Smogon Premier League Season 4 Commencement

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OFFICIAL CHANNELS: #bigs #alpharuiners #raiders #scooters #los_tigres #cryonicles #frogs #sharks #wifiwolfpack #classiest

After much nagging, I want to formally welcome everyone to the start of the 4th installment of the Smogon Premier League! This season promises to be very exciting as we welcome a new tier and a whopping 6 new managers into the League! Having talked to everyone involved, I have no doubt that every managing team will do their best to make this season as successful and enjoyable as it can be. The official start of the SPL Season (aka, Week 1) will start Monday, December 31st. Before that date there is no set time table. Player sign-ups will be up this weekend, which will hopefully give managers enough time between now and the auction to scout and conduct any pre-auction interactions. The auction will be held at a date and time in which all managers (or their assistants) will be able to attend. It will most likely be in the few days after Christmas, but it is still uncertain.

Although some people might be wondering as to when manager sign-ups will be posted, fortunately I have already talked to all 10 teams and they have either stayed managers or chosen a manager from within their team. There are two exceptions: the Smog Frogs (formerly the Dragonspiral Tyrants) will be managed by founder and former host of SPL, Lonelyness; the Wifi Wolfpack will be managed by Limitless with help from Head Tournament Director Kevin Garrett.

While no managing positions are open, any of you who wish to be an assistant manager, please feel free to contact the manager of the team of which you are interested. As I am allowing the Alpha Ruiners to have The_Chaser and Sk co-manage while also having two assistant managers, I will allow each team to have up to three assistant managers.

The current lineup of teams, with their managing staff, is as follows (names of the teams subject to change):

Managers’ names are in Bold, with Assistant Managers in Parenthesis

The Ever Grande BIGS: cti/kd24 (Funkasaurus, Tobes)
The Team Raiders: JabbaTheGriffin/locopoke (mingot, Birkal)
The Indie Scooters: Atticus (Aldaron, gene, Gouki)
The Alpha Ruiners: The_Chaser/sk (ciele, Bloo)
The Cryonicles: yondie (ballabrown24, Snunch, Ginku)
The Circus Maximus Tigers: little_gk/tennisace (Solace, ibojangles)
The Congregation of the Classiest: Lamppost (Stone_Cold, franky, uragg)
The Stark Sharks: makiri (MoP, Philip7086, panamaxis)
The Smog Frogs: LonelyNess (macle)
The Wifi Wolfpack: Limitless (Kevin_Garrett, DittoCrow, gr8astard)

Just as important to SPL as the managers are the players. As stated in the opening, player sign-ups will go up this weekend. When signing up, a prospective player will write in their application which tier(s) he or she wants play for SPL. Do NOT put down a tier if you would not seriously consider playing for that tier. The Smogon Premier League has been known for the highest level of competition in each week at each position. I want the best players playing against each other in their best metagames, as I am sure everyone does. While your application is not binding as to what you can play in SPL, please only pick the tier(s) that you are most confident in playing.

As last season, each team will be able to retain as many players as they wish. The formula for calculating how much a player will cost to retain is as follows:
The retaining cost will be the HIGHER of the two following scenarios:
- What the player went for in the last auction, + 3k (Ex. if locopoke was bought at 15k, it would take 18k to retain him)
- 10k, if the retaining price would not reach 10k in the previous example (Ex. if Kevin Garret was bought at 3k, it would take 10, not 6k, to retain him.)

Also be aware: Just because a player cost under 10k the previous auction does not mean a player will cost 10k to retain (Ex. if Aldaron cost 8k in the previous auction, he would cost 11k to retain, not 10k.

