the elephant in the SPL room

okay, let's be clear: there has to be a mechanism to pushback against such silliness.

do i really have to point out why shit like this is ridiculous? i'm not going to promote any certain rule that will be argued endlessly. i just want to focus on the sole issue here: a player directly stated he wouldn't join a team's discord and, even if he eventually did, would obviously not put the same amount of effort in as usual.

of course there always will be social capital and ~gaming the system~ when it comes to drafting. ojama's price was only 23k because he's deemed a volatile pick anyway. that being said: we need to have a way to negate lopsided trades which unfairly skew the spl teams. it's evident that tyrants are tossing 4 dgafs for an elite player that WILL try to a much greater degree, no matter how you try to slice it.

i'm not here to argue semantics. this is tantamount to some degree of cancering, even if it wasn't explicit. and i know everyone tries harder/less depending on their team. but this is an extreme degree which impacts the entire landscape of the tournament, buffing one team tremendously to the detriment of everyone else.

yes, tyrants are not at fault. they are making use of their resources.

yes, manager votes are wack because you can rally against winning/losing teams and ~game the system~. i understand why they shouldn't be a thing. but since that has been removed, we've lost power in collectively handling weird cases like this. surely we can do something about such an egregious smear on the competitiveness of this tour already.
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addendum, because i feel like my initial post didn't make this clear: just because ojama of an elite caliber DOESN'T mean we should judge his actions more harshly in terms of ~cancering~. that is an unfair pressure to place on better players. i am not advocating for an ojama ban. i do not think what he did was proper, obviously, but that is for the td's to decide.

I AM ARGUING FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF TOUR LANDSCAPE AND IMPACT. we can believe two things at once: yes, ojama is skirting the lane of cancering, but even if it is deemed ~not explicit cancer~, he is still impacting the tournament irreparably and harming the competitiveness for 8 other teams.


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This whole situation is the basically the definition of cancering.

By signing up to play SPL you are agreeing to play for any team that will buy you in the auction. Failure to do so is grounds for a tourban. Forcing a team into an incredibly lopsided trade by cancering should NOT be rewarded by letting it happen. Instead the cancering player should be subject to a tourban.
Lets take a look at the actual ruleset here, shall we?:

Sabotaging the Team: If a player signs up and is picked for a team tournament they are expected to have the team's best interests in mind. If the managers of a team believe their player is acting improperly they may get in contact with the TD team about it, and if they can prove their player is behaving in a way that we define to be sabotaging the team, such as refusing to play any games, sandbagging, attacking teammates etc, the player in question will be Tournament banned for 3 months and banned from joining team tournaments for 1 year. Should this happen in SPL the team will be compensated with a free pick + half the value of the player (if before round 1) or with the ability to sellback that player at midseason.

This basically states that any act of sabotating is grounds for a tourban with a solution on how to handle it tacked on (free pick + half value of player).
Refusing to join a team's discord and subsequentally asking for trades and only agreeing to a trade to a team that the player wants to play on is an obvious attempt at gaming the system and sabotaging his current team.

In the past we have had many attempts at cancering and those were usually dealt with in a rather fierce manner:

Exhibit A (gr8astard):
Refusing to play for the team that drafts you after signing up for SPL is breaking the rules, and merits a permanent ban from SPL and an overall tournament ban for a to-be-determined length of time. Result: gr8astard will be permanently banned from SPL, and banned from tournaments for a currently undetermined length of time. The Circus Maximus Tigers will receive one pick from the remaining auction player pool for 3k, and half of the remainder (7.5k -> 4k; will round up to a multiple of .5k) will be returned to them and treated as sellback credits. Please remember, sellback credits are used after the remaining auction credits during the midseason week.
Result: gr8astard will be permanently banned from SPL, and banned from tournaments for a currently undetermined length of time. The Circus Maximus Tigers will receive one pick from the remaining auction player pool for 3k, and half of the remainder (7.5k -> 4k; will round up to a multiple of .5k) will be returned to them and treated as sellback credits. Please remember, sellback credits are used after the remaining auction credits during the midseason week.

