The legend known as "Champion Lance" is undoubtedly one of the most controversial figures in the history of the game.  I had a chance to sit down with the lord of dragons and discuss his issues with Smogon, his rise to fame on said organization after receiving a lifetime ban, the "Chuck Norris effect," the infamous doxxing incident which resulted in being put away once again, the GameFAQs days, and his novel.  We also cover his numerous achievements in the Ubers and Anything Goes metagames across various tiers during his 16-year run, most notably his unparalleled dominance in ladder play.

Note that this interview contains language that may be considered offensive to some.  Also, I should make it clear that, while I will never filter people or demonize them for choosing how they wish to present themselves, I disagree with Lance's actions and choice of language in this particular context.  I think the victim was wrong to abuse the system in order to get the win, but the punishment was not commensurate with the transgression committed.  However, I chose not to censor anything in order to highlight how hostile the competitive Pokemon world can truly be. 

The preamble

GGFan: I honestly haven't heard from you since our last interaction on SmogonJr, when I posted my mock Nuzlocke playthrough.

Lance:  Well, you did say some less than pleasant things about me in late 2017, when you were unbanned from Smogon.

GGFan: I also remember the time we were both on the Pokemon Gold board.

Lance:Same. Anyway, I can post a message in that thread I linked above, in order to prove that I am CHAMPION LANCE. I'm sure you remember my GameFAQs username, yeah?

GGFan: I remember that. I copy/pasted Ari Stella's post only to mock that person in particular, not you.

Lance: No, you also said that I wrote an incoherent novel. And that I am Smogon's creation.

GGFan: Link me to the message.

Lance: https://www.smogon.com/forums/threads/i-have-been-unbanned-from-smogon-ask-me-anything.3624260/page-2#post-7630082

Smogon Tournaments Discord.

GGFan: I didn't even know you wrote one, to be honest. I was annoyed that people kept comparing me to you based on tenuous facts.

Lance: Yeah, I can understand that that's annoying.

GGFan: It seemed like the "Lance" they were referring to was a completely different person.

Lance: I am someone they talk about a lot, but in truth, they understand very little about me.

GGFan: A person they conceptualized as a means of trolling me.

So don't even think as the "Lance" I referred to as you.

Lance: You were unbanned from Smogon at around the same time as when my fourth conflict with Smogon began.

GGFan: I thought it was a Smogon alt.

Lance: So I was a big topic of conversation back then. Yeah, OK. I understand. Well, I never talked bad about you outside of my latest RMT.

GGFan: It seems like you have a lot on your chest.

Lance: Before that, I usually spoke positively about you.

GGFan: I'm interviewing people for my website. I wanted to talk to you.

Lance: Well, I've been in the Pokémon battling community for a long time, so I've experienced a lot. I see.

GGFan: Yes, I realize that. Thank you, I appreciate that.

Lance: No problem.

GGFan: Would you be open to being interviewed? We can discuss anything you want.

Lance: Sure, I don't mind.

GGFan: Also, this is a chance for you to tell people your side of the story.

Lance: I already did that in my 15th anniversary RMT (link concealed)

 

But of course, I wouldn't mind another chance to do it.

GGFan: But there is a chance for you to deal with a bit of controversy and some hard hitting questions. I also feel I can give you some intriguing questions.

I have memories of the GameFAQs days, for example.

 

Lance: Same.

GGFan: Nobody else but a handful of people remembers those times.

Lance: DWash3085 was quite cancerous and elitist.

GGFan: Him and Flameout.

 

Lance: People like Blackthorne2050 often backed him up.

GGFan: Yeah, that clique was toxic.  Haha, Blackthorne.

Lance: Wasn't DWash3085 the same person as Flameout?

GGFan: I beat him Blackthorne four times in a row in tours and made him run off.

Oh yeah, I believe so.

Lance: I also remember Golden Gloxie.

GGFan: Him, BEyesUltimateD, Stupid Fool, Gloxie, thepeoplesgamer.

Lance: People all made him out to be a bad person, but I think he was just a kid who wanted recognition.

GGFan: Moaner was another idiot.

 

Lance: Yeah, thepeoplesgamer liked to complain about me using one-hit KO moves a lot, even though he wasn't obligated to battle me when I was using them.

On Pokémon NetBattle, people could see on the challenge window whether or not the OHKO Clause was checked. If it wasn't checked, they were free to refuse. But they hated me for using those moves anyway.

GGFan: Thing is, the rules were never set in stone back then.

Lance: Yeah. There was no ladder, so the rules were based on what clauses were ticked in challenges.

GGFan: I remember the OHKO tourney. You played Veteran In Love in that one.

Lance: Yeah.

GGFan: You lost and called him a "Pokemon Master."

Lance: Heh, I did.

GGFan: I beat Hasire in the first round, who went on to become a well-known troll elsewhere. I forgot who I lost to.

