Header Art By Quendan Comari, with assets from EVE-NT
Today (Saturday, Nov. 14), the EVE-NT Alliance Open begins, pitting thirty-two alliances against one another over the course of two weekends to find the best competitive alliance in EVE Online. The Open is the first large-scale tournament to occur since the demise of the Alliance Tournament in early 2019, and has seen incredible support from both the competitive EVE community and CCP’s Community Team. The Open is a spiritual successor to the Alliance Tournament, and has drawn a number of rules and format inspirations from the AT, while also bringing an EVE-NT spin to the proceedings. Taking place on CCP’s Thunderdome server, the Alliance Open has significant potential to rekindle competitive-style gameplay within EVE Online.
The Open will be livestreaming on the EVE-NT twitch channel on November 14, 15, 21, and 22, between 1500 and 2200 EVE (approximately).
The Alliance Open will take place on November 14, 15, 21, and 22, in a double-elimination format. For the uninitiated, this means that a team must lose two matches to be disqualified, creating two distinct ‘brackets’ – the winners, for those who do not lose a match, and the losers, which runs as a sudden-death situation for teams defeated over the course of the tournament.
There are 32 teams committed to the Alliance Open, all of whom have submitted a PLEX entry fee and have been practicing since early August. Some of the more well-known alliances participating in the Open are V0LTA, BRAVE, Fraternity, The Tuskers, The Initiative, Goonswarm Federation, TEST, and LAZERHAWKS, alongside other old tournament faces and also newcomers to the competitive EVE scene. For a full list of participating alliances, you should visit the Alliance Open website here.
The tournament is also heavily based on the Alliance Tournament ruleset, with each hull class seeing an individual points value, as well as other specific restrictions designed to shake up the match simulations. This time around, the tournament is ‘sponsored’ by EDENCOM, resulting in a points reduction for all EDENCOM ships and a points increase for Triglavian ships. Additionally, all team compositions may only have three of any given ship size (frigate, destroyer, cruiser etc) on the field during a match. The Triglavian handicap is also present in this restriction, with only three Triglavian ships allowed to be fielded by each team in every match.
One of the most significant changes to the overall format, though, is the replacement of ‘flagships’ with a new ‘wildcard’ rule. In the old AT, teams would designate a battleship hull as their flagship and that hull could be fit with any number of faction, deadspace, and officer modules, with the caveat that the specific flagship could only be used until it died. This has been replaced in the Open by the wildcard rule, which sees teams designate special edition hulls (one cruiser or two frigates) as their unbannable wildcard play. The full list of potential wildcards is: Guardian-Vexor, Mimir, Adrestia, Vangel, Etana, Moracha, Chameleon, Fiend, Rabisu, Stratios Emergency Responder, Victor, Tiamat, Silver Magnate, Freki, Utu, Malice, Cambion, Chremoas, Whiptail, Imp, Caedes, Virtuoso, Hydra. It should be noted that the Malice is the most-chosen wildcard hull of the Open, ahead of the Etana, Rabisu, and Freki by a large margin.
Anyone wishing to view the full competition ruleset can find it here.
No competition is complete without prizes, and the Alliance Open is no different. The PLEX prize pool currently stands at more than 800 billion ISK in total PLEX, to be split between the top eight teams of the Open, with the majority of the pool donated by players and the EVE-NT crew. CCP have also contributed towards the PLEX total, as well as providing ten unique EDENCOM Victory SKINs (to each winning team) per match. All told, there are significant amounts of ISK on the table for any team that can reach out and grasp glory in the Alliance Open!
The Ones To Watch
INN’s initial coverage of the Alliance Open would never fail to provide some small punditry, so here we go with our ‘Ones To Watch’ on November 14.
1500 EVE – Tuskers Vs. BRAVE: The Tuskers are a strong, established team, while BRAVE have consistently punched above their weight in past ATs. This first-round matchup has the potential to be a very early upset to the bracket.
1620 EVE – V0LTA Vs. Vydra: Two previous AT winners go head-to-head in the first round. No matter the outcome, this will have an impact on the entire tournament.
1800 EVE – 420MLG Vs. Initiative: 420MLG have burst into the Opens and been a high performer, but the Initiative team has performed well in the last few ATs. This match could be a landslide for one or other team, or it could be down to the wire.
1900 EVE – Goonswarm Vs. Weekend Warriors: This match is mostly here as your author is running the GSF team this year, but with the winner most likely set to face Warlords of the Deep in the second round, losing this fight may not be such a terrible outcome.
A full match bracket can be found here, and more details about the tournament and the participating teams can be found at EVE-NT’s website. Anyone looking to watch the Alliance Open should tune in to the EVE-NT Twitch Channel at 1500 EVE on November 14, 15, 21 and 22.
If you’re interested in how these tournaments are put together, are looking to create or participate in competitive EVE in the future, or simply want to just chat about the fantastic work EVE-NT do within the EVE community, you can join their discord server here too.
As always, Imperium News will cover the tournament as it progresses, with further updates expected across the coming weekends.