Tournaments Coverage

By Earthworm. Art by Volmise, and Zracknel..
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Playing in Smogon's tournaments is the best way to test your skills as a competitive Pokemon player. No matter which metagame you play or good you are, you are able to participate with Smogon's best players in a variety of interesting and challenging tournament formats. Instead of spending hours grinding to improve your rating on the ladder, tournaments require you to perfect your team and prepare for a single battle or series of battles in order to progress. This not only produces higher quality opposition, but also allows you to better explore elements of the game, such as surprise.

This article's purpose is to communicate information about current, upcoming, and recently finished tournaments. The winners of tournaments and their hosts will be recognized for their efforts and success. Extra detail will be given regarding Smogon's tournaments in which the winners receive trophies, which are also known as "official" tournaments.

Current Tournaments

Smogon Tour Season XII

The 12th season of the Smogon Tour has reached the second round of the finals, where eight great players remain. In order of their positions in the standings at the end of the season, these are:

Well done also to DracoMalfoy, undisputed, Krack, McMeghan, Golden Sun, BIHI, Pikaone, and blarajan on reaching the top 16; although they lost in the first round of the finals, it takes a lot of effort and skill just to make it there.

The winner of the tournament will receive the purple Smogon Tour trophy, an icon that represents great achievement in competitive Pokemon and skill in a wide range of metagames. The finals will draw to a close in the near future, so be sure to keep an eye on the Smogon Tour forum!

National Pokemon Association

The National Pokemon Association hosted by commi$$ioner (aka Bianca222 / Duy) is currently midway through the season and will soon reach the finals stage. After initial domination of the competition, the Cleveland Escavaliers led by BlueCookies are now 2-3, while Kinneas's San Antonio Spoinks lead the competition with an impressive 3-1 record. In the middle of the pack, the Orlando Magikarp, Sacramento Slakings, and Chicago Afro Bulls have a 3-2 record, while at the back of the pack are the New York Scraftys, Golden State Wartortles, and Detroit Deoxys. A leftover Week 5 match between Havak and andrea will determine whether the Spoinks extend their lead over the competition to 4-1 and whether the Wartortles will join the competition's leaders or remain at the back of the pack.

Kinneas, Eraddd, and some others have been putting in a lot of effort in order to create a humorous news-style production called the NPA News, which can be viewed here, here, here, and here. Thank you for your efforts, you are certainly making the competition a lot more entertaining and enjoyable!

Just about every team still has a fighting chance of making the finals, where the competition is sure to heat up. Good luck to everyone in this tournament!

Wyoming Tournament VI

For those of you who don't know, the Wyoming Tournament is Smogon's annual Challenge Cup or Random Battle Tournament. The simulator automatically assigns each player a team consisting of six randomly selected Pokemon, each with randomly selected moves, items, etc. This tournament is perfect for casual players, since it simply requires scheduling battles with your opponents and no team building whatsoever. Playing in the tournament is a lot of fun, since unlike in more competitive metagames, a lot of infrequently seen items, abilities, and unusual moves get a chance to shine, and the tournament enables players to feel more carefree about the battles since they put very little effort into them.

Thanks to elDino for taking over the tournament from ex-host and Tournament Director Sonuis who has now retired. Special thanks goes to Zracknel for providing the great banner for the tournament.


Iconic has taken the initiative to revive a great tournament that was held numerous times in the past, Sneak. Sneak is a team tournament in which sixteen captains must each gather a team of eight, and then the players compete in a single elimination tournament, gaining points for their team with each victory. The format for matches is a best of three, where one match is DPP OU, one is BW OU, and the third is chosen between those two metagames by whoever won by a greater margin of Pokemon in the two earlier matches (if they are equal, the default is BW OU). The winner of the single elimination tournament will not only contribute points to his team's total, but also count as having won the tournament himself—there will be a winning team and a winning player.

At the end of the first round, Stone_Cold's Ultimate Unstoppable Mercinary Squad led the competition, all of its members having won their Round 1 matches. Closely following them were Agammemnon's team, Ojama for ST's 17th place <3, and Nachos's team, Mauris purus dominorum cum meretricibus. Many teams make up the middle of the pack, and a few teams only have 1-2 players remaining, effectively eliminating them from the competition. Good luck to everyone left in the tournament!

