SPL XI - Commencement Thread

Initially I wanted to wait until after this tour, but due to the new Pokemon in gen8ou I've decided to free up the SS OU council spot in favor of a more involved person. I hope that during my short time on it I was of use to the other council members, and would I'd like to thank ya'll for giving me the oppertunity to help lead a scene I used to love. Unfortunately, I've lost my passion for this game a while ago and only kept playing in official games. I believe that I have a total of around 30 ladder games played over the last year, if we dont count early gen SS and OLT. Naturally, this affected my in-game abilities, since this game is a lot about practice. On top of that I also put in much less effort during prep, which used to be the area where I was really getting ahead of others. For this I'd like to apologize to the Wolfpack, especially to TonyFlygon since he was expecting the same dedication I had last year. I don't think that I was as grossly inactive as some say, but it was definitely very low for my previous standards. Lastly, I really did not enjoy the very limited teambuilding options SS OU had to offer, which just led to me hating every moment I was playing the game, ultimately asking myself why I do any of this in my free time, as a hobby.

I never wanted to be seen as the best. I just wanted to become a "tournament player" since those are supposed to be way better than anybody else. I feel like I achieved that and much more, so I don't have much of a drive in that regard anymore either. What I can say after the transition from ladder hero to tournament player is that the level of play is definitely higher, but it's not as big a difference as most of the community thinks. People just care more during/before their games, for the most part. Since we're on the topic of community I think that I should also address this at least a bit. Lavos was definitely right in that the community largely doesn't care for people's actual ability to play competitive pocket monsters. Whether somebody thinks anybody else is good is mostly decided on a petty argument you've had with them 3 years ago or depending on how much likes holding a certain opinion can bring you in. The ridiculousness of this whole ordeal is another reason why I've been wanting to distance myself from smogon. The loudest voice will become reality on this site whether its the truth or not. To give just one example, people truly believe that going SpD Clef in my game three would have solved my issue and I'm so dumb that I dont know SpD Clef can switch into Hydreigon. This was my actual problem with the line. Guessing correctly earns you a lot of praise, and nobody is batting an eye to objective missplays, especially when you still win the game. One example of this would be ABR missing a guaranteed two turn endgame win here, during the smogon tour semi-final. I think that generally this game isn't getting played at a super high level on smogon. There is way too little time to think over all the lines with the current timer, and most people don't even bother doing any sort of probability calculations that aren't trivial. Another issue is the practice of complaining about hax being shunned. I realize that the opposite extreme would probably be worse. At the same time sometimes you get set back much more than your opponent, and while you technically could 'play around it' you'd need to be 2-3 times 'better' than your opponent rather than just 'better'. Playing around it and being better is referring to doing correct guesswork here. While you can do educated guesses and get a good game instinct with a lot of practice, you would still need a lot of games for the luck part to equalize, and we are judging players on their performance over ~9 games in tournaments. Not to mention that you might be playing Lavos when you get matched up against Valentine, or M Dragon when you play a Spanish player.

Overall I just lost my passion for this game, and I don't think that trying to maintain a good reputation as a player is worth it when I don't actually like playing it anymore. I might re-gain my passion at some point, but most likely I'll just quietly fade away. I've experienced everything I wanted to on this site, and would like to thank you all for the fun I had, but the current state of affairs isn't that appealing to me and I'd rather do something else with my life.

Take care smogon

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since i musst have charmflash back playing, i will help analyse games to bring her back, salut jaina!

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen8ou-471964 diss game u should not let sylvion set upp, that is wher eu lose. HAPPY OUTLOOK sweep team.
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen8ou-473459 cleffable is immune to dragon. let mandibuzz die was mistake when you have fairy.
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen8ou-471063 when cleffable get paraylised it cant move, dont let pokemon get paralysed

please take adviec on board and lets get some wins! ill be see you on the flipsside, salut jaina!
 
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Well, it's only been 1 week since the midseason Power Rankings, but our first elimination has occurred. Granted, the Tigers aren't completely eliminated, as according to Eo's script, they have a 6% chance to make it still...but yeah, they're out LOOOL let's be real. This means it is finally time for our first eulogy. The SJW fiends on here will be on my ass if I dare label someone as a "dogshit loser," so I'm going to be trying a bit of a different format for this post, especially because I already wrote about this team in the aforementioned mids PRs last week.



