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Tony Verlis Gatto, better known online as Verlisify or Verlis, is an American YouTuber who centralizes and focuses on the subject of Pokémon. His most common content includes, update, gameplay, and guide videos to help viewers through the Pokémon video-game series.
He is considered the most controversial PokéTuber, and has accumulated a fairly sizable collection of drama videos.
Tony is from Seattle, Washington, and had moved in 2016 to Washington's suburbs. Tony has a brother named Troy, who goes by the alias AceTrainerTroy on YouTube. Tony had blocked his brother on Twitter, so his relationship with his brother is unknown. Around the time he had 40,000 subscribers, he had an ex-girlfriend who he broke up with at the time, with him staying with his father after. Tony owns a female husky named Lyca.
Tony has stated that he grew up a simple life in a rural or suburban environment. He didn't have access to the internet until he was 13.
Tony is part of the Furry community.
Tony despises anything related to primates (Monkeys, Apes, etc).
Tony's political and social values lean towards the American Conservative side. When he is confronted with the ideology that Conservatives are discriminatory in nature, akin to Nazis, he has defended his conservative views and has tried to separate himself and his political peers from Nazis, and had stated that he always found Nazis disgusting upon learning about them.
Tony was suspended from Twitter, and doesn't have have any other form of public social media that is known, like Facebook, Tumblr, or Reddit. Tony states the reasoning for the Twitter suspension is that Tony was negatively speaking about the person who doxed him. Doxing is considered an invasion of privacy, and is considered a criminal offense. Tony is still upset that negatively speaking against his assailant can get someone suspended, but not doxing. Tony has had to deal with doxing, death threats, witch-hunting, and harassment that Tony considers being exponentially greater than what he had dealt towards other people. Tony has stated that when he committed negative actions to other people, he felt just, like trying to expose pedophilia and other sexual-related problems in a minor-friendly environment.
Tony owned a cosplay channel called "fisher4930" before moving to a new channel called "Verlisify", which is the one he currently uses. He created a third channel called "Verlis' Hot Takes", which is where he talks about his socio-political stances.
He began his channel in February of 2013, where he started to make a name for himself through making Minecraft tutorial videos, before beginning his Pokémon content during December 2013. He has also dabbled in Animal Crossing content, but doesn't really experiment with other types of video game content.
Tony was friends with fellow Youtuber aDrive, but Tony's principles drove them further apart.
Tony is considered one of the most negative influencers to the Pokemon community, according to other members. Tony also makes very controversial videos. Tony has stated that when he has a negative opinion about someone or something, he will intentionally use inflammatory language to "take it to the next step", because he claims once you've gotten to a point, "might as well go through with it to the end".
However, despite countless feuds, Tony has stated that he would gladly welcome any collaborations of any variety.
Controversies in Video Game Communities
Cheating in the Video Games
Tony's most famous controversy is the stance that he has on cheating in video games, mostly Nintendo games. He adheres to Nintendo's rules strictly, and enforces them across multiple Nintendo-based communities, akin to real-life law enforcement.
Cheating in Pokémon
Tony's most famous controversy is the stance that he has on cheating in Pokemon. In the Pokemon Community, cheating in the competitive aspect of Pokemon has been blatantly apparent since the 4th generation, which dates to 2006. Tony has stated that he was not as rooted in the Pokemon community at the time, and had firmly planted himself into the community around the 6th Generation, which dates to 2013. He has stated that the sheer dominance of unauthorized third-party devices and software has tainted the competitive scene. These third-party devices are used to obtain perfectly viable monsters nigh-instantly instead of having to be worked for like normal, thus putting the majority of players that don't utilize these tools at a disadvantage. He has also stated that the competitive scene in Pokemon is inferior to other competitive communities because of the sheer tolerance the community displays toward unauthorized software modification for one's own efficiency, advantage, or gain compared to other competitive communities. He has stated that he will stand against software modification in the competitive scene "to the end", and has not changed his stance since. Because of the sheer percentage of the community that tolerates the use of unauthorized third-party devices, he is positioned in the vocal minority and is tackling an uphill battle.
