Smogon Premier League X - Finals [Won by the Alpha Ruiners]

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Alright, enough memes from me (for now!). It's time to give this personal experience some closure. I actually have no clue how long this one is going to be, but regardless of its length, I'm going to be organizing my thoughts on various matters in hide tags. If you're here for the individual shout out, just open whichever tag you think you're going to be under and you will most likely find some wholesome words about your person in there. If not, I probably forgot, so sorry in advance. If you read the whole post you're (most likely) awesome and I love you :blobnom:

note: I'll try my hardest not to sugarcoat anything I say.

There is something that I can not possibly deny: some of you annoyed the living shit out of me throughout this season, be it directly (with, for example, the multiple reminders of the leads that my team threw away during regular season + semifinals) or by proxy, with the many passionate fans you have cultivated for yourselves. However, regardless of how you decide to carry yourself on this website, there is one thing that applies to everybody: losing fucking sucks, and my thoughts are with you in that regard, especially after coming from a finals tiebreaker loss in the last iteration of this tournament myself.

reyscarface, I don't know how you act like in your own team chats, but from what you allow others to see on the outside, there is one thing I can say about you in this context: you are probably the best manager to ever touch this website, and I hope that I can learn something from you in my next attempt at that. Assembling a team where the worst starting record is a 6-6 is nothing short of insanity, and I'm sure there are many timelines out there where you already have a trophy to showcase your endeavors. Hang in there.

blunder, you've been a big friend of mine for a while now, as well as one of my role models as far as playing this game goes. The way you trust your gut and manage to play absolutely perfect games of Pocket Monsters without letting your timer drop below 270 so consistently is honestly a sight to behold. I hope that your passion for this game doesn't die out anytime soon, since I want to keep sharing even more experiences with you and the rest of the gang for a very long time.

To everybody else: good job on the stellar season, even if it's not a very reassuring thing for me to say at this point in time. I don't think we'll be seeing such a dominant showing for a while now, and even if you didn't get the pixels to validate that fact, I don't think it's something people will be forgetting anytime soon, and you should absolutely be proud of that. Joey, you'll get back at 'em pixels one of these days, I know it.

Smogon Premier League as a tournament has an immense emotional value to me for three reasons: firstly, it is the tournament that kickstarted my time on this website, with The_Chaser scouting me when I was just a Pokemon Online noob and MoP upbidding me (and denying me of a trophy on my first try in the process) by thinking I was a girl, getting a hairy portuguese kid who happened to be awful at the game in the process. Second, it is also the tournament that rescued me from my league addiction and reminded me of how much fun Pokemon could be, even when you're terrible and lose way more than you win. Despite the big trainwreck that were the SPL3 Sharks, in the end I started craving for more of it, and so I ended up picking this game back up and signing up for SPL6, where I got to bond with one of the most wholesome group of gentlemen I've ever had the pleasure of meeting on the Internet: The Firebot Falcons, managed by Texas Cloverleaf, carried by prime Tesung and pre-timeskip TV Rocka and hated intensively by mister Boom Bang. As a wise man once put it: "this team loses 5 games per week to luck and still manages to come out on top every time" (Problems, Oli 2015). A pleasant experience all around. Last but not least, it is a tournament that allows me to bond with some of the best and most passionate people who share the same hobby as I do, which is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful things in the whole wide world, as corny as that sounds.

This time around, after a bunch of failures as a manager, I decided that I absolutely wanted to return to the spotlight. Coming hot from a Grand Slam win, I was craving to compete and attempt to further solidify my spot as a mainstay among Smogon's most solid tournament players, even if my projected price tag made it a little more complicated for me to land on my preferred teams than if I was managing. Still, as I said above, the fact that I am so enticed to meeting new people who share this passion with me meant that, in a way, I was fine with almost any outcome.

(I don't know if the people involved are fine with this piece of information getting leaked, so sorry in advance) Prior to the start of this tournament, the Raiders management contacted me in hopes of trying to run back our run last year. In all honesty, I fucking loved that team environment in spite of all the bread and other complications, so I was more than down to give it a go. However, I was basically set on playing UU in this, as I'd rather do what I consider myself to be best at than pick up something else from scratch and deliver less than I possibly could for a price tag of 20k+. Considering that Pak's retain was available to the Raiders for a joke of a price, and after some time "discussing" things, I decided that it was better to distance myself from that prospect. With that said, the first formal shout out of this post goes to roscoe for kicking me out of the titanic and putting me on a lifeboat on my way to an eventual win. I'll repay you for that one someday.

Still, I didn't think things would turn out like this until I watched them unfold right in front of me. I had some friends managing (Chill included) and some managers in vague contact with me, but the only people who seemed passionate about the prospect of drafting me was the MAGMA BIGS' management, who, unbeknownst to me, already had Sage in their team chat all along. Even though I was hesitant about reaching out to other managers, I ended up in Chill Shadow's PMs a couple hours before the draft saying that I wouldn't mind being an Alpha Ruiner at all. My thought process was that the cash they saved on top notch retains meant that they were pretty much the only team able to spend big on a lower tier player without completely butchering their draft. I'd like to think that this, coupled with an ominous PM I sent lax some time ago saying that I "fucked with" the prospect of playing for him and Lavos if they ended up managing contributed to the situation at hand. And this is more or less how I ended up becoming a member the franchise that placed the 2nd highest bid on me (IIRC) both times I signed up as a player prior to this iteration of the tournament.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to close this tournament on a higher note. The 6-1 start definitely shows that I am, in a way, able to contend for the top dog spot in SM UU at this point in time, but what followed after was a chain of games that I can't help but feel a little disappointed about. Between Hurricane misses and a couple of less fortunate match ups (I know not everybody believes in team preview wins, and even I feel a little silly typing this out), I ended up slipping and dropping 4 games in a row, including what were arguably the 2 most important games of my team's whole season, which honestly stings a ton, even if the pixels are still on my profile as I'm writing this. However, I'd like to think that none of these featured any glaring misplay on my part, and that for the most part I did the best I could to put myself in a position to win all of these, and while this isn't much consolation, in a way it still makes me happy to look at how far I've come since the last time I played in SPL.

