Proposal SPL Format Discussion

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Hipmonlee

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Old gens have plenty of depth. Managers arent drafting it.

For instance for RBY in the pool last year there were a bunch of no brainer picks with plenty of past SPL success: Nails, Amaranth, Metalgross, Kaz, Troller, Beds

Then you had a whole bunch of guys that could have been picked up:
Genesis7, HMLam, Sceptross, Er Peris, rozes, Alice, Exiline, Vileman, Ranshiin, Caetano, SadisticNarwhal I got bored going through the thread at this point. But there are plenty of others, I didnt even get half way.

But all of them would have put in a pretty solid performance. With some of them, you're taking a bit of a risk, and you might need to support them well. There is that danger that if they have a couple of bad games early on they will get burnt out and you'll need to sub them. So you probably want to make sure you have proper cover in your lineup.

A couple, like Caetano and rozes might be more valuable in other slots. So they might be good options to pair with one of the names with less experience.

But for a lot of teams their backup plan seems to just be try to teach someone RBY in a week, and that's where the bad games come from. You need specialists for RBY (and other early gens), and you'll need more than one of them.

And honestly I suspect that the quality of the RBY pool this year will be higher still. I've seen a lot of newer guys turning up and doing pretty well in RBY tournaments this year. Whether that actually results in an improvement in the quality of players who get drafted who knows (if RBY is included).

But I do agree that anyone arguing that the quality of older gens is inherently better than lower tiers is way off base.

[Edit] - Also, looking through it, I dont think there were really that many games this year that were all that poor. Sure, some of them could have been better, but overall the quality was pretty high. It's a bit disappointing as an RBY supporter to have a DPP main play in the final, but his play seemed solid enough.
 
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One of my main points wasn't that Lower Tiers or their players are inherently bad, rather they're very hard to draft for as a lot of the time you don't get what you pay for. Looking at these numbers also made it clear that there is also a correlation between team placement and money spent on lower tiers, which speaks to their value.
spl 9.png
spl x.png

These graphs show wins vs cost in lower tiers over spl 9 and 10. I'd be interested to see these numbers for oldgens, or anything. Pick any 3.
Also delete rby, any argument to keep that tier in official tournaments is nonsense. Pro-RBY people are seriously danging on their last threads at this point, the tier is so clearly nonsense and has no place in anything that wants to be taken seriously. I would be for maximizing slots to include lower tiers if it meant RBY gets the axe. Also, cutting this tournament down could be cool, please consider.
Ultimate format 1:
SSOU X2/4
NU
UU
RU
SM-GSC
Format 2:
SS OU x5/SS OU x4 and doubles/ SSOU 4x and Tour BO3
UU/RU/NU Bo3
SM-GSC
 
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Also delete rby, any argument to keep that tier in official tournaments is nonsense. Pro-RBY people are seriously danging on their last threads at this point, the tier is so clearly nonsense and has no place in anything that wants to be taken seriously.
It's so clearly nonsense that you haven't been able to provide a single argument against it and have instead resorted to vague crying directed at nothing in particular. RBY is a tier like all others until a logical argument for the contrary is presented, not the other way around
 
One of my main points wasn't that Lower Tiers or their players are inherently bad, rather they're very hard to draft for as a lot of the time you don't get what you pay for. Looking at these numbers also made it clear that there is also a correlation between team placement and money spent on lower tiers, which speaks to their value.View attachment 290544View attachment 290545
These graphs show wins vs cost in lower tiers over spl 9 and 10. I'd be interested to see these numbers for oldgens, or anything. Pick any 3.
Also delete rby, any argument to keep that tier in official tournaments is nonsense. Pro-RBY people are seriously danging on their last threads at this point, the tier is so clearly nonsense and has no place in anything that wants to be taken seriously. I would be for maximizing slots to include lower tiers if it meant RBY gets the axe. Also, cutting this tournament down could be cool, please consider.
Ultimate format 1:
SSOU X2/4
NU
UU
RU
SM-GSC
Format 2:
SS OU x5/SS OU x4 and doubles/ SSOU 4x and Tour BO3
UU/RU/NU Bo3
SM-GSC

Plotting a random trendline with a terrible R square value doesn't show that there is a correlation between money spent and placement. "Looking at these numbers also made it clear that there is also a correlation between team placement and money spent on lower tiers". Like god damn R square values with a value close to 0 show there is no correlation. Even that qualitatively looking at the data can't you see there's a blip in the graphs between 20-25. Those are probably because those managers were smart in drafting their lower tier players to get maximum value for minimum price.
 
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lighthouses

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I don't like how this discussion is being framed at all
-spl should be the pinnacle of competitiveness on smogon and thus, should be exclusive
-spl should be OU only

These 2 statements are somehow being presented as though if one of them is true, then the other one is a given; and i can't understand that line of thinking. Is SPL in its current state not exclusive enough? If so then why not just cut down the number of teams like BKC suggested? Why do you also need to cut lower tiers from the tournament on top of that, just for some extra exclusiveness?

You can't at the same time be trying to say that this "isn't about me thinking lower tiers players are worse than old gen players" but then arguing for lower tiers to be cut from the tournament thats supposed to showcase the highest level of competitive pokemon play within smogon; if that is what spl is supposed to represent then both old gens and lower tiers should be in it. All of this just comes off as people trying to make it so lower tiers are like the B leagues of smogon and should be treated as such, which is a narrative that i had hoped would be viewed as nonsense by now for the reasons outlined by winddogs and lax' posts.
 
