Alliance Tournament XIV Team Breakdown – Part IApothne
This first part of Alliance Tournament XIV team breakdowns starts off with 404 Alliance Not Found, A Band Apart., Affirmative., Agony Empire, Badfellas Inc., Brotherhood of Spacers, Brothers in Arms Alliance and Brave Collective.
404 Alliance Not Found
First match: Phoebe Freeport Republic
Last year I interviewed Bubalubs, a 404 diplomat, and came away with the impression that they were a hardworking team with a great attitude. 404 hail from Syndicate, a region that seems to be predisposed to give birth to AT teams.
ATXIII was their first foray into the AT, where they lost first to VOX Populi then to Drop the Hammer, being eliminated in the first weekend. Oddly, the teams they showed both had double HICs, perhaps divining the potential for this year’s meta, in the first in an armour team with Navy Battlecruisers and in the second with Sleipnirs and T1 cruisers. T1 Cruisers and Navy Battlecruisers are, broadly speaking, not strong core Alliance Tournament hulls in the modern meta so hopefully this year they will have taken what they learned last year and come up with some stronger setups.
A good piece of advice to younger teams is to take what everyone else is doing and flat-out copy it. Learn how it works and why it’s strong then only from there try moving into your own creations. At the very least you will have insight into what your opponents are probably flying and will know their weaknesses.
A Band Apart.
First Match: Shadow Cartel
Last year in these summaries I accidently gave them inspiration for their wonderful AT advert. Home to noted creative Rixx Javix, whose podcast I recently had the pleasure of appearing on, these charming chaps (okay I’m asking for it) have varied and wide interests in the game but come together to be villainous low-sec pirates.
Last year was their first attempt at an AT run and unfortunately lost both their matches. However they were to reasonable teams, which is no shame at all, first The G0dfathers, then The Explicit Alliance. Both times they brought Amarr-inspired teams, firstly Sacrileges with Phobos and a Curse then Legions with an Armageddon. As with 404, these classes of ships do not form any of the modern archetypes we have been seeing over the past few years so hopefully they too have put time into researching more common AT setups and have learnt how they work. ABAs first match against Shadow Cartel is certainly going to be a challenge as SC have shown themselves to be a respectable force in the tournament over the past two years.
First Match: WE FORM VOLTA
Greygal, the captain of Affirmative., is one of my favourite people in New Eden for her clear enthusiasm and passion for EVE and the Alliance Tournament.
Affirmative. Are a newbro friendly alliance who focus on dedication and effort more than raw SP, two years ago fielding a logistics pilot who could only fly T1 hulls, but was one of the ones who really put the effort into their team. Originally formed from the NEOII team Freeloaders, Affirmative. held strong relations with the public roam community, the most notable being RvB.
This will be Affirmative.’s third foray into the Alliance Tournament and hopefully the first in which they manage to win a match. Last year their first match was against Rote Kapelle, an unlucky draw as Rote are a team with an excellent pedigree. They brought a team I actually rather like, a missile all-in consisting of two Golems, two Barghests and eight bombers, however Rote’s support wing of two Jackdaws, two Flycatchers, a Hawk and a Crow counters the bombers beautifully and shredded the majority of Affirmative’s DPS.
Their second match was against The Bastards, sitting CSM member Nashh Cadavr’s old Alliance, where they brought a scary double Vindicator team but they could not break The Bastards minmatar Command Ship-based team. Again this year, Affirmative. face a difficult first round against WE FORM VOLTA, the core of the old Triumvirate team, who are expected to be very strong this year.
First Match: End of Life
Agony are a very old, very well respected alliance that has spent a good deal of their history in Syndicate, that hotbed of Alliance Tournament teams. They have historically showed excellence in small gang piloting and attitude towards mastering their chosen craft in the game, so it is no wonder they are such a contender in the AT. Agony have been going to Alliance Tournaments since all the way back AT IV, the first year BoB didn’t win. In terms of performance they yo-yo between not making it past the first weekend to incredibly deep and impressive runs.
AT IV: Lost first round to Terra Incognita.
AT VI: Semifinal finish, losing to Evoke.
AT VIII: Second round finish, beating Cry Havoc then losing to CVA.
AT X: Won two of the six round-robin games.
AT XI: Their best run, beating some of the strongest teams in tournament history like HUN RELOADED and Rote Kapelle, their only lost matches being to the eventual winners, Pandemic Legion.
AT XII: Beat Circle-Of-Two, but lost to RvB and Triumvirate.
AT XIII: Beat -affliction-, lost to the Camel Empire, beat Suddenly Spaceships and The Bastard, lost to The Afterlife.
Last year Agony showed a clear understanding of the meta and strong piloting to back it up. Losing to The Camel Empire and The Afterlife, both top tier teams is no shame at all. I really hope Agony don’t swing back on the pendulum to a poor showing this year.