Still, and shifting the focus away from myself a little for now, I have nothing but positive things to say about how UU was represented in this tournament: between the amazing state the tier is currently in, where lots of different strategies are viable and rightfully received representation in what is arguably one of the most prestigious tournaments for our playerbase, as well as the amazing games we've been blessed with by various players, I am glad that I've decided to participate in this tournament as a player, and I'm even more glad that I've been given the chance to lead this tier. Big shout out to Christo, robjr and Lycans for proving their worth in a spectacular fashion, and a big thank you to everybody who was involved with the tier throughout these past weeks, be it the UU starters in this tournament, the teammates who assisted them, outsiders who helped them test/build and the spectators, who eagerly awaited for the games to happen and helped keeping things interesting. I hope we can keep the excitement going strong for the last 2 official tournaments where SM UU will be featured: the upcoming Grand Slam and Smogon Snake Draft III, where I'll hopefully be meeting you all once again.

Note: I won't be making any dump on the teams I used in SPL, since there are a bunch of UU tournaments happening in quick succession during this time of the year, with UUPL going on right now and UU Open lurking around the corner. I'll most likely put something together at the end of the gen if I'm still alive and kickin' by then, so look forward to that!

Oh boy, here's the part you've all been waiting for. And honestly, what can I say? This was an absurdly wild ride, filled with all sorts of different emotions: the happiness after each time we got closer to qualifying for playoffs, the frustration that came with each individual loss, the sadness of waking up in the morning with a grand total of zero tier channels lit up on Discord with any sort of preparation and all other sorts of different feelings. I would be lying through my teeth if I said we sailed smoothly to victory. I got mad a lot, lots of stuff with how our team carried itself frustrated me like very few other things in life manage to, and that is something the trophy can not possibly erase. And that's absolutely fine, since the SPL experience would be incomplete without those. Hell, I'd even risk saying it would feel empty if those got casually brushed aside just like that after a win. I came very close to giving up at multiple points. I looked at my roster sometimes and thought to myself "if things stay as they are we're going to get washed away by any other team that makes playoffs". When we "threw" a 5-0 lead against the Scooters I pretty much skipped college for a day over how pissed off I was. I was unable to think straight, and that shit deadass ruined my birthday. When Croven dropped his game in the tier we picked for tiebreak I was ready to pack my bags and thank everybody for the fun season. Ojama and ben gay? No way we're beating those two in their comfort zone, especially with Lavos trying to run this weird ass squad in fucking BW WHERE LATIOS IS LITERALLY THE BEST POKEMON!! But we did somehow, and boy did it feel AMAZING. I'm not somebody you're going to be seeing preaching about things like destiny or fate, but I knew that there was a very high chance we were onto something after that rollercoaster ride known as the semifinals.

And then finals rolled around. We were up against what was arguably one of the most dominant teams to ever be assembled in this tournament. A team where the worst record on a starter was literally as good as my 6-4, which was one of the best records on the Ruiners at the time. Still, games were played and we managed to snag the upset against blunder, which ended up playing a crucial part in our victory. When we got our first win (during the week), I jokingly dropped this in our team chat, not knowing at the time that we would end up being 8 times as good as the Wolfpack by the end of the tournament. As the series progressed, we found ourselves with our backs against the wall, with a series score of 3-6, where a clean win was no longer possible. To make things worse, I was the most recent loss out of those 6, in a situation where I absolutely needed to win (or so we thought...). Still, this time I knew better than before, and waving the white flag was entirely out of question in my eyes. Then it happened: all 3 of our players got their wins, with Rewer and lax showcasing their hard work in a dominant fashion, while Hiye's game was more of an exotic mixture, where things sort of ended up going our way (and Hiye himself did what he had to in order to clutch the win). Then the tiebreaker rolled around, and even though we weren't the clear favorites, I still had full faith in both me and lax to put the finishing touches on Lavos' masterpiece. I never got to play in the end, and while I don't believe in saying things such as "I would've won anyway", I have to admit that I was feeling a lot more confident than your typical SM UU "mainer"-turned-ORAS OU player would be in such a high pressure situation.

Before getting onto the individual shout outs (which is what most people will be opening this segment for anyway, I suppose), I'd just like to reiterate the fact that it never truly felt to me like our run was going smoothly. One of the best (and also worst) things about the Smogon Premier League is that you can't help but feel more emotionally invested than most people would consider healthy, and it definitely showed a ton of times in my own expectations; this isn't actually something that was exclusive to me, but reminiscing on all those times we grew worried about our team's future despite the fact that we basically cruised to playoffs (4-1-4 might not be as absurdly as good as the Tyrants' 7-1-1, but it'd still guarantee playoffs in literally every single iteration of the tournament so far) feels hilarious to me in hindsight. Anyway, let's get this started.

note: these won't be in any particular order. I'll just write them as I remember what I have to say about each person until I run out of words. Don't be surprised if I start with the people who left a bigger impression on me :blobshrug:

Lavos The best player on the website at this point in time bar nobody else. I'm pretty sure that even your ass must be tired of people tooting your horn at this point, but hell does it need to be said. 4-0 record in playoffs, first player to reach 12 wins in a single team tournament (where the one loss involved some pretty Unfortunate Circumstances) and just an overall handy person to have around, considering your vast knowledge of every single old gen (who would've thought, right?) and SM OU. Besides those, you were also pretty much the leader of the team, if I'm being honest.