I understand that this tier is unique and is actually very fun to play as it gives you a decent buzz, kind of like gambling, or ripping a cig. As for cohesive arguments against the nature of the tier:
-A Pokemon inflicted with status in the field most turns, taking a lot out of the player's hands.
-Wrap is essentially a move with an 85% flinch rate, if a move like this existed in later gens it, or the Pokemon that used it would be banned.
-Wrap and reflect stagnate the shit out of a lot of games, resulting in long, boring PP stall matches which usually come down to variance.
-The skill threshold is incredibly low, a player who started playing the tier a few weeks ago could easily beat a "top" player who has been playing for years with even the slightest bit of variance. (Marco vs Arii) (BTB vs Nails) (Top players losing to randoms in a cup with minimal hax)
-Freeze is a 10% accurate OHKO move. Although I will admit that this can be blocked easily a lot of the time.
-Because of how few Pokemon are in the tier, we see paths that are similar in a lot of games. This kills the appeal for spectators and creates repetitive boring games.
-There are a ridiculous amount of speed ties and coinflips - who freezes first, hitting sleep through para, critting in X number of turns - all of which can greatly impact the game state and are out of the player's control.
-Crit rates are absurdly high and a lot of times a poorly timed crit can fuck up a gameplan. This wouldn't be an issue if some Pokemon didn't have a ~30% chance to crit something on any given turn.
-The lack of creativity is astonishing. Trends come and go but at the end of the day many teams are essentially the same.
-The first few turns of most games are predetermined by coinflips.
-A common strategy adopted by many players is hitting a sing through para. The fact that top players frequently rely on something so mathematically unsound is absurd.
-Because of how stratified the player base is we think someone is a good player based on weak evidence. Then they find themselves in SPL and they really struggle. (Hipmonlee) (Erpeeris) (Sceptross).
-RBY is a very particular tier, actual cognitive ability, and Pokemon skill don't translate as well. RBY skill can be perfected with rinse-repeat and just making the right move in any of the 8 situations that this tier puts in front of you. This leads to a lot of RBY games having very shaky endgames as these are the only time in the tier where you actually need to use your brain.
-Reflect is very silly in-game. There is a low opportunity cost to using it, except that you may go against wrap, an even more aids playstyle.
-Reflect promotes fishing and PPstalls, which are also pretty braindead.
-Fishing is incredibly common.
-It is a pain to watch play and kills growth. Most newer players latch on to the very true stereotypes.
-Outside of Troller anyone can be the second-best RBY is because the tier is so volatile that anyone can do well pretty easily.
-The main appeal of RBY is its "uniqueness" which is basically just glorified coin-flipping.
-Another big appeal is the lack of matchup, but because there is rarely ever fair RNG many games become lopsided.
I've started watching every RBY game from the past 3 SPLs and will return with an analysis of these games. I started watching Lower Tier games, and although I still stand on my points regarding those, RBY is clearly nothing but a glorified mini-game and we would be better off without it in SPL. I really wouldn't mind lower tiers in SPL, I just think they would be better as a BO3 slot (NU, UU, RU) for many reasons. I was a bit hyperbolic in my last post, but that post was made at an inopportune time. It is funny how teams that have spent the most on Lower Tier players over the past 2 SPL's haven't gotten a good return. I don't think any less of people who play lower tiers nor do I view them as bush-league. I have immense respect for a lot of lower-tier dudes, but most of the ones who are exceptional are just put to better use elsewhere.
 

Finchinator

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-The skill threshold is incredibly low, a player who started playing the tier a few weeks ago could easily beat a "top" player who has been playing for years with even the slightest bit of variance. (Marco vs Arii) (BTB vs Nails) (Top players losing to randoms in a cup with minimal hax)
I don’t even like RBY that much, but this can happen in any tier and RBY still requires plenty of strategy. We are talking about good Pokemon players who get the game; even without experience in specific formats, upsets happen, especially in games with variance.

If you want to use Marco-Arii as an example, then why not use Eo-HT (CG OU) or Manipulative-TMan (CG UU) as ones? They all happened in the same week with similar circumstances surrounding each: established players can lose to relatively unestablished players because it is just a single game / series of Pokemon.

Perhaps RBY has more variance and perhaps RBY has a different skillset required than some more modern formats, but you are going to need a more concrete, distinctive argument and less opinionated, fluff-filled argument in order to convince people on this front. May be best just to cut your losses now before we start making your graphs a Smogon wide meme my guy.
 
Eo is a fantastic player but HT was a strong lower tier player, and there is a much smoother transition between these tiers. Also manipulative is statistically a very bad player. These games were also bo1. Could Arii and BTB have gone into GSC or ADV and beaten the dudes with the best records? Of course, it's just a lot less likely. Anyone with half a brain can see where I'm coming from on this skill-threshold thing. This was one of my 21 factual points. My gripe is no longer with lower tiers, RBY inhibits community growth among other things.
 
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You really want to go there

-Wrap is essentially a move with an 85% flinch rate, if a move like this existed in later gens it, or the Pokemon that used it would be banned.
-Wrap stagnates the shit out of a lot of games, resulting in long, boring PP stall matches which usually come down to variance.
Wrap is a controversial move, but it's survived because its users are just not good enough. Arguments have come and gone about whether it should be banned, but it ultimately stayed because (1) it provides interesting counterplay to slow, paralysis-spammy metagames, most famously the Starmie-which-gets-paralyzed-T1 + slow ass lax chans egg rhydon + Tauros archetypes that were hyper popular some years ago, and (2) it's very easy to counter with fast pokemon (Zapdos, Jolteon, Alakazam above all) and every team comes equipped with an emergency Tauros to boot. Its inconsistency is easily attackable, but let's not act like it's a meta-breaking or at all common strategy - SPL11 saw 3 Victreebel, 2 Moltres, 1 Dragonite, for <3% total presence, and while a Vic+Nite build has been slightly on the rise it's still far from common, very counterable, and I'm yet to see anyone other than me or Troller pick up that build. As for Clamp, I hopefully don't need to explain how it's not remotely the same case due to Cloyster's middling speed and tendency to get paralyzed by Body Slams.

