With the first weekend of Alliance Tournament XV in the books, we say farewell to 16 of our 64 teams, goodbye to one AT prize ship never to be seen again, and adios to several flagships. Day one, and day two of the tournament are up on Twitch. The Eve_NT Youtube also has the individual matches, these are still being uploaded. The secondary streams were, unfortunately, being broadcast on channels that do not get sufficient viewership to warrant recordings. That said, you can replay any of the matches using this very cool tool. Let’s start with broad strokes.
The Undefeated and the Upsets
16 teams came out of the first weekend with a perfect record. They are listed here to the right of the centre bracket under the heading “Undefeated 2 – 16 teams.” Some of these teams are not surprising at all, with The Tuskers Co. topping the list. Other teams that were more or less “expected” to have a 2-0 record at this point include VYDRA RELOLDED, Exodus., Pandemic Legion, and WE FORM VOLTA.
On the other side of the bracket are some surprising upsets. Test Alliance managed to edge out The R0nin in a nail biter on day 2 to go 2-0 for the weekend in a match that starts at about 1:25:25 on the EVE_NT stream recording. But possibly the most unexpected upset of the tournament so far is Templis CALSF beating HYDRA RELOADED in their very first match of the tournament. This knocks HYDRA RELOADED into the lower bracket where they will have to slog through far more matches than those that remain in the upper bracket. In addition to the recording with commentary, there is a video from the perspective of Templis’ Stork.
HYDRA RELOADED being relegated to the lower bracket surely spells trouble for the teams they encounter, but also trouble for their chances as they get deeper into the competition. Not only have they already steamrolled over Pasti Syndicate, in a blistering 4 minutes 23 seconds match on Day 2, but since HYDRA is now in an instant elimination situation, they will be forced to bring stronger setups earlier in the tournament.
As a general rule of thumb, teams in the Alliance Tournament only want to bring setups that are just good enough to win them a match. No team wants to show a high-end setup if they don’t have to. Some particularly skilled teams will even bring under-powered compositions when they are particularly confident. In these cases, they rely on their superior piloting and shot-calling to carry them through a match. Using tactics like this, high-caliber teams hide their top-tier setups until they really need them to pull out a critical win against a particularly strong opponent.
Farewell to Flagships
A full list of the flagships for Alliance Tournament XV can be found here, with those lost thus far crossed out. Of the 54 flagships submitted, seven have met their fate. Particularly interesting is the Vindicator loss from Band of Backstabbers. A keen eye will notice that, at least at the time of writing, the Band of Backstabbers’ flagship has not been crossed out on CCP’s list. Despite that, the best explanation for the modules present on that killmail is that Band of Backstabbers did in fact claim that the Vindi was their flagship. According to the Tournament XV rules:
Flagships may ignore meta level restrictions for the following module types (this means they may fit faction, officer, cosmos, and deadspace versions):
- All Legal Highslot Modules (not including remote armor repair modules or remote shield transfer modules)
- Electronic Warfare Modules
- Weapon Upgrade Modules
- ONE Shield Booster or up to TWO Armor Repairers
This means that the bulkheads, the damage control, and the MWD fit to that Vindicator were all illegal. Kyalla, who refereed for the Anger Games, explains how this could have slipped past the officials managing the Alliance Tournament: