New Eden´s Second Alliance Tournament saw the introduction of official live holoreels to the capsuleer community, whilst on the battlefield an impressive display by some of the pre-tournament favorites coupled with some strong individual performances gave the discerning fight-fan everything they wanted.
It wasn’t a good day to be a destroyer or interdictor pilot, especially flycatchers as they suffered heavy losses in a trend that started in the very first match as The Five took out Dusk and Dawn. In a contest between two sides that know one another all too well, it was The Five that won through .
Band of Brothers, with billions of isk riding on their favorites tag, proved themselves capable of mounting a defense of their title by whitewashing V 5-0 in a stunning display of firepower.
Veritas Immortalis´s destroyer proved to be rather more mortal than the name implied and died in eight seconds and his compatriots soon followed.
Ushra'Khan could only field four players making Mercenary Coalition´s job somewhat easier but they still managed to lose a destroyer in their victory.
Indeed with many alliances viewing the frigate and destroyer class somewhat expendable and cruisers finding themselves primary targets rather quickly, the competition saw a number of contests with quick deaths followed by a more tactical approach to bring down the bigger guns.
The first hint of an upset came as Goonswarm started the better against Lotka Volterra. However, the stunning tanking ability of LV helped them even up the odds and take the victory in a fight that was one for the purists.
Prime Orbital Systems bit off more than they could chew against Morsus Mihi as a lack of focused fire cost them dear. The correct usage of maintenance drones coupled with focus fire decided a large proportion of the day’s action.
Specifically created for the tournament, Red Skull beat the resurrected Fountain Alliance after a rule clarification. Despite an early lead for FA, the alliance managed to hold onto their Zealot despite taking a pounding and in the end the judges´ ruling was in favour of Red Skull with three of their ships standing against FA´s lone Fleet Tempest.
Friday´s surprise has to be Truk of The Rock following his incredible tanking display in a Tech 1 raven, despite his team losing to Smash Alliance. In a time-extended match, Smash´s Caldari Navy Raven and Truk traded torpedoes and after ten minutes only a flycatcher had been downed. With a draw on the horizon, Smash upped their game and dispatched three ships in quick succession. This persuaded the judges to allow the fight to continue but despite a five-on-one advantage, including at least six Nosferati, Truk´s raven lasted over ten minutes alone, proving the merits of pirate implants!
To the delight of the Eve TV crew, The Coalition of Carebear Killers beat Elecktus Matari and the alliance with a naughty acronym proved the vampire Dominix is still a viable tactic.
A major corp theft had hindered D-L´s participation in the tournament but they maintained their honour by fielding a team against Axiom Empire.
Exuro Mortis won the day´s cheeky award by inflicting a coup de grace on an FSA Cerberus with a snowball and their usage of different types of damage proved too much for Free Space Alliance´s tanking capability.
The tournament’s second favorites, Interstellar Alcohol Conglomerate, eased to a win over Black Reign Syndicate with their focused fire proving too hot to handle and giving them the luxury of saving ships for later battles and proving that sentry drones may have a difficult time establishing themselves.
The final match was the third forfeit of the day which whilst disappointing, allowed the tournament to finish on time.
Overall Caldari ships were highly evident, which mirrors the breakdown of the New Eden capsuleer population closely. Given the inability to warp off, torpedo/cruise missile spammers do have something of an edge. However, there was enough variety of ships on display to dispel the myth that the Navy Raven is unbeatable. Especially when we think of Truk´s standard Raven that fought of its enemies for so long, which included a Caldary Navy Raven.
Faction battleships, Nosferatu, ECM, drones but especially good Fleet Commanders were the main ingredients for Friday´s winners and whetted the appetite for more over the forthcoming battles.
We’ll be back Saturday for another comprehensive round-up of the day´s fighting.