“The second group consisted of bewildered PVPers and carebears screaming how the sky is falling and lamenting about the massive welp.”
THE STAGE AND FLEETS
On December 26, at around 1630 EVE time in the system of Lela, Genesis region, Koreafleet Coalition, led by Ginnungagap (-GAP) engaged LowSechnaya Sholupen (-LSH-) and friends Darwinism and AXIOS over a Koreafleet-owned cadmium POS reinforcement timer. Bad Intentions (BADIT) was also present on the field as a third party.
Koreafleet defended the POS with seven dreadnoughts, three Archons, and an armor battleship fleet mainly consisting of Apocalypse Navy Issues, Bhaalgorns, Armageddon Navy Issues, and Machariels under the command of Errestrian of -GAP-. The attackers, -LSH-, fielded a Leviathan, ten supercarriers, nine dreadnoughts and two Archons supported by armor T3 strategic cruisers, bringing the fight to 85 (Koreafleet) vs 86 (-LSH-).
“The formup of the Korean fleet was a mess from the start,” one member said. This is apparently due to Errestrian, the main FC of Koreafleet, forming up in Shuria over three hours before the timer was up. Nearly an hour after formup, the fleet starts to move into position to either bridge to the fight via titan or by taking gates. Unfortunately, although everyone was hyped about the end-of-the-year fight, Errestrian revealed that the group wasn’t moving out until 1500 EVE time (2400 Korea). Fast forward to 1500, and the Korean FC finally gave the news that the POS wasn’t coming out until a little after 1600 (0100 Korea). Another member in the fleet stated, “The fleet members went crazy, and I will leave it up to your imagination of the chaos on comms.”
The Korean fleet was separated into two groups: an advance team in Chej, with the rest docked and ready to get a titan bridge in a separate system. All capital ships were told to only undock and jump after the first team established a presence in the field, as hostile caps and supers were logging in. This was probably the first mistake of the Korean FC. If hostile caps and supercarriers were logging on, it would probably be in the best interest of the friendly caps to never undock, but they would eventually join the fight anyway. According to a member of Koreafleet:
At this point Errestrian, is confident that -LSH- will not be willing to commit supers in the face of a 90+ man fleet, and even if they do, he believed that the combined arms of blap dreads, triage archons, neuting battleships, and other subcaps will be enough to take on them. He reminds carriers to carry modules ready to tank a single doomsday fire, then announces that the Chej team is moving out on 24:00 (Korea time) sharp.
When the time came, Koreafleet scouts stated that the enemy fleet was 300km off the cadmium POS. Errestrian requested them to be scanned down. To his dismay, the scanner in fleet was the Wing 2 commander, and due to confusing commands, warped only his wing directly onto the enemy fleet. As most of the pilots in Wing 1 and Wing 2 were not even in system, only a small portion of the wing actually landed on the enemy. Precious seconds went by as the stranded wing was left alone, and the hesitant FC was late in fleet-warping reinforcements onto the battlefield. Wing 1 narrowly joined up with the rest of the fleet on-grid with the enemies. With both sides ready, the engagement began in earnest.
Due to the close range of the Koreafleet ships, -LSH- was able to away off quickly and deploy a huge wave of ECM drones. Quickly targeting and jamming armor logistics, -LSH- dropped all of the Korean Guardians within two minutes. By the time most of the Guardians were wiped off, the Russians deployed dreadnoughts and used the diverted attention to move their T3 fleet a bit closer for better DPS. The first suicide triage Archon was killed just in time for the fleet to tackle a few T3s that ventured in too close, and upon seeing this, the Russians immediately deployed supercarriers.
As stated above, this would be the part where a tactical and more competent FC would keep the dozen capital ships docked up, right? At this point, the Korean FC realized that all friendly Guardians were dead. Seeing supercarriers on the field, Errestrian went all-in, jumping in all friendly capital ships to the cyno on the friendly fleet and bridging in the remaining subcaps. The Russians escalated once again by jumping in a titan, and began raining death on the friendly fleet. The Koreafleet carriers on the field were not properly fit to effectively tank a doomsday weapon, with one vaporizing in a hail of missiles. Fleet members stated that -LSH- dreadnoughts were melting the Korean battleships “like a knife through hot butter.”
-LSH- killed off every backup FC and coordinator in the Korean fleet, before eventually downing Errestrian. Another member of the fleet stood up and called for the evacuation of remaining ships from the field, ending the engagement.
Sources, who wish to be unnamed, also revealed that Errestrian also reached out to NC. for help against the Russians. However, the Korean FC managed to tell the NC fleet the wrong time for the fight, resulting in the NC fleet showing up late, just as the Koreans docked. Ironically, NC did not kill any of the Russians still on grid, making many believe that NC was coming to third-party rather than help the Koreans. The angry NC fleet apparently asked for a sacrificial dreadnought, but its request was not met.
THE ISK/DRAMA COST
During this engagement -LSH- took just over 11.6B ISK in damages, while Koreafleet lost a whopping 52.7B ISK. The strategic objective and overall victory was won by -LSH- and friends, leaving the Koreafleet a mixture of partially upset and excited about how the 64.3B ISK battle went. The first group of the Koreans that joined from highsec were excited to see a battle like this for the first time. The second group consisted of bewildered PvPers and carebears screaming how the sky is falling and lamenting about the massive welp, demanding swift SRP for their losses.
Unfortunately for Koreafleet, after the fight in Lela, -LSH- reinforced nearly all of the Korean POSes in the local area. As money moons are a big part of any alliance’s income, this move by the Russians poured salt on the wound. Evegallery, the forum from which Koreafleet bases their community (much like how Reddit plays host to other groups), exploded with complaints and threats from both veterans and newbies.
On Monday morning, the -GAP- head diplomat, think-tank, and alliance leader Viceversa is said to have been “screaming raw bloody murder on the forums about how Koreafleet should completely abandon any serious fleets, as they are incapable of doing anything properly and do not learn from mistakes.” He said that there was little preparation for the fight, no backup plans, and no proper contacts were made (presumably with NC) prior to the fight.
Viceversa also questioned the decision to drop friendly capital ships on the field, is said to be ignoring any future expensive -GAP- moons that are reinforced, and said that he will ask DGDragon to stop financially supporting Eve-Gall if -GAP- assets cannot be defended. DGDragon is one of the richest Korean players in the game, and is funding the alliance all on his own in the form of SRP and ISK donations.
-GAP- has since lost two towers in their prime time: a cadmium moon in Central Point and an R64 dysprosium moon in Noranim. More towers will be lost soon as the reinforcement timers come out while the Koreans are at work or are asleep, and the collapse of the lowsec coalition may be on the horizon. -GAP- has separated itself from their closest Korean allies in the Imperium, effectively destroying any chance of fielding an effective defense fleet. BADIT and the others are said to now be hell-bent on destroying all -GAP- assets and actually winning in AU/KR prime TZ, while TISHU (a semi-ally of Koreafleet) is preoccupied with the Imperium in Black Rise and Placid.
TMC has reached out to Errestrian for comment and will be contacting -LSH- for their perspective of the engagement. We will update this article as comments come in.