Lance: Ah.

GGFan: My claim to fame on that board was definitely beating Blackthorne four times in a row. I remember one idiot was like, "Blackthorne beat 'G80' before so there's no way he'll lose."

Lance: Heh, that's a stupid thing to say in Pokémon. In fact, with your level of experience, you've probably figured this out already: Beating a player, no matter how good, in a small number of battles, really means nothing. Because Pokémon is a game that's infested with a lot of variance. Team matchup, RNG, and even prediction counts as variance.

GGFan: It's a typical elitist thing to say. The Pokemon scene was, is, and will always be elitist.

 

Lance: The only way to know how good a Trainer really is is by looking at their win-loss record and GXE over a large number of battles, where variance is evened out by the law of large numbers.

 

For example, look at this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don't take pride in that because I got positive/undefeated records VS. several top players in the process of achieving that.

I take pride in that because of my sheer, long-term consistency against the entire metagame.

Even an SPL record is subject to a large amount of variance, since luck doesn't quite even out over merely 9 battles.

GGFan: What tier was that, and when did you pull that off? SPL is a joke.

Lance: I did that in November of 2018.

That was USUM Anything Goes.

GGFan: It's a glorified part-timers league.

Lance: Yeah.

GGFan: At least in RBY you have to play more games, but even then it's still just one tour in a whole year. We have the same mindset in that regard. It's better to win 90 games instead of 9. Consistency is the true measure of success. I agree 100%.

Lance: I'm glad to hear that.

GGFan: If you'd like to see Smogon self fellate for three months, more power to you. But it's obvious the likes of us have better things to do, such as this interview. Would you like to start now?

Lance: Sure.

Part one: covered in tar soap

GGFan: Alright, we'll start with a hot topic. Could you tell me when you were banned from Smogon?

 

Lance: OK, so I've been banned many, many times from Smogon.

The first time I was banned was on the very same month as when Smogon was first created - in December 2004.

Someone linked to the Smogon forums on a Pokémon NetBattle server, so I registered, under the name "PokéMaster Forever."

Then I started discussing competitive GSC stuff on the forums, but many people disagreed with my ideas.

Being the elitists that they were, they started flaming and dogpiling on me.

Eventually, chaos, the founder of Smogon, changed my forum signature to this image:

 

 

 

 

 

Then I changed my signature back to the way it was before, and then he changed my avatar to the above image, and removed my ability to edit my avatar back.

Then I made a new account, Champion Battler, in order to evade his "punishment," but he changed the avatar of my new account to that image as well.

Then I made a third account, Grand Master, which he immediately banned.

 

GGFan: I didn't know that. I knew chaos was a childish asshole back then, but that's wildly inappropriate. Unfortunately, hatred, elitism, and asocial behavior were at their peaks in the early 2000s.

Lance: Finally, I made a fourth account, Drag, and that was when he IP-banned me.

Yeah, it's really ironic that the founder of Smogon did that, and yet, you got banned for saying "nigger."

So, that was my first ban from Smogon.

Between 2005 and 2009, I periodically registered new accounts on the Smogon forums in order to spam, troll, etc, for fun.

And each of those accounts got banned.

GGFan: Yeah, that's hilarious. And I wrote the word "nigger" out of protest for the way people write like ghetto trash as a means of fitting in.

Lance: In October of 2010, I got bored of doing that, and additionally, at the time, I was really into the competitive aspects of Pokémon Black and White, which had just been released back then.

So I made a new account, Pokémon Trainer R.

But I didn't use that account maliciously.

I used it to talk on the Smogon forums, about the competitive aspects of Gen5.

Eventually, I really got into the Gen5 Ubers metagame, and began discussing the tier in the Ubers subforum.

Now, in 2012, there was a ridiculous Ubers Tier Leader/Smogon Administrator, known as Great Sage, who would constantly delete my posts for no good reason.

This culminated in my Ubers Council application post being deleted by him, and he called my post "self-parody."

In retaliation, I changed my forum signature to "Great Sage is dumb."

Then he infracted me, and changed my forum signature to "I am dumb."

GGFan: Do you still have the application post?

Lance: Then I changed it back to "Great Sage is dumb." and he banned me.

I don't.

That was November 2012.

GGFan: The apple didn't fall far from the tree. Here we are, eight years later, and you're still being victimized by childish goons who should have never been in power in the first place. However, do you think it was wrong to change your signature to "Great Sage is dumb?" Would it have been possible to try and reason with him first?

Part two: the Dragon Master's controversial stance

Lance: I actually tried to reason with him by talking to him and the other Ubers auths about it in the Ubers IRC channel.

But Poppy just laughed at me, and Great Sage banned me from the channel soon afterward.

He even locked me when I private messaged him about it on Pokémon Showdown!.

Anyway, after I got banned as Pokémon Trainer R, I continued playing Gen5 Ubers on Pokémon Online and Pokémon Showdown!.

