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The Silph League Arena

Arena Update

Jul 1, 2022: The Silph Arena Tournament Guide

The Silph Arena Tournament Guide

 

Table of Contents


1. Introduction
1.1. What is the Silph Arena Tournament Guide
1.2. Applicability
1.2.1. Application to Regional Invitationals
1.3. Updates
2. Ranked Tournaments
2.1. What is a Ranked Tournament?
2.2. Ranked Tournament types
2.3. Automatically losing eligibility
2.4. Misconducts that may end up in a Tournament Derank
3. Pre-Tournament Preparations
3.1. Properly enter information
3.2. Enter event details
3.3. Send reminders before check-in starts
3.4. Remote-Tournament advice
4. Checking-in and Start of the Tournament
4.1. What is a check-in and when to open them?
4.2. Closing check-ins and starting the tournament
5. Judgements and Disputes
5.1. Coordination issues
5.1.1. Definition and How to avoid them
5.1.2. How to declare a winner
5.1.3. Round extensions
5.1.4. Forbidden methods
5.1.5. Round-robin Tournaments particularities
5.2. Slow Play
5.3. Incorrect Team Selection
5.3.1. Definition
5.3.2. Before battle. Procedure, Solutions and Penalties
5.3.3. After battle. Solutions and Penalties
5.4. Cheating
5.4.1. Definition and examples
5.4.2. Suggested penalties
5.5. Outside Assistance and Piloting
5.5.1. Definition
5.5.2. Penalties
5.6. Breach of Hidden Information
5.6.1. Definition
5.6.2. Penalties
5.7. Unsporting conduct
5.7.1. Definition and examples
5.7.2. Penalties
5.8. In-Game Issues and Rematches
5.8.1. Procedure
5.8.2. Evaluating disputes
6. Advancing rounds
6.1. Procedure and duties
6.2. Extensions
7. End of the Tournament

1. Introduction


1.1. What is the Silph Arena Tournament Guide

The Silph Arena Tournament Guide is an official Silph Arena document as defined in The Silph League Arena Sanctioned Event Rules (from now on “Arena Rules”). This document does not replace the official Arena Rules; it is intended to gather interpretations of those rules, and the procedures that Tournament Officials are expected to follow, into an official document. Tournament Officials are responsible for being familiar with and following the most recent version of this document.

1.2. Applicability

Tournament Officials acting in a Silph Arena Ranked Cup Tournament and/or Ranked Open League Tournament are expected to abide by this guide.

1.2.1. Application to Regional Invitationals

While Regional Invitationals are administered by selected local communities, the process of creating the tournament and determining eligibility to enter remains with the Silph Arena. Therefore the Tournament Officials are not exclusively responsible for all areas of Chapters 2 and 3. Chapters 4 through 7 should be followed for Regionals, subject to any additional special guidance.

1.3. Updates

The Silph Arena reserves the right to alter this document without prior notice and to interpret, clarify, or otherwise issue official changes through this document and other official Arena documents and communication channels.

 

2. Ranked Tournaments


2.1. What is a Ranked Tournament?

Tournament Administrators of an authorized Silph League member community can set up Ranked or Unranked tournaments using Silph.gg dedicated tournament creation tools. Ranked tournaments are the tournaments subject to the Arena Rules that are able to contribute to Competitors’ global rank. Other than Special Tournaments, only Swiss-style and Round-Robin format tournaments can be created as Ranked.

2.2. Ranked Tournament types

Per Arena Rules 1.1, three types of Ranked tournaments can be held:

  1. Cup Tournaments: Tournaments run on a monthly basis with specific rules, and features, determined solely by the Silph Arena.
  2. Open League Tournaments: Great, Ultra, Master League tournaments with no restrictions.
  3. Special Tournaments: special tournaments with additional or alternative rules and restrictions that are determined solely by the Silph Arena, held by the Arena or communities that have been selected and authorized by the Silph Arena explicitly for this purpose. Examples include but are not limited to Regional Invitationals, Championships and Wildcard Tournaments.

2.3. Automatically losing eligibility

A Ranked Cup Tournament will automatically lose its eligibility to affect ranking if it is not concluded by the end of the month in which the monthly cup runs. Given that the Silph Arena is a global platform, the end of the month is measured by the inhabited timezone with the latest end of the month, which means that Ranked Cup Tournaments will retain their eligibility until the last day of the month, 23:59 Hawaii Time (UTC-10). Additionally, Swiss-style format Ranked Tournaments must have a minimum of 8 Competitors that have started the second round to remain Ranked. Round-Robin format Ranked Tournaments must have a minimum of 4 Competitors finishing the whole tournament for it to remain Ranked.