The notion that Wrap leads to PP stall is dead wrong: if you have to resort to drawing out 32 Wrap PPs you're accepting enormous chip on multiple pokemon as well as numerous switchback opportunities for the Wrap users. It's a last resort that can be used when your entire team is outsped by the Wrapper, and it's a very bad one that only pops up when games are already over and doesn't ever really work.


-Reflect is very silly in-game. There is a low opportunity cost to using it, except that you may go against wrap, an even more aids playstyle.
-Reflect stagnates the shit out of a lot of games, resulting in long, boring PP stall matches which usually come down to variance.
-Reflect promotes fishing and PPstalls, which are also pretty braindead.
The notion that Reflect's opportunity cost is "going against Wrap" is farcical - whether your Chansey has Reflect or Thunderbolt hardly makes any difference in the match up against a Victreebel. If anything Reflect is good to be able to stay on the Wraps and try to fish for misses more. The fact that you say this about one of the most metagame defining moves shows a significant lack of metagame understanding.

PP stalling, as annoying as it can be for spectators (and sometimes players, though a majority of expert RBYers are perfectly fine with them), is a perfectly valid strategic option that adds depth and value to teambuilding and playing both. In the builder, it enables methods of countering Chansey (all sets) outside of the dreaded "fishing" (more on that later). On the field, it adds reasons to avoid mindless Thunder Waves, creating counterplay to the dreaded yellow magic. Furthermore, ""PP stalling" where both Chanseys fire off every last attack at each other and no player even thinks of switching are actually not very common: the threat of a successful PP stall is enough to dissuade the would-be loser of the war into picking a plan B. Even when players actually engage in a complete PP drainage mirror, switching out on predicted Reflects to save PP is often an option that can give players outplay potential. Variance is not as much of a factor as you portray it to be either, given that over 100+ turns the odds of largely different amounts of FPs are not particularly high, though it is an occurrence that definitely happens at times.
For completeness' sake, I don't think I've had a Snorlax PP war go the full distance in multiple years of playing.

I overall fail to see how any of these points are logical arguments against Reflect. You, again, cry about "aids" and "long, boring" and "braindead" - qualifiers of your personal entertainment moreso than competitiveness - and your attempts at claiming that Reflect dumbs down decision making really just aren't based on truth.


-A Pokemon inflicted with status in the field most turns, taking a lot out of the player's hands.
-Freeze is a 10% accurate OHKO move. Although I will admit that this can be blocked easily a lot of the time.
-There are a ridiculous amount of speed ties and coinflips - who freezes first, hitting sleep through para, critting in X number of turns - all of which can greatly impact the game state and are out of the player's control.
-Crit rates are absurdly high and a lot of times a poorly timed crit can fuck up a gameplan. This wouldn't be an issue if some Pokemon didn't have a ~30% chance to crit something on any given turn.
-The first few turns of most games are predetermined by coinflips.
-A common strategy adopted by many players is hitting a sing through para. The fact that top players frequently rely on something so mathematically unsound is absurd.
-Fishing is incredibly common.
-The main appeal of RBY is its "uniqueness" which is basically just glorified coin-flipping.
-Another big appeal is the lack of matchup, but because there is rarely ever fair RNG many games become lopsided.
A lot of these points are hard to attack due to the way they're worded, so let's start from the easy ones:
- No pokemon has a 30% chance to crit (not even Electrode). Jolteon reaches 25%, while Tauros at other fast pokemon hover in the low 20%s.
- Calling hitting a Sing through paralysis "mathematically unsound" is so deeply wrong that I honestly wonder if you've watched any RBY in the last year. The move is clicked against pokemon that do 15% to Chansey, and Soft-Boiled exists. The odds of a paralyzed Chansey dying before hitting Sing are so abysmal that players stopped paralyzing the Chansey because it's not even worth it to try, and it's better to keep the Chansey unstatused so that it won't be able to absorb sleep moves later. Saying this is so fundamentally incorrect that I can only conclude you're either incompetent or arguing in bad faith.

These two things aside, the remaining points about variance are hard to attack; it is a true fact that RBY has higher critrates, deadlier freezes, and so on. Instead, I will attack the notion that there is no appeal to counterbalance this.

For one, the lack of match up is a phenomenal thing. One of the reasons I stick to RBY is that the feeling of loading into a game and starting with a 30-70 match up, if not worse, just fucking blows. I hate it and I never want to deal with it. Impact of match up vs in-game RNG is a balance that is nigh impossible to quantify, and as such I struggle to put any weight into it as a logical argument. To me and many others the choice is very clear, to others it isn't (or it might even be very clear in the opposite direction).

Another thing that's brought up is the "uniqueness". I don't know what this means, but apparently it equates coinflipping, so I will shove it with the rest of the variance complaints and get back to the positive appeal of RBY in the next hide tag where my specific points are more pertinent.


-The lack of creativity is astonishing. Trends come and go but at the end of the day many teams are essentially the same.
-RBY is a very particular tier, actual cognitive ability, and Pokemon skill don't translate as well. RBY skill can be perfected with rinse-repeat and just making the right move in any of the 8 situations that this tier puts in front of you. This leads to a lot of RBY games having very shaky endgames as these are the only time in the tier where you actually need to use your brain.
-Because of how few Pokemon are in the tier, we see paths that are similar in a lot of games. This kills the appeal for spectators and creates repetitive boring games.
Setting aside yet another batch of subjective and irrelevant complaints of boredom, there is something to be said about the small pool of available options in RBY. The fact that the option space is so small is actually something I really enjoy. It allows players to study specific match ups and opening lines in a chess-esque way that is nearly impossible to replicate in other metagames. There is space to play specific matchups over and over and over, and memorize which lines are successful, and really study any scenario that you wish to study. The prep game in other metagames can go broader, but there is a tradeoff - RBY prep can go deeper. You can study a specific matchup HARD and be confident that this preparation will come in handy eventually.

