Smogon Tour 30 Playoffs - Round 2

Just doing this to see Finch's dog tbh. Gl all and don't mind my biased predictions below lol

1. BK (SS, SM, ORAS) vs. 16. Kenix

Not gonna lie, from what I've seen of Kenix before I'm kinda wondering how he managed to
get a spot but I guess he might be better than I think. Nonetheless he's facing BK who's
been making quite a come back recently after an impressive snake performance and getting that 1st seed in such stacked POs. Thus I feel he's highly favoured in both SS and ORAS and
to be fair, I think he is in SM too thanks to his natural skills, his experience on the big stage and the Italian support in the build department if needed.

2. SoulWind (SM, ORAS) vs. 15. Finchinator (SS)

Well what a pairing. I think SW is way more comfortable with ORAS than Finch. I'd bet Finch
has explored the SS metagame so I'll give him the edge here. I think SM is the closest game
and Finch will probably need to use his prep card here since SW barely makes mistakes so I don't see him losing barring a poor matchup.
Yet I feel it should be closer than what we expect either way and Finch can definitely make it. Both are very deserving so I just hope winner of this gets to the top.

3. Giannis Antetokommo-o (SS, ORAS) vs. 14. Juuls (SM)

Not very familiar with them but it seems like Giannis becomes quite consistent in the individual stage between OLT and a great STour showing. I'll give him the edge in SS x ORAS because of his 3rd seed and the fact he's 2nd in terms of SS points. I think Juuls is quite comfortable with SM so I'm giving him the edge here.

4. beatiful (SS, SM) vs. 13. Luigi (ORAS)

Luigi has been consistent in ORAS for quite a while now and I have no clue how's Bea's ORAS so I'm favouring Luigi there. However there's no doubt Bea is highly favoured in SS as he crushed the season with a strong 28 points, coming first in the tier, while Luigi kinda struggled. I'm giving Bea the edge in SM too because I think he's a better player overall in the two most recent gens.

5. Empo (SS, SM) vs. 12. xray (ORAS)

No surprise, Empo comes first in SM with 23 points and he's been undoubtedly one of the best SMers around for a while now. There's no doubt he's more than decent in ORAS but I think Xray is still better in that field. Then it comes down to SS and that should be the closest game. Both are very good in the tier but I'll favour Empo basing myself on their most recent showings.
Definitely a must watch though, this is a really hype matchup.

6. Ojama (SS, SM) vs. 11. BKC (ORAS)

Well this feels like a finals matchup. Favouring Ojama in SM all day, as it's his strongest tier and BKC's weakest. I'm giving the ORAS edge to BKC for the same reason even though I think Ojama's ORAS is still better than BKC's SM. The Kingpin mainly struggles with building in ORAS so who knows what could happen if he overcomes that issue. I still think BKC's way ahead though. So it should come down to SS once again. Ojama's showing in the season is almost twice better than BKC's but it's a very new meta so it becomes tricky. I'm giving the edge to Ojama as I'm expecting to see his fresh techs, thus reaffirming his dominance in fresh metagames.
Wishing to see the Kingpin getting a new ring.

7. Pohjis (SS, SM, ORAS) vs. 10. Typhlosion48

I don't have much to say because I'm not too familiar with Typhlosion. I know he's pretty good at SM, thus I wouldn't be surprised to see him take that game. Nonetheless, I think Pohjis is just more proven, more consistent and better overall.

8. John W (SS) vs. 9. Star (SM, ORAS)

While Star's results are perfectly balanced, John has had a pretty rough season in SM. He's still a very good player and I think he's more proven in SS overall. Even if we know he's capable to take any tier, I'll favour Star in the two remaining because this man is just so fucking good.
Hey, everyone!

