NPA 7 - Finals

Discussion in 'NPA' started by Braverius, Apr 1, 2018.

  1. Braverius

    Braverius Bird-Dog Administrator NPA 7 Champion

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    Location:
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    Deadline is Monday, April 9th at 11:59pm GMT. Please establish contact with your opponent within 48 and schedule within 72 hours to avoid activity issues. Managers, please communicate with one another to work to resolve any activity concerns.

    For anyone who wants to watch NPA matches, we have a new feature on the Trainer Tower Discord server. Simply ask staff for the matches tag, and every time a game starts, when it is linked in the discord with the @matches tag, you will be notified. Simple rules for everyone's convenience:
    1) only link games once, and only game 1 of a set.
    2) uses of @matches must be at least 30 minutes apart; stay on showdown if games are going on one after another
    3) only one person links each set, preferably a player, but anyone is allowed to

    SPREADSHEET HERE!




    [1][​IMG] vs [​IMG][3]
    Riopaser vs TTT
    BattleRoom vs Star Raikou
    Talon vs Platypus
    LightCore vs Lega
    lore95vgc vs Footstool
    Raider vs DaWoblefet
    A Rare Alpha Bag vs Braverius



    Riopaser
    NPA Seasons: 4

    (NPA 4 Ninjas, NPA 5 Rollouts, NPA 6 Rollouts, NPA 7 Rollouts)
    NPA Record: 22-14
    NPA 7 Record: 4-5

    BattleRoom
    NPA Seasons: 6

    (NPA 2 Brave Birds, NPA 3 Rollouts, NPA 4 Rollouts, NPA 5 Rollouts, NPA 6 Stars, NPA 7 Rollouts)
    NPA Record: 32-24
    NPA 7 Record: 7-4

    Talon
    NPA Seasons: 5

    (NPA 2 Flames, NPA 4 Cruisers, NPA 5 Rollouts, NPA 6 Rollouts, NPA 7 Rollouts)
    NPA Record: 30-17
    NPA 7 Record: 6-4

    LightCore
    NPA Seasons: 4

    (NPA 4 Hornets, NPA 5 Splashes, NPA 6 Rollouts, NPA 7 Rollouts)
    NPA Record: 16-11
    NPA 7 Record: 5-2

    lore95vgc
    NPA Seasons: 1

    (NPA 7 Rollouts)
    NPA Record: 5-3
    NPA 7 Record: 5-3

    Raider
    NPA Seasons: 2

    (NPA 6 Sea Dogs, NPA 7 Rollouts)
    NPA Record: 12-5
    NPA 7 Record: 6-3

    A Rare Alpha Bag
    NPA Seasons: 4 as player, 1 as assistant manager

    (NPA 3 Cones, NPA 4 Cones, NPA 5 Splashes, NPA 6 Sea Dogs, NPA 7 Rollouts)
    NPA Record: 16-13
    NPA 7 Record: 7-4

    TTT
    NPA Seasons: 1

    (NPA 7 Loud Puppies)
    NPA Record: 9-2
    NPA 7 Record: 9-2

    Star Raikou
    NPA Seasons: 1

    (NPA 7 Loud Puppies)
    NPA Record: 6-1
    NPA 7 Record: 6-1

    Platypus
    NPA Seasons: 3

    (NPA 5 Holy Spirits, NPA 6 Sea Dogs, NPA 7 Loud Puppies)
    NPA Record: 15-9
    NPA 7 Record: 5-4

    Lega
    NPA Seasons: 5

    (NPA 3 Elite, NPA 4 Flames, NPA 5 Flames, NPA 6 Flames, NPA 7 Loud Puppies)
    NPA Record: 27-14
    NPA 7 Record: 6-3

