SPL XIII - Commencement Thread

Ticken

Lotad & Bulbasaur Enthusiast
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Welcome to the thirteenth 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!

This year's SPL will be hosted by august, Merritt, and Ticken

A reminder of rulings that hold true for this edition, 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. Players may not be traded at any point (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.
This year's managers will be:

Alpha Ruiners - FlamingVictini + shiloh
Circus Maximus Tigers - CALLOUS + Bushtush
Congregation of the Classiest - d0nut + FMG
Cryonicles - Triangles + Gingy
Dragonspiral Tyrants - reyscarface + PDC
Ever Grande BIGS - Stone_Cold + TPP
Indie Scooters - McMeghan + Excal
Stark Sharks - TDK + obii
Team Raiders - Raiza + Tricking
Wi-Fi Wolfpack - TonyFlygon + BKC

Assigned teams and draft order will be announced at a later time.

Player sign-ups will go up at the same time as or shortly after this commencement thread 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 for the entire tournament, 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
  • 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 by the time player signups close.
• 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.
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.

During the first four weeks of SPL, players are only allowed to play in the tiers listed in their signups post. We will not be enforcing this rule for anyone with a price tag of 3k.

The sign-up list will then be taken and sorted into appropriate lists for each of the 8 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 or utilized bot will provide a 5 second warning before bidding is closed on a player. The updated credit totals will then be posted and then the next manager in the rotation will be prompted to nominate a player.

Managers are advised that placed bids are final, and we will generally not permit an undo in the case of a mistake. Exceptions can be made in cases where a team nominates an incorrect player or if a typo in a bid amount would threaten the integrity of the team as a whole. Please make sure to double check your bids before sending them!

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 10 starters and a minimum of 4 substitutes, with a maximum of 10 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 may be beneficial to save some credits in order to pick up players midseason, but remember that no new players will be allowed to sign up for the midseason draft.
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 primary 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 a currently slotted 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 SS 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. There will be no trades allowed at any point during SPL.

3. 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. Please be certain to review the guidelines for a favorable judgement in an activity decision. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

Up until week 4 managers will have the opportunity to report players that they believe are not meeting minimum activity requirements and/or sabotaging their team 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 guilty of one or both, the team will be allowed to sell them back. Reports made on team quitters after the end of Week 4 will not be evaluated until the conclusion of the tournament, with the exception of cases of cheating or team leaking/sabotage. A user merely being forum banned or tournament banned is NOT grounds for a sellback.

If a player is sold back, their team obtains 3k of their value as credits to be used in the midseason 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 credits 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.

League Stages & Playoffs

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 10 battles, the team with more wins will advance to finals.

In the case of a tie in playoffs, the advancing team will be decided by a best of three - each team picks a unique tier with the higher seed picking second, then SS 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 XIII, which means:
  • Managers can hold official tryouts
  • Managers can inform hosts 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 XIII.)
Here's to a fantastic season!
 

Amaranth

is a Tournament Directoris a Site Content Manageris a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Past SPL Champion
Moderator
hello my good friends the managers, here are some spicy less known rby pickups i recommend for your team (if they sign up). they are not the only promising up and comers but they are the ones i personally rate the highest based on what I've seen from them throughout 2021

spies has been grinding like an animal and leveled up SO much since the 3-8 last year, top 8 in global championship / 2nd in summer ssnl / top 8 in invitational / 1st in rby cup is a super impressive year of individuals and he is a much much better player today than he showed last spl, he should be rated very highly, dont fucking sleep on him he is insane

chuva de perereca has been his testing partner and he has also greatly benefitted from grinding a shit ton of games with a player like spies; if I had to gamble on a probable 3k he would be my first pick, he had solid individual results this year (4th winter ssnl + top 16 gc + top 6 summer ssnl) and while arguably he's a bit of a gamble he is definitely one worth taking for my marbles, he absolutely passes the eye test and while not yet a top player i think he'd be ready and do decent

Kenix plays like every tier but if you find money for him in RBY he's comfortably worth it, the guy just fucking plays well, and he's a rare potential rby that can actually flex into other tiers and offer support. price might be inflated compared to other RBYs due to this flexibility so make sure you're building a team that can use his full range of skills if you do draft him

Khaetis got 2nd place in GC and a bunch of mixed results after that, I think his ceiling is crazy high and the GC result proves it but he might be a little bit raw for now - if it's not this year it will be one of the next in any case, super high potential in this guy and I think he could step up to the challenge if picked up but it might be a bit of a risk

Frrf is pretty similar, 2021 was the first year where he really started closing in on the top ranks, I think IF you can get him motivated and happy to grind he will put up great performances but a lot depends on his mindset because I know he goes through streaks where he doesn't love the game too much sometimes, talk to him and find out

Maya Chansey played a bunch on PP and was okay some years ago, then seemingly went into hiding, then came back this year to play exclusively RBY Cup and sniped a 2nd place. is it a fluke or not? hard to say, i lean 30% fluke 70% actually good, not a lot of data points though
 
I can't believe there's been no public backlash towards Triangles being made a manager. Last year for PPL I was off discord for just under an hour as the queues in ALDI were long, and he sent a carrier pigeon to my underage sister asking for my work fax and pager numbers. Quite frankly I find this disturbing and urge the TDs to rethink their decisions.
 