Exhibit B (Nas):
Situation: Nas was bought by the Ever Grande Bigs in the auction for 15.5k. Post-auction, the Bigs manager Funkasaurus was notified that Nas only wanted to play for a particular team, which made minuscule trade offers for Nas (slightly above sellback price at midseason). Nas displayed cancerous behavior and made it clear he had no intention of playing for any other team.
Result: Nas will be permanently banned from SPL, and banned from tournaments for a currently undetermined length of time. The Ever Grande Bigs will receive one pick from the remaining player pool for 3k, and the remainder (12.5k) will be treated as sellback credits. Please remember, sellback credits are used after the remaining auction credits during the midseason week.
The Ever Grande Bigs' selection from the remaining player pool is During Summer.
Additionally: Signing up for SPL and not being retained means agreeing to play for any team that buys you, and will be amended into future sign-ups. Acting like a cancer and requesting to be traded is breaking that agreement.

Exhibit C (Cybertron):
RE: Cybertron
The retention rights for Cybertron were traded to the Frogs by the Classiest for 3.5k. I have logs to prove that Cybertron admitted that he would agree to play for the Frogs if his retention rights were traded. After the trade was completed and retention bought for Cybertron by the Frogs, Cybertron stated that he wouldn't play for the Frogs.
The trade will stay and the Frogs will be out 3.5k, but the Frogs will not be forced to take the 14k hit to retain him as the retention was made under false pretenses.
This decision comes from precedent with WhiteQueen and the Frogs last year. WhiteQueen was traded to the Frogs for 1k, but WhiteQueen was forum banned thereafter. The trade transaction was kept in place.
Cybertron will be tournament banned for lying about availability and willingness to play.

Exhibit D (Noodlez):Noodlez has informed me that he no longer wishes to play in SPL, for either the Frogs or the Wolfpack. What this means:Noodlez will be banned from this SPL and all future SPL. Noodlez is also under consideration for being infracted and being permanently banned from ALL tournaments on Smogon. I very clearly stated at sign-ups not to sign up if you cannot commit to playing. Let this serve as a warning.The trade between the Frogs and the Wolfpack will be upheld. My reasoning for this, as I stated during the preseason, is to make sure players want to play for you beforehand when you trade for them. Limitless went through with the trade because Noodlez told Limitless to bid on him before the auction, but Limitless did not confirm with Noodlez after the auction was over. So again, I will say to the managers: be absolutely sure a player is committed to playing for your team.

All these cases ended up being tournament bans and rightfully so. Noone should be able to exert pressure and dictate who they are going to play for without any repercussions.

There is even an addendum from last SPL that states how cases of sabotaging your team (i.e. here Ojama sabotaging BIGs) should be handled:

3. Actively sabotaging your team or otherwise showing malicious behavior (including but not limited to refusal to play any tournament games, sandbagging/intentionally underperforming, consistently attacking and undermining other team members, and repeated unsporstmanlike behavior in team tournaments) will result in a three-month tournament ban and a one-year ban from all team tournaments.

Now for myself? I believe we shouldnt let this slide at all due to it being one of the most obvious attempts at gaming the system and trying to influence what team you end up on. I personally believe that if you sign up for SPL you are down to play for ANY team. Failure to do that should have strong repercussions that make it undesirable to act as a cancer. SPL is a tournament centered around an auction not a "choose-your-teammates"-tour.
If we dont enforce this here SPL will turn into a tournament where everyone with enough leverage (clout, being a top player, high price) can force their way onto any team they like by cancering. I dont think we should let that slide.

I hope that Ojama's clout wont let him get away with this. We have evidence of cancering and a history of precedents that condemn such an behaviour. Thus we should actually condemn it.

I end my case.
Speaking as someone who’s had this happen from people they’ve drafted, albeit not in SPL, this is not just borderline cancering, and the idea that people should be allowed to do this is to this has previously rightly been dismissed as rediculous. The idea that you can pick and choose what team you get drafted for and at what price is entirely antithetical to the very concept of our bidding draft system for premier leagues. To be clear, I don’t blame the managers here in the slightest, but I definitely do think fault lies with Ojama.


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A lot has already been stated throughout the OP and Conflict's thorough account of the situation, but I just want to add a little to the discussion. There are two possible solutions in my eyes: Ojama can suck it up and play for the Bigs or Ojama can take the tourban.

A trade involving four players who all are nowhere near the caliber of Ojama (no offense intended) shifts the balance of the tournament for not only the two teams involved, but also the other eight teams. Trades being essentially "forced" by a player instead of decided upon by the managers of the player leads to one side taking advantage of the other's position, which is not balanced whatsoever in my eyes. If this trade were to stand, it would set a horrible precedent for the future editions of SPL and it would compromise the competitiveness of the tournament as a whole. I know that this matter is being discussed by the hosts; I implore them to overturn the trade in the immediate future.