    Footstool
    NPA Seasons: 1

    (NPA 7 Loud Puppies)
    NPA Record: 3-3
    NPA 7 Record: 3-3

    DaWoblefet
    NPA Seasons: 4

    (NPA 4 Holy Spirits, NPA 5 Holy Spirits, NPA 6 Holy Spirits, NPA 7 Loud Puppies)
    NPA Record: 31-11
    NPA 7 Record: 9-2

    Braverius
    NPA Seasons: 1 as player, 3 as manager

    (NPA 2 Brave Birds, NPA 3 Brave Birds, NPA 6 Sea Dogs, NPA 7 Loud Puppies)
    NPA Record: 5-4
    NPA 7 Record: 5-4



    Noteworthy matchups:

    Talon vs Platypus
    Both players have been promoted to manage teams for NPA 8

    A Rare Alpha Bag vs Braverius

    NPA 6 Sea Dogs assistant manager vs NPA 6 Sea Dogs manager

    LightCore vs Lega

    9 years of NPA experience between the two, the most of any match in finals
     
    Footstool and Platypus like this.
  2. Platypus

    Platypus Well-Known Member NPA 7 Champion

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  3. Star Raikou

    Star Raikou Member NPA 7 Champion

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  4. DaWoblefet

    DaWoblefet
    Moderator
    Moderator NPA 7 Champion NPA 6 Champion

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  5. riopaser

    riopaser Member

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  6. Lore95VGC

    Lore95VGC Member

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  7. LightCore

    LightCore
    Moderator
    Moderator

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  8. DaWoblefet

    DaWoblefet
    Moderator
    Moderator NPA 7 Champion NPA 6 Champion

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    I know Zach hasn't officially posted his win yet, but I just wanted to write a post to summarize NPA for me over the years and describe why I loved being on the New Bark Loud Puppies this season.

    Back in 2015, all I had to my name in my VGC career was a couple Regional top cuts and a self-proclaimed title of being good at EV spread optimization. Like most newer players, I thought I was hot stuff, but nevertheless I looked up to the titans of VGC play, especially Wolfe. Wolfe's 2012 team report on Nugget Bridge was my inspiration to get better at VGC, and I constantly studied his play, with eagerness to find even a single Battle Video that contained a match from him. There were definitely other old-school players that also commanded my respect, but Wolfe was one of my most memorable, and I tried to emulate him in many regards. At 2015 US Nationals, I had the opportunity to actually play Wolfe in day 2 of the competition. I recall our first game being close and down to the wire, but being thrashed in game 2, causing me to start 0-2 that day. Still, playing Wolfe was such an honor for me. That I would even have the opportunity to shake his hand and say good games – that was amazing to me.

    You can imagine my joy and raw emotion, then, when Wolfe drafted me on the Hearthome Holy Spirits that year in 2015. I get to play for my role model in VGC! Wolfe laid out simple, fair ground rules: if you win, you keep playing, and if you publicly rage, you don't get to play (in addition to other rules). I remember working with Wolfe as we pulled off 1-3 to 4-3 comebacks, practicing with new friends like bissiges bissbark, EmbC, Ezrael, VGC Strategy, Gogogo Golems, Xenoblade Hero, Keonspy, and many more, and celebrating when we won the finals of NPA. I was ecstatic! My friends and I all worked so hard, and our effort was translated into a big result. Wolfe was proud of us, and our chat and community flourished well beyond the end of NPA 4.

    The community of Spirits built even larger the following year of NPA. I was drafted once again, much to my joy (and relief!). VGC 2016 was here, but because previous formats were played in NPA 5, Wolfe played me a lot in 2015. New friends Dawg, PokemonZone, Velocity, AwesomePlatypus, KrelCroc, 13Yoshi37 (and more!) accompanied many of my old friends from last year's NPA. Our energy and force combined was formidable, and you could feel the strength of our powerful team environment oozing into the results of the actual circuit. Post-NPA, Velocity and I made our top cut runs at 2016 US Nationals, a number of our European players had top cut results at Regionals and Nationals, and of course, Wolfe's victory at Worlds that year with the remaining top cut slots chock full of Holy Spirits. We only made top 4 in NPA 5, which was disappointing, but our team environment was some of the strongest its ever been. Corsola Cup was hilarious practice, and our round robin tournament prior to Worlds 2016 helped all of us prepare in various degrees. The Spirits were flourishing, and over the past two years I had developed a friendship with Wolfe, my role model, and with dozens of top players from around the world. I am very confident my experiences in NPA were one of the biggest factors in my growth as a player, in skill and in other facets.

