Smogon Premier League XV - Commencement Thread


Ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seatbelts
is a Tournament Directoris a Site Content Manageris a Social Media Contributoris a Member of Senior Staffis a Community Contributoris a Top Contributoris a Top Smogon Media Contributoris a Top Dedicated Tournament Hostis a Battle Simulator Admin Alumnus
User Safety Lead

Welcome to the fifteenth installment of the tournament widely considered Smogon's best - the Smogon Premier League. For the uninitiated, the Smogon Premier League (SPL) is a team-based tournament where 10 team managers draft their team from a pool of players and duke it out for the following nine weeks to make it to playoffs, where the top four teams face off to determine this year's winning team (and, of course, all for the glory of the red trophy!). It's one of the most fun and engaging tournaments Smogon has to offer, so read on if you're interested!

This year's SPL will be hosted by Theia and Vertigo and ken.

A reminder of rulings that hold true for this edition, and some new ones:
  1. Managers are allowed one (1) assistant Manager.
  2. Teams are only allowed three (3) retained players from last year's SPL.
  3. Retention rights may not be traded.
  4. Players may not be traded at any point
  5. Midseason signups are restricted to people that signed up for the original auction.
  6. The minimum number of players in a team is 15. (NEW)
  7. The maximum number of players in a team is 24.
  8. There will be a severe penalty for any team that picks up a known alt of a banned player, or any player masquerading as another person to lower their cost in the auction. This has not been a big issue in the past, but it is important to establish that both parties will be penalized immediately and harshly if they are found doing so.
This year's managers will be:

Alpha Ruiners - FlamingVictini + MANNAT
Circus Maximus Tigers - z0mOG + Genesis7
Congregation of the Classiest - d0nut + Luthier
Cryonicles - Booty + njnp
Dragonspiral Tyrants - reyscarface + blunder
Ever Grande BIGS - Vulpix03 + DeepBlueC
Indie Scooters - Stone Cold + Leru
Stark Sharks - snaga + suapah
Team Raiders - Raiza + Tricking
Wi-Fi Wolfpack - Star + D4 Repertoire

Player sign-ups will go up at the same time as or shortly after this commencement thread is made. When a prospective player signs up, they are expected to also note which tiers they are interested in playing during the tournament. In order to ensure the best possible experience for yourself, the managers, and your team, please do NOT sign up for any tier you are unwilling to play. If you would not seriously consider playing that tier in a tournament environment, do not list it. The tiers you put down in your signup are binding for almost the entire tournament, but they will also affect how your prospective manager sees you, and as such they should be as accurate to your skillset as possible. Don't make dumb joke posts about playing tiers you do not care for.

For the duration of SPL's regular season, players are not allowed to play in the tiers listed as "NOT played" in their signups post. They will only be allowed to play those tiers starting in playoffs. We will be enforcing this rule for ALL players, regardless of price tag. This is intended to address price fixing and encourage players to sign up for tiers they are most skilled in, rather than attempt to reduce their auction price.

To be crystal clear: "Tiers NOT Played" will bind you from playing in those tiers, and you should use it only if you do not intend to play that tier under any circumstance for the entire regular season. "Tiers Played" is a non-binding field that you can use to communicate your preferences to all managers.

Retainer rules:

As stated above, only three retainers are allowed this year. You may not retain more than three, though you may retain less or no players at all if you wish.

The cost to retain a player on their first year as a retention will be the HIGHER of the following two scenarios (unchanged from last year):
  1. the amount that the player went for in the last auction + 3k (ex. if Oglemi was bought for 13k, it would cost 16k to retain him)
  2. 10k, if the previous price + 3k would end up being lower than 10k (ex. if Oglemi was bought for 6k, his retaining cost would be 10k, not 9k)
Remember that a player bought for under 10k during last year's auction will not necessarily cost just 10k to retain. If Oglemi was bought for 9k in last year's auction, he would cost 12k to retain this year, not 10k.

The cost to retain a player that was already retained in the last SPL will be dependent on how many times they have been retained. The fee being raised by +3k with each subsequent retention (ex. if Oglemi was retained for 16k last SPL , it would cost 22k to retain him in this one, and 31k to retain him in the next one.

Players that are retained will be locked into the same tiers that they were locked in the year prior. Players retained for multiple years in a row will be free to play any tier.

