All Gens RoA Interviews

Lutra

Spreadsheeter by day, Random Ladderer by night.
is a Community Leaderis a Community Contributor
RoA Leader
Another update:

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. "
10+ room nights wins was upped to 15+ room night wins; otherwise the room championship categories were expanded and categories for: interviewers and forum staff were added.

At some point, room auth and all the RoA forum tournament categories will be added, but I'd like to get exhaustive lists first before adding them.

We are currently running a poll in the room on the frequency of RoA Interviews posts. Please vote if you have an opinion on that.
 
RoA Interview #24: tjdaas

Mindnight: Hello everyone! Today I'll be interviewing tjdaas, who's a Moderator and an old tour nights host in the RoA room! How are you?

tjdaas: I'm doing well, how about you?

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

tjdaas: I'm a 22 year old Dutchmen who’s in his last year of his master chemistry and likes to play/host mons. I would consider myself an old-gens player, although I still dabble in new gen tiers like SM LC. However, I’m starting to move on to hosting tours instead of playing in them.

Mindnight: Nice! Did you participate in many tournaments, big or small? Tell us a little bit about that

tjdaas: I have joined both the biggest tours (Cups and Opens) and the smallest tours (like Mew Medley), but I did poorly in most of them with the exception of Mew Medley! Most of the tours are fun to play although I’m not a big fan of teamtours for a similar reason as lighthouses said in this post: https://www.smogon.com/forums/threa...ii-stage-2-week-5.3642666/page-2#post-7937620 Except for WCoPP 1 though, which was the most fun I’ve had in pokemon. It was just a bunch of fun guys, trying to win every week and I met a lot of good friends because of it. But for individuals, winning games, especially hard fought battles, can be an amazing feeling. I also played in WCoP in the qualifiers for Benelux, but had a hard game vs Mael but couldn’t break his team, and we lost.

Mindnight: I see! You did a lot of tournaments! Oh, by the way, what's your favorite gen? Do you have a replay that you particularly like in this gen? If so, why?

tjdaas: My favorite in game gen is gen 3, but for competitive it is DPP. It was the first tier that people thought I was solid in and I just think it’s really fun to play. My favorite replay in DPP would be: https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen4ou-309774 (week 1 of POCL 2017) because beating one of the top players of the generation felt amazing. I don’t have a particular replay in DPP from top players that I remember to this day, so I can't share one of those.

Mindnight: Oh, so you main DPP. That's great! So what do you think of the recent Latias suspect?

tjdaas: I dont think Latias would be that broken in the end. It will a top tier threat but you can handle it. However, I don’t really like how the tier has shifted since the drop (although that is not really a good argument to let it stay banned). More importantly, I think people shouldn't try to change old gens tiers unless something is really really broken or unenjoyable (like baton pass for example) because that is just how they ended up and how people then thought they were good so I would vote stay banned at the moment. But I like to keep an open mind nonetheless.

Mindnight: Are there people on pokémon that you particularly like? Competitive players? A word to tell them?

tjdaas: A lot! So lets start by my first and best friend that I made due to mons, and that is Drud. He is just an amazing guy who always had my back and helped my grow as a player. Other RoA regulars like Diego, Lutra, FOMG, Samuel, you and especially Sceptross are also awesome guys. The same counts for all the PP and LC folks like Djokra, HSOWA and Eseque. I'm probs forgetting some people, so sorry for that! I also like Shoka of course! But playing wise I don't really have a preference as long as they know what they are doing (and don't use nidostall) I enjoy playing them.

Mindnight: What are your goals now in Pokemon?

tjdaas: Winning a HGSS Master Tournament on PP is the only real goal I have at the moment as a player. As a host, however, I would love to host a big tour like a smogon tour, a classic cup, or an open in the future, and maybe some big teamtours as well. Hosting the DPP GC, WCoPP and POWC was amazing and I would love to host even bigger tours than that

Mindnight: We went around the questions I had to ask you! A last word to say or not before finishing this interview?

tjdaas: Not really, I just want to thank you for the interview!

Mindnight: Don't worry! Thank you for your time and answering questions! It was a pleasure :D
s/o Shoka and Excal
 
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Lutra

Spreadsheeter by day, Random Ladderer by night.
is a Community Leaderis a Community Contributor
RoA Leader


The result of the poll is not quite decisive, but we will interpret it by going down from the 5x Weekly rate to 3x Weekly for the next few weeks, and then 2x Weekly, before finally going weekly once we feel we have caught up enough.
 

Lutra

Spreadsheeter by day, Random Ladderer by night.
is a Community Leaderis a Community Contributor
RoA Leader
RoA Interview #25: Bedschibaer

Lutra: Today we are joined by former RoA forum moderator and Old Gens Room Owner, Bedschibaer. Bedschibaer, how did you discover Pokémon sims and Smogon?

Bedschibaer: I discovered Pokémon sims over other Pokémon-related interests I guess. I used to be really interested in the franchise in general and used to play lots of romhacks. Somewhere over forums or image boards I must've stumbled over simulators and competitive play. I vaguely remember playing on netbattle as a middle school kid and very casually played around on PO before - but only really started taking it somewhat seriously when playing regularly on Showdown during early BW2. That's also when I decided to join the Smogon forums.

Lutra: Tell us how you first got into SPL.

Bedschibaer: I got picked up at midseason for SPL V. That was the one that didn't actually have RBY in it and I was mostly playing GSC back then. User McMeghan knew me and told me to sign up since there was a shortage of decent GSC players. I thought he wanted me for his team but I actually ended up doing tryouts for the tennisace-led Tigers, whose roster consisted of 12 LC players or something like that. I got to play a couple of games and ended up with a positive record. That used to be a really big deal for inexperienced me.

Lutra: You've had a lot of success in RBY since, what do you feel are your most important achievements?

Bedschibaer: Definitely winning the RBY seasons on Pokémon Perfect. I think it was season 10 and I played by far my best game at that point. I got to the finals of every tournament of that season. I also set a record for the most points in a single season. I feel like that has been the one thing that got me recognition as more than just a decent player. I guess my latest good finish in the RBY OU Gobal Championship this year has been kinda important to me, since many people (myself included) thought I'd be a washed up relic of the past. I guess being the runner up isn't all that big of a deal, but it was important to prove to myself that I can still stir up the scene despite having missed out on playing the last SPL.

Lutra: How did the Old Gens (RoA) Room get created on PS? What kind of activities did you do in the room back then?

Bedschibaer: Back then there used to be a suggestion thread for PS and I submitted the idea for a room dedicated to older gens there. Keep in mind that this is when old gens were still being implemented on PS. I am going to be honest with you, I mostly just looked for people to play with when the room was made. That was my only real motivation to use it, because the ladders of partially buggy old gens were fairly unpopular. Apart from that there wasn't really much to do, really. Just being active and a decent user got me into the staff later on. It's kinda hard to compare the activities to what is going on in the room today with projects, regular tournaments, etc. This was all before room tournaments were a thing and the userbase was significantly smaller.

Lutra: Did you enjoy being a moderator in the RoA forum? Did it make you want to contribute more?

Bedschibaer: I was never someone who cared about badges or clout or any form of imaginative power on an internet forum. All I did was discuss topics that I enjoyed and again due to being active and decent I was asked to moderate RoA after Jorgen quit. I definitely enjoyed moderating it, because it didn't really change what I did anyways. I was going to read every post in that subforum anyways and contributed to everything that I was interested in too. Being a moderator barely changed the way I used the site.

Lutra: You have a decent likes/posts ratio, inform us about some of the posts you made that received a lot of likes.

Bedschibaer: I like to think of them as situational and observatory comedy. I never actually tried to make memes to farm some likes, they were mostly things that came to my mind when looking at the tournament community and mirroring them (for example the CBB insult generator). I don't try to force posts to be funny, I wait for a really good idea to come to my mind before making a post. I feel like many posters could take an example in that, as I see many half-assed posts out there that desperately try to be funny but mostly just come off as annoying and forced. There is a reason why I didn't make a really big post in any of the latest SPL or WCoP threads - I just didn't have any ideas that I thought were good enough. I actually considered making a compilation of all my really good posts somewhere, because I feel like they really shaped the tournament scene and its humor for a certain amount of time. Weird to think about it that way, but I guess my posts were pop-culture of a Pokémon forum. What am I even doing with my life?

Lutra: Are there any tiers you’d like to be more popular?

Bedschibaer: Definitely all the GSC tiers. I just enjoy the generation and its mechanics as a whole. Especially GSC UU, which is a very diverse and fun metagame with a tiny playerbase sadly. I also really enjoyed DPP UU and think it's one of the most well-balanced tiers ever.

Lutra: You’ve competed under Germany in past WCoPs, is the future now to compete under Austria?

Bedschibaer: I started playing in WCoP when there was neither a team Europe nor a team Austria, that's why some people might be confused why I even played for Germany to begin with. The WCoP format is very imperfect and I basically just slipped under the radar and felt like changing teams wouldn't be in the spirit of the tournament either. That we even got a team Austria together last WCoP was really surprising, but it was one of my favorite times on this website so far. The people there turned into real-life friends, which by itself has been an amazing experience for me. We definitely have great players, namely OST winner mael and OST semifinalist Charmflash, as well as several (in my opinion) underrated and active players. With a bit more support I feel like this team could be a competitive participant in the WCoP.

Lutra: What has been your favourite smogcast you featured in and what topics would you like to see for future ones?

Bedschibaer: I don't really know if I have a favorite appearance of myself in smogcasts. I think my favorite cast appearance would've actually been an RBY cast I did on a very obscure channel called CALLOUSnarrates a while ago, because it featured marcoasd, Peasounay and me rambling about the nuances of the RBY metagame. Several people actually reached out to me and told me they got new views on the game out of that discussion or learned something. Sadly the cast has been lost forever in the purge of Callous' channel. I'd love to make a new one again. That's actually also a segway into the second part of this question, I would like some high quality metagame-related discussion in smogcasts. I get it why there are casts for tournaments and all, but in the end I don't think they have too much of value to offer. It's easy to have those casts devolve into "player x is better than player y because of result z", which isn't really interesting to a majority of the playerbase. Namedropping, recapping results or just wildly speculating and trashtalking doesn't make for good content in my opinion; inviting players with strong, informed opinions on subjects of the game itself and having clear discussion points does. I had the idea of creating content myself for quite a long time, but I have a big problem with finishing projects :stuck_out_tongue:

Lutra: Anything else you’d like to mention? Thanks for your interesting answers.

Bedschibaer: Not much to say at this point, apart from thank you to everyone who affiliated themselves with RoA in any way, now or in the past. I have always enjoyed my time on this website because of the people that use it!
 

Excal

is a Community Leaderis a Tiering Contributoris a Tutor Alumnusis a Site Content Manager Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Live Chat Contributor Alumnusis a Top Contributor Alumnus
OGC Leader
RoA Interview #27: Eseque

Excal: Hello everyone! Today I'll be interviewing Eseque, who is an RoA room host. How are you?

Eseque: I'm quite well.

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

Eseque: I first got into competitive Pokémon in mid 2017, and I found out about it because I was reading online about in-game Pokémon (which I had started playing some months earlier) and found something related to competitive Pokémon (I don't quite remember what). I remember my first competitive Pokémon game was a GSC OU ladder game where I was using some baton pass sample team.

Excal: Oh cool! So normally I would ask about which gens are your favorite to play and your main gens to play at this point in the interview. However I think it's ubiquitously known that you are a DPP LC enthusiast. So first, correct me if I'm wrong in saying DPP LC is your main tier, but if I am right about this, what makes you love DPP LC so much? And tell us about your experience playing it competitively!

Eseque: DPP LC is indeed my main tier. I love DPP LC because it's very fast-paced/offensive and also does not have team preview (also has the cutest Pokémon of any tier imo :p). I first got into DPP LC in August 2017 (not too long after I started to play competitive Pokémon), and I got experience by asking for games in LC Discord and, to a lesser extent, the LC room on Pokémon Showdown. I would always use the phrase "anyone up for some dpp lc?" to do this, which turned into a meme because I said it so much. Fast forwarding somewhat, I later got bought in LCPL by the Squirtle Squad for 3000 funds. I enjoyed playing in LCPL, and this was also about when I started to build my own teams. My ultimate record wasn't all that good (3-6), although it was similar to most of my team. We ended up winning the tournament because we had 3 players who went nearly undefeated and then 6 players who had records similar to mine (as well as one player who went 1-0). Fast forwarding more, my next major DPP LC experience was in LPL, an unofficial LC team tournament, where I played for the men. (yes, that was the actual name of the team). I went 2-3 in this tournament, getting a similar record to in LCPL. I also got to play some players I did not get to in LCPL (Heysup/Melon/tjdaas/HSOWA), which I enjoyed. That sums up my DPP LC competitive experience more or less.

Excal: That's really interesting! And who doesn't love a good "anyone up for some dpp lc?" So are you proficient at any of the other LC metas? Which besides DPP do you enjoy the most and which is your least favorite?

Eseque: I am not really proficient in any other LC meta, actually. This is because I do not play any tiers with team preview, and DPP is the only significant LC meta which does not have team preview. However, I guess the one I enjoy the most other than DPP is ADV (which is very small and not played very much), and the least, although I despise all of BW/ORAS/SM, would probably be BW.

Excal: Ah I see, that makes sense. I tend to prefer non-team preview gens as well. So about OU metas: which would you say you're most proficient at, and which is your favorite?

Eseque: I am not particularly good at any OU meta, so I'm not quite sure which one I am best at, but I would say my favorite is DPP (although I quite like all of the ones without team preview).

Excal: Ah I remembered seeing you play RBY pretty well actually! But anyway, let's quickly talk about tournament hosting. How did you get into hosting tournaments? Tell us about your experience hosting!

Eseque: The first tournaments I hosted were some unofficial tournaments in the Tournaments subforum, which were called ADV/DPP Grand Slam (bo5 of Ubers/UU/NU/PU/LC, single elimination). I had the idea to host these to bring attention to DPP and ADV lower tiers, which I quite like and think do not get enough play. I realized then that I enjoyed hosting, so I started to do it more. Since then, I have hosted a good few tournaments (including some live tournaments), mainly on PP and RoA. My experience hosting has mostly been very good, with the exception of PPL, which turned out rather poorly ;w;

Excal: LOL I heard about PPL. It seems like many realize after hosting one tournament or so that they really enjoy it. That definitely was the experience with me. So now let’s talk a bit about the Pokemon community: who in the community have you come to really respect/admire?

Eseque: There are quite a lot of people who I talk to a lot with and like in the Pokémon community. From LC, I'd say the people I know the best are Gummy and Terri. From PP, I'd say the people I know the best are Sceptross, tjdaas, Drud (although he isn't really active on PP anymore), and Disaster Area. These are just the people who I know the best though, there are many others who I like and talk to sometimes in both communities, but if I listed all of them this list would probably get too long.

Excal: I feel that, but that's a quality list regardless! Anyway, let's talk a bit about yourself. What are some of your hobbies outside of Pokemon?

Eseque: My hobbies outside of Pokémon are mainly learning about new things. I especially enjoy reading Wikipedia and the news/politics, as well as watching educational YouTube videos. I am interested in a lot of different subjects, but my favorite (which is also the field I want to study when I go to university) is chemistry.

Excal: Very cool! So if you could pick only one pastime activity between reading and listening to music, which would you pick? And what are some of your favorites (books/songs)?

Eseque: Since my hobbies are mainly reading, my answer depends on whether or not you are including online reading. If you are, then I would definitely choose reading, but if you are not and only counting book reading, I would choose listening to music, as I do not read very many books and dislike most fiction. My favorite book is the Gita (my religion is very important to me), but my favorite fiction book (series) is the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (it's the only fiction book (series) I like, really). As for my favorite song, it's You're a Strange Animal by Lawrence Gowan


Excal: Those are really interesting choices! And that about wraps up the questions I have for you. Is there anything else you want to add? Any shoutouts?

Eseque: For shoutouts, I think I already said who I know the best in the Pokémon community, so I will not do anything further in that regard right now. Other than that, there is not too much I would like to add. Thank you for interviewing me!

Excal: And thank you very much for participating in this interview, it's been an absolute pleasure! :D
 

Sakito

that's why i gave up on music
is a Tutoris a Site Content Manageris a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributor Alumnus
Moderator
RoA Interview #28: undisputed

Sakito: Hello all! Today we have undisputed, RoA Forum moderator and a great player in general. How are you today, undisputed?

undisputed: I'm doing well. Currently studying in the library! Taking a break for this interview. Thanks for having me as a guest.

