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Old 08-26-2016, 09:05 AM   #1
Talon87
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VGC 2016 Worlds


So this came and went without much discussion here. :o But if you haven't already looked into what happened at Worlds 2016 and you care about the competitive scene, then you owe it to yourself to look! Spoiler tagging for those who want to discover things unspoiled:

Spoiler: show

The highlights:
  • Wolfe Glick, a well-known name in the competitive scene who has risen from babby to top-tier threat over the years, won the coveted title of World Champion.
  • Jonathan Evans, as far as I can tell a dark horse for the tournament, made it all the way to 2nd place.
  • Nobody from Japan made Top Cut for the Masters Division this year. Insane. Especially following on the heels of last year where every single top cut slot except one was occupied by a Japanese player.
  • For the first time in two years, no Mega Kangaskhan in the championship bout.
  • For the first time in VGC history, a Ghost type is on the championship team.
Wolfe is generally pretty well loved by the community and is a super well-known name, so him winning Worlds is one of the best possible outcomes.

One of the neat things about Wolfe's win is, it was a group effort by Wolfe, 4th place Markus Stadter of Germany, and 8th place Baris Ackos of Germany. The three pooled their collective talents when building this team before Worlds and all three of them then took it to Worlds to see how far it could go. The fact that they placed 1st, 4th, and 8th says a lot about how great the team was at picking apart the Worlds' meta. It has people within the community excitedly discussing the prospects for the future, a world where Western players care less about custom builds that they keep entirely secret up until Worlds and care more about pooling their efforts with colleagues to create the best team possible. While collaboration doesn't have to exclude secrecy, while working in a small group of three or four doesn't have to mean that you still don't keep the team a secret from the world until Worlds, the prospect of any collaboration beyond meager testing is exciting. It's sort of like sports car racing, where you have a team coming together and the best performer can be analogized to the driver of the car while the other performers can be analogized in retrospect as the pit crew. It reminds me a lot of Princess Diancie and my hopes for that team.

Worlds 2016 received a lot of criticism for being closed to the public this year. Some days, they would only give out 200 spectator passes for entering various halls. Reports from one attendee indicate that even getting in line at 5:30am (for a line that officially opened at 7) meant that you already had over 50 people in line ahead of you. Once inside the convention hall, attendees report that many, many venues had far more empty seats than they had filled ones. This reflects a fundamental failure on the part of the convention organizers. They undersold the event, artificially restricting access to seats far in excess of what was required. What's even worse is, what sort of event are you running where 200 seats is the anticipated maximum capacity? Seriously, what the hell. That's only ten rows of chairs that are twenty seats wide. Is this Pokémon Worlds or is this AGDQ: the Early Years?

Ostensibly, the event was closed to the public this year because of the death threats at last year's Worlds. Well, even the security measures undertaken at Worlds 2016 weren't the greatest. Several players reported that they were barred entry at the gates by security because they didn't have a pass yet -- a pass that they could only get once they went inside and got it from the pick-up desk at the lobby. Did the guards listen to reason? No. The players were only able to make it inside when staff, that happened to be passing by, was pulled aside and told the situation. Staff then retrieved their passes for them. Seriously, what the hell.

While there weren't really any Pachirisu this year for the community to casually gush about, Bronzong's perhaps the closest thing we got to an unexpected ally. I've seen a lot of jokes from tournament attendees about how Bronzong was not only present at Worlds but that he was on both the 1st and 2nd place teams. So that's kinda cool.

Apparently Worlds 2017 has been confirmed for Anaheim? Can't say I'm terribly thrilled with that, seeing as Worlds 2016 was already in California. Hawaii would've been ideal for the planet given it's a great vacation spot and is topical to Sun and Moon. Otherwise, put it anywhere else but the West Coast of America. East Coast? Western Europe? Central Europe? Japan? Australia? You've got a lot of choices, TPCi, and you chose Anaheim. When we were just in San Francisco. Oh well. Guess this means a lot of people will be planning vacations to Disneyland, then?
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Old 08-28-2016, 10:35 AM   #2
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The Champion details his team. Includes EVs and battle calculations.
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Old 08-28-2016, 10:52 AM   #3
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There was quite a bit of controversy in a few of the matches when the winner won solely to playing out the clock rather than trying to actually stall out the opponent, which isn't very sporting.

If you're going to run stall at VGC, you're not doing well. If you have to try and let the battle timer hit 0 and win through attrition, you don't deserve to be at Worlds.
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Old 08-28-2016, 02:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raves View Post
There was quite a bit of controversy in a few of the matches when the winner won solely to playing out the clock rather than trying to actually stall out the opponent, which isn't very sporting.

If you're going to run stall at VGC, you're not doing well. If you have to try and let the battle timer hit 0 and win through attrition, you don't deserve to be at Worlds.
It's controversial. You've got those who mind timer and those who do not. You've also got those who believe in winning at any cost and those who believe that there are some lines you do not cross even if it costs you your life. It forms a little 2x2 grid of permutations, and one of those squares is people who both dislike timer and who oppose victory at any cost. Those are the people who are upset right now.

The thing is, the vast majority of people who attended Worlds this year are in the column that says "victory at any cost." Whether they personally like or dislike victory by timer, they're going to be okay with someone else beating them via timer. "If I didn't want to lose via timer, I should have battled better. Victory by timer is a perfectly legitimate way to win. It says so right there in the rules."

Most of the controversy I seem to be seeing is coming from PokéTuber channels. I only follow a few select people, and right now because of my self-imposed SM blackout the only one I've been following is Aaron Zheng. But even on Aaron's channel, I'm not safe from the Verlisify fanboys and their enemies. Both camps are constantly spamming the comments section. And it seems like Verlisfy has been stirring the pot this week as far as timer victories are concerned. But I haven't heard of nor seen anyone who is actually in the core VGC community -- not Aaron Traylor, not Chase Lybbert, not Wolfe Glick, not Barry Anderson -- I've heard no one famous in the community speaking out against win by timer. Everyone seems to accept that it's a legitimate win condition. That doesn't mean they all like it, or that none of them would be sad to see it go. It just means that none of them are raising their pitchforks calling for its abolition.

The one good thing that might come from this controversy is, we might see Pokémon move from its current timer system to one that bears more similarity with the ones in use by chess and Go players. The key difference is that, instead of allotting n minutes of time to the match, you allot n/2 minutes of time to each player. This prevents either player from directly disadvantaging the other by whittling down the clock. You can whittle down your own clock, but you can't touch your opponent's. His time is his own.

I don't know if chess has what in Japanese Go we call byo-yomi, but Go has this thing where once your main match time runs out you still have a supply of 30-second windows of time. You're typically given five of these, and so long as you play within the 30-second time limit the one of these that you're on is regenerated. It's only if you go over the 30 seconds that you "spend" / "use up" that byo-yomi period and move on to the next one. If this doesn't make sense, you can read more about it here. Hopefully if TPCi does decide to implement chess-like timer rules, they will have something similar to byo-yomi in place. Because if not, we're probably still going to see people playing to timer, just in a different way to what they do now. With byo-yomi, I think there's little incentive to try to play to timer. You can still do it, to apply psychological pressure to the opponent. (People do do this in Go and other games with similar systems.) But you flat out can't run an opponent out of time. Only he can run himself out of time.
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Old 08-30-2016, 10:06 AM   #5
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There's also the idiot who flipped the bird to the cameras in the middle of the damn match who got fined for his actions. SPortsmanship this year's been horrible.

Props to Wolfe though for taking a Raichu to the top.
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