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How Metronome Got These Pokémon Pros Banned

Four pro "Pokémon" players were recently disqualified from a tournament in Korea for running Metronome-only team during a preliminary match leading up to National Finals of the Pokémon Video Game Championship series. Any experienced Pokémon trainer would probably tell you that running a team which only uses a single move isn't the soundest strategic advice, but it isn't necessarily against the rules either. These players, however, chose to run these Metronome-only teams in protest of alleged mismanagement of Pokémon tournaments within the Korean circuit.

For the uninitiated, Metronome is a move that has been a part of the Pokémon franchise since Gen 1. Some of the finer points about how it works have changed over the years, but its core mechanic remains the same: When a player uses Metronome, a hand will appear waving a finger and the Pokémon will execute a completely random move. This could result in the creature unleashing a powerful attack that it normally wouldn't have access to, but it's just as likely to perform a completely useless move that can prove costly to the player. It's arguably one of the worst attack moves in the game.

This chaotic mechanic makes Metronome tailor-made for trolling, which is likely why these players chose to use it for their protest. The move doesn't appear to be expressly prohibited in official tournament rules, but one of the banned players claims that this is why they were disqualified from further games in this series.

Four players were banned for using Metronome

Nash, the manager for Team Korea VGC, was one of the players who were notified that they would not be able to participate in the National Finals due to their team's construction. Nash posted a letter on his Twitter account listing several points as to why the players chose to protest the tournament. He pointed out that there have been no in-person events since 2019 and listed numerous examples illustrating a severe lack of communication between Pokémon Korea and the Korean VGC player community about how these online-only events have been organized.

After locking in the top four spots in the most recent tournament, there was another streamed match which was supposed to determine the order in which players Nash, Blue, Sangyoon and Mjia would participate. The players chose to use this preliminary event to stage their Metronome protest, since their place in the final tournament was already supposed to be assured.

All four players were sent an email in response to these matches informing them that they had been disqualified from the tournament. There was no clear rule that the players violated to warrant this punishment. According to Nash, Pokémon Korea cited "Other actions that Nintendo CO., LTD and TPC (and its subsidiaries) deem inappropriate" as the prohibited act for which they were disqualified.

All of this led Nash to one conclusion: "Pokémon Korea saw our teams, didn't like it, and therefore disqualified all four of us for playing Metronome."