Proposal SPL Format Discussion

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I think peng pretty much said the same thing in his posts, but here are some more thoughts and a proposal:

- Snake as a whole need to be rebranded/remade; the current iteration of the tournament is simply not good for many reasons. Before you think this just comes from a boomer who don't wanna get into new gens, I just want to say that EW's survey result clearly shows I'm not the only one who thinks that. It's actually sad that a team tournament has such bad notoriety, especially when it only features current gens, which should have the most attraction.

- To further talk about Snake, the Draft system is genuinely straight up bad and not as interesting as an auction system. I understand it was made just so we don't have another SPL, but at some point you gotta face reality and acknowledge it's bad. Many reasons were already mentionned in the thread, granted I havent read every single words of it but I gotta mention that the retain system of SPL is actually good to create a sense of history and dynasty through retains, which is a thing that doesnt exist with the Draft.

- I've read many times that "Snake still gotta grow to become established and its own thing". We're on the 4th year and it's still ass. SPL was amazing from the get-go. Not that previous SPL didnt have its share of issues but the level of hype and prestige was there from the start. Clearly still not a thing with Snake.

- Lot more personal/biased here, but I think the Snake gimmick/names are really bad and doesn't add prestige to it at all. Would be interested to gather opinions on the matter through another survey.

- To go back on one of the biggest issue that surfaces every year with SPL: the inclusion (and deletion now) of tiers in the tournament. No matter what opinion/reasonning you bring up to justify the final decisions, some tiers and subsequent playerbases are gonna feel shafted. Ideally, everything should be included but it's not possible as is.

So now, here comes the proposal (which is not new, it's just Hogg's idea lol):

- Rebrand Snake completely. Make it more prestigious. Give it a SPL system so we can create history and dysnaties there too. This new Snake/SPL must be CG only. If it was up to me I'd give it a new name and possibly a new trophy while nuking the old one (easy to say as someone who didn't care much about Snake until now, so I understand if many people disagree here).
- As a result, the Old and Historical SPL becomes OU only. This way we have two prestigious/hype tournaments, one that includes every gen and the other that includes every CG tiers. There is no problem to include/delete tiers anymore, at least for a very long time until we get into double digit number of generations. Everyone should be happy with that right?

However one issue remains if this passes: the schedule. I feel like Team Tours need some time in-between for the hype to build up. Currently, having two SPL-like tournaments follow each other (in an hypotherical world where SSD becomes New-SPL) would feel wrong to me (subjective take) but yeah, I feel like this can just be worked around anyway.

Completely separate subject, but WCOP should be kept imo, it's SUCH a big deal for non-english communities at least. It's not a balanced tour, but it's not meant to be one from its very core. That's how nations-based tournaments work in every sports in the history of ever. Make the trophy non-permanent if you want to reduce the lack of balance has on the online clout long-term maybe?
Getting rid of WCOP on the basis of it being noncompetitive seems absurd considering we've had 3 different winners in 3 different iterations, arguably 4 in 4 if you want to be pedantic about the NE/East split given that a majority of the NE starting lineup wasn't on East. It is also the only tour where a good and active manager can realistically plan ages in advanced, encouraging younger and less experienced players to develop between iterations of the tournament (which isn't doable at all in Snake and is pretty undoable in SPL as is).


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My opinions going straight to the point:

1- There are too many team tournaments. One of the reasons (other than the ones that were already named in this thread) Snake lacks prestige is that some well-known players skip it and if they had to choose between skipping SPL or SSD, most people would play SPL because of the higher prestige and personal (format or tiers involeved) preferences. According to the statistics available, this year, many "top players" (read as players with important pricetags, early pick number in snake, individual results and team records) skipped one or two of the 3 official team tournaments we have right now - or they decided to manage or play not at their 100%. Why not playing both? Well, there are other (individual) tournaments, IRL commitments, periods in which you don't want to / can't focus on mons, and the length of SPL/Snake does not help. This is particularly true if you are a "top player", which translates to occuping a leading role in the team environment, rather than simply getting your games done week after week. I would definitely consider having only one SPL, alternating oldgens and lower tiers each year. This is strictly connected to the need for some time in-between described by McMeghan. Retains should be ruled accordingly if we want to stop potential abuses arising with the format change.
If we are keeping the status quo - which is equally fine to me - with some changes to SSD's format, some people will still not want to commit to two different 11-week-tournaments for the reasons I mentioned above, undoubtedly lowering the prestige of one of the two tournaments, if not of both. For instance, I prefer lower tiers to oldgens, and I do prefer teaming with lower tiers players rather than oldgens ones, so I would be more invested in the lower tier SPL for sure.

2- WCoP is the easiest tournament in which you can build a competitive team, provided you have enough players and that the format remains the same (full current gen). The OU ladder is always active, there are so many current gen tournaments, a community can organize its own tournaments during the whole year to practise for the upcoming world cup. The way to make World Cup more and more competitive is very trivial: learn to play. I wholly agree with starry's and teal6's posts in this respect. Then, I could argue that the overall quality of WCoP games was higher than the one displayed in SSD, but it is subjective and far beyond the purpose of this post.

3- About trophies. Winning a team tournament means that you are part of a winning environment. It doesn't say anything about the players' in-game abilities (or more precisely it doesn't mean there's a strict correlation between the two). If Moutemoute, who always has time to make insightful posts like the one at page 4, were to win SSD, would he become a viable player all of a sudden? Obviously not. Nevertheless, he would still deserve the trophy for being part of a winning environment and for possible contributions to the weekly prep or team morale. He was part of the winning environment. Nobody can ever question that. So, I don't really believe in "clout due to team trophies". Moreover, if you win a tournament against other incredibly strong teams, as it happens in WCoP, why would you not deserve a trophy with the same features as the SPL/SSD one?

4- Just look at the players involved in this WCoP. Remove a few outliers who can't click STAB moves, there are always some of them in every team tournament. It looks more than competitive to me, doesn't it?
You guys like to run so much of the actual matter of these kind of threads LOL, what does WCOP have to do with SPL? Come on. I wont even advocate WCOP here cause theres no reason to do so, its another tournament with its own issues, but none of them make the whole circuit worse than it should, differently of how SPL and Snake are handled atm. You guys need to focus.

Firstly, I wanna point smt out that I find relevant and didnt really see in previous posts: no matter what name you give to modern tiers SPL, do NOT make another multitiers/gens tournament with 4+ CG OU slots (as Snake currently is as of example), please. Being totally honest, I feel like 2 slots for this is always the optimal number, but 4 is just way too much. A high CG OU slots number has always been a questionable thing to the people that are used with the actual big stage (at least by the most "well known" players), specially for the fact that the general level of the tour in this tier decreases considerably, and for the disproportionate tiers distribuition of the tour as whole, since that at least in my personal opinion, we shouldnt draw and define a line, put CG OU on left side and Lower Tiers on right, CG OU is simply a single metagame as any other. I agree in some extent that CG OU needs "more representativeness", but its smt we need to add a limit that needs to flow between 2-3 slots for an entire great experience, nothing more than that. For sure its gonna increase the CG OU pool level of a ~new spl/snake~ in a very positive way. Taking it into account, 8 slots (OU, OU, UU, RU, NU, PU, LC and DOU) is definitely doable if we consider this upgrade and, if ultimately necessary, Ubers + another CG OU slot could be added for a 10 slots number (but thats a secondary option to me, way less interesting and I imagine the TD team would think the same).

And second, regardless of any outcome, the idea of another SPL is WAY better than the current Snake format. Drafting is simply a shitty mess, limits the amount of taken players in a bad way and decreases the responsability of the managers when It comes to actual managerial ability, and just makes luck a way more relevant factor than it should usually be. Talking as a Snake Manager and a pseudo SPL Manager, its a format that simply doesnt fit in our circuit.
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touching on the above, i think cg ou slots should always be either 2 or 3, 1 is too little and 4 is too much, 2 is better than 3 but sometimes we need an extra to hit an even number (see: upcoming spl).

also this is still the spl tiers thread and that specific matter seems resolved, ssd nuances should prob be discussed elsewhere.

edit: add ubers to ssd, 3 cg ou + 5 slam tiers + dou + ubers = 10, they even banned dynamax recently

edit 2: the new rby sprites are excellent
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I think an overall slate of:
  • SPL: SS OU, SS OU, SS OU, SM OU, ORAS OU, BW OU, DPP OU, ADV OU, GSC OU, & RBY OU -- with CG OU having 2 slots in return for SS OU being added as an old generation come generation 9
  • WCOP: stays as is (8x SS (CG) OU)
  • SSD (rebranded!!! - for another thread - and SS being replaced by whatever the CG is): SS OU, SS OU, SS OU, SS OU / Ubers, UU, RU, NU, PU, LC, & DOU -- with the debate between Ubers and SS OU being up to TDs/the community whenever that is discussed, but an assurance of at least 3 SS OU slots
makes the most sense.

I will always lean towards the side of CG OU inclusion, so I like when we are able to fit 3 of them into tournaments like SPL. Of course, if we want to preserve every generation of OU, that will not be possible every generation because even numbers are necessary imo. To clarify a bit more, this gives 10 slots in both SPL and SSD, a more consistent format to SPL, a clear niche for SSD as the CG tiers based tournament, removes Snake drafting as a whole from the official circuit potentially (hinges on specifics of rebrand), and it keeps WCOP as is for all of the great reasons described above.

Potential naming schemes mentioned in prior posts should be something to consider probably. I also think that efforts towards a SSD rebrand are very important because lower tiers deserve to have a stable setting in official team tournaments. Lots of active and motivated players make up these lower tier pools and if there is to be a tournament dedicated more towards them, then we should assure it is of a higher quality than current SSD, which pretty clearly needs the help given reflections stated in this thread by people like McMeghan. I am a huge advocate of having three team tournaments (specifically with this balance, and nothing more or less), but it will only work if we give SSD the attention we give SPL each year. This is absolutely not a shot at anyone either, but rather a call for future action if and when we do implement a proposal similar to the one outlined above. Ending the tangent here because I realize this is still an SPL focused thread.
I don’t normally post in these threads (lol I hardly ever post in general), but I felt I am someone who really benefitted from WCOP and the platform it provided me, and so I’d like to throw in my two cents.

Firstly, I feel like Tricking, starry blanket, and Finchinator have all made fantastic points addressing the apparent lack of competitiveness of WCOP as some have suggested, and so I don’t plan on delving into this further.

What I would like to speak about is my personal experiences with WCOP. As some of you may know (I assume most won’t), I was primarily active in C&C in my first stint on Smogon from roughly 2010 to 2013. During that period, I was hardly involved in Smogon tournaments. In fact, prior to this WCOP, with the exception of signing up for two OSTs, I had never participated in any individual or team Smogon tournaments in my decade-long tenure on Smogon. This includes non-officials.

About half a year ago, I had the urge to hit up some old friends on Smogon. I figured I’d pick up SS OU as well after noticing that WCOP was on the horizon. After grinding the ladder and binging Smogon Youtubers, I sent a PM to Analytic asking to try out for the Asia team. The rest is history: I was selected as a starter, played a decent tournament, forged many new relationships with my teammates, and all in all had the privilege of being part of the most enjoyable experience I’ve ever had in competitive Pokemon.

My point is that WCOP provided me this amazing opportunity to participate in an official tournament that I otherwise would never have had the chance to experience. I certainly can’t envision a random like me being picked up for SPL or Snake with my Pokemon CV (or lack thereof). I am inclined to believe that with my experience, someone like myself would never have even been considered by any manager in the aforementioned tours, let alone actually be drafted/bought. I’m not an exception either - I have seen other newcomers or lesser-known players who had exceptional WCOP campaigns, which ultimately led some of them to be drafted in Snake. A great example is my WCOP teammate devin, who finished with a 2-0 record after subbing in, while simultaneously being one of the most substantial contributors to our team. Quoting Raiza’s post, WCOP is ‘one of the biggest trampolines to push newer talent onto the official team tour scene’ and speaking from personal experience, I couldn't agree more.

Personally, I love WCOP and the idea that next year if I were to play for Asia again I will be running it back with so many friends from this year. Teams are able to build a strong identity, and I can’t imagine how much more rewarding it is to win the whole thing with (for the most part) guys I’ve competed with for years - it sure seems that way with Italy this year.

Before I end, I’d like to address the idea that cheating is more prevalent in WCOP as players are more comfortable with their friends or ‘countrymen’. I can’t speak for cheating culture in SPL/Snake, but I can safely affirm that in our WCOP campaign there wasn’t a single instance when any of my teammates even considered improving our chances through dishonest means, even though I would certainly consider my team to be quite close-knit and trusting of each other. I know for a fact that none of my teammates would condone ghosting, and it would be reported promptly by another member of the team if one of us tried. In any event, I believe we should focus our efforts on the bigger picture, which is addressing the tournament culture that encourages cheating (although from my limited knowledge Smogon has already come a long way in this regard) as opposed to nuking the tournament which some perceive to be the breeding grounds for it.

As others have reiterated, WCOP is one of the most popular tournaments on offer, and I don’t believe there is anything largely wrong with the tournament itself to such an extent that it is necessary to remove it from the tournament circuit as a priority. If anything, WCOP allows players new to the tournament scene (like myself) the opportunity to showcase their talents on a bigger stage, and in some cases become mainstays in official Smogon tournaments. Therefore, abolishing WCOP from our tournament circuit in the guise of increasing the so-called competitiveness of tournaments is, in my opinion, misguided.

Lastly, I apologise if my post detracts from the OP, but I did want to write this given that a number of users have discussed WCOP. As someone not particularly attuned to SPL, I don't have any particular opinion regarding old gens vs lower tiers nor do I think it would carry much weight anyway, so I would rather refrain from commenting.


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On Doubles in a mono-OU format:

At least some of the posts in this thread seem to think Doubles fits neatly into a mono-OU format; however, it's as much of an OU tier as LC is. Both are divorced from the tiering paradigm that produces UU, RU, and so on, and both therefore have their own usage-based tiers (LCUU and Doubles UU). Any proposed format that rebrands SPL to mono-OU and includes Doubles without also including LC is making an exception that has to be justified. This also turns the SSD/SPL distinction from low tiers vs. old gens into usage-based tiers vs. old gens and non-usage based low tiers, and the latter is much less significant a distinction than a former, if significant at all. I'm open to arguments to the contrary, but as it stands, I don't think mono-OU + Doubles makes sense as a format.
I don't think I agree here. I can grant you that LC is also removed from usage-based tiering, but I think there are other clear distinctions. Personally, I think of lower tiers as tiers where a large subset of (non-legendary) Pokemon are banned from play. LC bans the most Pokemon out of any tier, disallowing all non-Stage 1 Pokemon entirely. Doubles and OU both showcase the best possible Pokemon available in the current generation, or as close to that as possible while retaining a balanced metagame. Doubles even uses the name "Doubles OU" in most contexts; I don't think anyone uses the name "Little Cup OU". The difference to me is that Doubles represents a different context in which OU Pokemon are played. LC is a different set of allowed Pokemon, which happen to be further restricted by level. Sure, the Doubles OU and singles OU banlists aren't identical, but they're certainly much more reminiscent of each other than OU's and LC's.

This isn't related to the post I'm quoting/replying to, but I also want to push back on the popular notion that Doubles is some foreign unapproachable metagame. Plenty of singles players have already found success in a Doubles context, and I don't think the jump is that much larger than between generations of OU. There are a few mechanical differences to learn and a different way to approach wincons, but mons is still mons. I may enjoy getting gassed up by people calling me galaxy-brained just because I can click moves with 4 Pokemon on the field, but I think if fewer people dismissed Doubles offhand, then the bridge between DOU and the other OUs in this theoretical new SPL format wouldn't be quite so large.

In addition, Little Cup has another trophy tournament to its name in Grand Slam; since Doubles was removed from Slam, it's down to only SPL and SSD. For the record, I think removing it from Slam was absolutely the right call, but if Doubles is taken out of SPL then it'll be the only tier with only 1 trophy tournament. I get that proportional representation isn't on its own a good enough reason, but it's still relevant.

This is definitely a biased post, and I recognize that I am motivated by promoting and pushing for my tier's inclusion and support. However, I still think it has a place in SPL, and that the tournament is made better with Doubles around.
I figured I would take one last chance to share some thoughts before this topic closes up. This thread has moved from concerning one tour, to seemingly being about the entire collection of team tours on Smogon, and I think this is a reasonably important topic.

I don’t believe Snake is a bad tour, but it does suffer from bad timing. SPL is given special respect, as only OST runs with it concurrently while stour just clips the end of it, when most teams are already out. Wcop, for all bar OLT starting in its very last week, does not compete with any tour with CG OU in it. Snake, on the other hand, runs concurrently with both OLT and Stour weeklies. I believe this is the primary factor in why people find it so difficult to follow. But this is simply people making reasonable choices about how many games of Pokemon they want to watch/play in per week.

Snake does indeed lack brand identity. But I don’t believe brand identity makes or breaks a tour. There are some SPL managers who are on-lock, but there are more who are not. Suppose that newer managers were picked, and collectively, all 10 teams decided on very few retains between them, if any at all. This would certainly erode the brand identity, but I don’t think anyone would argue it impacted the competitiveness of the tour.

In relation to this, I do not think brand identity is a factor that saves Wcop from being a sub par tour. People have talked about cheating, and I believe that cheating is a 100% legitimate concern for Wcop, as the format has unique problems with whistleblowing on your own team, that no other team tour suffers from. Many team tour bans happen after the conclusion of the tour. It is easy to see why, because getting your own player banned before the conclusion of the tour weakens your own team. While there are exceptions to this in people who immediately report anything suspicious no matter what, we should take into account that most people are self-motivated, particularly those with the most access to information about ghosting cliques. But Wcop is unique, in that reporting a player from your team at any point, even after the tour has concluded, will result in the team being weaker next year as they will lose that player. That is the biggest effect of whistleblowing in this tour. Players are either on the same team year after year, or not on a team at all, this fosters ghosting and discourages whistleblowing. It could be argued that losing a cheater makes your team stronger, but a cheater and a legitimate player look identical to outsiders until the cheater is caught. Reporting your own team ought to be encouraged, but the format of Wcop actually seems to punish this instead. But this is not the biggest problem with Wcop.

The biggest problem is that Wcop is not and never will be competitive. In a draft tour, a manager who continually put together the same list of players of a team who frequently finish at the back of the pack, while other managers were putting together the same list of players of a team who have decent to good runs each year, would likely not be viewed as competent enough to manage in the future. Changes have been made, sure. I do not think they are as impactful as everyone would like to believe. An interesting figure is that when you compare the proportion of 0-3s in 2018 wcop to 2020, you find that they are almost identical. So it looks to me like many teams still have a very rough time recruiting. But in making all these changes, people are just resigned to the fact that there will never be that same sense of competition that exists in a draft tour. Wcop will necessarily always be the objectively weakest team tour.

Wcop has positive aspects. One of them is that it is a tour where newer players have a chance to play. But you should bear in mind that while a reduction to 8 slots had benefits elsewhere, this aspect has been eroded by that very same change. Wcop has always had the largest number of players, meaning slots multiplied by number of teams, of any tour. I believe that a draft team tour with a higher than usual number of slots could fulfil this role much better, and in a much fairer + merit based fashion.

This thread has proposed reformatting team tours. I don’t believe you can counterbalance all the objective problems Wcop has, with its totally subjective strengths. I appreciate the effort that goes into hosting it, but I believe Wcop is the weakest of the 3 team tours. If we are reformatting team tours with competition in mind, Wcop lags significantly behind Snake and SPL, such that it ought to be cut.
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I think we're maybe at the point where this just becomes a general Tournament Calendar revamp thread, or at the very least a new thread should be open to discuss wcop / snake seperately.

This will definitely be a controversial point but I feel like the mismatched skill levels in WCOP is actually a huge part of its charm. Smogon's WCOP is not strictly competitive as each year only ~4 teams actually have a serious chance of winning it, but this parallels exactly with the actual soccer/football world cup which is the biggest sporting event on the globe. Most countries go into the world cup knowing they won't win, but would be genuinely thrilled at getting out of the group stages, scoring even a single goal against Germany, or from an individual point of view, outperform their team's level such that they get a big transfer in their domestic season (e.g. James Rodriguez from Columbia wins Golden Boot in 2014, immediately gets picked up by Real Madrid). This mish-mash of team expectations, some players having to act as talisman, unknown players getting their shot etc makes WCOP one of the most fun tournaments on the site as a spectator, let alone as a player.

WCOP to me is the only place where you can find these kinds of storylines. Everyone knows who the favourites are, which puts more expectation on them to win than you get in any other tournament on the site, which itself creates a storyline. You have teams that have excellent line-ups but often underperform. You have teams that have 1 absolute world class player who has to inspire 7 complete unknowns, for whom success is just getting out of the group stages. And then you have ladder heros knowing they won't make it past group stages, but knowing they can personally go 3-0 and immediately become the name on people's lips for the next SPL draft - when I played on UK in 2011-14, for example, it was never seriously expected that we'd win, but we have a couple of class players (Nachos, Zak91) who would try their best just to drag us out of the group stages - that was our target, and it was never an issue that we wouldn't really be fighting for a trophy.

I think this balance between WCOP and the hyper-competitive SPL has been a really important factor behind player longevity in the tournament scene.

I do think there'd be an issue with WCOP if people saw the blue trophy and put it on the same pedestal as classic, OST, tour, SPL etc, but I think its rather clear than this isn't the case. Just looking through the hall of fame you can immediately tell which players have an inflated trophy count from being part of a WCOP dynasty. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm far far more impressed by the appearance of a white or pink trophy than I am by the blue one, and I mean that with no disrespect to anyone. This is also apparent from the GOAT thread where WCOP success doesn't seem to count for much in people's opinion of you. Much like nobody really cares about Messi/Ronaldo not winning the World Cup when it comes to GOAT discussions, its obvious nobody holds that against McMeg, Ojama, Soulwind, Ciele, M Dragon etc.

An additional, but very minor, point is that WCOP is also the only real route from Smogon into any IRL connections. Nobody is organising IRL meet-ups with their SPL teammates from across the globe, but WCOP teams (particularly in the smaller countries) do fairly regularly translate this online childrens game obsession into an actual IRL meet-up e.g. iirc many of the US East boys flew out to VGC finals for a weekend a few years back. I know several people who would have long quit smogon if it wasn't for the legit close friendships they have with their fellow countrymen, many of which are forged having actually gone for a pint etc IRL. I can't say for sure, but I think by removing WCOP, you'd see a lot more people get Smogon-fatigue as they gradually realise they spend so much time competing and talking with players thousands of miles away with whom they will never be especially close, and then question why exactly they bother. WCOP is a really nice opportunity in the calendar to play mons with some of your best mates, maybe organise a meet-up if possible, and actually feel like this is part of something more than pixels on a screen.

WCOP teams are split into three groups I guess. The first is the teams that everyone expects to do well and have a serious shot at winning. In the middle group, you have teams with good but not quite good enough line-ups that consistently get between 3rd and 8th. And at the bottom end, you have teams that are legitimately just really happy to be there, maybe cause a couple upsets, make a name for themselves but realistically won't make a deep run. From my understanding, the people in the top and bottom groups love WCOP but its maybe a system that doesn't work for the teams that get "stuck" in the middle group, who have huge expectations but get knocked out by simply better teams year after year. I'm not exactly sure what the solution to this is, but I feel like losing WCOP would hugely sterilise the Smogon experience.
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Eo Ut Mortus

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- The upcoming edition will of SPL will be 10 slots: 3x SS OU / USM OU / ORAS OU / BW2 OU / DPP OU / ADV OU / GSC OU / RBY OU.

- Moving forward, we will work to make Snake the tournament people want; changing the name, format, team names, and pretty much anything else are all on the table. I am not going to commit to anything specific because I want to work closely with past and future managers/players to ensure we make the right changes, but don't take this as pushback; make no mistake, I hate the Snake names too.


1. SPL currently has too many stakeholders with fundamentally incompatible interests. The current format is built on compromises and best serves nobody. It is also ill-defined enough to leave the door open for people to attempt to redefine the structure of the tournament to their liking every few years. A clean separation of current gen non-OU tiers and old gens will reduce the need for compromises anywhere and therefore produce tournaments that better reflect the desires of their primary stakeholders. The restructuring of the two team tournaments in this way also means that any non-CG OU tier can only be in one of the two tournaments. And while Doubles can distinguish itself from low tiers depending on how we choose to categorize non-CG OU tiers, the split being made here is really one between CG OU + old gens and CG OU + current gens. Under this dichotomy, it is clear that Doubles fits one tournament more than the other.

2. It's clear from this discussion that the community values a meaningful and prestigious tournament as much as they do a competitive one. We know this tournament will be a sufficiently competitive experience regardless of what tier lineup is selected, and moreover, there is no reason to assume a certain set of selected tiers will be the most competitive every year. However, baking rotating tiers into the tournament's design, as is the case now, dilutes the overall identity of the tournament and makes it difficult to establish player legacies and balance retains.

3. Format permitting, as long as we feature RBY in an individual official tournament, it is for the best we support it in team tournaments as well.

If anyone feels strongly about other SPL format changes discussed in this thread, such as Bo3 tiers, please post another thread to continue discussion them. I do not think it is likely we will implement anything for this upcoming season. Personally, I'm not really interested in any changes proposed besides an 8-team SPL/Snake; in addition to the benefits that have already been mentioned, reducing teams would make the manager pool more balanced, and I've also notice that historically, many teams tend to burn out due to the season length, even if they do qualify for playoffs. But it presents enough complications that I'm not willing to push it further at this point without gauging the community further about this.

I'm closing this thread because the main topic has been settled. Anyone is free to continue discussion on any of the other points raised here in a separate thread. In particular, we will continue to discuss the future of Snake and open another thread closer to the start of next year's edition, if one isn't already made by then.
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