EVE Online Alliance Tournament XII Day Four

Introducing Oh Takashawa, latest addition to the Crossing Zebras team! Oh Taka spills the beans on Sunday’s action and takes a couple of swings at tinkers. Enjoy! Day Four of Alliance Tournament XII brought us at last to the first matches of the loser’s bracket, and the first day of eliminations from the tournament. Thirty-two teams who suffered varying degrees of humiliation in defeat on the first weekend of the tournament fought to keep their championship dreams alive on Sunday. Their pilots provided the audience with four hours of entertaining combat, with more than a few surprising upsets along the way. Sixteen teams survived, however, and earned the privilege of taking the field against Day 3’s losers in later matches.

Match 49 – RAZOR Alliance vs. Ineluctable.

Null-sec Replay Ineluctable got the day off to a proud start, bringing their flagship Armageddon to anchor a squad of an Astarte, three Deimos, an Oneiros, two Heretics, a Taranis, a Malediction, and two Herons. RAZOR fielded a Vulture, two Cerberus, a Scimitar, three Gilas, a Crow, three Merlins, and a Condor. RAZOR were clearly fearful of long-range webs, banning out the Bhaalgorn and Ashimmu, while Ineluctable’s Eos and Armageddon bans were likely aimed at reducing the likelihood of facing an armor-tanked drone setup. Ineluctable planned to rely on sensor damps to force enemies within the Armageddon’s neut range, while taking advantage of railgun tracking to apply damage consistently at a variety of ranges. What they got instead was a brawl against a fast skirmishing shield gang. The first quarter of the match elapsed with only a Crow lost for RAZOR and a Heretic down for Ineluctable, but a failure to adequately apply the significant damping capability fielded by Ineluctable allowed RAZOR to aggressively pressure the Oneiros piloted by Paragoda. Despite a strong effort to utilize its dual tank fit, the Oneiros fell, effectively deciding the match in RAZOR’s favor without serious pressure having been applied to their ships. By the six-minute mark, Ineluctible’s frigate and destroyer hulls had been eliminated without further RAZOR losses, though dampener pressure had forced RAZOR to close to within neutralizer range. Despite lacking logistics support, Ineluctable’s five remaining pilots were able to move within range of RAZOR’s Scimitar, taking it down along with a Cerberus. With four minutes remaining, Ineluctable’s flagship stood alone, staring down nine RAZOR pilots, including the bulk of their DPS. Concentrated damps kept the flagship from inflicting further losses, and RAZOR emerged victorious. Another strong showing for drone/missile comps, and success for RAZOR, despite the risky choice to run their logistics without any form of active local tank. This was a make-or-break strategy for RAZOR, and their reliance on heavy DPS paid off. Final score: 100-28.

Match 50 – Affirmative. vs. Choke Point

Null-sec Replay When faced with oblivion, some people choose to put their faith in the tried and true, while others go for broke, choosing a balls-to-the-wall approach which will lead to either glorious victory or crushing defeat. Affirmative pursued the latter option in their Day 4 match, fielding a multiracial rush team anchored by a duo of Sleipnirs and two HAM Tengus, supported by a Scimitar, two Heretics, three Talwar, a Worm, and a Merlin. Focused on fielding overwhelming DPS, they warped in close to the center of the arena, and their intentions were clear. Choke Point took a more conservative approach, fielding a fairly familiar setup of three Dominixes and an Oneiros, coupled with a Vexor Navy Issue, a Vengeance, three Merlins, and two Punishers. Taking up a position as far as possible from the center of the arena, Choke Point set about defending their three Domis, which were fitted to maximize sentry tracking and damage, while keeping enemies from getting too close with neutralizers. When the match began, Affirmative dove straight for the heart of the Choke Point ships, eventually focusing their firepower on the Oneiros, which was caught on the edge of Choke Point’s cluster of ships and closer to Affirmative than anyone else. Despite heavy damage from the opposing team, it managed to live