Sakito: Nice :D Thank you for taking the time for this interview. I know you've been really busy recently. To begin, can you introduce yourself in a few lines?

undisputed: For sure. I joined Smogon in 2008 when DPP OU was the main gen and Shoddy was our simulator. I played mostly on the ladder, and joined some small forum tournaments like the Late Night Tournament. I remember one of my goals was to be good enough to join the US West wcop team one day. Over the course of maybe 6 months I was extremely addicted, practiced a lot, and started meeting some of the more prominent users on the site. Eventually I signed up for B101, and worked with Philip7086, who taught me a lot about the game, and accelerated my development into a strong player. Since then, I've become known for my ADV play particularly, but I've had moderate success in all OU gens too.

Sakito: Really interesting, the era of shoddy must have been a fun time. So you're an ADV main, what do you like in ADV that there's not in other gens?

undisputed: Yeah, perhaps an interesting side note is that I didn't really choose ADV. I feel like people decided I was an ADV main and I just went along with it. It's grown on me a lot over the the years because it strikes a good balance between simplicity and more complex interactions that you find in later gens. In ADV you see the same 20 or so Pokemon, so you can get a really deep knowledge of what every Pokemon does and can do, whereas newer gens like SM OU offers uncountable possibilities of Pokemon, moves, z moves, etc and feel far more like a guessing game. Even though ADV is simple in that regard, it maintains enough variety to keep things fresh and innovative in the top tournaments unlike a gen like RBY which is literally the same 5 pokemon + filler every game. I would also say I like the mechanics of ADV (like spike sacking, leftovers mechanic, etc) but that's probably because I'm most used to them, not because they make a ton of sense or ought to be that way.

Sakito: I see, the deep knowledge, that is preserved, explains all the complex EVs spreads in ADV. What are the competitive achievements you are most proud of?

undisputed: Hmm, I would say the competitive achievement I'm most proud of is my SPL 8 and 9 performances in ADV. I played for the Sharks in SPL 8 and Ruiners in SPL 9, and these SPLs in particular I had time to invest and do the best I possibly could. I practiced a lot and spent a lot of time putting together the best teams for each week. Over the two SPLs I went 15-3 in ADV against some pretty great competition, so I'm very proud of that in particular. s/o dekzeh, astamatitos, and UD for being the only players to take a game off me.

Sakito: Yeah, your SPL run is really impressive! Are you gonna do the next SPL?

undisputed: I haven't decided yet, but I'm leaning towards no. Practically speaking, I'm very busy with other priorities than smogon, so I'm not confident I could even schedule games. Also SPL is incredibly stressful, and I felt exhausted by the end of SPL 9.

Sakito: I can imagine yeah, fully understandable. Do you have hobbies outside of Smogon?

undisputed: Yeah I definitely have hobbies outside of Smogon. I hope we all do lol. I enjoy playing all types of sports. I grew up playing baseball and volleyball, but I can keep up in just about any sport that doesn't require me to run long distances. I also enjoy staying in shape / lifting. Board/card games are fun too. I'm a competitive person, so anything that gives me a competitive outlet always appeals to me. And then your usual stuff like hanging out with my friends, meeting new people, watching netflix/movies, etc are all fun, though not very unique haha.

Sakito: Very cool! What's the story behind your username?

undisputed: No crazy story. I started off as “undisput3d”. I guess I thought the 3 looked cool or edgy when I was 14. I dropped the 3 after like a year to become “undisputed” as I’m known now. Back then, I liked the word because it seemed to have a strong feeling to it with no bad popular media connotation and a collection of aesthetic characters (ie I thought the written word itself looked nice).

Sakito: Oh I see. Are you listening to music? If yes, what type of music?

undisputed: I am not currently listening to music, because I get too into it and can't focus on what I'm reading, but I do enjoy music, particularly alt rnb, hip hop, and some trap. Drake, the weeknd, travis scott, khalid, and post malone are some of my current favorite artists.

Sakito: Great :D Along your 10 years playing in the competitive scene of Pokémon, who have you come to respect and admire?

undisputed: I don't really think of Pokémon skills as that admirable of a trait, but I respect and admire BKC, Philip7086, and Lavos, as do a lot of people. They're great players but more importantly great people.

Sakito: Do you enjoy being a RoA forum moderator? Is that something you want to continue despite spending less time on the site?

undisputed: The responsibility isn't very big to be honest. RoA is a pretty low key forum that only a few people even know about let alone can find. Consequently most posters know what the culture is like and what's acceptable, so there just isn't a ton to do besides moderating controversial topics like the Latias DPP suspect thread.

Sakito: Oh ok, to conclude this interview, what is the most memorable battle you had? You can share a replay if you have one.

undisputed: Hmm, I'd say one of my more memorable battles that comes to mind is my game vs. asta in w1 of SPL 9 https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen3ou-339534 it was memorable for several reasons:

1) You always want to start off season with a W. Really sets the pace for the rest of the season.

2) The "power rankers" had listed me as an under dog in this game, so it was nice to get a W in the face of that.

3) I played a really tight, clean game on several levels. My plays would make sense to pretty much everyone watching, but there was a fair amount of "meta plays" that were going on in the background. For that game, I took an old team and revamped it with a new combination of sets. I started the game playing as if it were the old team (which I knew asta knew), and that allowed me to make some really big key plays that frankly turned the game into kind of a blow out.

Sakito: Very nice match! It's the end of the interview, I think we went around everything, unless you wanna add something?

undisputed: Nah, I don't have anything else pressing to add haha, Thank you Sakito!

Sakito: Thank you man, I enjoyed this one!
 
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RoA Interview #29: Louna

Mindnight: Hi everyone, today I’m going to interview Louna, who made the RoA championship playoffs and right now is still in the running for the RBY seasonal. Hi Louna! How are you?

Louna: Hey Mindnight! I’m fine, and you?

Mindnight: I'm fine, thanks! tell us a little about yourself.

Louna: My name is Axel and I’m 19, turning 20 in 2 weeks. I’m living in France, and I’ve been working for a month and a half, which I really enjoy. Outside of that I’m a big fan of music in general, especially reggae, techno, and a HUGE piano lover even though I don’t know shit about it, it just sounds hella relaxing. And I’m planning to try to learn how to play guitar (classic for now) in a few weeks. I also enjoy watching movies, dancing, and cooking since I’ve been learning how to cook at school. Even if I’m not the best student by far it is a nice experience and cooking is so cool because you can use all your creativity to discover new savor and just make people happy with food in general.

Mindnight: That’s really cool! And tell us about your experience as a competitor in Pokemon!

Louna: Well I don't think I have done anything notable in my "career" especially now that I don’t consider myself as a pokemon player anymore (because I don't enjoy playing as much as I did before), but I've been playing lower tiers more than anything for as long as I can remember. It's only when SM came out and when I discovered SM lower tiers where I've been messing with older gens as I really don’t like SM at all,. I’ve never been really invested on Smogon bar during ORAS where I enjoyed contributing to the multiples projects that were hosted in the NU and UU subforums. Discussing, having fun, and just playing with my French friends has always been the thing I’ve enjoyed the most about this game, and that’s the thing that has kept me here for around 10 years now.

Mindnight: What attracts you more to lower tiers compared to OU?

Louna: I think that room for creativity has always been what attracts me in this game, so innovating with lesser used mons was easier and more fun for me to do in lower tiers than in OU. Also I’ve always been a huge fan of Jynx and sadly it isn't viable in the higher tiers :/

Mindnight: Who are some players on Smogon that you’re close to?

Louna: I'm a bit of a ghost, and most of my closest friends don't play anymore sadly, but I like talking about pokemon and everything else with Mindnight, Skyrio, Givrix, Lucix, Algeria and I enjoy playing these spontaneous Bo50 random other meta with Laevin (also pls Miyoka come back tu me manques enfoiré).

Mindnight: Do you have any goals for competitive Pokémon right now?

Louna: Not really, but I’d like to improve in most older gens (especially RBY, GSC, and DPP) and make a decent run in an OG seasonal or a classic cup. But I’d like to do this by myself, using my own teams, preparing alone, etc.

Mindnight: I had a question from the beginning, what's your favorite tier and gen?

Louna: Hmm tough question but if I had to choose one tier, it would be bw2 nu because it’s where everything started for me. I remember so many good times laddering with majaspic22, which used to use an offensive alt, while I was hardly making it into top 100. It’s also the tier in which I played my first teamtour in the french community. For the gen I enjoy the most, it has to be RBY because if you really want to take the momentum, you'll be forced to take a risk at one moment or another. I also like DPP a lot since I enjoy the fact that you really need to see a playing pattern from your teambuilder to make a decent team while also having nice room for creativity. And last but not least I like GSC the most mainly because you have to think really long term which is something I find wonderful. But alas I’m not that good at it. Looking forward to playing a lot more GSC in the future to really understand the generation more deeply.

Mindnight: I see! What do you think of the Latias suspect ?

Louna: Hmm at the moment I don’t have any opinion about the suspect. I tried to make two teams with Latias: one that ended up being a pretty bad HO and the other one being a NidoStall in which Latias ended up being replaced. Most people I’ve faced are overprepared for Latias so it was kinda hard to make an opinion by myself. I suggest reading the thread about the suspect which has been a pleasure to read and is really informative.

Mindnight: Are they any players you are look up to?

Louna: As a player a respect Pohjis a lot. Each time I open a tournament thread in the circuit tournament section I see his name in the later stage of a tournament. His consistency has been something else for some time now. I enjoy watching Lavos, Ojama, We Three Kings, Jimmy Turtwig, SoulWind and M Dragon playing as well, and as a person on Smogon I respect The Quasar a lot. He is always really supportive every time I see him posting, and his sportsmanship is really good. Smogon needs more people like him.

Mindnight: One last question! Why the nickname "Louna"?

Louna: Louna was just an assemblage of letters to make a cool sounding username!

Mindnight: Anything else you want to add?

Louna: Yes as i told you i still dont get why ive been interviewed as i dont think i did anything notable so if someone could tell me it'd be cool.

Mindnight: Don't worry! Thank you for your time!
 
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phosphor

end of transmission
is a Tutor Alumnus
RoA Interview #30: Heroic Troller

refsunpersons: Good evening gentlemen! It's me refsunpersons and today I'll be interviewing Heroic Troller! He's a voice user in the Ruins of Alph room and a big tournament player. How are you today?

Heroic Troller: Well, thanks.

refsunpersons: I'm glad you're well. To start, when did you get into competitive Pokemon? Did you start in one of the Smogon-sanctioned sims?

Heroic Troller: I started about 4 years ago via Pokemon Online and I’ve never been too involved with Smogon.

refsunpersons: I see. Actually, I can see Smogon falling short of being the premier source of some of the older gens (referring to Pokemon Perfect).

Heroic Troller: Yeah, my main grudge with Smogon is that my main tier is barely played outside of super small tours. I'm not a big fan of new gens either.

refsunpersons: I see you're in Pokemon Perfect's 2018 RBY OU World Championship, and you've defeated two very powerful opponents in The Idiot Ninja and SaDiSTiCNarwhal. There are a lot of big names in that tour... how confident are you that you'll win it all?

Heroic Troller: About the world championship I feel confident in myself, but wouldn't say it too loudly.

refsunpersons: I have this same gripe of Smogon myself. Want to learn Gen 1-3? Go on Pokemon Perfect. Want to learn Gen 5? Load up a sample team, get destroyed 200 times to learn the ropes. Also, it's awesome that you're confident. I've heard you can't really win big tours like this without truly believing you're going to win. Same in life, if you have doubts that 'I can't do this' you've lost from the get-go.

Heroic Troller: That is false, my confidence comes from other wins, the first being before I had confidence in myself. Believing is always a great add but not necessary, I'd say.

refsunpersons: Well, of course we live in reality and we must be careful not to choose to believe in what we want over what makes sense. I'm glad you can get the true confidence that is not a self delusion. Which of the matches so far have you especially enjoyed?

Heroic Troller: There were many really, but I think my matches with roudolf for the Smogon World Championship stood out. The two latest are the following:

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen1ou-743334029

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen1ou-743329437

refsunpersons: Ah yes, that was the guy with the 97% RBY GXE right?

Heroic Troller: Yes. He totally deserved to win and there were no hax excuses. He was the better man.

refsunpersons: I see on Pokemon replays that you have had many matches with him, and they seem intense. This may be a bit of a "well duh" question, but: Which old gen tier is your favorite? Also, when did you start playing it? Do you think it's changed quite a bit since you started? What's your opinion on the future of this tier?

Heroic Troller: Without a doubt despite the bad "fame" RBY OU, I love how there are no hazards and there is the total freedom of switching around. And RBY changed quite a lot after 2015 with Crystal's discoveries.

refsunpersons: For the sake of knowledge, what were these 'discoveries'?

Heroic Troller: Crystal discovered that in RBY the second effect of moves could not activate against Pokemon of the same types. Thunderbolt could not paralyze electrics, and body slam could not paralyze normal. This shook the whole metagame.

refsunpersons: Oooh. That sounds huge actually. And it makes sense Crystal would be the one to discover this. Also, could I assume you are optimistic about the future of RBY, just not on Smogon?

Heroic Troller: Well I don't really know, many great players are going on pause. Will there be new peasounays/roudolf/marcoasd? We can't say for sure.

refsunpersons: I believe there will be, if there is a proper place for them. "Build it and they will come", as westerners say. But anyway, you've mentioned a lot of big names. Do you look up to anyone in the competitive Pokemon community?

Heroic Troller: Do you mean as new talents?

refsunpersons: New talents, established people, players, non-players, inside Gen 1 and out.

Heroic Troller: HML AM had a good start if you consider him a rookie, my other bet would be our favorite tour host Sceptross to explode and rise.

refsunpersons: Sadly, Scep had to drop out of the tour you're in... but he might make it to SPL so he might have a bright future ahead of him! I'm actually set to play him for an NU tour actually, please pray for me. Time for an age-old question. Who's your favorite Pokemon?

Heroic Troller: Either Gallade or Grovyle.

refsunpersons: Is it because their ARMS are BLADES and TOUCHING THEM will KILL YOU? Haha, I kid I kid.

Heroic Troller: I have a special bond with Grovyle, started from playing Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, Gallade happened to be his "spiritual substitute" via learning Leaf Blade.

refsunpersons: Do you mind if I ask a few personal questions?

Heroic Troller: Ask.

refsunpersons: Where are you from?

Heroic Troller: Italy.

refsunpersons: Nice, they have great food there. Is Italy, or where you are in Italy, a nice place?

Heroic Troller: I am in the north, I guess it is, but hardly someone will say bad things of their birthplace.

refsunpersons: What is your favorite food?

Heroic Troller: An absolutely stereotyped pizza.

refsunpersons: What do you usually do? What are your hobbies?

Heroic Troller: I am currently a student, doing nothing as hobbies, or playing Pokemon if you prefer.

refsunpersons: High-school? Uni? It is fine if you prefer not to disclose.

Heroic Troller: Last year of high school.

refsunpersons: Oh. Do you have any plans for college?

Heroic Troller: Actually, I don't, it is a very important step and I'm not really sure on what is best. I keep delaying the decision.

refsunpersons: I’m glad you are taking your future very seriously. Thank you very much for all this. Lastly, I would like to ask: where does your username come from?

Heroic Troller: When I was a kid, I loved the very stupid trollfaces memes, about to create the first email it was the first name that popped up in my mind. I don't like it too much as for now but a combination of nostalgia and having no idea of what another not taken cool name would look like kind of force me to stay with this one.

refsunpersons: I see. Do you have anything to add, or any shoutouts?

Heroic Troller: No, thanks.

refsunpersons: Thanks for the interview!
 

Excal

is a Community Leaderis a Tiering Contributoris a Tutor Alumnusis a Site Content Manager Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Live Chat Contributor Alumnusis a Top Contributor Alumnus
OGC Leader
RoA Interview #31: Dj Breloominati♬

Excal: Hello everyone! Today I'll be interviewing Dj Breloominati (AKA Spitfire Arcanine), who is an RoA room voice as well as a room championship semi-finalist. I know him as Spitfire though so that's what I'll likely call him for the duration of this interview. How are you, Spitfire?

Dj Breloominati♬: I’m doing fine, thanks for asking. I’m a little over the moon right now because I just came off a win!

Excal: That sounds awesome! What did you win?

Dj Breloominati♬: ZU seasonals, round 8 — my farthest in any singles tour!

Excal: Wow round 8 sounds like a really deep run, congratulations! I honestly don't really know what ZU is, and perhaps others reading this might not be too familiar with it. Could you give us a brief summary? What attracts you to ZU?

Dj Breloominati♬: ZU or ZeroUsed, for all of those who don't know, is a tier that’s below PU in terms of usage (PU is the current lowest tier in terms of usage). If I’m not mistaken, there were too many pokemon in PU, with only a few being viable, hence the creation of a new tier. The main reason ZU attracts me is because of its wide scope for innovation if I’m being completely honest, since the tier is not fully explored yet. Also the idea of a using lower tier pokemon sounds swell to me, since I like pokemon mainly for their design and because of the anime and not really for its competitive viability.

Excal: Reminds me of how I felt about DPP NU way back when DPP was the main tier. I loved the fact that there were many more choices to choose from than in OU. So I know that you play an impressively wide variety of tiers, tell us all the tiers that you are able to play at a competitively for reference!

Dj Breloominati♬: I’m honestly not particularly into any tier since I like almost everything. But to talk about specific tiers that stand out from the rest, I would say that I love Monotype, 1v1, Cap, PU/ZU, Mix and Mega [from Generation 7] and DPP OU from older generations. I also play all old generations, but surely not at a tour level :p.

Excal: Regardless that is still quite a list! Which would you say is your strongest tier out of those? And which do you have the most fun playing?

Dj Breloominati♬: If it were up to me, I would have said that I’m not really amazing in any of these tiers. But in terms of tournament results I would say that I’m best at playing Monotype or CAP. In terms of which tier I enjoy most, it is definitely either DPP OU or CAP, again because there is still a lot of room for innovation in my opinion.

Excal: Let's talk about both CAP and DPP real quick (but first CAP)! So from my understanding, CAP is both a selection of custom pokemon but also all of the pokemon available in gen 7. How much different is CAP from, say, gen 7 OU?

Dj Breloominati♬: CAP is a really intriguing tier, in my opinion. I really don't think you can even closely compare it to OU because of the prevalence of Wall-Breakers and also because of certain pokemon that hard counter the standard pokemon of OU (Eg: Landorus-therian, Tapu koko). The idea of contributing to making a pokemon and using it battle is also really cool to me. Barring that, another reason I’m attracted to CAP is because of its really nice community.

Excal: That's really interesting. I've always wanted to try CAP honestly. It's something on the bucket list :). So you mentioned that you really enjoy innovating in DPP OU. Have you gotten the chance to innovate/play with Latias yet? What are your thoughts on Latias?

Dj Breloominati♬: I have played a bit with Latias and it honestly feels a little underwhelming at the moment. Sure, you see ttar + steel teams running around everywhere, but it certainly is nowhere close to being broken. I can see how it influences newer teambuilds, but to me that leaves more room for innovation :]

Excal: That's cool to hear! Latias for sure has stirred up a bit more interest in DPP. Those are good points. I wanna kind of jump back to your ZU tournament for a second because you mentioned that you don't think ZU is even your strongest tier. So what do you think has contributed to your deep run in the ZU seasonal? Who do you have to play next? Do you believe you can win the whole thing?

Dj Breloominati♬: Honestly I don't think i can call my record in the ZU seasonals as a run, since I haven’t actually played more than 3-4 rounds. My next opponent is Pohjis, who is well known to be a phenomenal player in general. As if that's not enough, he was one of the finalists of the previous seasonals, so that's something to look out for. From past experience, I have learned not to think about tournament results since that influences my mindset. I just try to not to overthink every move, since I’m a specialist at that :p.

Excal: To not overthink is much easier said than done, so that's really impressive! Oof, Pohjis is quite the opponent. Best of luck facing him! Do you happen to have a favorite tournament game that you've played? If so, provide a replay!

Dj Breloominati♬: Funnily enough, I just recently found a replay that I loved since it was one of my best games. It’s a game from week 1 of PSPL, in which ROA clashed against the OM room and I faced GL Volkner in an intense monotype battle: https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7monotype-742237917

Excal: Awesome, can't wait to watch it! Now let's quickly discuss the pokemon community. Who are some of your close friends/players you admire within the community?

Dj Breloominati♬: Hm, this is the hardest part. I have too many friends to mention, so I’m very sorry if I forget a few. Here goes nothing — djokra, drud, excal (yay), cz and rageeeee (from RoA), Raj.shoot, zorro249, king leo v, silverwhiteblue , robb576 (from tournaments room), Shsp(best friend), sundar, againa, offler (from the CAP community) and pradhaaan, ominousdraco, so noisy (from our wcop team).

Excal: Great list! So now, a little bit about you. Where are you from and what are some of your hobbies outside of pokemon?

Dj Breloominati♬: I am from India and am always eager to learn something new :] Can't really name any hobby that's greater than pokemon, but I love watching anime and listening to music. Sadly I’ve had to spend much more time committed to my studies, which has prevented me from enjoying these hobbies to the fullest.

Excal: What are some of your favorite anime to watch, and what are some of your favorite songs/artists/genres?

Dj Breloominati♬: In terms of anime, I’m a humongous of fantasy/adventure anime like Fairy tail. I’m also a humongous fan of Sports anime like Kuroko No Basket and Haikyuu!! since I like the aura of suspense it creates. Music wise I can safely say that I’m a devotee of Japanese Pop music and also a fan of English Pop music.

Excal: I watched Fairy Tail when I was pretty young (I still like it though), and I actually haven't heard of the other two anime you listed! So I've got one more question for you, uniquely you go by two names relatively equally (Dj Breloominati and Spitfire Arcanine). What was the influence of these names, and do you have a preference over which one you're referred to (I noticed you use Spitfire Arcanine much more but go by Dj Breloominati on forums like Smogon and PP)?

Dj Breloominati♬: That's an interesting question, to which I don't think I have a clear answer myself. Dj Breloominati was the most cool-sounding name I could come with back in 2016 lol. Spitfire Arcanine was never mean't to be my PS! main, it was only meant to be a temporary alt. But over time I fell in love with the name and decided to keep it. As for why I have kept my forum name as Dj Breloominati, it’s mainly because of friends forgetting who I am, besides the nostalgia attached to it.

Excal: Oh that's really interesting, and makes a lot of sense. And that about wraps up all my questions for you. Do you have anything else to add?

Dj Breloominati♬: I just want to add that people should try to innovate more in pokemon, and not stick to the standard archetypes. Sure, one can argue how fun teams are usually hard to build and pull off, but the pleasure you feel after successfully pulling off one of your own innovations is immense and surely makes up for the effort. Also, more people should join official tournaments by getting over a fear of failure, since pokemon is a game that comes with experience in my opinion. You never really know what you're capable of unless you actually go out there and give it a shot!

Excal: Wonderful. Thank you so much for this incredible interview, it's been an absolute pleasure! :D

Dj Breloominati♬: I feel the same. Thanks for this chance and thanks to you for taking your time to interview me. Looking forward to more interviews! Keep up the good work guys ^_^.
 

Sakito

that's why i gave up on music
is a Tutoris a Site Content Manageris a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributor Alumnus
Moderator
RoA Interview #32: Marshall.Law

Sakito: Hello everyone! Today I'm interviewing Marshall.Law, a French dude known to be the Smogon Tour Season 19 Champion. Yo Marshall, how are you?

Marshall.Law: Very well, thank you.

Sakito: To begin this interview, can you introduce yourself in a few lines?

Marshall.Law: Marshall.Law (SangohanVidel for friends), 23 years old, actuary and Pokemon player. I started playing Pokemon from a very young age but competitively since the end of 2007 and since 2011 on the Smogon website.

Sakito: How did you discover Smogon? What attracted you to get more into it?

Marshall.Law: I started to play competitively with Pokemon Diamond in 2007. I hadn't play since Crystal actually, and when I played on Diamond, I discovered the French website Pokébip with the different French teams of the time, and that's where it all started. Regarding Smogon, I didn't know it until I saw the French chats talking about Smogon Tours. And that's when I decided to register.

Sakito: Speaking of the Smogon Tour, can you tell us more about that? How did you experience the matches during the finals?

Marshall.Law: The replays are on Smogon, feel free to check them out. First of all, I think the Smogon Tour is the best Smogon tournament for many players. I've always wanted to win one, and I did it! I had managed to qualify several times before but without success, not doing better than the quarter-finals. For the 19th edition, I prepared the majority of my games alone, as I often did, but I still received help in preparing for some games, especially from two players: H-C and Cased. The finals was against a great player: ThatsJustPeachy. After winning the BW game, the DPP was quite frustrating. I remember missing, literally, all my stone edges but despite everything I tried to stay focused and won.

Sakito: That sounds like a fantastic experience, so is DPP is the tier you like playing the most?

Marshall.Law: I don't have a favorite tier strictly speaking. It depends on the day... I really like BW and ADV too. But it is true that DPP is and will still remain the one where I am the most comfortable, having started with it and having won many tournaments in it.

Sakito: What do you think of the Latias suspect test in DPP?

Marshall.Law: DPP has become very stereotyped in recent years, so I say yes to bringing Latias back. A little touch of nostalgia is there too!

Sakito: Do you have any plans for your future on Smogon right now?

Marshall.Law: I think I'll stop around next year, at the release of the Gen 8.

Sakito: What is the story behind your username?

Marshall.Law: I've always loved fighting games, especially Street fighter and Tekken where my main was Marshall.Law. Also, he looks like me ;)

Sakito: Haha I see. To finish this interview what's your best and worst memory in a battle? You can share replays if you have any.

Marshall.Law: Back in the day, there were different teams that could be integrated. And these teams competed against each other in tournaments. My best battle memories are from when I played the "tryouts" to try to join the different French teams I mentioned earlier. Worst memory, I can’t think of one right now...

Sakito: Well, I think we covered everything. Do you have anything else you want to add?

Marshall.Law: No, it's good for me.

Sakito: Thank you for this interview!

Marshall.Law: It was a pleasure.
 

phosphor

end of transmission
is a Tutor Alumnus
RoA Interview #33: Drud

refsunpersons: Good evening gentlemen! It's me refsunpersons and right now I'll be interviewing Drud! He's a voice in the Ruins of Alph room, and probably going to end up as a manager in Smogon Exhibition II, and he's been the host of a few of RoA's live tours. How are you today?

Drud: Hey, I am doing pretty well, thanks.

refsunpersons: Nice. I will be asking you a few questions. When and how did you get into competitive Pokemon?

Drud: When I was really young (we're talking like, when I was 9/10 years old), I remember looking up things for Pokémon Heart Gold and I ended up finding Shoddy Battle (which was the current simulator at the time) but I didn't really play all that much or competitively until like 2014.

refsunpersons: Ahahah, it looks like every other guy in RoA started off in Shoddy battle one way or another. Is this your first time in Smogon Exhibition? Can you tell us anything about it?

Drud: Well I am not really that sure about getting into Smogon Exhibition as manager but I have faith regardless. I really enjoy PU and it's my main tier. I also used to play LC and Ubers a lot and I think this would be a really fun tour to manage. I didn't participate in last year's Smogon Exhibition.

refsunpersons: Ah, I see. I've noticed that there has been a lot of outbreaks in PU tiers lately.

Drud: What do you mean with outbreaks in PU tiers?

refsunpersons: Given that a lot of the older gens are having re-tiered UUs and NUs there are getting to be new PU tiers in Gens 3 to 4.

Drud: Ah OK, like that.

refsunpersons: So speaking of which,the big kahuna question: which oldgen tier is your favorite? And the tie-up questions: When did you start playing it? Do you think it's changed quite a bit since you started? What's your opinion on the future of this tier?

Drud: DPP PU or GSC OU. DPP PU is just a really fun and balanced tier that has a pretty good amount of variety. I got drafted to play it in PUPL even though I didn't really have experience with the tier before PUPL. There was a Articuno suspect after PUPL and all DPP PU starters got to vote and it got luckily banned in the end since it was really unhealthy for the metagame. For GSC OU, it used to be my least favorite (and my worst) generation of OU, but around the period before WCoP, my team was kinda lacking a GSC slot and I kinda was enjoying the tier around that period so I took it upon myself to play the tier and even though I lost my GSC game for WCoP Qualifications, I'll probably play the tier next year and am excited to play more of it. Sorry if that's kinda long LOL

refsunpersons: It's all good. So do you think DPP PU has a good future as a tier? Or are there still broken elements in it you would like to see gone?

Drud: There's not really anything broken about the tier currently, all the tier is lacking is the lack of tournament rep, which is the case with most old gen lower tiers.

refsunpersons: Ah. Tournament representation.

Drud: There's PUPL and there was the PU classic but that didn't really happen this year even though there is a swiss tour with multiple PU old gens ongoing now.

refsunpersons: So do you look up to anyone in the competitive Pokemon community?

Drud: Probably BKC, being able to be so incredibly consistent in pretty much every gen is really impressive.

refsunpersons: Who's your favorite Pokemon?

Drud: Uhh, I don't really have one? If I had to say something it'd be like, Hydreigon.

refsunpersons: Did you ever play Pokemon Black/White? If so, did you have trouble with Dennis' Hydreigon?

Drud: Pokemon Black and White 1 are definitely my favorite pokemon games.

refsunpersons: I see. I will be asking a few personal questions. Where are you from?

Drud: I am from the Netherlands and have lived there my whole life but I also have Polish roots as my mother was from Poland.

refsunpersons: I see. Off-question: do you know of this video?


Drud: Yeah, that video blew up here

refsunpersons: What do you do in your life? What are your hobbies?

Drud: I study physics and almost all of my free time goes into pokemon even though that will probably change now with Smash Bros Ultimate coming out today.

refsunpersons: Ah, undergrad? Master's? PhD?

Drud: I don't really know how to explain it. Netherlands' education system is kinda whack. I guess it's like freshman in college.

refsunpersons: Ah, I see. I can't wait for Piranha Plant and Friends: Battle Royale myself by the way. Thank you very much for all this. Lastly, I would like to ask: where does your username come from?

Drud: Well, I originally was called just "drud" which comes from a band I was really into at the time called "drudkh". Eventually on PS! "drud" was already registered, and I had to come up with something else and I came up with "wild druddigon". Still has "drud" in it, and Druddigon was one of my favorite pokemon at the time. Eventually I forgot my password to 'wild druddigon' and I figured I should change it to 'wild drud'. And that's how I got this name.

refsunpersons: (I checked out drudkh, they seem pretty cool). Do you have anything to add, or any shoutouts?


Drud: Shoutouts tjdaas for making sure no one else is the worst player on Team Benelux. Other than that, not really.

refsunpersons: LMAO. Anyway, thanks for the interview! I'll see you around.

Drud: Alright, no problem.
 
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Sakito

that's why i gave up on music
is a Tutoris a Site Content Manageris a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributor Alumnus
Moderator
RoA Interview #34: Vay

Sakito: Hello everyone! Today I'm joined by Vay who placed 2nd on the RoA November leaderboard. Yo Vay how are you doing?

Vay: I'm fine, thank you, and you?

Sakito: I'm fine too, thanks! To begin this interview, can you introduce yourself in a few lines?

Vay: I'm French, 23 years old, and I study maths in university. I'm kind of a new player. I played my first games on Pokemon Showdown when ORAS was released and I learned stuff about the game through this gen, even though I was mostly playing League of legends with friends at that time. Then I tried playing a few games of SM OU, and I got bored so I decided to try DPP OU. I ended up really liking this gen so I decided to stick to it, peak the ladder, and try to participate in competitive tournaments on Smogon.

Sakito: Very cool! What are your thoughts on the current state of DPP OU?

Vay: I think DPP OU is ok as it is right now and I don't know what changes (ie ban/unban) could be made to render it better. Of course it's not perfect at all but personally, I think it's irrelevant to complain about the fact it's the most power creeped generation without team preview since it's the identity of DPP and what makes it unique. The only thing I would rant about is Dugtrio: not even because of usage or broken combos, but just because of "arena trap" itself.

Sakito: Are you trying to reach voting requirements in the Latias suspect happening right now? What are your thoughts on Latias?

