Recently in Tournaments

By Jellicent. Art by Bummer, MiniArchitect, and Zracknel.
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Welcome back to another installment of Recently in Tournaments. There's plenty to cover this time around, between OST finals, Smogon Tour semifinals, WCoP announcements, Smogon Classic, and a ton of other things, so let's just dive right in!

Official Smogon Tournament

When we last covered OST11, Ultimario was riding a hype wave in the newly rebracketed finals. With Style's disqualification, her Round 1 opponent was fighting his way past several big names for a shot at the trophy. He ended up beating out CrashinBoomBang, Bluwing, BKC, radianthero156, and z0m(no g)OG ;_; along the way, solidifying himself as a Top 8 competitor. Doppelsoldner cut off his run there, however, beating him out with a surprise Scarf Ice Beam Latios. In the semifinals, blunder took out Doppelsoldner 2-0, leaving just two competitors remaining in the most drawn-out OST ever.

In game one of the finals, WhiteQueen held on to momentum for his majority of the match thanks to smart double-switches and Raikou's Volt Switch. Most of the early game revolved around WhiteQueen setting up Spikes and firing off Scalds for a burn chance while blunder cleared the field repeatedly with Defog and attempted to get a favorable match-up. When blunder's Mandibuzz finally fell on turn 25, with Landorus falling shortly afterwards from a good damage roll by HP Ice Raikou, WhiteQueen's advantage was pretty clear. By turn 40, Stealth Rock and Spikes were permanently set up, and after some more wearing down of his opponent, WhiteQueen was able to clean up with Mega Lopunny.

Game two kicked off with mirrored lead Tornadus-T. Things seemed to be going pretty evenly between the two until turn 19, when WhiteQueen's Kingdra scored a freeze against blunder's Tyranitar. WhiteQueen was finally able to set up entry hazards after that, the first time either side had done so throughout the entire battle. Meanwhile, blunder was chipping apart WhiteQueen's team, and by turn 31, all that remained was WhiteQueen's Serperior vs blunder's Landorus (with a Skarmory in reserves). Lady luck took this moment to call things off with WhiteQueen, and Serperior's Leaf Storm missed. blunder won the fight, tying things up 1-1.

For their final battle, blunder brought full stall against WhiteQueen's offense centered around BP Iron Defense Scolipede + Stored Power CM Espeon. WhiteQueen just needed an opportunity to set up with Scolipede, which he was able to pressure thanks to Breloom's Spore and Landorus's U-turn. Turn 13, blunder switched in Excadrill as WhiteQueen's Scolipede set up a Substitute. From there, WhiteQueen was able to boost to 4x Speed and Defense before passing the boosts and a Sub off to Espeon. Espeon CMed up as Excadrill broke the Sub, and it all hinged on turn 22. blunder would've needed a critical hit against Espeon to bring it down at this point, but instead it was WhiteQueen who scored the crit. After a few more Calm Minds against Chansey, blunder threw in the towel and WhiteQueen became OST's newest champion.

Smogon Tour 19

The quarterfinals of Smogon Tour 19 saw some tough match-ups. In particular, babidi1998 (aka Heist) vs Ojama was hailed by many as the match of the century, whatever that means for a site that's only been around for a decade. babidi1998 won 2-1 in the end, moving on to the semifinals. Meanwhile, Marshall.Law beat out Get Backer 2-1, Leftiez defeated Bad Ass 2-0, and Thatsjustpeachy won out against cosine180 2-0.

The first semifinals featured Marshall.Law vs babidi1998. In their BW game, Marshall.Law kicked things off by playing aggressively with Garchomp. After setting up Stealth Rock and being put to sleep by Breloom, he stayed in and proceeded to punch some holes in babidi1998's team after waking up turn 3. Marshall.Law's offense continued with a Breloom of his own softening up his opponent's team before sweeping with DD Tyranitar.

Marshall.Law's offensive playstyle continued in their DPP battle. His Level 1 Spore + Endeavor Smeargle was able to cripple babidi1998's Tyranitar early in the brawl. From there, Marshall.Law's Cresselia beat out Jirachi in a Calm Mind war, further pushing the advantage his way. Once again, DD Tyranitar proved useful, cleaning up most of babidi1998's remaining team before DD Kingdra finished off Zapdos for the win. Moving on to the finals, Marshall.Law's aggressive battling will definitely be something to watch out for.

