SPL XII - Commencement Thread

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With Tama's victory over ToF (1-5 vs Classiest at the time of this writing) our playoff chances are officially gone and our season is over. I want to make sure to sincerely thank the vast majority of my team, most of whom put in a very high level of effort, tested a ton, were very positive contributors and I sincerely enjoyed teaming with. I don't want to do one by one shoutouts because it'll just come off as a callout for the one or two people I don't have a glowing review about, but a couple of you guys were seriously among the very best teammates I've ever had in 10+ years of mons. I also want to specifically thank BluBirD252 roudolf13 SFG who were not officially "on the team" but were with us and helping us out the whole way. BluBird put in more time and effort than 95% of players in this tournament and deserves to get picked for every side tour ever going forward- he's a huge asset.

This finish is obviously not what any of us were hoping for our expecting. I, and the power rankings, thought I drafted a strong squad that was going to be in the playoff mix. We absolutely underperformed relative to our talent level and frankly, just as coaches yell at players about turnovers being a killer in (American) football, we simply had too many giveaways to deserve a playoff spot. We had, conservatively, at least half a dozen outright won games where for whatever reason we simply choked in the final couple turns and gave it away. If we cut that number in half, nevermind outright eliminate them, we'd be in a very different place right now. More than anything else, uncharacteristic chokes really plagued and doomed us this year.

Believe it or not, even with the pre-tour drama surrounding me managing, even with our terrible start, even with some of the chokes, even with some historically really good players clearly underperforming this SPL, our team environment was actually really really good from start to finish. There are really a lot of positives and things that make me happy that I'll take away from this. I'm sincerely proud of my team for battling all the way back from a terrible 0-2-1 start to a position where we're in legitimate mathematical playoff contention in the final week. I'm proud of the half dozen guys on the team who were putting in 50+ test games every single week no matter what and were always a positive presence in the chat. I'm proud of the willingness of almost everybody to move to a different tier or do whatever we asked them to do if we thought it was best for the team. I'm proud that our team environment never soured or became toxic through all the nonsense. I definitely learned a few things from this experience that will absolutely help me grow and improve as a manager as a human being going forward. I'm sincerely appreciative for opportunity to have this experience and by and large I really liked and really enjoyed the guys on our squad. Thank you, sincerely, for taking this ride with me. I also want to specifically thank BKC, who had my back start to finish and fought for me to be able to manage this tour.

My biggest piece of (constructive) criticism for this tour going forward is as follows- In the same vein as the Ojama incident last year, I think way more still needs to be done regarding players only being willing to put in what would be considered a fair and reasonable level of effort if they land on a specific team. I thought with this being SPL- the big, ultra-prestigious tournament that everybody puts soooo much emphasis on and cares about soooo much- that this would more or less not be an issue save one or two unsavory personalities. It was a rude awakening for me that this was very much not the case. Pre auction, Lax told me "it would be a pretty terrible situation" if he were to end up on our team and he even messaged me on SmogTours mid-auction while I was bidding on him with some spam message and exclamation points making it clear he did not want me to continue bidding on him/he didn't want to play for me. FlamingVictini told me pre-auction "I'm not sure what my level of motivation will be" and "I certainly would not be any more motivated on the Tigers". I found out for the first time with the pre-tour drama that apparently EO really dislikes me and has a huge problem with me and he made himself completely unavailable to talk to (turning off Smogon DMs and Discord messages and making himself entirely unreachable) so attempting to patch things up or even have a conversation was impossible. And then, two players who I actually did purchase, Dice and Watashi, definitely fell into this camp as well. Watashi refused to test whatsoever, even a single game, said next to nothing in the chat, clearly half-assed it in the games and gave zero Fs and then started trying when we traded him to Ruiners. When I politely and calmly asked him how I can help him/where I can slot him moving forward, he responded as follows- "Is this your first time teaming with me?". Me "Yes". Him- "Well I don't put effort into any Pokemon tour so that's that". And in Dice's case he was outright MIA for two of his matches, getting us (what would have been) two activity losses while also outright refusing to test all tour long. Something tells me if he had landed on a team with ABR or someone he likes and values highly his behavior would have been noticeably different.

Although none of the players above explicitly said "I will not play for you" or "I refuse to play for you", they all managed to convey that message very clearly without being stupid enough to outright say those specific words. In at least a couple of these cases it should be crystal clear that the behavior of these players was in violation of the rules. Players who openly admit they don't care/aren't trying/won't try or who randomly don't show up for their matches because they don't care or who refuse to test or put in any effort at all should not be allowed to play in this tournament. It can, and does, ruin the tournament for an entire team. For the fairness and integrity of the tournament, more absolutely needs to be done to enforce the "any and all players are expected to put forward a certain level of effort for any team they get purchased by" portion of the rules. This behavior exists because we, as a community, allow it to. People do this because a blind eye is turned to it and they know there are no repercussions. If we truly value the fairness and integrity of this tour, and if the rules here actually mean anything, a pretty serious crackdown needs to take place here.

One more time, thank you sincerely to the vast majority of my team for making this as positive of an experience as it was ever going to be all things considered and thank you for the opportunity to be a manager in this tournament. Maybe just maybe I can get another shot, minus the pre-tour distractions and drama, next year?
 

Eo Ut Mortus

Elodin Smells
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I found out for the first time with the pre-tour drama that apparently EO really dislikes me and has a huge problem with me and he made himself completely unavailable to talk to (turning off Smogon DMs and Discord messages and making himself entirely unreachable) so attempting to patch things up or even have a conversation was impossible.
I just want to clarify (and you can ask almost anyone this) that I blocked PMs to everyone, lol...
 