During that time, my clan, Dragon Rush, was becoming more and more popular, and it eventually merged with Sasha the Master's Masters clan, giving birth to the famous Dragon Masters clan.

GGFan: So you were bullied and had to deal with people trying to make you miserable with their egregious abuse of power.

Lance: Yeah.

GGFan: But it sounds like your clan offered you a respite.

 

Lance: Now, in late 2013, the members of my clan were beginning to dominate the activity in Pokémon Showdown!'s Ubers room.

The Ubers auths didn't like that, and the Ubers Tier Leader at the time contemplated on banning all Dragon Masters members from the Ubers room.

In response, the members of my clan talked to the Ubers Tier Leader, and together, we managed to settle with a peace treaty.

GGFan: Was there any other reason besides, "It's Lance, so we need to shut it down?"

Lance: Which was that we wouldn't attack our enemies who hated us, but they weren't meant to attack us either.

OK, about that, I'll go into some detail.

I'm sure you've noticed that Smogon hates it when people talk about things like long-term consistency, how variance evens out in the long run, etc.

Actually, wait.

Let me see if my post is still there.

OK, it's not there anymore.

But basically, at the time, the Ubers community was conducting a bunch of suspect tests that tried to see if it was feasible to remove a number of clauses from the BW2 Ubers tier.

GGFan: True, most people on Smogon have a "what have you done for me lately" attitude.

Lance: So they suspect tested the OHKO Clause, the Evasion Clause, the Moody Clause, the Sleep Clause, and finally, the Species Clause.

I made a post in the thread that argued that the whole idea of banning "luck-based elements" from a Pokémon tier is pointless, because of this reason:

Imagine two players, A and B.

A is more skilled than B.

If A were to participate in 1,000 battles against the whole metagame, and B were to do the same, then it's extremely unlikely that, over 1,000 battles, B would be able to achieve a better win-loss record than A, regardless of whether or not one-hit KO moves, Double Team, Moody, etc, are allowed in the tier.

This is because variance evens out in the long run, as I explained before.

Now, consider a different scenario.

A and B face each other in a best-of-3.

Now, with OR without one-hit KO moves and such allowed, B beating A in a best-of-3 wouldn't be a surprise, since Pokémon is a game that inherently has so much variance in it, and best-of-3 is a ridiculously small sample size.

Of course, allowing one-hit KO moves and such in the tier would give B a better chance of beating A than otherwise, but this is really a slippery slope.

The best solution is to simply never ban anything on the basis that it's "luck-based," and instead, acknowledge the fact that skill in Pokémon battling is shown by a Trainer's consistency over a large number of battles.

That's what I argued in the Ubers Council thread, so I was pushing for most of the clauses to be lifted from the Ubers tier.

But my experience even up to this day tells me that pointing out this stuff about long-term consistency really pisses off the Smodrones.

And that ties in to why people on GameFAQs and NetBattle hated me so much even before Smogon was created, actually.

 

GGFan: I can see where problems would arise, and understand why people would want to ostracize you. Vouching for OHKOs goes against not only what the majority wants, but what the majority wants others to believe. It's tantamount to a Christian extolling the values of his faith in a polytheist village in Africa.

Lance: Yeah, but what I was talking about wasn't religion.

It was pure logic and fact.

The law of large numbers is a very real thing.

GGFan: Did others agree with you, or did you have to fight this battle alone?

Lance: Up to this day, the only people who actually agree with me are some friends who hang out in the same Discord servers where I hang out nowadays, and those people aren't on good terms with Smogon.

Many of them are actually banned now, since they followed me in doxxing, etc.

GGFan: So this was in 2013, right? And you made your last Smogon account in 2014?

Lance: But anyway, yeah, I disagree with your comparison of what I did to preaching Christianity in front of people of a different religion.

GGFan: Why didn't chaos ban you again?

Lance: Oh, I forgot to mention that people didn't know (and in fact, the majority still don't know) that Pokémon Trainer R = PokéMaster Forever.

GGFan: Well, what I meant by it was that playing with OHKOs banned is ingrained in so many peoples' belief system like religion is for others.

It's hard to convince them that their way of thinking is wrong.

 

Lance: Yeah, but I think that they're objectively looking at the game incorrectly.

Because all the evidence tells me that I'm 100% correct.

It's the same as why they value tournaments like SPL so much.

And think that a win-loss record that spans over 9 battles means so much.

Anyway, to continue on with my story:

Great Sage banned me in November 2012.

Then my clan became popular throughout 2013.

Now, as I said before, the members of my clan made a peace treaty with our enemies in the Ubers room.

Not long after, one of the worst days in Pokémon history happened:

https://pastebin.com/iiS6vLGq

Pastebin

[14:04:59] +DracoMaster LANCE: I'm not sure if that item is worth ...

 

People insulted me, and they weren't punished. When I retaliated, I was devoiced and muted.