Their loss to The Afterlife. was particularly heartbreaking, with two Kitsunes causing enough havoc to churn through Agony’s lower end while mitigating DPS. After slowly being chipped away at, The Afterlife team built up momentum and when they were far enough ahead they finally dived in, clinching the match, working their way up the Agony team without losing a single ship. The more ships that go down means the fewer there are to spread your jams across, that match was a prime example of how devastating ECM can be in a tournament setting.
Agony are likely to face R0NIN or Free Gates in the third round, both very strong teams. If Agony are on their good form this year they have a good shot against either of the two and winning that would get them a go at one of this year’s tournament favourites, The Tuskers.
First Match: The Explicit Alliance.
Badfellas are about as young an alliance as can be to enter this year’s Alliance Tournament. They hold sov in Malpais, mainly the GDBW-2 constellation. Badfellas is home to several very old corporations who are doing their best to come to terms with modern EVE; a lesser known bittervet retirement home if you will. For example, their member corp Celestial Horizon are the ones who built the first ever Titan, Steve, just over ten years ago.
Unfortunately, due to captaincy issues and several key members disappearing, Badfellas only started practicing the weekend before when the tournament will start. This naturally does not bode well in their first match against The Explicit Alliance, who while theirs may not be a top tier team, they certainly have a more experienced and likely better prepared one.
Brotherhood of Spacers
First Match: The-Culture
Brotherhood of Spacers are a south-western Tenal-based alliance with a focus on the out-of-game community, attending meetups and such, having their first crack at the Alliance Tournament. Last Fanfest they had something in the order of 30 people attend, which is fantastic for an alliance of their size.
Brotherhood have a few members of the last TEST Alliance Please Ignore AT team, having entered this year less out of choice but more because their CEO, Argus Sorn, put up the PLEX and got the spot, meaning that they had to do something about it.
Whether that lit a fire under the members of the team or they’re being forced to the bit is yet to be seen however. I’m told that they have been practicing quite hard, citing the move to ten pilots per team in particular being a big help in managing to hold practices.
Brothers in Arms Alliance
First Match: Paisti Syndicate
Brothers in Arms Alliance are an Imperium member Alliance, recently taking sov in Queries and Delve after having lived last year in NPC Geminate. Formed early last year as an offshoot of C02 they found their way back into the Imperium fold.
Last year was BIA’s first foray into the tournament where after they managed to take a game from WAFFLES., they lost to both Brave Collective and their former compatriots C02. In their match against C02 they brought a weird Loki tinker, with Sleipnirs and a Rook falling to the Neut pressure of an Armageddon, Cruors and Sacrileges. In their match against Waffles we saw weird Tinker versus weird Tinker, Waffles with Drakes, Onyxs and Orthrus against BIAs Widows and Rokhs. In their elimination match against Brave they brought an armour Tinker (also known as a Meepo) against Braves crazy-DPS TFI core bomber team and were just overwhelmed by the incoming DPS.
Flagship: Scorpion Navy Issue
First Match: Spaceship Samurai
Brave are now 2 for 3 for remembering to actually mechanically enter the tournament. Good job guys!
I have this sneaking suspicion that Brave is going to be one of the breakout teams this year, not necessarily to make top 4 or anything, but to do far better than most people are expecting of them. I’m not sure why, it’s just a gut feeling. Brave’s first match is against their old friends in Spaceship Samurai. Odds are the pilots on either side of the arena will know each other which always makes for exciting viewing. Much smaller than they once were Brave are sitting at 2500 members in their corner of Fade having recently divorced from the Querious Fight Club.
Last year in their debut, Brave brought consistently well designed comps, except maybe the drone team, and did very well for their first run at it losing with no shame to two strong mid-tier opponents in PFR and MIF. In their first match against Easily Excited, Brave showed a strong command of the Tinker Tengu concept in one of the most tense moments of ATXIII. They were ahead on points by four as the time limit counted down to zero with their Scorpion bleeding structure but living just long enough to bag them the win. Next was their loss to PFR, fielding a scary double Vindi Gallente rush against PFRs 9-man Amarr supremacy (with a Scorpion ECM twist) team. Looking at the VOD, it seems that their Vindis spent a lot of the match jammed (SeBos and SI is important guys) so their DPS was neutered quite badly, leaving PFR to lay waste to Brave’s support wing.
Brave was down but not out. They brought a bomber heavy TFI core against Brothers in Arms Alliance’s Legion Tinker (or rather, Meepo). The overwhelming DPS shredded the poor armour tanks on the Widow and Scorpion, reducing all damage mitigation, allowing them to steamroll the rest of the match. Finally, Brave faced Ministry of Inappropriate Footwork, a very reasonable mid-tier team, and unfortunately they believed too hard in T1 drones and used the sentry-spam shotgun tactic made famous in ATXI. They actually faced a pretty good team all things considered. An ECM variant on the TFI core with two Blackbirds as ECM is less effective against drone teams thanks to drone assist, but it was not enough and they were eliminated.