Is studying certain match ups to the point of nausea skillful? I think so, preparation is part of the game. It's a massive part of VGC tournaments too - not that they're relevant to Smogon policy - because you're using the same team for an entire tournament so you get to hyperfocus in a more narrow field of options like you do in RBY. But even in Smogon metagames this is very much a part of the game anyway, and preparing to the point of nausea is a valuable skill in any tier - RBY simply restricts the scope of preparation while increasing the depth. It's different, but it's not less skillful.

The notion that endgames are the only time where you actually need to "use your brain" - somehow using your brain excludes memorization by your definition but that's alright - is also at odds with the claim that the variance is massive. Things can go so wrong in so many ways, as per your own words, that memorizing can only take you so far, and as an RBYer I'm still put into new positions constantly as a result (or at least positions of which I don't have perfect memory).

As for lack of creativity, I agree with you that other players could be taking more risks in the builder. But Exeggutor usage plummeting as hard as it did, amongst other things, should be clear enough evidence that there is still a lot of experimentation and metagame evolution in progress. I suspect that it would fall even further if RBY were to be included in SPL 12.


-The skill threshold is incredibly low, a player who started playing the tier a few weeks ago could easily beat a "top" player who has been playing for years with even the slightest bit of variance. (Marco vs Arii) (BTB vs Nails) (Top players losing to randoms in a cup with minimal hax)
-Because of how stratified the player base is we think someone is a good player based on weak evidence. Then they find themselves in SPL and they really struggle. (Hipmonlee) (Erpeeris) (Sceptross).
-It is a pain to watch play and kills growth. Most newer players latch on to the very true stereotypes.
-Outside of Troller anyone can be the second-best RBY is because the tier is so volatile that anyone can do well pretty easily.
Riddle me this
2-7 Relous beats 9-2 Gondra in SM OU
3-7 Mr.E beats 8-3 FriendOfMrGolem120 in GSC OU
1-3 Callous beats 8-3 Alexander in ADV OU
2-6 The Hallows beats 7-3 Insult in SS OU
I could go on for ages, giant killings happen in every tier lol, and often too. The fact that you even thought this was a reasonable point is baffling.

Players also struggle in SPL in every tier, especially at the bottom of the pool. Some RBYers just left stronger impressions because teams didn't have substitutes. A 2-7 player is more memorable than three 0-3s. I also think part of the issue is questionable picks by management and poor research into the player pool; players that should not be picked continue to be picked. That's a fault of managers and not our player pool.

As for newer players, the bad ones do stick to the easy stuff. The good ones study and understand RBY at a deeper level. There are some good ones coming up, but I don't see how this is an argument either way. Of course less experienced players and players who work less are worse at experimenting, this is true in every tier.

I don't understand what the "second-best" point is supposed to mean. Is it a bad thing that we have strong competition near the top? Do other tiers have a clear "second-best"? If so, how is that a good thing? What are you even on about?


As a final, general addendum, I want to say that I was fine with and resigned to the idea of RBY being axed forever, because I was told SPL needed slots, and GSC and ADV were inevitably going to follow as the years went on. It sucks for RBY, obviously, but if it's something that's necessary for the health of the overall circuit then I suppose we're getting axed and that's fine. What I'm not fine with is arguments to axe it because someone thinks PP stalling is boring or mundane garbage like that. If you want to kill us, let us die with some dignity
 
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Disclaimer, i'm not here to say that Rby should be in the next spl, or the the lower tiers, i don't care and honestly know nothing about lower tiers so it would be just stupid to jump in and say what's right or wrong. Instead i will talk about Rby, and why 75% of the hate is missplaced and came from memes.

What happenend is nothing short of ridicolous, it started from one guy crying about it and quickly grew to numbers we know today. It was the perfect target afterall, a foreign tier Smogon didn't care about. But let me elaborate, everyone who knows me is aware of this: i am pretty honest, to the point of being an asshole. There is A LOT to hate about Rby, no one ever denied that, but there is also a lot of hate that came from wrong stuff. There are so many tiers full of team building, and yet people find the time and energy to cry loud about Rby for the very limited pool of mons, if you want a good pool of mons you play a newer tier, simple as that. I LOVE Rby's limited pool, it's so unique and allows you to focus more on your playing abilities instead of scouting 500 replays to gain data about whenever your opponents farts at turn 5 or 20. I mean you guys are so blind when you need to be, is it really that much better to watch a gen 7 game in which some stupid unexpected z moves goes to nuke some key target? You had this argument that in Rby newer players can just fill and steal the wins, yeah i bet you never had any of these in the so called superior tiers, am i right? https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen3ou-642975901 (Turn 37 onwards)

As if a gen 7 game was never won because the z move cheese mon got the right target. As if gen 2 never saw a game won by who had the loudest Thunders, as if we didn't see thousand of games decided by CM Clefable mirror in oras, no sir.

What's funnier is that you Marcop brought up just two examples of Rby steals, and one of them is completely wrong, BTB vs Nails was won by BTB playing really well for a non mainer+Nails admitting it wasn't his best performance, so what?
8 Scenarios? 8000 you mean, i have played 3 years of Rby and always found a new scenario in each of my games, and so many more potentially awaits me.
You call it lack of creativity, i call it focused metagame, maybe i'm wrong, maybe you are wrong, it is subjective so what are you trying to achieve bursting as if you are right regardless? A bootleg Donald Trump impression?

The Smogon paradox goes on, "Rby is without skill anyone can win it" but at the same time everyone was on Alexander/Peasounay/Roudolf/Insert Name's cock for years, you stupid haters understood that there were top players even at Rby, it's just that you didn't want to admit it, otherwise these big names were the greatest ever dice rollers. It was far easier to log on smogtours and shit on a tier you didn't understand, not because you hated it, but because others did and you could hate for free protected by the crowd.