Anyway, let's begin. The Tigers season started out much as it always does, with tennisace returning to the managing throne and pretty much the entire community expecting nothing from them. The Tigers had two retains: MajorBowman and Gama. The Bowman retain was seen as a bit surprising by many people I talked to; most people seemed to feel that this move was a sign that tennisace and his staff were out of touch with the community; Bowman isn't the super hot commodity he was a few tours ago, and the individual the masses pegged as the best Doubles player, SMB, only went for 10.5k. This notion was reinforced with Bowman's 6th place ranking in the PRs, further evidence that management most certainly threw away a few thousand dollars by investing in this retain; there most likely isn't a universe where Bowman would have exceeded 11.5k. The Gama retain was a bit controversial as well; people have always been pretty polarized by him, with various factions such as the jerk calling him an overrated clicker while countless other individuals respect his sheet record and think that he's pretty solid. That being said, he had a poor World Cup, and no matter how good you thought Gama was, it seems a bit far-fetched that he would exceed 21k in price. I assume that he was integral in the planning and execution of the draft due to his status as a seemingly life-long Tiger, so I suppose that factored into the decision as well. Overall, the Tigers almost assuredly wasted some money on these retains, since it is pretty unlikely that these two players would have gone for over 32.5k combined in the auction; I suppose the draft planning factor complicates this assessment a bit for Gama, but at the very least, MajorBowman could have easily been bought in the auction for a lesser amount.

The Tigers started out the draft VERY strong, picking up arguably the best player of all time in McMeghan for a measly 27k. Considering how absurdly dominant he had been in the past calendar year as well as the ridiculous sums of money countless inferior individuals were purchased for later in the draft, McM could pretty easily be labeled as a "steal." Part of that was due to the fact that he signed up only for GSC; however, he was soon forced to flex out of that after the Tigers' displayed virtually no competence in ADV. They also managed to pick up Osh for 6.5k, who was widely considered to be one of the best LC players, except by the LC circlejerk who he pissed off at an earlier date. Getting Luigi for 3k was also a nice addition; he won Smogon Tour not too long ago, and just off of that, he clearly had enough skill to do pretty well in a pitiful ORAS pool. The rest of the draft was pretty uninspiring. Perhaps the biggest risk taken by the team was drafting dekzeh, an ADV legend, for 17k; we all know about the crust rule by now, and even though the ADV player pool was quite disastrous, spending this much on someone who could easily have been washed was a pretty bold choice. There was definitely upside with the selection, though. Another head-scratching move to me was the selection of robjr for 12k; he's proven himself in lower tiers, but his adventures in OU on the big stage have left much to be desired. He seemed pretty overpriced, at least to me.

After the draft, the Tigers were lumped into the group of teams outside of the community's "big 3" (Tyrants / Wolfpack / Sharks) that the majority of individuals reasonably felt had a chance to make the playoffs. Many individuals pegged them as a sleeper playoff contender; their 4th place finish in the official PRs supports this notion. I put them at 6th in my PRs, not really due to their skill, but mainly due to the underwhelming nature of majority of teams in this year's SPL. My initial take on this team was the following: "Overall, this team isn’t awful, but definitely isn’t good either." No matter who you ask, I think it's pretty fair to say that the Tigers fell short of almost everyone's expectations, essentially being delivered the knockout blow by the Tyrants this week. This franchise usually remains competitive till the end of the regular season, often finishing between 5th and 7th. I suppose that's still possible, but it's a pretty uphill climb from here.