Story time to keep things sweet: Lavos and I actually go way back as far as our Smogon history goes. All things considered, he's always been a person I enjoy chatting with every now and then, even if it didn't really happen often prior to this tournament, and most of it was related to League of Legends anyway. However, what truly got us started was Smogon Premier League 7, where we teamed up (or rather, I managed him, but I think it's a fat ass overstatement to call what I did managing) on what was probably one of the most infamous teams in contemporary Smogon: the Wifi Wolfpack. Back then, we ended up smoothly making playoffs through a combination of sheer luck and spooky activities, in what was probably one of the most mind boggling (and fun!) experiences I've ever gone through on this website. Back then, we ended up being eliminated by a chain of unfortunate games against the Sharks, featuring a pretty depressing throw by Bomber in GSC against Conflict and a BW game where the man I'm shouting out right now brought one of the worst Gen 5 teams I've ever had the displeasure of laying my eyes on, and proceeded to get beaten up by GOD MARTH. This caused him to disappear on us for at least 1 year at the time. Still, and even though it's easy to say this from the position we're currently in, I'd like to think that I was one of the people who never truly lost faith in this man. He had an absurdly hilarious personality and was easily one of my favorite people to interact with over here, so I couldn't help but check on him every now and then (this is not something I can prove, since it happened when Skype was the main way of contacting other players, and apparently Lavos was in a constantly drunken state for the entirety of it, so you'll have to trust me on this one). So, when I saw he had returned to playing, I honestly felt pretty joyful about it, and when he won classic and reaffirmed himself as more than just an angry man on a Pokemon website, I couldn't help but be proud of how far both of us have come since those times. What I'm trying to get to here is that conquering this tournament with you just feels right to me, and I wouldn't have it any other way.


lax The Shounen anime protagonist himself. I have a lot to say about you honestly, probably more than I have to say about anybody else on this team, but I'm going to try and keep it to what actually matters. My opinion of you as a teammate flip flopped a ton throughout the whole season, to the point where I almost wished we had never been teammates in the first place when the "I don't want to play SM NU ever again" and "Our team is comfortably in the top 4 but I still feel like something is going to go horribly wrong" rants started kicking in. Seriously, you have no idea how pissed off some of those made me, especially when I felt the same a lot of times and was just trying to keep them all contained inside for the greater good.

However, once the important moments started rolling around, you completely demolished all negative preconceptions I had about you. 5-0 lead thrown? "No fucking problem." Tiebreaker against somebody who has like at least three or four more times the experience you do in the tier in question? "That doesn't really phase me, all I want to do is play these high ass stake games as if my life depends on it." We're up against a team that just finished 11-1ing its semifinals series? "It's fine, we can win this one." Our team is down 3-6 and you're the last line of defense? "I'm not going to lose this one." Seriously, watching you develop throughout all these hardships felt like watching Fullmetal Alchemist all over again, and I loved every single second of it. The pep talk towards the rest of our teammates was amazing, consistent and (most importantly) heartfelt, you poured down your blood, sweat and tears onto pretty much every single second of our playoffs run and all of the concerns we once had about everything that could potentially go wrong with our team turned out to be fallacious in the end. Funnily enough, your individual record also happens to perfectly translate this development, as you ended up going from a dead average record of 5-4 to a whopping 9-4, which is flat out impressive.

Besides SPL, and old jerk/gerk wars aside, you're somebody who I've always enjoyed chatting with about all sorts of stuff, even if we sort of fell out of touch until the weeb chat was made. So far, it's looking like we have a bright future ahead of us, and I hope that we can continue sharing all sorts of experiences together.


Hiye Fuck you for not talking, fuck you for all the headaches and for giving off the impression that you didn't give a flying fuck about this tournament throughout a whole season, but most importantly, THANK YOU for saving our season not once, but twice in playoffs. You wielded my Body Slam Jirachi to perfection in semifinals, and it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that I legitimately felt more nervous for your game against Mana than I felt for any of my games throughout the whole season.

Unfortunately though, I can't really write much more about you, since you only gave us around 100 lines on Discord to go by. All I know is that you don't like tryhards on AMQ and that you're a fan of "your mom" jokes and "tagpro naggers" from logs I've seen flying around on various others Discord servers. Still, if one day you ever feel like opening yourself up to anybody that isn't in WG, remember that I'm always down to provide the bad anime recommendations.


Croven Definitely one of the cornerstones of this year's Alpha Ruiners, even if accordingly to our angry man that isn't necessarily factual. Still, achieving a level of consistency like you and qsns managed to in a tier like Doubles is nothing short of impressive. In fact, there is a very good reason why we were the first team in SPL history to trust a Doubles player to be sent into a tiebreaker, and even if it didn't pan out like we would've wanted it to, it isn't something that I personally regret in hindsight, especially when there is a very good chance this would've been my 2nd SPL trophy if we did the same thing in SPL 9.

On a more personal level though, and especially because I don't really understand Doubles to the extent where I could feel comfortable gassing up the way you play, I have to admit that I still feel like an absolute moron for not allowing you to play in the last Smogon Snake Draft, and I don't think that feeling is ever going to go away for as long as I use this website. I knew you were a pretty chill chat presence from our loaf bullying sessions over at the Terminus Taipans, where you were also an essential part of or squad's atmosphere, but in this tournament you managed to surpass yourself in basically every single aspect somebody could've asked for. Also, and even though you're not really known for building your own teams and stuff, I think it's very respectable that you still try to stay as involved as you're able to in the whole "prep" process, and I swear that from an outsider's perpsective it pretty much looked like you played at least 50 games per week with whatever qsns threw your way. By the way, fuck you for this one.


qsns yo. So, I know there's not really much to say as far as the Doubles-related stuff goes, since most of it would fall under Croven's jurisdiction. I guess I could thank you for taking good care of that doofus, or even for keeping us on par with whatever the fuck was going on with each of our Doubles' games, and why/how Croven was throwing pretty much every single early game he put his hands on, but I can't help but delve a little further than that. The two of us happen to go way back, and even though we ended up falling out of touch for multiple reasons (mostly due to my own stupidity, honestly), the truth is that we did also share a team in the past: the disaster known as the SPL 8 Wolfpack. Even though we didn't really chat much between ourselves in there, it was still an experience that we were able to get some enjoyment out of on a more social level. Similarly to what I said about Lavos earlier, it feels right that we've gotten to win this tournament together after so long, and you most definitely pulled your weight in this one thanks to your contributions to Croven's success. Just make sure get backer doesn't attempt to ruin your reputation and you should be fine!