I wonder if Rby is really so much worse than every tier and takes no skill, how come every non mainer that was thrown in there got his ass handed when he didn't play well. Must be a coincidence too.

Where other tiers have match up fishing, brokens unbanned. Rby has more rng, is Rby perfect? No. Is Rby bad? Probably. Is Rby the worst ou? Perhabs it is. Is Rby that much worse than everything to go as far as doing witch hunting on it? I don't think so.

 
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Hipmonlee

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-Because of how stratified the player base is we think someone is a good player based on weak evidence. Then they find themselves in SPL and they really struggle. (Hipmonlee) (Erpeeris) (Sceptross).
*shrug* I lost three games against three strong players. I was a bit underprepared when I played Beds (and for Amaranth as well for that matter), lost a tight series with Amaranth and Kaz's Snorlax crit my Chansey twice with the first or second move it used. Which is even less likely to happen in RBY than it is in any other tier.

For ErPeris and Sceptross, I think both are as strong as a lot of the players in SPL. My suspicion is that their underperformance had more to do with SPL being a high pressure (read: toxic) environment, and some people dont enjoy that. No one does well when they aren't enjoying playing. Sceptross especially had to deal with some pretty terrible RNG, which no one is going to pretend is not a factor in Pokemon.
 

Kevin Garrett

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These kind of discussions have to be purely philosophical for the site and the tournament scene. I find that pitting lower tiers vs RBY (or, quite frankly, any metagames) against each other to be repulsive. SPL is the gold standard of Smogon competition and it should be handled with the same level of reverence.

With that said, the path I think Smogon should take with SPL is to dedicate it to the OU metagames. That has been the central focus of the tournament since the beginning with the format essentially filling out to include the most accessible and competitive tiers at the time. There are other platforms that exist to support official representation of lower tiers with a central focus in Snake and Grand Slam. I'm of the mindset that SPL should provide an example of its entire heritage going back to the very beginning (with RBY). As more generations come to be, old gens can be condensed into bo3s to maintain representation, such as the original Smogon Tour format of RBY/GSC/ADV. For the last few years, I have wondered what the landscape of the tournament would look like when more deeply rooted metagames like ADV are on the chopping block. Systematically eliminating those gens from SPL representation is a poor idea, imho. This proposal seeks to maintain Smogon's collective heritage while keeping the focus on the current OU for a long time to come. The time for making these policy decision every year before the tournament starts without a roadmap for the future needs to end.
 

Earthworm

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Another option I've seen tours do elsewhere is have a pool of selectable tiers and selectable slots. So you would have around 6-10 fixed slots and 2-4 that are chosen by the teams each week, probably using a runoff system for if they select the same tiers. If we want to preserve more tiers, this wouldn't be a terrible option in my opinion (though it does have the not insignificant downside of being less straightforward and significantly complicates the auction for managers). I would also consider it to be a better option than a bo3 in three gens or tiers, as otherwise you eliminate (or decrease the "viability" of) a large number of excellent players that are specialists in particular tiers.
 

Hipmonlee

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Ok, I do want to say that the aesthetics or quality of a tier does matter somewhat.

Cause, personally I love RBY, and I'll defend it any time someone is questioning its quality or anything like that. But it's not for everyone. Smogon is slowly walking away from supporting it and at some point you guys are gonna more or less forget about it. I mean it's happened before, it has always come back, but there will be a last time. I also really love DPP, the tier for people who are too smart for their own good, the true home of cheese. But it's definitely another tier that a lot of people are never going to enjoy. It's time will come eventually. And one of my other great loves is ADV200, but that one has already been lost to time...

And, last of all is ADV. The tier that is perfect. Try and criticise ADV. Nonsense! You cant! What flaw does ADV have that every other tier doesnt have worse? It's not really any more over centralised than newer tiers, it has matchup fishing, but way less than subsequent tiers, it isnt particularly haxy. It's really just perfect no preview Pokemon.

I mean, this is all definitely my subjective opinion. Like, a lot of people like other tiers more than ADV. I do too! But, I dont think anyone is out there thinking "ADV, what a joke, you cant even use Latias" or some shit like that. We try to be objective about these things and I dont think we even have language to describe flaws in ADV.

So I want to say, in my opinion, if you want to work out a plan for gradually eliminating support for some of the older tiers, it's worth stopping and thinking what you want to preserve. The current plan reeks of bureaucratic convenience. My vote is to hold onto ADV in some form or other, it's too good to let it fade away into the night. Also RBY, but youre all cowards.
 

Coconut

W
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LC Leader
Ok, I do want to say that the aesthetics or quality of a tier does matter somewhat.
Funny you mention that. Because people stop caring about my tier the moment that the next game comes out. There's been plenty of players who don't like the current rendition of LC and fade away from the community simply because the LC they loved doesn't get support anymore. And the reason we're not in SPL yearly is because we're viewed as a lower tier despite having way more in common with OU and Doubles, yet there's always room for Doubles in the conversation. Hell, the main reason we're not in this conversation was because some people's perception's of LC are just so dated. We're judged because of one SPL, or a couple of players back in like 2014 or whatever. We haven't gotten the multiple chances that RBY has gotten. The RBY community is not going to die because they're removed from SPL. There's always going to want to be players that play it, people that enjoy it—people that love the aesthetics of it.

My main point is essentially, why are we so left out of the conversation? You all know LC exists. Are we just going to be lumped into the lower tiers tournament? Will doubles be joining us there? VGC? What about when we have more usage tiers? Are we going to be the first to go?

So tired of being left in the margins when there's an entire page and a half of people complaining about a meta from 1996.
 
