Time to prove you’re a professional

pro·fes·sion·al   /prəˈfeSH(ə)n(ə)l/
-a person competent or skilled in a particular activity.

Burr and Splice are joining forces to run an ongoing league dedicated to anyone who thinks they have what it takes to be the very best, like no one ever was. It’s format, the brainchild of Burr, is a unique blend of rules that will make it so, at the beginning of every season, anyone has a chance to claim the title of Amiibo Champion. However, to do so, you’re going to have to prove yourself season after season. There is no resting on your laurels even if you do make it into the League because upstarts are always looking to take your place.

So, if you think you might have what it takes, read on and find out how you can join… the Professional Amiibo League.

I warn you all, this is going to be long. So if you’re in a hurry and just need links to click on and read later, scroll to the bottom of this article. We good? Okay. Let’s go!

The Professional Amiibo League (PAL from here on out to be short and because Splice likes acronyms) will be a league that “rolls over” the results form one season to the next. If you are familiar with EPL Football you have some basic concept of what’s going on. For those who don’t, allow me to explain.

The League will have only 32 “slots” to be in the League. These 32 Amiibo will be divided into four groups of eight Amiibo. Each division will get a cute name in honor of the four systems the previous Smash games were played on: the N64 Division, the GameCube Division, the Wii Division, and the 3DS Division. Yes, I realize that leaves out the Wii U but we only have four divisions and it would be confusing to have both the Wii Division and the Wii U Division so let’s maybe cut back on your ever-so-clever observations and get back to business shall we?

The organization of these divisions is critical to understanding who gets to participate in the League. Once you know there are divisions you are ready to learn about… the four phases of PAL!

PAL PHase 1

At the end of each season the Trainers whose Amiibo placed in the top 6 of their respective division will be invited back to the next season of PAL. This means that 24 slots will be taken up by previous trainers each season.

However, those Trainers who were in the bottom two slots of their divisions will be relegated back to the general pool of Trainers and have to fight to reclaim one of the 8 open slots.

It is at this time that all Trainers, whether they are returning or new challengers can submit a different Amiibo than the one they used in the previous season. There is one exception however: the champion of the previous season must defend their title with the Amiibo they won the previous season with!

This leads us tooooooooo…

PAL PHase 2

The Play-In Tournament will be an open invite to all Trainers who haven’t already claimed one of the 24 reserved slots. Want one of the final 8 open slots? Well, then you’re going to have to place in the top 8 of the Play-In Tournament to get into that season of PAL.

On top of that, whoever actually wins the Play-In Tournament will also receive a $5 Nintendo eShop gift card as a bonus! Fun.

This ingenious system is entirely the idea of Burr. I love how it gives anyone, new or old, a chance to compete but also provides a good amount of League stability. At any rate, once the 8 open slots are claimed it’s time to move onto….

PAL PHase 3

With all 32 slots filled it’s time for everyone to get organized into their respective divisions and to fight. Each Amiibo within a division will fight against every other Amiibo in their division in a Best-of-3 set with the maps set to a rotation of Ω / Battlefield / Ω stages. The stages that flatten hit boxes will, of course, be removed from the available list of stages. This hurts me because I love the Duck Hunt and Mario Maker aesthetics but prices must be paid to be professional!

The rankings within each division will be determined by the following tiebreaker criteria:

  1. Set wins
  2. Game win percentage
  3. Stock differential
  4. Record against tied opponents

At the end of the Regular season, everyone will have played seven sets. The bottom two Trainers in each division get relegated back to the public pool. Ranks 4-6 in each division can let out a sigh of relief because they have locked in one of the reserved slots for next season. However the top 3 in each division get to do a little bit more than live to fight in another season. The top 3 get advance tooooooooo…

PAL PHase 4

The Playoffs is where we crown our champion. A 12-team double-elimination tournament. Each division champion is rewarded with a bye out of round 1 and await the 2 or 3 seed that survives. Just like the regular season these sets will Best-of-3 series with 2 stocks aside on an Ω / Battlefield / Ω map rotation.