Rewer You're the person I've known for the longest time on this whole roster, and if I'm being honest, our friendship might be as wild of a ride as this whole tournament was. From knowing eachother back in 2011 to reuniting in this massive ass chat full of strong personalities later on, to dealing with the big jerk's fall out and eventually falling off ourselves because you were somehow convinced that I was a (verbatim) "mindless drone", to eventually making up (even if I wasn't necessarily happy with what happened at the time) and somehow ending up on the same team and becoming SPL champions, this is yet another situation where I can't help but feel that it only makes sense that we would make it past this one together. We used to League of Legends together for hours on time over at dodriobrate, and then later on we also ended up in the weeb chat, discussing anime and playing AMQ (even if you'd usually rather spectate those games) in there. It's safe to say that we've shared a load of positive experiences together, and this SPL is yet another one for the books.

As far as this tournament goes, I believe that it wouldn't be an exaggeration to compare your run to lax's, even if the raw numbers don't quite line up with this belief of mine. Both of you underwent massive growth as the season reached its conclusion, and by the end of it, you went from a scouting report bot to a makeshift BW starter who would only load up the dirtiest cheese Lavos had lined up in his teambuilder, to only using the finest and most refined teams from Finchinator's and dice's teambuilders, while absolutely beasting the opposition in playoffs in the meantime, including a game where our team was already down 6 games and would have been done for if you didn't pull your weight. Thank you for tagging along with us, for being active, commited and extremely level-headed, and for never giving up. Even though most people from the outside would point out to Lavos and Lax as this team's primary role models, you were undeniably a key part of our team's identity, providing a more wholesome counterpart to our more aggressive way of dealing with things from a managerial perspective, and it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that it would''ve been impossible for this reality to become a thing if you weren't one of the people we decided to pick up for cheap towards the end of the draft.


Empo BASTON! The man behind why our team chat turned out like this. It is hilarious that our first actual contact with each other were a bunch of instances where you would ask me to "follow for follow" on Smogon just so you could unfollow me later and boost up your ratio. Looking back at those times always puts a smile on my face, and I'm really fucking proud that the kid who once had such heinous activities as his main hobby on Smogon grew into a champion for a real. Not just any kind of champion, but THE only dude to ever wield a Smogon Championship ribbon in this website's history (unless that gets brought back for some reason in the near future). This isn't actually the first time we win a team tournament together, with last year's UUPL being our first instance of success. I didn't really think much of you back then, as you'd usually just pick a team and wing it to some pretty convincing wins against other players without much else to say. However, SPL was difference in the sense that it allowed me to take a look at your true colors, and man are you a blast to have around.

As far as Pokemon goes, you were one of the people who would usually give me a bunch of headaches throughout the season. Between the games lost on unnecessary chokes and all of the game days where you were still picking your team one hour before you had to play your match, I would honestly be lying if I said my trust in you never wavered once. However, you pulled off what was probably the most clutch win of the whole season outside of the tiebreakers, and I couldn't be more proud about that one. All things considered, I think you could very easily become one of the best players on the whole website, and when you're playing at your absolute best (as in, when you're not using Earth Power on the Levitate Mega Alakazam or Swords Dance in the face of a potential Fire Fang Mega Mawile), you're easily one of the scariest lads to go up against at the moment. On top of that, you're also one of the most passionate people regarding Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, which is a trait I heavily appreciate on a person.


passion PASSIONGANG! Towards the end of our team's draft, we were debating between a bunch of different people we could possibly get as substitutes. Thanks to my prior experiences in SPL/Snake Draft, I have been both scarred and cursed by the fact that my teams tend to have some of the worst records in existence as far as the Rarely Used tier goes, which made me basically beg our managers to pick you up in case things went wrong with our original plan. This tournament was no exception to the rule, unfortunately, but I can still safely say that I would still pick up your ass regardless of the trials and tribulation you have gone through (and, as cheesy of a line as this could possibly be, I absolutely stand by it this time, making it more than just fluff. I'll get to it in a bit). At the end of the day, I believe that inexperience played a major role in how this tournament went for you, as a lot of your games felt to me like they were lost on very minor details that you weren't able to catch up onto until it was too late. Besides that, preparing our RU games with you often felt to me like a massive drag, as you could hit me up with either zero or a million different ideas, and then backtrack on what we decided upon time and time again, making me a very sad man. It also felt to me at times as if you were just agreeing with whatever the fuck I said because you didn't want me to highlight your ass anymore for the day, with blanket responses such as "yeah", "ok", and "sounds good" being pretty much all I got. I got really upset at some of your games, and I said some pretty mean things in the process, which I shouldn't even be allowed to say because I was definitely worse in my first couple of tournamants than you were in this one, honestly.

