SPL XI - Commencement Thread

Hikari

is a Tournament Directoris a member of the Site Staffis a Community Leaderis a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributoris a Battle Simulator Admin Alumnusis an Administrator Alumnusis a Past SPL Champion
Community Leader

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

kjdaas, Merritt and I will be hosting this year.

A reminder of rulings that hold true for this year, and some new ones:
  1. Managers are allowed one (1) assistant Manager.
  2. Teams are only allowed three (3) retained players from last year's SPL.
  3. Retention rights may not be traded.
  4. Retained players may not be traded until mid-season. (NEW)
  5. Midseason signups are restricted to people that signed up for the original auction.
  6. The minimum number of players in a team is 14.
  7. The maximum number of players in a team is 24.
  8. There will be a severe penalty for any team that picks up a known alt of a banned player, or any player masquerading as another person to lower their cost in the auction. This has not been a big issue in the past, but it is important to establish that both parties will be penalized immediately and harshly if they are found doing so.
With that said, I'd like to welcome all of our managers this year:

Alpha Ruiners - HANTSUKI + Rewer
Circus Maximus Tigers - tennisace + Evan.
Congregation of the Classiest - d0nut + FMG
Cryonicles - PDC + Triangles
Dragonspiral Tyrants - Hogg + reyscarface
Ever Grande BIGS - Stone_Cold + Void
Indie Scooters - FlamingVictini + TPP
Stark Sharks - M Dragon + Analytic
Team Raiders - Kingler12345 + Corporal Levi
Wi-Fi Wolfpack - TonyFlygon + ABR

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

Retainer rules:

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

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

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

The tier lineup this year is as follows:

  • SS OU
  • SS OU
  • SS OU
  • SS DOU
  • SS LC
  • SM OU
  • ORAS OU
  • BW OU
  • DPP OU
  • ADV OU
  • GSC OU
  • RBY OU

Tournaments Rules and General Guidelines

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

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

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

General Managers are required to acquire one Assistant Manager. The General Manager gets full sovereignty in choosing his assistant manager. The assistant manager is essentially the second in command for the team. They have all of the functions and roles as the General Manager does, the GM just trumps him in head-to-head decisions.

Lastly, the General Manager has the following duties:

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

The sign-up list will then be taken and sorted into appropriate lists for each of the 11 metagames. These lists will then be used by managers for the auction.
Total money for teams is 140,000 credits. There will be no holdover on extra credits from previous years - everyone starts with a blank slate and 140k.

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

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

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

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

Managers: it is necessary for you to field a roster of 12 starters and a minimum of 2 substitutes, with a maximum of 12 substitutes being allowed of which all must be paid at least 3000 credits. This creates a soft cap of 101,000 credits on any particular bid - that is, the maximum amount of money you can spend on any one player and still have enough money left over to pay at least 3000 credits a piece on 13 more players.

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

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


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

1. Substitutes – At any point in time during the week, a team may make a substitution for an inactive player. In order to do this a manager must post in the thread, tagging the hosts, the opposing managers and the opposing player stating which player is substituting out, and which player is substituting in. A player that has substituted out for a week cannot be substituted back in. In addition, in order to catch any attempts at garnering favorable matchups in SM OU (where the lineup you choose affects pairings), all substitutions are subject to veto by the hosts if the substitution is suspected to be attempting to “game” the system.

2. Trades – Trades are only possible after the auction and until the end of week 5. This means you can trade before week 1 has begun. In order to complete a trade, both involved managers must submit a PM to the host detailing which player(s) on their team they are trading away, as well as what they are receiving as compensation. Retained players can only be retained during SPL's mid-season.

3. There will be no trades allowed following the conclusion of the midseason pickups.

4. Teams that are facing each other may not conduct a trade that week.

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

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

7. Reversing Rulings - No ruling will be retroactively overturned once the week following the week that the ruling has been made has ended. This includes: activity rulings / rulings based on rule breaking / anything else under the sun. I'm not going back in time to reevaluate every single decision I've made throughout the tournament on Week 9 because you think you were gypped 1-2 wins along the way and now they're the difference between you and a playoff spot. Any appeals to a ruling must be made during the week that the ruling is made; beyond that, all rulings are final once the week ends.
During Week 4, sign-ups will reopen for 4 days. Players that signed up for the original auction and weren't drafted will sign up and a new free agent list will be made. Note: Even if you signed up the first time around, you must re-signup in order to get on the midseason free agent list. After sign-ups close, the host will remind each manager how many credits they have left over from the original live auction.