The reasons for their failure are honestly pretty easy to analyze. Gama has put up a 2-4 record so far, making his 21k retain one of the worst in the tournament up to this point. Roro was pretty unlucky the first two weeks, so he has only managed to go even so far. None of their players besides Bowman, Luigi, and Osh have really done anything noteworthy up to this point, as the majority of their slots have struggled mightily. The aforementioned robjr purchase also came back to bite the Tigers, as he struggled mightily and put up a sorry 1-3 record. The biggest culprit of their early demise has to be dekzeh, though. I spoke earlier about his 17k price tag being a bit absurd, and how the Tigers were taking a major gamble by investing so much in him. Well, he flopped spectacularly, once again proving that the crust rule should never be scoffed at. This move could have been even more dire for the Tigers if they didn't have the ability to flex Roro into ADV; Zokuru miraculously turned into some type of GSC demi-god to save the slot vacated by Roro as well. The team has also put up a pathetic 3-9 record up to this point in the two variance tiers, despite investing 16k in both slots combined; when the majority of your team isn't performing, you really need the clowns on your team to pull through in the variance madhouse slots to get your team some points. Unfortunately, Vay, who I thought was pretty overhyped going into this tournament, floundered in his second time on the big stage, going 1-5 and really costing his team dearly. Kaz also underperformed with a 2-4 record in RBY. The Tigers actually managed to tie three separate weeks and lost 5-7 to the BIGs; if a couple of the variance tiers swung their way in these matchups, they would still be in the midst of the playoff hunt.

Overall, the Tigers committed three cardinal sins:

1. They had at least one sub-optimal retain, depending on how you feel about Gama. That one is definitely more justifiable, though
2. They drafted a crust player for 17k
3. They spent 16k combined on the variance tiers (this isn't an ABSURD amount, but it's not ideal, either)

These three poor economic decisions coupled with many of their players struggling mightily led to a pretty early exit for tennisace, probably the earliest one of his uh...storied??...11-year run with the team. If there's one positive thing to take away from this season, though, it's that some things, in fact, do change. I was wholly expecting the Tigers to use their midseason money to pick up another crust player in Veteran in Love, who has displayed absolutely 0 ability to succeed on the big stage in the past few years. The Tigers of old would have jumped on the opportunity to add such a legendary veteran to their roster. However, they averted even more disaster and exceeded my expectations when they used the funds to pick up Eeveeto and Kebab mlml instead. And, remember guys, with the assistance of the biggest cheating device in the history of this site, this team DID MANAGE to take home the coveted trophy a few years ago; that's more than some meme franchises like the Cryonicles can say. So, overall, this was a sad end to a rather average-ish draft; I'm sure a lot of the gang including Roro will be returning to this franchise next year, where they'll once again be eliminated before the playoffs.
 
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as another sideline dude i have to say charmflash was great last spl and i feel sorry for him that he doesnt have the passion for the game anymore. another big loss playing wise after the lavos drama imho. idk enough about the community to evaluate the situation properly but the general tone seems pretty harsh everywhere around here afai can tell. that being said i enjoy watching yall play more than making memes about *choking on dicks* and else
 
"Fortunate" doesn't begin to describe my series, this game rewards absolute skill and nothing else, I am beyond convinced at this point. After getting treated completely perfectly by scheduling with my opponent sticking to their scheduled time and providing confirmation prior to the day of the match as to play times, winning this way somehow felt even better than I had thought possible. My preparation was superior, my play was superior, and I won, so I see a multitude of reasons to continue engaging in an activity where what is out of my control is overwhelmingly outweighed by what is within it.

I am not done with competitive Pokemon, but if I was you would get a fond farewell. This community is strengthened to its roots with a passion that grows stronger over time but stops short of elevating its host into a higher plane of existence. Tournaments have a competitive spirit at their heart, this has been maintained and bolstered with a system of brotherhood that feeds on kindness and support from confident men that want each other to succeed and help others out when they need it. The environment we fostered has supported us all like this, and leaving it would mean giving up a place where you can just be yourself, a place where even in the insignificance of our world we can find meaning. I would make this the end, but World Cup is still ongoing, and I would never leave so many great friends out to dry, so I'll enjoy the rest of the season with them before moving on to future endeavors.

One last thing before I leave you all to react with benevolence, support, and empathy, before you do everything in your power to maximize my words and thoughts, hold them out and share them with anyone you may meet, and hope they spread across the world to help us view each other as human. From this moment on, the things you say matter to me. I know there is likely tons of support waiting for me, and you may think it is insignificant but trust me, everything you say counts. I wouldn't have gotten here in the first place if you guys hadn't been supporting me this whole way. You are more than anything you can conceive, don't ever forget that.
 
YAHALLO!!! The BIGs narrowly managed to avoid elimination this week, but the Scooters were not so lucky. Welcome to the second eulogy of the season.

