Roudolf13 emerged on the scene in the summer of 2016 as an unknown who played for team Greece in the World Cup of Pokemon on Smogon. After a successful campaign in the event, he made the permanent transition from ORAS to RBY and entered the tournament scene a year later, where he would win the last Supreme RBY Tournament, rule the ladder with an unprecedented 97% GXE, dominate in SPL, win the Global Championship, win a Master Tournament, win a season, and win the Cerulean Cup--all in a year. I invited RBY's lightning in a bottle on The GGFan Experience to discuss how he broke in, his road to prominence, his burnout, and more!
Part one - breaking in, first world cup, first tournament victory, dominance on the ladder
GGFan: When were you first exposed to Pokemon, and how did you discover the competitive scene?
roudolf: My first experience with pokemon as any kid back then was with the cartridge and red/blue. I played until gen 3 but i never really had any contact with online simulators until ferbruary of 2016
GGFan: When did you start playing online? Did you start by playing RBY, or did you begin with another gen?
roudolf: I started playing oras ladder for some time and then i discovered Greek team . Back then we had many greek tours and the competition was high to earn a spot in the team so that gave me motivation to keep playing the game . At some time 2 months before wcop i asked my captain which gen we didnt have any player at all. He told me Rby so i started playing on the ladder to learn the tier. I wasnt that good my elo was around 1400-1500 and i only used 2 teams. Peasounay was the top dog at the time on ladder and he constantly beated me so he was my goal
GGFan: So WCOP was the first tournament you ever played in, right?
Did you enjoy RBY more than ORAS, or did you hate it and only played it because you had no choice?
You went positive in the 2016 WCOP, going 2-1 and defeating Floppy and soulgazer. You also had the chance to play marcoasd, but lost. Do you have any memories of your sets against them, and did going positive boost your confidence and motivate you to keep playing RBY?
roudolf: Yea wcop was the first serious tour i played besides some greek oras tours. I went 2-2. My 1st series was vs soulgazer. I remember winning a game vs him with a sing from a parad lapras in the end game. In my series vs marco i was super nervous. I knew who he was and i was watching his replays to learn the tier and being better. Game 1 i haxed him with a zapdos beating his full hp chansey and tauros g2 he completely destroyed me and g3 was super close i had the edge but my inexperience and some hax last me the game. Of course i was super happy with 2-1 and a close series. Vs floppy his team wqs already out so he brought some cheese and i took an easy with. Vs crystal in quartefinals i lost 2-1 and i dont remember much. Overall the experience was great and i loved rby but i didnt had the intention to play it regurarly as i preferred oras. So i didnt really touch rby again for the next 9 months
GGFan: You made your return to tournament play in the summer of 2017, entering the last Supreme RBY Tournament on Pokemon Online and actually managing to win the whole thing. Do you have any memories of your run here?
roudolf: winning vs peasounay for the 1st time which was pretty good considering i was always chasing him. When i started he was at the top of the ladder . When i was at the top of the ladder he had the best spl score and winning many tours. Also i remember facing tin in finals and the series was pretty close
GGFan: You also entered the tournament scene on Pokemon Perfect around this time, making your debut in Master Tournament #35 and making it all the way into the semi finals. Unfortunately, you got paired against Troller in the first round of the next tournament and lost. How did you discover Pokemon Perfect and what was your initial opinion of it?
roudolf: As for PP lutra introduced it too me at 2016 before wcop . I needed to make the transition from a ladderer to a tour player and PP was the place i was looking for. Competitive tours, great players and a nice point system that can give you motivation to take part and become better at the game. Also friendly environment unlike smogon. Rbyers are the nicest guys. MT #35 was my 1st tour losing to isza in semis and in MT #36 Troller beated me pretty easily.
GGFan: It was alluded that you became burned out with the game (or at least RBY) in the middle of 2017, which may explain why you didn't play in any tournament for the rest of the year after your loss to Troller in Master Tournament 36. Was this true?
roudolf: I wouldnt say i was burned out with the game as i didnt have much participation in tours to begin with just i tilted pretty easily with hax + as a personality i lose or find motivation for something pretty easily
GGFan: You resurfaced on the ladder at the end of 2017, where you accumulated the highest GXE in its history. It was 97.5%, right? I was laddering at the time and was in 2nd with a "mere" 93.5%. How were you able to get such an insane score? What kinds of teams were you using, and how were you able to keep winning?