We haven't gotten the multiple chances that RBY has gotten. The RBY community is not going to die because they're removed from SPL. There's always going to want to be players that play it, people that enjoy it—people that love the aesthetics of it.

So tired of being left in the margins when there's an entire page and a half of people complaining about a meta from 1996.
I agree LC has been heinously disrespected but this, specifically, ain't it - both our tiers have been antagonized for laughable reasons (see: this very page) for way too long. We both have the right to be upset at the way our tier has been treated and I would be delighted to see a page and a half of LC discussion. It's not RBY taking away your slot, it's the very existence of Snake instead of a proper tournament on SPL's level of prestige.

The bottom line for me is that there clearly isn't enough space for everyone in one tournament, so the obvious fix is to make a second tournament on the same level of the first. Hogg killed it in post #2 and Lilburr doubled down in post #3, no one needs to get cut. We can all get representation in a prestigious tournament if we just address the issues that make Snake so shabby. Most of the complaints with these ideas can be boiled down to "we want SPL proper, not a fake second tournament" - but there is no space for everyone in SPL proper as long as it's only one tournament and that's just an unavoidable fact.

We need a second tournament and we need it to be better, if we think representing all tiers is important (which I very much think it is). The crux of the issue is not whether LC is in Massive Team Tournament 1 or Massive Team Tournament 2, it's making sure that MTT2 feels good for everyone involved so that it doesn't really matter where LC lands. The tier lineups in general are whatever, that's stuff we can figure out later - hell I wouldn't be opposed to mixing up oldgens and lower tiers across the tournaments, I LOVE teaming up with lowtier goons and people I've never interacted with.
 
Another option I've seen tours do elsewhere is have a pool of selectable tiers and selectable slots. So you would have around 6-10 fixed slots and 2-4 that are chosen by the teams each week, probably using a runoff system for if they select the same tiers. If we want to preserve more tiers, this wouldn't be a terrible option in my opinion (though it does have the not insignificant downside of being less straightforward and significantly complicates the auction for managers). I would also consider it to be a better option than a bo3 in three gens or tiers, as otherwise you eliminate (or decrease the "viability" of) a large number of excellent players that are specialists in particular tiers.
Hi
As former pizza pl organizer I highly discourage the use of a pool of selectable tiers.
We tried that option for two consecutive editions iirc and the result was kinda awful in terms of quality.
What you get at the end is every team trying to choose the other team's weakest gen in order to grab the point. I guess the point is to prefer quality in games rather than in manager tactics, so you better see two high level players against each other in a definite tier rather than a solid one vs a struggling one due to manager's cunning in tier pick. This phenomenon can be reduced by decreasing tier pools but I'd frankly look for other options.

SmogonTour bo3 like gen1/2/3 as single spot looks a quite interesting idea, although this would also weaken the game quality compared to a pure gen 3 one, as example. It still looks the best compromise anyway, if the goal is to keep some tiers.

Smogon Tour current format bo3 is what you might want. As long as you play ST the preparation in all these 3 gens is required, and I don't think current gen OU would suffer of "lack of representative" if placed in a bo3 format together with USUM and ORAS. Go for this ST format over former "cg ou" slots and you gain two slots from former gen 6 and gen 7.
 
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Mannat

https://youtu.be/k_ATRxCv6Ts
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I think that a lot of the discussion in this thread has gotten really off course, and it's kinda turned into different playerbases being pitted against each other when the focus really should be coming together for a sustainable long-term SPL format. At the end of the day, between lowertiers oldgens and other official metas like monotype and ubers that haven't even been mentioned over the course of this conversation, it's just not realistic to appeal to every playerbase with SPL. I really agree with the points made by Finchinator that SPL having different formats every year isn't great and we should look to create a more uniform format that's sustainable moving forward.

The debate between inclusivity and competitiveness is one that's always going to occur and I don't really think that any arguments based on one tier being better than another are gonna sway anyone here. The main reason why I support 10 slot, OU only SPL is primarily because of the way that the tournament schedule is broken down. With oldgens being removed from WCOP, their only tour outside of SPL is Smogon Classic, and Snake is a tournament that focuses specifically on lowertiers so it makes sense to have SPL focus on OU. I consider doubles to be a lowertier, but I can understand arguments for doubles being included in the tournament, as there is currently no official individual tournaments for doubles in the tournament circuit.

Finally, I think that having 3 CG OU slots is a good idea in this potential tour, especially considering that a lot of the top lowertier players will be playing OU which gives the pool a bit of a bump. Moving forward, SPL can retain all of the OU formats and simply expand the number of slots as we move through the generations, as 12 slot SPL when gen 9 comes out and continuing this pattern into the future seems pretty realistic given the size that this tour has been in the past. I acknowledge that there's upsides to other formats proposed in this thread, this is just my personal opinion and you can take it with a grain of salt.
 
1. SS OU
2. SS OU
3. SS UU
4. SS RU
5. SS NU
6. SM OU
7. ORAS OU
8. BW OU
9. DPP OU
10. ADV OU
11. GSC OU
12. (SS Doubles / SS LC / RBY OU)

Unless we’ve made it to the promised land of fourteen (14) slots. Why are we removing slots when the number of gens continues to increase?

SPL 1 only had eight (8) slots, for reference.
 