The other semifinals match-up was Leftiez vs Thatsjustpeachy. Their DPP game featured some good early predictions on both sides. Leftiez claimed first blood when his Breloom Mach Punched a burned DD Tyranitar turn 6. Thatsjustpeachy netted a KO of his own two turns later when Dragonite took down Heatran with a quick Earthquake. Turn 10, Thatsjustpeachy's Machamp faced off against Tyranitar and correctly predicted the Rotom-W switch-in, KOing it with Payback. While things were still going fairly evenly for a while, Thatsjustpeachy clinched it after his Metagross critical hit its way through Leftiez's Babiri Berry +2 DD Tyranitar. Leftiez forfeited there, and the battlers moved on to BW.

That BW battle showcased both players using rather offensive teams. Thatsjustpeachy's Breloom lead kicked things off well, putting Leftiez's Politoed to sleep and dishing out some damage against an opposing Breloom before going down. From there, Thunder + Icy Wind Jirachi paralyzed Metagross and crippled Landorus-T. Leftiez's attempt to Trick a Choice Scarf onto it resulted in Tyranitar picking up the item and cleanly taking out Latias with Crunch. Both sides traded a few KOs before Thatsjustpeachy's Alakazam and Latias finished things off for the win. His ability to read his opponent should make him a very worthy foe for Marshall.Law in the finals.

The World Cup of Pokémon X

This year's WCoP hasn't even kicked off yet and already there's been a ton of hype surrounding it. We mentioned last time that GSC and RBY had been added to the format. That's not the only thing changing this time around, however. There's a potential tiering change happening in BW, and it's likely the format we'll see used in WCoP. The proposed changes would see the combinations of Sand Stream + Sand Rush and Drought + Chlorophyll banned, with Excadrill dropping back down from Ubers. Four BW Live Suspect Tournaments will determine whether or not this format will be used in this year's WCoP.

The first BW Live Suspect Tour saw Zebraiken and Finchinator, both from US Central, making finals. They played their battle out using a mirror match of the same team. Zebraiken ultimately won the battle, but both of them earning voting rights here shows that US Central will be a major competitor in BW. Sunday's tour found Lavos Spawn, Omfuga, and Twin Citiez duking it out in a round-robin finals. France's Twin Citiez won out in the end, proving that Central's not the only team already looking hot in BW.

This year's teams were also just announced on Sunday. You can find the finalized list of teams and captains here. The biggest news for this is the formation of Team Greece. These newcomers will be fighting it out with Afrabs for a final slot in this year's competition. They should be battling over the next week, so keep an eye out for that!

Smogon Classic I

The first Smogon Classic is well underway. While it's still too early to say for sure who will be making top cut, there are some definite frontrunners in the group. babidi1998 and New Breed both lead the pack with 22 points; the former can gain a potential 53 max while the latter could reach up to 48. Ojama's sitting at third with 19 points, though after being eliminated from BW, GSC, and RBY, the most he can get at this point is 34. badabing is the player to watch out for who's not currently in the top 8, as he could still feasibly reach 54, the highest potential of anyone at this point. McMeghan, SoulWind, ZoroDark, Texas Cloverleaf, and reyscarface all round out the current top 8 with 16-17 points each. All of them could hit over 40, with the exception of SoulWind, whose max possible total is just 29.

There are several other strong contenders still in this race as well, so for now it's anyone's game. We should have a better idea by next issue, though. For now, you can keep up with who's leading the pack by checking out the Classic Tour Standings spreadsheet.

Live Tours

Live tournaments have been gaining in popularity recently. In addition to Old Gens Tour Nights, the Lower Tier Series has kicked off. This six-week series alternates between UU, RU, and NU, with two tours occurring each weekend and points counting similarly to Smogon Tour. Notably, both Christo the Gr8 and TewMew have already won two tours each, making them dangerous competitors in this series.

Live Suspect Tours have been utilized for a lot more than just BW lately. OU, which held the original suspect tours for Aegislash, has used them once again for Landorus-I. Meanwhile, NU was using this new system to try out the recently dropped Magneton. Doubles OU has also joined in on the fun, testing out Mega Salamence in the current metagame. These new tournaments are fantastic for tour players who would rather not spend hours on the ladder but still wish to have their voices heard in tiering decisions. We can only hope this awesome trend continues!

Other Tours

That's it for this edition. Until next time, keep on competing, friends.

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