    In NPA 6, Wolfe retained Markus, Edu, and I for the next year of the Spirits. Our team's firepower was formidable, with old friends returning as helpers in chat and new friends arriving as players. A key point of this year for me was our first top cut match – we hadn't earned the bye, so we had to play an extra match to have the opportunity to play in the semifinals (top 6 teams cut basically). We started 0-3, and already wavering team morale regressed further into downright hopelessness. Several of our remaining players felt like there was no point to trying, and I remember Markus even commenting about NPA having no purpose in the end. However, a series of motivational speeches, punctuated by Wolfe, revived our spirits (pardon the pun), and in spectacular fashion we won all 4 remaining games with raw willpower and momentum. After two more weeks, the Hearthome Holy Spirits became champions once again. Our chat continued throughout Worlds and Internats alike, supporting one another and fostering the classic Holy Spirits community that had encouraged me throughout three seasons of NPA now. The feelings I had accumulated over the years as a Spirit were overwhelmingly positive, and my joy was exceptional. In short, it was great.

    And then it was over.

    Poaching was a new mechanic added to this year's NPA, NPA 7. If a player wasn't retained, coaches would have the opportunity to draft another player from anywhere in the player pool prior to the actual draft, essentially making it a retain for other teams. Only EmbC was going to be retained this year. I wasn't, and I had multiple poaching requests come in my messages. I was deeply conflicted, and although I knew it before, I realized just how badly I wanted to play for the Spirits and for Wolfe. I was deeply afraid all my connections would be lost, that I would be drafted by a team with inactivity or worse, apathy. Wolfe's leadership decisions were paramount to success in previous years, and I was scared of what I would do without his guidance. After talking about it with Wolfe, we came to a resolution and I said good-bye to the Spirits with a bittersweet taste. Dawg was a close friend, so Wolfe set it up so I could play for him, and from there I was now a member of Dawg's team for NPA. (I should note my fears did turn out to be irrational, as I still talk and practice with many of my old teammates regularly, including Wolfe).

    Employing principles I learned from Wolfe, I helped Dawg plan his draft strategy and encouraged him to adopt policies similar to Wolfe: if you win, you keep playing, and if you rage, you're benched. Already the start turned out to be complicated; I had to help draft players because Dawg and Billa had irl responsibilities, and we switched to Discord as our primary means of chat rather than Facebook (I was very concerned about losing the personal closeness that I had treasured in the Spirits if our team was literally just usernames). However, we settled in just fine, winning our first week and getting to know each other better. After a few weeks, I began making bold claims about how we were the best team in NPA, which was shut down by fellow Puppies in an attempt to "be more reasonable". I truly believed this was the case, however, and made a personal commitment to showing the team that this was true.

    Over the weeks, I'd say my engagement with the Loud Puppies was subpar at best. I fell into the trap of being busy with college and such, and I was most active when I needed to practice right before a match. The Puppies reading this will be able to call me out if this wasn't true, but I do feel I was a positive member of the chat and helpful in the best ways I could be. Our community of players felt a lot like the Spirits in many ways. Team cohesion is probably the greatest part of success in NPA, as motivated players tend to play better than ones who don't care about a match. This was definitely the case among the Puppies, and I made many new friendships that I already treasure and will continue to treasure in the future.