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I think its impossible to separate the issues surrounding SPL without simultaneously discussing the problems with Snake. In all honestly, the way Snake is operated (does anyone actually like the drafting) and branded doesn't even make it feel like an official tour, so I'm not surprised that the lower tier mains are upset about the idea about having their team tour representation relegated to SSD only. If Snake was rebranded to something more official and prestigious sounding that put it on par with SPL, along with SPL-style drafting, then you can easily split the major team tours as following:

"Traditional" SPL
1. SS OU #1
2. SS OU #2
3. SS OU #3
4. SM OU
5. ORAS OU
6. BW OU
7. DPP OU
8. ADV OU
9. GSC OU
10. RBY OU

"Modern" SPL
1. SS OU #1
2. SS OU #2
3. SS OU #3
4. SS DOU
5. SS UU
6. SS RU
7. SS NU
8. SS PU
9. SS LC
10. SS Ubers

I'm kinda failing to see the downsides to doing this? With the loss of old-gens from WCOP, this would allow for fair representation of both old gens and current gen lower tiers across the Smogon official tournaments (old gens get Traditional SPL + Classic, lower tiers get Modern SPL + Grand Slam, and WCOP stays CG OU). Further, this line-up is pretty well future-proofed - for traditional SPL, you drop one CG OU when Gen 9 comes out, and then go back to 3CG but 12 slots total for Gen 10. You'd only start having issues at generation 12, at which point you may have to drop RBY or increase to 14 slots, but this is so far away its barely worth considering. Similarly, modern SPL has enough room for growth should formats like VGC, Monotype, or further lower tiers beyond PU want to squeeze in.

The biggest issue would be, how do you rebrand SSD as something that comes across as prestigious as SPL which has already been around for years. Having 2 SPLs with the same franchises but different formats doesn't feel like it'd work as it messes with how retains currently work and would likely be confusing to follow. Something olympic-based? I dunno.

Either way, it seems like nobody really likes how Snake is designed/branded and everyone wants to be in SPL - the solution seems straightforward here. Snake can still exist as a non-official team tour but if you're considering cutting lower gen players out of the most prestigious tour on the site then the alternative tour needs to be better marketed than "Snake Draft".

EDIT: I also think its really important that the best players of every official smogon format (all the lower tiers, all the old gen OUs) should have an avenue into winning a major trophy each year. All these "cut RBY" arguments put the best RBY players in a position where they can only win a trophy (classic) for their main tier if they also pick up GSC ADV DPP and BW, which is nonsense. Just because things like Classic and Slam exist doesn't mean you can erase the representation of fringe formats from team tours, as there is a huge barrier to entry for these individual tournaments if you are only a single or two-format player.
 
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Dragon Claw

BYAKKO
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What peng excellently describes above hits the nail on the head and I want to point out the crucial sentence one more time
its impossible to separate the issues surrounding SPL without simultaneously discussing the problems with Snake
That's the key issue. The only reason we're even holding a multiple-page discussion is that when Snake was created it was meant to be the "third teamtour" which obviously left it infinitely inferior to SPL. If the lower tier tournament was just as prestigous and exciting then there'd be nothing to discuss. As for SPL, slotting all of the tiers into a single team-tournament that aims to deliver the best of teambuilding, playing ability and spectator hype is just not going to work sustainably. In the past we've kept the issue at bay by excluding tiers like Ubers, PU and LC. Now that we've hit the point where simply excluding the aforementioned doesn't save the format anymore we're talking about axing the oldest old gens. It's true rby is the furthest from modern-day-pokemon but it's very much alive and kicking and there's a deep and very competitive userbase playing it. Cutting one old gen or one lower tier while leaving the rest in will never feel good because it's not coherent. If you're gonna do it do it right and make it easy to understand for everyone:

The SPL is the league where you'll see ultra-hype matches in all generation OUs, goats returning to play their favorite tiers that they've dominated 5 years ago and the narratives of team franchises which have been built up for more than 10 years by now which is actually crazy.
The SSD is the division where you'll see the hottest prospects take over the stage as adaptability and willingness to take risks means everything. Current-Generation tiers are always the most volatile because of constant drops, rises and bans. Metagames change on the daily after the latest genius has made a gamebreaking discovery. It doesn't matter what tier you were good in 3 years ago, you gotta grind today to get the edge over your opponent or you'll be left in the dust.

To me these feel like very clear identities. And even better both tournaments have their respective charms that will never fade. Old gens have aged like fine wine while current gen has the explosive taste of a hot pizza w many toppings that lets you crave for more.
No talk about being "left out" is justified if every tier that is not cgou is exactly represented 1 time, while multiple cgou slots are the bond that ties the entire community together.
The biggest issue would be, how do you rebrand SSD as something that comes across as prestigious as SPL which has already been around for years. Having 2 SPLs with the same franchises but different formats doesn't feel like it'd work as it messes with how retains currently work and would likely be confusing to follow. Something olympic-based? I dunno.

Either way, it seems like nobody really likes how Snake is designed/branded and everyone wants to be in SPL - the solution seems straightforward here. Snake can still exist as a non-official team tour but if you're considering cutting lower gen players out of the most prestigious tour on the site then the alternative tour needs to be better marketed than "Snake Draft".
SSD has been the abbreviation for the current gen-focused tournament for 3 years now and I would refrain from changing this particular part. Not just because the abbreviation SSD is actually pretty good and easy to pronounce but also because of how the tournament's tiers and focus wouldn't change for the biggest part or not at all. It'll be the auction format and the branding that changes. I've looked into a few hundreds of adjectives and the two smoothest names I was able to come up with that still keep SSD as the abbreviation were Smogon Supreme Division and Smogon Super Division.
Smogon Supreme/Super Division. Smogon Premier league. It's not like Smogon Premier League sounds vastly superior, it's the actual tournament behind it that will define the name. And I feel like this option might be solid enough to not get shits and giggles like Snake Draft did.

