Tuesday, 24 May 2016

[VG] 2016 German Nationals Aftermath

Hello world. The actual report with all the Pokémon stuff etc. will have to wait for a few more weeks, but there is some other, more informal stuff I'd like to just get out of my system. It was a Nats different than all I've played before and in many ways. I shall keep it in good memory.

My Tournament Run

I had never before finished a Nats Swiss stage at X-1. The only time I finished one at X-2, only X-1s with a single exception were allowed into day 2. And if we're talking about X-0 Swiss, I had achieved that as well only once in my life, which was just a local Premier Challenge. And then...yeah, I magically pulled the 8-0 Nats day 1 out of my imaginary hat. Don't know if it's good or bad that no one ever expected that -- they could have won a fortune way beyond just a mere paid trip from that single idiotic bet. A sweet dream it was, and I woke up from it in the morning of day 2, when I had my top-32 match and unfortunately lost it in yet another dumb way. Why do all my Nationals have to end in dumb ways, and sometimes out of my control as well?

It is what it is, I guess. In order to win tournaments, and especially big tournaments, you need luck, and preferably a lot of it. I had some luck I'm definitely not used to for all of my Swiss run but after that it ran out like it always would. And even then, I could have made the next round anyway, but I just wasn't good enough. Just like I wasn't good in enough Liverpool, where I faced 3 extremely hard matchups in Swiss and lost in all of them -- just took the two of them that weren't completely unwinnable to a honorable game 3, but yeah, wasn't good enough to take them in the end and that decided the run. No one (except maybe the best of the best) has an inherent right to luck, and if I make just mostly good plays but not the best plays, one can only wonder why I didn't come up with the best plays when I needed them. That is exactly why I still don't have my paid trip. There is no fucking up allowed and minor mistakes still are mistakes that can cost you absolutely everything.

Official Streaming

I'm living another dream and I still haven't woken up from that one. We were actually used to this kind of online content exclusively for the godblessed land of the United States of America for a while -- until the true gods from TPCi threw the whole thing from the sky above Europe in what felt like an instant for us outsiders, with the result even rivaling the original in quality! (Add to that mostly flawlessly run tournaments. It's literally only the circuit and the prize support that are still in need of huge improvements... Speaking of which, why does Pokémon not monetize the streaming? Is it just physically impossible with a disabled Twitch chat or what's the deal here?)

And because those running the show think that i'm sorta relevant (well, they probably have to, with me having a 500+ CP preseason...), I made it onto that stream. Twice, in fact, first time in Liverpool but just as the backup match and wasn't shown. Not even unhappy with that, for I got completely wrecked, lol. But then in Kassel, I made the primary match of the fifth round, the whole world saw it and it was a (Moon)blast. I will link some YouTube of that later in my report, so just go look it up by yourselves if you want to watch it now. If we ignore the part of me playing somewhat questionably but it just working out anyway, I'm very happy with the product for many reasons. It's better than Christmas (which admittedly isn't hard per se, but let's not talk about that madness here).

The Future of Germany Leaves Some Questions to Be Answered (Somewhat Digressing!?)

The bad news related to our country started with Lajo -- the first of the two definite best players of Germany as well as the infamous last warrior against Japan -- quitting the circuit for job reasons. Then many regions in Germany had or are still having problems in terms of running local official tournaments. Extend that to the bigger scale as well, where for whatever reason unknown to me only Amigo is allowed to host Regionals (contrary to other European countries, where Regionals are hosted by regular persons), but decided to host only three of them in a country as big and rich as Germany, which is completely unfair in comparison to some other places. (And this weird "tradition" of having a Regional right after the National isn't the coolest thing either.) So essentially, all Germans who desired to just have their Regionals best-finish limit filled out before Nats were absolutely required to travel abroad. (You may figure out by yourselves if that applies to everyone else as well or not!) Aaand we also didn't have a Regional in the current format before Nats. And finally... I'll have to get to this "two definite best players of Germany" part again. The second one of them, online known as Yoshi with various numbers maybe even counting his Kangaskhan/Gengar teams, chose death as a competitor in order to bless us with top-notch commentary.

Especially thinking about these two exceptional players (might as well call them...the freaking double Yoshis, if you know/remember what I mean) we don't really have anymore, it's interesting to realize how much they have influenced me (and probably many others as well) personally after all. Lajo was a local of mine and essentially the "German Wolfey" in terms of team building. I always was a huge fan of Wolfey ever since he appeared out of nowhere in 2011, so it was just great to have someone similar to him not so distant. The Scrafty/Rotom/MEGATAR/stuff team I ran for most of 2014 wasn't his at all but was majorly influenced by his style. While I never grew fond of Amoonguss in all years between 2012-2014, this typical Lajonic mon suddenly turned into my gift of life for all of 2015, and I also did a few things with it in the present format now that Safety Goggles are even less of a (Moro)barrier, haha. Another thing worth noting is that he used to be the only local player here to win multiple Premier Challenges. After he quit, Toby and me followed him in winning 3 of them in a single season, and I myself took even more after that and am now the single person with the most official tournaments won in Berlin ever. However the fuck I did that, at least half of them I did so random stuff, lol -- but it was a nice and fun thing to do regardless!

