Alliance Tournament XIV Team Breakdown – Part IIIApothne
In this third part we’re gonna evaluate Exodus., Fraternity, Free Gates Coalition, Hard Knocks Citizens, Iron Armada, IT’S ONLY PIXELS and League of Unalligned Master Pilots.
First match: Ministry of Inappropriate Footwork
For some reason, in my head i don’t hold Exodus up to the high level of AT play they actually demonstrate. Don’t get me wrong, I think they’re a very strong team and they are, but they actually are a lot more than that. Hell, along with Pandemic Legion and The Tuskers Co. they are one of the teams most likely to win the whole damn thing this year. Renowned for their excellence (in use of ECM :P) in small gang PvP centred around their home in Placid and Black Rise, Exodus are a team that you have no choice but to to pull out all the stops against. Part of their success was their absorption of the old Turn Left team who then went on to form part of The Camel Empire, who I’m sure need no introduction. Since the last AT Exodus have picked up WIlderness, a corp formed by some of the ex-Warlords of the Deep pilots such as last year’s AT commentator and self-proclaimed “Prince of Reddit” Chessur, and my collaborator on the last AT prizeship article, BrainStraw.
ATX: Beat Bruderschaft der Pilger, Agony Empire, The Gorgon Empire, Dead Terrorists, Heretic Nation, Agony Empire (again) and Nulli Secunda, finally falling the the eventual winners in the semifinals, Verge of Collapse.
ATXI: Beat JIHADASQUAD, Exiled Ones, Transmission Lost, Late Night Alliance, beat THE R0NIN 2-1, lost to HYDRA RELOADED 0-2, finally being eliminated in the loser’s bracket finals 1-2 by the winners, Pandemic Legion.
ATXII: Beat Ineluctable., Clockwork Pineapple, Pasta Syndicate, lost to The Tuskers Co.and The Afterlife.
ATXIII: Beat Suddenly Spaceships., Out of Sight, Dead Terrorists, lost to The Camel Empire, beat THE R0NIN, Hard Knocks Citizens, Nulli Secunda, lost to Warlords of the Deep 0-2.
Note that if you knock out Exodus from the tournament, which is not an easy task by any means, history showes you’d then go on to win it (in all but ATXII and collusion notwithstanding). Last year Exodus. showed a clear understanding of the meta fielding strong TFI comps on several occasions but if I had to levy some criticism I would say that they did it to the point of predictability. They threw out a few lesser comps against “lower-tier teams”, but when it came to the big-names where you need to have some depth to your roster all they showed was TFIs, minus an odd take on a SNI team using a Gnosis in their final game, which was just brutally taken apart by Warlords. Hopefully this year we get to see a little more breadth from Exodus. If they have it I can absolutely see them coming out on top.
To be clear, I’m being super picky here, Exodus. are an incredible AT team and I have a ton of respect for their skills. I have no doubt that we will at the very least see them make their way to the final weekend.
First Match: Requiem Eternal
Feign Disorder is currently home to corporations you may have heard of such as Calamitous Intent and Broski North and is holding a large swathe of Scalding Pass. This is Feign Disorders second run at the AT, first appearing in ATXII where they beat The Unthinkables and SOLAR FLEET. They later on lost to The Tuskers Co. and TEST Alliance Please Ignore, two teams that are absolutely no shame to lose to especially on your first outing. Looking at the brackets, if Feign are rolling the same team as two years ago, if they beat RE in the first round, they’re going to have a hard fight against VOLTA in the second round where we’ll really get to see what Feign are made of. That said they didn’t elect to nominate a flagship which does not bode well for their chances.
First Match: Spectre Fleet Alliance
Fraternity are one of the largest Chinese-speaking Alliances on Tranquility and currently living out of Curse and spending their time on Small-scale PvP and PvE endeavours. They’re brand new to the AT but have a couple of dedicated PvPers who wanted to give it a go and have some fun, which immediately makes me a big fan of this team, and I’ll totally be rooting for them in their match against the NPSI behemoths, Spectre Fleet.