My goodness, Smogon Tour 30 playoffs are here, and these do matchups not disappoint. Sensational matchups already, and it's only Round 1! I am extremely excited for these, so I couldn't resist writing up some predicts. :)

1. BK vs. 16. Kenix ~ Although we saw a number of upsets in the last Smogon Tour playoffs, I think this first matchup will fall according to seed in BK's favor. Bro Kappa has been in remarkably good form this year, and their numbers in ORAS during this Tour are something to behold, especially in how they have no comparison. While there have been a number of players who have acquired significant amounts of points in SS and SM, no one has come close to matching BK's success in ORAS. And then, BK still put up very respectable point yields in SS and SM, clearly indicating a proficiency in all three Gens. Intriguingly, Kenix is one of a group of lesser-known players in these playoffs who amassed a large amount of points from SM to qualify for playoffs. It'll be interesting to see if this trend continues into next year's Smogon Tour(s). In any case, I think BK will win ORAS and SS to Kenix's SM.

2. SoulWind vs. 15. Finchinator ~ SOULWIND has been the best Pokémon player of 2020. There, I said it. He won went undefeated in SPL, won Smogon Classic VI, and now is the 2nd seed in Smogon Tour 30 with a remarkably balanced point distribution (17 in SS, 13 in SM, and 18 in ORAS). His level of play and confidence are both sky-high, and it's difficult imagining him losing with any frequency going forward. Going up against Finch in Smog Tour is no easy feat, though. He's been playing some excellent CG OU recently, and it feels like he's still improving. These are not SOULWIND's preferred tiers, and while I think SW will take ORAS, I predict Finch will put in a substantial amount of prep work and win SS and SM.

3. Giannis Antetokommo-o vs. 14. Juuls ~ Ah, Giannis. Star basketball player for the Milwaukee Bucks and apparently quite the force in SS OU now as well! And you'd be forgiven for thinking that Giannis' success this Tour really has been based around SS OU; after all, he did have the third-highest point acquisition in a single Gen this Smogon Tour (25) in that Gen. However, I think one of the most underrated parts of Giannis' journey to the 3rd seed has been very respectable point acquisitions in ORAS and SM OU as well (11 and 10, respectively). The key to Smogon Tour is of course excelling in the three most recent Gens of OU, so this sort of distribution of success is quite valuable at this point in the tour. Juuls has been one of the players with a lot of successful in SM OU during this tour, which is not to be overlooked. They've also put up decent numbers in SS and ORAS OU. I think Giannis' all-around proficiency will be too difficult to overcome in this matchups, and I'm picking him to win in three.

4. beatiful vs. 13. Luigi ~ Very interesting matchup here. This is a tricky one to predict. Based off of recent success and in-form play, I'd give the edge to bea. They've had an excellent Snake so far, featuring, interestingly, a win against Luigi in SS OU that may well be a harbinger of another win in this series. However, bea is facing a very experienced and accomplished Smogon Tour player in Luigi, who not long ago won this whole thing. If this were just a competition of SS OU over a game or three, I would pick bea. But it's not, and I give the edge to Luigi in SM and ORAS OU. I'm taking Luigi in three.

5. Empo vs. 12. xray ~ I wish I could really impart the number of times I've gone back and forth on this match. The scenarios that have to be examined to properly predict here are well worth it given the implications: I think it's very possible either of these players could go on to win the Tour. Empo has been not just knocking at the door of winning Smogon Tour recently, but has threatened to barge it down. Although the last Smogon Tour Playoffs featured the then #1 seed exiting playoffs early at the hands of Pohjis (*hint* why Pohjis could again be a dangerous floater in this Smogon Tour *hint*), you could argue that Empo has learned from the experience and is eager to build on their success. And while Empo hasn't quite had the meteoric success that they had in the last Smogon Tour setting the all-time single Tour point acquisition record, they've still largely continued from where they left off before. That all being said, xray recently has been quite the force to be reckoned with. I think from the start of this Tour, he was a popular pick to win or at least advance quite far. It's a shame that Smogon Tour Playoffs isn't double elimination because of first round matchups like this one. At least we are able to enjoy this before one of the players departs from Playoffs. I think Empo will take SM and ORAS while xray takes SS, but I could easily see xray winning this taking SS and ORAS.