When I evaded my mute, I was banned.

That led to the start of another great conflict that I had on Smogon.

I'll just link you the thread:

http://dragonmasters.darkbb.com/t166-epic-troll-of-pokemon-showdown-s-ubers-channel

dragonmasters.darkbb.com

Epic troll of Pokémon Showdown!'s Ubers channel!

Enjoy Trololol Some people in the channel actually believed u haha

Part three: the life sentence is lifted

 

Me and my clanmates would repeatedly go to the Ubers room and insult/impersonate/degrade the auths, etc.

I was in University back then, and each computer in my University's library had a different IP address, so I could evade my bans on Pokémon Showdown! pretty much infinitely.

This lasted for almost a year.

Now, in mid-late 2014, I was becoming really interested in Balanced Hackmons, as I got all four of the top four spots on the Balanced Hackmons ladder, played room tournaments for this tier in the Other Metas room, etc.

So I made an alt on the Smogon forums, known as LLW Gao Changgong (the same account that I would later rename to Transcendent God Champion), in order to sneak into OMPL2 and play Balanced Hackmons in it.

GGFan: "Well said Sasha, even I sometimes need to look on google when I talk to Lance or read his amazing fictional narratives. And I put the word "even" here as I am so good in using english words that earlier my School Teachers found it impossible to deduct my marks and by talking to Lance I realized that though we can be rivals in Pokemon, I can never actually come any closer to his writing and communication skills. And now with Lance being 22 yesterday, he will surely improve from here on. Good Luck!!!"

Wow, people admired you.

Lance: Halfway through OMPL2, the Ubers Tier Leader discovered my account and banned me, but since I really wanted to complete OMPL2, me and a friend somehow convinced the Smogon auths to unban me.

Many people still admire me.

People's opinions about me have always been on extreme ends.

GGFan: Wow, really?

That's a miracle.

Lance: There's always been many people who hate me, while, at the same time, there are many people who look up to me.

GGFan: I'm surprised they would do that given how many times you were banned.

Lance: My general reputation on Smogon was at its highest point in 2016-November 2017, but I'll get more into that later.

Also, about your last comment, I think Smogon, and perhaps human communities in general, are weird in the following way:

Actually, instead of explaining, I might just copy and paste what I explained to someone else in a server I'm in.

GGFan: OK, go ahead.

 

Lance: I mentioned you too, in that part.

DracoMaster| LANCE08/16/2019 But many did hate me. Like, just look at the Ubers community. People like Problems, Dice, Donkey, etc. In 2016, this vanished for some reasons. I think it's because of "the Chuck Norris effect." Let me explain. In 2012-2014, many people hated me, because I was retaliating against their disrespect in the Ubers room, mocked shrang and others constantly, etc. In late 2014, a friend of mine helped me get unbanned from Smogon (partially because Great Sage, the guy who banned me in 2012, got permanently banned from Smogon himself). Then I joined UPL3 in early 2015. I fought Problems in one of the weeks, beat him, and in my win post, wrote a speech that trash talked Problems, and many people liked it, because people didn't like Problems. So I was already a controversial figure before that. Then that happened. I'm no expert on social science, but, sometimes, a hated/controversial figure can become liked in a community, because people start exaggerating stuff about him, like how they say that Chuck Norris can beat the sun in a staring contest, etc. It doesn't make sense, but humans aren't 100% rational. So that's how I turned from a hated figure into someone who was well-liked. But that doesn't change the fact that, at the base, Smogon has always mostly disliked me. And that resurfaced as 2017 went on, explaining the eventual actions of :phag: and :ghey: at the end of 2017. :Nigger: was primarily motivated by greed, but I don't know if the hatred of me played a role in what he did as well. Truth be told, I didn't even know of his existence until the day I battled him. Maybe he knew he wouldn't be punished for his action, because he observed how the Anything Goes auths were generally against me in the Anything Goes chat in the weeks leading up to that incident. DracoMaster| City08/16/2019 i dont know about that "chuck norris effect" if that is a thing, who else has it had an effect on?

DracoMaster| LANCE08/16/2019 GGFan in late 2017. He was one of the most hated figures on Smogon, then he was temporarily unbanned, and then almost every post he made on Smogon got like 50+ likes. That happened with me too. DracoMaster| City08/16/2019 ggfan was just a troll though DracoMaster| p!PokécordBOT08/16/2019 Congratulations DracoMaster| City! Your Infernape is now level 46! DracoMaster| LANCE08/16/2019 As I said, 2012-2014, I was hated, constantly banned, etc. After I got unbanned, every UPL victory post of mine got tons of likes.

I'm sure you're familiar with how you, being one of the most hated figures on Smogon, became surrounded by a huge crowd and got tons of likes after you were unbanned in 2017.

You were a "dark horse."

People saw you like a Chuck Norris figure.