I was playing under the name "X5&**GJTFSKL" at the time. I remember there was a point where you started spectating my games because I was getting closer and closer to your score. Do you remember my name? I'm not sure if we ever faced each other, though.
roudolf: yea i remember that name and i think we played some games. You used a gengar lead team right? Or mayde that was pakora. It was 97,1% and well it was a compination of luck and letting my elo getting down to 1500 then peaking up again for some times .That can really skyrocketting your gxe. As for the teams i didnt use anything special just standar big 4. Whatever i felt like playing at the time
GGFan: As someone who dominated on the ladder, would you say that doing well on it means anything? Some value it just as much as doing well in tournaments. Or do you think that tournament play is the true measuring stick of how good someone is?
roudolf: Ladder differs from tournament play. Of course doing well on the ladder means you have a good understanding of the game but its more like a 1st step for everyone to learn the tier and playing constant casual games. On the other hand tours have a more competitive nature and shows you how good a player is and how he can adapt to different opponents
Part two - run in spl; winning the global championship
GGFan: You signed up for SPL at the end of the year. Do you think your run on the ladder was the main reason you got bought, or do you attribute it to other factors? Did you expect to get bought? How would you have felt if you didn't?
Was there a particular team you wanted to play for?
roudolf: I didnt have any tourmanent showcase besides a 2-2 in wcop and a 5-1 powc so yea ladder was pretty much all i got . I threw the dices and i pmed all managers . Wolfpack wanted me at first cause they didnt want to spent much in rby and they also had retained asta and fear fellow greek players .I did tryouts vs kratosmana and i did well but eventually they changed their mind and tin was their 1st target. That along with 0 interest from other managers + many great players sign up(marco sign up at the last moment and you got unbanned) really dropped my hopes. I wouldnt mind if i didnt get drafted it just was that i wanted to prove myself vs the best and spl gives you that chance. Its the highlight event of our game after all. I had free time, I was playing daily,i was in great shape i wanted to compete.
GGFan: You were ranked last in the Power Rankings. Did this annoy you, did you find it fair, did you not care? Also, if it were up to you, where would you have ranked yourself?
roudolf: putting me last didnt really annoyed me more like gave me motivation to prove them wrong. I wouldnt ranked me that high myself i didnt have any achievements to show . Badabing didnt even play the game and tin was rookie so 8th place was ok. Maybe 7th max
GGFan: You didn't start on the right foot, losing to Idiot Ninja in week 1 and then following that up with a catastrophic loss to Metalgross in week 2 which saw you lose to insanely low odds. What are your memories of that set against him, how did you feel afterwards, and did your team support you during this difficult time?
After starting 0-2 you didn't drop a single set, putting on one of the dominant performances in the history of the tour. You beat marco, Peasounay, Lusch, and me during your hot streak. You then got revenge on Idiot Ninja in the semi finals to have one of the best records ever (7-2). Do any of your sets stand out?
roudolf: I lost my spot in wolfpacks by Tin and i lost vs him in the premiere so that was a huge hit to handle . Add my loss vs metalgross with the insane hax and i was 1 step from quitting. Week 2 vs metal nothing did go my way . Game 1 i played really well but in the end game i exploded with my Exe instead of Sleep powder his Zap thinking that was a win for me instead of a tie. I was a ladderer and they didnt had any clear rules like PP had written that simultaneous ko is a tie. Dont remember next 2 games and then the atrocious game 4 . Christos calced the odds ,everything that happened in end game and it was like 1/21000. My team of course supported me but i was an unknown player with 0-2 and we had other rbyers like marcop or w3k. I didnt play week 3 vs badabing week 4 vs lusch was my last chance. Overall i dont think i played that well in spl like i did in other tours at the same time. I did missplays and some games came down to tauros speed tie but people only look at the score. If i had to pick my best series that would be vs peas. I think i played really well vs him . Also i had 7-2 and we didnt win the tour we lost in semis
GGFan: I have to agree with you there: people only look at the scores.
I remember our set still. Both games were really close.
In game 1 your Exeggutor landed a Psychic critical hit + special drop on my Starmie, and I got fully paralyzed on the same turn. I needed to land the Thunder Wave.
And I remember your Exeggutor came through again in game 2, landing a max roll Psychic on Jynx to KO it. This was all in week 9.
I played it better than our Master Tournament set, at least.
roudolf: Game 1 i had the edge but you played really well the end game and it came down to a tauros vs Exe
Game 2 i dont remember much besides that jynx play
GGFan: Yeah, it was a 1/39 chance for the Psychic kill. It did exactly 20.7%.