Vay: I've currently played 37 games for suspect and i'm 30-7 right now. I do not enjoy laddering, I've played all 37 matches using the same team, the same damn patterns over and over, facing the same fat builds over and over. If I had to base my judgment only on my ladder experience, it would be “**** Latias" with no doubts. I think Latias as a pokemon in a vacuum is one of the best (if not the best) pokemon in DPP OU + Latias, especially if you pair it with a steel like Jirachi. You then have a core of 2 mons that can resist all types in the game bar dark and bug, and if you pair it with Scizor, you resist everything except rock type. Its movepool is super wide, it has very high stats, etc. Latias can use many cool sets, but from now on, I’ve almost only seen late game CM mono attacker and specs. To be honest, I really think we will need more than just one month. A suspect ladder with 10 battles and 6 live tours is simply not enough to see how it really changes the metagame. I suspect many cool sets have not even been discovered/popularized yet. However if that does not happen, I would gladly get rid of Latias.

Sakito: I see. What's your favorite Pokemon competitively speaking, and why?

Vay: My favorite pokemon competitively speaking is Gengar. I love to use this pokemon because it has a perfect neutral coverage with 2 moves, which allows it to play support moves on the two other slots like substitute, will-o-wisp, taunt, pain split, etc. (or even more attacks like thunderbolt of explosion). My favorite set is subsplit Gengar. Gengar also has very good immunities to fighting and ground, a neat resistance to grass and Tyranitar has more trouble to pursuit trap it than Rotom since it has access to Focus Blast and many Ttars play Passho Berry instead of Chople or Scarf.

Sakito: Gengar is always very scary to face. Now let's talk a bit of you, tell us the story behind your username.

Vay: Originally, I played Yu-Gi-Oh, and I needed a username to register on a forum where people played the game on cartridge (Yu-Gi-Oh world championship 20XX) and I named myself Vayû-sama because I loved the blackwings and because I was a weeb (both statements are still somewhat true). Then I grew up and removed the "Sama" and kept Vayû. When registering on Showdown, I didn't notice that the û disappeared from my name because PS doesn't accept accents, so I just decided to keep Vay.

Sakito: Haha I'm a weeb too. Do you have any goals on Smogon right now?

Vay: I don't know, play tournaments, go as far as I can, get better, then get even better, etc. I registered in SPL saying I’ll cost minimal price since no one will bid on me but someone deleted it so this smart move won't succeed lmao.

Sakito: I'm sure you have the potential to get better, what's the funniest battle you've ever seen, played?

Vay: The funniest battles I've ever played was this one: https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen4ou-827718715 not because of the battle itself, but mainly because of the chat.

Sakito: LOL. Do you listen to music? if yes what do you listen to?

Vay: I listen to kpop, jpop, rap, metal, anime ost, pokemon ost and more. It’s mostly stuff I find on youtube and end up liking and downloading.

Sakito: Nice, I also listen to some of the same stuff. Speaking of animes, do you watch any?

Vay: Of course! I watch JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Golden Wind, Yu-Gi-Oh Vrains, and I'm waiting for the next season of My Hero Academia, Code Geass and maybe Dragon Ball Super. I also read mangas like Tower of God and Darwin's Game.

Sakito: My Hero Academia is heat! I should watch JoJo too. How about movies? What kind of movies do you watch?

Vay: I rarely watch movies. The last one I saw was Deadpool 2. I like Marvel stuff and I've got some Deadpool&Cable at home, however Nathan Summers was a little bit disappointing in the movie.

Sakito: I love marvel movies and its universe! Would you like to learn another tier in addition to DPP OU?

Vay: GSC OU looks super cool, however I don't have much time to invest in mons, so I think I'll stick to DPP. I can play ORAS too, since I remember stuff I saw when I was learning the basics of the game. But if I want to do something new, that'll definitely be GSC.

Sakito: Who are some of your close friends/players you admire within the community?

Vay: I've got a very reliable group of friends that includes you, Excal, Seven Thunders, Pkel SweetforU, eden's embrace and more people! I'm not very into the community and I don't know the majority of players but I like to watch PokeaimMD's videos because I love how he comments his plays every turn, and ThunderBlunder777 videos on youtube because I like to hear him cursing every second, even though they don't play DPP. On top of that, I remember I enjoyed watching roscoe's replays in SPL 9. I started to play mons after watching Boudouche playing in a french cartridge tournament. After that I watched all his content on youtube and I cry everytime I remember he deleted it.

Sakito: Great! I don't have any more questions, do you want to add something?

Vay: I sometimes peep at the Latias discussion thread and I’ve seen some people saying stuff like "old gens should not be touched" refering to the Latias suspect. Personally, i don't think it's a relevant statement at all because old (and current) gens rules are made by:

A) Game Freak

B) Council that suspected/quickbanned arguably broken mons/moves/abilities/whatever and players who voted "ban" or "unban"

Game Freak won't touch DPP (the metagame) in the future because they've got other stuff to do but there are still people playing this gen here, and we still have a tiering council. So if the tiering council says "we want to suspect Latias" and the players say "ok, let's do that" (there was a poll and 60% people said yes, there even was a subpoll for tournament "great" players and 70% of them said yes iirc) then I think we should suspect Latias. Additionally, the best case scenario is that we have a better metagame; worst case scenario is that we can ban Latias again afterwards and pretend nothing happened.

Sakito: Well, thanks for your in depth answers! It's been a pleasure to do this interview!

Vay: The pleasure is mine bro!
 

Excal

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RoA Interview #35: Beelzemon 2003

Excal: Hi everyone! We’re back again today with another interview. This is the one that everyone has been waiting for: Beelzemon 2003! How are you chum? >:)

Beelzemon 2003: Chumtastic! :D

Excal: Awesome! Are you ready to answer some questions?

Beelzemon 2003: Sure, let's a go!

Excal: Alright, so tell us a bit a bit about you. Where are you from and what are some of your hobbies outside of mons?

Beelzemon 2003: Well as you know, I am Beelzemon 2003, I’m 33, I live in Mexico, and I’m the leader of the Gen 2 Item Clause project.

Excal: We’ll talk about Gen 2 Item Clause in a little bit, but for now, what's the origin of your username?

Beelzemon 2003: Beelzemon was a character from an anime called Digimon Tamers. He was a demon biker that was evil at the beginning of the series, but became good at the end. I liked the design of the character a lot, so I decided to use his name as my username. The number 2003 was the year when I graduated from High School, so I added that number it to my username to differentiate myself from other Beelzemon players. At the beginning, some of my chums on Showdown thought that I was born on 2003. This confused them when I spoke about mature topics! For example, one time, when I told them that I was having some drinks, they thought that I was a 15 year old rebel boy that was drinking his parents’ beers behind their backs, which upset them until I told them that I was 33. Nowadays, my chums still joke about my age despite the fact that they already know the truth. They say things like I am too young to have a girlfriend, to drive a car, or to have a job, mischievous guys! Ha, ha!

Excal: Very interesting to hear your insight on this! About your avatars: many people have praised your avatar on Pokemon Showdown. What do you love the most about it? Do you feel that there is some sort of connection between your Smogon/Discord avatar and your avatar on Pokemon Showdown? If so, how?

Beelzemon 2003: As you know, my Showdown avatar is a super nerd. I chose that avatar because I was a nerd back when I was on school. The thing I love the most about my avatar is that he uses a robotic Pikachu to throw his pokéballs. I mean, it is absurd and surrealistic! Why does he need a robot to do something as simple as throwing a ball? Can’t he do it himself? By the way, my Smogon avatar is Beelzemon, the Digimon character that I talked about. I don’t think there’s any connection between my two avatars. I think that each one represent a different facet of my personality, one represents my intelligence and the other my wrath!

Excal: That's a beautiful way to look at the subject! Now tell us the story of how you first got into competitive pokemon and Pokemon Showdown!

Beelzemon 2003: As you may already know, I was born 13 years before the Pokémon games, so I witnessed the beginning of the Pokémon franchise. Pokémon came out on September 1998 here in Mexico and in the Americas. I learned about Pokémon in Club Nintendo: the official Mexican magazine of Nintendo. The first Pokémon game I played was Pokémon Stadium 1. I played it when I was on High School. My father rented the game on a video rental store called Videocentro. That game was like a dream come true because it allowed me to use my favorite pokémon against the gym leaders of the anime. One year later, a friend of mine sold me his Pokémon Red game, which allowed me to get pokémon with better moves and stats. Over the course of the following years I bought Pokémon Silver, Crystal, Stadium 1 and Stadium 2, I also got an original Mew and Celebi. Back then, the first two generations of Pokémon were mine to command. At the beginning, Pokémon was not very popular; it was just “another good RPG”. After eight months of passing unnoticed, the anime was released which made the franchise’s popularity rise dramatically. Thanks to the anime, all the kids and teenagers became crazy for Pokémon; everyone wanted to play the games and become a pokémon master, including me! Regarding Showdown, I learned about it on Smogon in February 2016. At the beginning I thought it was impossible for a Pokémon simulator to exist, so I entered to Showdown to try it and was amazed to see how easy it was to build teams and fight other players. I think simulators are a blessing for players because they allow them to test their team ideas before they implement them in the games.

Excal: Nice! It’s interesting to hear about the franchise from the lens of someone who was 13 during the initial release. How did you get an original Mew and Celebi?

Beelzemon 2003: I got them thanks to the Club Nintendo magazine. In August 2002, the staff of the magazine organized a contest where you could get the mythical pokémon, all you had to do was to visit the magazine´s offices, bring a Game Boy, a Pokémon game and an issue of the magazine. The contest was great because for each issue you brought you had the right to get one Mew and one Celebi, e.g. if you brought 10 magazines you could get 10 Mews and 10 Celebis.

Excal: So what’s your favorite pokemon?

Beelzemon 2003: My top 4 are Dratini, Kabutops, Pikachu and Scyther. Dratini is cute and has soft scales, Kabutops looks cool, Scyther hits hard and has the best Reversal of Gen 2, and Pikachu is a good glass cannon.

Excal: That’s a good list! Anyway, everyone is dying to hear about item clause, so let’s move on. Which gen is your favorite to play item clause in, and which is your least favorite? Why?

Beelzemon 2003: Gen 2 is my favorite gen to play with Item Clause because it makes the game faster and more interesting. The magic of Gen 2 with Item Clause is that only one Pokémon can have Leftovers, so the other five become incredibly feeble. Battles are fast and furious like those of Gens 1 or 7, surprises are everywhere, and you are forced to win using the other “bad” items that exist in Gen 2 like Miracle Berry or Mystery Berry. Of course, this is my opinion and the fact that I like Item Clause doesn’t mean that all players should be forced to use it. I don’t have a gen where I don´t like to use Item Clause.

Excal: It seems that GSC item clause in particular has been sort of a hot topic among the RoA forum. Renowned GSC players like Lavos have stepped up and addressed very significant imbalances in the tier that “make it unplayable”. What do you think of these comments, and what keeps you playing GSC item clause?

Beelzemon 2003: The problem with most people is that they have a close mind and fear changes. Modern societies mock past societies like those that existed on the Seventeenth Century because they think that their people were dumb, e.g. when Galileo Galilei said that the Earth revolved around the Sun, the Church tried to kill him. The sad truth is that the majority of the people from modern societies are still close minded and fear changes like those who lived in past centuries. Even smart people can be stubborn at sometimes, one example would be Thomas Alva Edison. There’s no doubt that Edison was a great man and that humankind is in debt with him, however, when another scientist called Nikola Tesla told Edison that alternating current was safer than direct current, the latter undertook a campaign to discredit him, the fun fact was that Tesla was right. Every time we have a change in arts, music, science or civil rights many people complain and try to prevent it, the same happens with games. So overall, regarding Item Clause, I won’t tell you lies that the format is perfect, in fact it isn’t; however, we could say the same about any other Pokémon gen or format. My true intention is to offer players more options to play Gen 2 and let them decide if they like Normal, Item clause, Anything goes or whatever they like. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter what I or my opponents say, each player is free to choose the way in which he or she wants to play.

Excal: Some more questions about item clause: what is your favorite innovation that you’ve made to the item clause tier?

Beelzemon 2003: I think that my favorite innovation is simply reviving and documenting the format. Of course, I haven´t done this alone — friends like FOMG, Gustavo J. R. and Socks & Crocs have helped me a lot. Thanks to our efforts we’ve been able to identify which items are good, which are bad, and how the game behaves on the different tiers (e.g. in OU and Ubers, Berry, Berry Juice and Gold Berry are bad; however, in Little Cup those items are musts). The same happens with the Pokémon, for example. Kadabra, Haunter and Poliwhirl are bad in OU, but they’re awesome in Middle Cup.

Excal: It seems like you have many friends who enjoy item clause and also collaborate with to develop this meta. Who has been your most challenging foe in an Item Clause battle?

Beelzemon 2003: I’ve faced many formidable players in Gen 2 with Item Clause; however, I think that the strongest are Alpha Male Pysduck, FOMG, Gustavo J.R., Jame$ G, Remembermiss and Socks & Crocs (aka Stealth Croc).

Excal: What’s your favorite item clause game that you’ve ever played and why?

Beelzemon 2003: I’ve had many, but the ones that I’ve enjoyed the most have been those where I used the five starter pokémon of Gen 1: Venusaur, Charizard, Blastoise, Pikachu and Eevee evolved. Those pokémon were iconic back in the early 2000s, so winning with them brings back many good memories. Here I have the replay of one of those games: http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen2ou-746108352

Excal: I will definitely check out that replay after this interview! So some people have seen your crusade against GSC NU for the monthly ladder in spite of item clause not being included in the vote. What is your opinion on GSC NU?

Beelzemon 2003: Well, I want to clarify that I don't have anything against Gen 2 Neverused; I was just angry that Item Clause was not included in the monthly election of October. In fact, I talked with Jellicent about the topic and he told me that he omitted Item Clause in the election because he forgot that it existed, so it was an accident and not something intentional as I thought. As I told you before, even smart people can be stubborn sometimes — that also includes me. I act friendly most of the times, but now and then I also behave like a diva, so I want to take this opportunity to apologize to all the players that I've bothered by accident. Sorry chums :(. Returning to Gen 2 NU, I think that it is a very fun format because the OU Pokémon aren´t there to ruin the fun. Socks & Crocs and I have also tried NU with Item Clause and have had many crazy matches; in one of them I won using a Confusion Tangela and in another I won using a Stick Farfetch’d!

Excal: Thank you for all this info about Item Clause! What about in terms of the OU tiers: which are you most skilled at and which is your favorite to play?

Beelzemon 2003: I’m good at Gen 1 and I like playing it a lot. By the way, I’ve been third on the Gen 1 ladder twice; maybe one of these days I’ll become first and dethrone Alpha Male Psyduck (I’m coming for you chum)! >:) Gen 7 Anything Goes is another tier I’m good at; however, I think that the format would be 10 times better if it had Species, Sleep and Item Clause, I know it wouldn’t be Anything Goes anymore, but we could give the format another name like Super Ubers.

Excal: Good luck with the ladder! Now let’s transition to the Pokemon community. Who in the community do you admire most?

Beelzemon 2003: Alpha Male Psyduck, FOMG, Refsunpersons, Revival Maya, Sam Samantha and Socks & Crocs are my favorite players. AMP is an excellent Gen 1 player and demolishes me in Little Cup. On the other hand, FOMG has good strategies, is patient, and has a solid game. His playstyle is so good that I sometimes make jokes saying that he is good because he is an alien or a robot. Refsunpersons is very good at all gens which is something that I admire a lot. RevivalMaya is also good and I enjoy playing with her because she is cheerful and optimistic; also, when I manage to beat her, she complains in a comedic way. Sam Samantha is the mistress of stall and is hard to beat. Finally, Socks & Crocs is perhaps my strongest rival in Gen 2 Item Clause. This guy is tough and doesn’t joke around. He has good strategies, good predictions, and is always one step ahead of you; and if all that weren’t enough he can will his hax! I’ve had many games in which I’ve had him on the ropes and he always manages to hax me twice or thrice in a row to turn the tide and win. I swear that Socks has psychic powers and can control his luck. Still, I’ll get him one of these days. >:(

Excal: Let's go back and talk a bit about you. How would you describe your presence in the Pokemon community?

Beelzemon 2003: That is a hard question to answer. I think that I am like the drunken master; a stock character from Chinese folklore; a wise man that likes to clown around! I tend to act childish most of the time, but I'm also a very wise person, so if you have questions about video games or any other topic you can come to me for support. I'm always willing to help my chums!

Excal: So what are some of your hobbies outside of Pokemon?