    And then we won NPA! Not only that, but because we tied 900 million times, we technically never lost a set! Jokes aside, our talent this year felt most similar to my first year with Wolfe, my "original" Spirits. A couple top players (Lega, myself in NPA) combined with a number of up-and-coming players with high motivation and skill (TTT's and Star Raikou's records show this especially), rounded out by a number of strong players that maybe aren't perceived to be as good as they actually are made for a strong team that makes me unsurprised we won in the end. There's always going to be drama in NPA about this or that thing going differently, or this and that thing was unfortunate. I don't intend to say every situation that favored the Puppies this season was ideal in some objective sense, but I do intend to say that the Puppies are a great team that I feel are deserving of their Championship title for NPA 7.

    So, in the end, what did I learn? Why was NPA valuable to me this year? Remember, at the start I didn't think I could do it without Wolfe: that is, be successful without him holding my hand. But playing for another team taught me a valuable lesson: that is, being out of a comfort zone can facilitate growth too. The paragraphs I have written here don't begin to describe the gratitude I have for my time on the Spirits, so it's not as if I'm saying "I don't need you and never needed you, good riddance", but rather that my time on the Spirits has prepared me significantly for time on my own. Should the situation arise that I play for Wolfe again, I absolutely will take it and enjoy it, but I am no longer dependent on this. I can do it. I haven't stagnated; I can improve. And I can do my best to bring positivity wherever I'm at, so others can experience the wonderful environments I've experienced with the Spirits and the Puppies no matter what I do.

    Shoutouts / notes to my friends from the Puppies:
    • TTT: Before this year's NPA, I wasn't aware of how well you could play. I think by far your activity in the chat and in willingness to prepare and help others prepare show why you had such an insanely good record for your first year of NPA. I know you were shooting after that NPA MVP award, and I think you've well earned it based on how awesome you've been. Keep it up Daniel, you have top cuts in your future at a minimum.
    • eimagi: <- This dude right here is one of the most caring, compassionate players I've ever met. We live half a world apart, you study engineering, and yet you still found ample time to interact with us and personally help me with teambuilding and preparation. Eike, I know your stipend to NA Internats is within grasp. I can't wait to meet you when that time comes, or at least meet up at Worlds! ^_^.
    • Footstool: You know that I advocated for your draft especially for this year's NPA, and you have not disappointed me. You're very much like me sometimes, valuing your worth as a player based on your win-loss or your play. Remember that you top cut Worlds! I don't care that it was in Seniors, I've played you and I know that you're good. I also know you aspire to be even better, and that aspiration will lead you to tons of future success. Your team presence was overwhelming, and I know from the dozens of practice games we had together that your contributions were worthwhile. Good work, William.
    • Platypus: I still don't know why you dropped the Awesome from your username, because you're just that. I basically stole David's team and have been using it for NPA and live events, and yeah, it's pretty good. You've got one of the sharpest teambuilding minds to exist, and you back it up with testing and real data. It's frustrating not to win, and you know that feeling as well as I do. You won today though; look at your play throughout the season, and I think you'll see that you did really yamsing well. I await the news of you winning all the things with eagerness, friend.
    • Braverius: Quite honestly, I underestimated your wisdom Zach. Idk why, because you've been around forever and have been a leader in the community ever since I've been around, but I'm glad that I've been shown the truth of the matter. You're clever, active, and care, and all those things mean so much. With your retirement or whatever, I hope you don't forget the impact you've made, and especially not to underestimate it either. You're a titan from the old days, and I won't forget that. Thanks for being cool in the new days too. Also, we totally need to do some apologetics stuff!
    • Dawg: Australia is an illusion. Learn to coach ur team, nerd
    All other Puppies: Plz don't get mad at me, I swear I like you all too! For example, Star Raikou was willing to practice Chansey with me for 4 hours, and Puddles helped me with stream things and practicing, and etc. etc. you're all amazing and I'm just lazy. The Puppies have been supportive, encouraging, and above all, friends. You are my friends. Congratulations, friends, on winning NPA 7.
     
    Simipour, Gotheru, Ezrael and 12 others like this.

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