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Competitive battling is basically its own separate game. You learn the strategies and try to outthink your opponent. There aren't really any seriously challenging battles against the AI. There are some that can be difficult if you're underleveled or didn't raise a well-balanced team, but they tend to be fairly easy. You can do Nuzlocke runs to add some difficulty, but that's artificial difficulty.
And the fact that you MUST IV and EV to be competative online is ****. Thats what I mean....you cant play without being extreme competative rawr rawr
You don't "have" to IV and EV train to be competitive online...just enter them into an online simulator or "trade" for the "perfect" Pokemon. You also don't have to be extremely competitive online...you could always make a troll team.
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That implies the ONLY people who battle are those who min/max. Which is kinda like saying the only people who played SSBM wavedashed and used top tier characters. It's not hard, especially using the internet, to find people who like to battle one another but aren't obsessed with maxxing out the stats of thier teams using AR/Smogon.
It's not exactly the best analogy in the world, but it works. The only people who battle competitively, do do that though. Which is the main point of the matter I was getting at.
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You can battle people without all that overly complex grinding EV nonsense though
You could elect not too if you want. But proper ev spreads can change a pokemon's role on your team entirely, decide how you play it, whether or not it can now be a solid check or counter to a certain mon, and whether or not it can take full advantage of a moveset. A full 252 evs in one stat is worth 63 points.
In hp, that can decide whether or not you live a hit or not, and tweaking it can optimize recovery, ability to use subs, and ability to switch into stealth rocks.
In attacking stats, 63 points of extra power. If your pokemon has 300 attack uninvested and unboosted, you giving it full attack evs boosts its attack power by over 20%. If it has more natural power, you're investing in a stronger stat to amplify and boost off of with stat up moves and items. 363 attack (hypothetical full invest) banded: 544. 300 attack (untouched) banded: 450. Huge disparity.
In speed, that investment can decide whether or not you get to make your move before taunt, get a hit off before dying, run trick room, and more.
Again, you could battle without caring about evs, but frequently you're limiting the potential of your team by doing so.
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While i dont think youll get much resistance on IV's (they are almost universally hated by players), EV's play a vital role in pokemon. The game would certainly be worse without them. EVs are essentially the Pokemon series' way of allowing players to customize thier party's stats to an extent. By utilizing this, you can build defensive-oriented pokemon, offensive-orinted, prioritize speed, get a specific HP number to take advantage of certain effects to thier fullest, and build cou ters to specific threats that would otherwise trample you. EV's add a level of depth and strategy to team building and battling.
Think of it like a simplistic version of talent points or skill points found in typical rpgs. Two players with a warrior-like character can end up with completely dfferent builds depending on how they customize thier character. They could create a powerful attacker, a bulky tank, or some kind of mix. Because of EV's, along with other factors such as Natures, Pokemon can achieve something similar.