Dateline: July 13, 2021
CCP has announced that tomorrow, there would be a major announcement. Something big was brewing. The war is raging (sort of). And CCP was going to say something. Something important.
If the CSM knew what it was, they weren’t talking. CSM member and notable reddit good poster Brisc Rubal opened a thread to help contain and analyze the rampant speculation.
Then came the video. As a member of Redditswarm, it was like the anticipation on Christmas Eve. Who knew what new meme fodder we might be receiving the following morning? What we got instead, was an announcement that the Alliance Tournament was back.
The History of the AT
For a detailed breakdown and analysis, we have to go back to the 2019 INN coverage. In its 15-year history, the AT has been an interesting study in both contradictions and similarity to the rest of the game. Spies, misdirection, and sabotage – the Alliance Tournament all the makings of an EVE classic. Topping all of this off are the instances of match fixing and other shenanigans.
However, it is all run in a small arena, with a fixed set of rules and artificial conditions, making the Tournament more like a game of chess. Teams have the independence to strategise and create ship comps, all offset by a point system and some other restrictions – this year’s ruleset can be found in this devblog. But I digress.
The Feeder Schedule
The Feeder Rounds are a mix of household names, and less well-known groups, fighting in a single-elimination bracket. Fights start at 1400 UTC today (September 4), and will continue at the same time tomorrow (Spetember 5), whittling fifty-one teams down to only sixteen. Those sixteen winners will proceed to the main event, which starts on November 5.
The EVE_NT crew, in cooperation with CCP, is livestreaming the Feeder Rounds on CCP’s twitch channel. The full Feeder Rounds schedule in a convenient spreadsheet form can be found here, and the full brackets for the Tournament are available on Challonge too!
Predicting how individual fights will shape up is difficult in this format; it will depend heavily on which team shows up prepared and ready to fight to the (sudden) death. I know I am looking forward to the very first match, between The Initiative and Psychotic Tendencies – mostly to see if Pando can find a way to bomb the enemy team off the grid!
Many folks have opinions on the Alliance Tournament. An active and vocal few are pleased to see it return, while some others oppose all that it represents. Personally, I just want to know if there will be good filler content. As a propagandist, it is the commercials that run during the AT that are always my primary focus. I like to cheer my team on and hope they do well, but I really enjoy the propaganda value, and the inside jokes on display.
I am guessing that there won’t be many commercials for this stream, with such a demanding schedule. But I am planning to watch, and I hope you do as well.