longer than Affirmative’s Scimitar, which fell in a matter of seconds to the concentrated sentry fire of the Domis. In the brief gap between the death of the Scimitar and the death of the Oneiros, Choke Point began dismantling Affirmative’s lighter hulls, while Affirmative split their damage, with some ships working on frigates while others focused their fire on one of the Dominixes. With only 120 seconds elapsed, Affirmative’s strategy might still have paid off, as despite the loss of all five of their destroyer hulls, and their Scimitar, one of the Dominixes was at half armor, and the half of Choke Point’s frigate wing that wasn’t dead, was well on its way there. Thirty seconds later, things looked even better for Affirmative. They still had all their major DPS ships, and G Genetic’s Dominix no longer concerned them. They were about to lose their first Sleipnir, but a straight DPS race remained too close to call. Even as they chewed through the second Dominix, hope remained that the aggression would pay off despite the impending loss of their second Sleipnir. Even as SGX Saint entered structure, however, things changed. SGX Saint executed a critical micro jump drive maneuver, spiriting him 100km across the arena and safely out of range of Affirmative’s close-range, high-damage vessels. Seconds later, the second Sleipnir died. As the match passed the five minute mark, the two Tengus faced the two Domis, and endeavoured to kill Kaleesa’s Dominix rather than move across the arena to chase down the highly damaged SGX Saint. It was not to be, however, as the Dominix damage outpaced the Tengus’ passive shield tanks, and this hard-fought match concluded with a defeat for Affirmative, despite their solid execution of such an aggressive strategy. Final score: 60-100

Match 51 – Cynosural Field Theory vs. CAStabouts.

Null-sec Replay This match was a rout. Cynosural Field Theory fielded a fairly standard triple Domi/Oneiros setup, backed in this case by three Ishkurs, a Hyena, a Malediction, and three Tristans. Drone-heavy, to say the least. Facing them, CAStabouts brought two Rattlesnakes, a Scimitar, three Gilas, a Corax, a Slasher, a Kestrel, and two Merlins. Cynosural Field Theory’s bans of Loki and Tengu suggest a preference for facing anything but a tinker setup like the one CAStabouts fielded in their first-weekend loss. Cynosural Field Theory got their wish, facing instead a high-DPS team without a tinker logi. Given the difficulty CAStabouts experienced in executing the tinker setup on the first weekend, I was rather surprised Cynosural Field Theory were so vehemently unwilling to face such a setup again. My baseless supposition is that they sought to ban tinkers and force CAStabouts to field a greater number of pilots, hopefully stretching the resources of the lesser-known alliance to the point where weaknesses would abound. The match opened with a fine example of target discipline and unbridled aggression, as well as an example of the power of concentrated sensor dampeners. At the outset of the match, CAStabouts recognized that their opponents’ choice to set their three Dominixes significantly closer than the rest of their ships, and separated by some 20km from their logistics, presented an opportunity for a quick win. Applying damps heavily to the Oneiros, they focused fire first on Tinkerhell’s Dominix. It fell in less than 90 seconds, severely limiting Cynosural Field Theory’s DPS. The second and third Domis soon followed, despite all catching some form of reps from the Oneiros, which had edged closer. Those reps were insufficient, however, and the Domis failed to meaningfully damage any CAStabouts craft before their death. At this point, less than three minutes in, the match was effectively over. CAStabouts proceeded to systematically clear the field, eventually killing nearly all Cynosural Field Theory ships (the Oneiros burned straight for the boundary and crossed into oblivion just before the 5-minute mark) while suffering no losses. Many expected better from this team (including me – RIP my 250 million ISK bet), but one of the great things about the tournament is that what seems like a sure thing is often anything but. I look forward to seeing what CAStabouts will field next. Final score: 0-100.