My biggest piece of (constructive) criticism for this tour going forward is as follows- In the same vein as the Ojama incident last year, I think way more still needs to be done regarding players only being willing to put in what would be considered a fair and reasonable level of effort if they land on a specific team. I thought with this being SPL- the big, ultra-prestigious tournament that everybody puts soooo much emphasis on and cares about soooo much- that this would more or less not be an issue save one or two unsavory personalities. It was a rude awakening for me that this was very much not the case. Pre auction, Lax told me "it would be a pretty terrible situation" if he were to end up on our team and he even messaged me on SmogTours mid-auction while I was bidding on him with some spam message and exclamation points making it clear he did not want me to continue bidding on him/he didn't want to play for me. FlamingVictini told me pre-auction "I'm not sure what my level of motivation will be" and "I certainly would not be any more motivated on the Tigers". I found out for the first time with the pre-tour drama that apparently EO really dislikes me and has a huge problem with me and he made himself completely unavailable to talk to (turning off Smogon DMs and Discord messages and making himself entirely unreachable) so attempting to patch things up or even have a conversation was impossible. And then, two players who I actually did purchase, Dice and Watashi, definitely fell into this camp as well. Watashi refused to test whatsoever, even a single game, said next to nothing in the chat, clearly half-assed it in the games and gave zero Fs and then started trying when we traded him to Ruiners. When I politely and calmly asked him how I can help him/where I can slot him moving forward, he responded as follows- "Is this your first time teaming with me?". Me "Yes". Him- "Well I don't put effort into any Pokemon tour so that's that". And in Dice's case he was outright MIA for two of his matches, getting us (what would have been) two activity losses while also outright refusing to test all tour long. Something tells me if he had landed on a team with ABR or someone he likes and values highly his behavior would have been noticeably different.

Although none of the players above explicitly said "I will not play for you" or "I refuse to play for you", they all managed to convey that message very clearly without being stupid enough to outright say those specific words. In at least a couple of these cases it should be crystal clear that the behavior of these players was in violation of the rules. Players who openly admit they don't care/aren't trying/won't try or who randomly don't show up for their matches because they don't care or who refuse to test or put in any effort at all should not be allowed to play in this tournament. It can, and does, ruin the tournament for an entire team. For the fairness and integrity of the tournament, more absolutely needs to be done to enforce the "any and all players are expected to put forward a certain level of effort for any team they get purchased by" portion of the rules. This behavior exists because we, as a community, allow it to. People do this because a blind eye is turned to it and they know there are no repercussions. If we truly value the fairness and integrity of this tour, and if the rules here actually mean anything, a pretty serious crackdown needs to take place here.
your expectations are unreasonable and frankly ridiculous.

you cannot change the rules in such a way to require x amount of activity or x amount of tests or whatever from players. it is your job as a manager to motivate your players. it is also your job to draft players who will be motivated to play for you. lax and FV clearly would have still played for you. would they have been less motivated? maybe. does that matter? no, not at all. you need to be realistic about your expectations and draft players that will work well with you and your team environment. if people do not like you, they obviously will not be motivated to play for you, and trying to make rules that would force them to do so is ridiculous and stupid. we already have rules requiring players to put in the bare minimum effort, but saying to players "you have to be happy on your team and do this and that" when they get drafted by an annoying manager or onto a team with people they dislike? come on man.

i can understand where you're coming from, at least. i'm obviously a controversial and annoying figure on here in my own right, and i do have some managing experience. it can suck to see certain players flourish under one manager and then suck ass when you get them, but the reality is that part of being a good manager is developing these connections with the playerbase. you need to both prove yourself as a competent manager who can get your players to victory (you haven't) and as someone who isn't annoying / insufferable to deal with (you haven't). there's a reason tonyflygon's former players have a weird loyalty towards him: he's proven to be a successful manager and he's a generally likeable and cool guy. on the flipside, there's a reason why players pray they don't land on certain teams managed by annoying people with unreasonable expectations.

also expecting a certain amount of tests is fucking ridiculous given some of the best players on this website don't test regularly. i had dice for wcop and he literally played 4 SS OU games the whole tour: his 4 tournament games. i don't see this as a bad thing at all because every player is different. you need to understand this and adapt your managing style to what works best for them. this is why your idea of "cracking down" is foolish: every player, ever team environment, and every manager is different and has different ideas and expectations about what works best.

if you do manage again in the future, instead of trying to change the rules to force people who don't like you to give it their best effort, maybe just draft people who respect you. yes, this is a lot harder for you than it is for others. if you don't like that, try to develop a better reputation for yourself. if you don't want to do that, don't complain.
 
The fact that multiple people have responded to my post defending players who refuse to test and/or openly state that they don't care/won't put effort in is exactly the problem. This behavior is literally against the rules. It is in direct contradiction to the "players are expected to put in a reasonable level of effort on any team that drafts them". We specifically have rules in place for this. Why are we defending this?
 

Finchinator

Harry's House
is a Tournament Directoris a Top Social Media Contributoris a Community Leaderis a Community Contributoris a Live Chat Contributoris a Top Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Top Smogon Media Contributoris a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnusis a Past WCoP Championis a former Tournament Circuit Champion
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How you define a "reasonable level of effort" and how someone else does may be different. We all have different situations and that has to be respected.

I understand your grievances and I think people should be willing to put in the same effort for each team, but if someone schedules and plays their games, then you cannot ask for much more.
 

peng

fuck xatu
is a Community Contributoris a Forum Moderator Alumnus
Turns out a famously tryhard manager who almost didn’t get picked because he previously tried to use irl contacts to get in touch with players has high / inappropriate expectations for his team

colour me shocked
 
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