Team Raiders (6) vs (4) Ever Grande BIGS
SS OU: FlamingVictini vs ima - Starting SPL off with what has the potential to be an instant-classic, FV and ima are getting the OST rematch that ima has been dreaming of for the last 273 days. 8 months and 28 days ago, FV got another step closer to his OST trophy by defeating ima. A couple DLCs later and they're back at it. To me, FV is the player to beat in this field. While he did not play last SPL or participate in SSD, every time he shows up to play I am thoroughly impressed. His ideas are immaculate, presenting a mixture of fresh concepts that can easily obtain the upper hand with solid backbones. His gameplay I am a bit less familiar with this generation outside of OST admittedly, but it has historically been superb and his track record on the sheet is great. ima, on the other hand, has made quite the name for himself in recent times. He has yet to have a standout SPL, but he has a couple of strong SSD performances and some nice runs in individuals to make up for it. I think his grasp on building is a bit less strong and FV will be very hard to prepare for, so I will give the edge to FV, but this should be tight.
SS OU: Samqian vs FMG
SS OU: Eeveeto vs Storm Zone
SM OU: frisoeva vs Eternal Spirit
ORAS OU: Luigi vs ElectricityCat - ElectricityCat is not a very well known player, but I was doing some digging on him for the PR and he actually had a really impressive streak in unofficial tournaments this year. Yea, they're unofficials and that is not enough for anyone to be entirely sold. But he beat some people who would be at the top of this ORAS pool and I have faith in him winning a few games. Luigi has yet to inspire much confidence in me in team tournaments. His best showing was easily last SPL and even then there were some hiccups along the way. ORAS is probably his best current tier, so maybe he will make the most of it, but I am a strong believer in Dave's eye for this steal.
BW OU: Jimmy Turtwig vs Insult - Insult in BW was a surprise to me, but he's a very capable pilot in the tier. In RoAPL, he was able to defeat both McMeghan and myself while finishing with a very strong record. In addition to this, he's taken a liking to the tier for a couple of years now while he mainly focused on fairygens. I think that Insult is within the top half of this pool so long as there is team support for him as I doubt he is much of a builder here. JTurt with Raiza support is for sure a threat, but I think his style in BW is a bit dated and it may take some weeks for him to hit his peak this SPL. I do not doubt that he will do well as he usually does, but I do rank him similarly to Insult in this pool and I think Insult's more in-touch with the current metagame, so he gets the slight edge. Looking forward to seeing the team choice on the Raider's end here though.
DPP OU: BIHI vs DeepBlueC
ADV OU: CyberOdin vs McMeghan
GSC OU: FriendOfMrGolem120 vs Zokuru
RBY OU: MetalGro$$ vs Tiba
Circus Maximus Tigers (4) vs (5) Indie Scooters
SS OU: Bushtush vs Niko - I love Bush and think he is a good person to have on your team from a chat presence perspective, but his price tag will never make sense to me. He is still very much unproven as a player overall, but he is even less proven in OU. Bush has done ok in some side tournaments for other communities, but that's about it. I also do not think he can build much in the tier, but I'm sure there's support from him there. Either way, Niko showed a lot of promise in Smogon Tour and should have qualified fairly easily if not for some unfortunate turns. He is not the real deal quite yet, but he's well on his way and there's more reason to be confident in him than Bushtush in my eyes, especially given that he cost 1/5 the price.
SS OU: beatiful vs Sacri' - Easily one of the hottest match-ups of the week and perhaps the tournament. I am going to side with Sacri's experience, but beatiful makes a tempting argument with his phenomenal showings recently. I feel that beatiful has a great grasp on the metagame this generation, deploying more dynamic and aggressive playstyles as opposed to floundering around on the passive side of things. I do feel his game is still a bit raw when it comes to optimizing odds later on and managing drawn out games, but his playstyle tends to avoid the nonsense and his execution offensively is superb. Sacri', on the other hand, had a great year of team tournaments himself, even if he made a bit less noise than
SS OU: watashi vs Gefährlicher Random
SM OU: robjr vs Corazan
ORAS OU: BK vs Santu
BW OU: dice vs Caetano93 - I was the one guy who ranked Caetano above dice and I absolutely stand by it. Both are super knowledgeable and capable of both building and playing, but I feel like Caetano's builds are less likely to have holes and Caetano's play is a bit closer to air-tight down the stretch. dice has a sky-high ceiling with a ton of ambitious ideas and an almost scary ability to take risks when he needs to in game, but I feel like all of these positives do come alongside a bit of risk that he does not show up (literally or mentally) or even loads up something a bit too out there that backfires. Caetano was a reliable starter all tournament last year with a 6-3 record in BW and he has shown even more progression since then, doing well in just about every tournament he has played in the meantime. Perhaps I am higher on Caetano than most, but I think he is the sneaky favorite here.