The tier lineup this year is as follows:
  • SV OU
  • SV OU
  • SV OU
  • SV OU
  • SS OU
  • SM OU
  • BW OU
  • DPP OU
  • ADV OU
  • GSC OU
  • RBY OU
Tournaments Rules and General Guidelines

General SPL Rules & Regulations

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

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

• General Managers are not eligible to play in the Smogon Premier League. You can either play or manage, not both.
• General Managers are chosen largely on a subjective opinion of the Tournament Directors as to who they believe would be fit for the position. Being fit for the position includes the knowledge of excellent battlers in the community (for fielding a competent team), having above average activity on the forums, Pokémon Showdown and/or Discord (in order to ensure that you don’t abandon your team), as well as possessing a necessary amount of “gravitas” (If you can’t make a player do what you tell them to, such as play an undesirable metagame, you’re not going to make a good manager).

General Managers are required to acquire one Assistant Manager. The Tournament Director team can veto the selection of an assistant manager, but will not require the General Manager to choose any particular user as their Assistant Manager. The assistant manager is essentially the second in command for the team. They have almost all of the functions and roles as the General Manager does, the GM just trumps him in head-to-head decisions.

Lastly, the General Manager has the following duties:

• They shall choose one Assistant Manager.
• They shall make the hosts aware of any player retentions by the time player signups close (48 hours prior to the start of the auction).
• They shall be present at the live auction, or appoint someone (preferably the Assistant Manager or a retained player if the AM is unavailable) to participate in the live auction in their stead.
• They shall send the hosts weekly rosters.
• They shall ensure to the best of his/her abilities that his/her battlers complete their matches on time.
• In the event that a match fails to be completed, they shall inform the hosts as to why the match failed to be completed, and what his/her battler did in order to finish the match.
• They shall communicate any grievances with the hosts.
All players must sign up if they wish to play in the Smogon Premier League, even those who will eventually be retained to their past teams. It is important to note that the Smogon Premier League is an 11 week event and that the activity level of a player is significant. Do not sign up to play for a team if you do not intend to see the tournament through to the end. This includes maintaining a competitive attitude if your team is already eliminated from playoff contention. You never know whether or not winning your end-season matches will make you a more valued player next season, so even if your team isn’t necessarily in the playoff picture anymore, there’s always value in playing your best. Failure to complete matches in a timely manner consistently may result in being barred from entering the Smogon Premier League in future seasons.

For the duration of SPL's regular season, players are not allowed to play in the tiers listed as "NOT played" in their signups post. They will only be allowed to play those tiers starting in playoffs. A tiebreak to determine which teams will qualify for playoffs will be considered part of the Playoff rounds for this rule. We will be enforcing this rule for ALL players, regardless of price tag.

Players that are retained will be locked into the same tiers that they were locked in the year prior. Players retained for multiple years in a row will be free to play any tier.

The sign-up list will then be taken and sorted into appropriate lists for each of the 8 metagames. These lists will then be used by managers for the auction.
Total money for teams is 140,000 credits. There will be no holdover on extra credits from previous years - everyone starts with a blank slate and 140k.

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

Once a time is set, all 10 managers + the hosts will enter the place where the auction will be held - likely the Smogtours server. Spectators are allowed to join in to watch the fun unfold, but will not be able to speak. Discussion on the bidding at hand should be relegated to the SPL chatroom or any other appropriate chat outlet.

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

Managers are advised that placed bids are final, and we will generally not permit an undo in the case of a mistake. Exceptions can be made in cases where a team nominates an incorrect player or if a typo in a bid amount would threaten the integrity of the team as a whole. Please make sure to double check your bids before sending them!

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

Managers: it is necessary for you to field a roster of 12 starters and a minimum of 3 substitutes, with a maximum of 12 substitutes being allowed of which all must be paid at least 3000 credits. This creates a soft cap of 98,000 credits on any particular bid - that is, the maximum amount of money you can spend on any one player and still have enough money left over to pay at least 3000 credits a piece on 14 more players.

Remember that there are midseason free agent pick-ups. It may be beneficial to save some credits in order to pick up players midseason, but remember that no new players will be allowed to sign up for the midseason draft.
It is at this time that the tournament will commence. The league stages consist of a Round Robin tournament. Every team will face every other team once through 9 weeks of play. Each manager will submit to the hosts a roster no later than the deadline of the previous week. This roster will list the starting players and what metagames they will play.

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

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

1. Substitutes – At any point in time during the week, a team may make a substitution for a currently slotted player. In order to do this a manager must post in the thread, tagging the hosts, the opposing managers and the opposing player stating which player is substituting out, and which player is substituting in. A player that has substituted out for a week cannot be substituted back in. In addition, all substitutions are subject to veto by the hosts if the substitution is suspected to be attempting to “game” the system. Substituting in a player who is unavailable to play at any of the times the opposing team has previously offered in order to force a double substitution is not permitted and the player who was substituted in will be required to be substituted out.

2. There will be no trades allowed at any point during SPL.

3. Activity decisions – There are inevitably times where two players simply fail to complete a match; however, the nature of the tournament system sometimes makes it advantageous to purposely fail to play (such as when a team is up 6-5 in a week). Because of this, it is necessary to make activity decisions on matches. Hosts are required to make thorough investigations regarding each and every potential failed match during a week. If both parties are deemed to be equally apathetic or enthusiastic about getting the match done, but just have not had the opportunity to make it happen, the match will result in a no contest. However, if it is deemed that one party made significantly more effort than the other in attempting to get the match done, then a win will be awarded to that player. Things that will make it very likely that you will lose via activity include: failing to VM your opponent immediately upon the week’s start, scheduling a match and being documented as missing the match time, failing to provide any concrete times for which you can be reached, failing to respond to an opponent’s VM at all. Please be certain to review the guidelines for a favorable judgement in an activity decision. Note that this is a tournament that requires a very high level of activity and diligence, if you don’t think you can get your matches done, quite simply don’t sign up.

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

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

6. Recreations – Under some circumstances, generally due to a true disconnection, the host team may determine that a game must be recreated. Ideally, this recreation will take place immediately, but if the completion of the game needs to be rescheduled then a host or tournament director will recreate the game with the same players at a later time. Neither player may be substituted out for the recreation, but otherwise standard rules for activity decisions will apply.
Up until week 4 managers will have the opportunity to report players that they believe are not meeting minimum activity requirements and/or sabotaging their team to the hosts. The hosts will review the team situation on the first 2 days of week 5, and if it is found that the player in question is indeed guilty of one or both, the team will be allowed to sell them back. Reports made on team quitters after the end of Week 4 will not be evaluated until the conclusion of the tournament, with the exception of cases of cheating or team leaking/sabotage. Players who are banned from the Smogon Forums for a duration longer than the rest of the tournament and players who are banned from tournaments for actions unrelated to Smogon Premier League will also be eligible for a sellback.

If a player is sold back, their team obtains 3k of their value as credits to be used in the midseason auction. The only exception to this is players who become eligible for sellback prior to when Week 1 is posted.

Teams who sell back players before the start of Week 1 will be reimbursed with credits equal to 1.5k+half of that player's retention cost or value in the auction. These credits may be used prior to the start of Week 1 on undrafted players who signed up, and players selected will be eligible to play starting in Week 1. Any of these credits that remain unused will be converted into sellback credits for use in the midseason auction.

Midseason Draft
During Week 4, sign-ups will reopen for 4 days. Players that signed up for the original auction and weren't drafted will sign up and a new free agent list will be made. Note: Even if you signed up the first time around, you must re-signup in order to get on the midseason free agent list. Players will not be able to change their 'Tiers NOT Played' in midseason. Whatever was on the original signup remains in effect. After sign-ups close, the host will remind each manager how many credits they have left over from the original live auction.

Instead of having another live auction, an auction will take place on the forums. A manager will post their bids, with other managers having up to 12 hours from the time of the post to make a higher bid on the player. After 12 hours, if the manager has not been outbid, his or her team will be awarded the players. The Midseason auction will last for 5 days during week 5. The players purchased here will be allowed to start playing starting on Week 6. There is no use for credits leftover after the midseason free agent pickups, so it is in every manager’s best interest to spend all of their remaining credits at this time. No players may enter SPL after the midseason auction, except in the case of a team falling below the minimum number of starters due to their players being banned, in which case they'll be allowed to pick players from the undrafted pool until they reach the minimum.
At the end of the league stages, there will be a knockout style playoffs involving the top 4 teams in the points. In the event of a tie in overall points standings, the following criteria is used for breaking ties.
  • Overall Points >
  • Battle Difference (total # battles won - total # battles lost) >
  • Best of 3 - each team picks a unique tier with the winner of the Head to Head matchup picking second, then SV OU is the 3rd game. In the event that the two teams tied in the Head to Head matchup, the team with better results against the higher seeds will pick second.
  • Note: a Best of 3 series shall only be used to determine whether or not a team will qualify for playoffs. To just determine seeding among the top 4 teams, the result of the Head to Head matchup during regular season shall be used as the third tiebreak, with a B03 series being offered as a final alternative if teams are tied in every other element.
After the top 4 have been determined, each team will be seeded. The #1 seed will play the #4 seed, and the #2 seed will play the #3 seed. Teams will battle in the same format as during the league stage. At the end of all 10 battles, the team with more wins will advance to finals.