Also, for those who read the previous Tournaments Coverage article, I did misreport the format of this tournament in the Upcoming Tournaments section, so I apologize for that.

Type Reduction Tournament II

Originally hosted by Fuzznip in 2009, the Type Reduction Tournament involves one or more types being banned each round, meaning Pokemon of the banned types may no longer be used for the duration of the tournament. Eos has decided to revive the tournament for Generation 5. It will be interesting to see the effect that banning certain types has on the metagame—if Bug is banned, for example, what will fill the roles Scizor has in the metagame? Will it lead to Reuniclus or Terrakion becoming overpowered? These are the kind of judgements players must make in order to succeed in this thought-provoking tournament format. Good luck to everyone that participates!

ADV Ubers Tournament

Umby is back once again with a new ADV tournament. This time, it is the Uber metagame, where Kyogre, Groudon, Latias, and Latios tend to dominate. Many of the newer players are most likely unfamiliar with the metagame, which was only popular during the time when ADV was the current generation. Nevertheless, competition is sure to be tough, with many of today's top players participating who will be sure to bring their own spin on the metagame to their matches. You can expect to see a lot of Lugia to counter Swords Dance Groudon, Latias and perhaps even Shedinja to counter Kyogre, and Blissey / Metagross / Forretress to counter and take advantage of Latias and Latios. The less common but ever-threatening Mewtwo, Deoxys, Rayquaza, and Ho-Oh should not be underestimated either. Good luck to those who participate!

For a Limited Time Only! Tournament

The For a Limited Time Only! Tournament is a DPP OU tournament with a twist—each round, the host (H-C) will choose one or more Pokemon to allow from the Uber tier. In the first round, H-C chose to allow Latias and Salamence, which was once the standard OU metagame in DPP OU. This tournament is sure to give DPP veterans a chance to reminisce about old DPP OU metagames and give them a chance to use teams and Pokemon that they thought they might never get to use again in DPP. Good luck to everyone in the tournament!

VGC 2012 Tournament

Upon the release of the VGC 2012 rules, Smogon's WiFi Tournament Director Alaka immediately stepped up to the plate and started a VGC 2012 simulator tournament. The tournament enables those who want to participate in the coming year's VGC tournament series to get a taste of the early metagame and compete against quality opposition. The tournament is still in its early rounds, but we will soon see who has managed to get the hang of the new metagame.

Who Needs Team Preview Tournament

The Who Needs Team Preview Tournament is hosted by Mr_br_kill and Romeert, and as the name suggests, it is basically a tournament where the team preview function enforced in BW rulesets is not enabled. This causes the metagame to be more likened to DPP and prior generations, where players would choose a specific Pokemon to lead with and could end up with a significant advantage based on which lead Pokemon had the advantage over the other. The tournament is now in its later rounds, so good luck to the remaining players.

#Pokemon Tournament

Following the success of the #stark and #dreamworld cups, the #Pokemon tournament is another tournament hosted by some of the Pokemon IRC leaders: Aldaron, Bloo, and Zephyr. The tournament is designed to follow a format where battle logs can be shared without fear of having your team countered by a future opponent, and also as a means to discover which kinds of teams are the most successful in the BW OU metagame. Some of the best current players submitted their teams at the beginning of the tournament for the players in the tournament to use throughout. Each round, players are assigned two of these teams publicly, and must determine which to use to combat the opponent's possible teams. You can find out which teams are successful by viewing the sticky thread in the Tournaments forum. If you are interested in visiting #Pokemon and Smogon IRC, check out the Smogon IRC page.

DPP OU Tournament

The DPP OU Tournament is a best-of-three DPP OU tournament hosted by ENZ0 and Steven Snype. Now that the tournament is reaching its later rounds, the competition has started to heat up significantly. Among those remaining are tournament are Smogon Tour champ Delta 2777, DPP veteran reyscarface, recent tournament star Heist, and Smogon Superstars 2010 champion 6A9 Ace Matador, and it will certainly be interesting to see who comes out on top. Good luck to everyone still in the tournament.

Little Cup Eviolite-less Tournament

The Little Cup Eviolite-less Tournament is a tournament hosted by ShinyAzelf that is designed to test what BW Little Cup is like without the new item Eviolite. The tournament is in its later rounds now, so we will soon see what effect the removal of the item has had on the metagame during the tournament. Good luck to the remaining participants!