Match 52 – The Unthinkables vs. The Devil’s Warrior Alliance

Null-sec Replay Unthinkables brought a solid setup, fielding a Claymore and Scimitar to support three Orthrus, three Caracals, three Worms, and a Maulus. Only one hull larger than a cruiser, with lots of emphasis on speed and damage output. Devil’s Warrior, on the other hand, brought three Dominix Navy Issues, a Myrmidon, an Oneiros, a Celestis, an Enyo, a Merlin, and two Tormentors. Both sides sought to reduce or eliminate the role of drones in the fight, with three common drone platforms – Eos, Gila, and Ishtar – being banned out, while the Blackbird was banned by Unthinkables, as well. Both teams entered at range, starting on opposite sides of the arena. Unthinkables rapidly moved around the edge of the arena, closing the range while maximizing their transversal in a sort of corkscrew motion, while Devil’s Warrior…sat still. Pressure was applied early to Unthinkable’s Scimitar, while they swarmed around the cluster of enemy ships, applying barely any of their significant, at least on paper, damage output. Unthinkables picked up the pace after their Scimitar died, but struggled with focusing fire, resulting in the loss of two of their Caracals and their Maulus before the Oneiros dropped. As the match progressed, the Unthinkables team continued to struggle to capitalize on the high burst damage potential of their Orthrus and Worms, and utterly failed to focus fire in any coherent fashion. What could have been a strong performance, utilizing their vastly superior mobility and burst damage to swoop in, haze a few targets, and then swoop back out for those long rapid launcher reload cycles, instead turned into a slow, steady, uninteresting defeat. Despite their high damage potential, Unthinkables killed only two frigates in addition to the Oneiros, leading to a total defeat and their elimination from AT XII. Unthinkables also cost me 250 million ISK by executing so terribly, too, so I can’t possibly be critical enough of them. Final score: 20-100. Match 53 – Dead Terrorists vs. Moist. Null-sec Replay It’s always nice to see a new twist on an old idea, but what we have here is a twist that just… no. While I can’t say for sure what caused Moist to field this setup, I’d be willing to bet they were caught off-guard by Dead Terrorists’ Dominix ban. The flagship Vindicator is an equal number of points to a Dominix, and the addition of Tech 1 cruiser hulls to a tinker setup despite their inability to provide cap and their lack of strong resistances to lend survivability, suggests a last-minute adjustment of some sort. Regardless of the cause, Dead Terrorists came to the field with three Eos, a Tengu (rather out of place in this armor setup, it regrettably didn’t die so we don’t get to look at its fit), an Oneiros, two Vengeance, three Maledictions, and a Punisher. Apart from the Tengu (if memory serves, it was identified on the stream as an ECM Tengu), a fairly standard armor setup built around heavy use of Geckos from the Eoses for damage output. To face this heavily armored menace, Moist brought their flagship Vindicator, two Typhoons, an Eos, a repping Legion, two Celestis, and a Punisher with a Tech 1 Afterburner, an empty mid slot, and small blasters fitted. Like I said, something here forced them to change their plans on the fly in some way, and what we saw was their attempt to adapt, while preserving the core tinker idea of their setup. It did not go well. At the outset, both Celestis were jammed by the Tengu, and the Moist team, which had started at the center of the arena, sat patiently waiting for the Dead Terrorist Geckos to arrive. After an abortive attempt to kill a Celestis, Dead Terrorists worked on the Legion for a while, but didn’t break that either. After three minutes of monotony, first blood goes to Moist, as they kill a Punisher that was part of a Dead Terrorists frigate charge. The Torpedos of the Typhoons are useless against frigates, however, and the bulk of Moist’s DPS is relatively useless as the Eoses are staying well out of range. The Legion is finally killed after damage pressure is returned to it by Dead Terrorists, and things are pretty much over at that point. As is always the case when fighting a tinker, when the logi dies, it’s all over. In this case, however, the Typhoons and Vindicator still posed a substantial DPS threat, and Dead Terrorists opted to avoid moving anything but frigates near the enemy. As the minutes ticked on, Moist