This Weekend: Enter the Proving Grounds and Become King of The Abyss

Quendan 2020-04-09

Art by Quendan Comari

In Onslaught (2018), CCP introduced Proving Grounds to Abyssal deadspace. When enough people are running T3+ Abyssal cruiser sites, a gate to a fourth pocket that contains an additional cache can spawn. If two runners enter, the cache (and exit gate) can only be activated after one ship is destroyed. If only one enters, the cache will open after a 5-minute wait. Reception among the playerbase has been limited, with only 20-30 kills happening on a regular basis. Only a handful of people are regularly on the Abyssal leaderboard.

Torvald Uruz of the Abyssal Lurkers Discord seeks to change that. The streamer who is best known for his Abyssal PVP content has called for the community to enter the Abyss, seek out PvP fights and emerge the King of the Abyss, with 18.5 bn ISK in prizes on the line. 10, 2.5 and 1 bn ISK are awarded to the contenders with the most kills, with an additional 5 bn ISK going towards the players with the most ISK killed as per ZKillboard. The Rules: Enter the Abyssal Proving Grounds between 11:00 Friday and Sunday 23:59 UTC and engage in PvP.

We had a chance to ask Torvald some questions about the tournament, and Abyssal PvP.

Thanks for taking the time. Just to warm up, why should people be interested in Abyssal PvP?
It’s the one place in Eve where you can get true 1v1 PvP! No escape, no avoiding or picking your fight. Nowhere in EVE can you experience a fight like this. In any situation throughout New Eden you can pick and choose your engagements and find a way out, if you’re good enough. In the Proving Grounds you are locked into the engagement with no choice. It all comes down to what the ships are, what the fits are, and how good each pilot is. While the loot from the Cache can be pretty bad at times, the loot from the fight can be incredible and the thrill of the fight is a pretty damn good reward in itself! I believe that Abyssal PvP has the potential to lead us back to something similar to the Alliance Tournament. While obviously it can never be the Alliance Tournament, the environment and conditions are the closest we can ever hope to get to tournament type content. The only way this will ever be expanded on (3v3 Frigate PvP!?) is if CCP can see enough potential and interest!

Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you came to be interested in Abyssals?
I’ve done a little bit of everything in EVE over the past 10 years, minus wormhole living. I’ve been in gigantic fleets kicking over sandcastles in null and small gangs capturing plexes in FW. Abyssal Deadspace attracted me from the start due to the level of piloting and interaction required, compared to what I considered brain-dead ratting in a VNI. The Abyss brought about so much variation and new challenges that you could take on in many different ways, whether you want to kite around with missiles in dark sites or take advantage of the HP buffs in gammas or firestorms. Not only was it new and challenging, but the Abyss has taught me so much about piloting and different mechanics in EVE that other forms of PvE will never be able to teach you, and it’s very unforgiving but at the same time extremely rewarding.

How did the idea of the tournament come into being?
Honestly it all came up from the recent Twitch Rival Tournaments. Abyssal PvP has always been a passion of mine and I’ve always wanted to find a way to get more people interested. It’s weird that something so simple as a tournament never crossed my mind before, but Twitch Rivals gave me the idea! I hear in EVE that people need an incentive to do stuff, so what better incentive than to shower them in ISK if they do good at it? This is what I hope is just the beginning, and this weekend will basically be a test to see how it goes. I’d love to make this a monthly event and keep it going, while shaking it up and changing the rewards around to prompt creativity and out-of-the-norm styles/fits. The downside of this is the spectatorship part. Unfortunately it can’t be aired aside from the individuals participating, but the beauty is anyone can participate! I’ll consider this tournament a huge success if we see 40 kills in a single day (0000-2359 on Zkill).

In your announcement, you say that the proceeds of your stream this weekend are going to Abyss Tracker and EVE Workbench. Can you tell us a bit about these tools, and why people should use them?
I want to show the developers of these tools that myself and the EVE community truly appreciate what they’ve given us. These are two tools that I use on the daily, whether it’s for myself or to show other people how to use them. Anytime I’m running an Abyssal site, Veetor’s tracker is open on my computer and I input the data from my run. Whenever asked about income for the Abyss, I link the Abyssal Loot Tracker site to show people exactly what you can expect in terms of income and loot. Veetor has done an incredible job on this tool and he’s continually working on it. I’m horrible at spreadsheets, and with this tool I can easily copy/paste my loot and select a few options and BOOM, all of the data is tracked so I can see how much ISK I’m getting!

EVE Workbench is a tool for every single person in this game, because of fits! I personally am horrible at fitting stuff, but with EVE Workbench I’m able to go to whoever’s profile I know has good stuff, or search up the tag, and find what I want. EWB is the fitting/sharing resource that I’ve always dreamed of, complete with all of the information and description/commenting/rating features. Lioneer has done a truly incredible job with this one as well, and I believe that every single capsuleer can benefit from it! I highly encourage people to check it out, comment and rate fits, and if you’ve got something to share – post it!!

You’ve created a couple of fits on your workbench site. Can you go over those fits and how people should be flying them, if they elect to use them in the tournament?These five fits are my favorite overall out of the countless ships/fits I’ve used in the Abyss for multiple reasons. First, and most importantly, they’re “cheap”! I’m not the smartest streamer, all of my broadcasts are completely open and anyone can easily stream snipe me so I’ve gotta keep it cheap, compared to the big numbers you see in the Proving Grounds. After the price tag, these fits have been extremely successful for how much they cost. I’ve punched well above my weight class in each one of these sub-1B ISK ships, getting some pretty incredible kills. The ship that I’ll point out as the best, would be the Orthrus. This is my go-to ship, and the ship I’d recommend to anyone for Abyssal PvP because of what it can do for it’s price tag. It’s the only ship out of those 5 that have the ability to kill just about anything in the Proving Grounds if flown and executed properly. Each one of these fits can and should be tinkered with. While the fit is on EWB, I do switch things up on them depending whatever I’m feeling that day! I take all of my fights from stream using these ships and put them on YouTube, so people can easily look over my content to get an idea of how to use ships (or sometimes, how NOT to use these ships).

Any closing remarks, anything you’d like to add?
This is all new and a learning experience for me. I am really excited to see where this goes, and hopefully people are willing to take the chance and get out there to see who is the best. The most ISK in a ship does not always win. Skill is huge. I really want to broaden this and not only award the best. As this tournament grows and develops I’ll look into rewards for other categories. The upcoming Surgical Strike update is exciting and should definitely have an effect on Abyssal PvP! I’ll post announcements/updates on this weekend’s tournament in the Abyssal Lurkers Discord, as well as Twitter and of course Reddit. If you have any suggestions or feedback, I am open!

Thanks for the interview!

If you are interested in participating in the tournament, kill ships in Abyssal PVP between Friday and Sunday. Check out fits, the streamers active in Abyssal PVP, and Youtube to learn more about how the sites work. While you cannot watch directly, you can follow the Abyssal PVP tracker on Zkillboard. Happy hunting!

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