The Indie Scooters are a historic SPL franchise. They won the first ever iteration of this tournament, after all. Since then, though, the team has struggled to find any consistent success. The past decade of the franchise's history is littered with countless examples of failure. The bro fist / CBB / BKC / Jirachee era Scooters failed to really accomplish anything remotely impressive, up until SPL VIII that is. The SPL VIII team made the finals, and was one untimely Ice Beam away from taking home the trophy against Smogon's most infamous cheater, Mazar. The success wouldn't last, however, as obii made a mockery of the team in SPL 9. He had no choice but to stop down after such a disgraceful performance. This, of course, leads us to where we are now: the FlamingVictini era. The team overperformed in SPL X, reaching the semifinals and almost toppling the eventual champion Ruiners, despite a host of naysayers criticizing their draft at every opportunity. This year, however, they would not be so lucky. Instead of a spot in the playoffs, the Scooters find themselves as the subjects of the second eulogy of SPL XI.



The Scooters' sole retain this season was Lopunny Kicks. A noted spreadsheet warrior, grabbing the #8 ranked SS OUer in the Power Rankings for only 10k seemed like a no-brainer move. I'd assume that they would have retained FMG as well had he not signed up to manage. With their one valuable retain in hand, the team looked to be in prime position to make some waves in SPL XI.

The team's first big purchase in the draft was Fear, who went for an astronomical 26k. You all know my stance on Fear. I think he's a good player, and was pretty easily the 2nd best GSCer in this pool in my eyes. However, he undeniably gets more than his fair share of luck, and I don't think he's skilled enough to be worth 26k, especially when he's not helping his teammates as much as say, BKC. It was a justifiable move in the eyes of pretty much everyone else in the community, though, so I can't really hate on it too much, I suppose. The next move was even more crazy to me; the team purchased zf for 20.5k. I know he's hyped and all, but this seemed like a pretty big overpay to me. He was only ranked 4th in the BW OU Power Rankings; although, I suppose the people ranked above him cost a bit more than him as well. He's had some nice ADV performances in the past as well, so maybe his flexibility had something to do with his inflated price tag. Nonetheless, I wasn't too confident in his ability to live up to it. The team also took a risk on Jayde, drafting him for 16k in SS OU despite his lengthy hiatus from the scene. Management must have really bought into the whole strong era / weak era memes. I thought Jayde would do pretty well, but 16k seemed like a bit much considering that he didn't sign up for BW OU. Perhaps his talent in that tier factored into his price tag.

The team's other two relatively big buys were ZoroClick and Bedschibaer. I've always thought Zoro was a bit above average, so getting him for 10k was solid in my eyes. Beds was also 10k, and that seemed like a bit much to me. He's had some nice RBY performances in the past, but, as we all know, spending 10k on RBY is not a good idea. Beds was also only ranked 6th in the Power Rankings. He's also shown the ability to play GSC in the past. He's worse in that tier than in RBY, though, and 10k for his GSC talents also seems like a massive overpay. The rest of the team was rather uninspiring, as the team filled the remaining slots with a bunch of filler characters. The exception to this would be Odin, who the team snagged for only 3k. I thought he could easily go positive against this putrid ADV field, and figured he had a pretty good shot of being one of the steals of the draft.

Overall, the team's big investments were relatively risky, and I thought they could have allocated some of these funds better in order to create better roster. That being said, due to the overall lack of talent in this SPL, the Scooters found themselves grouped in with the teams below my "big 3" (Tyrants / Cryos / Wolfpack), and ended up at #5 in my rankings; they were also ranked #6 in the official Power Rankings. My general thoughts on the team were the following: "This team will be relying heavily on its OU core to pull through. It’s not a terrible team, and they could be in position to challenge for a playoff spot if their SS OU players have really good seasons."

Well, unfortunately, the condition for their success was not fulfilled. The SS OU core did not reach their lofty ceiling. Lopunny Kicks struggled on his way to a 3-4 record. The weak era proved to be a bit too much for Jayde as well, as he started 0-3 before getting his first win; he currently sports a poor 2-4 record. The team also decided to start talah in SS OU...which, to absolutely no one's surprise, was a disastrous decision. Shocker. ZoroDark also didn't do well, only playing 5 games and putting up a 2-3 record up to this point. zf also underperformed, only managing to go 3-4 and vindicating the notion that his 20.5k price tag was excessive. Bedschibaer currently has a decent 4-3 record; I suppose that's solid for 10k, but I still would have preferred if they spent that money elsewhere.