managed to kill three frigates in total, before the destruction of their entire team. While I normally appreciate creativity in what can otherwise become a rather repetitive tournament landscape, I can’t really applaud Moist here, as they brought a tinker setup without one key element: damage projection. Tinker setups, if executed properly, can tank for ages, but tanking doesn’t win matches. Damage wins matches, and fielding blasters and torpedos as your primary damage sources simply doesn’t work when paired with a setup whose survival depends on minimizing movement. Final Score: 100-9. EVE_AllianceT_XIIPrizeGraphics1 Match 54 – Ushra’Khan vs. A Nest of Vipers Null-sec replay I’m never really sure what to expect from Ushra’Khan, but I expected better than this. Two Rattlesnakes, a Nighthawk, two Gilas, two Algos, three Kestrels, and two Worms comprised their team. No logi and, apart from the Rattlesnakes and Nighthawk, nothing particularly notable for its survivability, either. Solid damage output, certainly, but without any logistics support, “solid” is rarely enough. They faced an equally unusual team of one Astarte, three HAM Legions, a Guardian, two Celestis, three Breachers, a Talwar, and a Heron. The confusing thing about this Vipers team is the lack of synergy in tanking. All their frigate and destroyer hulls carry a shield tank with more ease than armor, yet their heavier ships and logistics cruiser are exclusively armor-tanked. From the get-go this setup is odd. The Vipers team is all at zero… except their Guardian, which is 50km off to one side and about as close to the Ushra’Khan ships as to its own allies. Immediately, Vipers apply ewar, damping nine ships within 15 seconds. The Ushra’Khan team fail to capitalize on the separation, and the Guardian rejoins his comrades as the Legions and Astarte plow into the heart of the Ushra’Khan ships in an attempt to bring down the Rattlesnakes. First blood eventually goes in Ushra’s favor as one of the Celestis explodes, but the first Rattlesnake won’t be far behind. As that Rattlesnake falls, Vipers’ Guardian gets tackled and eventually dies, but holds out long enough for the second Rattlesnakes death to be imminent. While Ushra’s Gilas put up a valiant fight, without the Rattlesnakes the result was certain. No-logi setups only tend to work when the DPS they bring to bear is so overwhelming that losses count for little. While in theory this setup could have provided such DPS for Ushra, their execution left much to be desired, and excellent damp work from Vipers sealed the deal, eliminating Ushra’Khan from the tournament. Final score: 41-100. Match 55 – LowSechnaya Sholupen vs. The Kadeshi Null-sec Replay See, this is a match I should have enjoyed. It’s got all the things I love – aggression, speed, and a desire to ban drone boats out. While the last bit sadly didn’t work as there are simply too many powerful drone ships to ban them all, we still got an incredible match. What I particularly loved about this match was the execution. No-logi setups rely on unbridled aggression, hitting hard and fast to win the DPS race by a mile. LowSechnaya’s setup played to this significantly, as they fielded a huge amount of burst DPS in the form of two Orthrus, three Gilas, three Worms, two Harpies, a Talwar, and a Claymore. Kadeshi’s setup wasn’t necessarily bad, but their decision to field logistics significantly reduced the damage potential offered by the remaining nine ships they could field. Their setup contained two Sleipnirs, a Scimitar, three Worms, three Gilas, three Worms, a Talwar, and a Merlin. This match was a brawl. Both squads took advantage of their significant speed capabilities, closing the range quickly. LowSechnaya blasted straight across the field and through the Kadeshi ships, taking out a Talwar before chasing down and killing Kadeshi’s Scimitar. LowSechnaya lost one of their Gilas, but the advantage remained with their hard-hitting setup overall. With only 120 seconds elapsed in this fast-paced match, LowSechnaya had lost a single Gila, and had reduced the opposing team to a pair each of Sleipnirs, Gilas, and Worms. Kadeshi still fielded a great deal of damage, however, and the Sleipnir tanks were not to be scoffed at. Ten seconds later, the match essentially ended. Aton RA’s Sleipnir crept over the boundary and detonated. For unknown reasons, he’d moved his autocannon Sleipnir toward the boundary and more than 30km away from the center of the brawl. Pilot error, pure and simple, is the least embarrassing explanation for this failure. Regardless of the true cause, over the next forty seconds, Kadeshi lost everything else save a Sleipnir and a Gila, and killed a second Gila. LowSechnaya cleaned up, bringing the match to a close one second shy of the four minute mark, following a stellar display of the advantages of an aggressively piloted rush team. Final score: 100-25. Match 56 – Disavowed. vs. HUN Reloaded
