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Smogon Premier League XI - Week 3

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Finchinator

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BW Predictions

dice (45) vs (55) Pearl - Bit of an upset pick, but honestly I think Pearl has played really well thus far aside from a turn or two late game vs SoulWind. His teams have also both been solid; the only worry there is that they are similar in structure and dice is one to take advantage of that. With this said, I do not believe this will prove to be a worry for Pearl as branching out should not be much of an issue with the aid of BKC and ABR. As for dice, his week 1 team did not serve him particularly well, but week 2 he looked more like himself, using fringe picks like Zapdos and Hippowdon while winning comfortably against a less experienced opponent. I do not doubt dice's abilities in the builder or in the battle, but I think Pearl plays quite well for someone who is not seen as a BW main. I am kind of going back-and-forth on this, but I think that Pearl will prevail if he changes up his team structures and can maintain the level of play he demonstrated thus far.

SoulWind (75) vs (25) jacob - SoulWind has looked great thus far, even if his team last week was uncharacteristically Spike vulnerable. There still really is no reason to predict against him at this point. He played well both weeks, he has more experience than everyone else in the field, and his teams are mostly fine. jacob has shown interest in BW over the years and had the knack to make interesting Pokemon or sets work out, but he is going to be outmatched in the battle and I do not know that SoulWind will bring anything with many vulnerabilities match-up wise when he can just use standard and outplay. Seems like a pretty decisive victory for SoulWind barring anything out of the ordinary.

Caetano93 (40) vs (60) Raiza - Raiza looked great last week and he did not play poorly against me either. His teams have been solid both weeks and he has not made many big mistakes. Caetano was outmatched pretty badly last week, but he did look alright week 1 aside from a mid-game misstep that cost him a Pokemon. I think Caetano has the potential to beat anyone in this field due to his weird tendencies both in the battle and in the builder, but I think that Raiza's no-nonsense approach will match-up nicely against Caetano and give him an advantage, which will be coupled with Raiza's edge in competency and teambuilding that are already present. Because of this, I favor Raiza here.

zf (70) vs (30) Steve Angello - Steve Angello has not really played in officials for a while now, but even when he did play, he was never seen as much of a BW player. Steve played mostly ORAS and SM, leaving us to wonder how good he will be in BW and if he will have a shot at beating a solid and creative opponent like zf. While zf lost pretty badly to SoulWind last week, he was able to win week 1 against Fakes and many people expected big things out of him this year. I expect zf to win this one convincingly as Steve is going to have a lot of learning to do to get up to speed and doing this on short notice against a strong opponent seems like a bit too much to handle.

Misc. Highlights

ADV OU: pasy_g (45) vs (55) BKC - I have enjoyed watching BKC play both of his games thus far, but pasy_g may be his best opponent yet. I am excited to see two strong teams and some aggressive plays as both are very capable of making them. I give BKC the edge because he has looked better thus far and has much more experience, but I expect it to be close.

SM OU: frisoeva (51) vs (49) ima - Both these guys quietly did very well in SSD3. It is no shock to see ima back in SM, where he may be a bit better off than SS for the time being. Each player is quite good at SM, but I am not sure of their individual building processes and it should be interesting to see what they come up with this week. I give friso the edge because he has been in the tier for the last two weeks and doing well.

SS OU: Twixtry (45) vs (55) Insult - Both of these guys have been doing very well. Twixtry is a bit more quiet, but he has put up great results in his team tour showings over the last year and many expect him to continue this moving forward. Insult, on the other hand, broke out a little bit earlier and has done similarly well. Insult perhaps has a bit more going for him and he also has shown some pretty dominant play at times, but Twixtry has not misstepped much at all and I have a lot of confidence in him to continue this. I expect a really close game, but I will give the more experienced of the two a slight edge here.

GSC OU: Fear (49) vs (51) McMeghan - I was not too high on McMeghan in GSC going into the season, but week 1 he won and week 2 he played a pretty strong game that was held back by a lot of unfortunate turns. I think he has superb gameplanning abilities and this has been translating to GSC better than I anticipated initially. Fear is still the conventional favorite and has shown no signs of rust, but I think that McMeghan is going to give him more trouble than most here. I honestly was conflicted at first, but my gut says McMeghan so I will go with him. Very excited to see how this match goes regardless.
 