Beelzemon 2003: I like to walk and visit interesting places in my city like parks, museums, archeological sites, and malls. Regarding video games, I like to play retro games from the 80s, 90s and early 2000s. I love fighting games like Marvel VS Capcom, Street Fighter and Super Smash Bros. By the way, I’m the two times local champion of Super Smash Bros. Melee and the current local champion of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (and when I say local, I refer to my neighborhood :P). As for my mains, by the way, in Smash 64 I use Link and Kirby; in Melee I use Bowser, Fox, Kirby and Young Link; in Brawl I use Toon Link; finally, in 3DS and Wii U I use Toon Link and Pac-Man. I tend to use a combination of low and top tier characters. So I’ve played all the Smash games and I’ve organized eight tournaments of them. I’m the one that provides the cash prizes by the way. Being a tournament organizer is a big responsibility because you have to enforce discipline, solve technical difficulties, and make sure that the events run smoothly on a timely manner. The hardest part is writing the rules because the official regulations are very vague and omit crucial information like which controllers should be allowed, how to punish offenses, or how to deal with blackouts. Last year it took me five days to write the rules and I ended up with a 25 pages file! I also wrote a resumed version of that file for the players that only wanted to know the basic rules.

Excal: As a Smash enthusiast myself, any smash tournaments that you have organized that I would know of?

Beelzemon 2003: I don't think that you've heard of them because they were small events that I held at my friend’s house. The turnouts were also low: 12 players at most. The tournaments that I organize are more friendly in nature, but we use Smash Boards rules anyway.

Excal: I see. Do you have a favorite song? What type of music do you enjoy listening to the most?

Beelzemon 2003: I like many genres like classical, disco, heavy metal, jazz, new-age, pop and rock. Some of my favorite artists are Aqua, the Bee Gees, Crispy, Carlos Syntek, Enya, José Luis Perales, Mudvayne and Slipknot. I have many favorite songs: America, Barbie Girl, Dig, Killer Joe, Lambada, Licky Licky, Orinoco Flow, Rivers of Babylon, Spit it out, etc.

Excal: I have just one last question for you: There have been many mysterious Beelzemon accounts cropping up all over the ladder like Beelzemon 2003BC, Beelzemon 120, Beelzemon 1993, Beelzemon 1998, and even Beelzemon 3002. Which is your favorite and why?

Beelzemon 2003: They’re either die-hard fans or cheap imitators, in any case, I recommend you to not accept cheap copies, the original is always the best. Jokes aside, I don’t know where they came from or which are their purposes, but it is always fun to argue with them. I don’t have a clear favorite, for me they all are mischievous chums. :)

Excal: That's a good way to look at the situation. So it turns out, someone anonymous has told me to ask this one last question: how can I be as awesome as you?

Beelzemon 2003: Take your vitamins all days and you’ll be as awesome as me ;)

Excal: Well, it has been an absolute honor to interview you. Thank you so much for your time chum! >:)

Beelzemon 2003: You’re welcome chum :D. And thanks to all my chums, including Revival Maya, Rageeeee and Furret Sam. :)
 

Sakito

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RoA Interview #36: Astamatitos

Sakito: Hello everybody! Today I'm interviewing Astamatitos. He won the last ADV Cup, he’s an SPL IX Champion, and he’s a great player in general. Yo Asta how are you?

Astamatitos: Hey, great day so far, just got back home!

Sakito: Nice! to begin this interview, can you introduce yourself in a few lines?

Astamatitos: I'm predominately an ADV player as most of our readers know. I'm mostly known for coming back after a hiatus of 7 years to play for Team Greece in WCoP 2016 and staying around ever since. In the real world I’m doing a chemistry PhD. Currently I’m in the process of writing up my doctorate thesis.

Sakito: Very cool! tell us how you got into pokemon, especially Smogon and competitive.

Astamatitos: I was always a pokemon enthusiast. Pokemon was released when I was still in primary school. I remember vividly some of the battles I had with friends on the gsc cartridges. Regardless, it wasn't until I was 13 that I’d discovered competitive pokemon. At the time gen 4 was not released so there wasn't any wifi battle features, which made competitive pokemon a very incognito concept. I eventually discovered Pokemon NetBattle after a google search trail led me to it. I was hooked ever since!

Sakito: That's interesting, so you're a real veteran! What do you like the most in ADV? If you could rank all the OU gens from the one you like the most to the one you like the least, how would it look?

Astamatitos: I love ADV because it strikes a great balance in terms of viable playstyles. You can pull off most playstyles and still expect the better player to win. While GSC is similar in that respect, ADV also has the team building aspect as the first gen to introduce EVs. In the team builder it's one of the more intricate gens as the lack of Choice Scarf creates a speed creep metagame not seen in any other gens, making optimal spreads more dynamic with respect to the state of the meta. It's important to be in touch with the metagame to get consistent results.

My rank would look something like: ADV > GSC > DPP > RBY > BW > SM > ORAS

Sakito: I see. You've competed for many big tournaments like SPL and WCoP. What are some of the most memorable battles you had?

Astamatitos: My most memorable game has to be the time I had to play Latin America's Mx for the WCOP 2016 qualifier game. The stakes were as high as they can get: the winner of that game would decide whether either of the two countries would be able to participate in the tournament, with everyone counting on me as the decider game. The game lasted for about 110 turns and was down to the wire on every turn. I'm glad I managed to win and allow Greece to qualify, especially considering how much more stringent the qualification criteria has become ever since!

Replay of the game: https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen3ou-167421

Runner up games that I still have fond memories of would include my games vs Ojama and Tesung in the same tournament, my ADV Cup Finals games vs Ojama, and my SPL tiebreak game against Undisputed.

Sakito: Awesome! Do you plan to continue to play in the future? Do you have any competitive goals right now?

Astamatitos: I'm putting mons on the backburner for the time being. I opted out of playing SPL for this year mainly to focus on my write-up along with other real life responsibilities. I'll be back hopefully by the time Classic starts however. Regarding my goals, this year I’ve been quite fortunate in terms of tour success having won SPL, ADV Cup, and PP's ADV Season. I'd however want to work more on my proficiency of the other old gens to give myself a chance at classic. Not qualifying for classic playoffs despite winning a Cup was rather embarrassing! :D

Sakito: Best of luck for the next classic! Now let's talk a bit about you. Tell us the story behind your username.

Astamatitos: Oh there's no story behind it! It's an edgy nickname a typical 13-year-old like myself at the time would come up with. It's a greek word which translates to 'Unstoppable' or 'Relentless'. It happened to be the nickname I was using on NetBattle when I was approached by Atq. Atq was the major clan in the NetBattle community so I stuck with that username ever since. I rose to admin in the Atq community eventually. There I also met Fear who is my best friend in this game.

Sakito: Oh okay, that’s cool to know! What type of music do you listen to?

Astamatitos: When I'm in labs I usually listen to 90s rap/hip-hop. Yeah, mostly that!

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

Astamatitos: These days not really. I used to play Warcraft III on battle.net before NetBattle but that's about it.

Sakito: Well, I don't have more questions to ask, do you want to add anything else?

Astamatitos: Nothing really! Thanks for having me here!

Sakito: Thank you for your answers, It's been a pleasure!
 

Excal

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RoA Interview #37: Century Express

Excal: Hello everyone! Today I'll be interviewing Century Express, who is an RoA room championship semifinalist as well as a very competent player across all gens. How are you?

Century Express: I’m doing fine, just a bit lazy as usual haha.

Excal: Me too, as always! So to start, when and how did you first get into competitive pokemon?

Century Express: I started to play "seriously" around late-2013 and early-2014 in a Brazilian server called PBS (Pokémon Brasil Server). I played on NetBattle a few years ago, but PO is definitely where I started to play this game competitively. At first, XY OU and XY UU were my main metagames, and after some months, I started to lurk and join some Smogon and PokéEVO (an important brazilian competitive forum a few years ago) tournaments.

Excal: Oh nice, it's always interesting because everyone has completely different responses to this question. So as I mentioned before, I've personally seen you play pretty much all the OU metas, and probably even some lower tiers. If you could rank your favorite OU metas from your favorite to your least favorite, what would that look like? Also, if you could rank the OU metas from the one you feel the most proficient in to the least proficient in, what would that look like as well?

Century Express: My personal rank is: GSC OU > ORAS OU > DPP OU > ADV OU > RBY OU > BW OU > SM OU. GSC is my (current) favorite meta because it doesn't have an absurd power creep, which gives a good approach of risk/reward. ORAS was my favorite meta before I started to main GSC OU. I love the DPP/ADV teambuilding aspects, and I think it's one of the best metas to learn about proactive plays and teambuilding overall. For the second question, I would rank: GSC OU > ORAS OU > DPP OU > BW OU > ADV OU > RBY OU > SM OU.

Excal: That's cool how your favorites to play and your proficiency in the metas are lined up really closely. I've also noticed that uniqueness in teambuilding with ADV and DPP compared to the other gens. Do you find that your playstyle changes depending on which meta you play or is it consistent across every tier? How would you describe it?

Century Express: It depends on the generation (and sometimes it's based on the metagame trends). GSC is the metagame where personally I prefer to play with defensive teams with a slight touch of aggressiveness, and ORAS/BW are examples of metagames where I'd prefer to play with balance. Bulky offense is my favorite playstyle in DPP, while ADV is an odd case because I think it kinda depends on the metagame trends. At first, Spikes + Ghost builds were my favorite kind of teams to use, but it's crazy because people started to develop a lot of anti-Spikes strats, so ADV leaves me on the fence... Overall I'd see myself as a “balance" enthusiast, with a slight preference of defensive teams over offensive ones (with DPP being probably the only exception).

Excal: Whenever I've played you on ladder or in tournaments, I've always seen you as an aggressive player. It's strange how it works but I sometimes wonder if playing aggressively with defensive teams can really put in work. In terms of DPP whenever I play defensive stuff I definitely embody that playstyle. So I think your analysis on your playstyle is really cool to read because it hints at some really fundamental differences within each gen and also shows a unique perspective on playstyle! I think this is a good time to transition into SPL, as the auction is tomorrow (this interview is conducted on Friday December 21st). What are some expectations you have going into this SPL? Do you think you will play any other tiers besides GSC? Which GSC players do you think would be the most challenging for you to face off against?

Century Express: To be honest, I’m not looking forward for the auction mainly because during SPL 8 and SPL 9 I was drafted during the mid-season (so I'd prefer to not keep an over-optimistic mindset). But other that that, the GSC pool of this year looks super stacked! I've been liking DPP more and more (especially during this Latias suspect), so it would be fine for me to play as a DPP or ORAS sub if needed (and if someone drafts me, of course). Most challenging player? Probably Earthworm and Conflict. Both know how to apply the fundamentals of the game at an aggressive-but-not-greedy level. It's always fun to watch them play.

Excal: Ah, yeah that's smart. And it seems like despite planning nobody really knows until the day of the draft. I wish you the best of luck though because tbh I would not be surprised at all if you're drafted immediately :). You mentioned that you competed in SPL 8 and SPL 9. How was that experience?

Century Express: Both were fun overall, although I had some messy moments. I was extremely nervous in my first SPL game vs. Fear, and I made a ton of misplays (and I’m still kinda ashamed of it today). But other than that, it was an awesome experience. Even though I was just a sub during SPL 8, the team atmosphere made it a f*cking great experience (and that's how team tours should be!). I learned a lot of stuff from tamahome and McMeghan helped me A LOT to improve my approach to the game too. SPL 9 was a nice experience. I was super nervous during my games against Lavos and Mr.E, but somehow I managed to control my nerves, and I felt great for finally getting a good SPL start (oh yeah, and it was super hilarious to watch Nintendi playing). It’s too bad we reached the ultimate tilt during the last weeks: https://www.smogon.com/forums/threads/smogon-premier-league-ix-week-9.3629748/page-8. I started to believe in superstitions after this SPL :p.

Excal: LOL that link. I remember seeing that replay. It's definitely not the same experience but I remember during WCoPP this past year I was really desperate to get a week 1 win just to start out nicely. I can definitely understand that starting off with a loss, especially in SPL, can be really hard because of the tremendous pressure. Do you have any tips for people who deal with nerves during important tournament games?

Century Express: However difficult if may be, I think the most important element is the self-esteem. During my first game vs. Fear, I wasn't really confident at all (and my anxiety wasn't helping). After some thinking, maybe the lack of confidence was my biggest mistake. Nowadays, I prefer to exercise a positive mindset. Even if I'm a underdog, and my opponent is a favorite player, I refuse to play thinking that I’m going to lose, even if x player is more experienced than I am. Of course, experience is your best friend, and you can only overcome it with constant practice and self-criticism. As an anxious person, I'm aware that I can't control my nerves like I should (especially 1h or 30min before an important game), so I try to take a deep breath and make some chamomile tea before any important match.

Excal: That's really great advice, thank you for sharing. Out of all the battles you've ever played, tournament or not, do you have a favorite that comes to mind? Feel free to send any replay.

Century Express: Probably vs. Lavos in last WCoP: https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen2ou-385493

Although I lost, I think we had a pretty good game overall. I chose a slightly risky team against him (in fact, Tiba told me about the Stall matchup, and I genuinely neglected it, since I wasn't expecting Lavos to use stall). I got an important lucky break against Lax vs. Forry but other than that we had an intense mid and late-game (iirc I managed to force him to risk the Skarmory vs. sleeping Zapdos mismatch, because Raikou was super weakened). Even though my team choice wasn't the best idea, I was proud of my performance overall.

Excal: I like how you picked a replay that you didn't win, actually. It's unfortunate sometimes that some of our best games are ones we lose, but I guess it's the game we sign up for. I can't wait to check that replay out after this interview is over. So let's quickly discuss the pokemon community: who are some people in the community that you've come to really respect/admire?

Century Express: McM, tama, and Worms. As I said before, the first two names were my teammates in SPL 8 and SPL 9, and both helped me to improve a lot not only in GSC, but in the fundamentals of the game overall. When I started to play GSC more seriously, I started to lurk on some threads, and it was really awesome to read some of Jorgen's threads/battle logs. These are some of my favourite GSC resources overall:

http://www.pokemonperfect.com/forums/index.php?threads/teambuilding-heuristics.3226/

https://www.smogon.com/forums/threads/gsc-bp.3541165/

Excal: Awesome! Thank you for those links. I definitely think Pokemon Perfect has some really good analysis for the older gens, especially RBY and GSC. Let's talk a bit about you now. What are some of your hobbies outside of pokemon?

Century Express: It's basically music and games, really. Back in 2012~2013, I started to learn how to play guitar, and during 2015~2017 I started to play drums. I'm a big fan of progressive rock, although nowadays I see myself as an "eclectic" person (I'm a big enthusiast of (sub-)genres like Post-Rock, Dream Pop, Hard Bop, MPB, Soul, Ambient music, OSTs, Synthpop, (mainly) 60- and 80s' pop rock, etc). I'm also a big fan of Nintendo 64/Arcade/Mega Drive games, and a couple of FPS games like CS:GO and Team Fortress 2. I started to collect some Nintendo 64 Games this year, while I still have a little collection of CDs and LPs from a few years ago.

Excal: That's so cool, I used to collect SNES games! I've got one last question for you: what's the origin of your username?

Century Express: When I chose my nick, Crime of the Century (from Supertramp), and Trans-Europe Express (from Kraftwerk) were albums that I used to listen to a lot, and back then I though it would sound cool (nowadays, I think it's kinda edgy haha). Outside of Smogon forums, I’m usually known as Leandro/Yes/Yesleandro (my first nick on Brazilian servers and forums), which is basically my favorite band + my first rl name :weary:

Excal: Yes is a great band. I'm a huge fan of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, and the author of the manga loves Yes: Roundabout is the first ending of the show! I think that wraps up the questions I have for you. Is there anything else you'd like to add? Any shoutouts?

Century Express: Nope, thanks!

Excal: Thank you very much for this interview, it was an absolute pleasure! :D

Century Express: Likewise :)
 
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RoA Interview #38: Lucix

Ismakhil: Hello everyone! Today I'm interviewing Lucix, who has been in the top 20 of the recent DPP Championship. How is it going?

Lucix: Thank you for interviewing me! I'm fine. And you?

Ismakhil: Everything's fine! Can you introduce yourself as a person and as a player?

Lucix: It's hard to define myself IRL; I'm a scientist living in Algeria since my childhood. I play soccer a lot and I usually listen to French rap. I've played Pokemon since 2013, but I have taken a few breaks. I nowadays play DPP OU a lot, and try to attain the best level possible, as well as also try my best to concentrate on school.

