The Alliance Tournament starts tomorrow. Get your fireworks ready on the Jita undock, mourn the loss of betting sites, and strap in for two straight days of “gudfites.”
The full schedule can be found here, but just to make it easy for you all, the first matches start at 14:00 EVE time, Saturday, July 29. That’s 7 am Pacific, 10 am Eastern for you Americans. Matches will continue, with possible variations due to some matches going long or short, until 19:20 EVE time (12:20 pm Pacific, 3:20 pm Eastern).
Where to Watch
All of the matches will be streamed live. The first weekend features a condensed schedule in which two streams will be running simultaneously. The EVE_NT stream will be covering matches in PE1-R1 (see schedule for info on which teams will be playing in which systems) while the matches in JB-007 will be streamed on ISDStar‘s stream. Keep in mind that the matches in JB-007 (ISDStar’s stream) will not have commentary. It will be simply raw footage of the matches.
Who to Look Out For
Alliance Tournament commentator Jin’taan put out an excellent video analyzing some of his picks for top contenders in this years AT. I highly recommend watching the video as it covers a good deal of AT history and, as he puts it, provides a “viewer’s guide to the story lines of the Alliance Tournament.”
I caught up with him just last night and asked if there were any new faces that he expected to do well. He told me that he thinks, “Skill Urself will likely do very well. As will Ghost Legion.” So in addition to the old favorites and last year’s championship Tuskers, keep an eye on those two. He also had some enthusiasm for Phoebe Freeport Republic, stating: “One of my favorite teams to watch this year will be PFR though. They did phenomenally well last year. Top 8 after losing their first match. That is incredible. I want to see if they can repeat that.” If you’re looking for more possible upsets, make sure to listen to Jin’taan’s breakdown of “Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing” here.
Finally, don’t miss this video where you can watch Apothne, Mawderator, and Jin’taan break down the first weekend match by match.
Tools of the Trade
For those not familiar, the AT usually comes with a small set of “meta” compositions that end up dominating the tournament to some degree. In years past ECM compositions, sentry drone compositions, and even Marauder compositions have managed to carry teams deep into the brackets. In recent tournaments, the meta has been focused on single or double battleship compositions, notably Rapid Heavy Missile Launcher setups, along with sensor dampeners for Electronic Warfare.
This year, however, the rules have changed, specifically regarding scripts for Sensor Dampeners and Weapon Disruptors. For those that might not know, Sensor Dampeners rely heavily on scripts to work effectively. In the past, scripting for range dampening allowed teams to try to skirt the effective range of their opponents’ reduced lock range or capitalize on a ship straying too far from a logistics ship. Scripting for speed allowed teams to attempt to knock out key ships before their opponents’ logistics could even lock. With that option removed, Jin’taan expects that, “TD’s [will be] the preferred Ewar.”
He also expects the semi-meta of bringing battleship focused compositions to waver this year, stating that “In terms of ships I think will be used a lot, Navy BCs are a big one. They’re VERY powerful for their points cost. And we’ve seen a modified version of the Quad BC setup that really dominated last year crop up in feeders.”
See You at the Game!
That about wraps up the pre-AT XV coverage here. Expect to find follow up articles detailing the matches after each day right here on INN.
Editor’s Note: The ISD stream is not running, but an alternative can be found here.