Aurella

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Dragonspiral Tyrants (8) vs (4) Cryonicles

SS OU: Christo vs Leftiez
SS OU: TDK vs Sacri'
SS OU: Nat vs Eo Ut Mortus
SS DOU: marilli vs Tman
SS LC: Luthier vs ggggd
SM OU: blunder vs Updated Kanto
ORAS OU: CrashinBoomBang vs Garay oak
BW OU: John W vs Finchinator
DPP OU: The Grand Babido vs shawyu 1313
ADV OU: Gilbert arenas vs z0mOG
GSC OU: gorgie vs Mr.E
RBY OU: Heroic Troller vs HML am

Alpha Ruiners (7) vs (5) Congregation of the Classiest

SS OU: FLCL vs suapah
SS OU: Twixtry vs Insult
SS OU: Empo vs blarghlfarghl
SS DOU: qsns vs stax
SS LC: jake vs Serene Grace
SM OU: Gondra vs Relous
ORAS OU: xImRaptor vs Persephone
BW OU: Caetano93 vs Raiza
DPP OU: Hyogafodex vs Tamahome
ADV OU: Alexander. vs Teclis
GSC OU: FriendOfMrGolem120 vs KratosMana
RBY OU: ErPeris vs Amaranth

Stark Sharks (4) vs (8) Ever Grande BIGS

SS OU: xray vs aim
SS OU: bro fist vs Sabella
SS OU: teal6 vs Sage
SS DOU: Mr.GX vs Ezrael
SS LC: EviGaro vs Ninjadog
SM OU: frisoeva vs ima
ORAS OU: Erzengel vs Santu
BW OU: SoulWind vs jacob
DPP OU: DeepBlueC vs Fakes
ADV OU: Blightbringerr vs GaryTheGengar
GSC OU: Conflict vs idiotfrommars
RBY OU: Genesis7 vs Nails

Team Raiders (9) vs (3) Wi-fi Wolfpack

SS OU: reiku vs Star
SS OU: Trosko vs rozes
SS OU: Lusa vs Charmflash
SS DOU: kaori vs SMB
SS LC: LilyAC vs HT
SM OU: Posho vs Welli0u
ORAS OU: Lycans vs Sjneider
BW OU: dice vs Pearl
DPP OU: ToF vs BIHI
ADV OU: pasy_g vs BKC
GSC OU: Earthworm vs sulcata
RBY OU: MetalGro$$ vs Sceptross


Indie Scooters (6) vs (6) Circus Maximus Tigers

SS OU: Lopunny Kicks vs le LLiolae
SS OU: talah vs robjr
SS OU: Jayde vs Tace
SS DOU: Memoric vs MajorBowman
SS LC: tazz vs Osh
SM OU: ZoroDark vs Eternal Spirit
ORAS OU: Quaze vs Luigi
BW OU: zf vs Steve Angello
DPP OU: Honor vs Vay
ADV OU: CyberOdin vs dekzeh
GSC OU: Fear vs McMeghan
RBY OU: Bedschibaer vs Kaz
 
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beat the ape last week, let's try again.
SS OU: reiku vs Star
SS OU: Trosko vs rozes: lol
SS OU: Lusa vs Charmflash
ORAS OU: Lycans vs Sjneider: both are pretty similar in skill i'd say, albeit lycans has a deeper history of success. the ORAS pool in this tour lacks history with the tier in general, and lycans is no exception to this. as such, the name of the game seems to be bringing generally good teams instead of more specialized picks. with sjneider, however, the support behind him is very obvious, making prep a bit more clear cut. regardless, i trust a solid team built by abr far more than whatever "anti-ABR" squad the raiders decide to cook up.

SS OU: xray vs aim
SS OU: bro fist vs Sabella
SS OU: teal6 vs Sage
ORAS OU: Erzengel vs Santu: erzengel has had some fantastic prep these last two weeks, getting pretty insane mu for himself both times. sadly, this wasn't enough week one because of some really poor play on his part. i think santu is someone very hard to prep for, however. he gets teams from a lot of different sources, and they range from staple teams like the CBB sand we saw last week to whatever insane squads the italians are cooking up this week. i understand that ORAS has /some/ matchup fishing qualities, and the types of pokemon that embody these qualities are the ones erzengel seems the most drawn to. i think picking pokemon like this against someone hard to pin down is a huge risk, and while this risk worked out nicely vs quaze last week (someone who i also think is hard to pin), i would be surprised if it works twice in a row. regardless, i also think santu is one of the most underrated players in the circuit right now. he has had some really impressive stour performances, and he's definitely at the top end of the low quality ORAS player pool.