Shoutouts to cheesy Twitter pictures -- but the ascent to Mt. Silver is still very fucking long if even manageable at all, you know. Well, and then about Markus-Yoshi, he was for many years just a rival that most of the time came out on top and nothing was supposed to change about that. I literally never copied any of his teams before or stuff like that, let alone build in any way like he, but that changed when he completely annihilated my possibly Nats-intended Icy Wind + Thunder Wave Cresselia double Primals team 2 weeks before Liverpool using that one specific big-6 variant (might as well call it "lil C", contrary to "big C" which would be the one with Cresselia). I took a rough copy of the team to Battle Spot for shits and giggles in my desperation to find a good team for Nats, and since I had played other big-6 variants all year, I didn't need much time to learn to play it on an acceptable level once I had grasped the basic idea. And here I am now, having made my first ever Nationals top cut after many cursed years using exactly that team of his that I turned into my own. Well, and then there was my appearance on the stream as a bonus. I just watched it, and it was so awesome that and how the master himself commentated over my performance. So yeah, all of that is history that has written itself within less than a month.

Moving away from them...their illustrious spots as the very best this country has to offer are quite contested. I see none close to them at the present, but many who are on that one level below and could potentially rise one day. First (not in any qualitative order, just grouped by archetypes as I perceive them) we have Lega and Billa, quite alike to and different from each other in some ways. They have a common tendency to grind the same team all year, change whatever detail about it every other week and steal a bunch of games with those nifty techs. Whenever I actually saw them play, they weren't the most spectacular, but I do like a lot how they approach team building. They also both were consistently at Worlds since 2013 -- just that...well, one of them, reigning king of wallet warriors, is so smart that he essentially avoided all legit competition for the running year. Something I can't think too highly of, but unfortunately it is within the rules. Next we have Toby, another local, just playing his second year of VGC and probably walking out of it with his second Worlds day 2 -- maybe even with his second X-2 there, and this year it would definitely mean the top cut with the change of tournament system. One might think he's complete shit at team building, because all he has done in those two years was, well, copying other people's teams (or for the running season, almost just CHALKT and big-6 exclusively, hahah) and putting in an amount of tournament work with them that sometimes even surpassed what the original creators were able to do! Then we have Daflo and Luca: These two are notorious for their bad mentality which almost definitely holds them back a lot. Whenever they aren't held back though...everyone should know by now that they can do pretty great things on good days and that warrants them being in this group of potential "successors". Similar with Christian C., or just Chris, a driving force of our local community, loses motivation way too quickly when unfortunate things happen but totally is a threat to anyone when in the right state of mind. Next is our freshly-baked Nats runner-up Dark Psiana in his second season of being relevant result-wise. Unfortunately I can't say a whole lot about him because I've barely seen him play in my life and also played against him just once -- but that was a great game back at the end of 2014. Of Michilele, I haven't seen much actual playing in all those years as well, but you know, he's there, and at least he can still top-16 a proper Nats after all. And the last one I want to mention here is my good friend drugduck -- has to be with that friendship bias bonus though, because he just fell somewhat behind in recent years and hell knows why. Just stop sucking, silly, and things will just fall into place!

Apologies to those not mentioned or legitimately forgotten, it happens. Be good, play well, have some appropriately timed luck and who knows what may happen. Germany is a sick haven of good Trainers and it's not too hard to get in touch with the great ones, learn from them, and beat them. And where would I see myself? Well, as the facts are standing, I am no match to the people mentioned. Your typical average third- or fourth-class Trainer. I may beat them not too rarely when I face them in games, but they have shitloads of tournament success and I don't. I'm not comparing myself to those who have what I desire. I did enough of that in the past...and it held me back big time.

Personal Plans Moving On

For this season: There's a Regional and a National left to play and I'm naturally entering them both, still looking to finish the job that I failed in Kassel. I can't make any promises or something, but I grew bored of dwelling on unfortunate Nats exits for all those years and a top cut appearance (as first seed, no less) absolutely is a positive memory, so I should be mentally fine. (But still, there is a single thing I hate about that run: I faced not a single one of those mentioned big names as well as equivalent Trainers not from Germany. I've had lots of other tournaments where I faced even multiples of those guys sometimes, but yeah, playing them at PCs or online obviously is different from playing them on the big stage.)

For all seasons: I can't think of a reason to quit other than becoming no less than fucking World Champion. Even the very flawed circuit isn't turning me off, just because playing in the events I can feasibly play in and meet all those friends is so much fun and I don't want to give that up. While always falling short of stuff may be annoying and I definitely don't like it myself, at least it can be motivational when you know you got close. And yeah, as long as you aren't something like a World Champion, there always will be new challenges to be accepted.

Tutto piacione.

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