Ismakhil: Very cool! Can you tell us how you discovered Pokémon, and especially Smogon?

Lucix: I began PS! with a friend who doesn't play anymore. I used to play Ubers but I didn't improve at a strategic level. I discovered Smogon by watching some replays, but I never really dared to participate in any of these tours. I only recently got into tournaments, but chances of facing top players like BKC or Finchinator, helped me to integrate into Smogon. I try to participate in all the DPP tours to maintain a certain level and keep myself up-to-date with the metagame.

Ismakhil: So you're a real veteran, awesome! As a player of DPP, what do you love the most in this gen? And if you want, could you give us your favourite team to illustrate what you said?

Lucix: DPP OU is a really particular tier, the fights usually end pretty fast and any amount of hax can make a player lose if two offensives teams face each other. I also love the 'no-team preview' aspect, which rewards the good players that can guess the opponent's team. In my opinion, the tier is really offensive and mind games are omnipresent. I really enjoy team building as the metagame is really open to pretty much any Pokemon. For my favourite teams, I'd say https://pokepast.es/679cb3fdb956c1f8 a team that BKC built. That team made me excited enough to play the tier. And I'd also say https://pokepast.es/4d18a11252f2937f a team that was built by SOMALIA, which is really fun to use, and can be very unpredictable.

Ismakhil: It looks great! Can you give us a personal rating of all the OU gens?

Lucix: I'd probably say DPP > ORAS > BW > GSC > ADV > RBY > SM. I actually love playing all these tiers and I usually play SM OU tours.

Ismakhil: I see, do you have any objectives on the future or anything to ameliorate (improve weaknesses of) your gameplay?

Lucix: Of course I do! My main objective is to maintain a good level and building daily to not lose my habits. I try to participate in all the DPP Smogon tours and give my maximum effort. I would love to have time to invest myself in the Afrabs chat, and get picked in WCoP, but my studies complicate it. Without this, I try to take pleasure while playing and don't force myself to play.

Ismakhil: Awesome! Do you play any other games aside from Pokémon?

Lucix: I occasionally play Paladins, League Of Legends and Fortnite.

Ismakhil: I love these games too! To conclude, are there people that you met in PS! or are close to?

Lucix: I met a lot a wonderful people but to just quote some of them I would say: WcJay , Staxi , Zokuru , BlazingDark , and Hurtadoo .

Ismakhil: Awesome! Thanks you for the answers, it was super!
 
RoA Interview #39: HSOWA

Joyverse: Hello there, fellow readers! I'm currently with HSOWA, who's a tournament host for RoA, ORAS seasonal host for both the RoA and PP (Pokémon Perfect) forums, as well as being one of the more senior users in PS. So how're you, HSOWA?

HSOWA: Hi, Joyverse! I'm in a good mood, thanks!

Joyverse: Let's get straight to the most important question first! What made you choose HSOWA (Hot Skitty on Wailord Action) as your alias online? What's the story behind this choice?

HSOWA: The year was 2007, I was in Serebii's IRC chat, and someone mentioned the HotSkittyOnWailordAction meme. 11 year old me thought it was funny as hell, so I changed my name to it, and it stuck. Eventually, I shortened it to just HSOWA, mostly because it was too long a name to use on Pokemon Online

Joyverse: So that's the story behind it, huh? Cool! How were you introduced to Pokémon? How did you end up into competitive Pokémon, especially Smogon?

HSOWA: When I was like 5 or 6, Pokemon was really big here, so I had to get into it. I think the first game I played was Yellow, although I watched my brother play Blue. Whilst the hype for Pokémon died down around when gen 3 came out, I still loved the games.
I first found out about Smogon in my IRC days in the D/P era, because a lot of my friends played it; although I didn't get into competitive mons seriously until I first found out about Pokemon Online in 2010. I made a Smogon account in late 2010, but didn't become active on the site until 2016.


Joyverse: Interesting. Let's talk about tiers. I've always considered you as one of my go-to people for LC. But what are your favorite gens and what other tiers do you specialize/like?

HSOWA: Gens 3-5 are my favorite to play, with my favorite tiers, in particular, being ADV NU, DPP NU, and DPP LC — mostly because I loved playing these tiers back in the PO days with my friends :) I used to be really good at BW NU as well, but the meta's probs a lot different than when I played last.

Joyverse: I see. What's your favorite Pokémon? Why?

HSOWA: Porygon-Z. I've always liked the idea of its design, too bad it's mostly sucked in competitive play.

Joyverse: I like P-Z as well, man. Sad how it's been powercrept so much. So, where are you from? Let's talk about what you do irl.

HSOWA: I'm from the UK and work with IT, other than that I'm a pretty boring person :(

Joyverse: Oi, not really. You're a pretty chill dude. Don't sweat it! :D

HSOWA: yea I'm more exciting online than irl at least.

Joyverse: Extending on the last question, what other hobbies do you have aside from mons? What other games do you play? Do you listen to music or read books? Anything of that sort?

HSOWA: I like watching football and wasting time on youtube. I don't actually play that many games nowadays, but I am loving Smash Ultimate at the moment. There's a massive backlog of games I gotta finish or play. heh

Joyverse: Oh, I see. What are your favorite football (soccer) clubs? Which players do you generally look out for?

HSOWA: I'm unfortunately a Stoke City fan, and my favorite player is Bojan, who barely plays for us anymore b/c our manager is dumb. He left us, but I'm also a big fan of Xherdan Shaqiri. I'm happy he's regularly playing for Liverpool.

Joyverse: Now, then. Back to PS! Who are the users you generally follow and/or tend to look out for? Why?

HSOWA: Mostly people I'm friends with from PO or PP: Mikaav, Hurricane69 (xd), Hassin, Flare/SkyPhoenix, tjdaas, Sceptross and Eseque. oh and you :D

Joyverse: TFW you're interviewing a good friend and it's just wholesome chit-chat, huh?

HSOWA: Indeed.

Joyverse: Let's try to wrap this up fast. What are some of the best battles you've had? You can also share what you consider to be your favorite battles of other people. It'll be even better if you could share replays! :D

HSOWA: Sadly most of the good battles I've had are from the PO days. I used to love playing against Luck>Skill and The Real Elmo in NU tiers tho, they were always fun.

Joyverse: Time for the final question. What are your plans for the future in terms of Pokémon?

HSOWA: Just to keep on doing what I am now, hosting tours for people, helping out with projects, etc.

Joyverse: Thanks for the interview, HSOWA! Anything else to say to our readers?

HSOWA: Chiaki best girl.

Joyverse: :jebaited:
 
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phosphor

end of transmission
is a Tutor Alumnus
RoA Interview #40: DurzaOffTopic

refsunpersons: Good evening gentlemen! It's me refsunpersons and right now I'll be interviewing DurzaOffTopic! He's a Ruins of Alph tournament host, ZU moderator, semi-Youtuber and memer to rival Beds. How are you today?

DurzaOffTopic: I'm doing well, thanks for having me. Honored by the comparison to Beds, but I will always look up to him.

refsunpersons: Awesome! When did you get into competitive Pokemon? Did you start in PS!, or have you played competitive Pokemon before then?

DurzaOffTopic: I started on PS!, but my entry to competitive Pokemon was a bit strange. I actually joined PS! for the Mafia room, since I really enjoyed mafia, and wanted a better chat environment than Town of Salem. I was obviously surrounded by Pokemon on here, and I got drawn into competitive by none other than the tier of Mix & Mega. I really enjoyed competitive mons, but I got a bit bored of the OMs community, and branched out eventually to standard tiers and old gens.

refsunpersons: Ah. ZU was still an OM then, right? Were you one of the people who sanctioned ZU when it was still unofficial? Or did you become a mod after it got its own official room?

DurzaOffTopic: ZU wasn't even an OM at that point. It wasn't even represented on Smogon! ZU is still an OM right now, though we obviously have our dreams and aspirations of being official sometime in the future. I was a ZU Staff member when it was a private room on PS!. I actually got into ZU after I made a criticism about the way they handled a tiering decision and they kind of sucked me right in. The metagame is extremely fun!

refsunpersons: Actually, I can see how that works. Somebody who can verbalize opposite opinions well would be great for checks and balances.

DurzaOffTopic: Yeah, I'm not there to oppose anything now of course. I'm part of the council and QC Team, and I'm having so much fun working for such a fun and developing metagame!

refsunpersons: I see. I've heard news of there being a DPP ZU now (from you and Akir). What is it like? If it can even be characterized, assuming it was formed right after a concrete usage-list was made for DPP PU.

DurzaOffTopic: DPP ZU is extraordinarily fun right now! I'm leading the DPP project for ZU right now, and it's picked up more traction than I really anticipated it to. Akir and other PU people made the tier list from ladder usage stats and PUPL tournament usage, factoring in viability decisions as well. We're starting to come up with resources and other things too. If you're interested, you can check out this spreadsheet:

docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1mt1a1MWh5f7sMpATrlu6I1OosLiYPreGXc0zThXZkc0/

You can get involved with DPP ZU in the ZU room / ZU discord.

refsunpersons: What Pokemon should I expect to see in DPP ZU? Which Pokemon would you say are currently centralizing or broken?

DurzaOffTopic: We just made the decision to ban Ramparados and Raichu, two Pokemon who we felt that had nearly no counterplay in the current state of the metagame. Right now the things to look at are Normal-types! Lopunny, Raticate, Clefable, Pidgeot, Persian and Exploud all look extremely powerful in this developing metagame. Ghost-types are conversely good, particularly Dusclops and Gastly. Weather abusers, like Huntail or offensive Tangela, have potential as well. Some things to note are Diglett being extremely good with Arena Trap legal, and a lack of viable Spikers and abundance of spinners makes Spikes a difficult to use hazard in a DPP metagame, which is very cool. Baton Pass makes Pokemon like Lopunny amazing, as it gives such a multi-dimensional Pokemon even more options for momentum and team support. Fighting-types are not very common, but Combusken is an extremely versatile Pokemon as well!

refsunpersons: My blood ran cold at the mention of Diglett, as it was considered too powerful for BW OU. Do you think a ban is likely there as well?

DurzaOffTopic: It's too early to say, but I don't think so. It's pretty manageable and it is somewhat easy to take advantage of. There's also not very many Steel-types for it to trap and weaken as well, so its effectiveness is not as widespread.

refsunpersons: I see you and Aaronboyer have written a lot of analysis for ADV NU. Could you tell us a bit about the QC process? My own analysis is currently stuck as it has no team to QC it, so I'm surprised less-known tiers such as ADV NU have a dedicated QC team.

DurzaOffTopic: It doesn't really have a set process. What generally happens is the ADV NU community comes together and works on an analysis until we think it’s ready - we have some great people willing to help like Bughouse, Megazard, Hogg, and others, and then Oglemi usually comes and tells us its ready to move out of the QC stage when its ready.

refsunpersons: There's an ADV NU community? Where does it gather?

DurzaOffTopic: It's generally made of people who play it in the annual NU Premier League. Everybody is a regular on Smogon and its very easy to talk to people about it. There's also people in the RoA room that you can get games from - the most regular from my experience is Noitu, who is an incredible ADV player who goes by many many names. Hogg's a huge fan of him as well. He's a great guy and you can find him usually when he says something along the lines of "adv uu/nu/ubers anyone?". He'll give you great games and he's a blast to talk to.

refsunpersons: I see. Which oldgen tier is your favorite? When did you start playing it?

DurzaOffTopic: Ugh, such a difficult question, but FUN wise? I have to say BW RU. I never really played it seriously but I watched players like Finchinator, -Tsunami- and August in RUPL and RU World Cup play it and I've stolen some teams and played myself, and I really just have so much fun playing that tier. I also have a soft spot for BW NU as I got my only win in NUPL this year in the tier. Although ADV NU will probably always be my long-term favorite old gen lower tier.

refsunpersons: Do you think it's changed quite a bit since you started? What's your opinion on the future of this tier?

DurzaOffTopic: ADV NU has drastically changed in the past few years. It's definitely shifted to the "stally" side of things, thanks to Pokemon like Sableye, Wailord, and Roselia being so good in the current metagame. A few years ago the "standard" Flareon set would be an offensive set, such as a Choice Band or mixed attacker set, but now nearly all of them are specially defensive to help check things like Haunter. Weather is still very viable but balance has somewhat declined in viability in lieu of the slower and bulkier metagame. The most common core I see now days is that FWG core of Flareon, Wailord, and Roselia, along with a Steel-type. This is so good because of how bulky these Pokemon are in combination with the effectiveness of Spikes in the current metagame, with Roselia being the best Spiker by a mile. Glalie still works as a great lead though.

refsunpersons: Glad to hear these metas are still very alive. Do you look up to anyone in the competitive Pokemon community?

DurzaOffTopic: Absolutely. obii is one of my best friends and a very good battler and he's just friendly and competitive with everyone. He really makes the game fun. Shakeitup (-Tsunami-) is also a great player and friend despite the fact that he's a filthy cheater at times. Pohjis is probably my biggest "idol" right now, as I absolutely respect how good he's been in both lower tiers and old gens this year. I pride myself in being his biggest fan despite the haters making fun of me for it. The level of consistency and high level play is incredible from him, and he's super nice as well!

refsunpersons: Who's your favorite Pokemon?

DurzaOffTopic: To the surprise of few, Bisharp is my favorite Pokemon by far. I loved it in game playing BW, and I love its design overall. It's a combination of my two favorite types - Dark and Steel. Some runner ups are Croagunk and Garchomp, though.

refsunpersons: Do you mind if I ask a few personal questions? Where are you from?

DurzaOffTopic: Sure! I'm from the US, Pennsylvania specifically.

refsunpersons: What is your favorite food?

DurzaOffTopic: Oh boy, not sure how to answer this one, but in general I really enjoy good pasta and pasta products, though I'm not an exceptionally picky eater.

refsunpersons: What do you do in your life?

DurzaOffTopic: I'm a musician. I write music specifically, a composer, though I'm a very good pianist as well. Been playing very seriously (4-6 hours a day type stuff in my past) for many years. Currently waiting on responses from some of the top music conservatories in the world, but no matter what there’s nothing I'd rather do than music.

refsunpersons: Oh, you're a composer? What kind of music do you compose? Also, what are your hobbies?

DurzaOffTopic: It's kind of hard to qualify my music. It technically falls under the category of "classical" but I don't write music that sounds like Mozart or something (God, no. Atonal stuff is not my forte, more like Rachmaninoff / Barber / more tonal Bartok). I want to write music for movies or video games in the future. My hobbies, outside my life of music, include playing soccer and watching sports like baseball and American football.

refsunpersons: I see you have a fundraiser for buying fellow player LL a hoodie! How do I become such a considerate person like you?

DurzaOffTopic: I think my compassion is just unparalleled on this website, though you could try donating to my fundraiser as a start: https://www.gofundme.com/help-ll-pay-his-bet-to-durza

refsunpersons: Thank you very much for all this. Lastly, I would like to ask: where does your username come from?

DurzaOffTopic: My username originates from the book "Inheritance", by Christopher Paolini. Durza isn't a really great guy I guess, but an interesting and powerful character. Thanks so much for taking the time to interview me, it's an honor!

refsunpersons: Do you have anything to add, or any shoutouts?

DurzaOffTopic: Shoutout peak, VoD romance sage metabeast leader shakeitup and his legendary DD latios, and fellow RoA'er Ransei for being an amazing friend throughout my time on PS and getting me into RoA. Finally, always remember to pay off your bets!

refsunpersons: Thanks for the interview! I'll see you around.
 
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Lutra

Spreadsheeter by day, Random Ladderer by night.
is a Community Leaderis a Community Contributor
RoA Leader
RoA Interview #41: Ransei

Lutra: Today we are joined by OM Forum Mod and Room Owner, Ransei. Ransei, where does your username come from?

Ransei: My username comes from the game Pokemon Conquest. It is the name of the region in that game. https://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Ransei

Lutra: Did you start off with that username? Tell us how you first got involved with Pokémon Showdown and Smogon.

Ransei: Surprisingly, I did start off with this username. Now for Pokemon Showdown, funny story...

