Smogon Tournament #5 Review

By Twash.
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After almost four months, 255 matches, and hundreds of predictions, another Smogon Tournament finishes.

Starting on the 25th of December, the winner was revealed on April 21st, with the winner being august, beating locopoke to claim the crown. With two relatively new players in the final, there were plenty of twists and turns on the way. Congratulations also go to HECTORtu, who won the predictions tournament, predicting 179 of the 255 matches correctly.

There were many excellent matches throughout the tournament, between superb battlers using their prediction skills to their fullest. Some of the best matches have been summarized below as spotlight matches.

Mekkah vs. Brian McCann (Round 2)

Most members at Smogon will know Mekkah, but fewer will know of the battler Brian McCann. Consisting of two skillful players, this match promised to be exciting, and it did not disappoint. At the end of a long battle, it came to Mekkah's Starmie versus Brian's Blissey, with the former taking poison damage due to two layers of Toxic Spikes. However, Brian's Blissey ran out of PP, as Mekkah's Starmie consistently Recovered upon Blissey's Struggles. Mekkah won by a small margin; if the match had lasted one more turn, Mekkah's Starmie would not have survived the poison damage.

Loki vs. Mizuno (Round 3)

While Loki played other excellent players in Blue Kirby and Gouki, his match versus the wise head of Mizuno was a close bout indeed. Mizuno was faced with a situation of his Zapdos against Loki's Skarmory, where Mizuno made a good switch to Tyranitar, which ended up facing Loki's Blissey. Blissey was Pursuited on the switch, and did not make one move in the match. Mizuno's Mamoswine took out Blissey as Loki used it to scout, and Mamoswine then went on to Blizzard a weakened Skarmory, fainting it. Loki used his Scarf Tyranitar to full effect, finishing off Mizuno's Mamoswine and Zapdos, to squeeze a 1-0 victory.

Veteran In Love vs. Rag (Round 3)

Veteran In Love already has a pair of Smogon Tour season victories, and went up against a new hotshot in Rag. Veteran In Love finished off Rag to win 5-0, in a match where the game was closer than the score suggested, with Veteran In Love winning, despite being hampered by 2 layers of Toxic Spikes, 3 layers of Spikes, and Stealth Rock.

HECTORtu vs. M_Dragon (Round 4)

With HECTORtu in top form, and a tough matchup in M_Dragon, a Spanish player who had surprised many people already, this promised to be a classic match. HECTORtu's Empoleon was extremely threatening to M_Dragon's team, but M_Dragon's good playing kept HECTORtu on his toes. Eventually it came down to a speed tie, where HECTORtu's Scarf Flygon beat M_Dragon's Scarf Flygon to the Outrage, OHKOing it, and securing victory.

Loki vs. Gouki (Round 5)

Many people consider these two battlers the best around, so when they were paired up, the hype was natural. Loki was on form coming off of his Smogon Tour victory, where Gouki also managed to do well. The match turned out to be quite defensive, with Gouki eventually winning courtesy of a well-timed Rapid Spin with his Forretress, where Loki was expecting a Payback as he would switch to his Rotom-W. The game ended 4-0 to Gouki; albeit everything of his was in range of Loki's relayered Stealth Rock and Spikes.

august vs. locopoke (Finals)

And finally, we come to august vs. locopoke, the last match of the Smogon Tournament. With these two young battlers fighting their way through to the final, everybody was expecting a climatic final. And nobody was to be disappointed, with the last two turns being dramatic, clinching victory for august. I caught up with the finalists before the match, to see how they were feeling.

Interview with the finalists

How would you sum up your experience in the Smogon Tournament so far?

august: It's been great finally being recognized by people.

locopoke: Eh, it has been fun, although I would love to get the match done already. Lately every Pokémon related place online I go to, people comment on how I "shouldn't even be in ST5". But so far, the tournament's been fun.

Are you nervous about the final?

august: I'm actually never really nervous until it starts, but it is pretty tough keeping my cool when we can't battle until Tuesday because of the predictions tournament.

locopoke: I don't get nervous until the battle actually starts, but believe me I'll be nervous then!

To august, you are the hot favorite to win right now. Do you take notice of people's predictions, or do you try to ignore them?

august: Nah, I really don't care what people say, I've got people that have supported me from the beginning and I only listen to what they say.

And to locopoke, you are going up against the hot favorite to win. Do you listen to the predictions or just ignore them?

locopoke: Throughout the whole tournament, I haven't gotten any predictions aside from the people who know me outside of Smogon. So I'm used to being the 'underdog'.

What would it mean to you if you won?

august: It would mean a lot, definitely; winning a Smogon official tournament is basically immortalizing your name.

locopoke: It'd mean a lot really, aside from all the rude comments. I would hope people's anger would subside, and I guess I would still have the trophy!

Thank you for your time.

The Match

The final was a very close match, with august pulling through to a 1-0 victory. Both players overpredicted during the match; locopoke switched in Skarmory on Heatran's Fire Blast expecting an Explosion, and august predicted Blissey wouldn't Protect and used Explosion. However, it was the last two moves of the game that twisted the control towards august, handing him the match. Here are the last two turns:

locopoke switched in Ice Age (lvl 100 Mamoswine ?).
Pointed stones dug into Ice Age.
Ice Age lost 12% of its health.
Ice Age used Stone Edge.
Ice Age's attack missed!
Gyarados is fast asleep!
Gyarados used Sleep Talk.
Gyarados used Roar.
But it failed!
Ice Age used Stone Edge.
It's super effective!
Gyarados lost 79% of its health.
Gyarados woke up!
Gyarados used Waterfall.
It's super effective!
Ice Age lost 70% of its health.
locopoke's Ice Age fainted.
august wins!

Many scenarios were possible, and locopoke could well have been the victor. locopoke needed two consecutive Stone Edges to hit, while also hoping that august's Gyarados's Sleep Talk would not pick Waterfall, a 33% chance. The other possibility for locopoke to win was a critical hit Stone Edge. Nevertheless, these chances were beyond his control in these two turns, and august became the winner of the fifth Smogon Tournament.

Congratulations to the new champion: august!

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