xray

how u doin'?
is a Forum Moderatoris a Tiering Contributor
Moderator
hello my good friends the managers, here are some spicy less known oras pickups i recommend for your team (if they sign up). they are not the only promising up and comers but they are the ones i personally rate the highest based on what I've seen from them throughout 2021
Gefährlicher Random has been grinding like an animal and leveled up SO much since the 3-8 last year, top 8 in global championship / 2nd in summer ssnl / top 8 in invitational / 1st in rby cup is a super impressive year of individuals and he is a much much better player today than he showed last spl, he should be rated very highly, dont fucking sleep on him he is insane

Gefährlicher Random has been his testing partner and he has also greatly benefitted from grinding a shit ton of games with a player like spies; if I had to gamble on a probable 3k he would be my first pick, he had solid individual results this year (4th winter ssnl + top 16 gc + top 6 summer ssnl) and while arguably he's a bit of a gamble he is definitely one worth taking for my marbles, he absolutely passes the eye test and while not yet a top player i think he'd be ready and do decent

Gefährlicher Random plays like every tier but if you find money for him in RBY he's comfortably worth it, the guy just fucking plays well, and he's a rare potential rby that can actually flex into other tiers and offer support. price might be inflated compared to other RBYs due to this flexibility so make sure you're building a team that can use his full range of skills if you do draft him

Gefährlicher Random got 2nd place in GC and a bunch of mixed results after that, I think his ceiling is crazy high and the GC result proves it but he might be a little bit raw for now - if it's not this year it will be one of the next in any case, super high potential in this guy and I think he could step up to the challenge if picked up but it might be a bit of a risk

Gefährlicher Random is pretty similar, 2021 was the first year where he really started closing in on the top ranks, I think IF you can get him motivated and happy to grind he will put up great performances but a lot depends on his mindset because I know he goes through streaks where he doesn't love the game too much sometimes, talk to him and find out

Gefährlicher Random played a bunch on PP and was okay some years ago, then seemingly went into hiding, then came back this year to play exclusively RBY Cup and sniped a 2nd place. is it a fluke or not? hard to say, i lean 30% fluke 70% actually good, not a lot of data points though
 
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Stone_Cold

Be it a stone or grain of sand, in water they sink
is a Top Tutor Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnusis a defending SCL Championis a defending World Cup of Pokemon Championis a Four-Time Past WCoP Champion
Do NOT buy the Excal hype. He has catfished this community long enough. I urge Felix to reject his retain as everyone who surrounds Excal becomes worse.

  1. BIGS ace manager Stone Cold? Bottom tier finish - has won 2 managing tournaments since escaping his wrath
  2. BIGS ace Roro? Expected 7-2, underperformed at 5-4 (how he was convinced to assman this atrocious being is beyond my scope)
  3. BIGS ace Insult? Has never underperformed, except on the Excal managed BIGS
  4. BIGS ace Storm Zone? 2 wins in SCL
  5. God Tony chan? Didnt even make playoffs. Unheard of for this manager phenom
  6. Gama? 2-7 spl into Bea slayer scl champion

PEOPLE OF SMOGON, DO NOT ACCEPT THE BAIT AND SWITCH!
 
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good afternoon

THIS IS NOT A JOKE POST!!

if you are interested in playing for the sharks this spl, and have a background in computer science (c++ / matlab preferred) please pm me (and include your gpa). i will be resuming school in the spring and am looking for ppl who can help me with my homework.
 

Vileman

Work is never over
is a Tournament Directoris a Forum Moderatoris a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis the defending ORAS Circuit Champion
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glhf everyone
quick heads up that i won't be active at all first two weeks of february due to travelling. Please keep this in mind if you draft me ty! If you have any questions just pm on discord Vileman#8321
 
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Hello all!

I am here to talk about my availability for this upcoming SPL season. As it is not clear to me when this season actually starts i dont know for sure if I'll be available to play during the first couple weeks.
As it stands I will be unavailable for an extended period of time starting from December 2nd. The earliest that I will be back is January 10th. I won't be able to communicate at all during this period (meaning no i wont be online on Discord/Smogon!). This is just a heads up for everyone interested. If there is anything you need to know please contact me before December 2nd via Discord/Smogon PM. Thanks!

On another tangent I can't really promise to be a beacon of activity. If i am available (meaning after Jan 10th!) i will do my utmost to get my games done but I might be hard pressed to support a team aside from that. The last couple years have shown me that I just dont have the amount of free time anymore to extensively participate in a team tournament and support a lot of other players. I'd like to but my time is quite limited and other stuff takes precedence for now.

I wish all of you lovely holidays and a successful SPL run! Enjoy yourself to the fullest.
 
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Hello all managers, upon careful review of the past 3 SPLs, I have noted IMMENSE! growth of the duo of myself and finchinator as teammates:

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After discussion with both my personal accountant and therapist, we have determined that purchasing the two of us together this year will likely only yield a result of semis tiebreak or losing in finals... but retain us both for about 3 or 4 more years in a row and the math GUARANTEES a win.
 

McMeghan

Dreamcatcher
is a Forum Moderatoris a Tournament Director Alumnusis a Top Tiering Contributor Alumnusis an Administrator Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnusis the 5th Smogon Classic Winneris the Smogon Tour Season 14 Championis a Past SPL Champion
Moderator
resuming the deleted thread:

What's more annoying BKC : nebs, cif or the strap? am i forgetting anything? were you genuinely mad? im curious as to why if that was the case.

Also reyscarface the tyrants arent emitting chad energy anymore with all that pricefixing; you know that didn't stop the BIGs in the past either.

How did FV get a team as a manager when he regulary couldn't fit playing one game per week for years?
 

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