The same thing happens often with me, as I'll explain when I continue my story about my history of bans from Smogon.

GGFan: Yes, that's a good point. I also feel it's because people begin to root for you after a while. They learn about your story and how long you had to toil in various circuits before your first shot on their "big stage."

You seemed to reach the height of your popularity in 2017, when you were actually interviewed on Smogon of all places. People respected how long the interview was.

Lance: Yeah, indeed.

And I'll be going there now.

Anyway, as I was saying, I was finally allowed again on Smogon, as LLW Gao Changgong, and then I was allowed to complete my OMPL2 run.

GGFan: OK, go ahead.

Lance: Now, even though I was unbanned from Smogon, I still hadn't forgiven the people there, but ever since then, and for a few years, I've been kind of "using" Smogon for my own agenda.

So, in early 2015, UPL3 began, and I signed up to play ADV Ubers in it, not because I was seeking recognition or anything, but simply to enjoy the nostalgia of once again receiving the opportunity to play that tier again, since I enjoyed playing it a lot on NetBattle in 2005-2007.

But by 2015, it was practically impossible to find a good ADV Ubers game anyway, hence why I joined UPL3.

Now, in UPL3, this happened:

https://www.smogon.com/forums/threads/ubers-premier-league-3-week-4.3536902/page-2#post-6193428

Smogon Forums

Multi Gen - Ubers Premier League 3 - Week 4

i couldn't find it when i put in aim, ginku, and ikarus edit: since I'm posting you were too scared of forry with your registeel. all he could have done to you is spike while you amassed curses. seeing as you can spin spikes and the curses would lead to a free kill on either...

 

After I beat Problems, I made that post, and it got tons of likes.

I'm actually really surprised that a post of that nature got so many likes.

Because that post was once again pointing out stuff that contradicts a set of beliefs that the Smodrones hold to near-religious levels.

In any case, it seemed that that post unintentionally served to increase my popularity a lot, due to the "Chuck Norris effect" that I explained before.

GGFan: I presume PROBLEMS was either heavily disliked and/or people respected you for actually winning.

Also, he should have just shut up instead of writing such a horrible comeback.

 

Lance: Yeah, true.

Many people didn't like Problems, yeah.

But anyway, I'm going to get into 2016-2017 stuff soon, but before I do so, I need to set up some background context, so that everything I'm about to explain makes sense.

In 2015, I had graduated from University, and I began hopping from one job to another. But not only was it really hard for me to find a job at the time, but I also hated every single job that I ever worked at. As 2015 went on, I was getting depressed, and my future looked dim and hopeless.

So, out of despair, I decided to write a fantasy novel, Purity Before Existence:

https://www.amazon.com/Purity-Before-Existence-Lance-Lichtengel/dp/152451828X

GGFan: How do you honestly feel about your novel?

Lance: I'm extremely proud of it.

GGFan: Why?

Lance: The reason why is simple:

I wrote the book in exactly the way that I did because I wanted to write a story that, in my opinion, is as epic as possible.

So naturally, it's hard for me to not be extremely proud of the way it is.

Because otherwise, I wouldn't have written it in the way that I did.

GGFan: If you had to persuade someone that reading your novel would be worth it, what would you say?

I also wrote a book, but it was a memoir about the GameFAQs era.

Lance: That it contains extremely vivid fight scenes, that it explores a lot of philosophical concepts, and that all but one person who has read the book in its entirety thoroughly enjoyed it.

GGFan: Entirely different project (my memoir).

Lance: Yeah, I know.

I haven't read your book in its entirety though.

Just bits and pieces.

GGFan: What are some topics of philosophy that you discuss in the novel?

Lance: Mostly morality, but also some stuff about theology.

For example:

GGFan: Maybe you were interested in writing about morality because you spend time in such an immoral world.

Lance: “Recently, I’ve started to think that the question that should really be asked isn’t whether or not God or gods exist, but rather, which God or gods are the real ones. Well, assuming that the real deities behind the universe’s existence are even mentioned in any known religion, anyway,” said Arumariya. “Huh? So you’re saying that you’re convinced that there’s at least one deity?” asked Shirosakura. “Yes. Take for example, the solar eclipse that will take place here on Wednesday afternoon,” said Arumariya, as she briefly looked up at the sun, before she lowered her head again to face her front. “A solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, covering the Earth in darkness by blocking out the Sun’s light. The Sun is four hundred times bigger than the Moon, but the Moon just so happens to also be four hundred times closer to the Earth than the Sun is, making them both appear to be the same size when viewed from Earth. This results in the Moon being just the right size when viewed from Earth to perfectly block out the Sun during a solar eclipse. Not only is this a major coincidence that doesn’t occur in the case of a solar eclipse on any other planet we know of, but this coincidence also just so happens to take place on a planet on which there is intelligent life to observe it happening,” she continued. Then she looked at Shirosakura and said, “If you ask me, I think it’s very unlikely that this is a coincidence at all.”