6. Ojama vs. 11. BKC ~ We are really in for something special here. Ojama vs. BKC in Smog Tour Playoffs in the first round? While I'm sure many would have preferred this matchup come in a later round--like, say, finals--any time that two of the greatest ever face in a playoff series will always be a spectacle and something to eagerly look forward to. Ojama has looked very strong in this Smogon Tour, displaying his usual blend of superior in-game play and teambuilding/team utilization. Seeing as though these are not his preferred tiers and he's been so successful throughout this tour up to this point, the prospect of facing Ojama so early is daunting. However, his opponent is none other than BKC. Arguably the most exciting part of this whole Smogon Tour has been seeing BKC not only participate again but also excel. He's consistently contended in the ORAS tours and put up strong showings in SM and SS as well. Having BKC return to Smog Tour playoffs is truly very exciting, perhaps for all except his opponents who have to face off against a 2x Smogon Tour champion. I think this match will ultimately come down to SS; BKC is stronger in ORAS and Ojama in SM, making SS quite the intriguing Game 3. Although BKC has been having fun and taking it easy throughout the qualifying period this Smogon Tour, I think we'll see his excellent preparation and competitiveness propel him to victory as they have time and time again.

7. Pohjis vs. 10. Typhlosion48 ~ Pohjis has just been tearing through these major tours this year, and it's very impressive. Be it an old Gens or CG tour, they have been excelling. To put things in perspective, in addition to qualifying for both Smogon Tour playoffs this year (and making it to Smogon Tour 29 finals), they qualified for RBY-SM Championships this year. But, this is another tour, and it remains to be seen whether Pohjis can replicate their success from the last Smogon Tour. This will be a tough early round test against a talented and up-and-coming player in Typhlosion48, but I predict particularly given the abundant experience they have, Pohjis will come out of this victorious. I'll say Typhlosion narrowly wins SM, and Pohjis wins ORAS and SS.

