The Korean Pokémon Federation has permanently banned the 4 finalists of the South Korean Pokémon Trainers Cup. This also means that players will lose their ticket to participate in the World Championship, i.e. the Pokémon World Championship.
Why were the players banned? According to the Korean Pokémon official website, the reason for the permanent ban is that players illegally changed their battle teams (pokemonkorea.co.kr).
According to “Nash,” one of the four banned players, they taught their Pokemon the Metronome move in protest — no more (via Twitter).
When using Metronome, a random attack will be chosen whether or not the attacking Pokémon knows it. Since the players’ Pokemon only had a metronome, the outcome of the games was random. A tactical approach was not possible, everything depended on luck.
Why did the players protest? Players have long been dissatisfied with the playing field in South Korea and other Asian countries. According to DotEsports, in addition to suboptimal communication, the best-of-one format is a much-criticized problem.
For example, while coaches in Europe and North America compete three times (best-of-three) to determine who advances to the next round, players in some Asian federations are eliminated after just one fight.
Nash, who was banned for protesting at the tournament in South Korea, also criticizes the conditions of the competition:
Our competitive conditions were terrible this year. The organizers never spoke to us and kept making wrong formats/decisions.
We entered metronome teams in protest for the streamed finals, but they were all disqualified and banned from the Day2 Pokémon Worlds invite.
Pokémon e-sportsman Nash via Twitter
With Wolfe “Wolfey” Glick, a well-known YouTuber and Pokémon World Champion of 2016 also shared his thoughts on the incident as an uninvolved (via Twitter).
Wolfey believes the protest could have been a game changer if the Korea Pokémon Association had listened to feedback and improved the terms of the competition. In his opinion, it seems like an attempt to discredit the attention of the protest.
Wolfey also feels that the Korean Pokémon Association needs more oversight “when they make decisions this way.”
The four Pokémon players aren’t the only ones who’ve been reprimanded by Nintendo for modifying games, though:
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