Finally, I would like to add that people who sign up should be ready to play for any manager pair. There should be no option of telling managers no prior to the auction, during the auction, or after the auction (all of which I am inclined to believe have occurred). All of these are forms of tourbannable cancering as far as I am concerned. Enforcing this is the only way for there to be any form of competitive equilibrium moving forward.


Banned deucer.
i understand why you are upset but i think you're missing a few elements to see the full picture of this. i know this post wont make ppl who have been hating me and obsessed with me for years change their minds, but i dont really care if that's the case, im only posting so you have my side of the story.

shortly after the manager signup thread went up, stone cold reached out to me to survey me and try to know if i'd be willing to play for the bigs. here is my answer:

as you can see, stone and i agreed that it would be preferable if they dont bid on me but i didnt strictly refuse to play for the bigs, at any moment. but it seemed quite obvious for both of us that it'd be better if i dont land on their team. it's no breaking news that im not in good terms with void, sabella and nails, which is why it never crossed my mind that the bigs would upbid me when clearly i wasnt seen as a main option this season by pretty much every other manager because i said my activity will be low this season for reasons i have explained already. hadnt the bigs upbid me, i woulda gone for 22.5k to the team that put that amount of cash on the table.

right after the bigs drafted me, i was pm'd by sabella and bushtush who figured out this wouldnt work out. here are the conversations we had:

im not hiding anything here and i wont deny i was pretty pissed at the moment, but as you can see sabella offered me the trade option by saying "if u dont wanna play for us let me know" which i did. i didnt pm him and say "i wont play trade me", i literally repeated his words and accepted the option he was offering, but im not the one who threw a tantrum and forced the bigs managers and players to trade me, they're the ones who offered that option very early because they realized this wasnt going to work out. before you jump on me, saying "i dont wanna play" is my way to say "yes id rather not" if i was being offered the chance to choose, which to me seemed i was being given, im sorry if you misunderstand it.

ezrael also contacted me to know if i wanted to join their discord and i refused, sabella had already contacted me about a potential trade and i have no obligation to join a discord. this isn't ideal but i dont have to join a discord to get my games done. i am not breaking any rules by refusing to join my team's discord. i wasnt even home when the auction occured, i only saw where i landed and i stopped following after that, i didnt contact anyone. hadnt the bigs offered a trade to whatever team i woulda been a bigs, and altho that idea really doesnt fill me with joy, i woulda been forced to play for them but that doesnt mean i have to be in the same discord as ppl i cannot stand for 2 or 3 months.

very quickly, the bigs obtained a deal with the scooters, my former team for the past 3 or 4 years. im gonna be honest here again, prior to the auction i told fv not to draft me if possible because i wanted to see something new and he respected my wish for everything ive done for this team, but i woulda played for them if they ended up getting me. i mean im not stupid i knew what i was launching myself into when i decided to sign up, i knew i had a lot of chances to be drafted by someone i wouldnt be thrilled to play for, like i had stated it several times on the smogtour discord because i wasnt very excited by most of the manager duos. but im not new, i had no expectations at all at the beginning of the auction. when fv and void almost agreed on a deal, i had it cancelled because i didnt want to inflict that to zf and wanted to stick to my words and not play for the scooters. at this moment, i had decided to stay with the bigs unless they get another deal but they had no obligations nor had any pressure from me to trade me. they coulda told me to go fuck myself, i woulda shut my mouth and played for them.

am i a cancer for obtaining an agreement with one of the managers not to bid on me? you can believe so, but i dont think im the first player in the history of spl to ever do this. some ppl dont even need to obtain one because it's pretty logic from both parties that it would be negative if they end up on the same team, which is what we agreed to with stone cold. im legit in very bad terms with 90% of the team, what even is the point? a team needs a good atmosphere to function well and the bigs drafting me is the exact opposite of aspiring to a good atmosphere.

now you have got all elements and you are free to side with whomever you want, but i sincerely dont believe you can call my actions cancerous given i was literally passive the entire auction and didn't do anything to make that trade happen.
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formerly Booty
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i mean lets show the whole thing bud. And also we dont talk, we cant possibly be on that bad of terms? For what ever its worth I dont want the trade reversed because it doesn't help us but gotta say the whole thing is just super disappointing.