Free Gates Coalition
First Match: Samurai SOUL’d OUT
You may not recognise the name, but you’ll know the team. Free Gates Coalition is currently holding a nice big chunk of Fountain and their AT team is headed up by Tzuko. This is the old HUN Reloaded team, who joined Nulli two years ago, taking them from being whitewashed by WAFFLES. in ATXI to finalists in ATXII. That said, the rumour is that they have lost a significant chunk of their talent and leadership to NC. and other alliances over the past year, meaning their year on year consistently deep runs as one of the premier teams may be in jeopardy.
Assuming they win their first round we will get to see whether Free Gates still has their mojo in the second round as they will be facing the winner of THE R0NIN/RvB, a hard match for any team.
Hard Knocks Citizens
First Match: Official Winners of Takeshi’s Castle
Home to Noobman, our resident Wormhole CSM, Hard Knocks are one of the well known members of the WHCFC blue doughnut. They’ll give you fights, but they’ll roll HARD. They’ve ruined high class wormholes and evicted all the competition, they’ve taken the fun out of wormhole space and something something grrr HK. Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way let’s move onto their AT team.
Last year HKC were so built up in the rumour mill that they were prophesied to be the next Camel Empire after their breakout performance in ATXII. Don’t get me wrong, they had a fantastic run for their first time out but they definitely didn’t live up to the insane amount of hype I heard surrounding them. The beat The Explicit Alliance but then lost to The G0dfathers, a fantastic team in the NEO that has never really managed to duplicate the magic in the AT. They then went on to beat PIZZA, Nihilists Social Club, Vox Populi, PFR and even Triumvirate before losing to Exodus. in the semifinals. A final weekend finish is incredible, but the only established name they beat on their way there was Triumvirate. Furthermore, several key pilots in the HKC team are now members of The Tuskers Co. meaning that this year HKC may be too diminished to put in a repeat performance.
Let me put it this way, HKC are still likely to win a few matches, but I’m not putting any money on them when they face a team with any pedigree.
First Match: Pandemic Legion
Will the Iron Armada impede the progress of the Legion? Electing not to submit a flagship is not a good start for them, though to be fair anyone who pulls Pandemic Legion first round isn’t off to a fantastic start in their tournament career. Iron Armada currently hold three systems of Sov down in Scalding Pass and based off their killboard have some friendly arrangement with Feign Disorder as they appear on killmails together quite regularly.
IT’S ONLY PIXELS
First Match: Templis CALSF
NO IT’S NOT, INTERNET SPACESHIPS IS SERIOUS BUSINESS.
Pixels are currently holding a smattering of sov among Detroid, Insmother, Scalding Pass and Wicked Creek and are home to a mix of English, German and Hungarian speaking corps. It’s their first time on the tournament scene, though several of their member hail from the old Kadeshi team, so thankfully they have pulled Templis CADF in the first round. They are an entirely achievable team to beat for a first time group rather than facing the someone like Tuskers or Pandemic Legion, so here’s hoping they put in a good showing for us this weekend!
League of Unaligned Master Pilots
Flagship: Typhoon Fleet Issue
First Match: Tactical Narcotics Team
Ze Germans! Firstly I owe an apology to LUMPY for misrepresenting them in my Top 8 article with Suitonia. I made out that there were far more of the Camel Team than they in fact are; mainly their captain Leokokim, who is a lovely young man and exceptionally knowledgeable about the EVE tournament scene. LUMPY made their name recently with their unending dunkage Gila fleets in Delve before moving to Curse. LUMPY have also attracted other big names like Killah Bee (*cough* traitor *cough*) to fly with them for this year’s AT.
LUMPY are undoubtedly going to be a force to be reckoned with this year, tapping into a lot of the old Camels of the Deep knowledge and experience via Leokokim. That said, most of the team members have very little tournament experience though a few have done 1-2 tournaments. Nonetheless, LUMPY will be a top contender this year and I can’t wait to see what they show us in their matches!