2.4. Misconducts that may end up in a Tournament Derank

A Ranked Tournament may lose their eligibility if the Arena Infractions Team determines that one or more misconducts have taken place. This may happen while the tournament is in progress or after it has been concluded. If a Tournament were to be deranked after it has been concluded, it will be moved from the seasonal Arena Performance tab in the Travelers Card to the Unranked tab of all the participating Competitors and the impact on their ranking will be removed too, affecting the classification of not only the Competitors of said tournaments but the Competitors that battled them in subsequent Tournaments. Ranked Tournaments can be deranked at any point of an ongoing season and Competitors’ ranking will be adjusted by the system whenever a rank recalc takes place. A rank recalc is an monthly-issued ranking calculation where the global ranking is updated by recalculating it from the first battle that took place in the Season to the lastest. While a recalc is running,  tournaments cannot be concluded.

Misconduct that may result in a Tournament Derank includes but is not limited to:

  • Changing the established rulesets. No additions, modifications, or reductions of the rule sets for Cups or any other Ranked tournament are allowed by Tournament Officials.
  • Incorrectly determining a winner will invalidate the tournament and disqualify the event from contributing to Competitors’ global rank when one or more of the following situations happen in the Tournament:
    • The result of a match or game is decided by any random or arbitrary means, such as flipping a coin, proxy playing, or playing any other game.
    • The use of placeholder results and/or retroactively changing results in any Swiss-style tournament, unless said change were related to an Arena Rules violation that must be reported to the Arena Infractions Team using the Report Misconduct form in the Silph.gg website.
  • The use of additional and/or false Travelers Card or Guest accounts that do not follow the Arena Rules 1.9 eligibility to either fulfill the minimum number of Competitors to have a Ranked tournament or adding additional rounds to the tournament.

Additionally, Tournament Officials found to be breaking the Arena Rules may be subject to the temporary or permanent revocation of their Official and/or Admin roles.

 

3. Pre-Tournament Preparations


3.1. Properly enter information

After selecting your community from the Silph.gg Admin tab it is possible to manage ongoing tournaments or host a new one. When creating a new Tournament, the creation page must be filled properly. Steps 1 and 2 include the selection of the Tournament Type, Bracket System, and Rules.

  1. Select a Tournament: available tournament types are resumed in a dropdown list that separates Ranked, Unranked and Placeholder tournament options. Ranked Tournaments belong to types mentioned in Section 2.2. Unranked Tournament options include the possibility to hold themed Cups (Silph Arena Tournament Cups from previous months), Practice Cups (current month Silph Arena Tournament Cup) or Open League Tournaments with or without custom rulesets or restrictions.
  2. Select a bracket system: the second dropdown list determines how wins and losses affect participants’ progression (or elimination) in the tournament. Eligible bracket systems include Swiss-style, Round-Robin and Single-elimination.
    1. A Swiss-style Tournament is a non-eliminating tournament format that features a fixed number of rounds, that corresponds to the number of different players each Competitor will battle. Round 1 matchmaking will be based on starting players’ rank and next rounds will be generated considering tournament performance. This tournament format is suggested for large tournaments.
    2. A Round-Robin Tournament is a non-eliminating tournament format in which each Competitor will play each Competitor once. This tournament format is suggested for smaller tournaments.
    3. Unranked tournament types: Unranked tournaments may use the two Ranked tournament types, but also have two additional formats available for selection: Single elimination, where the defeated Competitor of each match is immediately removed from the tournament and the bracket proceeds until only one player remains undefeated, or double-elimination (beta) in which a Competitor is moved to a “losers” bracket after their first loss but continues to compete until they have lost a second match; the brackets will merge again to determine a final winner and play will continue until only one player has less than two losses.
  3. Pick your rules and Single Player or Team format: only Arena Rules and Single-player competition are allowed at the moment.

3.2. Enter event details

When creating a Tournament, Step 3 refers to a whole set of specific tournament information that will let Competitors know where, when, and what to expect of the event. Information to fill includes:

  1. Tournament format: Silph Arena Tournaments can be In-Person, which is a live event where Competitors meet in a predetermined place, or Remote, in which Competitors can battle each other from anywhere in the world via the Battle button on the in-app Friend screen. Remote Tournaments can accommodate up to 128 Competitors while In-Person Tournaments are currently limited to 64. Hybrid Tournaments as defined in Arena Rules 1.4 must be created as In-Person Tournaments. Refer to the Guide to Safe In-Person Tournaments for the expected standards for In-Person Tournaments during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
  2. Round Timer: Optional Round Timer which shows the expected duration of each round in the Tournament. The website allows setting Round Timers from 5 minutes to 7 days per round. Additionally, the Round Timer may be adjusted for individual rounds during the event. The Round Timer has a purely informative function as, if the round timer expires, the round will not be closed nor advanced automatically even if all battles have been finished.
  3. Event title: Name of the Tournament, this is how the Tournament will be known and shown in the Tournament Page, Tournament Map, and in the Competitors’ Travelers Cards. The event title has no formal restrictions other than not being against the Arena Rules. It is recommended that the Event Title fits the Tournament Theme and that it has the name of the Community or place where it is hosted.
  4. Show on map option and tournament location: The Silph Arena Tournament Map is a way for Tournament Admins to advertise their Tournament and for Competitors to find events to participate. It is recommended that Tournaments are visible on the Arena’s Tournament Map. In-Person Tournament pin should be dragged to the location where the Tournament is going to be held whereas Remote Tournaments’ pin may be dragged to the location that better represents the whereabouts of the Community which, by default, is placed at your Community’s coordinates.
  5. Date & Time: Starting date and time of a tournament are of paramount importance to let players organize their personal commitments and set up their monthly tournament timetable. Tournament Officials should do their best efforts to ensure that the start date and time is met. If any inconvenience should postpone the tournament, the event page should be edited to include the new start date and time.
  6. Event details and Info for Newcomers: Relevant event details should be provided in these boxes to entice participation and point out tournament insights. Relevant details include the hosting community full name, the format, rules, round time limit, prices (if any), relevant links and contact information. This is a good place to add a URL link to the Community and/or Tournament preferred communication method.

Once all the steps have been finished, the “Create My Tournament” button can be pressed and the Tournament will be created. Other than Tournament Format, the information in the Step 3 of the Create Tournament page can be modified at any point after the creation of the Tournament until the “Start Tournament” button is pressed, but any changes should be properly announced to RSVP’d Competitors.

Tournament Staff can be added from the “Manage Your Tournaments” Community page from the creation of the Tournament until the “Conclude Tournament” button is finished. Adding someone as Tournament Staff will grant them access to that individual tournament actions through silph.gg. Everyone who is acting as Tournament Staff should be added as such.

3.3. Send reminders before check-in starts

Tournament Officials should send one or more reminders with relevant tournament information such as the tournament URL and start time and date to potential competitors. Check-in opening time and date has to be communicated to Competitors with sufficient notice so they can finish their registration on time. Effective communication can be assured through platforms like Discord and/or messaging apps that allow group management such as Whatsapp and Telegram. In-Person Tournaments communication can be improved with the use of posters, banners, fliers and the use of megaphones or microphones if appropriate and allowed.

3.4. Remote-Tournament advice

Remote Tournaments can be concluded in a single day (Live-Remote Tournament) or more commonly spread over a certain number of days or weeks. Tournament Organizers should plan the progression of monthly ranked Cup Tournaments ensuring that the last round will be concluded before the end of the month.

 

4. Checking-in and Start of the Tournament


4.1. What is a check-in and when to open them?

Check-ins is the procedure in which Competitors confirm that they are acting as Competitors of a tournament. Even if the Competitor has RSVP’d for a Tournament, Competitors must check-in to compete in the tournament. Check-ins can be opened by a Tournament Official at any point prior to the set tournament start time. Opening the check-ins will generate a unique code that will be used by the Competitors to complete their registration at any point after they have pre-registered their Battle Team. In a remote tournament, it is important to post the check-in code where everyone participating can access it and reach out to those who have not checked in just as you would in person.

In an In-Person Tournament, it is recommended that the Check-ins are opened in-place to avoid starting the Tournament with people that have not actually arrived at the event. In contrast, as Remote Tournaments can involve a wide variety of players from around the world, to avoid delays from potential Competitors, it is recommended to open check-ins and inform the check-in code with sufficient notice so they can finish their registration on time. Using the Tournament Round-Time to estimate the opening of Check-Ins is a good rule of thumb; in example, if the established round timer is 48 hours, opening the check-ins 48 hours prior to the start of the Tournament should give enough time to the Competitors to finish their registration. Even in Live-Remote Tournaments, it is recommended to open check-in at least one hour before the scheduled start of the event.

4.2. Closing check-ins and starting the tournament

Only a Tournament Admin can close the Check-ins and start the Tournament. Before the Check-in is closed, Tournament Officials should remind competitors to check their teams and ensure that they are correct. This is also a good opportunity to remind your Competitors about standard tournament procedures such as how disputes are handled, how the current rematch rule is, and any Tournament particularity that is considered important enough to be reminded in order to avoid future issues between two or more Competitors, or between Competitors and Tournament Officials.

Once check-in is closed no new competitors may join the tournament and Round 1 will be generated. At this point, teams are locked-in and revealed and the tournament begins. Competitors cannot change their teams from this point onwards. Evolution, including evolution of Community Day Pokémon counts as a change in moveset even if the Pokémon itself is not used before that point. If a competitor has made a mistake by inputting the wrong CP or the wrong Pokemon, please refer to Chapter 5 “Judgements and Disputes”.

The tournament page allows for check-ins to be reopened from the moment the Tournament has been started until a result is submitted. The use of this option should be as restrictive as possible as this might alter pairings and allow competitors to adjust the Pokémon they bring based on viewing their opponents’ team. Check-ins should not be reopened to correct an Combat Power or Pokémon species error but used in situations such as when a Competitor could not check-in in time.

 

5. Judgements and Disputes


Tournament Officials should be ready to intervene in different situations where they will have to set a ruling to allow the Tournament to continue as intended. These situations may be caused by one-sided mistakes, coordination issues, rules violations and events that the Competitor may think are in-game technical errors that affected the outcome of the game, among others.

Reviewing evidence for many of these situations will expose hidden information of the involved competitors. If a Tournament Official is competing in the tournament, they should not review evidence that could reveal hidden information of any Competitor they are competing against in that tournament. If the host community does not have a non-playing Tournament Official available, it is recommended to add a Tournament Staff member to the tournament who is from a different community to assist with such cases. In the event that a Competitor’s opponent had acted as a Tournament Official in a previous dispute involving them, they can report this conduct to the Arena Team by filling a Misconduct Report but it does not allow them to refuse to play the match or stall the start of the battle in any way.

It is important to note that in any of the situations stated above and any other that may arise related to Arena Rules violation, Tournament Officials must always inform the Competitor of any ruling that may affect them.

5.1. Coordination issues

5.1.1. Definition and How to avoid them

Coordination issues arise when two Competitors cannot properly set a time and date for their round match or when they set it but the battle never happens. The best way to avoid these situations is by guiding the Competitors on how to properly communicate either by providing guidelines, setting recommended timeframes to coordinate their battles, and/or setting a conversation example on how the coordination should be. The key points to remind the Competitors are to communicate as early as possible after the round has started and to be as straightforward as possible to let their opponents know what time-zone they are in, what time restraints they have and propose as soon as they can a possible date and time for the match.

As Remote Tournaments allow people from different parts of the world to compete at the same tournament, it is important to specify in what time-zone the Competitors are. For this, it is recommended that Competitors use the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) which is the universal time standard that allows easily adding up or subtracting the time difference to know how many hours ahead or before a Competitor is compared to the other. It is not recommended that the Competitors refer to a time of a specific place such as, in example, “Mexico Time” as the other competitor may not be aware of what time that is or may retrieve the supposed time-zone from an incorrect source and complicate the coordination. In the case that a Competitor is not aware what time-zone they are currently in, specifying what time it is for them at the moment of sending a message is another valid option. In the case that no competitor specifies a time-zone, it will be understood that they are both using the same as the Tournament.

5.1.2. How to declare a winner

Whenever coordination issues that prevent timely battle arise, there are three possibilities on what can happen or be done, the first one is that one Competitor spontaneously says that they will not be able to play their games and concedes the match, the second is that a time extension is granted for the competitors to finish their battles, and the last and third is that the Tournament Officials must declare a winner.

In order to declare a Winner, Tournament Officials must gather all evidence from both Competitors for review such as any coordination/conversation that happened both in any public channels and in private messages within the parties. If one Competitor reaches out to the Staff, it is needed that the Staff reaches out to the other party to verify the claims. It is advised to do this with enough time to throughously review the evidence. Some questions TOs should ask when reviewing the evidence are if one player was making more effort than another, if the communication was one-sided or if both replied but one failed to communicate their availability/time-zones, and consider the possibility that both competitors were equally at fault.

After reviewing the evidence, if one Competitor was clearly at fault for the battle not happening, they will be granted a match loss due to Slow Play. Match losses due to these situations will always be 3-0 and not 2-1. In the event of reincidence during the same tournament, the offending Competitor may be removed from the tournament unless they have specifically contacted a Tournament Official regarding the issue. Removal should be done before the next round is generated. In the event that both Competitors are equally at fault for the battle not happening, they should both be removed. One of the Competitors can spontaneously decide to concede the battle to avoid the removal, but the decision to do so must not be influenced by any Competitor, Official or Spectator in any way.

Tournament Officials who have concerns about coordination issues arising may choose to post a general, public reminder to all competitors making sure they understand the process that will be followed and quoting Arena rules and policy, but it must not mention individual Competitors in a way that could possibly be interpreted as influencing a concession. It should also not be sent when there is only a single match outstanding, as it could be viewed as influencing those Competitors. Any such message may reference the Arena Rules and state the policy that both players are subject to removal if both are ruled equally at fault but must not imply, suggest, or require that any party concede.

5.1.3. Round extensions

If deemed necessary due to the circumstances, the Tournament Officials may give an extension for the Competitors to finish their round. If an extension has been given to a pairing in order to finish their match, the new end time and date for the round needs to be announced to all the Competitors.

5.1.4. Forbidden methods

Any other method of determining a winner that does not include giving an extension for the Competitors to battle or issuing losses or removals after reviewing of evidence are forbidden. Methods like placeholder results, the result being randomly or arbitrarily decided by any means, or any specified in Arena Rules 3.2 is forbidden and penalties may be issued for the Competitors, TOs, Tournament, and Community involved.

5.1.5. Round-robin Tournaments particularities

As Swiss-style Tournaments use the previous round results in order to determine the future rounds, it is not possible to play rounds in advance in the event of the possibility of any future time-constraints. In Round-robin Tournaments, all Competitors must play each other and will play each other and, therefore, Competitors can decide to play matches in advance to avoid coordination issues.

In the event that two Competitors decide to play a match in advance they need to clearly state in the conversation what tournament battles they are playing and forward said conversation and the results to the Tournament Officials. Competitors are expected and should be encouraged to report themselves the results when the round of the played battle is generated. Other Competitors, Officials, or Spectators may not imply, suggest, or otherwise require that a Competitor play their matches in advance. Additionally, only the conversations between Competitors that happened during the round time where their battle should have taken place should be understood in the event that Staff must decide a winner.

If a Competitor decides to play a battle in advance, they accept that they cannot be asked to be removed from the tournament until the last of the matches played in advance is generated and reported in the Tournament. Competitors asking to play battles in advance and asking to be removed to avoid reporting losses should be reported using a Misconduct Report as it will be understood as an attempt of Rank Manipulation.

Tournament Officials can decide to either allow or forbid Competitors to play rounds in advance, if no Community/Tournament rule is stated in the matter it will be understood as it is allowed. Placeholder results are not allowed in either Round-robin Tournaments nor Swiss-style Tournaments.

5.2. Slow Play

Slow Play is defined as the stall of the gameplay and/or match reporting by either the Competitors or Officials. In addition to the penalties of match losses and removal that were explained in Coordination issues, Slow Play situations can be penalized with warnings and game losses. The Tournament Officials must keep in mind that not all Competitors are familiar with the procedures of a Tournament and should only penalize those who are either seeking an advantage of the situation or causing a prejudice to their opponent. Recommended penalties include:

  • If a Competitor is stalling the report of a match result, a Warning should be issued.
  • If a Competitor gets reported for playing their round but not showing on-time or taking too much time to select the battle teams, a Warning should be issued.
  • If a Competitor has started to play a round match but stops or stalls for any reason that is not outside of their control, and does not comply after a warning, a game loss for the battles that have not been played may be issued.
  • If a Competitor has started to play a round match but stops or stalls for any sudden reason beyond their control, the suggestion is to incentivize further coordination to finish the match or to give an extension. If this is not possible, a game loss for the battles that have not been played may be issued.
  • Repeated intentional Slow Play conduct can be penalized with a removal of the tournament if the Competitor has been previously warned.

5.3. Incorrect Team Selection

5.3.1. Definition

Incorrect team selection is the failure to comply with Arena Rules 2.4. This situation may happen due to making a mistake in the Battle Party (team of 6) or battling with one or more incorrect Pokémon and therefore using an incorrect Battle Team (team of 3). Incorrect Pokémon does not only refer to inconsistencies in Combat Power (CP) or species but also to changes in the moveset, Best Buddy status, or any changes that makes the selected Pokémon different in any attribute to the one that has been signed up to the Tournament.

5.3.2. Before battle. Procedure, Solutions and Penalties

If a Competitor realizes that they have made a mistake in their Battle Team, they need to inform the Tournament Staff as soon as they notice for guidance. The Tournament Staff can either forbid them to use said Pokémon for the rest of the Tournament or let them continue using it but on the condition that the Competitor at fault lets all their opponents know. It is recommended that the Tournament Staff makes the allowance public to avoid any misunderstanding with any other Competitors. When deciding, Tournament Staff needs to make the best of efforts in understanding if the Competitor has made an honest mistake or they are trying to take advantage of the situation. In order to do so, they can request screenshots of Pokémon searches for the Competitor to prove they never had the misregistered Pokémon. Looking for similarities in the Pokémon names, mistakes between the same Pokémon families, or proximity between the Combat Power (PC) numbers is explicit evidence the Staff should keep in mind.

5.3.3. After battle. Solutions and Penalties

If the Competitor had used an incorrect battle team, the penalty that should be applied is a game loss. Tournament Staff may change the results of any game where the Pokémon was used but cannot give straight match losses due to the infraction. If the mistake was a Combat Power or Species error, Tournament Staff should not retroactively modify results of previous rounds but if the mistake was a case modification of movements to earn a battle advantage the rules of the next section “Cheating” are applied, and results should be retroactively changed if video-evidence can be gathered.

5.4. Cheating

5.4.1. Definition and examples

Cheating is defined in Arena Rules 3.1 as actively breaking a rule with the intention of gaining an advantage from the action. If any allegations of cheating are brought to the Tournament Officials for review, they may issue an appropriate penalty and/or submit evidence of misconduct to the Silph Arena Team to be reviewed and logged. Some examples of Cheating that are not specified in other sections of this Chapter include but are not limited to altering a Pokémon and using it in battle with said modifications and/or using any kind of software that modifies the way that the Pokémon Go game is working that gives the Competitor using it an advantage in battle.

5.4.2. Suggested penalties

Competitors that have been found cheating can be issued penalties up to a tournament removal. Tournament Officials in charge of the ruling must thoroughly review all the evidence and Competitor’s behavior before, during, and after the match in order to address whether they were actually trying to get an advantage from the situation or if it was an honest mistake. Recommended penalties include:

  • If a Competitor uses TMs to modify the moveset of a Pokémon that was used in the tournament and there is video evidence of said modification, the Competitor should be issued a game loss in the games that they used said modified Pokémon after the change. Tournament Officials may ask for previous battle videos in order to compare and retroactively fix any results as necessary. The Competitor that was found out to be cheating should not be issued matches losses but only game losses whenever they used the Pokémon. If there is no video evidence of the usage of the modified Pokémon no results can be changed and conversations sent as evidence should be used only to properly time-frame the videos that are being used as evidence. Officials must use the Report Misconduct feature to report any changes they will be making to previous results and must attach all the evidence for the Arena Infractions Team to review and either confirm or undo.
  • If after the gathering and review of evidence the Tournament Officials consider that the Competitor has been modifying movesets in order to gain an advantage in battle, it is recommended that the Competitor is removed. If it is considered that the modification was an honest mistake that the Competitor has brought forward, or admitted, due to them being playing another tournament or mode of the Pokémon Go game a warning should be issued after the game losses.
  • If a Competitor changes a Charged Move, and uses said Pokémon in battle, but it acknowledges mid-battle of this mistake and plays without using the wrong Charged Move, the result should not be changed as the modified moveset has not been used. If the Charged Move were to be used at least once, a game loss should be issued. The Competitor must inform the Officials of this situation and, if the changed move was used at least once, they may not change it back until the round is finished. Warnings should be issued in either case.

5.5. Outside Assistance and Piloting

5.5.1. Definition

Outside Assistance is defined in Arena Rules 3.3 as seeking advice from anyone, whether physically present or not; using any programmatic or script-driven sources which provide strategic direction against teams of 3 made from their opponent’s specific Battle Team; and/or coaching any Competitor at any point before, during, and after each match through the conclusion of the Tournament. Coaching is defined as receiving information from another Competitor or Spectator that informs a Competitor’s decisions and strategies.

Piloting is the event where the account of a Competitor is being played by any other individual than the owner of said account. The act of screen-sharing and receiving real-time audio advice during an ongoing battle of a Ranked Tournament is equivalated to Piloting for the effects of this section.

5.5.2. Penalties

Cases of Outside Assistance should always be reported to the Arena Team. The suggested penalty is always a Warning although considering the circumstances and recidivism penalties up to removal from the tournament can be issued. Tournament Officials should also consider the level of the tournament and the relative experience of the competitor involved as they weigh appropriate penalties.  Competitors that had no intention of breaking rules or gaining an unfair advantage should not be removed from the Tournament.

In the event that a Competitor was found Piloting, and evidence was gathered, after reporting the situation to the Arena Team the Competitor can be removed from the Tournament.

5.6. Breach of Hidden Information

5.6.1. Definition

Hidden Information is defined in Arena Rules 2.6 as any information that is not revealed or displayed publicly by either the functionality of Pokémon GOTM battles or the Silph Arena. Examples include but are not limited to Battle Parties, battle tactics and strategy, and movesets on registered Pokémon. A Competitor can incur in Breach of Hidden Information by either sharing said information or actively seeking it.

5.6.2. Penalties

The suggested penalty in case of Breach of Hidden Information is a warning and a report to the Arena Team. If the Competitor had been warned before and continued in their misconduct, they could be removed from the Tournament. If the Competitor acts with evident malice to cause a disadvantage to another player, the same penalty could be issued. In cases where the Competitor is seeking hidden information, the recommendation is that the match is played but then reported, with evidence, to the Arena Team for revision and potential change of the result. If a Competitor has been found asking for Hidden Information they could be removed from the tournament after the round is played.