Instead of having another live auction, an auction will take place on the forums. A manager will post their bids, with other managers having up to 12 hours from the time of the post to make a higher bid on the player. After 12 hours, if the manager has not been outbid, his or her team will be awarded the players. The Midseason auction will last for 5 days during week 5. The players purchased here will be allowed to start playing starting on Week 6. There is no use for credits leftover after the midseason free agent pickups, so it is in every manager’s best interest to spend all of their remaining points at this time. No players may enter SPL after the midseason auction, except in the case of a team falling below the minimum number of starters due to their players being banned, in which case they'll be allowed to pick players from the undrafted pool until they reach the minimum.
At the end of the league stages, there will be a knockout style playoffs involving the top 4 teams in the points. In the event of a tie in overall points standings, the following criteria is used for breaking ties.

• Overall Points >
• Battle Difference (total # battles won - total # battles lost) >
• Best of 3 - each team picks a unique tier with the winner of the Head to Head matchup picking second, then SS OU is the 3rd game. In the event that the two teams tied in the Head to Head matchup, the team with better results against the higher seeds will pick second.

After the top 4 have been determined, each team will be seeded. The #1 seed will play the #4 seed, and the #2 seed will play the #3 seed. The victors of these matches will advance to the finals match. The winning team of this match will be declared the ultimate victors of the Smogon Premier League.
During week 4 managers will have the opportunity to report inactive players to the hosts. The hosts will review the team situation on the first 2 days of week 5, and if it is found that the player in question is indeed inactive according to our definition, the team will be allowed to sell them back. A user merely being forum banned or tournament banned is NOT grounds for a sellback.

If a player is sold back, their team obtains their value as credits to be used in the midseason auction.


League Stages & Playoffs

Tiebreaks in the Playoff stage (ie when teams are tied 6-6, not when they are trying to get into playoffs) have been changed.

League Stages

Not all 10 teams will qualify to play in the playoffs. Based on the results of the League stage, the top 4 teams will advance to the playoffs.
In the league stages, beating another team gives you 2 points, drawing the match gives you 1 point, and losing it gives you nothing. In addition, the manner in which you win will also be stored; that is, how many you won vs how many you lost. This difference will be used in case of a tie at the end of the league stage.

Playoffs

Based on the league stage, the top 4 teams will be seeded and placed into a bracket, in which they will go head to head. Teams will battle in the same format as during the league stage. At the end of all 12 battles, the team with more wins will advance to the next round.


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



---
This post marks the formal start to SPL XI, which means:

  • Managers can inform me the players they wish to retain (REMINDER: Players can refuse to be retained, which means if they sign up, they will be a free agent for SPL XI.)
  • Managers can hold official tryouts
Here's to the greatest season!
 

n1n1

the real n1n1
is a Tiering Contributor
DOUBLES OU SPL DRAFT GUIDE

By n1n1

overall doubles is pretty stacked this year which is cool

CREAM OF THE CROP

stax — Coming of a Seasonal, win the most accomplished player in DOU history should be the most expensive DOU pick of the draft. Hes won nearly every major tour and added a new achievement in 2019 by managing the winning DPL team.

SMB — Currently at #3 on the DOU circuit tour, he finished second to stax in the latest Seasonal. He has one of the most impressive records in individual tours and plenty of success and experience in team tours. He is arguably the most creative teambuilder which makes him difficult to prepare for and well suited for this format.

emforbes — Is having another incredible year, he ranked #1 in DOU circuit tour points which includes a seasonal win. With his previous team tour experience he easily deserves to be a top 3 pick.


THESE PLAYERS ARE REALLY GOOD PICKS:

Stratos — disgraced ghost who should have never been unbanned

Yoda2798 — Yoda has been playing smogon doubles longer than any of my top 3 players but never was quite SPL caliber. Until this year, he has emerged as a top player. He is ranked 4th in circuit tour with wins over the best players, most recently beating stax in the semi-finals of Live Challenge Playoffs. His teambuilding has improved a lot and well deserving of a starting spot in SPL this year.

Demaintoid — One of the most creative teambuilders with lots of team tour experience. His tour results are not as impressive as they have been in previous years but it is a new generation and he is a very safe pick, I expect him to have a 50% or so win rate.

Ezreal — is coming off a very impressive 8-1 snake record and good Fall seasonal performance. If he remains motives he is capable of having one of the top records, if not he has been know to recycle very similar teams which has been detrimental to his tour success in the past.

THESE PLAYERS ARE GOOD PICKS:

YoBuddy — Along with Kiichikos, he is new to Smogon DOU in 2019 and quickly gained respect as a top tier player. He tour results have been good enough to easily secure a top 16 spot for Invitationals. He is one of the most creative team builders in gen7 and has been extremely active since the start of gen8. I would expect him to go for only 3k but possibly have the best win-to-price ratio for DOU.