HOWEVER, and back to what I said about not regretting my decision to recommend you to our teammates, you were an ABSOLUTE BEAST in anything that didn't concern Pocket Monsters, finishing the season with a whopping 40k lines in our team chat. Saying you were the life of the party would be an understatement in this case, and you were the primary reason why, most of the time, I had any lines to read at all from our team chat in the morning. Talking anime and music with you is always a blast, and looking back at the days where you were a young catfish on Smogon usually reminds me of how far we have come since those days. Making jokes about your age always makes my day, and although I promised I would stop if we won this tournament, it seems like I won't be able to restrain myself in that regard. Also, even as far as this game goes, I legitimately do believe that you still managed to show some moments of brilliance throughout this tournament, and if you manage to get past your limitations (which seemed to me like they were just a consequence of the aforementioned inexperiece + some lack of motivation towards the latter of the season), you should be able to secure your spot as a mainstay among RU team tournament pick ups. Also, I made this for you, champ:


Jimmy Turtwig Fun fact: I already mentioned above how, for a while, I had some conversations with the BIGs management about the prospect of playing for them in this tournament (actually, I'm sure a lot of different people engaged in those sort of conversations, as it kinda felt like my father Stone Cold wanted to draft the entirety of this website onto his team often times). Actually, I was asked about how I felt about potentially teaming up with you under their management, and this pretty funny log (in hindsight) came out of it. However, I didn't think it was actually going to happen. I also didn't think it was going to happen on an entirely different team, but it did. And it turns out that we're both champions now, much to Lasse's dismay. Oh well!

I know that we've never been the bestest of friends during our time on Smogon, considering things like your hatred for ORAS in the WCoP we made finals of (which pretty much drove you away from the whole experience a ton of times), the fact that I traded your retains to Isa in SPL 9 without saying a word about it (in my defense, I still believe that the onus of letting a player know what is going on is on the person who is on the receiving end of the trade, but it's still not a very considerate thing to do), the leaking incident in SPL 9 and how it created this gigantic ass rift between me and a lot of people in Team Europe/the Classiest themselves and also the fact that I happen to not think very highly of one of the dudes you get along with the best in here are all circumstances that make things a little complicated over here. Still, you're a person who I undoubtly look up to us a player, even if your way of going on about the game can get pretty tilting for somebody like me, who tends to obsess over each minor detail in everybody's commitment. I knew from the get go that you would put up a solid record, and doing so in the "variance madhouse" makes it even more respectable. On top of that, you're also a very level-headed guy who contributed heavily towards keeping us humble as a team, even if you're still a little bit of a mystery to me after all this time.

So, tell me, what do you say about trying to win World Cup together now?


FriendOfMrGolem120 Besides talking about RBY, we didn't really get to know eachother on a more personal level. The perspective I have at this point in time is that you are probably the most wholesome person in our entire server bar none, even if a certain Belgian RBY player keeps trying to convince me otherwise. If you were able to become this good at a tier you weren't even intending to play in an official tournament, I don't think I ever want to see what you're capable of doing within your comfort zone, up there in GSC alongside our boy Lavos Spawn, unless you end up on my team again when that happens. It wasn't always easy keeping up with you prep wise, especially when I don't really have it in me to play that many 100+ turn long games back to back to back, and when this bomb got dropped, I wasn't sure whether I would be able to keep going on with it, but I would be lying if I said it didn't feet good to have a RBY player with an actual work ethic on my team, and even if you did end up slowing down a little towards the end of the season, you still managed to achieve a level of consistency on your first try that very few people can claim they were ever able to, especially a tier like this one, and I'm very proud of you for it. As far as the more social aspects of this tournament go, your name and avatar changes were among the most wholesome things to happen in our server.


imsosorrylol If passion was the life of the party, you were the fucking jester. There is a very good reason why more than half of the pinned messages in our team chat are your absurd and contextless ramblings. Unfortunately, a vast majority of them are NSFW, so I wouldn't be able to get away with posting them in this thread while going unpunished. Oh well, I guess they can have this one:

Unfortunately though, you weren't able to win games of Pocket Monsters to save your life at all. I'm not even going to lie, I was pretty high on you at first, even if your debut game turned out to be a clickfest against Tricking. I was able to see some moments of brilliance in your playing, despite the lack of the ability to formulate a gameplan in the long run, but that just wasn't enough to carry you through the tournament on a brighter note. Besides that, watching you schedule and then miss your times so often at the beginning of the season was one of the most tilting experiences we collectively went through during the whole tournament, to the point where we had to make sure we had subs prepared for every single one of your games. All of that, along with the fact that your way of preparing your games was almost as nerve-wracking as Empo's ended up killing my hopes with the swiftness. I'm still sorry (lol) for going out of my way to call you an autoloss slot in public, but it was starting to get tough to keep my frustrations in check at that point in time. However, you were still a crucial piece of our team chat's atmosphere, and the times where you went out of your way to share your absurd stories and heat ass rap technique with us were some of the moments where I truly felt like we were a team for real, so at the end of the day I'm still extremely grateful that you were around to earn the Red with us. Also, I know that you weren't necessarily looking to play ORAS in this tournament, so thank you for picking that up like a champion without any complaints.


Hyogafodex The resident ungodly brazilian. Similar to the pothead role (see the man above), this is a kind of person every single top notch team needs to have around, and with Nintendi out of the picture, this man might be the most valuable one in the market at the moment. You didn't really get to show your Pokemon prowess much throughout this tournament, but I do believe that your games against zf and dekzeh (as well as the earlier portions of your game vs thelinearcurve back in Week 4) were a perfect indicator that you have what it takes to become a Smogon tournament mainstay if you decide to pursue this further. I remember giving you some pep talk before the game against dekzeh during semifinals and telling you to walk into the stage and give it your absolute best so you wouldn't have any regrets at the end of the day. Despite the unfortunate circumstances surrounding that game (for plenty of reasons), you did just that. In fact, you surpassed any expectations I had for that game, which left me a little happy at the time (I mean, we had just tied a week where we were up 5-0, but the fact that it happened on a legitimately well played game where we got a little unlucky was probably the best I could have wished for besides a win). On top of that, you contributed a lot in other aspects of our team atmosphere, filling up the Ungodly chat with all sorts of bizarre creation and sharing all sorts of otherwordly stories in a similar way to what sorry did. I vaguely knew your name prior to this tournament, but if you told me we would be teaming up in a tournament this big (and winning it, no less!), I honestly don't know if I would be able to believe it. But it happened, and here we are now.

