It’s been yet another packed year, and the Pokémon World Championships are once more behind us. We at Trainer Tower are excited to announce that, come September, we’ll be hosting the next season of the Pokémon World Cup of VGC!
In just four months’ time, VGC will be leaving the 3DS as a platform in favour of the Nintendo Switch. Six years of history, during which our scene grew and changed in many significant ways, will be coming to a close. We’ve crowned six world champions. We’ve seen radical shifts in the metagame through the introduction of Mega Pokémon, Primal forms, and Z-Moves. We’ve seen TPCi make sweeping changes to our tournament structure, and further changes and evolutions will be inevitable with the introduction of Sword and Shield for the Switch.
Whether or not you’re a fan of these changes or look forward to those yet to come, these past years have undoubtedly left their mark on our scene. For this reason, we’ll be dedicating this year’s World Cup to the 3DS era of VGC and the memories they hold. We’d love to celebrate our worldwide community more than anything, and show everyone why we love (and, at times, hate) taking this game so seriously.
And that’s why we’re making this the grandest World Cup yet!
8 past formats, 16 global teams, and nearly 200 of the world’s finest trainers.
All competing for the title of Champion.
You don’t want to miss this!
There will be sixteen teams to represent our global competitive scene, with each team being run by one to two managers. These managers will recruit up to twelve top players from their respective regions to compete each week. Expect to see even more teams next year!
The 2019 World Cup of VGC will be played with all formats from 2014. Each format from 2014 up to and including 2019 Moon series will be given a slot, with the current 2019 Ultra series format being given three. That means there will be ten slots in total.
Each week, every team must pick a format to ban for the upcoming week. With two teams facing off every week, this will result in there being eight slots to choose players for. Should two teams pick the same format to ban, one 2019 Ultra series slot will be removed in addition to their pick.
Additionally, teams may elect to replace 1 format listed above with VGC13. This clause will only come into effect if the managers of both teams want to play VGC13, and if they can both agree on a format to replace. If one manager does not wish to play VGC13, VGC13 will not be played.
After some lengthy discussion, we chose to implement this ban system as a means of including as many past formats as possible without harming the overall competitiveness of the tournament. Regions whose VGC scenes have established themselves more recently tend to struggle with older formats, while certain other regions may prefer them. This system allows for a healthy mix of formats, while still allowing teams to patch their weaknesses to a certain degree.
The tournament will start with a randomly determined group stage, where the sixteen teams will be sorted into four pools. Each team will play all other teams in their pool once. The top two teams from each pool will then proceed to playoffs through knockout elimination, eventually leading to the finals.
You’ll be able to follow the World Cup as it unfolds through both Twitter at @TrainerTower and @VGCWorldCup, as well as our official website. The most notable matches each week will be streamed on Twitch for spectators to tune into at twitch.tv/TrainerTowerPKMN, with an amazing pool of casters lined up volunteering to commentate them:
If you’re interested in joining our crew of casters, feel free to contact @TrainerTower on Twitter!
Furthermore, in the run-up to the tournament, we’ll be releasing articles on each of the participating teams. Keep an eye out for these if you’re interested in learning more about the history of VGC and getting to know the managers involved!
Player Selection: Mid-August -> 6th September
Announcement of pools: 7th/8th September (TBC)
Group Stage Round 1 9th September -> 15th September
Group Stage Round 2 16th September -> 22nd September
Group Stage Round 3 23rd September -> 29th September
Top 8 Elimination Round 30th September -> 6th October
Semi-Finals 7th October -> 13th October
Final 14th October -> 20th October
Tournament Format: Group Stage -> Top Cut (all Best-Of-Three between players)
Top 8: Top 2 teams from each group of 4 teams will move on to Top 8
Platform: Pokemon Showdown; subject to change if games are to be streamed. Players may play on cartridge if both players agree
Pairings: Pairings will be posted in the “Pairings” tab
Contact: Twitter and Discord
Cheating such as ghosting or changing moves/items/etc on Pokemon will be punished if sufficient evidence exists. Other forms of cheating will also be punished and will be punished to a degree determined by myself, and will be reflective of the extent of influence it had on the World Cup of Pokemon. Our policy on ghosting is listed here.
Players will be given a Set loss if caught using Guard Swap onto a Chansey or Blissey in any of their games. This decision was made on the basis of timer function differing between cartridge and Pokémon Showdown and live VGC play by official rules. The lack of a round timer denies players one of the main counterplay options against these kind of teams, and as such it’s not possible to simulate a fair VGC experience using these teams without one.
A new ruleset is being introduced this year including bans!
Formats played will be the following
1x VGC19 Sun Series
1x VGC19 Moon Series
3x VGC19 Ultra Series
8 matches will be played each week, and each team will ban 1 format listed above. If both teams select the same format, 1x VGC19 Ultra Series will be banned alongside the format both teams banned.
**VGC14 is to be played, not VGC14.5 (move tutors). Any player who shows a VGC14.5 exclusive move will be given a set loss. If the VGC14.5 exclusive Pokemon/move is seen after the completion of the set, the result will be reversed. Please ensure this does not occur.
NEW! VGC13 Clause
Both teams may elect to replace 1 format listed above with VGC13. This clause will only come into effect if the managers of both teams want to play VGC13, and if they can both agree on a format to replace. If one manager does not wish to play VGC13, VGC13 will not be played.
8 players play per team per week, and the points awarded are 3 for a win, 1 for a tie and 0 for a loss.
Tiebreakers in groups will be determined by overall Win:Loss in sets across all 3 weeks. Head to head will then follow if this is still a tie, and a set between 1 player of each team in VGC19 Sun Series if there is still a tie.
**A1 = Group A, 1st seed
Left Side of the bracket
A1 Vs C2
B1 Vs D2
Right Side of the bracket
C1 Vs A2
B2 Vs D1
Managers must submit their format ban, and once contacted again their line up of 8 players each week, and this can be changed up until the deadline. Missing the deadline (posting of pairings) will result in the lineup being the same as the previous week. The VGC13 clause will also only be applicable if the decision is made between both managers.
They will also be used in decision making if issues arise between teams. If an issue exists between 2 teams and both managers can come to an agreeable compromise, their decision will overrule mine.
Substitutions can be made by a manager if one of the following is true
Extensions may be granted under reasonable circumstances as determined by Bargens
Results must be posted in the “results-submission” channel of the TrainerTower Discord, reporting the score as well as linking all replays of a set. It is permitted to submit results on another player’s behalf.
The following guidelines are here to clarify some positions taken by the organisers and to provide guidelines for a number of scenarios. We have chosen not to make a list of hard rules as it would go against the ethos of the World Cup. They provide leniency, expecting players to be honest and show good sportsmanship. Disputes may arise, however, and penalties can be given if players abuse the leniency granted by the organisers or act maliciously.
In general, whenever there is a dispute between players, the first attempt to resolve it should be between the two players in question. If they do not succeed, they may turn to their managers instead. The managers may only seek resolution from the organisers if there is still no agreement to be found. Any agreement between two players, once confirmed by their respective managers, is final in all cases. When an organiser’s aid is requested, they will come to a ruling based on the guidelines and goals laid out here. Their word is also final.
Integrity of Sets and Games:
One of the goals of the World Cup is to host high-level sets of competitive VGC, decided by in-game factors only. Occasionally, due to a variety of potential circumstances, the integrity of a set or individual game may be called into question. This happens when the outcome of the game is influenced by outside factors. When this occurs, the organisers will always seek to resolve this issue by having the outcome decided through play only, as to restore the integrity of the set as much as realistically possible. This may require replaying a single game of a set, replaying an entire set, or remaking a singular game’s state and resuming play from there. Game and set losses will only be given as a last resort or if foul play is involved.
No-Shows and Tardiness:
If a player is too late to their match, the first step should be for their opponent to contact their manager and see whether an agreed-upon substitution is possible. Managers should represent their players, with any agreement between managers being final. Otherwise, the no-showing player should get the chance to explain why they were absent. If two players agree to play at a later time, they may do so, and a single game loss will be given to the no-showing player unless there was clear miscommunication with regards to the scheduling of their set. Players may also reschedule without a game loss being incurred if the no-showing player’s absence is deemed justified by their opponent and they agree to do so. In case a player doesn’t have the time to reschedule a match, and no extension is available, a no-showing player may be given a set loss. The same will occur if an opponent fails to be present twice during a round.
Usage of Timers:
The use of timers in matches is permitted if both players agree to it or if an opponent is taking a significantly long time to complete their turns (averaging 1 minutes per turn as a rule of thumb). Turning on the timer the instant a match starts is not permitted, as it has already led to a number of avoidable issues in sets. In case the timer is on and a player disconnects to time-out at no fault of their own, the game state should be recreated until the point of disconnection as soon as possible. If this is not possible due to random game elements, a game loss will be given to the disconnecting player. If a player disconnects to time-out twice in one round, they will be given a set loss.
Should players be suspected of abusing this clause, the organisers may revoke the above clause in its entirety and reserve the right to give game losses to all relevant games retroactively up to a point of their discretion. If a player chooses to purposefully disconnect to gain more time to plan out their game, they risk losing that game. If there is evidence a player chose to purposefully disconnect, they will be heavily penalised and potentially even disqualified from the tournament, without possibility for substitution.
Regarding Common Sense:
A lot of the issues that tend to occur and lead to disputes could have been avoided with a bit of prior consideration. If you’re aware of the fact your connection isn’t stable, it makes sense to inform your opponent and have a substitution at hand, just in case. If you know you’re not the strongest with time zones, you should utilise a time zone converter. Make sure to consider potential issues that may arise and think of ways to avoid them, as it may save you and your opponents a considerable amount of potential hassle and frustration.
The World Cup of VGC will be kicking off in just a few weeks! We would like to take the time to introduce each of the teams competing, as well as their managers. We’ll be releasing updates seeking to familiarise those curious to know more about the regions competing, as well as the volunteers representing them.