5.7. Unsporting conduct

5.7.1. Definition and examples

Unsporting conduct is defined in Arena Rules 3.5 as the failure to behave in a polite and respectful manner towards any Officials, Competitors, or Spectators at any time before, during, or after a tournament. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Engaging in behavior, either in person or online, that could reasonably be expected to create a feeling of being harassed (sexually or otherwise), bullied, stalked, shamed, or intimidated.
  • Being argumentative, belligerent, insulting, or aggressive.
  • Violating personal privacy or safety.
  • Failing to follow the instructions of a Tournament Official.
  • Providing false information to the Tournament Officials such as false claims, edited screenshots, videos from another Tournament, or any kind of verifiable false evidence to deceive them into making an illegitimate ruling

5.7.2. Penalties

The recommended penalty for unsporting conduct is a warning to the Competitor followed up by a report to the Silph Arena Team by using the Report Misconduct tool. If the gravity of the situation warrants it the Tournament Staff may remove the Competitor from the Tournament, reporting the Misconduct afterwards. Competitors cannot get game losses based on unsporting conduct, although a Competitor that gets a game or match loss as a Slow Play penalty can be, additionally, incurring on unsporting conduct.

5.8. In-Game Issues and Rematches

5.8.1. Procedure.

Gameplay can be affected by one or more technical issues that may have an impact on the game outcome. Both Tournament Organizers and Competitors should know how to deal with this situation in order to reach a prompt, peaceful and fair solution. A two-level discussion should be followed:

  1. Competitors level: The affected Competitor must immediately bring the issue to the attention of their opponent, no later than before starting the next battle (Arena Rules 2.10). Both Competitors are responsible for assessing the magnitude of impact of the problem, and if they agree there was a significant impact on the game’s outcome, they may re-play the game. In the event of a restart for an individual game, the opponent of the Competitor requesting a rematch must choose whether the same Battle Party, including the same leads, should be used or whether the same lead should be used but the remaining two Pokémon in the Battle Party may be changed.
  2. Tournament Official level: If an agreement between the Competitors cannot be reached, the affected Competitor must contact the Tournament Officials and provide a full-length unedited video of the played battle as evidence. It is recommended to use video hosting services or cloud services to provide the video to the Tournament Officials. While the Competitor requesting the rematch must provide their video recording to the Tournament Official, they are not required to share their video with their opponent as it is protected by Arena Rules 2.6. The opponent not making a dispute is not obligated to provide any video evidence unless they are willing. If the Competitor affected by the in-game issue fails to provide with a video of the battle, no rematch will be granted. Additionally, Tournament Officials should always ask what game of the round is being disputed and if any following games have been played, as if in that event no rematch should be granted.
    Tournament Officials are expected to make rulings on disputes and tournament participants are expected to follow their interpretations and rulings. Rulings can only consist of granting a rematch or confirming the journal result (not granting the rematch) as wins cannot be granted outside of Special Tournaments with rules explicitly allowing for this possibility. While reviewing the dispute, Tournament Officials may instruct the Competitors to play the remaining battles while waiting on the decision.
    If a Rematch were to be granted by a Tournament Official, the current season Rematch Rule per Arena Rules 2.10 or any specific-tournament rule in the event of a Special Tournament must be followed. Draws may be disputed if one Competitor was affected by one or more technical issues that may have had an impact on the game, and in the event that a rematch was granted the Rematch Rule must be followed. If a rematched game result were to be a draw, Arena Rules 2.3 apply as usual: that game is discarded and an entirely new battle must be played
    If a Tournament Official was part of an ongoing dispute in the role of a Competitor, they cannot be involved in the dispute as Tournament Officials and cannot take part of internal discussions, see any hidden information (unless allowed by the owner), cast votes or issue rulings related to that dispute. Though not mandatory, it is recommended that at least 3 Tournament Officials are involved in a decision.
    Any appeals regarding Tournament Official rulings should be submitted to The Silph Arena Team through a Misconduct Report as stated in Arena Rules 2.12.

5.8.2. Evaluating disputes

Besides the Arena Rules, Competitors and Tournament Officials must follow the The Silph Arena In-Game Known Issues Guide when a dispute arises. The Known Issues Guide groups technical issues by topic and provides an Official Arena Stance on whether or not a given occurrence in the game should be considered potential grounds for a rematch.

As a quick rules reference:

  • Recording battles is strongly recommended but not mandatory. It is, however, mandatory to provide a video recording of the full battle in order to submit a dispute in the event of an in-game issue. As explained in the Known-Issues Guide, some issues may need the recording to have audio or the “Show Touches” option in the Smartphone to be considered enough evidence to provide a rematch.
  • Quitting an ongoing battle when a technical malfunction occurs is allowed, as stated in Arena Rules 2.10. However, video evidence must be provided. Additionally, if said malfunction was not considered grounds for a rematch or a rematch would not be granted, quitting is considered as equivalent to the Competitor having conceded the battle.
  • Competitors cannot use simulations in order to argue their case in a dispute, as simulations are forbidden per Arena Rules 3.3.
  • In the event of a dispute, Tournament Officials may not speculate or make any assumptions about what would, could, or should have occurred. It is the Tournament Officials’ duty to determine if the impact was significant, not who the battle winner should be.
  • In the event of a dispute, Tournament Officials should watch and consider the whole video and not only what the Competitors have claimed, as there could be other issues that they did not notice which affected the game.
  • Tournament Officials can only grant rematches or make the Game Journal result stand. Overriding a Journal result based on speculation on whether a Competitor should have won a game (giving a “DefWin”) is forbidden in Arena Ranked Tournaments outside of Special Tournaments with rules explicitly allowing for this possibility.
  • Competitors cannot start a game dispute when they have proceeded into the next battle without informing their opponent and their opponent effectively taking notice of the claim, Per Arena Rules 2.10. A game dispute cannot be started after the results for the three match games have been reported.
  • In the event of a rematch, modifying a lead Pokémon will result in a game loss from an Official if evidence is provided. If this error is committed with the intent to gain advantage, the Official may take further action, up to and including removing the Competitor from the tournament, as stated in Arena Rules 2.10.
  • In the event of a rematch, Competitors are not required to replay in the same manner as the affected game, as stated in Arena Rules 2.10.
  • Even if a Competitor is not allowed to ask for a rematch based on technical errors after starting the next battle of the match, a dispute may be started based on any Arena Rules violation immediately after gaining knowledge of this situation, no matter if the next battle of the match has proceeded, as stated in Arena Rules 2.10.

6. Advancing rounds


6.1. Procedure and duties

For a Tournament to proceed its course the rounds need to be advanced. Advancing rounds is a manual process that the Tournament Staff will do either when the Round Timer gets to zero or when all battles of that round have been finished. Prior to this, the Tournament Officials should send reminders on how much time is missing for the end of the round and/or any relevant time-limit. Additionally, Tournament Officials should do their best efforts on trying to reach out to both individual Competitors whenever there is no information related to the state of a missing matchup. Tournament Official duties to fulfill before advancing a round include:

  1. Notifying match losses, removals, and penalties. If a Competitor had to be removed from the Tournament, or get a Match loss, or any kind of penalty that affects their performance in the Tournament the Tournament Staff need to inform this Competitor about the penalty. Mentioning the result of a conduct in the rules, a general notification to Competitors, or a warning is not a fulfillment to this requirement. Additionally, it is understood that the Tournament Staff had fulfilled the recommendations and guidelines from Chapter 5.
  2. Removing Competitors. Prior to the start of a new round, the Tournament Staff needs to check that every Competitor that had requested to be removed from the tournament has been removed so they do not get new pairs generated.
  3. Advancing and announcing the new round. Once all round battles have been reported, disputes have been solved, Competitors notified and removed if needed a new round can be started. The Tournament Official will have to manually start the new round and, afterwards, will notify all the Competitors about the start and length of the new round. If the Tournament Officials have set a round timer and all battles are finished before the round timer gets to zero, there is no obligation to wait and the new round can be started as soon as possible. If the Tournament is a Remote Tournament with 24 hour rounds or longer, it is recommended that the original round end time is followed even if the round has been started earlier to avoid affecting Competitors in other timezones.

6.2. Extensions

Round extensions are allowed per Arena Rules 2.8 and they may be both issued due to circumstances of the Tournament as well granted by Tournament Official. Cases that may require an extension include, but are not limited to:

  • One or more ongoing coordination or technical disputes.
  • One or more Competitor’s personal emergency or extraordinary circumstance.
  • Meal break for Competitors in live tournaments.

Extensions should not prolong the expected tournament duration excessively. Tournament Officials should do their best to help a single Competitor or pairs completing their match. However, the needs of most Competitors should always be prioritized. If not compatible, extension requests may be denied fulfilling this duty. Ranked Tournament Cup’s round extensions cannot be lengthen over the month in which the monthly cup runs as they will lose their eligibility.

 

7. End of the Tournament


The end of the tournament happens when the Tournament Admin hits the “Conclude Tournament” button and the results of the Tournament official enter into the database, affecting the Competitor’s classification in the ranking. Only Tournament Admins can conclude a tournament. Prior to concluding the Tournament, Officials should ensure that all disputes have been handled and that no Staff Corrections are needed.

Once the Tournament has been concluded, the name of the winning player (or players, in the event of a tie) will appear at the top of the page, and all Competitors’ classification in the ranking will update. At this point, no further action is required from Tournament Officials nor Competitors. The Silph.gg website, Rankings and Cup Trophies do not use the shown tie-breakers and treat all Competitors with the highest amount of points as winners. Tournament Officials may use any tie-breaker system to set a winner if needed, though it is recommended to use Battles Won followed by Buccholz. If any other system is used it should be announced to Competitors prior to the start of the Tournament.

Special Tournaments that can only have one winner, such as Regional Invitationals, may have it defined on extra tie-breaking rounds that will be generated automatically by the Silph.gg software. In these Tournaments, the “Conclude Tournament” button will not appear until the tie-breaking rounds are finished.


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