The sixteenth EVE Online Alliance Tournament kicks off today, July 28. The coverage starts on CCP’s Twitch channel at 1345 UTC, and the first match due to commence at 1400 UTC.
As expected, tension in the EVE tournament scene has been steadily ramping up as teams have made their final preparations and prepared themselves mentally for some of the most adrenaline-fueled small gang PvP action available in EVE Online. Many of these teams have spent billions of ISK, not to mention uncounted hours of practice time, all in hopes of coming first and being recognised as the best small-gang players of the year. That said, we can’t overlook the attraction of the coveted prize ships and SKINs announced in the recent Alliance Tournament XVI Megablog.
The first weekend’s matches will be split across two systems as usual, with the CCP Twitch channel broadcasting matches occurring in PE1-R1, along with commentary and analysis of both systems from an experienced panel of players and developers. The Plus10 Gaming Twitch will be broadcasting matches taking place in UUA-F4, with some commentary led by Pandemic Legion team member and AT historian Apothne. The full match schedule is available in this Google sheet, and just as a helpful hint you can watch both streams side-by-side at this multitwitch link to never miss a second of the action.
We would also be remiss if we did not include a mention of the incredible work done by Corrin Mor on the opening sequence for the ATXVI streams. We think this is utterly fantastic, and you should all watch it even if you’ll miss the streamed show!
46 of the 55 competing alliances will play matches on the first day, with the remaining nine receiving byes into the first round of the so-called “winners bracket”. Five of these byes were awarded when the initial match brackets were announced, due to issues filling the typical 64-alliance roster. These byes went to the top five AT XV alliances of Vydra Relolded, Hydra Reloaded, Lazerhawks, Northern Coalition dot, and skill urself.
In a last-minute shake up, an additional four byes were announced late on July 27 in a forum post by CCP Fozzie. The post stated that Dream Fleet could no longer compete due to their alliance disbanding on July 20. There were also withdrawal requests by The Bastard Cartel, Two Maidens One Chalice, and B U R N, for undisclosed reasons. These requests mean that the United Federation of Conifers, Black Legion…, Pandemic Legion, and the Tuskers Co. will all progress uncontested to the first round of the winners bracket. It should be noted that these new byes will likely be eligible for the prize SKINs given to match winners, too.
These extra byes also provide us with the first knowledge of winners bracket matches, with the United Federation of Conifers facing off against Lazerhawks in the first match of the tournament for these teams. This match will happen at 1820 UTC on July 29. The full initial brackets can be found at the official challonge link, though this has not been updated to reflect the most recent byes at the time of writing.
Saturday’s Fights to Watch
If you can only tune in to some of the streamed content today, INN has you covered with our curated recommendations for matches likely to be worth tuning in for! In an odd twist of events, our top five fights today are all being streamed live on CCP’s Twitch channel, so you don’t even need to change the channel.
- First up is Brave Collective Vs. ChaosTheory, with the match starting at 1500 UTC. Brave placed 8th in AT XV, so they should be well-positioned to put on a good show.
- Next is Of Sound Mind Vs. Phage and Terror, at 1600 UTC. Of Sound Mind are a historically good team, and it will be interesting to see if Pandemic Horde’s AT alliance can exceed their usual Tranquility performances.
- The third one to watch is Templis CALSF Vs. No Vacancies at 1720 UTC. This match sees lowsec stalwarts Templis go up against a fairly experienced wormhole PvP group. This one should be explosive.
- Worth staying tuned in for will be Goonswarm Vs. LUMPY as 1740 UTC. GSF are a returning team from AT XV, while LUMPY’s last tournament was 2014’s AT XIV. However, both teams will be coming out with something to prove, so this will probably set the tone for their respective performances this year.
- Last on our list for Saturday is Test Alliance Vs. Triumvirate at 1900 UTC. We should all hope this wartime grudge match brings the best of both alliances to the table, though here at INN we have to wonder how many TRI. pilots are still camped into UALX-3.
Overall, this weekend should set us up for a fantastic tournament season, and we hope you’re all looking forward to it as much as we are here!