SPL VIII - Administrative Decisions

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Isa

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RE: SPL 8 hosting

As some of you have known through various channels, I will not be in a position to host the main season of SPL 8. I've recruited a very viable replacement host for myself though. Prague Kick will, starting from week 1 onwards, be the main host for SPL. He has plenty of hosting experience on Smogon and was awarded CC badge not long ago in part for that, and has also successfully hosted the Italian equivalent of SPL, meaning that he is probably more qualified for this job than I am. I'll still do the auction and things leading up to week 1 though.

^_^
 

Isa

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RE: Isza

Isza has been confirmed to be an alt of a permanently banned user on Smogon. We've been asked not to disclose the identity and will respect the person's wishes.

As is standard, alts of permanently banned users are also banned and removed from the tournaments they are in. This means that Isza will no longer be playing for team Alpha Ruiners.

As Alpha Ruiners have acted in good faith, i.e. they were not aware that Isza was an alt, they will be compensated. Per the precedent set in SPL 4 and later upheld in SPL 6 and 7, Alpha Ruiners will be given 3k back that they may use to choose a player with from the remaining player pool. They have been given 48 hours to choose. Should they choose not to pick a player from the player pool, the 3k will be added to their regular funds for midseason.
Per the rules revision set in place in SPL 7, they will also be given back half of the remaining cost of Isza. Given that Isza cost 4k in the auction, this means Alpha Ruiners will be given (4-3)/2 = 0.5k that they may spend during midseason, and is treated as sellback credits. Please remember that sellback credits are used after the remaining auction credits during the midseason week.
 

Isa

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RE: Idiotfrommars vs. Earthworm, week 1

In late 2016, Idiotfrommars approached the SPL hosts (me, Prague Kick and Esteemed SPL Host Ginku) about the possibility of playing vs. Earthworm, his likely opponent in GSC OU, before the start of week 1. This was due to their very different time zones making scheduling tricky, combined with IFM going on a trip during the weekend, eliminating the possibility for him to play then.

The hosts have decided to allow this, rather than force a substitution for IFM, because of the following factors:

1. This does not interfere with any other matchups or teams. It is not a postponing of a game that'd thus interfere with a set of upcoming games, rather, it's a game that exists in a vacuum.
2. The game would most likely not be completed due to a combination of time zones and real life activities. When this problem has arose in the main tier, where there's always been at least two players per team, this has been solved by allowing managers to change the positioning of their players and thus facilitate the completion of the games without resorting to substitutes, activity wins or dead games. This is obviously not possible in this scenario as there is only one GSC OU slot, but is highlighted to show that measures have been taken in the past to enable games to be played.
3. Neither player gains an advantage from this. They get less preparation time than the others, as they do not play later than anyone else; instead, their preparation time is shorter. The only benefit the players get is the possibility to complete the match.

The above is reliant on both sides - both Alpha Ruiners and Congregation of the Classiest - submitting their full lineup to me and the other two hosts before the game is played. This is to prevent lineups changing depending on the result of the game. No other matchups will be published in advance unless similar requests come in.

If the game does not happen prior to the official start of the week, neither side will be able to use this to claim activity. The other matchups between Ruiners and Classiest will not be revealed until the official start of week 1.

In future cases, the practice of playing games in advance may be used only when the games would fulfill the above factors. This means that games will only be allowed to be played in advance when both teams involved (this means full lineups, not just the players wishing to play early) do not have any games remaining from their previous week and when the players involved knows well ahead of time that their ability to play during the actual week is heavily limited. This means that in practice, this will only be a possibility before week 1 and week 5 (due to midseason). It is also dependent on both sides agreeing to follow this practice, and should one side disagree with playing early, it will not be held against them in any way during activity cases.

This does not alter our stance on allowing extensions after a week has been finished, and only regards playing games in advance of the schedule.
 

Mazinger

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RE: Deadlines

With both hosts being from Europe, we ran into the problem that we will generally be asleep at the time the weeks end and start. After consulting with the managers, we decided to keep the old deadline and post the threads after getting up, meaning there will be a window between the week ending and the thread for the new week going up (you can expect this between 8 and 10 AM GMT +1 barring real-life complications).

The deadline for both games and lineups remains midnight EST.

For the occasional midnight first blood, the following rule applies:

If players want to play their games after the old week is finished and before we post the new thread, managers can confirm the matchup and let them play. Abuse of this (specifically: tricking the other team into playing a matchup that does not correlate to the lineups sent to us before midnight EST) results in a loss. If, for some reason, both managers agree on a matchup that does not correlate to the lineups we received, that game is treated as if it never happened. There may be additional punishment from the TDs independent of this.
 

idiotfrommars

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RE: Valentine

A few days ago it was brought to the attention of the Tournament Director team that Valentine had asked njnp to join a call with Zamrock during the latter’s SPL match. Under no circumstance is this acceptable behavior. Managers are selected to uphold the tournament rules within their own teams, and to actively ask your players to break the rules that you are tasked with upholding is one of the most egregious errors that a manager can commit.

Per the precedent set in SPL 4, Valentine will be permanently banned from holding another position of authority in any team tournament situations. He will also be given a one year tournament ban and be barred from participating in the next edition of SPL. Teal6 will assume the manager duties for the Cryonicles from this point forward. He has been allowed to pick one of his players to assume the role of assistant manager, and has chosen Soulwind. Soulwind will still be allowed to participate as a regular player during the week, but will also serve in official capacity as the assistant manager if needed by the hosts or TD team.
 

idiotfrommars

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RE: Soulgazer bid on Ben Gay

The Smogon forums are currently 8 minutes ahead of the current time. At X:01 M Dragon placed a bid on Ben Gay and the forum displayed that bid occurring X:08. Soulgazer seeing that the forum displayed the bid as occurring at X:08 and the host stating that the bid locked at X:08, waited until X:02, 12 hours later to up-bid Ben Gay. This technically occurred at X:02, a minute past the time that M Dragon placed the initial bid on Ben Gay, although it looked to Soulgazer like he was bidding 11 hours and 54 minutes after M Dragon.

Due to forum delay not being announced anywhere, and it not being general knowledge that the forum has a delay, we will be allowing this bid by Soulgazer. It is unreasonable for a user to know of the delay, without it being stated anywhere. In the future when situations occur that need exact timing, a notice will be posted about the forum delay and the current forum time will be used. This is a one time exception, due to the specific circumstances present during this case, and will not be precedent for future cases of users missing deadlines.
 

Mazinger

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RE: idiotfrommars vs Fakes

Situation: Both players settled on 2 PM EST as the time of the game. Ifm suggested to move the game forward by two hours, which Fakes did not respond to. Fakes then sent ifm a VM asking if he could play "now" at 1:47 PM EST. Ifm was active shortly afterwards and made an activity post at 2:39 PM EST, while Fakes could not be reached. Ifm left some time after this and the game was not completed. A subsequent activity post by Fakes was edited to "idontmind".

While Fakes' VM shows that he was active shortly before 2 PM EST, talking to both teams made it clear that he was not present long enough to complete the game and thus missed the scheduled time. No attempts at substitution were made.

Result: idiotfrommars is granted the activity win over Fakes.
 

Mazinger

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RE: Eternal Spirit vs Welli0u

Situation: On turn 14 of the Sun/Moon OU game between Eternal Spirit and Welli0u, Eternal Spirit appeared to disconnect from the server and his timer began going down from 270 seconds. After it showed 120 seconds, someone turned the timer off. The game was eventually resumed (with both players apparently disconnecting in between) until turn 24, where Welli0u asked for the timer to be turned back on. Eternal Spirit timed out on the same turn, with the timer showing 120 -> 90 -> [...] ->10. Both players sent in their teams. [Both hosts were not present for much of the game. If you have evidence contradicting any of this, let us know immediately.]

From the week 8 OP:
Regarding time outs, they are a bit more complex, specifically because some timeouts are due to DCs. The best we can do for this scenario is say that there is some number between 1 minute and 2 minutes (which we will not publicize) that we will set as a limit for timing out, and if you timeout with more than that limit time remaining, we'll assume it is a DC, whereas the opposite is a true timeout. A true timeout defaults to a loss, while the DC timeout is prone to the DC rules (did you submit or not).
This case is unusual in that the timer was not running constantly, meaning the only timer info we have is from turn 14 and turn 24.
  • Assuming nobody had turned the timer off, Eternal Spirit would have timed out from 270 seconds, which is way above the limit laid out in the quoted rule, leading to a DC ruling.
  • The way it played out, he timed out from 120 seconds, which does not go below the limit either, leading to a DC ruling.
The only way around this would be a subjective ruling, taking into account factors other than the timer, based on the fact that the timer was turned off. However, even if we wanted to do it that way, everything points toward Eternal Spirit actually disconnecting, and it also does not seem appropriate to give him a loss based on the fact that somebody else turned the timer off (given that timing out from 270 seconds is a clear DC ruling with no evidence of cheating). This leaves us with a DC ruling as the only option.

Result: The game will be recreated. It is in everyone's best interest if both teams get to scheduling immediately.
 

Mazinger

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RE: FAJI vs Lord Outrage

First off, sorry for the delay, but the game happened in the middle of the night, and when we got up, we had to go through a rather lengthy investigation while a lot of people were offline, after which we were waiting on a technical explanation regarding the PS timer. With playoffs being contingent on this game, we couldn't afford a half-baked decision at risk of being overturned either, so things took a while. (This does not mean that the fact that it's week 9 influenced the actual content of the decision, but more on that further down.) All that said and done, here's what we arrived at.

Situation: Lord Outrage timed out on turn 14 of his SM Ubers game against FAJI. His timer had gone down to 40 seconds on turn 11 and not been displayed afterwards (screenshot). Both players sent in their teams.

A few notes: First, the point in time cannot be a relevant factor in this decision, because we decide based on rules and precedent, which apply to every game equally. Whether or not this directly influences the playoffs does not concern us. Second, as was discussed after the Axel10 vs Genesis7 game, factors other than the timer, such as a player seeming to have disconnected (at any point in the game), are not relevant either. The only basis for granting/denying timer wins is the timer.

The issue here, of course, is that the timer did not tell us anything. After asking people with a better understanding and doing the math with the source code to figure out what his timer could have been at, we came up with a tentative solution and asked Zarel to confirm/deny it. He told us the status of the timer could not be accurately determined, and we do not see a convincing reason to go against his word on that. This left us with two options:
  • Figure out an estimated timer based on whatever evidence we can gather and what basically amounts to hearsay, after which the game may or may not be recreated based on the result.
  • Forego this patchwork solution and simply grant FAJI the win, based on the fact that Lord Outrage technically timed out and has not provided evidence that would lead to a recreation.
Given the lack of reliability of the first solution and the fact that thus far, decisions have been made based on the timer as it was displayed in the game and not as we carefully calculated/estimated it, we are convinced that the simple solution is the better one in this case.

Result: FAJI wins via timeout.
 

Mazinger

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RE: Tamahome vs Colchonero

This one got lost among the fiasco yesterday.

Situation: The players apparently used a smogtours PM to schedule, and no proof of its content exists. This means we have no way of reliably confirming any claims regarding scheduled times and stated availability, and after talking to both parties, we do not have a conclusive account of what exactly happened.

From the commencemeat thread, "week one":
If both parties are deemed to be equally apathetic or enthusiastic about getting the match done, but just have not had the opportunity to make it happen, the match will result in a no contest. However, if it is deemed that one party made significantly more effort than the other in attempting to get the match done, then a win will be awarded to that player. Things that will make it very likely that you will lose via activity include: failing to VM your opponent immediately upon the week’s start, scheduling a match and being documented as missing the match time, failing to provide any concrete times for which you can be reached, failing to respond to an opponent’s VM at all.
Given the fact that the players did not follow scheduling protocol and the situation as we understand it (taking into account what we know and what the players told us regarding availaibility and potential scheduled times) does not show either player as having a signficant activity advantage by other means, we cannot justify an activity win for anyone in this situation, and we do not think further investigation is likely to change that, so we're wrapping up week 9. Let this be a reminder that the reminders in the OPs are not there for decoration; schedule your games properly and you'll be fine.

Result: Dead game.
 

Mazinger

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Well....

RE: TheThorn vs Steve Angello

Given the rather messy circumstances and the fact that ending the series on an activity situation is obvioously not something we wanted to happen, we were faced with multiple options and did not like any of them, including the one we went with. It is as messy as this post's visuals suggest. This decision was made by the hosts (not TDs) and is not as clean as we would have liked; do not assume that you can use it as precedent for future cases.

Situation: The game was scheduled for 11 PM GMT +2 (VMs technically say +1 but A: both players are GMT +2, B: this is the week after the clock change, and C: nobody has claimed 11 PM GMT +1 as the original scheduled time). There was apparently some talk between scooters and tigers about Steve being a bit late, but there is no confirmation of scooters/thorn agreeing to a time past midnight GMT +2. I was contacted by TheThorn on discord at 11:49-11:53 (separate messages) PM GMT +2 asking where Steve is and saying that the game would have to start within roughly 30 minutes because he would not be around much longer. Around this time, Steve was arriving at home and getting ready. Shortly afterwards, Steve arrived on smogtours and I notified TheThorn at 12:07. Around 12:15, tigers told me Steve had only his phone with a low battery and would not be able to play until another ~20 minutes later. I notified Thorn and he said he could wait until 12:35. 12:35 came and went and TheThorn left at around 12:40. (I was around for all of this, so you would need very convincing evidence to contradict any of it.)

As you can probably tell, this was not a fun decision to make. The key factors here are that Steve was not around at the original time, and that he was online on smogtours for a short while when Thorn was still around. Regarding the latter, it shows that he was putting in effort to complete the game, but we do not think that 8 minutes (by my count) are enough to warrant an activity claim for that time. (The game not starting at this moment would be attributed to "communication issues" and not either team.) Thus, given that Steve had missed the original time and that Thorn cannot be expected to wait an uncertain amount of time on a sunday night, the call on the spot was that Tigers would have to sub, which did not come to pass because Thorn had already left.
At this point I would like to point out that actually communicating with the other team is key. Chances are this could have been prevented by simply keeping everyone up to date. I relayed some messages back and forth, but I can't know every detail of everyone's situation and have to be careful with making any promises on behalf of the players. Even assuming that I could have been communicating between the teams more actively, the hosts should not be the ones scheduling for anyone in the first place; it's a matter of sending a few sentences to the other team, players can do it themselves and have managers as backup.
The game not being completed left us with a couple of undesirable solutions; a double sub was unfair to the scooters and deciding the series on activity is obviously something we wanted to avoid, especially given the fact that steve had indeed asked for Thorn on smogtours.

In terms of precedent, we are not aware of a matching case from SPL, but we have this incident from WCoP. (We are taking into account that this is different in terms of details and because one side agreed to a solution that was favourable to the other side; it's more that we agree with the underlying sentiment and less that we're directly applying the precedent to this case.)

The main takeaway here is that "deadlines in Pokémon are to ensure that games get played, allowing a tournament to move along at a steady pace." By giving an activity win, we would not be ensuring that anything gets done, and the tournament finishes with this series, meaning there's not a whole lot to keep running. We had to decide some way, and given these all these factors, we believe a slightly less undesirable solution is to extend the match under the condition that Steve Angello is subbed out. This essentially puts us back to where we were last night, without the issue of Thorn having to leave.

Result: The deadline for the game is extended until Tuesday, April 4th, 11:59 PM EDT. The Circus Maximus Tigers must make a substitution for Steve Angello, and we are expecting a scheduled time by tonight (no hard deadline on this because of the short notice, but do not take it lightly and start scheduling right away. This goes for everyone involved.)
 
RE: Mazar vs Gunner Rohan

Situation: once tiebreak pairings were announced, Mazar and Gunner Rohan immediately reported their schedule incompatibility. Mazar could only play on Wednesday and Thursday, while Gunner Rohan could only play on Friday. Noone of them actually tried to accomodate opponent's availability window within the deadline, therefore the game could had not be played.

Given the fact that scheduling issues were reported to us almost immediately at the beginning of tiebreak, and neither part put more effort to get the game done in time, it's pretty hard to state a clear activity win case, or even forcing substitutions, especially when we're talking about the last game of tiebreak of finals. For these reasons, we asked players to tentatively try to set a schedule for Saturday, and finally their availabilities matched each other in a time range between 12 PM and 6 PM EST, with the game that should be played around 4 PM EST.

Since the lack of completion of the game happened because both players didn't manage to schedule within the deadline, we cannot force a substitute from either team; moreover, both players found a schedule time range on Saturday.
Despite we believe extending deadlines is not exactly what we would call a good policy, any other outcome would have been way worse in this case, therefore we reached the conclusion that a single day extension can just help for game completion giving no disadvantages to either team.

Result: the deadline for the game is extended until Saturday April 8th, 23.59 PM EST.

There will NOT be any further extension, so players would better take profit of the time given to finally get the match done.
 
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