The team did have some bright spots, though. Fear currently sports an undefeated 7-0 record; he's played pretty well this tour. His record is definitely inflated due to luck, but either way, he has performed well this tournament as a whole and lived up to his lofty price tag. The real star of the show, though, is CyberOdin, who managed to put forth a ridiculous performance this SPL. He's currently 6-1, and is arguably the steal of the draft. These two players combined for a 13-1 record; unfortunately, the remaining members of this roster weren't anywhere near talented enough to help the Scooters stave off elimination.

The team's ORAS and DPP slots were a disaster. Adri and Quaze only managed to go 2-5 in ORAS, and the duo of Honor and Kevin Garrett went a combined 2-5 in DPP. The fact that the team had to turn to Kevin Garrett in 2020 pretty much says all you need to know, honestly. It's also pretty unsurprising to see the ORAS slots falter considering both of those players were pretty unproven and have not established themselves as viable players on the big stage. The real killers of the team, though, were the LC and Doubles slots, which pretty much canceled out all wins Fear and Odin brought to the table. tazz and Memoric both underperformed heavily, with the duo only combining for 2 wins in the span of 7 weeks; zf also lost in his lone LC experience. The pre-Snake tazz hype seems absolutely ridiculous at this point. Mathematically, it makes perfect sense why this team was eliminated so early. They were hard carried by two players, but they also had two slots combine for 12 losses to basically offset all of those wins. With their other big purchases underperforming as well, the team simply lacked the talent to find any measure of success this year.

Overall, the Scooters' downfall can be attributed to three major factors:

1. They took some pretty big risks with the big names in their draft. Getting zf + Jayde (for SS OU) for 36.5k is a major gamble, and the team really didn't have any value besides Odin to make up for it.

2. They spent 15.5k on DPP + RBY (This, once again, isn't TOO bad. However, it's definitely not ideal, especially because they almost assuredly overpaid for Bedschibaer)

3. They started a non-Asta / Fear / roudolf Greek player...FOR 6 GAMES. The outcome of this decision was so blatantly obvious that it has to be mentioned.

The team also struggled with activity this week, where both Jayde and ZoroDark had to be subbed out for lesser players in starry and talah. Considering the fact that the team managed to the tie the week despite both slots going 0-2, it's very conceivable that the Scooters would still be alive had those players showed up. Like...imagine rolling up to a must-win week against one of the best teams in SPL with these three fodder slots:



Overall, the Scooters underperformed relative to their projections. They were never going to be anything close to a world-beater, but they did have some nice pieces, and if their OU players reached their lofty ceilings, the team could have very easily made the playoffs. The team also had arguably the biggest steal of the draft in CyberOdin; when one of your 3k players goes 6-1, it should be pretty hard for your team to be eliminated in Week 7. However, the Scooters simply lacked the talent to back up the performances of Odin and Fear. It's unclear how the rest of the FlamingVictini era will progress; he did manage to draft a playoff-caliber team last year, after all. The past decade of the Scooters' franchise has been a pretty dark one, though, so it's fair to wonder whether they'll ever be able to lift the coveted trophy again.
 
Do you think you're an expert on the SPL rosters?

https://www.sporcle.com/games/darkravenn12/bigs-roster

Test your knowledge here, by seeing how many members of the legendary 27-man BIGS roster (including managers) you can recall in 2 minutes.
High score is currently 26 by TonyFlygon and, to LITERALLY NO ONE'S SURPRISE, Finchinator.
edit: luthier and tace got 27.

Well bros. You have had 7 weeks to get to know this team. Now then, can any of you pass the updated quiz?

https://www.sporcle.com/games/darkravenn12/can-you-name-all-bigs-roster-members

This quiz features every individual who has been a part of the BIGs roster this season, and not just people who are currently on it. Good luck! If you can get all 33, I'll be pretty damn impressed.
 
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