Tony has expressed lots of disagreement towards players in the official competitive scene. Tony will often lament the deeds of cheating players and go into meticulous detail proving the fact that the players are illegitimate. Firstly, he would bring up the visual tells of Pokemon, like whether it's a shiny Pokemon, the PokéBall it was caught in, the ribbons, etc. During the sixth generation of Pokémon, he deducted that while having multiple shiny Pokemon is likely, as proven by fellow YouTubers and users, he deducted that it is unlikely that all of them would be competitively viable, and perhaps only a select few. To be competitively viable, the Pokemon in question has to go through many hurdles:
- Obtaining a Pokemon with maximum base IVs in all areas (6) from the wild or from an egg was considered close to a practical impossibility to Tony (around 1/887,503,681), with him remarking that even maxing out 5 areas (1/28,629,151) would be a challenge.
- Along with that low possibility, the Pokemon in question has to fulfill the unchanging quota of a good Nature (1/25), adding another random variable into obtaining an ideal competitive Pokemon.
- There is also the hurdle of Hidden Abilities, which can range from 3/5 to 4/5 depending on if it is to be passed down from the parent when breeding for a viable monster. If the most viable ability was a normal one, all that was needed was an Ability Capsule.
- There is also potential Egg Moves, a facet of training Pokemon that is exclusive to breeding and not capable of finding in the wild.
After fulfilling all the necessary quotas, it is highly unlikely to have that viable monster also become "shiny" during the process, which had a chance of 1/8192 (1/4096 in Gen 6-7; 1/2048 in Gen 8) that gradually increased. In the sixth generation of Pokemon, he concluded that to have a competitively viable shiny Pokemon was a practical impossibility and a sure tell that the Pokemon was injected illegally. In the seventh generation of Pokemon, he revised his conclusion: A legitimate viable shiny Pokemon was only possible through "Hyper Training", a new mechanic of that generation. With Hyper Training, Base IVs became irrelevant. In the eighth generation of Pokemon, another revision came: A legitimate viable shiny Pokemon was only possible through Hyper Training and Nature Mints, a new mechanic of that generation. The Pokémon series also introduced passing egg moves between monsters in the daycare, making specific egg moves much easier to acquire.
Cheating in Animal Crossing
While Pokémon is his main source of content, Tony has branched out to other video game series. Tony first became involved with the Animal Crossing series starting with "Animal Crossing: New Leaf" for the Nintendo 3DS. However, Tony was apparently naive/ignorant to the hacking community in that game, and only tackled the hacking community of the series when "Animal Crossing: New Horizons" for the Nintendo Switch released. A few months in, Tony noticed that the community was modifying their games to obtain items and goods on a scale that would not be physically possible to do from a normal player standpoint. Then, he noticed the trend of "Star Trees", "Camouflage Items", and other goods that could only be obtainable through illegal software modification. To his dismay, he couldn't do anything to stop it until Late June/Early August of 2020, where Nintendo had released a connective online feature alongside a reporting system. With this, he (and whoever shared his philosophy) began the skirmish of reporting the illegal software modifications to the parent company, ultimately ending with his victory when Nintendo released a patch that removed all illegally modified items. However, with this skirmish came a whole new community who would come to resent him.
Controversies in the Pokemon Community
Ray Rizzo and Wolfe Glick
These two are very highly-esteemed individuals of the Pokemon Competitive Scene, and they were one of the reasons that sparked Tony's campaign. Wolfe is a former World Champion, gaining the title in 2016 and losing it later. Tony has consistently after these two after they were exposed for cheating. One example is the "Dream Ball Aegislash", something that was infamous in the Pokemon Community. The context is that the Dream Ball was introduced in the fifth generation of Pokemon, and could only be used on Pokemon from that generation before. Aegislash is a monster that was introduced in the sixth generation, and since the Dream Ball was unavailable in the sixth generation, it created a case of mutual exclusivity when it came to legality.