Now one important piece of information that will help the managers decide who to retain: the tiers which will be included in Season 4 of SPL. Looking back on last Season, it was very clear by the midseason that the 4 teams which eventually made the playoffs would make the playoffs bearing a major collapse. In particular, the Classiest lost many weeks in a 5-6 decision, which is quite frustrating for both the managers and the players. As such, for this Season it became imperative to implement (once again) ties. As last Season had 11 tiers, this meant the need to: reduce the tiers to 10, increase the tiers to 12, or even increase the tiers to 14. After much discussion with both managers and players, it has been decided to increase the tiers to 12 with the addition of the BW NU metagame. For more information on how this decision was made, please refer to the Season 4 Administrative Decisions Thread which will be posted and Stickied in this forum as soon as I can.

Here is the lineup for Season 4 of the Smogon Premier League!

Obviously, each of the ‘BW’ tiers will be BW2.

• BW OU 1
• BW OU 2
• BW OU 3
• BW Ubers
• VGC 2013

Nothing has changed from the previous season in deciding how the League Stages and Playoffs will work for this Season, with an exception being a minor change in the Playoff Format if two teams tie in the playoffs.

League Stages

Not all 10 teams will qualify to play in the playoffs. Based on the results of the League stage, the top 4 teams will advance to the playoffs.
In the league stages, beating another team gives you 2 points, drawing the match gives you 1 point, and losing it gives you nothing. In addition, the manner in which you win will also be stored; that is, how many you won vs how many you lost. This difference will be used in case of a tie at the end of the league stage.


Based on the league stage, the top 4 teams will be seeded and placed into a bracket, in which they will go head to head. Teams will battle in the same format as during the league stage. At the end of all 12 battles, the team with more wins will advance to the next round.
In the case of a tie, the advancing team will be decided by a best of three in the three Smogon Tour metagames, namely: BW2 OU, DPP OU, and ADV OU. Knowing this before the season, it may be beneficial for managers to take the playoff tiebreaker into consideration during the auction.
The Tournament will progress in this format until there is only one team left standing, the champion of the Smogon Premier League.

The General Manager of a team is essentially the boss of a team. The GM is the final word in all decisions (barring the host) regarding his team. The GM decides which players play on the team, who plays in what position, and even handles the team finances. Managers also make sure that the team keeps running on a day to day basis. If a team fails to complete their matches by the end of the allotted time, the onus is on the manager to inform the host as to what happened in order to make sure that proper activity calls are made.

Because of these responsibilities, The General Manager is probably the most important part of the team. As such, the position of GM is not one to be taken lightly.

• There will not always be 10 manager slots to fill. Past managers in good standing (as determined by Tournament Directors and the hosts of the tournament) will be invited to return as GMs of their respective teams at the beginning of the season. If they refuse the position, past Assistant Managers of the same team (in good standing, of course) will be offered the position. If he/she too refuses, the position is up for grabs to the general public.
• General Managers are not eligible to play in the Smogon Premier League. You can either play or manage, not both.
• General Managers are chosen largely on a subjective opinion of the hosts as well as Tournament Directors as to who they believe would be fit for the position. Being fit for the position includes the knowledge of excellent battlers in the community (for fielding a competent team), having above average activity on the forums and IRC (in order to ensure that you don’t abandon your team), as well as possessing a necessary amount of “gravitas” (If you can’t make a player do what you tell them to, such as play an undesirable metagame, you’re not going to make a good manager).

General Managers are required to acquire at least one Assistant Manager. The General Manager gets full sovereignty in choosing his assistant manager. The assistant manager is essentially the second in command for the team. He has all of the functions and roles as the General Manager does, the GM just trumps him in head-to-head decisions.
Lastly, the General Manager has the following duties:

• He/she shall choose at least one Assistant Manager, but no more than three (or two, if there are two co-managers).
• He/she shall make the host aware of any player retentions before the auction starts.
• He/she shall be present at the live auction, or appoint someone to participate in the live auction in his stead.
• He/she shall send the host weekly rosters.
• He/she shall ensure to the best of his/her abilities that his/her battlers complete their matches on time.
• In the event that a match fails to be completed, he/she shall inform the host as to why the match failed to be completed, and what his/her battler did in order to finish the match.
• He/she shall communicate any grievances with the host.
• He/she shall oversee all trades the team makes.