Yeah, you are 100% correct on that.

So anyway, in 2015, my goal was to write a really good novel, then try to make it sell soooooo well, to the point where I would no longer need to work for the rest of my life.

GGFan: There's no morality here. The Pokemon world is very toxic and political.

How many copies did you sell?

Lance: That plan failed, but it's OK now, as I now have a good job that I like doing.

Well, not that many. Only about 60 or so.

But there are various reasons.

The biggest reason is because of the price that my publishing company, Xlibris, set.

They made it extremely expensive, since it's so many pages.

GGFan: At least you tried. It's better to try and fail than be that typical person who laughs at others for pursuing their dream.

Lance: But they don't care about book sales, they make most of their money from the authors, not the book buyers.

Yeah.

As I said, my failure to become rich through my book doesn't bother me anymore.

But, back to 2015.

GGFan: So you wrote a novel, beat PROBLEMS......

 

Lance: I beat PROBLEMS before I started writing my book.

By late 2015, I had finished writing.

Then, out of boredom, I went to Pokémon Showdown! and climbed to #1 on the Anything Goes ladder.

Then a bunch of Ubers/Anything Goes players approached me and talked to me.

To my surprise, my popularity had grown a LOT at the time, despite the fact that I've been inactive in the Pokémon battling world for months as of that point in time.

Now, around that time, I was doing some research on how to publish and promote my book, etc.

Because I hadn't published it yet.

I only finished writing the first draft.

Then, every source told me that I needed established connections with people, people had to know who I was, etc.

So, since I saw that I had a mysteriously developed popularity on Smogon at the time, I wanted to use my positive reputation on Smogon in order to try to make my book extremely successful in terms of sales.

And that's when I started doing some things that I'm currently extremely ashamed of.

GGFan: What did you do?

Lance: I decided to hide my true self, in order to blend in with the Smodrones, in order to maintain my popularity on Smogon.

I refrained from speaking out about my actual opinions, and acted in ways that would make me more liked by the people on Smogon.

GGFan: How long did this facade last?

Lance: I joined many forum tournaments that I wouldn't have joined otherwise, freely moderated the Anything Goes room when I was given the Moderator position in early 2016, etc.

It faded over time as 2017 went on, before it was finally completely shattered on the 26th of November, 2017.

Anyway, wearing the mask was tiring and frustrating.

So I was getting increasingly pissed off on the inside throughout 2017.

As 2017 went on, I was also beginning to see that my plan with my book wasn't working out too.

Many other factors were also frustrating me throughout that time.

Let me link you a post:

GGFan: I guess you decided to take off the mask and let that long, golden, curly hair flow for your interview.

Lance: No, I was still wearing the mask at the time.

https://www.smogon.com/forums/threads/ubers-tiering-going-forward.3621648/page-2#post-7592784

Smogon Forums

Announcement - Ubers tiering: going forward

I'm really happy you brought this up, because I do think that Ubers needs to start looking at banning stuff or at least suspecting things, because in my opinion post-Marshadow SM and onwards has become so dangerously matchup reliant and many times the game is out of your cont...

 

Look at my posts in this thread.

Same stuff I was arguing about in 2012.

Then looked at the responses to my posts.

People blatantly ignored my stuff about luck evening out in the long run, insisting that skill is about your performance in a few tournament battles, AND,

around that time, I participated in a Balanced Hackmons tournament, known as BH Snake Draft.

I was haxed every week, and went 1-2.

Imagine going 1-2 in a "big" tournament due to hax, whilst being told that your skill is decided in a few tournament battles, rather than by your long-term consistency.

Around that time, I was also feeling that my fellow auths in the Anything Goes room were becoming increasingly hostile and less respectful towards me as well, since I was arguing a lot about this stuff in late 2017.

Then, November 26, 2017, AKA the "nigger incident," happened.

After losing my third and final battle in BH Snake Draft, I was extremely angry, and I wanted to reclaim my pride.

So I started climbing the ladder of Anything Goes - the purest and most unrestricted format of Pokémon battling.

I wanted to reach #1, in order to remind myself that I'm the Greatest Pokémon Master.

When I reached about #7 or so, I bumped into a player known as "Paycard."

The battle turned out to be infinite, because no progress was being made.

Me and my opponent were both switching our Pokémon back and forth, and the battle was never going to end.

The battle was also spectated by many people, including the Anything Goes Tier Leader and Pokémon Showdown! Driver at the time, Zangooser/Chloe.

Eventually, my sister called me to give her a lift from the station, and the spectators of the battle pointed out that the battle could be made into a tie if both players let the timer run out.

Having no other choice, I tried that.

However, my opponent selected a move at the last second, so the battle ended up counting as a win for him.

Now, one of the rules of Pokémon Showdown! is that people have to be nice to others.