Conflicts concerning Pokemon strategies
He has had many feuds with many members of the Pokemon YouTube Community, with his name being brought up an unbelievable amount of times. His feud began with a YouTuber named Shofu, who by Tony's standards, is a very skilled illegitimate player in the community. This feud consisted of Shofu's disapproval towards Tony's competitive strategies, which then extended to Shofu's circles and extended circles. After the feud, Tony claims that he feels he's on respectable terms with Shofu, but Shofu's feelings towards Tony remain anonymous, ranging from playful mockery to indifference.
On August 29, 2015, a YouTuber named Pyrotoz made a video about Tony called "Verlisify is an Idiot." where Pyrotoz shows a comment that Tony left on a beginner's guide to Pokemon video by Pyrotoz. Tony left an opinionated comment saying the tutorial is weak due to "unofficial" tiers and "weakness spread". Pyrotoz mentions there are different ways to begin within a Pokemon battle that Tony does not like, but Pyrotoz mentions that it's okay not to agree with, but doesn't think Tony knows other effective ways to play Pokemon.
Tony also mentions a point about learning, not predicting. Pyrotoz responds and says he did bring up that point in the beginner's guide video that Tony left the comment on. Tony then self-promotes his YouTube channel by telling other users (who read the comment on the beginner's guide) to watch his beginners guide to Pokemon.
DuncanKneeDeep and HoodlumScrafty
Tony has stated that he doesn't get along with two YouTubers by the names of DuncanKneeDeep and HoodlumScrafty AKA Callum. This began when Callum posted a video detailing how to get into the competitive scene legitimately, before taking back his word at the end of the video by displaying third-party devices. When Tony's posted a blind reaction to the video, he was commending Callum, before feeling a sense of mockery towards the legitimate competitive scene, and indirectly towards himself. This sparked an ongoing feud between Tony and Callum, and Duncan was there to support Callum.
A YouTuber named MegaCrasher AKA Corey made a video on Tony on his old channel named 'MegaMasher' called "The Truth About Verlisify And More." Corey's argument was Tony became the first individual in the Pokemon community to start unnecessary drama against other YouTubers. As MegaCrasher, Corey made multiple videos on Tony, mentioning witch-hunting and using his huge subscriber numbers to harass people that are smaller than Tony, but not instigating feuds with channels bigger than him. Corey also mentions that whenever Tony is on a downfall, he creates drama to keep his channel alive, and to get "profit". Tony is strictly against cheaters in the Pokemon community, but Corey mentions to stay out of it, and let the cheaters be brought to justice.
Corey also mentions that Tony is a completely different individual on Twitter, saying the things that are the opposite of what is said on YouTube. Corey mentions Tony making his fans go and dislike spam people's videos and encouraging cheaters to do terrible actions, such as commit suicide.
On Twitter, PhillyBeatzU has stated that he agrees with Tony in that he was right about the hacking scene and how it ruined the core pokemon playing experience, but had also stated that he destroyed the positive outlook of his only valid point by ruining his own image by attacking other PokeTubers and being hypocritical in other non-related topics. After seeing the Twitter thread, Tony responded saying that his positive outlook shouldn't matter when delivering factual information. He has stated that he would rather hurt or provoke someone's feelings and damage his image than deliver illegitimate information and damage his credibility, only to later regret having a damaged image in a later video.
DistantKingdom, AKA Jerm, had a minor altercation with Tony. This altercation happened when the eighth generation of Pokemon was still in the process of release. During this period, the hashtags "BringBackAllPokemon" and "BringBackNationalDex" were trending, and Jerm was on the side against the Pokemon series' parent companies: Nintendo, GAME FREAK, Creatures Inc., and The Pokemon Company. Tony was on the side defending the parent companies and their choices. Jerm noted that as the owners of the most successful piece of media on the planet, we should expect higher quality and quantity from the products they make. His points included that Pokemon's gameplay has grown incredibly stagnant, and asks for the company to find ways to not have to rely on temporary gimmicks (Mega Evolution, Z-Moves, Dynamax) to spice up the formula once in a while. He also wished for the company to put more weight into the story, as the series' stories have been homogenized since the beginning, and wished for narrative changes; he consequently wished for characters to be better explored and characterized in the games. He wished for the games to be more graphically ambitious, noting overly smooth models for terrain, muddy textures and lack of detail; he would want the games to have graphical detail rivaling "Pokken Tournament Deluxe" (and "NEW Pokemon Snap" much later in time); He also wished for every monster to have unique animations depending on the attack, akin to "Pokemon Battle Revolution". He wished for more mechanics and content to be present in the game, and he disagreed with their mindset of removing features to be replaced with others in order for each game to stand on their own; He wished for a game that was the culmination of as many things as possible. He despised how the companies removed the security of a staple feature in that every monster would be available in future games.