But oh well. Both games were close and sometimes luck comes your way, sometimes it doesn't.
roudolf: Also a credit to you that you helped me without knowing in spl . Mid tour between week 3-4 while watching your games i thought that your playstyle and using double reflect seems pretty nice.Also getting some risk like dropping Eq on lax for Hb or Selfdestruct to maximize the odds .At the time i was using mostly 1 reflect user per team and week 4 and onwards i changed that to reflect spam.That contribute a lot to my score tbh
GGFan: Yeah, I had been using Monolax (I called it Deceitlax back then) as early as 2016. Since we're both being honest, I feel like I got shafted by bad luck too much in that tour and should have gone 6-2 in the regular season as well, but I still pulled off a positive win/loss record and had some great moments nonetheless.
Most Snorlaxen back then ran Earthquake, and you know how I always like to take advantages of trends.
roudolf: Reflect was the way to go in that spl . No many amnesia lax, almost 0 wrap urers , low usage of cloyster and rest on mons
Also Gengar and counter chansey wasnt that common so you could drop eq.
after spl meta adapted to that tho
GGFan: Well, you dominated in SPL and shut everyone up, but you weren't done yet. You also won the Global Championship, where you won a staggering 12 sets in a row in your road to the finals. What are your memories of this tour? Was it exhausting to have to play so many sets? Do you remember your final-round encounters against Troller and Bedschibaer? What are your opinions of them?
roudolf: I really love the format of Global Championship. Favors the better player as you can have a second chance if you get haxed for example something you dont have in the other big rby tour of smogon rby cup. its pretty challenging tour. I remember facing troller, marco, kaz, beds and many others before came to finals. Final was dragging and exhausting process. We had to play 3 times each to find a winner. It was really close and details defined this tour. Beds is a great player and he is using weird stuff from time to time. Although i never saw him in his prime when he dominated PP. Also easygoing guy and i love his memes .About troller what can i say. He was my rival back then and the best rbyer rn . Him not being main in spl 9 is like having a great puzzle and you missing 1 piece of it .Would love to face him again in the future now that he is the king of rby
GGFan: Speaking of the RBY Cup, you also entered it but were unfortunately knocked out in the first round, unable to complete the trifecta. How badly did you want to win this one? Or, were you OK with losing in the beginning given how well you had done in both SPL and the GC?
roudolf: I wanted to win it like any tour i join of course but not like my life depends on it . I faced Sceptross r1 a good player and close friend of mine so losing wasnt that harsh to swallow
Part three - winning the season, winning the cup; burnout
GGFan: At the same time you were putting up big numbers on Smogon, you returned to the Master Tournament scene, entering season 14 and narrowly winning it by two points. You lost to Kaz in the finals of Master Tournament #41, then ended up winning Master Tournament #42 where you deated marco in a great five-game set in the semi finals and your fellow countryman, Mysterious M, in the finals. Does winning the season hold a special place in your heart given who you had to beat in MT42 to win it? Also, how did it feel to narrowly take the season away from marco?
roudolf: I wanted to win my 1st MT after 2 losses against kaz in finals. In MT#42 Mysterious M beat kaz in semis which i really wanted to face for the 3rd time . Semis vs marco was classic series vs marco.Back and forth which a bit of hax will clarify the winner.I guess luck was on my side that day
GGFan: You also won the Cerulean Cup, which was the ladder tournament. Was it easy to return to ladder play, or was it becoming difficult due to your other commitments on both Pokemon Perfect and Smogon (as this one required dedication)? How did it feel to win it? In this one you had to overcome Troller, Lusch, and marco in the playoffs--surely no easy feat.
You had been playing the most Pokemon in your life during this time. You were in SPL, you were playing in the Master Tournaments, you were in the Cerulean Cup, and the Global Championship. Was it difficult to commit so much time to the game, or did you enjoy it? Would you say you felt burned out by the summer
roudolf: Cerulean was pretty competitive tour . 4 weeks to top the ladder and then facing the best players again and again. At tha period of time i had to play 4-5 series per week + ladder .I am not the guy that just gramps a team and plays. I want to scout my opp beforehand and i care for all the tours the same so yea after wcop i was pretty burned out
GGFan: How did your sets in WCOP go? You went 2-1 again.
roudolf: i faced poek day 1. Didnt had any info about him so why not play immidiately. He was pretty good actually and beat me. Then i played genesis and teddeh which i won.I regret not letting poek last so i can have some info about him . My tean was 1 win away from tiebreaks so that loss mattered
GGFan: Yeah, you always took WCOP seriously. Why do you enjoy this particular event so much? Is pride for your country important?