The Gauntlet II

The Gauntlet II, hosted by Steven Snype, is now reaching the later rounds, and some players are in better shape than others in terms of Pokemon available to them. For those who don't know, this tournament follows a format where players may not use any Pokemon that their opponents KOed in the previous rounds. You can keep track of which players are still in the tournament and which Pokemon they have lost by following the spreadsheet available here.

Upcoming Tournaments

The eighth Official Smogon Tournament will be hosted by Earthworm, and this tournament is Smogon's premier Standard OU tournament. Players will play best-of-three in Black & White OU in a single elimination tournament, and the winner will earn an Official Smogon Tournament trophy and become a part of Smogon's history. Look out for signups on the 11th of November.

Home Field Advantage hosted by Dublinnaser1, is a sports-themed solo tournament in which players choose which metagame they will play against their opponent based on whether or not they are playing "at home". Each player will have an even number of home and away battles, and the players who do the best in the main season will earn a spot in the tournament's finals.

Scales of Justice Tournament will be hosted by zarator. This tournament will start when October's usage statistics are posted, and involves restrictions upon team building based on how popular each Pokemon is on the Smogon University server's OU tier.

Tournament of Thieves III will be hosted by Foster. This is another returning tournament in which players must use teams from the Rate My Team board based on a set of restrictions. The metagame restrictions in this tournament vary considerably and may include different tiers or generations, depending on the availability of RMTs in those metagames.

RBY/GSC/ADV OU Mashup II hosted by ENZ0, is yet another returning tournament in which players must play a best-of-three in the three oldest generations's OU metagames each round.

Battle City Tournament will be hosted by DC. In a new format which is somewhat similar to Battle Royale, players wager chips against each other and then battle to determine who gets to keep the pool of chips. Players who run out of chips are eliminated, and players that reach a certain number of chips progress to the next round. The remainder of the tournament is a standard single elimination format.

A Whole NU World Tournament 3 will be hosted by Raikaria. With the advent of a NU tier in BW comes the newest edition of the Whole NU World Tournament, which was held twice during Generation 4.

Sideboard Tournament will be hosted by blarajan. Similar to LonelyNess's Ultimate Cup from 2008 and 2009, the Sideboard Tournament involves a best-of-three series in which you have a sideboard of four Pokemon. After the first battle, you may interchange the four Pokemon with the Pokemon you used in the first game.

Weather Monopoly, hosted by New World Order, involves the banning of three automatic weather-inducing abilities each round, which differs each round. This should lead to an interesting metagame in each round in which both players know while team building that they only have to worry about facing one kind of weather.

The fourth edition of the Random Pokemon Tournament, hosted by RODAN, will follow the same rule as last year's except for BW, where each player is publicly assigned seven fully evolved, non-Uber Pokemon at the beginning of each round and must then choose six to use against the opponent.

Secret Santa Year 6 hosted by makiri, is one of Smogon's longest standing traditions, returning once more this year for the festive season. All players submit a team at the beginning of the tournament, and then receive someone else's team to use throughout the whole tournament.

Recently Completed Tournaments

This section covers tournaments that ended since the release date of the last edition of The Smog.

World Cup of Pokemon VI

At the time of publishing of the last edition of The Smog, the World Cup of Pokemon was in its final round; the scores between defending champs Oceania and ever-consistent USA West were tied at 4-4, with the tiebreaker match between Earthworm and Philip7086 to come. This was not the first time in the tournament's history that the entire tournament had come down to a single tiebreaker match -- in 2009, Earthworm overcame husk of Team Asia to end their dynasty and begin Oceania's. Philip7086 had also previously played a semifinals tiebreaker match for USA West in 2009, in which he lost to husk.

The highly anticipated match concluded with Earthworm winning and taking home the third consecutive title for Oceania. Oceania has now equaled Asia's previous record for both most World Cups won and most World Cups won consecutively. The battle involved Earthworm's weather-less team against Philip7086's sandstorm team with Level 1 Aron. Unfortunately for Philip7086, Earthworm had a Poison Heal Gliscor, which meant trouble for his Aron strategy. That isn't to say that it wasn't a tense match—at one point it looked like Philip7086 might have positioned himself to sweep Earthworm's whole team with Excadrill. The battle can be viewed on aesoft's replay viewer here. Congratulations to Oceania, which consisted of team members (win / loss record): Golden Sun (4-2), Earthworm (4-3), Heist (6-0), Hipmonlee (3-3), zerowing (0-1), panamaxis (6-1), Stallion (2-4), playa (2-2), animenagai (2-0), Blue Kirby (0-0), sheep (0-0), and The_Chaser (4-1). Thanks also to Jackal, who did a great job of hosting this fantastic tournament once again!