8. John W vs. 9. Star ~ In a first round of playoffs full of astoundingly good matches, this is the one I'm most looking forward to. And yes, that's despite Ojama vs. BKC and Finch vs. SOULWIND. John W I've been saying ever since the beginning of this Smogon Tour has been playing some excellent Pokémon. Very solid builds and play throughout his matches. His expertise in ORAS and SS OU have served him quite well up to this point. And honestly, he's looked like the player to beat in much of this Tour. If he were against almost any other player, I'd be picking John W here without hesitation. But, his opponent happens to be none other than Star. I had the pleasure of managing a team tour with Star on it earlier this year, and I got to see firsthand what an amazing player he is. He's one of those players who seems to snap his fingers and excel in a tier. I think John W will take ORAS and SS, while Star takes SM in a close and tightly-contested match. This could definitely go either way, though.
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1. BK vs. 16. Kenix - 1 seed never loses, especially to CONix. Joshing, but I think BK is too hot to handle atm, and will cleanly win.
2. SoulWind vs. 15. Finchinator - Finch seems considerably better than SoulWind at SS, better than Soulwind is compared to Finch in either of the other to tiers. With that being said, I think SW pulls out the dub in the other 2 categories. Both players have made finals in recent memories, and it's about time one of them wins. Winner of this game is going to make a deep run for sure. Additionally, SoulWind finally broke the curse with smogon classic, and hopefully he can cement himself as one of the greats with a smogon tour win to boot. Rooting for him here for sure.
3. Giannis Antetokommo-o vs. 14. Juuls - Giannis is a player imo who needs some more time to develop to big stages like playoffs. With that being said, I think he'll net an impressive win here and lose in round 2. Giannis has the best SS game in this pool of players, and I find it hard to believe that he ever loses a set 2-0. Both players do best in SS, but Giannis is considerably better there, so Juuls has to rely on his two worse tiers to win. Juuls has a chance in ORAS, but Giannis will win handedly here 2-0 or 2-1.
4. beatiful vs. 13. Luigi - Luigi is super good at SM, and I think he'll also be out for vengeance after what transpired in snake. Luigi can also cement a legacy with this win, so I think this'll be the biggest round 1 upset (in terms of seed). It'll come down to ORAS for sure, and it's technically a wash there, but I trust Luigi to win the clutch more.
5. Empo vs. 12. xray - I'm predicting Empo is going to win the tournament. After last ST's disappointing performance, he's the Virginia of smogtour 30, and he has a lot to prove. xray is another good player, but I think Empo's obscene SM play will put xray in a difficult spot, needing to win SS and ORAS. Empo will win convincingly win this set in 2 I think. He's the guy I predict will win the tournament (please don't get washed round 1 and make me eat my words again).
6. Ojama vs. 11. BKC - It's a shame we don't get to see these 2 square off in BW, but this is still an exciting st. Imo, BKC is going to get his clock cleaned in SM, and the other are toss ups. This is the game I'm least confident in, but there's a 25% chance BKC wins in SS and ORAS. I think the winner of this has a deep run ahead of them, as the two vets are going to go up against newbie Giannis in round 2, and will most likely defeat him there as well.
7. Pohjis vs. 10. Typhlosion48 - Eternal dark horse Pohjis willl have a hard time replicating his successes from last tour if he makes it out of round 1, as he will be playing either SW or Finch. At least in this round, I have a hard time seeing Pohjis losing vs this newer player, even if Typh's SM is pretty neat.
8. John W vs. 9. Star - I honestly think this is a toss up and is based on which tier is played first. If SM or ORAS are played before SS, I think Star wins pretty handedly. However, John W is a top 2 SS player, and if SS is played first, than Star will lose composure and fold. Despite this, I think a 66% chance of victory for Star makes me inclined to put him over John. This is a match I can't wait to catch!

GL to all. I'm probably rooting for SoulWind, Giannis, Empo, and Luigi, but I don't know any of these players personally so based off of playstyle. GL to all!
1. BK (SS, ORAS) vs. 16. (SM) Kenix - egalvanc is blind...
2. SoulWind (ORAS, SS) vs. 15. (SM) Finchinator - unfortunately it might have to be FINCHTOUR31 :psysad: (Also SW will 100% bring Webs in ORAS)
3. Giannis Antetokommo-o (SS, SM, ORAS) vs. 14. Juuls - GA has been looking strong lately, deep OLT run; Juuls had a similar run but did not perform as well
4. beatiful (SS) vs. 13. (SM, ORAS) Luigi - despite losing to bea in Snake, I think Luigi will take it here. Bea is good, and I think we will win SS, but Luigi is more established in the other two gens and I think he has the skill to win this.
5. Empo (SM) vs. 12. (ORAS, SS) xray - Empo is perhaps the best SM player on the scene right now, and xray is one of the ORAS greats. This will certainly come to SS, and especially given the new metagame I think all bets are off. I think xray is favored to win SS because I rate him overall the better player, but it could go either way.
6. Ojama (SM) vs. 11. (SS, ORAS) BKC - This should be the finals of the tour, not round one. Ojama is heavily favored in SM, but in the other two tiers, I think that BKC has a slight advantage. Again, in the end, I imagine this series will come down to SS, and I think that BKC's superiority in the teambuilder will give him the edge in the new metagame.
7. Pohjis (SM, SS, ORAS) vs. 10. Typhlosion48 - Expect a deep run from Pohjis.
8. John W (SM, SS, ORAS) vs. 9. Star - Star, despite ostensibly being a good player, looked frail in Snake; John W is showing that he is not merely a no-name BW player but a force to be reckoned with on the tournament scene. Assuming I predict the matches correctly this round, expect his round 2 match vs BK to be a tour highlight.


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Hopefully not too late to post about some of the records that may or may not have been set during this season of Smogon Tour!
  • This is the first playoffs appearance for beatiful, Giannis Antetokommo-o, Kenix, and Star! Congratulations and good luck!
  • Including this season, SoulWind still holds the record of most playoffs qualified at 13!
    • As for our other qualifiers: this is the second playoffs appearance for BK (ST27), John W (ST28), Typhlosion48 (ST29); fourth for Luigi (ST19, ST21, ST27) and Pohjis (ST24, ST28, ST29); sixth for BKC (ST14, ST16, ST21, ST22, ST27 and xray (ST18, ST21, ST26, ST27, ST28); seventh for Empo (ST23, ST24, ST25, ST26, ST28, ST29) and Finchinator (ST18, ST22, ST26, ST27, ST28, ST29); and ninth (!) for Ojama (ST11, ST14, ST15, ST17, ST19, ST24, ST25, ST26)
  • After not qualifying this season, ABR holds the record for most consecutive playoffs appearances along with Bloo at 7! However, SoulWind has reached his sixth appearance, coming in second place.
  • Ojama (first: ST11, last: ST30) has stolen the record for longest timespan between first and last playoffs appearance from McMeghan (first: ST12, last: ST29)! SoulWind (first: ST13, last: ST30) joins McMeghan in second place, and BKC (first: ST14, last: ST30) joins Bad Ass (first: ST10, last: ST26) for third place.
  • Ojama (ST15) and BKC (ST16, ST22) are old time champions of Smogon Tour. Will one of them see the same success here that they once held in previous generations?
  • This is the first playoffs Luigi has qualified for since winning in Season 27. Can he grab another win this season (no doubt spamming '-' along the way)?
  • Finchinator and SoulWind need to make it to Round 2 to stop their downward trends (Finch: ST26: Final, ST27: R2, ST28: R1, ST29: R1 | SoulWind: ST27: Final, ST28: Semi, ST29: R1), while Pohjis needs to take the trophy home to continue his upward trend (ST28: R2, ST29: Final) and Empo needs to make it to semifinals to continue his upward trend (ST28: R1, ST29: R2).
  • Matchups information maybe coming soon?
The document used to host these records are here (thanks to Posho and Slimmer for maintaining them); let me know if I need to correct something!
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1. BK vs. 16. Kenix
2. SoulWind vs. 15. Finchinator
3. Giannis Antetokommo-o
vs. 14. Juuls
4. beatiful vs. 13. Luigi
5. Empo vs. 12. xray
6. Ojama
vs. 11. BKC
7. Pohjis vs. 10. Typhlosion48
8. John W vs. 9. Star

1. BK vs. 8. John W
7. Pohjis vs. 15. Finchinator
3. Giannis Antetokommo-o vs. 6. Ojama
4. beatiful vs. 12. xray

8. John W vs. 12. xray
6. Ojama
vs. 15. Finchinator

6. Ojama vs. 12. xray

1. BK vs. 16. Kenix
2. SoulWind vs. 15. Finchinator
3. Giannis Antetokommo-o vs. 14. Juuls
4. beatiful vs. 13. Luigi
5. Empo vs. 12. xray
6. Ojama vs. 11. BKC
7. Pohjis vs. 10. Typhlosion48
8. John W vs. 9. Star

Pohjis or Xray to take all
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Here you go Luigi, beatiful, Kenix, SoulWind, Kebab mlml, lax, talah, god mami chan, Eo Ut Mortus, mncmt, Vileman and Kebab mlml.