Then I banned my opponent from the Anything Goes room, but Zangooser unbanned him, and did not punish the guy himself in any way, despite being a Global Driver.

This actually says a lot about him, because I know that Zangooser was becoming more and more hostile towards me in the past few months as of that point in time.

In fact, the other Anything Goes auths at the time were all collectively turning against me.

GGFan: Did this "Paycard" also have connections, or did they just act this way to spite you?

 

Lance: So I'm sure that Zangooser's refusal to punish Paycard was an act to spite me.

GGFan: But why was everyone turning against you?

Because you were "conforming" to Smogon's brand of stupidity?

Part four: ladder points stolen, identity stolen

Lance: I actually don't think he had anything against me. He acted out of greed, and because another user, Kris, told him to do that.

GGFan: Why did Kris dislike you?

Lance: Kris, on the other hand, had an established hatred of me long before that incident.

I actually can't say with 100% certainty why many people who dislike me dislike me, but with that said, I can take some guesses.

My friend, Sasha the Master, once said that it's all related to Pokémon battling, and people's jealousy.

He, too, is extremely widely hated by many people.

He said that me and him, along with our entire Dragon Masters clan, was hated because people were jealous of the immense success that we were achieving.

Let me find a screenshot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DracoMaster| is the clan tag of my clan.

In the second screenshot, all of the circled names were my clan members.

Sasha said that people saw this stuff, and this made them experience jealousy, which led to hatred.

In my case, the fact that I constantly talked about long-term consistency and stuff contributed.

In November of 2017, a big part of the culture of the Anything Goes room was people complaining about Baton Pass teams, how they're cheap, cancer, etc.

But I had a different opinion on Baton Pass, which I often expressed at the time.

I said that Baton Pass shouldn't be complained about, as it's not even good, since over 100 battles, you're not going to get a very consistently good win-loss record with it.

And I guess that fueled people's hatred of me.

GGFan: Honestly, I can believe what you're saying. I was popular on Smogon too--it bothers a lot of those sensitive idiots when somebody comes out of nowhere and earns respect.

Lance: Yeah.

GGFan: So I suppose this lead to the doxxing event?

You doxxed people at the end of 2017, right?

Lance: Yeah. None of three people who wronged me on November 26, 2017 was punished by Smogon authorities, so I ended up doxxing all three of them.

Doxxing began on the 6th of January, 2018.

GGFan: Who were they, if I may ask?

Lance: And it continued throughout 2018, until the 26th of November, 2018 - exactly one year after the nigger incident - when I made my 15th anniversary RMT (link concealed).

GGFan: What was the "nigger" incident?

Could you explain that?

Lance: They're *******(Kris), *********, (Paycard) and ******** (Chloe). (names withheld out of respect for the victims' security)

As I explained before:

Then, November 26, 2017, AKA the "nigger incident," happened.

That was when Paycard/*********, a black guy, stole my ladder points.

GGFan: But why the word "nigger?" Did you call someone that?

Oh.

 

Lance: OK, so basically, in early 2018, me and my friends found Paycard's personal information, and we discovered that he's black.

Now, he stole my ladder points.

And then this meme exists:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pOwNzmauI4

YouTube

HermTrololol

NIGGA STOLE MY BIKE 10 hours

 

GGFan: Do you think it's inappropriate to use that word?

Lance: So me and my friends made this meme in response: (image withheld out of respect for the victim's security)

I think words are just words.

Words can be used as weapons, but a weapon is inherently neither good nor bad.

It depends on who it is used on.

Since me and my friends wanted to punish a bad person, we did our best to harass him.

GGFan: But you're using the word "nigger" only because he's black.

Lance: So using that word was a part of the whole thing.

GGFan: I agree he was wrong.

Lance: The point is to offend the person.

And doing so using racism is a very effective way to do it.

For example, I have nothing against transgender people,

but I insult various enemies of mine who happen to be trans by pointing towards their gender as well.

Including Zangooser/Chloe/********.

GGFan: Would it bother you if people thought you were racist or transphobic because of the language you use?

Lance: Not really, just because I hardly care about the majority of people on Smogon.

And the people who do talk to me know that I'm not seriously racist or transphobic.

GGFan: I understand.

But I feel that, as a well-spoken and intelligent person, there are more effective ways of annoying people other than resorting to racist insults. Your frustration was justified, but do you feel the damage was commensurate with the crime committed? Did this "Paycard" do anything besides take the win?

Lance: OK, since I'm reflecting back upon that incident from two years after the event, let me say this:

Actually, currently, I no longer hold any anger or hatred towards Paycard in particular.

My anger at him was actually quite short-lived, and you could say that he was unfortunate to have been involved in the same incident as Kris and Zangooser.

Those two, on the other hand, have much deeper conflicts with me.

I feel that Zangooser used to respect me at the time when he first made me a Moderator in the Anything Goes room, but over time, he began to start taking jabs at me and act disrespectfully towards me, culminating in his decision when the nigger incident happened.