I do admit though that I probably owe you an apology for supporting the idea of equipping you with Baton Pass for your finals game against marcop, as there is a very high chance we would've been better off letting you run a normal team and just hoping you would outplay your way through it, but at the end of the day things still turned out fine despite that, which makes this more of a personal concern of mine than an actual issue.


RedEmption I owe you a MASSIVE apology for being one of the people who contributed to ousting you as a leaker, so that's the first thing I would like to formally relay to you in this post. How could I possibly doubt somebody who went out of their way to get the Ruiners merchandise at the start of the season? That aside, you failed to surpass the 1k line benchmark in our team chat and only got to play 3 fairly disappointing games throughout the whole season, so I unfortunately don't have much to go by when it comes to you. Still, you showed up big for finals and helped our SM players with testing (and even building to a smaller extent), and you still rooted for us most of the time. I always had this feeling that you didn't really fit within our team atmosphere, and much like Cdumas, would have rather gotten to team up with his fellow frenchmen (note: I don't know if this is how things are in reality, as it is just my own personal interpretation of it), but I hope that besides the pixels, you were able to get anything positive out of this experience regardless. I'll see you around, trophy magnet.


Luigi I would be lying if I said that your tangible contributions to the team were anything more than losing 2 games in BW into getting Hikari inside our team chat over a bunch of baseless allegations. Still, you were a much better chat presence than I remembered from my tournament director days, and your sense of humor managed to carry us through a bunch of hard times, even if it got passion to hate your ass by the end of it. You legitimately had more lines in our team chat than all of Jimmy + Redemption + Hiye combined despite being a sub that didn't talk about anything Pokemon related at all, which in a way showcases your commitment to keeping us on the right track.


eden's embrace Thanks for tagging along and giving it your best shot in this tournament. You strike me as a pretty shy dude, and since we've already talked about most of your shortcomings between ourselves, I'll refrain from making this too explicit. Just remember that memorizing the whole "Pokemon book" isn't enough to make a good player, and that a common trait most of the absolute best people to ever touch this game share is their confidence in their instinct and knowledge. It was very noticeable in your playing that you're still inexperienced at dealing with the high pressure games that SPL forces you to play, but I do hope to see you around again eventually, and I hope that you'll manhandle your games like chad would when that time comes.


Chill Shadow and snaga

Last but not least, the team's managers. After sharing a team chat with the user known as roscoe for a whole SPL season, I'm personally aware of how easy it can be to brush aside the contributions of the two men who kickstarted it all as laughing stock, and even though you weren't truly alone in it (especially considering how good our team's 3 retains were), this SPL happened to have a different team which helped showcasing that not every person who signs up to manage a squad is able to hold it together in the face of an angry man (if you haven't gotten the memo yet, I'm referring to the previous franchise I was a part of crumbling apart after a godlike first half of the draft), and so I'm grateful to you for being there when it truly mattered, for being extremely active in the team chat and for going out of your way to help everybody out the best way you knew how to, and for not letting our own angry men bully anybody out of the team chat throughout the entirety of SPL. Plus, I would be lying if I didn't mention that poking fun at the fact that Lavos, lax and I did more manager work during the whole season than the two of you did wasn't one of my favorite pasttimes for these last couple months. Bonus log.

Chill Shadow, one of the funniest things about how things turned out is that I was once your manager on a team that ended up going nowhere, and this time around you were the one who placed your trust in me and hit the "enter" button on the ".25" during my nomination in the draft. You're not somebody I necessarily went out of my way to talk to between our SPLs together, but I already knew you were a pretty swell dude (despite the few bouts of stupidity in the Smogtours lobby every now and then), and in the end it turns out that you have already accomplished more as an SPL manager in one attempt than I have in three years of managing, which is a pretty interesting stat to look at. Still, fuck you for only using my own Mamoswine team against me every single time I asked you to test in UU, and fuck you for taking days to scout my opponents.

snaga, I'll admit that I wasn't very familiar with you prior to this tournament. I knew you were a stray NU "mainer" for most of your time on Smogon, but I honestly couldn't even remember that you were a fellow victim of the Pitvipers in the first iteration of Smogon Snake Draft. The only thing I remembered about you was that one time in Grand Slam where you smacked the everliving shit out of me in NU open as I tried to pilot meeps' ungodly Ditto stall, and from there I was pretty much forced to defend you everytime your Pokemon prowess got brought up in any chat on my Discord list, as I would feel way too embarassed if one of the people I got exposed by was considered bad by others. In SPL, you were probably one of the most active chat presences around, and your contributions to NU were so good that lax almost quit the tier at least 4 times during the whole thing, so thank you for that one. Jokes aside, every team needs a resident pothead, and it just happens that the Alpha Ruiners had like 3 of them, but it worked out in the end so it's hard to complain.

At the start of the season, we mostly decided that keeping the team chat tight was probably for the best, considering we already had some people in it who weren't (formally) part of the team, but still felt like it in reality. The people I'm about to shout out are kind souls who, since day one, despite having nothing to gain from it, decided to contribute to this victory out of their own kindness alone, and in a way this win also belongs to them, even if there's no physical reward to show it.

undisputed I've already had this conversation with you at some point during the season, but the fact that literally every Pokemon player in the West Coast of the United States of America worships you has been one of the biggest mysteries on Smogon to me for a long time now, and when I heard you were going to be joining us this SPL, I have to admit that I felt a little iffy on it at first. This tournament, however, I had the chance to get a taste of it, and now I considering myself able to answer the aforementioned question. You're a very eloquent dude who legitimately cares for the people who you consider to be your friends in here, and that shows in basically every single interaction of yours. During this tournament, you mostly acted as a fatherly figure who would pop up every now and then to either help our ADV slot or simply provide some words of wisdom to the rest of the squad, and your influence most definitely showed in how our team identity ended up turning out like by the latter half of this tournament. Supposed ghosting scandals and Smogon Snake Draft hype aside, I hope that someday you manage to find the time to return to the spotlight and earn yourself the red trophy as well, as I personally can not think of many other people in here who are as charismatic as you are. Thank you for tagging along and adding a little spice to this whole experience.