DPP OU: ToF vs snøfall
ADV OU: Golden Sun vs thelinearcurve
GSC OU: gorgie vs false
RBY OU: SaDiSTiCNarwhal vs Serpi
Dragonspiral Tyrants (6) vs (3) Congregation of the Classiest
SS OU: John W vs Garay oak
SS OU: Eo Ut Mortus vs lax - They meet again. Eo took care of business during Snake and I have decided to drop my silly "let's predict against Eo each week" meme for the sake of not killing my accuracy once more. He has looked a lot stronger in the builder and a little stronger in the battle than lax thus far this generation. lax's performance in SSD playoffs against Eo really baffled me as it was clear the timer being low forced him to rush his gameplanning during the closing stages of the game, but yet he was exhausting timer chatting it up earlier in the game -- this seemed like a pretty sizable mental error that proved costly. If you take the nonsense out of the equation, lax is fantastic. He is spot-on with his risks and predictions often, he is able to pilot a good mixture of teams, and he stays current with the metagame. The main issue is that all of these apply to Eo and I trust his mentality a bit more. That coupled with it being hard to justify predicting against Eo after his Snake makes this a clear pick for me in a should-be highligh match.
SS OU: 100percentpureheat vs Luthier
SM OU: Omfuga vs Tamahome
BW OU: elodin vs obii - One of the BW pairings with a bit less star-power this week, but still a couple of competitors with experience in the tier. elodin has a nice, brief history in BW ranging over a couple of tournaments. He may be a bit out of the loop in the modern metagame, but they have a few people who at least dabble in BW, so that inspires a bit of confidence. obii being in BW did not make a ton of sense to me, but Fakes has to wait a couple of weeks to play BW and the Classiest's strategy of "draft all of the best DPP players" unfortunately left them a bit shorthanded in a couple of tiers, which includes BW for now. I think obii has a fighting chance because he does his due diligence from a preparation POV pretty well, but I worry he is a step behind elodin in terms of in-game execution and that will cost him.
DPP OU: Christo vs august
ADV OU: Gilbert arenas vs Fakes
GSC OU: Conflict vs TDK
RBY OU: spies vs rozes - Very excited to see what spies has cooked up for this metagame. He has been away for a long time, but had a strong track record long ago. I will side with rozes because he has been grinding it out in the current metagame for a while and has taken some huge strides as a player, including a strong Smogon Classic run. However, prime spies is surely capable of beating anyone, rozes very much included. Probably the RBY series I am most excited about besides Troller-Nails for my series.
Stark Sharks (5) vs (4) Wi-Fi Wolfpack
SS OU: xray vs talah - talah is probably a hot upset pick here and against some other strong opponents he plays earlier on in the season and I get it. He had a nice Snake to put him back on the map and his building has always been strong. I do think that giving him the benefit of the doubt against a player of xray's caliber is premature in this battle of councilmen. xray has been one of the best players this generation and while he has been a bit quieter as of late, there is no reason to believe he is not in good form right now. xray is an underrated builder who will be a capable anchor for this team's SS core and he can play with the best, of course. I think talah is outmatched here and it may be hard for him to beat top end players throughout the tournament, but look for him to pick up a couple victories if he does not get more challenging opponents.
SS OU: reiku vs Bloody alfa
SS OU: 1 True Lycan vs Tace
SM OU: Welli0u vs Relous
ORAS OU: jonfilch vs Dragon Claw
BW OU: SoulWind vs shawyu 1313 - I mean you cannot predict against SoulWind in BW as of right now, right? I see no world in which you can expect him to lose until he shows some rust or someone else in the pool shows something exceptional anyway. SoulWind has mastered BW with great building and unmatched in-game execution. He needs no more introduction at this point. shawyu is someone I have a high opinion of, but I was surprised to see him as a BW starter. I think there is some potential there as he has a great way of assessing risk in team choices, but that is really all I can say positively thus far. He is very ambitious, so BKC will have to find a point of moderation with him, and his gameplay is still a bit raw, which means there will have to be some coaching on this end, too. I think him beating SoulWind would be possible if the match-up is right, but I do not see him outplaying SoulWind throughout the game.