Null-sec replay I wanted this setup to work for Disavowed, I genuinely did. I love Hyperions – they remind me of a sort of yesteryear of EVE, of a time when they were fun to fly solo or with a couple buddies. They are not, however, good tourney ships. They lack mobility and don’t work as well with long-range weapons as other platforms do, so they’re not a common (or commonly successful) choice. Despite years of evidence, however, Disavowed fielded three Hyperions, an Eos, an Oneiros, a Vengeance, an Enyo, and three Ishkurs. Lots of damage, and passable tank (the decision to fit two large local reps rather than one traditional rep and one ancillary rep was a nice throwback, but ill-advised due to the diminished burst tanking ability,) but projection was clearly going to be an issue. HUN, a team with a solid AT record under their belts, brought a drone setup of an Eos, a Prophecy, three Ishtars, three Vexors, a Taranis, a Maulus, and two Navitas. Good damage, good projection, and a solid Gallente match overall, not counting the Vengeance and Prophecy interlopers. It’s was also a match that did not go well for Disavowed. As is so often the case with Hyperion-based setups, range was a killer. Disavowed came in at zero, but HUN did not. The slow speed of MWDing armor battleships as compared to MWDing cruisers meant that Disavowed stood little to no chance of bringing their battleship guns to bear on the bulk of their targets, and the distances that needed crossing meant a long time moving through heavy drone damage. Disavowed’s Oneiros started further back from the Hyperions, as well, and masterful application of damps by HUN kept it entirely out of the fight for the first minute, in which a Hyperion went down, and it was then tackled, forcing Disavowed to choose between staying within rep range (if the Oneiros could even lock) and moving forward to apply damage. Disavowed chose the latter, and lost all three Hyperions without a single rep landing as a result. The match quickly moved on from there to a HUN victory with no losses. Final score: 0-100. Match 57 – The Fearless Empire vs. Noir. Mercenary Group
Null-sec Replay Oh look, a tinker setup. How droll. Seriously though, tinkers are generally boring. This one wasn’t, as it was comprised of an interesting array of ships. Alongside their tinker Proteus, Fearless Empire fielded a Kronos, their flagship Armageddon, a Damnation, a Prophecy, and a Navy Vexor. Noir brought a rush team of two Sleipnirs, two Vexors, three Gilas, two Harpies, two Worms, and a Succubus. No logi on the Noir side, against a tinker, means this fight was going to be make or break in the early stages. Noir recognized this, and charged across the field from the outset. Despite strong neut pressure from the flagship, they were able to take down the tinker Proteus within a minute and move on to the Navy Vexor. This headlong rush into heavy drone and turret damage cost them a Sleipnir and Vexor within seconds of the Proteus’ death, however, and signalled to Noir that their foe was far from beaten. Despite the loss of their tinker, Fearless remained potent, and piloting errors on the part of Noir – namely, bringing kiting low-tank ships in close to a Kronos and neut Geddon for no obvious reason – would soon cost them. At the three minute mark, Noir had lost its two Sleipnirs (which admittedly had to come in close to do damage, though not everythign else did), both Vexors, and all three of its Gilas. Neither the Gilas nor the Vexors needed to come inside Kronos range to apply the bulk of their DPS, so the choice to bring many of those ships in close to a blaster Kronos is mystifying. Regardless, it didn’t pay off for Noir, and despite managing to kill Fearless Empire’s flagship Armageddon, their entire team died and their tournament season brought to a close. Final score: 100-45. Match 58 – WAFFLES. vs. Mortuus. Null-sec replay I can’t not cheer for Waffles. I have a ton of friends there, some of whom I like, and as far as Waffles as a whole, unlike most of