Kory2600 Aside from the fact that you were a living walkie talkie that relayed all Cdumas related trashtalk back to the frenchmen, you were essentially one of the founding fathers of the roster we ended up with, and so I'm thankful to you for being selfless like that. Besides that, I'm also grateful that you were the main person who I could discuss my UU ideas with within our own team, which I feel was necessary in the grand scheme of things because I didn't really have any other way of letting people know what I was brewing up over at the Pearl UU laboratory. During the first half of the season (and a little bit during the end of it, but not as much, I feel), you were also one of the people who helped keeping the rest of the management team humble as we were collectively losing our heads over people choking, not preparing and just being inactive, which turned out to be essential in the long run, since I believe we could have very easily crumbled without somebody like you around. To pay you back for that, I promise I'll be a little less mean towards your fellow countrymen the next time we end up together in a team chat, be it official or not.


Jytcampbell a.k.a. the secretary: if you weren't around, I'm pretty sure Hiye's line count would've gone from like 20 to 10 per week, so I can't help but be happy about that symbolic contribution. You kind of ended up running out of steam during the latter half of the tournament, but you helped us building up a lead by providing our SM and ORAS players with ideas, scouting reports and all that good stuff every SPL team needs. We didn't really get to talk much outside of me poking some fun at your role within our team's MO, but I have a ton of respect for the fact that your wish to help a friend out in his quest to surpass his line count from the previous team tournament led to you bearing with our asses during these 4 long months.

Despite what I said above, however, we did end up letting some other users tag along for the ride as the season's conclusion started drawing near. The people I'm about to mention are (mostly) big friends of mine who hopped along to help out after their own SPL experiences came to an end, and their presence revitalized the team chat immensely when it was needed the most.

dice zoot (thanks for feeding our BW with teams that didn't feature any of Archeops/Azelf/Aerodactyl)


Sabella I was surprised that we were the first team you chose to reach out to in playoffs, but boy am I glad you were around. Sorry that we couldn't keep the MAGMA BIGS afloat for the conclusion of SPL X. I personally believe that you're one of the biggest workhorses this website has to offer, and as such you're always coming up with shiny and new stuff for the tiers you play. The Charizard team we made for semifinals was gorgeous, and I hope we see it getting used in Smogon Tour as well. I wanna save all of the actual fluff for when we manage to salvage the Taipans in Snake Draft, but for the most part you're already aware of how much I appreciate your presence, even if your clout is too small for the big boy chats :bloblul:


Finchinator Most of what I said about Sabella goes to you as well: extremely good work ethic when it comes to Pokemon stuff, tons of relevant contributions to our team during these past 4 weeks and overall a person I enjoy talking Pokemon stuff with. Whether you decided to hop along because you liked our team or simply because of your raging hatred for the opponent is up to personal interpretation, but I felt this was an amazing chance to drop this log:


TDK Dude, fuck you. I'm tired of shouting you out every single time I win something. I'll save the kind words for when we actually win something official together (which might be sooner than either of us could possibly guess)


z0mOG Bet any more bucks on my fucking friend and I'm going to be saying some pretty mean things to you sir. herks


ABR This is probably not the right time to mention this, but the thing I probably dislike the most when it comes to Smogon trashtalk is when people kick others while they're at their lowest. I obviously can not control what other people choose to do, but as I would've been mad at CBB if he dropped any mean shit on any of my teammates if we weren't in this timeline, I can't really say I condone the episodes that went on after we won SPL. Still, I'm extremely grateful for your help in the finals tiebreaker, even if the game didn't happen, and I have full faith that the team you came up with would've been the smartest call in the situation at hand. You're somebody who's been fairly close to me for a while as far as Smogon chats go, and the fact that we interact on a daily basis makes it hard to say anything you're not already aware of, but you're somebody who has heavily influenced the way I go on about preparing some of my tournament games, and in a way you deserve some credit for the success I've been having recently. Thank you, fellow cheese dog.

Funnily enough, besides being a shout outs post, this also doubles up as my 2000th post on Smogon (technically, since I've had a bunch of deleted shit in the meantime). I'm usually the sort of guy who brushes aside people's posts celebrating benchmarks like that, especially if they take up a whole thread, but since this opportunity is too good to dismiss, I'd like to use this chance to, once again, thank all of the people who've treated me kindly throughout my time on Smogon, old and new. As much as we sometimes try to dismiss this website as just a hobby, and Pokemon as "just a game", the actual truth is that I've invested way more time onto this than many people can claim they have onto all sorts of hobbies, and watching my effort get validated like this is one of the most gratifying experiences I've ever gotten to experience, even if this isn't the first time I win a big tournament like this.

I've said a lot of times that winning SPL has been my "ultimate" goal on Smogon for as long as I can recall, but now that it has actually happened, I still can't truly imagine myself stepping away from Pokemon that casually, especially when I look at all chances available to compete and at how far I can still go as an individual player, as well as all of the people I would leave behind if I were to pull that off. With that said, expect to see around in all sorts of tournaments that I can afford to join. I don't know how much further my love for this game and all things surrounding it will carry me from here, but I'm not necessarily looking into forcing myself to find out, so the plan for now is to just do things one step at a time.

Superstar Pearl out ★
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Alright so here we go, a little late because I was a bit busy this week.

This whole tour was literally a rollercoaster of emotions, from pushing away thoughts of getting knocked out of the tour to getting so excited about a lead then it being wasted then fucking winning the whole thing, I honestly didn’t even think how nerve-wracking it would be for me to even watch some of the battles that happened at key points during the weeks. One of the reasons I wanted to manage as opposed to play was getting quite nervous and I thought I would be somewhat less nervous if I wasn’t the one playing, boy was I fucking wrong, instead of getting very nervous once or twice per week I was literally getting nervous similarly to when I had to play, every single game.