In the case of a tie in playoffs, the advancing team will be decided by a best of three - each team picks a unique tier with the higher seed picking second, then SV OU is the 3rd game.
The tournament will progress in this format until there is only one team left standing, the champion of the Smogon Premier League.


This post marks the formal start to SPL XV, which means:
  • Managers can hold official tryouts
  • Managers can inform hosts the players they wish to retain (REMINDER: Players can refuse to be retained, which means if they sign up, they will be a free agent for SPL XV.)


is a Tiering Contributoris a Forum Moderator Alumnus
RUPL Champion
The BIGs are back and so is the BIG's Tryout Form!

BIGs Tryout Form

If you would like to be on the BIGs this year you must correctly answer the questions on the form!

As an organization, the BIGs strive for excellence and never settle, so this quiz is designed to sift out the weak and give
DBC and myself a better understanding of who you are as a person and a player.

DBC and I will personally reach out to you via Discord if you pass the test.

Good luck!​


is a Tiering Contributoris a Past SPL Champion
World Defender
Although I was active in the tier for SCL, I have not played any tournaments since WCOP and I am just getting back into playing so my level is not what I want, but I will be active with the tier throughout the tourn and I promise to be active outside of my work schedule. Also until I get used to the new metagame I won't help in other gens since I want to focus on recovering my level first so I can't promise to be active the first few weeks in the rest of the tier channels.



I did it again
is a Site Content Manager Alumnusis a Senior Staff Member Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnus
Dear Smogon,

Today, it is with a heavy heart that I must announce that I have been fired from my job. Today, it is with a heavy heart that I must announce that I have gambled away all my savings and am left penniless. Today, it is with an even heavier heart that I must announce that my girlfriend and I have broken up over the aforementioned gambling incident. And finally, today, with the heaviest heart of all, I must announce that my beloved dog, Darwin, has passed away.

I am out of work. I am destitute. I am without love. I am without companionship. All on the day after Christmas. I have reached out to family and friends, but they have all turned their back on me, ashamed of who I have become. I am at rock bottom. This is my darkest hour. I am truly alone.

There is now an empty void inside me where my heart once was. But I will not let the void consume me. These trials and tribulations will only strengthen me, and I will fill this void the only way I know how:


You may think that competitive online Pokémon is silly, and that it could not possibly give the sort of fulfillment that a stable job, comfortable savings, a loving relationship, and the companionship of a pet can. This, dear reader, is where you are wrong. The thrill of victory in SPL is a nirvana that can only be achieved by a select few, and this year is the year.

My year.

You may have heard the saying that hungry dogs run faster. Well let me assure you, this dog is hungry. This dog is ravenous. This dog is starving for an opportunity. Not only do I have an emotional void, but I will keep up a physical void as well by hunger striking until the day of the draft. This year, I expect to be picked up by a team looking for a perfect RBY record this SPL. My entire time in this community will culminate in this moment.

My moment.

To my boss, thank you for firing me. To the casino, thank you for taking my money. To my ex-girlfriend, thank you for breaking up with me. And to my dog, thank you for passing on.

When I stare into the void inside me, the void stares back. And what do I see in the void’s eyes?


Because the void knows its time is short. This hungry dog will get drafted. This hungry dog will achieve a perfect SPL record. And this hungry dog will lead his team to that coveted trophy, wiping the void away for good. SPL XV, watch out.

I’m coming.


We don't play this game to lose.
is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributor
Managing the Cyros is a full circle moment (iykyk), wanna thank the TD team for selecting me and booty to lead. I look forward to competing with my fellow peers. If you want to join our team DM me on discord @rriv or Booty @booty300. We will not be hosting try outs, apologies.