the rest of EVE, I don’t want all of them to get a horrible disease and die of shame for how terrible they are at this fairly simple game. With my bias firmly established, it must be said that this match was exceptionally well-executed by the Waffles. Fairly equal setups on both sides, dominated by Ishtars and Vexors, with Oneiros logi, meant that this match boiled down to execution. While Waffles could have done some things better, they managed to emerge from a tough match in which a plethora of primaries were called without losing a single ship. I’m gonna skim through the summary here, because to be frank, you need to watch this match. It’s not a great gangbusters two-minute death parade, and it’s not some boring tinker shit – it’s equally matched opponents probing for weaknesses, balancing EWAR and reps, switching targets, and capitalizing on weaknesses. This wasn’t a match decided by comps, by bans, or by some idiot MDJing out of the arena. This was decided by skill, and as a demonstration of a small gang being run well, this is worth the watch. Simple as that. Final score: 100-0. Match 59 – The G0dfathers vs. The Afterlife. Null-sec replay I have to admit, I slept through this match, so when I came to it in the schedule while writing this article, I experienced a significant delay. “This must be what stupid people feel like all the time,” I thought to myself, as I stared at the Afterlife comp and struggled to comprehend. I’m no tourney god, by any stretch of the imagination – if I were, I’d be on PL’s tourney team, or in Iceland as we speak, pouring alcohol down Apothne’s throat. But even I noted with interest the Blackbird, the Talwar, and the Merlin, which don’t lend themselves well at all to the armor tank suggested by Afterlife’s choice of two Navy Domis and an Eos, backed by an Oneiros, as the backbone of their team. Against that (and some other support) G0dfathers brought a Claymore, two Ishtars, the ever-present three Gilas, three Worms, a Harpy, and two Bursts. A fairly standard setup for this tournament. Lots of drones, lots of Guristas, and skirmish/shield links. Bog standard, as the people who lost the American Revolution would say. Interesting to see how it matches up against the hodgepodge brought to the table by Afterlife, the latest band of crazy Russians to step up in this Tournament. As it turns out, it works out quite well. Afterlife fields a dizzying number of damps and has all but one of the G0dfathers ships damped within twenty seconds of the match starting. While the damps do little to lessen the impact of all the drones, Gilas and Worms do not-insignificant missile damage, as well, and every little bit helps. As the match unfolds, jams start being laid by the Blackbird as well. Generally, setups this heavy on electronic warfare tend to struggle in the damage output department, but Afterlife got lucky and faced a team without strong logistics, so the reduced damage output proves to be little problem initially. The match is slow, though, as the two minute thirty second mark passes with little damage being applied to either side, and certainly nothing that reps can’t handle. Just before the three-minute mark, however, things change as G0dfathers lose first one, and then the other Burst, leaving them without any remote rep support. Heretics are brutal anti-frigate platforms, and Afterlife wields them to full effect, chewing through hostile frigates. The loss of logistics brings G0dfathers closer in to their targets, however, negating the impact of the damps and beginning to break the tanks of Afterlife ships. It’s all for nought, however, as with two ishtars and two Worms down at the five-minute mark, G0dfathers is too short on DPS to break the tank of anything big. Any chance G0dfathers have is shattered soon thereafter as Vlada Silni crosses the boundary to oblivion, throwing away any slim chance G0dfathers had. The match ends in a rout, with Afterlife taking no losses beyond their already-dead Talwar and Merlin as they clean up the remainder of their opponents’ ships. Final score: 9-100. Match 60 – End of Life vs. The Nameless Alliance