All players must sign up if they wish to play in the Smogon Premier League, even those who will eventually be retained to their past teams. It is important to note that the Smogon Premier League is an 11 week event and that the activity level of a player is significant. Do not sign up to play for a team if you do not intend to see the tournament through to the end. This includes maintaining a competitive attitude if your team is already eliminated from playoff contention. You never know whether or not winning your end-season matches will make you a more valued player next season, so even if your team isn’t necessarily in the playoff picture anymore, there’s always value in playing your best. Failure to complete matches in a timely manner consistently may result in being barred from entering the Smogon Premier League in future seasons.

The format for signing up to play in the Smogon Premier League is as follows.

Player Name: LonelyNess
Tiers Played: BW OU / VGC 2012 / BW UU / BW Uber / ADV OU / GSC OU / RBY OU
Timezone : GMT -5 (CDT)
The sign-up list will then be taken and sorted into appropriate lists for each of the 10 metagames. These lists will then be used by managers for the auction.

In the weeks preceding the live auction, a time will be chosen by all of the General Managers to meet and perform a live auction in order to choose players. Managers will be expected to remain at the auction for the entire duration, which should take approximately 2-3 hours. If a General Manager cannot, for some reason, find any feasible time that he can attend a Live Auction, then the Assistant Manager will be called upon to fill in the spot. If the Assistant manager cannot fill the spot, then the second Assistant Manager (if applicable) will fill in the spot. If no manager can fill the spot for the Live Auction… then a new General Manager + Assistant Manager who can find time to make a live auction will be found to replace the old ones.

Once a time Is set, all 10 managers + the hosts will enter #splauction on at the given time. The host will administer vops to the 10 managers, and place mode +m on the chat. Spectators are allowed to join in to watch the fun unfold, but will not be able to speak. Discussion on the bidding at hand should be relegated to #spl.

It is at this time that each manager will reveal who (If anybody) they have chosen to retain from their roster last year. The order by which managers will reveal their retainers will be determined by their ranking from last year. There are a few notes to be made on the subject of retainers:

• The cost to retain a player is 10000 Credits, or 3000 Credits added to the salary the player was paid in the season preceding the current one, whichever is more expensive.

After retainers are revealed, those players retained to teams are taken off of the free agent list. Following this, the live auction starts.

The host will first ask a team to nominate a player. The order by which teams will nominate players will go in a snaking pattern from the highest ranked team from last year to the lowest ranked team, then the lowest ranked team to the highest ranked team. The host will then tell the details of said player and bidding will commence, starting at 3000 credits, with the nominating team automatically placing the first bid. The auction will then be in real time. Managers will simply put in their bids in the channel, raising a minimum of 500 credits. If after 15 seconds there are no new bids, the player is sold to the highest bid in the channel. The host will provide a 5 second warning before bidding is closed on a player. The host will then post updated credit totals and will then prompt the next manager in the rotation to nominate a player.

Managers are asked to please have a predetermined list of players you intend to nominate as well as potential bid caps, in order to make the process go as quickly and seamlessly as possible.

Here is a sample of how the live auction is expected to take place.

<LonelyNess> The Scooters - 130k
<LonelyNess> The Ruiners - 130k
<LonelyNess> The Tigers - 130k
<LonelyNess> The Scooters are up to nominate.
<Synre> We nominate LonelyNess.
<LonelyNess> LonelyNess - DPP UU | GSC OU
<LonelyNess> The bidding starts at 3000 Credits to the Indie Scooters
<whistle> 3500
<Synre> 4000
<thoughts> 6000
<Synre> 6500
<thoughts> 7000
<Synre> 7500
--10 seconds pass--
<LonelyNess> 5 seconds remaining.
<thoughts> 8000
<Synre> 8500
--10 seconds pass--
<LonelyNess> 5 seconds remaining.
--5 seconds pass--
<LonelyNess> SOLD to the Indie Scooters for 8500 Credits
<LonelyNess> The Scooters - 121.5k
<LonelyNess> The Ruiners - 130k
<LonelyNess> The Tigers - 130k
<LonelyNess> The Ruiners are up to nominate.