roudolf: Well i have a pride for my country of course and i really love the format of wcop but most importantly Pokemon besides a game we play for entertainment its a game we make friends and we are really close in team greece. Today i dont play the game at all but if they need me i will be there to help in any way i can
GGFan: I see. On that note, after winning season 14 and the Cerulean Cup you retired from competitive play; however, you played for team Greece in WCOPP 2 in the fall of 2018. This was maybe the most stacked team tournament PP ever had, so it was a great note to go out on. You ended up going 4-1 in the five-week season, which was tied for the best record.I was on team Asia and it seemed like we were going to face each other one more time in week 3, but I actually told my manager to have our other player face you because I felt it would have improved our chances of winning the week. Instead, I had them put me in the #2 slot, which resulted in me facing Christos. This was a highly memorable set for me: not only was it really good, but I managed to win and improve my record to 3-0. I'm wondering if you remember watching the set and also want to know if you helped Christos prepare.
roudolf: yea i watched the series and i helped him. It was pretty close .And your other spot snowy was pretty nice for a non-mainer
GGFan: I remember most of your team gave my win post a like.
I always felt that the Greeks really liked me. Maybe I should buy a home in Greece and retire there since I'm so beloved by your people.
roudolf: I introduced them to your posts and they love them what can i say
GGFan: Yeah, I helped Snowy a lot and he did his best
Why did you decide to retire? Was it because you don't have time to play anymore, was it because you feel there's nothing left to prove, was it because you find the game boring now?Was it something else?
roudolf: all together . I played a lot, rl became more demanding, gf was whinning all the time and felt full with what i have achieved. I dont really find the game boring actually i love rby .Despite its low variety in choices you have to exploit different traits from others gens and thats why its easy to learn rby but its hard to become really good at it. If the challenge is tempting maybe i will play again who knows
Part four - the rby invitational; riding off into the sunset
GGFan: You hosted the first and only RBY Invitational around the same time you retired. What inspired you to do it, and do you think it went well? Is it something you thought about doing again?
Was there a player you were rooting for?
I should mention that I dropped out because I already had that grueling set against Christos in WCOPP and didn't feel like playing him again. I think if I were paired against anybody else I would have played.
roudolf: The idea was a classic human question in any competitive aspect of our life. Who is the best of all time? Or at least who would win in a tour which only the best players will take part. Old and new era . It went decent but could go better tbh .Like many people were missing. I would love to play in 2nd invitational but i cant host it .Maybe you can with the help of the community
GGFan: Yes, I see. You played in your last tournament in 2019, when you returned to team Greece for one more WCOP. What made you decide to drop ou?
roudolf: Something happened in work and we had to work all day shifts for 1 month so i couldnt play at all . Its pity but shit happens
GGFan: Yeah, that's too bad, especially given how much you love that tournament.
After not hearing from you for a year, you returned recently for WCOP yet again. How did you feel about every tier except SS being removed?
roudolf: Well i feel the slowly collapse of a forum by 1 man and his drones. Tds doesnt listen to the community at all and they act as they own the site. They kicking out of the tours the variety and half the playerbase cause 1 person wants it. They force great players at their gens learn something new.
GGFan: Yeah, I feel that, in a lot of ways, the competitive Pokemon scene actually somehow feels smaller than it did 15 years ago.
roudolf: imagine how boring would be to see clef,toxapex,corvi x8 every game
GGFan: What would you say your 5 greatest games are during your run?
roudolf: I wouldnt choose specific games more like series and not my best games just the most memorable 1) vs soulgazer for wcop my first win in tours. 2) vs lusch in spl week 4. My team started with 2 loses and 1 draw so we needed to win that week if we wanted to have any chance to qualify. We were behind at score something like 4-5 cant remember and i won and tied it. Then my teammates clucthed 2 more win and it was a sort of a comeback. Also i was 0-2 at the time so that win really helped me gain confidence 3) vs peasounay week 6 of spl probably my best games ever. 4) vs marco for cerulean cup. I played him many times in that tour and i remember most of our games were pretty hax clean so they have a high place in my mind. 5) vs troller for rby global championship. He was my rival but at the time i was already burned up and i wasnt sure i could give him the challenge he wanted. In the end i manage win the tour with a bit of a luck.
GGFan: Who are some of the players you felt were the best or felt stood out the most to you?
roudolf: 1) Peasounay was my first encounter with a really player. I was watching his replays and games to learn the game and even when i learned and i became good i was still keep watching them to find out if i would do a different play in his place and if i did why he did that play. He was dominant in all tours for a period of time winning literally everything in his was. He doesnt take many risks in his games and his playstyle is more defensive than most players but dont let tha fool you. I had a nickname for him back then. Mr never missplay. This guy literally never missplays and he will always find out the way to positioning himself better than you in the end game.