When I got my first laptop, the first thing I wanted to do was play Pokemon on it. I was searching up Pokemon games I knew and noticed Pokemon Showdown popping up on the search bar. I ignored it anyway and found a site where I could download "Pokemon Emerald". After downloading "Pokemon Emerald" and giving myself loads of viruses, I've decided to play another game I knew, Pokemon Tower Defense. I got bored of it so then I continued to search for more Pokemon games. Because Pokemon Showdown kept popping up on the search bar and I had no idea what it was, I decided to go ahead and try it out too. My intelligent self thought it was another great idea to also go ahead and download Pokemon Showdown. I was on my DS at the time I first joined Pokemon Showdown and when I noticed I had to enter in a username, I immediately thought about taking the name of the Pokemon region. Oddly enough I knew the username would not be taken, but I also knew names I would prioritize before Ransei were obviously taken (just some edgy usernames some early teen would use. I won't give examples.)

I joined Smogon almost a month later with a different story. About a month into Pokemon Showdown, I was already starting to be a known presence in the Other Metas community. I noticed many metagames were out and available to play and I was given info about the ability to submit metagame ideas on the forum. I had my own little metagame idea I wanted to try inserting into Other Metagames, but I was told I needed a Smogon profile. With that, I signed up for Smogon!

Lutra: Very impressive. How did you starting getting involved in RoA?

Ransei: My involvement with RoA comes in two different stories. The first I believe took setting around late 2014. Around that time, I took interest in seeing how older generations of Pokemon were like because of my enjoyment in playing the games. During the time I had never actually played a Generation 6 Pokemon game but was playing Gen 6 formats, so I wanted to see if I could take a role in trying out old gen formats. I've also noticed the room at the time being particularly small, so I felt I could try to help contribute to it a bit and attempted to get roomvoice (which I never got). After a few months of the room being in the same state, my interest shifted and I left.

The second story took setting around mid 2017, when I was playing through generation 7, but was actually tired of it ruining every format I enjoyed back in Gen 6. I was sick of it to the point where I decided to look back to the Ruins of Alph room, only trying to once again see what I could play (this time I wasn't trying to go for any rank or such). I quickly began chatting more often than I had noticed and uh... I'm here now because of that.

Lutra: Interesting. Describe your RoA Tour Night journey also. For instance, I remember the original format for posting winners and runners-up was very close to the Daily OM format. I later simplified it to only announcing winners for spreadsheet and medal signifying reasons.

Ransei: I was aware a project later came up, RoA Tour Nights, and I was suggested to take part in it. With my experience hosting OM Daily tournaments, I decided to take this role as well. I've found it fun throughout the entire journey being able to decide whatever format I wanted to host these specialized tournaments in. Now you mentioned the current formatting of the OM Daily tournaments, indeed I actually copied the current formatting off the RoA Tour Nights format to start off a new year in 2018. Before then, there was an extra vertical bar with the phrase "replay" next to it, where I was intended to link the replay showing the finals of each tour. In the end, I was surprised to have managed to host so many tour nights. I felt it was always just a usual thing for me to constantly host tournaments around the times I've actively hosted these.

Lutra: Cool, as of writing, you still hold the record for most RoA tour nights hosted. Do you intend to make and break records, or do the records just come along with the passion you have for helping out?

Ransei: The latter. I'm honestly still surprised that even after weeks of not hosting any tour nights, that I'm still far ahead.

Lutra: Were you surprised when you earnt Community Contributor? Did you have any previous badge? I can't remember.

Ransei: I was actually surprised, and I didn't have a previous badge. This was the first! I didn't expect to get a badge anytime soon.

Lutra: What has it been like in your new position as an OM RO? What would you say are the differences in how RoA and OM rooms operate?

Ransei: So far I don't think there has been much I've done yet, other than making a few staff promotions and actually, one very recent demotion. I've noticed over the past year that OMs operates in more of a way that promotes actively chatting in the room, whereas Ruins of Alph operates in a way that promotes hosting and playing in room tournaments.

Lutra: You mentioned RoA focuses less on chatting, is that an area you want RoA to improve in? Are there other areas you would highlight?

Ransei: Honestly I'm not sure. As far as the chat goes, I've always felt RoA has been doing pretty fine for a room that hosts many tours. It's honestly one of the best rooms I would feel to get staff in.

Lutra: What are your future ambitions in the competitive Pokémon community?

Ransei: Currently, I am taking a huge role to expand the accessibility of various formats within both the Other Metagames and the Ruins of Alph community. Right now one of my biggest roles consist of developing combinations of OMs known as OM Mashups. These combinations also work with tiers and old gens, as long as at least one of them is an Other Metagame.

Lutra: What OMs would you like to see become more popular?

Ransei: Primarily old gen OMs and OM Mashups such as Gen 6 Balanced Hackmons and Pure Hackmons are what I'd like to see become more popular.

Lutra: You are currently hosting ADV 1v1 cup on the forum. Have you ever been interested in hosting bigger, more demanding tournaments?

Ransei: I'm currently not on the strive for, but I am willing to do so on request.

Lutra: Thank you Ransei. I’ve enjoyed receiving your answers.

Ransei: No problem.
 

Lutra

Spreadsheeter by day, Random Ladderer by night.
is a Community Leaderis a Community Contributor
RoA Leader
The weekly schedule is not being met currently, so I've put: "On Hiatus" in the title. At the moment, I'm focusing mostly on expanding tour nights. I want to come back to focusing on this afterwards.
 

phosphor

end of transmission
is a Tutor Alumnus
RoA Interview #42: hellpowna

firelit nights: Good evening gentlemen! The hiatus is finally over. Today we have a DPP extraordinaire who has dominated the Italian scene, a veteran player and tutor, and a really interesting personality in general, hellpowna! So, how are you today?

hellpowna: Hello guys, thanks for the nice words, and for the opportunity! I'm alright. I’m about to play against BKC for OUPL tie break semifinal; I’m so excited! :)

firelit nights: Yeah, I distinctly remember somebody mentioning the difference a name can make in a tour game. There's "oh I'm playing a pretty good player" and "oh fuck I'm playing Lavos/ BKC". Is there a vibe like that right now?

hellpowna: BKC is one of the best, if not the best... but I’m not scared; I’m happy because I can measure my skills and improve!

firelit nights: That is truly a fantastic competitive player attitude.

hellpowna: I'll try to do my best, to win and keep my record!

firelit nights: When did you start playing Pokémon, and on what simulator?

hellpowna: 2009, on Shoddy Battle.

firelit nights: Do you think DPP has changed from when you played it back then and now? In what way? Is it for the better?

hellpowna: I think DPP has drastically changed throughout the years. We can all remember the first DPP environment, when Chomp and Mence were unbanned (wow, it's been a while). DPP is OK now though, and I think there are no bans/unbans that could make it better. I really don't think, that with the Latias unban, the metagame changed a lot; TTar and Jira have been dominating this tier for ages. It (Latias) surely helps a lot, and gives another win condition against Balance and Stall in general. I hear lots of people actually complain about the fact that Gen 4 is the most power-creeped gen ever, but I do not think so. The no-show team preview is what makes this tier "unique". After the Latias unban, most of us were "supposed" to see lots of Dug around. Of course, with the Latias unban, Dug's usage rose up, but it's not alarming. I do not see the "centralization" resulting from it.

firelit nights: This recent SPL, there have been people who have been showing dismay at the tier, due to variance, and what was perceived to be a "weaker pool", do you have any thoughts on this?

hellpowna: In the recent SPL, the DPP level was good; I do not think it was a "weaker" pool. I was excited to see MoP playing, because he's very innovative. Jimmy and Roscoe were obviously the most experienced players in the tier. This SPL showed new faces like Gary (who I did not know well) and DeepBlueC, who was well known, but not in the DPP world. Both gave me a good impression. I’m very sad that I wasn't picked for SPL, but whatever… it happens! :)

firelit nights: In your last interview, you mentioned guys like Taylor, and other DPP legends, and how they had unique battling styles and philosophies. What were they like? How are they different from today's players? Has the famed "hellpowna style" changed the past 4 years?

hellpowna: Well, Taylor had been my tutor and was the player I always admired. He's a formidable player and a fantastic person to interact with. I have had the pleasure to have kept in contact with him for the past several years. He's retired, but he was a real beast. I think I learned the art of offense from him, since he was the main offensive player.

I think "players change because tiers change". My style has never fundamentally changed, just improved. I’m the guy who always wants to discover new stuff to use. This is the reason why my teams are unique and very hard to pilot. I agree with the approach of actively changing the metagame with uncommon and innovative sets. To me, Pokémon is an unexplored world, and I really think that DPP can offer so much more. I could play with standard teams... and yeah, I could win more, but it’s not fun. This is a game and I will have fun.

firelit nights: Tie in question: it was probably a joke, but do you still think a tutor is needed to introduce a player into DPP? https://www.smogon.com/forums/threads/featured-tutor-8-hellpowna.3539704/post-6247698

hellpowna: Well, a Tutor may help you to learn faster. I’m the guy who's always been happy to hear from a top player. Yes, you can also learn DPP by laddering, of course, but a Tutor can give you the basics that players need. Today, most of the new players think they are the best after winning a few tours, but I do not think so.

firelit nights: Ah, noted. Speaking of tutoring and tournaments, I'd also like to ask a few questions about that. You have Top Tutor Alumnus, considered to be one of the most prestigious badges... what your opinion on the state of tutoring today?

hellpowna: I'm very honored that Smogon gave me this badge. I think I deserved it for what I’ve done, for the effort I put into tutoring. :)

firelit nights: Do you think the shift of Smogon towards a tournament culture where the tournament players and contributors have somewhat split up, has deteriorated today's DPP tutoring?

hellpowna: I do not think so, because Smogon has recognized the specific role you've done.

firelit nights: Ah, you think that being recognized for your tutoring already means it's "Smogon quality" and it's not necessarily worse because you're not a Tournaments fanatic?

hellpowna: Yeah.

firelit nights: I see. You mentioned that you liked to make friends with your tutees because a positive environment is most conducive to learning. Are there any specific tutees you are proud of or any specific tutoring moments you'd like to share?

hellpowna: Well, I think this is the secret. You have to establish real contact with your tutee. Your tutee will completely follow your lead, so you need to build "empatia” with them. I have lots of memories, a great deal of them, and mentioning just one moment with one tutee is not correct. Sergi, for example, was my tutee and he played in SPL this year. In Italy, I have lots of players that I've tutored. Making friends is the best thing about here, and the reason why I’m still alive. Sharing your knowledge is amazing, yeah, but trust me, making friends is better. :)

firelit nights: Ah, having to single out tutees isn't right; you might forget someone, but all of them have been special in their own way?

hellpowna: Exactly, yes.

firelit nights: Do you mind if I ask a few personal questions?

hellpowna: No, you may.

firelit nights: ...do you still own that restaurant?

hellpowna: Nope, I changed that job. I actually work in a French Hotel chain that is well known around the world. The Accor chain. I will get a role as the leader soon.

firelit nights: Oh wow, you mean as a manager or actual owner of the chains?

hellpowna: Manager of my department. I work at the reception, and in 1 year of hard working they intend to make me front office manager. Great responsibility, but I love it. I love playing, working under pressure. It makes me exceed my limits.

firelit nights: I do know that a lot of professional athletes have a common pitfall where after retirement they fail to market their image properly and fall into poverty, so it's good that you managed to avoid that. Speaking of which, are you still a professional footballer? If not, do you still play?

hellpowna: Well, this is probably the saddest story of my life. When I was young, 14 years old, I was not used to going to school. Or at least, I preferred to play football. One day someone called me and said: you are a fantastic player; would you like to join our club? Guess who? It was the well-known team AC Milan (one of the greatest football clubs in the world)!

hellpowna: You can imagine how I felt in that moment. I was doing very well, this is what they said. I was the player who loved tricks in general. I remember the time when we were winning 4-0, I scored 4 goals, and I silenced the crowd. One player, who I was dribbling against, and honestly humiliating him, because he used to bullshit over my family, destroyed my left leg...

firelit nights: How did he destroy your leg? In game? As a foul? Or was it a street brawl?

hellpowna: A strong kick, a really strong kick as a foul. But it was intentional. I stopped for a year and half, but it was too late and I was not the same as two years prior. I was slow, and I was scared, but I always scored goals. Years later, it happened again, but it was not intentional. It's always a possibility when you play.

firelit nights: What happened to the first guy? Did he get barred from the sport? He should never step foot in a playing field again.

hellpowna: Yeah, but you know how Italy works. It gives just one shot. I ended my dream. In the same year I lost my old coach, the one I was playing for. I luckily did not fall into poverty. I have a tattoo of him on my body, on my left arm. I gained a bit of money, which is why I’m now not poor, but my dream was over. I was used to playing for the people. I found a job with a German restaurant, but I did not like it. Then I went back into my country and got my current job.

hellpowna: I'm happy now, but I have in my closet, my first shoe that my mentor gave me for my 14th birthday. I hope my son will wear it someday.

firelit nights: You have a kid?

hellpowna: No, I'm only 23 years old. I was obsessed with football.

firelit nights: But you've lived a very inspiring life already. Obsession is what the reluctant call dedication, I guess.

hellpowna: Yeah.

firelit nights: I heard you were in a FIFA game?

hellpowna: Yeah LOL, it seems dumb, but yeah. For privacy reasons I will not tell you my name. Anyway, there's a video of mine on Youtube, or there was, I do not know which. Football is the reason why I lived. During my young age, when I played against my city team and I scored two goals, I thought “I will play for you someday”. I remember my mom called the police one day because I was out for one day. I was only playing football in a small stadium. I’d like to have new legs to bring myself back to playing football. My life seems like a movie, but this is actually the reality.

firelit nights: Well, with the passion you've lived your life so far, I'm sure you'll go places whatever direction you go.

hellpowna: I hope so, we live once so we need to make it special. Don't you think so?

firelit nights: Do you mind if we go back to mons? Apologies if this is abrupt.

hellpowna: Yeah, why not? Don’t worry, I'm proud of what I did. Somewhere there could be a person with my same story, who knows?

firelit nights: What is the Italian Pokémon scene like?

hellpowna: Well, it's not terrible, but it's not good either. I joined the Italian community a long time ago, but I did not think much of it, because it was not my business. I only tried to transfer my DPP passion to the ones who wanted to discover the gen 4 world. I had and do have a lot of friends... and a lot of enemies too. But it's OK.

firelit nights: Ah, could you elaborate a bit? As far as you are comfortable with.

hellpowna: From 2008 to 2014 there were lots of clans, who used to compete with each other. Smogon was not common in the Italian community. I think I was the first Italian to discover the Smogon world, a fact I do not mind. From 2014 to now, the Italian community has been falling off a cliff. Lots of legendary players have retired.

firelit nights: I see. And you feel like the current community, while skilled, has lost its way?

hellpowna: The roster you see now (in WCoP) represents more or less the best Italian players. The Italian community was well known for their amazing skills in the old gens. Now we are barely a complete roster. I was the first Italian ever to win a trophy on Smogon, this is my personal record and I'm very proud of it. I think “meh” at the roster, and I should really be first choice (to be slotted). The WCOP roster almost represents the best players, but I did not agree with some choices. I do not know why I'm not in. I win every fucking tour. Undefeated in OUPL, undefeated in HPL, Top 4 at DPP Global Championship.

firelit nights: Maybe politics?

hellpowna: Yeah, someone hates me.

firelit nights: I won't ask if it's private.

hellpowna: You can, of course, feel free to ask what you want. I'm 100% committed.

firelit nights: What were your inspirations in your career? (in Pokemon or otherwise)

hellpowna: There are a few players who gave me reasons to play. First was Taylor, he's one of the best friends I have ever had here, and in my opinion one of the best players ever. If you think Pokémon, you can obviously think of Earthworm. I decided to play Pokémon because of him. The first battle I've ever seen was his battle against Gouki. He's formidable and I have had the pleasure to know him. Astamatitos , the Greek God, gave me lessons of ADV; I was his "tutee". He's the best ADVer of all time, and one of the nicest people I have ever seen on here. My OUPL ADV record is thanks to him. There are Italian players who you do not know, because they haven't spent so much time on Smogon, who have inspired me; you know who you are guys!

firelit nights: Any shout-outs to current, past, or up-and-comping players you feel have potential?

hellpowna: I'm inspired by everyone, by who is friendly and wants to share their abilities. I think BKC represents the modern Earthworm. He's very strong; there are lot of players around who are capable too. Lavos is formidable too. UD inspired me a lot; he's another amazing ADV player. He's a fantastic person, same with Eo. I want to thank Hugo for putting trust in me in SPL. There are lots of players I can mention!

firelit nights: How about your latest activities in the Smogon community?

hellpowna: Well, I was not very active ON Smogon. I joined in 2009, but I came into the competitive Smogon community around 2013. After the SPL triumph, I quit for several years. I mean- I was around, but I did not care for any of it. Then, I came back when Ciele won the Smogon Tour trophy. This was basically my best year because I got into the top 16 of both Smogon Tour and Classic, the playoffs. Then I went off for a few years, but was still alive, and came back into the competitive world just a year and half ago. I was very active, especially when I was a tutor. During my "career", I had lots of voids. I used to play tours... but I got so bored.

firelit nights: How has being active on RoA been for you so far?

hellpowna: Well, very good. RoA is the best place for me because of old gens. I had the opportunity to meet lots of veteran players, including Earthworm. I think it's hard to leave mons. Pokémon helped me a lot, and taught me English (LOL). More or less anyway, my English is still bad!

firelit nights: Thanks for the interview, hellpowna! Your life is very inspiring to all of us.

hellpowna: Thank you too for your kindness, and Smogon for making this a reality. It's been fun. Do not forget to forever believe in your dreams. Keep your head up and do not let anyone tell you you are not good. Life is too short for being sad, and Pokémon is too bad to get mad after getting haxed.


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phosphor

end of transmission
is a Tutor Alumnus
RoA Interview #43: Lutra

firelit nights: Good evening gentlemen! This is firelit nights and today we have the Ruins of Alph room/ forums' head honcho, PS! Room Owner, spreadsheet crusader, RoAPL tournament organizer/ team manager, and PokemonPerfect owner Lutra! How are you on this fine day?

Lutra: I'm good, thanks! What about you?

firelit nights: A bit groggy, but thanks for asking. When did you get into competitive Pokemon? Did you start in Shoddy? PO? Or have you played competitive Pokemon before then?

Lutra: I started on Pokemon Netbattle, 0.96 I believe. A school friend introduced me. At the time, I think XD moves for RSE weren't officially implemented, or something. It was just before the start of 4th gen, at the very end of 3rd gen. Netbattle wouldn't have DPP support until much later with Netbattle Supremacy. I also didn't wander onto Shoddy until the Platinum era. I'd never gone on an online game before, so I was really anxious and shaking with anticipation when I first went onto NetBattle.

Funny story about PO is that I was learning NetBattle scripting at the time of being introduced; I was learning scripting with help from a user called Rose. Another friend, called Fantomon (you probably know her as Rafanto), was kind of a rival for me in NetBattle Supremacy. She was French and happened to be friends with coyotte508. At first, he (coyotte508) thought I was trying to steal his scripts or something, but eventually he invited me to PO as a beta tester. Those were really fun times, when my suggestions really held weight. I also made the first tournament script for PO.

firelit nights: So you've been a coding guy for that long, huh? And from the famed NetBattling era too... Were you ever part of a clan?

Lutra: Well, yeah, but I've always tried to lead my own thing. I actually learnt NetBattle scripting because I wanted to promote an NBS server called Pokemon Perfect. Your next question follows very well, since before I decided to make my own community, I was originally a member of a clan called Team Sonic. I gave myself the role of Recruiting Director or something along those lines, and I really wanted to get as many people as possible wearing the [Team Sonic] tag. There was a guy named TS Vector on Smogon, who become a member at some point. Anyway, eventually I grew unsatisfied with that clan and started a new clan with a guy called Weiss. That one didn't last long, though, before I founded another clan called [RH], Ra-Herakty. It lasted quite a while, but I made the mistake of giving away power too easily, and an admin deleted the forums one day. I quit RH’s sequel because they wouldn't give me any power. That's when I started another community, called ThunderVolt, but then I deleted that and eventually settled on Pokemon Perfect. The rest is history.

firelit nights: When did you start playing in tournaments? Were you already an RBY player back then?

Lutra: I was never that big into competing in tournaments and, well, I still didn't play that much at my peak. I first started playing RBY seriously in 2009, however. I soon met a user called WaterWizard, who had a massive influence in the RBY2k10 community, which I was somewhat a part of. I was focusing on PO at that point though; they implemented Stadium first, so my priorities laid there. It was around 2012 before I finally got really interested in RBY again. I played in the RBY2K10 2012 tournament, if remember correctly, and then started RBY seasons in May 2013. I finally won a Master Tournament after coming runner up in 2 previous editions, in Season 2 vs RBY Ruiner Crystal_ (I think). I also won the Good Old Days tournament, hosted by Oglemi on Smogon.

firelit nights: So PokemonPerfect used to be a NetBattle server alongside others, and became what it is right now at around 2012 when RBY was implemented?

Lutra: Yeah, I mean it was Netbattle Supremacy and it was kind of dying at that point vs Shoddy, so it’s probable a lot of people didn't actually notice it. Shoddy, PO, and PS! all in succession boosted Pokemon sim numbers massively.

firelit nights: Could you tell us about your time in PO?

Lutra: When PO started getting popular, maybe late 2010 or something, a guy approached me to run their PO server. They gave me access to what is known as a Virtual Private Server (VPS). Eventually I got fed up with that community, PokeBattleCenter, and wanted my own VPS, which I got and still have to this day. I also hosted a rival community called Pokemon Mysidia on it, before eventually settling on hosting PokemonPerfect's PO server, which I'd script for (JavaScript). I also set up a PS server at some point, but it never really interested me, so it was stopped at some point. Early PP was not quite as successful as it is now. RBY seasons were what changed everything.

firelit nights: Does this PS server still exist? I mean, a PokemonPerfect one exists and seems to be used so I'll assume it wasn't that one. PS has a lot of dead servers, there's even a Ruins of Alph one that we never use.

Lutra: It doesn't exist anymore. The current PP server's hosting is paid for by Disaster Area, formerly known as Piexplode.

firelit nights: So you really were more into PO than PS?

Lutra: I was learning web scripting, like PHP and a bit of JavaScript to make a PP website, but I never got too far in that project. There was also a thing on PO where you could display usage stats and logs on webpages, so that's also how I got interested. For a long time I really was more involved with PO (while everyone was on PS!), but I think at around 2015 or 2016 I jumped ship to PS!. I still really miss some features from PO and even Netbattle's interface, and have never really felt comfortable with PS!. But, it's where everyone is.

firelit nights: Are there any other things about you PO career we should know about, like during the PS/ PO overlap period?

Lutra: I got a Wii U. Okay, that doesn't sound very exciting, but it did play a crucial role in accelerating my drive. I mean, no one had a Wii U, so it meant I could appear actually good at times without insane competition. I went onto post scores on a website called CyberScore, and I got quite involved in their community, being one of founding members of their Skype group. For some reason I'm a masochist and went back to Pokemon, because those were really cool days. I tried to go back (to CyberScore) a few years later, but I just felt like I didn't fit in when I returned. I guess my mood has always been best in smaller groups.

firelit nights: When and how did you become staff of the Old Gens PS room?

Lutra: It's nothing I ever really aspired to become. To me, it just seems like a way to arbitrarily keep people from achieving important things (the way the auth system works), and some people take it way too seriously. What is great is how it can be used as a platform for a well-oiled machine though, like RoA Tour Nights. Back to the question, I gained enough influence one day to get Room Driver, even though I barely talked. Shortly after, I went on tour hosting marathons and gradually got interested in the room policy. I would go on to set up Room Championships, and Tour Nights respectively with a bit of help from CZ. , Typhlito and Ransei, among others. I did look up that I became RoA RO in August 2017, I believe. I think I became staff a few months prior.

firelit nights: How did you get drafted into SPL all those years ago?

Lutra: I entered POCL, PO's equivalent of SPL in 2013, and got a decent record as part of the winning team. Combined with my other performances I talked about, I was drafted into SPL. I didn't really do anything otherwise. As for SPL itself, I never really enjoyed it. I just can't handle team pressure and people wanting me to talk. I've had severe social anxiety all my life. Only in the last couple of years have I been able to walk outside my house on my own and I still can't really do it of my own volition, only as part of a 'challenge'. I really did enjoy winning important RBY games, like the tiebreak versus Tiba where I made a brave decision to include Zapdos in the decisive game, having previously used it in the second one. I felt good for weeks and months following that experience.

firelit nights: Your spreadsheets are currently what's holding together a lot of the RoA room's projects, like Tour Nights and interviews. Where or when did you learn this skill? From academics, or work related?

Lutra: Well in England, at least when I was at school, you get taught Microsoft Office skills. So RBY seasons were going really smoothly; I think it was Season 4. ALLALA started doing spreadsheets and he would do cool things to them, colouring them in rainbow colours. At some point, he gave me access and I started doing a lot of editing. More and more, I got tempted to change the design. As time went by, I was creating and designing my own spreadsheets. I did a ton of spreadsheet work to make the World's Longest OU tournament run okay and I really raised the bar with the level of design compared to my previous ones, hand-picking the colours instead of relying on default colours. I think I've done 30-to-40-odd spreadsheets now.

When Google Spreadsheets introduced macros, it gave me a reason to want to learn a bit of Google App Scripting, because the macro actions are replaced by code. Since then, I've made tour nights, room championships and RoA interviews as automated as I can. There are more improvements to be made for sure. I'm really in the mindset right now to future-proof the spreadsheets. It's been a long road and there's still a long road to go, but things really have the potential to turn into a well-oiled machine. RoA Tour nights already became one, but I had to go complicate it further! I now make to-do lists for each spreadsheet, which is often just adding features via the language within the cells. My philosophy is always trying to do stuff within the cells themselves, and if that's impossible, go to the scripting. It's certainly good to avoid custom formulae if you can, because they don't feel integrated well within the spreadsheet. I was getting annoying loading messages when I tried before. Macros are pretty solid, though.

firelit nights: RoAPL is almost done! What was your experience like organizing the tournament?

Lutra: Okay, so during the first RoAPL, I managed Lucky Laprases and I must say it was an absolute delight. You could say that the management-base was pretty poor though, allowing me to get too much quality. We won, and with not much effort on my part. I had a completely opposite experience in POCL, where it was much harder to judge how serious players would take the tournament, knowing who was actually decent out of who signed up, and who was active. I didn't feel comfortable enough going in, with me not knowing all the tier player-bases well enough. Some really appalling behaviour cost us wins for some weeks — players scheduling matches last minute and then not playing their matches. I would definitely say managing is a lot easier than hosting, but it hurts a lot more when players let you down. Managers themselves also make hosting easier or harder, I guess.

I've organized a lot of tournaments, including stuff like World's Longest OU Tournament that demanded an absolute massive amount of work. RoAPL is the most difficult tournament for me though. I took part in making the decisions for 3 editions, but I decided in this latest RoAPL I would "only" do the spreadsheet at minimum. I ended up doing power rankings and interviews, which I guess made it the hardest job of the year still. I am positive about future editions though, assuming things don't change too much. A lot of the spreadsheet work that was unresolved from last year I've completed. I'm hoping to tidy things up following this RoAPL, including tidying up previous RoAPLs and starting some cumulative spreadsheets.

firelit nights: How about managing a team? Is it really "miserable" or was that just tongue-in-cheek?

Lutra: It's hard work because it's an utter chore to make fair decisions and the demands for power rankings / replays / usage stats. There's also no incentive to make fair decisions unless people notice or really bring attention to injustices, which is a really serious problem in the bigger world too. Team tournaments can also stir up really toxic environments, and unlike individual tournaments, you get whole teams fighting against your decisions, so of course it is a miserable experience (relatively at least).

firelit nights: I can sort of see what you mean with the last part, what with some power rankings coming out in the semifinals and arguments in the Talk Thread about tiebreaking with Battle Differential. Do you have any up-and-coming plans for the RoA room?

Lutra: Well, it doesn't matter to me that something that takes like 30 minutes to type out and could have been posted in week 2 wasn't. It was more important to me to preserve the order. Hopefully we'll get more contributors, so we can produce the interviews and power rankings descriptions sooner. There's been improvements year-on-year to RoAPL, like most things I do, so it's something to be really positive about. I wish TIN, like others, obviously could be more constructive, but it takes time, of which I have too much, to wander down the path that has led me to make the choices I have. In the end, I got the motivation to improve the team standings, which is good for the future. I would say the next idea I have is trivia/quiz nights concerning old gens, but it's important that you know we really need to stabilize the current things we organize first, especially tour nights. I was also thinking about doing a spreadsheet for RoA staff changes; reviving king of the hill; and reviving mini-tournaments, by doing multiple each month, possibly involving the RoA rotational ladders.

firelit nights: I've noticed you're into some odd tiers like RandBats and RBY Ubers, could you tell us about the appeal of these tiers to you?

Lutra: I like RandBats simply because I hate building teams. RBY Ubers is a cool micro-tier in which I felt I could innovate and master, building being very simple too. I like to work with simple things as much as possible, and maximize the knowledge surrounding them. RMTs and Analyses are more manageable for simpler tiers, not that I've gotten around to much of that yet!

firelit nights: Which oldgen tier is your favorite? When did you start playing it? Do you think it's changed quite a bit since you started? What's your opinion on the future of this tier?

Lutra: RBY Ubers is probably my favourite because I innovated with what Disaster Area calls “Lutrew” - Transform / Reflect / Softboiled / Thunder Wave Mew. It basically counters unaware Swords Dance, Hyper Beam, Earthquake Mew users. I kind of started playing it properly as Stadium Ubers (2012 I think when Stadium was implemented on PO), which reminds me of my other favourite tier: Stadium OU. Again like RBY Ubers, it was interesting to explore the unexplored. I have a unique Substitute / Seismic Toss / Thunder Wave Chansey set that I popularized in Stadium OU. Gen 1 in general has been my favourite gen for a long time now, for over a decade. I'm pretty proud of how although it's not the most studied tier possible, I managed to get people thinking about the RBY Ubers tier, and now I see Reflect Mew used a lot, particularly the Reflect / Body Slam / Swords Dance / Softboiled set that Golden Gyarados popularized. And no doubt I've indirectly motivated the play of other old gen tiers, especially RBY ones. I think the future is relatively bright for RBY Ubers, but I think Stadium OU will always find it hard to get the spotlight. I was really surprised at the fall of tradebacks. No one really cares about it anymore, which is really sad. I guess there are just too many generations to concentrate on and the Ubers / UUs will generally get priority after standard OU.

firelit nights: Do you look up to anyone in the competitive Pokemon community?

Lutra: I don't really look up to anyone, but iMarik was kind of like my senpai for a time. He ghosted one of my RH clan members in a NetBattle clan war vs Antiquity, if I remember correctly, and it was pretty hilarious.

firelit nights: Who’s your favorite Pokemon?

Lutra: My favourite to battle with is Metagross, but I really liked Electabuzz from the anime, and was really interested in Electivire in Gen 4. And I've sweeped 6-0 with Beedrill in a rated RBY random battle before. Lapras also did well for me in the RBY OU paraslam days.

firelit nights: Since at this point we already know you a bit too well, we'll skip the personal questions... what kind of anime have you been getting into recently? Part 5 of JoJo has been really doing it for me.

Lutra: Well, I didn’t watch any anime last season really, so I caught up on The Promised Neverland which I really enjoyed. I watched the whole thing in one morning, I think. This season I’ve been watching two super popular anime, Shingeki no Kyojin and One Punch Man, every week. I am really enjoying them both too. I did watch a bit of the Fruits Basket remake, but I kind of wanted to rewatch the original as well, because I don’t know if I actually saw the whole series in the early days. Either way, it was forgettable.

firelit nights: Oh man, One Punch Man is such a sad story as a fan of the manga and webcomic... I hope Madhouse animates it again.

Lutra: I’m not too fussed about animation, since it’s not like it’s got terrible standards otherwise like the CGI Berserk had.

firelit nights: (As a man who has read Berserk in its entirety... the new Berserk anime doesn't exist) Thank you very much for all this. Lastly, I would like to ask: where does your username come from?

Lutra: Thank you for your amazing questions and time. My username is simply Latin for otter, I believe, as it's the primary genus of otters.

firelit nights: Do you have anything to add, or any shout-outs?

Lutra: I think there’s too many people to shout-out, but I really am grateful to those RBY2K10ers who helped keep RBY alive, and people like Disaster Area and Jellicent, who played big parts in making regular old gen tournaments a reality. There are plenty of old friends I haven't mentioned by the way, and I have plenty more to say, but I want this to be read.

firelit nights: Thanks for the interview! I'll see you around.
 
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