A reminder to all managers that it is necessary for you to field a roster of 12 starters + 2 substitutes. Of which, all must be paid at least 3000 credits. This creates a soft cap on bids of 101,000 credits, that is, the maximum amount of money you can spend on any one player and still have enough money left over to pay at least 3000 credits a piece on 13 more players.

Another thing to remember is that there are midseason free agent pick-ups. It might be beneficial to save some credits in order to pick up players midseason.

It is at this time that the tournament will commence. The league stages consist of a Round Robin tournament. Every team will face every other team once through 9 weeks of play. Each manager will submit to the host a roster no later than the deadline of the previous week. This roster will list the starting players and what metagames they will play. The metagames represented in the Smogon Premier League are as follows:

BW OU 1:
BW OU 2:
BW OU 3:
VGC 2013:
BW Uber:

When the week starts, teams' players will face off in their respective metagames / tiers. The BW OU 1 from Team A will face the BW OU 1 from team B, BW OU 2 will face BW OU 2, and so on. Whichever team wins the most battles will be declared the victor for the week. Rather than score based on how many individual battles a team wins, the only thing that matters is who beat the most teams. As such, points are awarded based only wins and losses versus teams as a whole, not individual players. Beating a team in a week’s matchups is worth two points, tying with a team is worth one point, and losing is worth none, simple as that. At the end of the round robin, the top four teams in the points proceed to the playoffs and will be seeded into a knock-out style bracket where they will face off until only one team remains.

There are a few regulatory things during the league stages that need to be outlined.

1. Substitutes – At any point in time during the week, a team may make a substitution for an inactive player. In order to do this a manager must PM a host on the forums (or IRC) saying which player is substituting out, and which player is substituting in. A player that has substituted out for a week cannot be substituted back in. In addition, in order to catch any attempts at garnering favorable matchups in BW OU (where the lineup you choose affects pairings), all substitutions are subject to veto by the host if the substitution is suspected to be attempting to “game” the system.

2. Pre-Week Battling – Because there is a set schedule generated at the beginning of the season, it is possible to accurately guess what players you will be facing in any given week (especially if you play a metagame that isn’t BW OU). However, because the next week’s rosters are not set in stone until the day before the next week, there is no telling what a manager will do with regards to who he slots in one spot… especially if he has more than one player in any given tier. Asking to battle early for future weeks is essentially asking the opposing manager to short himself options and forces him to make his roster early, perhaps without all of the knowledge he might have gleaned over the course of the week. Due to this, battling early for future weeks is not allowed. Do not ask to battle early for a future week. You will be denied. No exceptions. This is what you have substitutes for.

3. Trades – Teams may trade players with each other at any point during the regular season. In order to complete a trade, both involved managers must submit a PM to the host detailing which player(s) on their team they are trading away, as well as which players they are receiving as compensation. Trades are finalized at the end of the week they are conducted in. In addition, due to potential conflicts of interest, any players involved in trades must be substituted out of the week they’re involved in a trade. For example, if it’s Week 3 and LonelyNess is scheduled to play Folgorio, but LonelyNess’ team wishes to trade LonelyNess away for someone new, LonelyNess must be substituted out for another player. LonelyNess is valid for slotting into the roster of his new team at the beginning of Week 4. There will be no more trading following the end of the league stages, with any trades happening during week 9 coming into effect during round 1 of the playoffs.

4. There will be no trades allowed following the conclusion of the midseason pickups.

5. Any trade may be vetoed by a vote of 6/8 of the uninvolved teams managers. Any manager wishing to challenge a trade has 48 hours from the time the trade is announced to call for a veto vote.

