- Humans are just one of the countless species of social animals. And like many other species of social animals, humans, upon coming together in groups, align themselves together in a pyramid-like social structure, in which those that are lower on the pyramid show deference to those that are higher than them. This applies to empires, states, communities, groups, and even, of course, rooms on Pokémon Showdown!. In the case of human communities, the opinions, values, attitudes, decisions, and even manners of behavior of individuals imitate those of the individuals that are above them in the pyramid.
- Every pyramid has its apex. Every pride has its male lion. Every colony of ants and bees has its Queen. Every empire has its Emperor. Every kingdom has its King. And the person who occupies the apex of a social structure - the "King," as some may call it, exists even in groups and communities. Unlike those who are below him in the pyramid, the "King" shows deference to no one within the pyramid, and his opinions, values, attitudes, decisions, and manner of behavior proceed only from his own will, as well as his need to show deference to certain people that exist outside of the pyramid on top of which he stands, if such people exist.
- When Pokémon Showdown!'s Anything Goes room was first created in April of 2016, the "King" of the community of that room was the Anything Goes Tier Leader, Zangooser, who maintained his position until he stepped down as the Anything Goes Tier Leader sometime in mid-late 2018. He had the need to show deference to the global authorities on Pokémon Showdown! who were of higher rank than him, and due to various agendas of his, he probably also perceived a need to show deference to the high-ranking figures of other communities within Smogon that were more respected by the general Smogon community than the Anything Goes community was. Such communities most likely included the Tournaments community, the OU community, the Ubers community, and possibly more. However, during the period in time in which Zangooser was the Anything Goes Tier Leader, he did not show deference to anyone within the community of the Anything Goes room.
- In the Anything Goes room, there is an unspoken law that all of the people in it align themselves in the aforementioned pyramid-like social structure, with the Anything Goes Tier Leader occupying the apex of the pyramid, as the "King." Directly below him are the Anything Goes Tier Leader's fellow Room Owner(s), while further down are the Moderators of the room. Below the Moderators are the Drivers, below the Drivers are the Voices, and below the Voices are the regular users.
- However, it should be noted that members of the same Anything Goes room user rank do not necessarily occupy the exact same level on the pyramid-shaped structure, as some of them may be higher or lower depending on various factors. For example, there was a time when the user "Thimo" and the user "Ransei" were both Moderators of the Anything Goes room, but the user "Thimo" likely occupied a higher position within the pyramid, since many people within the Anything Goes community probably believed that he possessed superior Pokémon battling abilities as compared to Ransei. Sometimes, factors such as a large enough difference in the perceived Pokémon battling abilities of two users, in the eyes of the Anything Goes community, could even result in one user occupying a higher position within the pyramid than another user who may happen to be of a higher room rank, and other factors, such as the way a certain user is perceived by the general Smogon community, may influence this as well. Regardless, the positions that the people within the Anything Goes community occupy are constantly changing, as the opinions of the people in the community change over time.
- Of course, just like in any group of humans, or social animals in general, for that matter, the individuals within the Anything Goes community are expected to both imitate and show deference to those that are higher than themselves in the pyramid.
- However, when the Anything Goes room was first created, Zangooser made a large and devastating mistake - or at least, he made a decision that would be a mistake, as far as the need to maintain the pyramid-shaped social structure within the Anything Goes community was concerned. And that decision was promoting a certain user to the position of Moderator within the room. At the time, the Pokémon Showdown! username of that user was Auferstehung【天龍神】, but in general, he is much better known as CHAMPION LANCE, or his title - The Great Pokémon Master.
- Despite being human, CHAMPION LANCE was nothing like the other users in the Anything Goes room, or even within Smogon or the Pokémon battling community, in general, because he did not, at all, fit within the pyramid-shaped social structure. This was because he did not show deference or attempt to imitate anyone within the Anything Goes community, or anyone within Smogon or the Pokémon battling community, for that matter. Instead, he treated everyone around him exactly the way that they treated him, and he applied this principle to everyone within the Anything Goes community, ranging from Zangooser himself, to the regular users in the Anything Goes room. At the same time, he also had his own opinions, values, attitudes, decisions, and manners of behavior, which came from his own will and personality, rather than those around him.
- But at the same time, because of the fact that he was a Moderator within the Anything Goes room, combined with the fact that his Pokémon battling skills were generally perceived extremely highly by the people of the Anything Goes community, many people within the community showed deference to him, and followed him. However, since he himself did not show deference to those that would expect to be above him in the pyramid, such as the Room Owners, including Zangooser himself, the line of deference that would normally be expected to extend through CHAMPION LANCE, from the bottom of the pyramid to its apex - where Zangooser was located, was disrupted.
- Furthermore, CHAMPION LANCE's philosophies very often clashed with the culture and expectations of the Anything Goes community, as well as the Smogon community, in general. Whereas many people in the community had no problems with the use of inaccurate moves such as Focus Blast and Precipice Blades, CHAMPION LANCE held a very low opinion about them. Whereas many people in the community saw performance within a small number of battles in specific tournaments as the pinnacle of skill in Pokémon, CHAMPION LANCE saw Pokémon Mastery as something that is defined primarily by GXE, win-loss record, and consistency over a large number of battles. Whereas many people in the Anything Goes community humbly accepted the idea the tier to which their community was dedicated as an "Other Metagame," or "an unofficial tier, unlike Ubers, OU, and more," in an effort to show deference to the larger Smogon community, CHAMPION LANCE had no problems with openly expressing his belief that "Anything Goes" was the ultimate and purest form of Pokémon battling, and he had no problems with seeing it as more respectable than all the other tiers, including that which is generally considered by Smogon to be its flagship tier - OU. And whereas almost all the other members of the Anything Goes community respected Zangooser's gender identity, by calling him by female pronouns, and respecting his username change to "Chloe," CHAMPION LANCE continually referred to him by male pronouns, and continued calling him "Zangooser" long after he had changed his username to "Chloe."
- The degree to which many users within the Anything Goes community showed deference to and followed CHAMPION LANCE, combined with the fact that CHAMPION LANCE himself showed deference to nobody, and followed nobody, contrary to the expectations of those who saw themselves as standing above him in the pyramid, as well as the fact that CHAMPION LANCE held and very often expressed many views that were extremely controversial relative to the rest of the Smogon community, resulted in the Anything Goes community taking an extremely irregular form. Rather than being a pyramid-shaped structure, the Anything Goes community was warped into a pair of pyramids, creating two apexes - the original apex, occupied by Zangooser, as well as a new and alternate apex, occupied by CHAMPION LANCE himself. In this way, CHAMPION LANCE's very existence was splitting the Anything Goes community in half.
- Perhaps the first user within the Anything Goes community to recognize the existence of this alternate apex was Megazard, which explains why Megazard has always reacted to CHAMPION LANCE with distrust, a desire to exert dominance over him, as well as even subtle hostility at times, reprimanding him over little matters, while also constantly ending most polls that he started in the Anything Goes room. After all, in the eyes of those who saw themselves as standing above CHAMPION LANCE within the social structure of the Anything Goes community, the existence of an alternate apex was a threat - a competitor that needed to be eliminated, in order to preserve the pyramid-shaped social structure of the Anything Goes community.
- However, for a long time, Megazard could not come up with a good reason to convince Zangooser to demote CHAMPION LANCE from his Moderator position in the Anything Goes room, so CHAMPION LANCE kept his position, because for a long time, Zangooser was not even aware of the existence of the alternate apex that CHAMPION LANCE had created within the Anything Goes community. On the contrary, Zangooser may have even, for a long time, viewed CHAMPION LANCE's position as a Moderator in the Anything Goes room to be a positive contribution to both himself as well as the Anything Goes community. This was because, for all of 2016, as well as most of 2017, CHAMPION LANCE had a positive reputation that extended far beyond the Anything Goes community, with him also being a stapled legend in the Ubers community, as well as the Other Metagames community, or, more specifically, the Balanced Hackmons community, while his influence extended even towards the realm of Pokémon Online as well. Consequently, by keeping CHAMPION LANCE in a favorable position within the Anything Goes community, Zangooser may have hoped to, among the wider Pokémon battling community, promote the image of the Anything Goes community, and ultimately, himself.
- But as time passed, the existence of the alternate apex that CHAMPION LANCE was creating within the Anything Goes community was becoming more and more obvious, and the members of the community who saw themselves as above CHAMPION LANCE in the pyramid, including Zangooser himself, could no longer ignore it. As such, they began to see CHAMPION LANCE as an unnatural existence within the Anything Goes community - someone who did not and could not fit within the normal pyramid-shaped social structure of a human community. Someone who was comparable to an invasive species in an ecosystem. Then, on the 26th of July, 2017, CHAMPION LANCE took a break from Pokémon Showdown!, and when he returned on the 5th of November, 2017, the existence of the alternate apex that he occupied was made far more obvious than ever.
- Around that time, the culture of the Anything Goes community had shifted dramatically. In particular, many people in the community were collectively shunning the use of Baton Pass, considering it to be a skilless, despicable, and cancerous strategy, and while CHAMPION LANCE still held a negative opinion about Baton Pass, he did so in a different manner. As rather than considering it to be a cheap tactic, he considered it to be a useless strategy that always results in its user shooting itself in the foot, due to this strategy's inability to give its user consistent success and high GXE over a large number of battles.
- Also, at the time, many staff members of the Anything Goes community, including Zangooser and Megazard, were complaining to each other, in private staff conversations, about how much the Anything Goes room had degenerated, and they were putting most of the blame on certain users that they considered to be bad presences, such as FluffieMareep and Jagonite. At one point in time, Jagonite nominated his favorite Pokémon, Dragonite, for a spot in the Anything Goes Viability Ranking thread on the Smogon forums, but his nomination was quickly, angrily, and aggressively rejected by several well-respected members of the Anything Goes community. However, although CHAMPION LANCE did not contribute to the discussion in any way, he liked Jagonite's post, purely because Dragonite was also his favorite Pokémon, and this action on his part may have rubbed the other Anything Goes staff members the wrong way. At another point in time, Zangooser had openly called out FluffieMareep in the Anything Goes room, asking him "if he ever intended to be a good user." However, at the time, CHAMPION LANCE had also just befriended FluffieMareep and Jagonite, as well as possibly other users who were largely disliked by the Anything Goes staff, and he was interacting very positively with FluffieMareep in particular, out in the open, in the Anything Goes room.
- Additionally, CHAMPION LANCE was also expressing his controversial beliefs far more often than ever in the Anything Goes room, setting off alarm bells in Zangooser, Megazard, Pigeons (who had also become a Room Owner at the time), as well as possibly other Anything Goes staff members. Also, they may have viewed CHAMPION LANCE's constant expression of his controversial opinions as detrimental to the reputation of the Anything Goes community in the eyes of the larger Smogon community.
- Then, on the 26th of November, 2017, when Pokémon Showdown! user Paycard stole CHAMPION LANCE's ladder points, CHAMPION LANCE banned him from the Anything Goes room. Not only did Zangooser immediately unban Paycard immediately after that, but he also did not punish Paycard in any way himself, despite the fact that he, as a Global Driver, possessed the power to do so. This action on Zangooser's part was taken not only to spite CHAMPION LANCE, but also as a show of power, in order to show the users in the Anything Goes room who the true "King" of their community was. He had hoped that, through such a show of power, he would be able to promote the idea that CHAMPION LANCE was not someone to be respected, and he wanted to dissolve the alternate apex that CHAMPION LANCE occupied in the Anything Goes community, in order to turn the establish the pyramid-shaped social structure in the Anything Goes community, with Zangooser himself as the sole King of the community.
- After Zangooser went offline on the night of November 26, 2017, CHAMPION LANCE revealed his true colors, and the fact that he never respected Zangooser as a "King" in any form was made incredibly obvious. Through using the very powers that were, ironically, given to him by Zangooser himself in order to turn the Anything Goes room upside down, to insulting the center of Zangooser's pride - his gender identity, to later doxxing him, CHAMPION LANCE made it crystal-clear that he was a massive threat to the pyramid-shaped social structure that Zangooser and several other Anything Goes staff members wanted to maintain within the Anything Goes community.
- After CHAMPION LANCE was demoted in the Anything Goes room, and banned from Pokémon Showdown!, the Anything Goes Discord server, as well as the Other Metagames Discord server, the Anything Goes community was finally, albeit temporarily, reconfigured into the pyramid-shaped social structure that Zangooser had always desired. However, CHAMPION LANCE's acts of direct aggression against Zangooser himself had made the Anything Goes staff believe that CHAMPION LANCE was so incredibly threatening to the pyramid-shaped social structure, to the point where the only way to safely ensure the continuing existence of said social structure within the Anything Goes community was to literally censor all mentions of CHAMPION LANCE's name, in order to bury him from people's memories, and erase him from history. This was because the Anything Goes staff believed that CHAMPION LANCE's influential power was so incredibly great, to the point where the mere mention of his name could split the community once more.
- And this explains why Zangooser ultimately stepped down from his position as Anything Goes Tier Leader and Room Owner shortly after discovering the existence of the Team Plasma's Castle Discord server, where a significant portion of the Anything Goes community hung out, as well as CHAMPION LANCE's influence within it. Because Zangooser realized that at the end of the day, even CHAMPION LANCE's demotion from the Anything Goes room, combined with his seven-day ban from Pokémon Showdown!, as well as his permanent bans from the Anything Goes Discord server, the Other Metagames Discord server and the Smogon forums were not enough to erase him from history, let alone prevent his presence from splitting the Anything Goes community, and warping it into a form that Zangooser believed to be twisted.
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