The competitive side of the Pokémon community was caught off guard by the VGC enforcing roster restrictions.
At the European International Championships, several well-known competitive players, including reigning Master Champion Wolfe Glick, found themselves at a disadvantage due to the tournament organizers banning Pokémon on their teams.
The Pokémon were banned due to mistakes filled out on the roster sheets, either by naming the wrong Pokémon, wrong items, or even wrong movesets when it comes to a tournament battle. This means several members of the VGC community were forced to field five Pokémon instead of six, in most cases. The players themselves were not banned from play, but for some this led to a minor disadvantage in their matches.
Many members of the VGC community took to twitter to vent their frustrations for the banning. Many players from the event, and VGC fans showed confusion as to why the roster sheets were heavily enforced as well as complaining about the event.
However, the rule regarding roster sheets can be found in the 2017 VGC rules and formats guidelines, directly under the "untethered tournament" section.
Players must submit Team Sheets at the start of the tournament that matches the player’s Pokémon, items, and moves as they appear in the Battle Team. They must use the this team during the entire tournament.Untethered tournaments are when battle teams are not electronically locked, meaning the players must use their 3DS systems to connect and play via Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon's festival plaza.
In effect, the tournament organizers at the European International Championships are enforcing the rule, which has angered a lot of players, who feel that too many are being negatively affected by the disadvantage. Many players stated they were unaware that team sheets were needed for the tournament, which also spread on twitter, including current masters champion Glick, who stated he was told the roster sheets would be for commentary purposes only.
It is currently unknown what has prompted the change in enforcement by the tournament staff.
The Video Game Championships, or VGC, has been the competitive arm for Pokémon since 2004, starting with the trading card game championships. In 2009, VGC introduced the Pokémon games into the mix, using a double battle format as the official Pokémon tournament structure. The current 2017 format is restricted towards Pokémon found in the most recent releases of the series, Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon.
The VGC community has wrestled with issues for years, including lax enforcement of rules in previous settings and high profile players cheating at official VGC events. Unauthorized third-party software, such as PKHex, are often used for "genning" for Pokémon and items, an offense that is prohibited by the official VGC rules, but rarely enforced. Genning allows players to set difficult to obtain moves or perfect IV/EV spreads, removing the need for breeding or raising Pokémon for competitive play. This gives players who hack their Pokemon an advantage against those who don't.
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