Interview with Blue Kirby

How does it feel to have captained team Oceania to three successive victories? Do you see yourself leading Oceania's team once again next year?

It's definitely a good feeling, and while I would like to think I've played a part in the team's success, I definitely can't take full credit. We've always had amazing players representing us, and from the word go, the team chemistry was good. Above all else, I think that's been the key to us doing so well—there's always someone around on the team willing to help you prepare for your next game.

As for next year... it's hard to say. I've really enjoyed the time I've spent captaining, but eventually, it'll be time for some new blood to step up and take my place. I'll cross that bridge when we get there next year.

The Pokemon Value System Tournament

The Pokemon Value System Tournament was a fourth generation tournament hosted by Fire Blast in which players had to adapt to a set of special team building restrictions. In the round robin finals, there was at first a three-way tie between finalists Bloo, Agammemnon, and AlphaJolt, but in the rematch Bloo managed to beat both opponents. His team can be found here. Additionally, the Pokemon Value System has its own social group where you can find out more about the project here. Congratulations to Bloo on your third tournament victory, and good job to Fire Blast on hosting!

The Best of 3 Tournament

The Best of 3 Tournament was a tournament hosted by Lunar in which, as the name suggests, competitors played a best of three series including BW OU, UU, and Ubers. xtrashine came out on top against IronBullet93 in a tense final series, taking OU and Ubers while IronBullet93 took UU. xtrashine made use of an unorthodox strategy by using Aron in two of the battles, which proved successful in OU but was unfortunately foiled in UU. The OU and Uber logs can be found here. Congratulations to xtrashine on proving your ability to excel in BW metagames, and good job to Lunar on hosting too.

Black/White OU Crew Tournament

The Black / White OU Crew Tournament was hosted by Eo Ut Mortus and involved "crew-style" matches where at the end of each battle, the loser would be replaced by the next member of their crew and face only the surviving Pokemon on the winner's team. The tournament was won by Team Squirtle Squad, which consisted of Iconic, Bloo, and f, with f being substituted out for Heist in the last couple of rounds. In the finals, they defeated Team Homosexual Alliance (Bluewind / Folgorio / Ojama) in a close series. Congratulations to the Squirtle Squad and well done to Eo for hosting this interesting tournament.

The No Johns Tournament

The No Johns Tournament was hosted by Iconic, and was one of the fastest non-live tournaments to be completed on Smogon in recent years. The tournament played standard BW OU, but with deadlines of three to four days rather than the usual seven to fourteen. It was designed to be void of the excuses and delays that sometimes slow down tournaments, and was certainly an enjoyable tournament for those involved. Due primarily to this tournament, many tournaments currently being hosted have also tried to significantly lower their deadlines in order to speed their rounds up. Great job to Iconic on hosting, and Indra for inspiring this tournament.

The tournament was won by upcoming tournament player McMeghan, who beat tournament veteran Eternal in the finals in an interesting battle, which can be viewed here. Congratulations to McMeghan! You can expect to see more success from this player in the future.

Oh My Mirror !

Oh My Mirror ! was a tournament hosted by Agammemnon in which both players had to use the same six Pokemon that were specified by the host at the beginning of each round. The movesets, items, EV spreads, and other customizations were where the innovation took place; choosing the right movesets for each Pokemon was absolutely crucial to success in this tournament. Fried Rhys overcame Saijo in the finals, making great use of Choice Band Eevee, which Saijo didn't appear to have a solid answer to. You can view the finals on aesoft's replay viewer here. Congratulations to Fried Rhys on your first tournament win outside of the Smogon Tour, and well done to Agammemnon on hosting this efficiently.

inb4 nintendo

Hosted by Lady Salamence, this tournament required players to adapt to metagames which contained Dream World abilities and items which have not yet been released by Nintendo, but are likely to be released at some point in the future. After a tied round robin, reyscarface managed to beat both Lamppost and Raseri in the finals. The replays are here (Lamppost) and here (Raseri) for those interested. reyscarface has been one of the most successful tournament players in recent years, having won five regular tournaments as well as an individual Smogon Tour tournament in the current season, so congratulations on your consistency and yet another win! Thanks to Lady Salamence for hosting as well.