6. Activity decisions – There are inevitably times where two players simply fail to complete a match, however, the nature of the tournament system sometimes makes it advantageous to purposely fail to play (such as when a team is up 4-3 in a week). Because of this, it is necessary to make activity decisions on matches. Hosts are required to make thorough investigations regarding each and every potential failed match during a week. If both parties are deemed to be equally apathetic or enthusiastic about getting the match done, but just have not had the opportunity to make it happen, the match will result in a no contest. However, if it is deemed that one party made significantly more effort than the other in attempting to get the match done, then a win will be awarded to that player. Things that will make it very likely that you will lose via activity include: failing to PM your opponent immediately upon the week’s start, scheduling a match and being documented as missing the match time, failing to provide any concrete times for which you can be reached, failing to respond to an opponent’s PM at all. Note that this is a tournament that requires a very high level of activity and diligence, if you don’t think you can get your matches done, quite simply don’t sign up.

7. Rule Breaking – There is no excuse for breaking any of the predetermined rules. If you are caught breaking a rule, you will lose your match. There is no lenience with regards to this. Break a rule, you lose. Period.

8. Reversing Rulings - No ruling will be retroactively overturned once the week following the week that the ruling has been made has ended. This includes: activity rulings / rulings based on rule breaking / anything else under the sun. I'm not going back in time to reevaluate every single decision I've made throughout the tournament on Week 9 because you think you were gipped 1-2 wins along the way and now they're the difference between you and a playoff spot. Any appeals to a ruling must be made during the week that the ruling is made, beyond that all rulings are final once the week ends.

After Week 4, there will be a “break” week for Midseason Free Agent Pickups. Because players are bound to miss the original sign-ups, as well teams are bound to have players that have to leave for a significant portion of the season, in the middle of the season, sign-ups will reopen for 3 days. Players will sign up and a new free agent list will be made. Note: even if you signed up the first time around, you must re-signup in order to get on the midseason free agent list. After sign-ups close, the host will remind each manager how many credits they have left over from the original live auction.

Instead of having another live auction, an auction will take place on the forums. A manager will post their bids, with other managers having up to 24 hours from the time of the post to make a higher bid on the player. After 24 hours, if the manager has not been outbid, his or her team will be awarded the players. The Midseason auction will last for a week, until the start of week 5. There is no use for credits leftover after the midseason free agent pickups, so it is in every manager’s best interest to spend all of their remaining points at this time.

At the end of the league stages, there will be a knockout style playoffs involving the top 4 teams in the points. In the event of a tie in overall points standings, the following criteria is used for breaking ties.

• Overall Points >
• Battle Difference (total # battles won - total # battles lost) >
• Head-to-Head outcome (which team beat the other in the league stages)

After the top 4 have been determined, each team will be seeded. The #1 seed will play the #4 seed, and the #2 seed will play the #3 seed. The victors of these matches will advance to the finals match. The winning team of this match will be declared the ultimate victors of the Smogon Premier League.

Each member of the winning team’s roster, as well as the general manager and any assistant managers will receive an official Smogon Trophy in their postbit.

This post marks the formal start to Season 4, which means:

Managers can now formalize trades
Managers can inform me the players they wish to retain (REMINDER: Players can refuse to be retained, which means if they sign up, they will be a free agent for Season 4. When conducting trades that involve retainer rights MAKE SURE BEFOREHAND that the player will play for your team.)
Managers can hold official tryouts

Here's to a great Season!
Thank you for the post evan, the opening post has been updated.

And yes I believe the Classiest are going to change their name but still uncertain. I am particularly fond of the A Forum Aerial Aces.

pttp stop changing your name pls thanks


i'd take the past and make it straight
is a Team Rater Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a defending World Cup of Pokemon champion
Mightyena's are Hyenas who are more closely related to marsupials. That must mean your team name would be the "Wifi Marsupials." Your Houndoom was much more appropriate.
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