SS OU: FLCL vs suapah: both have been playing super nice this tour, not a surprise since they're both great in general.
SS OU: Twixtry vs Insult: very very close one.
SS OU: Empo vs blarghlfarghl: lol
ORAS OU: xImRaptor vs Persephone: i'm a big fan of persephone's builds, but like erzengel, i think he tries a bit too hard to get the perfect mu, and i still don't think this is a good idea vs more unknown quantities for the reasons i highlighted above. sadly, i also think persephone has not played all that great. last week vs CBB he had crafted a perfect cteam to CBB's favorite team, and he still somehow would've lost to that team were it not for some lucky breaks he got during the game. i think he's a pretty good player, so i hope he just calms down a bit for his wins to be more consistent... can't help but feel these first two were a donation and some luck :V. raptor i think is a really good player in general, he just needs to stop using shitty regular slowbro imo. honestly if he brings that mon again i would be surprised if persephone lost.

SS OU: Lopunny Kicks vs le LLiolae: big fan of both.
SS OU: talah vs robjr: sorry bro...
SS OU: Jayde vs Tace: jayde needs to go outside more.
ORAS OU: Quaze vs Luigi: luigi's hot heat hoLY. he's been playing nice and bringing solid teams, and he clearly is a better fit for this pool than the extremely tough BW pool... probably the second best player in the pool behind CBB. i think both teams quaze brought were horrible, the first one being some lucky matchup fishing, the second somehow being weak to both spikes AND strong breakers. quaze is a REALLY good player, so i don't think he needs to bring sub par teams while throwing out the matchup fishing line. if he opts for something more well rounded i think this can be a really close one, though i'd still give the edge to luigi.
go bigs.
 

Insult

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SM OU: Posho vs Welli0u

Posho's struggled thus far although he has shown steady improvement from week 1, Welli0u on the other hand has had a hot start, picking up from where he left off in snake and continuing his dominance in the tier. Posho has shown promise tho at points, and the stour winner should not be underestimated. Still, hard to predict against god well as I have faith in bolding him every week in this pool.

SM OU: blunder vs Updated Kanto

My highlight of the week. Blunder has had a nice start although his week 2 game could have gone a different way if not for a well timed agency freeze. Kanto finds himself back in his comfort tier where I expect him to have alot more success here since the tier complements his unique playing style and team choices, unlike SS. Gotta bold blunder still as he has a way of willing his way to victory, downloading opponents with ease and out predicting them consistently throughout the game. If kanto can take advantage of some of this over aggression though, as we saw in glimpses during blunder's early game vs posho, then this could go another direction. Hoping for some fun offense vs offense in this one.

SM OU: frisoeva vs ima

Frisoeva has become one of my favorite sm players to watch ever since olt where he displayed some fantastic knowledge of the tier as well as risk management in his games. Ima is in a similar boat as kanto as he is back in sm where he should feel super confident after his strong showing in snake. Although I am a big friso believer, the results just aren't there yet as opposed to Ima who just went 8-3 so gonna go with the safe bold, definitely a close one tho.

SM OU: ZoroDark vs Eternal Spirit

After a strong start week 1 in one of my fav spl games so far, zoro had a pretty lackluster showing vs friso in a balance ditto where I thought he could have taken more advantage of the kart mu. Gama has had a surprisingly rough start as well, but it's still difficult not to bold him in his most dominant tier. This is definitely close though, as I am a big fan of punny's prep and confident he can pull a good mu vs the brazilian.
 

Mannat

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Won SPL Predictions
Late Predicts but better late than never, not commenting on crust gens

Team Raiders (5) vs (6) Wi-fi Wolfpack
SS OU: reiku vs Star - Star's looked pretty solid to start SPL and while reiku has some phenomenal teammate support from Trosko, I'm gonna need more from him before bolding him against the top players in the pool.
SS OU: Trosko vs rozes - Trosko is one of the best players in the pool even if he's gotten off to a slow start and this should be a good chance for him to bounce back against a less tenured OU opponent in rozes.
SS OU: Lusa vs Charmflash - Similarly to Trosko, Charm was ranked very highly going into this tour and is staring down a daunting 0-3 record, but he's against someone that I'm not particularly high on, so he should be able to bounce back here.
SS LC: LilyAC vs HT - Lily's played solidly for the most part, even if her first win was pretty lucky, whereas HT has frankly looked lost at points this season, so I'm gonna favor Lily by a fair bit here.
SM OU: Posho vs Welli0u - I feel like the Raiders would be better served putting Posho in BW OU and juggling dice around since Posho seems really uncomfortable in SM. On the other hand, Well has an uncanny ability to farm people with insane consistency, so I don't really see his 9 game winning streak being stopped until he runs into the higher end of the pool
ORAS OU: Lycans vs Sjneider - Lycans hasn't really lived up to his price tag so far this SPL whereas Sjneider played a great game and overcame a shit matchup in week 1 and only narrowly lost to Luigi last week, so I'm going to favor neider here.
BW OU: dice vs Pearl - Pearl's been solid so far, but I strongly believe that dice is tied with SW for being the best BW player in the pool. He returned to form last week after the unfortunate week 1 and I expect him to build up some momentum and rattle off several wins in a row here.
DPP OU: ToF vs BIHI - BIHI's teamchoices have been fairly on point and he's played solid for the most part. ToF has also been quite good, getting consecutive wins against quality opponents, and he seems to be bringing strong teams so I'm gonna favor the veteran here.
ADV OU: pasy_g vs BKC
GSC OU: Earthworm vs sulcata
RBY OU: MetalGro$$ vs Sceptross