Tony, in general, accepted the companies' decisions because they promised that the intent behind these decisions was competitive balance. Tony retorts Jerm's points by saying Jerm is expressing petty entitlement, the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment. Tony expressed high praise for the concept of Dynamax, saying that it was the most competitively balanced concept of the gimmicks introduced. Tony dismissed Jerm's wish for a better narrative because he considered the story of a Pokemon game to be relatively trivial. Compared to other Role-Playing Games, where stories tend to be extremely important to the game, he considered the stories of Pokemon to be relatively unimportant, placing more value on raising competitively viable Pokemon, and more worth your time than the story. Tony expressed that the graphical fidelity of Pokemon was fine, as he expressed that they were currently experiencing the most graphically impressive game in the Pokemon series. He also dismissed the wish for more content to be kept and added/less content being removed, because he agreed with the companies' decisions for each game to stand on their own. He also said that he was fine with the removal of content, as he thought that perhaps the parent companies thought of such things as fluff.
Tony's has expressed heavily on how he feels towards Smogon, the most famous unofficial Pokemon battling format, and its community. He has expressed that the Smogon community has been too successful for an unofficial format, and has expressed disdain towards the community aggressively enforcing their unofficial rules on the rest of the Pokemon community.
He has also taken a distasteful stance on how Smogon presents its strategies, who tend to use positive and negative hyperbole. On Smogon's forums, the underpowered monsters in the series are subjected to witty, depressive commentary detailing why they shouldn't be used, instead of providing neutral to supportive commentary to those who would want to use them.
Conflicts concerning Clickbait/False Communication
Tony has made a few videos concerning clickbait. His beliefs concerning clickbait are simple and black-and-white, as he believes that if the video contains content not related to the thumbnail or the title, the YouTuber in question is of a lower standard. Tony does not believe factors used to grab attention are inherently bad, such as large bold text on the thumbnail, capitalized letters, hyperbolized wording, and phrases one would describe as head-turning, as he believes it is subjective whether some aspects of the video are those factors.
Conflicts concerning Original ContentEVERYONE IS WRONG ABOUT SHINY POKEMON HUNTING! The BEST Pokemon Let's Go Shiny Hunting Guide". PokeTips uploaded a response video rebuking against Verlisify and talking about how he was claiming PokeTips' shiny-hunting methods as his own. Verlisify rebutted with a video named "PokeTips Is SCARED I Caught Him Lying! " talking about how PokeTips was antagonizing him, but then PokeTips made another response detailing all of the flaws in his arguments and even discussing his ad hominem arguments (like using PokeTips' sarcastic attitude as an argument against him).
A commenter on Verlisify's video tried to break up the conflict by demanding both YouTubers to apologize and get it over with, but Verlisify refused, believing that he was not at fault and PokeTips was solely to blame.
Conflicts concerning Discriminatory Behavior
Tony has a vague black-and-white concept of discrimination. He believes that if you are acting negatively towards someone based on negative motives, then that is discrimination. His stances on the more intricate forms of discrimination are unknown.
Tony got into a controversy about racism around the time of the Charlottesville riots, before his Twitter was suspended. After a slew of Tweets, Tony was caught in a predicament; People would ask him to admit between two things: Admit to being an Islamophobe or to being a white supremacist/Neo-Nazi or a sympathizer. Tony absolutely refused to be identified as a Nazi, calling them disgusting and scum of the world, and so the people wrote him as an Islamophobe. Tony still claims to not identify as an Islamophobe and states that those tweets were taken out of context.