2) Marcoasd. While i was watching Peasounay's games he had many replays with someone named marcoasd. In these replays most of the time marco beated peasounay so imagine having someone as a goal and you find out that there is a bigger boss around. Jokes aside i dont have to tell much about him. Many others did and his achievments over the years can show you that. Besides that marco influenced all players of my era in one way or another so he has a bigger share in what is the state of rby even today that he is retired from tours.
3) Troller of course another italian at his speciality. Troller is the kind of guy that will do everything to get the win like using weird stuff like double birds or porygon, or outplaying you like there is no tomorrow. He was strong back then but now he seems like unstoppable. Hope the absent of rby in spl doesnt slow him down.
4) Alexander. The other son of marco. I never got the chance to see alex's legendary pp run but whenever i faced him in tours are games where super close. Besides that he is regurarly proving himself by winning or getting in final in gc and rby cup. And he is the only rbyer that can play almost any gen at the highest level.
5) You for being competing against top players for so long and having pretty nice results to brag about. As i mentioned i copied your tactics mid tour in spl and that really helped me. Also i ve you respect for being around longer that anyone and cant really imagine how someone can do that. I burned out after 8 months of constant rby and you are still here for 20 years right?
Honorable mentions:lusch the most methodical aggressive rbyer out there,metalgross the maddog of rby. The most dangerous opponent to face,nails that won a vgc regional wearing a smogon university t-shirt no need to say anything else.
GGFan: What's your response to people/trolls who say that RBY is the worst tier and devoid of any skill? Also, do you think that doing well in RBY means just as much as doing well in other generations?
roudolf: Its like as you said trolls and people that cant tolarate with hax factor or broken mechanins. Like every gen rby needs different kind of aproach to become good. Yea the mechanins are broken and you dont have much variety in teambuilding . So in a tier with the same teams experience gives you a great advantage over someone that doesnt. Learning how to react in any given sitution how the flow of the games goes and adjust your playstyle or even abusing those broken mechanics in your favor . Thats why you dont see many top old gens players overall being top at gen 1 . Rby is all about experience. Also many players look down in prepping for rby and that a big mistake tbh. Scouting your opponent in a tier with patterns and habits you can learn a lot about him and how you should aproach every tour series.
As for how much winning in rby means. Well that depends . To main rbyers winning means as much as it means for every gen player winning in his speciallity i dont really see how that differs
GGFan: What are you some of your favorite teams and why?
roudolf: When i started playing my favourite team was Alakazam/big 4 with chansey reflect and fishlax/Lapras. That team was pretty popular back then. Your gameplan is getting rid of chansey by someone way so lapras can put some work. For someone reason non rbyer back then didnt really expect sing or hb on lapras and that won me my 2 wcop games. Next i would say lead starmie/big 4 whatever sets/rhydon. I was using alakazams lead a lot just before spl and i didnt really like starmie . Zam lead has the advantage over any other lead but you can pressure it pretty easily so i had to try out starmie lead when i did it i loved it. I used it a lot in spl and i dont really like rhydon last more than zap just that rhydon was good in spl cause of reflect spam. And lastly Exeggugor with starmie/rhydon back. When i needed to mix my standar teams and outpace my opponent this team helped me get some important win. Taking the early sleep and having back rhydon/starmie is ok vs any last. Wouldnt use it against jynx players though
GGFan: Some people think you're one of the greatest ever even though you run didn't last very long compared to others. Do you consider yourself one of tYea what do you think is the future of rby now that they will kick it out of the big tours?he best of all time, or do you feel the praise is excessive? Where do you see yourself among the greatest ever?
roudolf: Well i wouldnt consider myself to be the greatest or anything . I didnt have the duration other players had and even at my peak i was still learning and did mistakes. I started as a ladderer and i manage to compete on equal terms against top players and i am just proud of that
GGFan: Is there anything you'd like to say or talk about before we finish?
roudolf: Yea what do you think is the future of rby now that they will kick it out of the big tours?
GGFan: You mean on Smogon?
It won't matter much. RBY never depended on Smogon to prosper.
What hurt it more was PP's death, but we're already seeing responses to it.
I think the last several months or so have been bad, but it will pick up eventually.
roudolf: I see. Thx for interviewing me.
GGFan: Take care and thank you for your time.
interview publication date - 5/28/2020