Dragonspiral Tyrants (7) vs (4) Cryonicles

SS OU: Christo vs Leftiez - Leftiez didn't look great in either of his opening SM games, whereas Christo has looked a bit more solid by comparison. It's very possible that the toupip is much more comfortable in SS than SM so that's something to look out for here.
SS OU: TDK vs Sacri' - Both have looked great so far, so this is a game I'm looking forward to watching. It's really hard to rule clearly one way or the other, but I personally favor TDK in this setting. He's going to be constantly pushing the envelope with innovation and new ideas and I think he's going to be able to bring out something Sacri won't expect here that's gonna give him the edge he needs to win.
SS OU: Nat vs Eo Ut Mortus - Nat's had an uninspiring first couple weeks whereas Eo has used his fetish for Trick Clefable to the fullest against a ton of people lately, going far in the invitational tournament, and he's coming off of a pretty strong win against soulgazer. I feel like Eo is gonna use this game as a springboard to go on a run and put up a great record here.
SS LC: Luthier vs ggggd - Highlight matchup here, two of the best LCers at it right now going head to head. Pablo was ranked number 1 in the PR while Luthier is coming off of a really nonsensical misclick in his win last week. I feel like Luthier's ability to make aggressive reads and big plays is the best of anyone in this pool even if some people critique his long term thought process, so I'm gonna give him a nice edge here.
SM OU: blunder vs Updated Kanto - Kanto is really great at SM, with breakers like Kart and Maw aiding his aggressive playstyle, but blunder's been on a tear in SM dating back to last SPL and I don't see Kanto stopping him here.
ORAS OU: CrashinBoomBang vs Garay oak - CBB is the best ORAS player in this pool period.
BW OU: John W vs Finchinator - Was actually tempted to go with John W to upset Finch here, but the latter has just been so solid over the years that it's really difficult to pick a rookie against him, even if he's a promising young stud.
DPP OU: The Grand Babido vs shawyu 1313 - I feel like Bab's comfort area in DPP is abusable for a talented builder like Osgoode, who's obviously going to be giving shawyu teams. Bab's obviously the more solid player, but I feel like shawyu is solid enough to pilot a strong matchup if he doesn't let nerves affect him too much.
ADV OU: Gilbert arenas vs z0mOG
GSC OU: gorgie vs Mr.E
RBY OU: Heroic Troller vs HML am - Already happened but it's troller comeon lol

Alpha Ruiners (4) vs (7) Congregation of the Classiest

SS OU: FLCL vs suapah - I guess this is a bit of an upset predict? Eric's admittedly better at SM OU than he is at SS, but he's still a great teambuilder and a smart player who can take advantage of the patterns that FLCL tends to fall into. Definitely looking forward to the canadian clash this week.
SS OU: Twixtry vs Insult - Twix is solid and all but come on Insult's literally been the best SS OU player in SPL besides maybe john and I don't expect him to slow down things here at all.
SS OU: Empo vs blarghlfarghl - Blargh's been putting up some wins lately and everything but I'm sure Empo's watched Derek play Pokemon enough to not fall for his infamous "midgrounds".
SS LC: jake vs Serene Grace - Normally I'd pick jake to win this game coming off of recent success, but he seems to have a crippling weakness to handsome brown men, and Serene easily falls under this category.
SM OU: Gondra vs Relous - Tough game to call, I'm not particularly high on either but Relous has the most impressive recent body of work and seems to be more well versed in the tier, so I'm gonna pick him to win a tight game here.
ORAS OU: xImRaptor vs Persephone - Pers is great at prepping in this gen as evidenced by the insane MU that he pulled last week, but Raptor strikes me as someone that's really hard to pin down, so I feel like Pers is going to put himself in a pretty unfavorable position from preview.
BW OU: Caetano93 vs Raiza - Raiza is definitely more recently accomplished and is more highly regarded in the context of BW OU. Regardless I favor Caetano's ingenuity as a teambuilder against a more orthodox player like Raiza that a lot of people have labeled a "Finch clone" even if that description doesn't necessarily encapsulate his abilites.
DPP OU: Hyogafodex vs Tamahome - Game already happened but let's be honest, most people predicted tama here.
ADV OU: Alexander. vs Teclis
GSC OU: FriendOfMrGolem120 vs KratosMana
RBY OU: ErPeris vs Amaranth

Indie Scooters (5) vs (6) Circus Maximus Tigers

SS OU: Lopunny Kicks vs le LLiolae - Lio's definitely got some skills, but Punny has been incredibly consistent for way too many tours in a row for me to pick against him here.
SS OU: talah vs robjr - You know the drill vros bold talah's opp every week
SS OU: Jayde vs Tace - Jayde's started off in an unfortunate slump and while I think he's really solid and should break out of it soon, things aren't getting any easier for him. Tace is an incredibly dedicated player with consistently prudent and intelligent prep and I think his solid teamchoice in conjunction with his aggressive playing will allow him to drop Jayde to 0-3 here.
SS LC: tazz vs Osh - tazz is insanely hyped by the LC community as a whole, but Osh seems like a much more solid player to me in his recent tournament performances, so I'm gonna have to give him an edge here.
SM OU: ZoroDark vs Eternal Spirit - Two nearly identical players matching up here, with neither exactly having a roaring start to the season. I can't see Gama going 0-3 here and regardless of all the complaints he has about SS OU, I've still gotta favor him here and hope to see him return to form soon.
ORAS OU: Quaze vs Luigi - Luigi is admittedly been better than preseason expectations would lead one to expect, but his playstyle skewing pretty heavily towards offense is a tendency that I think Quaze is going to be able to exploit with his unique teambuilding antics this week.
BW OU: zf vs Steve Angello - I cannot recall ever having seen Steve Angello play a BW OU match in my life, so I'm gonna favor the significantly more experienced zf here.
DPP OU: Honor vs Vay - I feel like Honor's DPP teams are fairly flawed for the most part and the DPP pool has really been taking advantage of that this SPL thus far. Vay's no stranger to preparing for his opponents and I expect him to bring a solid team and notch a solid win over Honor here.
ADV OU: CyberOdin vs dekzeh
GSC OU: Fear vs McMeghan
RBY OU: Bedschibaer vs Kaz
 
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false

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PS Leader
SM OU: Posho vs Welli0u - Wayne has looked absolutely fire, carrying over from snake. He's definitely one of, if not my favourite players to watch in preview gens right now, and Jeff hasn't done enough thus far to convince me that he can match this hot streak.

SM OU: blunder vs Updated Kanto - Victor was lucky to win against Josh last week :blobtriumph: but i still think he gets the edge over Kyle. I think this will be closer than some people might expect though, Kyle is definitely a strong player who can keep up if the game turns into a slug-fest.

SM OU: frisoeva vs ima - This just seems like exact kind of matchup Jesse would win; Curtis can definitely be pretty volatile and there's definitely a universe where he blows Jesse out of the water in a fast-paced game. However, I think its more likely that Jesse takes it slow and calculated, and ekes out a close one.

SM OU: ZoroDark vs Eternal Spirit - Harry really impressed me with his games in the second half of snake, and i as a result i feel really confident in his sm skills. on the other hand, Craig brought fucking AV Toxapex to an spl game last week, wrap.

ORAS OU: Lycans vs Sjneider - This one's actually pretty close, i think Marvin is very solid, but the first big hurdle is that hes Venezuelan so theres a 99% chance that he doesn't even play. However, even if he does, I trust Tim to play well enough to take it in a close one. I also think Itrust his team selection a little more thanks to some strong support from Chris.

ORAS OU: CrashinBoomBang vs Garay oak - Frank looked pretty solid, even in the loss vs Todd last week; his trademark aggressive style of play is always really fun to watch, and something I always look to learn from. Scott, on the other hand, I think plays way too safe and boring in the builder, and a little too passive in-game, which seems like the type of player Frank feasts upon.

ORAS OU: Erzengel vs Santu - I think Sean is a really strong player, and i think he'll take this pretty comfortably. If i'm honest I wasn't really impressed with Harry's game last week, I think his opponent did more to lose than he did to win. I don't expect Sean to make the same types of mistakes, so I'd give him a fairly sizeable edge here.

ORAS OU: Quaze vs Luigi - Terry took a win in w1 with an absolutely crazy team choice, and then seemed to kinda fizzle out in the 2nd week with some pretty bad clicks imo. Dan could definitely take this one, but I think I'd still give a slight edge to Terry if i had to pick; not much in this one though.
 
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