Tony is often accused of discriminatory language. When Tony tries to insult other people who he claims are of lower intelligence to him, he often used words related to autism and other mental conditions and illnesses, which are examples of Mentalism. It is unknown if he considers people with mental illnesses lower than himself, or if just enjoys using the vocabulary that happens to discriminatory.
As seen in his first video on Temtem, he does not approve of the "they/them" choice of pronouns, and in his video's comments, he called it a "Tumblr gender". This possibly implies transphobia and/or enbyphobia in accordance with his conservative, cisgender views. In later videos, he exposed this behavior in more detail, revealing he does not like the concept of identity politics. He described it as "a way so snowflakes could feel more special than they actually were". He believes that when people adhere to a defining identity, it makes people feel special/unique, and that they put themselves on a pedestal for an arbitrary description. For example, in the context of illegal software modification, he believes that pedestal makes people prideful and feel immune/invincible to the effects of illegal activity. He displayed this distaste for identity politics when in a video, he disregarded people who put what they identify as in the biography/description sections of their social media pages.
Tony's relationship with Tamashii is that he was neutral to Tamashii's work. He called her a "female TheJWittz", because he viewed the aesthetic of her channel as visually similar to his. When commenting on Tamashii's presentation, Tony stated that she was trying too hard to look cute and appealing to the audience, akin to a camgirl, in comparison to other female videomakers and streamers. Many took this as a sexist remark. In an apology video, Tony states that he didn't know that "camgirl" was a loaded term. In 2015, he was aware that it was a term that was gaining concern over time, but he claimed to have underestimated the derogatory association and the impact it had. The controversy broke out and it stemmed from when Tamashii made a blog post on YouTube saying that she wasn't getting enough appreciation from YouTube, and would be doing streams on Twitch. Tony took this as Tamashii not caring about the support she was getting on YouTube, which he found as odd and a massive deal, and he came to the conclusion of "camgirl" when he noticed that her streams at the time were for a gender-focused demographic.
Tony has a mutual hatred for Serebii AKA Joe Merrick. Joe is a journalist and the owner of Serebii.net, a dedicated Pokemon-related news site and wiki, which dates back to 1999. Joe has shown absolutely no respect for Tony, making a joke or saying witty dialogue against Tony whenever he is brought up. As a wiki editor and journalist, Joe has gained the support of the majority of the online Pokemon community, leaving Tony in a losing position against Joe. Both have argued against each other, one claiming the other to have a god-complex or just narcissistic personality disorder. They both claim that the other has gotten too pompous and can't admit when they are wrong, and when negative attention is thrown their way, they both try their hardest to either ignore/dismiss the information or try to debunk the information, instead of falling victim to the information and changing what needs to be changed.
Tony has noted that Joe has been losing his grip on punctuality and accuracy, in concern to the information that is posted to his website. Tony blames this on the potential idea that Joe has become too big-headed on social media and it is affecting his work. Tony has noticed that when Joe commits to an ideal, he will not shake his resolve, potentially to the detriment of his website. Tony has stated that he had never directly or indirectly harassed Joe on social media, but his rivalry with Joe would stem from Tony saying anything, with Joe responding to him or vise-versa. Tony has stated that when he has responded to Joe in a non-aggressive way, it would eventually spiral into an aggressive argument. Tony states that he has never blocked Joe on social media sites, but Joe had blocked Tony multiple times. On Twitter, Joe would unblock Tony to say something negative to Tony, and then block him again.
Joe has shown to actively not want Tony to succeed. Joe had sent a false copyright strike on one of Tony's videos to try and harm his channel and livelihood, with the strike being revoked because Joe didn't have a valid copyright claim. He had also got Tony removed from YouTube Gaming promotions. Tony thinks of this as Joe having a vendetta against Tony and trying to use his high image to pressure others into attacking Tony and making sure he's still "canceled". Joe also 'witch-hunted' Tony's private Twitter account, which Tony states he only uses for news and minimal interaction. Tony refuses to support Joe's site, choosing instead to support a rival site.
Note: The following dates are according to
- 100,000 subscribers: January 14, 2015
- 200,000 subscribers: May 2, 2016
- 300,000 subscribers: November 22, 2016
- 400,000 subscribers: March 24, 2018