For those who don’t know, a well-known Pokémon dataminer named Kaphotics posted a Twitter thread showing hacked Pokémon in teams built by top VGC players (including 2016 World Champion, Wolfe Glick). It caused controversy and got everyone talking about ethics and The Pokémon Company/Game Freak’s poor and hypocritical management of the situation.
In the video above, Blisy addressed this topic and decided to see how long it’d take to legitimately breed and EV train a champion’s team compared to hacking them in with PKHeX. Spoiler alert: a very, very, long time. I recommend you watch it to see what it’d take. Here’s the comment I left on the video (as I actually have an opinion on this):
It’s a conversation that goes beyond a comments section but I think there’s a worthy argument in terms of accessibility to hacking (money and resources if you decide to pay someone to do it or go through PkHex and whatever else you’d need to trade up). But in terms of the moral implications, there’s no tangible difference to a hacked legal Pokémon with perfect IVs and a standard EV spread and a Pokémon you spent 69 hours of resetting to get the same IVs and EV trained them, when it comes down to an actual competitive battle. So I personally don’t have an issue with hacked Pokémon for competitive play. It’s not like you can have 999 in all stats or anything and you can have the perfect hacked team and still get 4-0’d
But former VGC player Kristian Mosquito had the best comment (it’s pinned if you wanna check it out on the video):
Heya! I actually competed in VGC 2011 (even attended Worlds) and this video brought me back!
Prepping for Regionals/Nationals/Worlds on top of keeping my high school grades up was exhausting. Dozens of hours RNG manipulating legendaries, regular breeding (I didn’t figure out Gen V breeding RNG at that time), and grinding BP for held items. And it had to be crammed into three months because BW came out in March and Regionals were in May-June. I distinctly remember getting 2 hours of sleep the night before Regionals because my friends and I were last-minute grinding our teams. Or the 3 hours of sleep before Nationals because I accidentally left my Life Orb with my friend who didn’t have Wi-Fi. All of this led to teams with non-perfect IVs, no PP ups, etc. and hoping team-design and play could overcome a few lower points. It was exhausting.
I share your opinion on hacking culture. The exhaustion and the wasted time on grinding (time that could have been spent practicing) 100% makes me understand why people hack. Because we shouldn’t spend dozens of hours just to begin to play.
However, hacking is still an unfair advantage: if you hack, while your opponent adhered to all the options and limitations the games provide, you now have the advantage of having more time to practice. You’ve violated the rules you agreed to when you signed up for a tournament, while your opponent didn’t.
But ultimately, the “enemy” isn’t hackers for trying to avoid wasting their life on zero-skill tedium. It’s single-player RPG systems being applied to a multiplayer game. Game Freak has made so many advances in saving players time (Gen. 8 felt relatively so quick to train), and I hope Gen. 9 eliminates the last of the barriers. Because it still takes hours to train a team.
My advice: if you’re gonna hack or just wanna skip all that grinding, do it better than the guys who got caught (it’s noted that many of the VGC players allegedly had people do the hacking for them or otherwise asked friends/subscribers to provide Pokémon without knowing where or how they were obtained—plausible deniability?). Or you could use PowerSaves on legit Pokémon. Or grind away.