We will be awarding prizes to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. All of them will receive Nintendo eShop Gift cards of varying sizes but the winner will also receive this Rose Gold-painted Princess Peach Amiibo

Admittedly, this is only the first coat of paint. The final product will be even better.

Right now, the prize pool is coming entirely out of my pocket. However, if you’d like to help increase the Prize pool, read more in the Prize section of the Official Rules of PAL website.

I really love this concept that Burr has pitched because of how it brilliantly weaves together several concepts I’ve tried to make work for years. The risk of being relegated back to the communal pool of Trainers should add excitement to both the top and the bottom of the League. Trying to sneak your way form the middle of the pack into the Playoffs should be exciting as well. More importantly, since Burr has offered to act as the official tournament organizer, he will be recording the matches ahead of time. This will allow me, the host, to broadcast more matches per night, making sure every Amiibo gets a minimum of 2-3 matches per stream. That’s a big win, I think, for the viewer.

Now, since this is the first season, things will have to be done slightly different than they will in the future. Obviously we don’t have a Season 00 of PAL to pull reserved slots for. For this reason, we will be seeding the reserved slots mostly with people who reached the Playoffs in Amiibo League-Season 01 tournament I hosted. We will be supplementing those Trainers with a few very high-finishers from the CoCOA 4 tournament that Leaf organized and I hosted. We will be sending emails to those players so check your email boxes in the next few days.

Additionally, instead of the 24 reserved slots we will usually do, we are only reserving 20 slots this first season. We would like to make sure this very first season emphasizes playing your way into the professional Amiibo scene. That means the very first Play-In Tournament will actually have 12-open seeds people are competing for instead of the usual 8.

Obviously, this being dubbed a Professional league is, of course, a bit of an overstatment. Barring some billionaire deciding he wants to bet heavy on the Amiibo meta-game, no one is making a living of these tournament winnings. But to be professional is more than just making your living off of something. It’s a state of mind and a technical prowess. We will be approaching this as professionally as possible because we want this community to grow and a centralized, recognized League will be a good way of doing it. As such, we need everyone to be behaving professionally as well. If you wish to participate, please read and follow the Sportsmanship Agreement we have posted in the Official Rules.

Also, because we are trying to make this as professional as possible, we will be asking for photographic proof in the submission form that you own the physical Amiibo you are submitting. We are hoping, in future seasons, that we might be able to secure sponsorship so we can gain more visibility for the Amiibo scene and offer even cooler Prizes to participants. That will never happen if we aren’t taking every precaution to avoid piracy.

Now, with all this said, you are of course asking, “Splice, you windbag, you’ve gone on too long! When does this awesome thing start… wait! I didn’t say, ‘awesome,’ in my head! Now you’re just putting words into my mouth!” Well, I’m glad you asked.

The .bin files must be submitted via this form by 11:59 PM EST, Saturday July 6th.
The Play-In Tournament will start  8pm EST, Tuesday July 9th and will be streamed on twitch.tv/splicestream (follow the channel if you want to be notified when we go live)
Amiibos submitted must be Vanilla Amiibos with Learning Off.
There will be no items or Final Smash meter, in case you were worried about that.
And in case it wasn’t clear you submit your .bin files through this form only.

Clearly, this is the first go around. Burr and I ask that you be patient and, if you see any gaps in the rules, feel free to message us directly so we can amend the Official Rules as needed. Obviously we will try to avoid any midseason rules changes unless absolutely necessary, but you can expect the Official Rules to get more specific between seasons as concerns arise.

Burr and I are very excited to bring you what we hope to be the next level in Amiibo competitions. Is it presumptuous to say that? Totally! But if we crash and burn standing on our high horse, hey, at least you got to see the fun of a good faceplant, right?

So come on! Be a PAL! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to get some severe training done on my Amiibos if I’m going to have any chance of making it out of the Play-In Tournament. But, until next time…

Stay fit.
Keep sharp.
Make good decisions.
Splice out!

Professional Amiibo League official rules
Submit your Amiibo to PAL with this form
The PAL blog
Follow the official PAL twitter account for updates
All matches will be broadcast on twitch.tv/splicestream. The usual schedule will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8pm EST starting July 9th.



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