The second part of rebranding involves the teams. Whatever you say, in terms of team identity and spectator hype Snake Draft just isn't it. It's been pointed out a million times. Being a "bushmaster" or an "astrotias" is just not comparable to what SPL teams have to offer.
For those that don't know, SPL Teams' branding originates from different sections of the site. Cryonicles as in Thread Cryonics. Congregation of the Masses -> Classiest, Circus Maximus Tigers and so on. I thought about and checked different themes whether they're feasible or not and one that I've come up with might be promising. The theme originates from the mythical pokemon in form of legendaries and special pokemon-forms that nintendo has been creating. It's not finalized but it's a start:

- Legends (original legendaries as in Mew/Mewtwo)
- Aliens (Deoxys/Eternatus)
- Guardians (Ho-Oh/Lugia)
- Megas (Any Mega-Evo)
- Primals (Groudon/Kyogre)
- Beasts (Ultra Beasts)
- Ultras (Ultra Necrozma)
- Strikers (Urshifu-forms)
- Riders (Calyrex-forms or one of either Glastrier/Spectrier)
- Heroes/Warriors (Zacian/Zamazenta - their original form is named "Hero of many battles")

These are name-ideas for 10 teams and to me it feels like this can very realistically be a real theme that can match the hype of team identity that SPL brings to the table. This might be me personally but whatever players the team itself consists of, i'd be pumped to play for the BEASTS or the ALIENS. A lot of this is tbd and there's no reason to decide yet since next snake is about 10 months away, but i'm very sure that matching team identity and hype of SPL is not out of the window.

Further, this line-up is pretty well future-proofed - for traditional SPL, you drop one CG OU when Gen 9 comes out, and then go back to 3CG but 12 slots total for Gen 10. You'd only start having issues at generation 12, at which point you may have to drop RBY or increase to 14 slots, but this is so far away its barely worth considering. Similarly, modern SPL has enough room for growth should formats like VGC, Monotype, or further lower tiers beyond PU want to squeeze in.
And this is exactly what we need. This proposal solves the team tournament future for at least 10 years and noone of us knows whether pokemon as we know it will still be a thing then. SSD doesn't even have the issues of having to expand at some point, as long as we're not eager to include tiers that have never been in the discussion before like VGC or monotype. It can stay 10 slots current gen forever.

I'm going to include the tier-distribution one more time for the sake of being complete. It will look as follows and we can implement it 2021 with the start of SPL12. Furthermore as an extra bullet point, it's extremely nice to have the best team-tournaments on the site be 10 Slots x 10 Teams which directly equals the best 100 players playing. Not 120 or 140. Not 80. As a rule of thumb, the best 100 will play. Sounds great, makes a lot of sense, is very easy to understand and gives a very clear goal to people who want to play. Be top100.

SPL / Smogon Premier League:

OU
OU
OU / ST bo3
SMOU
ORAS OU
BW OU
DPP OU
ADV OU
GSC OU
RBY OU
SSD / Smogon Supreme/Super Division:

OU
OU
OU
OU/Ubers
DOU
UU
RU
NU
PU
LC
 
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i have a proposal that is simple, effective, and changes with the gens:

current gen ou
current gen ou
current gen ou
current gen ou
current gen ou
current gen ou
four subs.

if it's going to be the most elite tournament on the site, why dick around with less important tiers or with an overabundance of slots or games? take the top 100 rule the poster above me recommended and make it to get onto a roster at all. if your goal is to market and expand the tournament as a spectator event, fewer games in a clearly legible meta featuring marketable names facing off is the way to do it. make near-entire roster retains possible to preserve dynasties and to create a culture surrounding the teams that even a casual viewer can pick up rather than the status quo of teams representing various competing factions who have baffling smogon beef with one another.
 

TonyFlygon

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Ubers Leader
This discussion about RBY has run its course; please move on from it.
Good call, Eo. Marcop had clearly lost the plot there.

As much as it pains me to say this, Shrug makes a good point here. I don't love the way he wrote the post, but the most competitive or 'elite' tournament isn't what we've been striving for with SPL and our formats would look a lot different (and probably less interesting) if that was the only factor that went into deciding them. Something to keep in mind before posting in this thread.

The main problem with maintaining the current format to me is that you either have to keep cutting tiers as new generations come out, or you have to start adding slots as team sizes become bigger and bigger. We all have different opinions about whether those are good or bad things, but it's hard to deny Hogg's proposal isn't more sustainable long term. For the record, Hogg has been pushing this idea for years and as Adaam pointed out I wasn't always on board with it, because we weren't getting into serious trouble trying to fit everything we wanted to fit yet. We're getting there now. We see the RBY community speaking up here and as a GSC player myself I can't even imagine GSC potentially being on the chopping block next.

If we do move forward with Hogg's proposal, however, I want to make sure we knock the new tournament's specifics out of the park. The name has to be good and the names of the franchises have to be memorable and great. Concerns listed by Ajna, lax and others shouldn't be understated, because as much as I'm enjoying Snake this year I definitely get why they feel it's much, much less prestigious than SPL. Realistically nothing will ever match SPL, because it has a decade long lead in building history, but surely we can do better when it comes to actually setting up a second team tournament alongside SPL, right?

In the past I was always a big believer of cutting RBY as I legit might get a heart attack if I watch my team mates in SPL play important RBY games live, but if we're willing to cut RBY now that means we could do the same to GSC or ADV in years to come, especially when you consider RBY's player base is bigger than both of those tiers' player bases. I think it's time to make sure both old gens and lower tiers have a great tournament that people can look forward to, so to me the bigger discussion becomes about how to replace Snake in a way that does an official team tournament justice. As someone that likes essentially every tier, I like the idea of every tier being represented in a system we can maintain long term more and more, so long as said representation is excellent. We control that ourselves, so let's come together and think of a great way to do that.

Finally, Mannat sent me this video earlier today and I think you should all watch it. It's great.
 
Call the new tournament the chaos Cup

Touches on dozens of sports connections (Stanley Cup in the NHL, dozens of football clashes european and american both), offers a prestige in a distinct separation from SPL, names both ties into the full history of smogon and offers the direct prestige connection to the top of the site and also satisfies the little edgelord inside of us all
 
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