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Alliance Tournament 8 - Week 2 Review

Expensive explosions, epic fights, and Hydra's shenanigans.

Most people will no doubt be aware by now that Alliance Tournament VIII is under way, with elite and not-so-elite PvPers fighting it out in a mix of both ridiculously expensive and remarkably cost-effective Internet Spaceships. The format is little changed from last year, with a few tweaks and changes, and is working remarkably well with very few boring matches, and no stalemates yet - although a few of the matches have taken a while to get moving.

With the qualifying rounds completed we now know who will be going through to the single elimination finals next weekend and we've also seen enough to comment on some of the more notable events of the tourney.

The biggest change to the tournament this year is the introduction of Flagships. These are Standard or Faction battleships that are allowed to be fitted with a limited selection of officer and faction modules, unlike normal tournament ships which can only be fitted with tech 1, named and tech 2.

If the flagship is destroyed in any match though then it cannot be used again later in the tournament, even if you can afford to replace it.

These flagship fittings are published in advance and public knowledge, so if you field one then your opponent will know what it is and what it can do. This seems to have been introduced as a way to bring some "flare" and "big ISK" losses back into the tournament and seem to have worked well - with choosing when, if, and how to field your flagship being a major tactical choice. The amount of ISK spent on the Flagships varies widely across teams as well, ranging from a "few" billion to a lot of ships with values over ten billion ISK and even a few that cost their owners over twenty billion!

There have also been some expensive explosions, with at least one team going through to the finals having already lost their Flagship, and others being eliminated from the competition while their Flagship goes down in a ball of fire. One thing that is a little disappointing though is that the selection of special modules allowed to the Flagship favours the Bhaalgorn over other battleships (as it can more effectively make use of a wider selection of them than other ships) and as a result we are seeing 26 out of the 48 teams that submitted a Flagship choosing it.

Hydra's Shenanigans
The second match of the tournament got things off to a wild start, with Hydra Reloaded absolutely obliterating their opponent Agony Empire, however they stopped with the last enemy ship left alive and offered to self destruct their entire team in exchange for 3 billion.

Exactly what happened next is unclear except to those involved, however it seems that Agony refused to pay however Hydra self destructed their fleet anyway. It seems that they had both placed some bets against themselves in advance and taken the tactical decision to throw the match while accumulating a lot of points. This would place them up against a losing team on the second weekend and hence give them a good chance of qualifying.

This has caused a lot of distress and emo-rage from various people upset at such blatant gaming of the system while others applaud the cleverness of the move.

One potential problem with their strategy though is that while it gave them an easier match in the second half of qualifiers than they otherwise might have had (although it did pair them with the highest scoring loser so not as easy as it could have been!) it will now start working against them. They will come into the final weekend with one win and one loss, so their next match will be single-elimination and against a team that has won both its qualifying matches. The advantage gained in qualifying has been lost in the (potentially more important) single elimination brackets.

Regardless it's a clever move and one that will have people talking for quite some time!

For more details and a video of the match see:

Intentional Handicap
A more subtle change than the introduction of Flagships was the adding of intentional handicaps. A team can choose to field a team of less than 100 points in their qualifying matches. Should they win the match they gain bonus points equal to the difference in size between their team and their opponent's.

In the second weekend of qualifiers a few teams that had come through the first round with too few points to have a good chance of qualifying tried to make use of this rule, but only Soldiers of Thunderstorm managed to pull it off. They achieved a convincing victory over Interstellar Alcohol Conglomerate despite fielding 19 fewer points, the equivalent of an entire battleship! The result was them finishing qualifiers in the middle of the pack and going through to next weekend, whereas even a perfect 125 point victory would not have got them through with a full roster!

For more details and a video of the match see:

The CO2/ROL Fight
The most expensive match of the Tournament so far was also an absolute blast to watch. Circle of Two fielded and estimated 108 BILLION ISK worth of ships. Yes, that's right - enough hardware to buy two titans was fielded by one side alone. Facing it Red Overlord had what would usually be an impressively expensive line-up with a Bhaalgorn and three Macharials supported by a Guardian and Daredevil.

I'm not going to give away any details as the match is edge-of-your-seat stuff but let's just say that you see an extremely expensive explosion, billions of ISK worth of ships on fire and an all-around excellent fight as the Crazy Serbians face the Crazy Russians in an Interstellar Internet Spaceship Deathmatch!

More details and a video can be found here:
I strongly recommend watching the video before reading down though as the summary could be considered a spoiler!

The Results
The official results have not yet been announced but a number of unofficial records have been kept, with possibly the most up-to-date being found on a Google spreadsheet at:

According to this entirely unofficial source the 32 qualifying teams and their expected ranking is as follows:

  1. Rote Kapelle
  2. The Wrong Alliance
  3. Atlas Alliance
  4. Ushra'Khan
  5. Circle-Of-Two
  6. Paisti Syndicate
  7. The G0dfathers
  8. Dystopia Alliance
  9. Cry Havoc.
  11. DarkSide.
  12. Pandemic Legion
  14. B A N E
  15. THE R0NIN
  16. Leguinea Romana
  18. Morsus Mihi
  19. Electus Matari
  20. Electric Monkey Overlords
  21. AAA
  22. T o r m e n t u m
  23. Panda Team
  24. Agony Empire
  25. Curatores Veritatis Alliance
  26. Get Off My Lawn
  27. Soldiers of Thunderstorm
  29. Dead Terrorists
  30. Important Internet Spaceship League
  31. Majesta Empire
  32. OWN Alliance
Congratulations to all of the successful competitors, commiserations to the unlucky 32 and here's to many more expensive explosions in the coming weekend!

- Zarch AlDain


15 Jun 2010, 14:27
Nice info, thx. I watched the tournament, but I haven't had the time to go over all the new rules.
Btw. I think you meant "to the unlucky 16" :)
16 Jun 2010, 00:21
no it's unlucky 32 , 32 teams moving to the final week and 32 unlucky ones are out
Zarch AlDain
16 Jun 2010, 01:06
quivalen is correct. 64 teams entered, 32 qualified and will fight this coming weekend.

16 of those will make it from Saturday to Sunday this weekend.
16 Jun 2010, 09:28
ah, yes... close reading, my nemesis.
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