Kichiikos — Won the big money gen6 tour earlier this year which surprised everyone (except me) by beating stax in the finals. Then he came in second place of Spring Seasonals which lead him to be drafted for Snake. Unfortunately he was emforbes back-up so only got to play 1 game. I expect him to be drafted for SPL and hopefully as a starter, he is too good to be a back up.

Lord Death Man — A DUU main who won Winter Seasonals, and had a pretty good Fall Seasonal. He is the only one here with real knowledge of singles. I have a feeling he will be severely under-priced in the drafted given his 2019 tour results and capability of being able to help with singles.

AVOID:

Croven and Human — I have nothing against either of these guys, in fact I like them. But their most recent snake performance was really bad. Also they both did well in the first seasonal of the year but after that their Circuit tour performance was pretty poor and neither will make invitationals. I don't think their past experience in SPL and Snake is enough to justify drafting them over anyone mentioned above
 
The 4-Part Lower Tier Main Manager PM Template:

Are you a frustrated lower tier main worried about playing in SPL XI? No worries, I've created the perfect and easy 4-part template for any of you who want to try to trick a manager into drafting you to this all-OU+LC SPL.

It's simple: just copy the template and for each line, fill in the following blank with the answer that fits you most.​

Hey [Manager's name],
I'd really be interested in playing for you this SPL. While I may be known as being primarily a lower tier player, _____
  • I've expanded my playing ability to encompass many other tiers.
  • I'm actually a Sw/Sh LC main.
  • I've been really working hard on learning Sw/Sh OU.
  • I can play any tier at a very competitive level.

I'm an extremely hardworking player and teammate. Additionally, _____
  • I'm a great builder for all tiers, and Sw/Sh OU/LC is no exception.
  • RBY is actually very formulaic and I think I've found the optimal way of playing the metagame.
  • I've gone to both BKC and Finchinator and received extensive tutoring with Old Gens.
  • without NatDex, Sw/Sh OU is actually going to look a lot like USUM UU.

I've actually been building a lot for this recently, and here is one of my best teams that I've built myself, _____

I work great with others and will be very active in a teamchat. I'm also one of the best supporting teammates on Smogon, as I _____
  • am very good at providing comprehensive scouting reports of opposing players.
  • always encourage my teammates whether they win or lose.
  • know how to look the other way if something against the rules happens.
  • prep harder than anybody I know.

If you would like any replays or tryouts, please let me know. I hope to hear from you soon!


For example, a possible manager pm could look like this:​


I hope that I can help some of the other struggling lower-tier mains that would like to play in this SPL with this!​
 

Cam

Hop up on the SS Anne with some Mexicans
is a Tiering Contributor
The Wannabe Shake SPL XI Shitpost.
Are you a frustrated embodiment of a formerly banned user worried about being drafted in SPL XI? No worries, I've created this perfect guide to becoming a full time Pokemon player and weeb that will fool all Smogon users into thinking you're a top tier shitposter.

It's simple: Just change your profile picture to an anime related picture that could be considered "Edgy"​

For example, a possible low quality shitpost could look like this:​
The 4-Part Lower Tier Main Manager PM Template:

Are you a frustrated lower tier main worried about playing in SPL XI? No worries, I've created the perfect and easy 4-part template for any of you who want to try to trick a manager into drafting you to this all-OU+LC SPL.

It's simple: just copy the template and for each line, fill in the following blank with the answer that fits you most.​

Hey [Manager's name],
I'd really be interested in playing for you this SPL. While I may be known as being primarily a lower tier player, _____
  • I've expanded my playing ability to encompass many other tiers.
  • I'm actually a Sw/Sh LC main.
  • I've been really working hard on learning Sw/Sh OU.
  • I can play any tier at a very competitive level.

I'm an extremely hardworking player and teammate. Additionally, _____
  • I'm a great builder for all tiers, and Sw/Sh OU/LC is no exception.
  • RBY is actually very formulaic and I think I've found the optimal way of playing the metagame.
  • I've gone to both BKC and Finchinator and received extensive tutoring with Old Gens.
  • without NatDex, Sw/Sh OU is actually going to look a lot like USUM UU.

I've actually been building a lot for this recently, and here is one of my best teams that I've built myself, _____

I work great with others and will be very active in a teamchat. I'm also one of the best supporting teammates on Smogon, as I _____
  • am very good at providing comprehensive scouting reports of opposing players.
  • always encourage my teammates whether they win or lose.
  • know how to look the other way if something against the rules happens.
  • prep harder than anybody I know.

If you would like any replays or tryouts, please let me know. I hope to hear from you soon!


For example, a possible manager pm could look like this:​


I hope that I can help some of the other struggling lower-tier mains that would like to play in this SPL with this!​


 

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