1. BK vs. 16. Kenix - Starting us off is BK, a man that does his grocery shopping at the local MALDI, who impressively secured the #1 seed primarily off of an insane 27 ORAS points. As a former Tournament Director I am of course very familiar with BK, having banned him more times than Bushtush can count. BK is, however, a reformed user. My interactions with him have always been pleasant and he's proven to me that his cheating days are behind him. In fact, I think we're seeing peak BK (PK) right now. I've always considered BK to be a very dangerous player and especially now given Italy's grasp of SS alongside Kakka's nasty ORAS team builder. Kenix was the big winner of the last Sunday of the qualification stage, which is always very exciting. A few people could still surpass him as the tournament went on, but thankfully for Kenix he just managed to squeeze into his first playoffs. Congratulations! Maybe Spain can finally replace Dunk now? These are exciting times for sure. I'm excited to see how Kenix presents himself in this series, especially since there's no real expectations for him to worry about. Should be interesting.

2. SoulWind vs. 15. Finchinator - This should be another epic clash between "gg." and "no", respectively. Finchinator's main tier is no longer part of the tour's format, but he's up against the one opponent where that must be a relief for him. In fact, Finch qualified for these playoffs with a very respectable 13 11 11 points spread, proving he's capable to win games in all of the tiers in the format right now. The problem lies in the fact that anything I can think of as a positive or strength for Finch applies for SoulWind as well, if not even more so. SoulWind's spread, for example, was 17 13 18, winning more points in all three tiers. SoulWind simply looks like the man to beat, which obviously isn't a revolutionary concept at all. SoulWind, a man who fears no opponent, just clicking Poltergeist, is now a champion. Obviously he's mister consistent and he's had some tragic exits in this specific tournament before, but that mental barrier of losing finals is no longer there. Finch will 'outwork' him, so if SoulWind gets lazy he may run into a bad match-up or two. Predicting against him is a bridge too far, though. For sure the second most exciting series of the first round.

3. Giannis Antetokommo-o vs. 14. Juuls - I told my friends on WCoP team US Northeast to take Giannis this summer, but alas nobody listens (other than Star, I know you thought the same). Admittedly, I also told them to take Updated Kanto, so who am I to say anything. Anyway, I rate Giannis quite highly, perhaps higher than his irl counterpart even, relatively speaking for these playoffs. I legit had to look away when Giannis started taking all those threes against the Heat... ANYWAY, I always love seeing match-ups like these, because it means we're gonna see some new names win a round or even a couple of rounds in the playoffs. Both of these players also qualified for OLT earlier this year, proving now that this wasn't a fluke. Giannis, perhaps unsurprisingly, qualified on the back of 25 points in SS, which makes sense after impressing in both OST and OLT already. Juuls, however, qualified with 19 points in SM, which is 10 more than their second strongest tier in SS. Both players scored relatively little in ORAS, so this might prove to be the deciding factor in the series. I've never seen either player play outside of SS, so I'm just going to let myself be surprised with what they come up with in SM and ORAS. My gut says Giannis will take the series, after a deceptively consistent year across all OU individuals.

4. beatiful vs. 13. Luigi - I regret doing this already. Basically, I approached this series with the mindset that Luigi only needs to take one of SS or SM to win the series, because of how lopsided ORAS seems to be. ORAS is Luigi's best tier, having not only outscored bea there 13 to 4 (!) points in qualification, but also having played it in multiple team tournaments, including the most recent SPL. One could argue that bea's advantage over Luigi in SS is almost as big, if not just as big, but Luigi can be a bold prepper that isn't afraid to dive into his opponent's usage to come up with some crack that should beat them. I think he'll take one of the two alongside ORAS to win the series. Probably SM, because bea has looked very confident in SS, both before and after DLC2 came out. This could just as easily go the other way, though, and I do think bea is favored in both SS and SM, but ORAS is probably the hardest tier of the three to overcome your deficit in. There is also the post-TD team power-up boost going for Luigi, obviously. '-'