Screenshot (37).png
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UPL Champion
When you sign up for SPL you sign up to play for any manager duo that wishes to pick you up, anything else is ruining the competitive integrity of the draft because a team with the option to draft a great player has an automatic advantage over a team without the option to draft that great player. The fact that Ojama told managers he would act like this beforehand doesn't excuse the fact that he's acting like this. You've been drafted by a team you don't get along with? Sucks to be you, shut up and play, call out the managers after week 9 if they failed to create a positive environment

Ojama is correct in saying he's definitely not the first in SPL history to pull a stunt like this though, this kind of fuckery has gone unpunished for way too long. It's especially problematic because the other managers cannot even do anything about it, if you upbid a potential team cancer you take a massive risk and it can backfire tragically as it did here for the Bigs. As a manager you just have to let potential team cancers go to their desired teams at low prices, hopefully I don't need to explain why it's a bad thing that this is how things work currently. How do you address this? Fuck if I know


Double Threat
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Let's explore some potential solutions to this mess.

1) Reverse the trade.

The Bigs and Tyrants both planned the mid-end of their draft fully committed to the trade they agreed to. Both teams structured themselves with the trade in mind, and the Bigs directly told the Tyrants to pick two of the players for them. Both teams would be stuck with players who they have little use for and stuck without players they need.

2) Ban Ojama, Allow the Bigs and/or Tyrants to pick players from the pool.

The players who went undrafted are not of the same caliber as those who were already picked. This is a solution that I've seen many people propose and it is nowhere near satisfactory, whoever gets stuck with 23k auction credits after the auction has their team crippled.

3) Ban Ojama, roll back the draft to the point where he was nominated and continue from there.

This is the most amusing solution, and it is objectively fair (from a game theory perspective) to everyone involved. The problems are numerous and easy to see though. Teams have already shown their cards with respect to how highly they value players and replaying the auction from that point completely destroys the integrity of the draft. There are also the logistical issues of getting a date where everyone can show up to draft on short notice. While it would be hilarious, this is regrettably not a viable option.

4) Let everything stand as-is with no punishments.

If you are interested in playing, be aware that any team may buy you, and you are expected to play for any one of them.
This sends a clear message that players are free to exert a powerful amount of influence on the team they end up on, to the degree that if you get drafted by a team you don't like you can cancer and have your way, given that you have a large enough price tag that a team will be unwilling to simply suck it up and let you rot. This opens a massive can of worms that obviously compromises tournament integrity.

5) Let everything stand, severly punish Ojama after the tournament.

This has been the only solution I've seen that adequately responds to all factors. It allows the tournament to be played out without any team missing a seventh of their budget, while also sending the clear message that cancering is not to be tolerated. The punishment would have to be severe; it's not my place to name specifics on this, but the behavior is clearly not something that we want in smogon team tournaments.


Moving forward, a precedent of "you can cancer to your desired team once" is obviously unacceptable too. There were a large number of small factors that built up into the problem we're collectively facing. I'd like to address some rules changes that I think could prevent situations like these arising again in the future. I had this conversation with kjdaas mid-auction:

and to be clear, I think kjdaas did nothing wrong. She enforced the rules to the letter, and gave quick responses. This whole situation could've been prevented by allowing a full (or more than 3k+50% of the player's value, at least) refund of the cancering player during the draft. The gr8astard situation years ago, while similar, differs in that midseason auction credits were significantly more valuable than they are now. I also think that trades should be allowed mid-auction. I believe that rule was put into place to keep the auction running smoothly (please correct me if I'm wrong on this); I didn't agree with it then and I still think that mid-auction trades are an important tool in a manager's kit, and that restriction forced the Bigs and Tyrants to jump through a number of extra hoops to get the deal pushed through. The public perception of the trade would also be different if the Bigs had traded a player they mistakenly drafted for 23k for 20k credits (the number we agreed to with the Tyrants) instead of four players, two of whom they agreed to pick for us and ended up having a draft value of 19k.

In conclusion:

- Ban Ojama after SPL.
- Allow the Bigs-Tyrants trade to stand.
- Allow teams more effective, faster methods of dealing with a cancering players, which don't become unviable for players with a high price tag.
- Allow mid-auction trading.

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