuesdays, but it's a meta that has never really grabbed me as much as I would have hoped. Beyond that, my only real exposure to the later gens is through Random Battles. I'll join any Random Battle tournament I see and will hop on those ladders, too - I like being "aware" of what's going on in the later generations with new Pokemon and mechanics, but Gen 1 is really where my heart is at.

Sakito: So you sticked to Gen 1 since the beginning :o What's the story behind your username?

Golden Gyarados: I was active on Pokemon message boards back when Gen 1 and 2 were new (places like The Pokemasters), and in previews for the release of Gold and Silver we saw screenshots of the shiny Gyarados - it was never identified as being "red" specifically and the colorization of the Game Boy Color, plus the sparkle, led everyone to assume it was golden. I was a kid and thought that was rad as hell so I picked the name Golden Gyarados as my forum handle. When I came into the Pokemon scene competitively way later and had to pick a name, I couldn't think of anything better, so I just re-used that, ha.

Sakito: Ohh i see! Do you have a favorite battle? you can share a replay if you have.

Golden Gyarados: That's a great question, and I don't have replays on hand unfortunately - but my favorite and most memorable battles were definitely some of my earliest victories: in my first team tournament, the 2014 Pokemon Online World Cup, I beat Isa in the finals which was also the match that clinched the win for my team, that felt great. Winning against Lutra and then Crystal_ back-to-back to win Pokemon Perfect's first World Championship. And the first time I beat Bedschibaer - he has always been my toughest match-up so winning versus him is always exciting. I think the logs for at least some of those exist deep in the forum archives.

Sakito: Who are the closest people you've met during your journey? Since you frequented a lot of forums and stuff, maybe you miss some?

Golden Gyarados: There are tons of great and supportive people in this community. I miss the occasional opponent who doesn't show up anymore - folks like Raish, who was always just a great guy to battle or chat with - but surprisingly most of the folks I met from the beginning are still around.

Sakito: I heard that you're leaving the scene soon, is that true ?

Golden Gyarados: Yeah, I'll be "retiring" soon but I definitely won't be leaving completely - at least not right away. Mostly I will just be drastically reducing the number of tournaments I join, stepping down from hosting tournaments and the room night, spending less time on the forums and in the room, etc. I will probably still join the occasional big tour - like the annual RBY Cup or the RBY Global Championship - but I just can't keep up the pace I've been at. I might even make a new alt and ladder quietly. I'm not exactly sure yet!

Sakito: Understandable, I see! what is your favorite Pokemon theme in the game?

Golden Gyarados: Oh man so many. Pretty much the entire RBY and GSC soundtracks define my childhood. I love the Goldenrod theme/cycling theme from GSC. Pallet Town's theme is beautiful. I can't pick!

Sakito: Haha I understand, it's so hard to pick only one. I think I went around everything, unless you wanna add something?

Golden Gyarados: Just that I've been involved in Smogon for a long time, and I'm really happy to see just how much RoA has improved and found focus under leadership from people like Jellicent and Lutra. From engaging and relevant posts in the forum, to renewed interest in old-gen tournaments, to the revitalization of the RoA room on Showdown with room tour nights and other events. It's been a blast hosting GSC Night - there are always some really enthusiastic players who show up every week to make it fun. I hope you all keep up the great energy and I'm excited to hop in every now and then to see how things keep improving :)

Sakito: Thanks for your time and answering questions :D It was a pleasure!

Golden Gyarados: Thank you as well!
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