Actually, let me show you a PasteBin I wrote,

which explains my views regarding what happened in the Anything Goes room:

https://pastebin.com/AT9d5cLR

Pastebin

Humans are just one of the countless species of social animals. An...

 

Actually, I think it all stemmed from Megazard.

Initially, he was the only person in the Anything Goes room who seemed hostile towards me.

As time went on, I think he influenced the other auths, including Zangooser, to turn against me.

But Zangooser had other problems anyway.

In the Other Metagames Discord, he talked about doing things like unfollowing people on the Smogon forums in order to maximize his followers:following ratio, and delete posts with few likes, in order to maximize his likes:posts ratio.

So I can't say he's innocent either.

He cares more about being popular than doing the right thing.

So I do not regret doxxing him, at all.

I also do not regret doxxing Kris, who insulted me in the Other Metagames Discord the second he saw me there, which was like 6 months before the nigger incident even happened.

So anyway, on the day of the nigger incident (November 26, 2017), I was banned from Pokémon Showdown! for a week by Zarel, and Zangooser permanently banned me from the Anything Goes and Other Metagames Discord servers.

However, it wasn't until January 6, 2018, which was when I was banned from the Smogon forums again, for doxxing.

Ever since then, I've still been evading on Pokémon Showdown! and laddering.

And I peaked a bunch of ladders, including getting my 97.8% GXE in USUM Anything Goes, being #1 and #2 at the same time in Gen8 National Dex Anything Goes right now, etc.

And here I am now.

Part five: the GameFAQs and Netbattle eras

GGFan: Well, the picture has become quite clear, thank you. Do you mind if we change gears and turn the clock back a decade?

 

Lance: Sure, I don't mind.

GGFan: I'd like to focus on the GameFAQs days.

Lance: Alright.

GGFan: When did you make your first account on GameFAQs?

Lance: I don't remember exactly, but it had to be sometime in late 2002.

GGFan: And GSC was the first gen you played competitively.

When did you break in, exactly?

Lance: My name was Dragonaurus, and I think my first post was me posting a topic in the Pokémon Gold board, in which I showed off my team, which I thought to be invincible at the time.

My team was Aerodactyl/Charizard/Gyarados/Kingdra/Tyranitar/Dragonite, all with Hyper Beam, which I, of course, now know to be a trash team.

GGFan: I was a regular on the Pokemon Gold board in late 2001. I left in 2002, so it seems like we just missed each other.

Lance: Yeah.

GGFan: I, too, thought I was a hot-shot trainer. I posted my team in a RMT thread operated by The President. Was he still around in 2002?

Lance: I don't remember him.

Also, I first downloaded Pokémon NetBattle in December 2003.

GGFan: So you never used mIRC?

Lance: I first considered myself to be "great" when I achieved a win-loss record of 200-10 on three different NetBattle servers (one of which was Blue Heaven), as well as a win-loss record of 384-17 on the Battledome server.

Never.

If you mean the first simulator, before NetBattle.

I never used it.

However, I feel that the playerbase wasn't really good back then, and I don't remember how much I farmed wins by repeatedly challenging the same people who I easily beat.

So win-loss records back then didn't mean much.

Because it wasn't like a ladder, where all battles are weighted, you fight random opponents, etc.

GGFan: Did you ever play in any tournaments between 2003-2005?

Lance: I did, mostly on Ignazio's Arena.

GGFan: How well did you do?

Lance: That was a mostly GSC community during the days when ADV was first implemented on NetBattle.

I made it pretty far in most of them, and won a few.

GGFan: I remember that server, and Blue Heaven as well. Blue Heaven was basically Smogon without a forum.

Lance: Yeah.

GGFan: There were a lot of server tournaments.

Lance: Oh, I won many of the server ones.

I was talking about the forum ones before.

GGFan: I returned to the Pokemon Gold board in December 2005. I remember the clique of idiots. You do as well.

How many participants usually entered the forum tournaments?

Lance: If you count server tournaments, I won many on Blue Heaven, Battledome, and Ignazio's Arena.

Like 8 or so.

It wasn't a very big community.

GGFan: Do you mean the old Netbattle forum?

I was there too.

Lance: No, the Ignazio's Arena forums.

GGFan: It was small, yeah.

Oh, that had a forum too? I didn't know that.

I never really went there.

Lance: https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/ignazios_arena/

Ignazio's Arena

Ignazio's Arena

Pokemon Netbattle/Online forums. Also gaming discussions

Yeah, I don't think the people there would have liked you there.

GGFan: The Pokemon Gold board on GameFAQs went through a revival of sorts in 2006. There were several tournaments.

Considering the average IQ of people in those parts is -6 at the most, I'll take that as a compliment.

Lance: Heh, yeah.

Many of the people there weren't pleasant at all.

To be continued in part six.

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