5. Empo vs. 12. xray - Empo really came to play these last few weeks, god damn. Most people were sleeping on Empo for this particular season, but 20 quick points in just the last two weeks alone quickly changed all of that. For the people that are into trivia, in 2017 I actually rejected Empo for WCoP Team Europe in my first year as captain after Italy had also rejected him. Pain. This was back in the follow for follow but then unfollow yourself Empo days, in my defense. Still, it's crazy how dominant Empo has become and I can't go against him here either. His ability to farm in SM especially is absurd and to me he's one of the most dangerous people in these playoffs. xray is stupidly consistent himself, too. This is what feels like his 20th Smogon Tour playoffs and he's adapted to SS well, being picked as a R1 pick in this year's SSD. I think xray is going to be outmatched here, though. Empo just brings too much sauce. Empo's SM should be untouchable in this field, bar Ojama, while Empo's ORAS actually netted him more points than xray's surprisingly low 5 points this season. All in all I think Empo will and this should be a great series between two very proven players.

6. Ojama vs. 11. BKC - Oh. My. GOD. We are honestly not deserving of a series this good. Respectfully, SoulWind vs. Finchinator pales in comparison to this active volcano of a round 1 pairing. The Grand Babounay is BACK! And thank god he is, because it clearly felt like something was missing around these parts during his absence. Ojama, aka black, is the best and most consistently dominant SM OU builder and player on Smogon, in my opinion. I don't care if you think his bulky Kartana or obsession with Diancie is bad, because you won't be able to beat him anyway. BKC's SM showings are significantly worse, with a 2-7 SSD III showing being the low point. BKC's mentality both in life and towards the game was at a much, much lower point back then compared to how it is now, though. In fact, I have never seen him as positive and relaxed about the game as he is now, ever. BKC's ORAS is also significantly better than Ojama's, who doesn't like ORAS much at all as far as I know. This series might very well come down to whether BKC can catch up to Ojama in SS, but until I've seen more I'm going to apply a similar logic as I did with predicting for Luigi; Ojama is going to win SM and from there I don't think BKC takes both SS and ORAS. If BKC does, however, then I'm not going to predict against him against anyone anymore. If the Ability Patch that took BKC from Gorilla Tactics to Zen Mode truly did make the difference, then he's going to win a third Smogon Tour.

7. Pohjis vs. 10. Typhlosion48 - This series might be overshadowed by series like the one above, but this is a really good series as well. Pohjis came in second after losing in last year's unforgettable final and has become a consistent feature in tournaments like these. I like Typhlosion48 and this is quietly already his second Smogon Tour playoffs appearance, though Pohjis is hard to predict against in this round 1 pairing. The gap in experience is simply too great for me to go for the upset. Pohjis has quietly actually been great at SS all year as well, between good performances across OST, WCoP and both Smogon Tour seasons. Typhlosion doesn't have a notable advantage anywhere, whereas Pohjis definitely does in ORAS and perhaps even SM. I can't speak to Typhlosion's mentality towards preparation or anything like that, but I think great match-ups have to be achieved in order for Typhlosion to take two off of Pohjis. And even then, Pohjis' patented patient play, into lucking, into the opponent eventually choking has proven to be a very consistent way for him to get wins even when the match-up is hard. Much like after being forced into an impossible decision on the (now cancelled) reality TV series Fear Factor, I'll be going with the Jis.

8. John W vs. 9. Star - Two Smogon Snake Draft R1 players going head to head, both of whom overcame rough starts to the season with strong runs towards the end. Whether that momentum carries over to this series, we'll have to find out. As always with Star, my expectations going into these playoffs are low. After a good SPL (with TonyFlygon support) he has since gone 4-7 (one activity win) between WCoP and SSD (without TonyFlygon support), as well as being unable to defend his PU Open title. It just hasn't been quite his year yet. However, have you guys seen this?

This is honestly the most satisfying thing ever. I suppose it does tragically support the theory that Star is a good player that's average at all tiers, but never did I enjoy looking at a Smogon Tour standings spreadsheet as much as I did just now. I'm going to assume this perfectly even spread holds magic properties and thus, despite thinking John W will be better prepared and will win the series, I'm going to predict Star to win.

finally, M Dragon Draft H.M.N.I.P.