Wishing everyone an amazing season :heart:


is a Tournament Directoris a Top Social Media Contributoris a Community Leaderis a Community Contributoris a Top Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Top Smogon Media Contributoris a Top Dedicated Tournament Hostis a Senior Staff Member Alumnusis a Smogon Discord Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnusis a Past WCoP Championis the defending OU Circuit Championis a Two-Time Former Old Generation Tournament Circuit Champion
OU Leader
Very excited for this season! Lot of good and even surprising sign-ups so far with many more coming hopefully. I advise managers PM me if they intend to spend a decent amount of their budget on me and have questions rather than assuming anything.

I will be away one IRL week during the regular season that overlaps with two regular season weeks with very limited internet access, but I am confident that it will be possible to play all of my games comfortably. There are also a ton of motivated SV players out there that I think it would be awesome to work alongside. I do not care to overhaul anyone's draft plan as that is your business and not something I am good at planning, but communication would be nice.

I strongly prefer playing SV to other generations at this time and this is reflected in my signup. I believe it is my best generation right now and it is certainly my most motivated one after recent tours and leading the tier. I regret not signing up primarily for SV last season, too.

I did not outright veto any tier in my signup because I understand that team comes first and sometimes shit happens; I hope I do not regret this. Last season I hopped into BW W7 to help my team, in SCL1 I played a game of LC when our player was out, and I would do something like this again if absolutely needed, but it should not be the primary plan. Good luck to everyone!


how u doin'?
is a Tiering Contributoris a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Past SPL Champion
World Defender
I'll play whatever the team needs whether it will be ORAS or SS (doubt you wanna spend the money on me for any other tier). ORAS is stacked, so there are other great options as well. My activity could range from just playing my games to being actively involved and building for several slots. I don't wanna make any promises here. Generally willing to play for any team that buys me, but expect me to wanna have a say about the starters for ORAS, SM, and SS during the auction. Looking forward to whoever else pms me and wants to talk. :swole:


is a Tournament Director Alumnusis a Top Tiering Contributor Alumnusis an Administrator Alumnusis a Dedicated Tournament Host Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnusis the 5th Smogon Classic Winneris the Smogon Tour Season 14 Championis a Two-Time Past SPL Champion
Big Chungus Winner
Hello fellow Tournament Player.

Are you frustrated by a recent tournament result? Despite long coping sessions on Discord, do you also hate getting constant visual reminders of your failures in the form of trophies when you browse the Smogon Forums? Are you one of those people who doesn't want to see that green sparkle on false's profile after reading his shout-out post?

Well, you're in luck, because I have the solution for you! You too will be able to rewrite history once you've read this post.

While there may be multiple solution to this problem, the one I'm proposing uses the extension uBlock, which I would recommend anyway as an amazing adblocker with a great filtering option, which we'll use to its fullest potential here.

Once the extension, is installed, load a webpage where you can see the trophy you wish to snap out of existence. For example, the most recent SCL.

What you will do next is click on the extension logo, then the filter button. Once it's selected, you will pick the trophy you want to remove from your eyes. Here is a gif that shows the process:

Once that is done, a window will open on the bottom right. All you have to do is click on "Create".

And that's it! Look at the result:

Enjoy your new safe space, because no, this tournament actually didn't happen and there is nothing to show for it.

(this works for every trophy, however it will erase the trophy as a whole, so for example, I can't erase ABR's Classic Trophy without erasing mine)

I am usually not one for dramatic commencement posts about drafting me, but I have 3 main requests for my upcoming managers.

1) Someone to provide quantum RBY scouts
2) Someone to sub in / swap RBY if my heart leads me elsewhere later on in the season
3) Santu as my teammate

Thank you for your understanding :heart:

I am usually not one for dramatic commencement posts about drafting me, but I have 3 main requests for my upcoming managers.

1) Someone to provide quantum RBY scouts
2) Someone to sub in / swap RBY if my heart leads me elsewhere later on in the season
3) Santu as my teammate

Thank you for your understanding :heart:

I am usually not one for dramatic commencement posts about drafting me, but I have 3 main requests for my upcoming managers.

1) Someone to provide quantum RBY scouts
2) Someone to sub in / swap RBY if my heart leads me elsewhere later on in the season
3) fade as my teammate

Thank you for your understanding :heart:

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