DPP OU: Void vs mael
ADV OU: Endill vs Star
GSC OU: Fear vs ABR - Both of these guys are fantastic players and community members. I am absolutely elated to see them face off week 1 and believe this will be a superb start to the GSC we see this tournament. I do wonder: is this the most expensive SPL game ever? Combining for north of 65k, I would have to imagine it either would be or would at least be in the top 3 -- someone should do some digging on this! Either way, Fear has more experience in the tier by a significant margin and he has dominated every single time he has been given the opportunity. ABR is the closest to him in this pool perhaps, but much like SoulWind in BW, it is hard to predict against Fear in GSC. I think the daunting top heavy nature of the Sharks will work in some amazing ways if they make a deep run, by the way. Kudos to M Dragon for this draft plan!
SS OU: beatiful vs Sacri'
They're both on a hot streak of great results. Two frontrunners of the current gen right now, with experience under their belt too. Their playstyle is also similar, with a tendency for high tempo bulky offenses.
SS OU: Eo Ut Mortus vs lax
Again, two of the most established OUers, with a stark contrast in playstyle this time, Eo's meticulous side against Smogon's Bokuto aggressive and read-heavy game. Probably one of the best OU pairing of the tournament in the first week.
RBY OU: Nails vs Heroic Troller
Two of the Top3 RBYers going into the tour facing off week 1. Troller, much like many people before him (and himself), will scratch his head as to how to play against Nails' preferences. Dread them, run from them, freezes still arrive.
GSC OU: Fear vs ABR
Without a doubt one of the highlight of the tournament. The king of GSC against one of the best tourplayer ever making its entry to GSC for a full season. They also have a knack for coming up with new techs and wielding them to perfection. You can be sure I won't miss this one.
Also, another reminder to check my twitch channel during the tournament for game narrations and analyses.
Certified stupid BW predictions (GUARENTEED TO BE WRONG!!!):
BW OU: Jimmy Turtwig vs Insult: This is just a gut feeling that Jimmy will take it, but this match up could go both ways. IDK what I'm talking about anyway.
BW OU: dice vs Caetano93: the King of Innovation vs the King of using dumb shit for the sake of using dumb shit. Imma go with innovation on this one.
BW OU: elodin vs obii: Never seen either Bw, so IDK
BW OU: Finchinator vs Frania: Finch has had a monopoly on the BW circuit tournaments all year. Almost every single one he signed up for he just won. This man's on hot right now and BW is his home tier. Fran though has plays, and isn't someone to take likely, but given how dominant Finchy has been in this tier, its hard to predict him losing.
BW OU: SoulWind vs shawyu 1313: Didn't Soulwind like not drop a single BW game last SPL. Ye then won the Classic then onto ST finals. Shawyu has the support though and the skills to pull an upset. Just given how dominant SW is, people say SW doesn't lose BW matches that matter for a reason, this is a hard W1 match up for Shawyu.
No começo pensei em torcer pros meus prc mncmtHyogafodexAskov mas dps pensei ah eles ja tem trofeu ne nao precisam de mais. Entao pensei em torcer pro meu outro prc Caetano93 ai vi que o time dele e ruim demais. A saida foi torcer pro Eternal Spirit, ate q lembrei o quao odiavel ele é. Pro elodin tambem impossível já que so tem cancer com ele. no fim das contas estarei torcendo pra voces todos terem uma experiencia horrivel e regretarem a participação no torneio. Inclusive você Luigi
BW OU: Jimmy Turtwig vs Insult: i like jimmy turtwigs name so ima pick him here
BW OU: dice vs Caetano93: both really good players but i really like caetano on a personal level so im gonna pick him
BW OU: elodin vs obii: idrk anything about either of these guys but eo's ct says elodin smells so i think i gotta pick the other way
BW OU: Finchinator vs Frania: FINCHSPL12
BW OU: SoulWind vs shawyu 1313: soulwind is good at pokemon