INN took some time to sit down with Sister Bliss, leader of The Initiative. (INIT), and Faltzs, an INIT Alliance Tournament team member, after a fleet op to chat about the recent triumphs of INIT in EVE Online.
Spring Break is Over
Omar al-Nakrar: So, it’s definitely an exciting time for INIT. Could you give INN readers some context for what’s been going on with INIT in EVE as of lately?
Sister Bliss: Yeah, so [over] the last couple months we took a break; [we] went down and set up a base in Querious. We’ve been kind of mulling over…the coming changes in EVE, [which] are gonna be quite impactful with the moon mining [updates]. A couple months back, we were looking at things we needed to do to best prepare ourselves for that. So we had decided to go and take a small chunk of sov space just down south near some of our allies. So we went to get that setup, and actually, we were under siege…from pretty much most of the alliances in the north that belonged to the “PanFam” Family. They’d come down here pretty hard to try and evict us, and, yeah, there wasn’t much we could do with that. [Their] numbers were a bit overwhelming. [We] hung around for a couple weeks and tried to take a couple fights here and there; we managed to gank a few caps. We got a minimal number of fights, but nothing really too stellar to talk about. It just became nothing much worth hanging around for really. Hostiles were being [extremely] cautious. I think they learned their mistakes from the past from when they were a bit sloppy and we managed to get easy kills. So, we just took that time out to get into Querious and setup shop there. Our guys had been in Syndicate on campaign[s] for [the better part] of a year straight. We had come to Syndicate a year ago during [The Casino War] and then campaign after campaign…it was time to give everyone a break. [It’s] surprising how quickly people start complaining about no content. So we gave people two months break…everyone isk’d back up again and it was a great opportunity for people to work on some of their personal projects, and also for the FC team because it’s very demanding [with] running all the content. That was pretty much what we set out to do two months ago we’re just ramping activity back up after a short summer break.
INN: That’s great to hear that you’ve all gotten things back to running smoothly. You said in your State of The Alliance earlier in the year that INIT were going to Querious to get “beach-body ready”. Do you feel the “Spring Break” has been beneficial to your alliance, both in the AT and in the successes you are having in-game?
SB: Yeah, I think so. I think most of the FC team need a break as did all [our] people. A lot of people just wanted a little time to focus on personal projects or corp projects. I think it was important to give everyone a bit of time off. I don’t want to speak for Faltzs here, but I think as you come up to the AT there’s a huge amount of effort that needs to go into that whole process. I think it was good having a bit of a free slot there for people to focus on that rather than having to worry about fleet ops or other stuff. [So] I think [it has] definitely been a good call and a good boost to get everyone back into shape.
INN: That’s wonderful to hear. Faltzs, this one’s for you. Your alliance team just recently finished thoroughly back-handing Pandemic Legion (PL) in the AT, winning a decisive victory. Considering their strong performance in previous years’ tournaments, how did it feel to beat PL?
Faltzs: It was good. [It’s] always good [to play them]; they’re a tough team. We have faced [them] in previous tournaments and lost to them. So it was nice to actually beat them, which was another bonus having faced them before and lost and now actually beating them this time.
INN: This next question is now for both of you; were you expecting your team to do this well in the match, given PL’s tournament history and all the things that are happening around your alliance in EVE?
SB: [Well], I haven’t been a part of the team, but I’ve seen the effort the guys have been putting [into the AT]. So, we’ve been really supportive of them and really confident, actually, [tremendously] confident the guys are gonna do a really good job. I mean obviously, we were gonna come up against other teams with a long legacy in the AT. In particular, teams who can field some of the AT ships, which there are different perspectives on whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but today was gonna be a tough match. I thought it was gonna be a tough match, but I was pretty confident with our team and [I was] delighted to see them win.
INN: That’s fantastic. Faltzs, would you like to add to that?
F: No, that sounds about right. I mean, we had a plan, we stuck to it, [and] it all worked out. We played the match and we won it in the end.
INN: Faltzs, in your own words, could you tell the INN readers at home what happened from the INIT perspective in this tournament, specifically during the match?
F: We expected a tough match. We had an idea [of] what they might bring, [and] we wanted to play around those with the comps we liked. When we got onto the grid we had a strategy for beating [PL’s] type of setup because [we’d] beaten something similar in the previous day. So we had an idea [on] how to go about dismantling their type of setup and we just acted out our plan…by removing [logi] first, removing the Ishtars as fast as possible, removing the big damage dealers…We went through the plan we have for that kind of setup and we were able to do it systematically in the way we wanted and we won the match out eventually.
INN: What do you think PL’s biggest mistake was in the tournament match that led to their loss?
F: Honestly, I think the Dominixes should’ve stuck with the Oneiros to smartbomb drones off it. I think…they went to try and immediately grab the Huginn because they wanted to stop it from getting on top of the Oneiros, but by the time that all happened I felt that it was too late. I think that’s probably the only mistake they really made…the position of their domis was probably wrong. I personally would’ve kept them back with the Oneiros to clear drones rather than charge immediately for the Huginn. Given the starting distances that we had, I think they would’ve [expected] that the Huginn was probably gonna web the Oneiros and not try and screen the Huginn as they did.
INN: What was the logic behind the particular team composition chosen for the AT match against PL?
F: I mean, obviously, it contains [an Armageddon] and a Huginn, which is designed to give you huge amounts of control. Those are the core part of that lineup, the geddon and the Huginn give you a very large control because you have the Huginn webs for range and the geddon gives you neut range, which a lot of teams don’t seem to react [too well against]. That kind of control is what those two ships give you in the lineup.
INN: Your team also had a very strong logi setup from what we’ve seen so far. Has that also been a focus for your team to have such a strong logi strategy?
F: Yeah, we have experimented. All drones are very popular, all drone no logi setups. We personally don’t like them. Any logistics [ships] gives you more time and if can get point effective logistics [ships] then go for it. I’m [also] getting [into] drone-heavy metas, [but] frigate logi is underrated in the drone meta.
INN: That’s an interesting perspective from that point you just made. So, with all that being said, what would you say is the secret to your alliance’s success in tournaments?
F: When you’re a part of a team it’s about working together and it’s very much [us] sticking to our plan. When you’re new to a tournament like we were a few years ago, you get on great, and then you start [trying to] rethink your strategy where as now [we] have a strategy for our comp and we’re gonna work through that strategy, and [still] you have to always be somewhat reactionary, but if you can play the match at your pace and they have to continue to react to you [then] you have an advantage over your opponent. Now, obviously, they have their own plan…they’re trying to do as well, but…that’s really where we’ve stepped up with being able to get on grid and [say], “okay this our plan and we’re gonna go through it” and hopefully win each match in turn.
INN: Alright then, thank you both very much for your time and best of luck with the next fleet op!
Update: The article “Dominators,” which has been corrected to Dominixes.