RarelyUsed Tournament

Smogon's first ever RU Tournament showcased the newly-formed metagame, which is located between UU and NU in Smogon's BW tiers. Hosted by Foster, the tournament tested the player's ability to succeed in a relatively unexplored metagame, which involves identifying key threats and taking advantage of them. Pearl. won a round robin final against wilson46 and SGV in some close games. You can watch a replay of Pearl. vs SGV here, in which Moltres displays that is it clearly a threat to be reckoned with in RU. For those who enjoyed Foster's efficient hosting, he will be hosting another tournament in the near future: The Tournament of Thieves III. Congratulations, Pearl.!

Got Arceus?

The Got Arceus? tournament was somewhat of a gimmick tournament, where players had to use six Arceus of different types. The tournament involved much usage of offensive Arceus, which resulted in a lot of Speed ties deciding matches, unfortunately. However, building a team with the right Arceus types and sets was still essential to being successful in the tournament.

Beating both the other finalists (Cristal and Bluewind) after an initially tied round robin, zarator came out on top of this tournament. Congratulations to zarator on your third tournament win! Thanks to Romeert for doing a good job of hosting.

Hoenn Cup

Umby's Hoenn Cup has come to a close, with reyscarface beating JabbaTheGriffin 2-0 in their best-of-three final. reyscarface is on quite a streak at the moment, having won the inb4 nintendo tournament, his Smogon Tour finals matches against Pikaone, and now this tournament. That is no small feat, so great job to reyscarface! Umby also deserves a lot of credit for hosting this amazing tournament, as well as all the recent ADV tournaments. If you see him on Pokemon Online or IRC, be sure to thank him for the great job he has done of hosting all these tournaments!

The Same-Type Tournament

In an interesting final match, McMeghan took advantage of Iron Defense Ferrothorn and Sand-Attack Gliscor and beat the opposing finalist JabbaTheGriffin. The tournament involved players having to construct teams in which the Pokemon could only use moves that have the same type(s) as themselves. Jabba used a mostly Choiced team with Terrakion and Latios, while McMeghan used a more resistance-based team with Ferrothorn, Gliscor, and Heatran. The log of the final match can be viewed here. Congratulations McMeghan on your second tournament win, or fourth if the Smogon Tour's individual tournaments are included! Better luck next time Jabba; you have done well to reach the later rounds and finals of these tournaments. Thanks also to Tobes on your great job hosting this tournament.

An UnSUSPECTed Metagame

An UnSUSPECTed Metagame was a tournament where a number of Pokemon and abilities that were voted on (but not banned) could not be used, including Drizzle, Drought, Deoxys-S, Latios, and Reuniclus. bro fist overcame ToF in the finals, making a couple of good predictions that swung the match in his favor. For those interested, the log of the final battle can be viewed here. Congratulations to bro fist on your first tournament win! Thanks to Delta 2777 for hosting too.

DPP UU Tournament

Bloo's DPP UU Tournament featured current tournament star Heist against long time player and tutor EspyJoel in the finals. At first, it emerged that Soto had won the tournament by beating Lakers, but EspyJoel was later crowned the victor after defeating Heist. It was a close battle and could have easily gone either way depending on a few variables. For those interested, the battle can be viewed here. Congratulations to EspyJoel on your first tournament win (or second if an in-season Tour tournament is counted)! Thanks to Bloo for being a good, efficient host.

Team Trials IV

Team Trials IV has concluded with Team Ice Cream Sundae (Steven Snype, Delta 2777, and Snunch) beating Team GIRL (Agammemnon, McMeghan, and -Manu-) in the finals. Steven Snype beat multi-tournament winner Agammemnon in BW Ubers, and past Smogon Tour winner Delta 2777 took out rising tournament star McMeghan in BW OU, sealing the series 2-0. Congratulations to Team Ice Cream Sundae on becoming the fourth team to win a Team Trials tournament! Thanks also to DJXO9 for being a great host yet again.

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