A couple of things I’d like to note before I get to the individual shoutouts, first of all, I know I wasn’t the best manager and I feel like I got hard carried to the trophy (at least not as bad as Luigi ) and I know I could do more, could try harder, getting burnt out just isn’t a good excuse even if irl was getting in the way, and that’s why I don’t think I’m going to be managing unless something big changes because I don’t think I deserve to. Secondly, the thing I’m legitimately proud of the most of myself is that I was part of the reason this awesome team was drafted (taking absolute full credit to getting lax and then getting the right lax after I found him, and of course hiye empo), so I don’t feel TOO bad about being useless compared to the heavy lifting certain ppl did, so let’s get to it, no particular order:

snaga : sometime in 2014 this idiot’s first time talking to me ever was a pm asking me if I want to build a bw hail team, and that he’s high, after turning down his generous offer, he pms me again in November 2014 to build an oras team the day it came out, this time I agreed, fast forward a few years and you’re still high and u still build stupid teams but we fucking did it, snaga is the better manager between the both of us and he’s absolute trash so this should say a lot, enjoy your break or quitting or whatever u wanna do, ill catch you in new york whenever I manage to get there.

lax : man you worried me so much every single time you were talking about giving up while being such a crazy good battler, I don’t really have much to say besides complimenting what a tiebreaker beast you are and just so good at mons in general, and I was hesitant about even saying this because it definitely means little coming from me, but still, thanks for being part of this all the way and you are definitely the key to success of the team, since it’s thanks to you that lavos was part of the draft planning to begin with and you are definitely the heart and soul of the team.

Lavos : *slurp* there’s no words man, mvp, crazy record that doesn’t reflect how good you are because you have 1 too many losses, great dude who gets nervous fsr even though he’s the best on the site rn, man im so happy they turned you and lax down from managing, and you so deserved to get managers too. Winning spl with you isn’t as good as winning POCL, but spl was ok too ig lol. I’m gonna keep your shoutout short because honestly there’s nothing more to say, best player, great leader, and just a great guy.

Empo : I’m just so happy that you stepped up and grew significantly from last year to this year, I really knew this would happen and you have so much more potential too. What a deserved trophy for you man, I mean I still haven’t listened to any song you linked ever since I clicked on this enzo dogshit but other than that you’re such a great guy and it was fun teaming with you again lol kek dude xd

Pearl : honestly dude it feels so wrong to have won as a manager with you when you were such a better manager when you created my career, I’m glad I could at least somewhat contribute to you having another trophy, it’s just great to see someone with as much skill and passion to the game get rewarded, and you’re so poised to get more trophies it’s crazy, again, one more dude who doesn’t need me to say how good they are and how deserved this was to you.

Rewer : you were one of the people I knew I wanted to get no matter what, because you just add so much as a great presence, great guy, lowkey pokemon goat, this wouldn’t be the same tour without you and I’m so happy you got to prove yourself in the most important game. I hope you join more tours so I can watch you play because I enjoyed it.

Hiye : well, he wasn’t gonna talk this time apparently, but wg did win spl! Im so happy you turned up and showed the beast hiye in the final stages of the tour and really played a huge role in getting us the trophy, hopefully you talk more the next times

Jimmy Turtwig : i promise ill play aoe soon ._. no more excuses ig huh? LOL anw thx for turning up man, you had me worried with your prep sometimes but I knew you would get the wins when it mattered because of how great you are at mons.

Croven : I’m so glad I got you again dude, just like empo it was a treat watching you grow as a player, and you are such a great presence too, I know it sucks losing last couple of games but don’t feel too bad about it because your regular season wins were so key to our success too.

qsns : cant believe we could get you and croven for so cheap, man watching both of you work together was such a treat and you’re so cute too ;w; great guy as always and I couldn’t not get you after the impression you left on me in spl 8.

eden's embrace : I hope someday you get to overcome your nerves, great teaming with you for the 2948259th time, hope you did well on those exams that were on the worst time ever :/

Hyogafodex : I definitely didn’t know you at all before this spl, the others were very keen on getting you and I trusted their judgment and I’m very glad I did, sure I got scarred for life because of some of the shit you posted, but other than that it was so nice getting to know you man

FriendOfMrGolem120 : one of the most enjoyable presences of the chat, you’re such a wholesome and funny dude, with great skills in mons and dedication to the tour that was incredible seeing as that wasn’t even your preferred choice of tiers, you’re gonna do so great man, I just know it.

RedEmption : im sorry about what happened and I hope you at least found it enjoyable to be with us, I hope you bounce back record wise in future tours, keep up the good youtube content, I do enjoy it

imsosorrylol : besides the fact that you were a super fun presence in the chat and you provided some of the finest quotes, im so grateful that you picked up oras for us, and it’s unfortunate that you didn’t have the best record, but I still believe you are gonna pull the great record you deserve in your main tier, and I’m sorry I couldn’t give you the opportunity to play it much

Luigi : you’re a great chat presence but I HATE YOU AND YOU DESERVE A ONE LINER oo

passion : last but not least, our youngest player ;w; so tiny and nice and approachable, I really hope you had a good time, because sometimes it seemed like you really weren’t esp cuz the tier’s ass and I get it, you surely will do much better in future tours if you choose to stick to the tier. Tbh just your chat presence makes it worth it

undisputed : man you’re really the best, I appreciate you taking the time to oversee teams and prep and motivating people even when you’re so busy irl, thx a lot for being there

Kory2600 and Jytcampbell : always there to help and give opinions, you guys are awesome too, thanks you guys for doing it and being there all the way when you had nothing to gain, I hope I see you both playing in the next team tours

dice Sabella Finchinator ABR z0mOG TDK thx for the massive help guys, i appreciate the help and you guys were a big part in getting the win


Also forgot to shoutout the best artist of all time AFK Vision Ward for the avatar and the avatar edit after the win on short notice n_n
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