Null-sec replay I fell asleep watching this match. Not even kidding. At first I was all “Oh cool, Stratios! Three of them!” Ten minutes later, with a final score of 47-2, I woke up when an ad started playing. Tinkers are brilliant setups, and massive props to my PL bros who invented and perfected them, but holy shit they’re boring to watch. This one was no different. I’d give you the play by play, but just…no. You’ll thank me. Imagine a tinker with no damage projection, against a comp with no survivability at close range. It sucked. I’d love to tell you more about exactly how this went down, but as I said, I fell asleep, and the null-sec.com replay is broken for some reason. My guess is that the tinker finally broke down somewhere near the end of the match, but with anemic DPS from the Stratios & a bunch of frigates, they couldn’t chew through three battleships and a command ship before the end. A win for End of Life, certainly, but a loss for anyone who enjoys compelling televised internet spaceship combat. Final score: 47-2. Match 61 – Circle-Of-Two vs. CODE. Null-sec replay There isn’t anything disparaging about CODE that I can say, that they haven’t already declared proudly about themselves, or that isn’t in their psychiatric records. I’m glad they’re banned for life, it makes their forgetability even more certain. My only regret here is that Circle-of-Two were deprived of a chance to practice, as they’ve struggled the past few tourneys and it’d be cool to see some more action from them. Final score: 0-Disqualified. ix Match 62 – Fidelas Constans vs. Almost Awesome. Null-sec replay Story time, boys and girls. I went to Fanfest this year, and it was awesome. You should come. Buy me a drink, it’ll be great. While I was there, I was at a bar called B5, on a street I can’t pronounce. It was fun. As often happens when gentlemen consume copious amounts of alcohol, a need arose for me to find relief. I found the appropriate location in the bar, and as I was about to set about my business, noticed a business card was in the urinal. It was an FCON recruiting business card. Some actual person in FCON had spent their hard-earned real-world dollars to bring professionally made FCON recruiting business cards to Iceland, and one recipient’s response had been to toss it in a urinal and piss on it. I laughed incredibly hard, and then followed suit. Now, all these months later, Almost Awesome has done the same thing. FCON brought a Caracal, three Cerberus, two Myrmidons, a Rattlesnake, and three Iskhurs, to face Almost Awesome’s Armageddon, Vindicator, Guardian, two Navy Vexors, three Kitsunes, two Taranis, and a Tristan. From the outset, Almost Awesome are aggressive. Jams from the Kitsunes allow the Vindicator and Armageddon to close range on the Rattlesnake and apply neuts and damage, while FCON’s attempts to eliminate the Kitsunes cost them two Ishkurs in fairly short order. The Rattlesnake soon follows, dropping under the focused battleship fire. FCON’s forces are scattered and the Myrmidons fall quickly, despite the absence of any Kitsune jams as they’ve been killed. Without the Rattlesnake or Myrmidons, however, FCON’s damage output drops to anemic levels and they inflict no further losses on Almost Awesome beyond the three frigates. Not really anything to explain here, or tactics to analyze – FCON were so focused on the Kitsunes that they failed to capitalize on the fact that the Vindicator was out of Guardian rep range for most of the fight – focusing fire there just might have showered FCON in glory rather than something decidedly more acrid. Final score: 20-100. Match 63 – Red Alliance vs. Monkeys with Guns. Null-sec replay OH LOOK, A TINKER FIGHT. How uninteresting. Red Alliance brought an interesting setup, actually – three Maelstroms, a Claymore, a Basilisk, a Griffin, two Maulus, two Kestrels, and two Merlins. Maelstroms suffer the same issues as Hyperions in the tournament, usually – they’re good all-rounders in normal combat, but struggle with mobility, projection, and receiving reps in the tournament, in my opinion. In the “I have no imagination so I’ll field the most boring thing imaginable” corner, Monkeys with Guns brought a Golem, a Vulture, a Loki, and three Ishtars. Looking back, I can’t believe this isn’t a match I slept through. I have so many regrets. Anyways, lots of damage output from the Monkeys with Guns side, much more than we usually see from tinker setups, which probably played a role in the success of this particular arrangement. Despite excellent early EWAR coverage from Red Alliance, their Basilisk dropped in just over thirty seconds (most likely from assigned drones that managed to trigger before getting jammed or damped). Despite this loss, things weren’t over, as they traded a Maelstrom for the Loki, and as we all know, dead T3s often mean dead Tinkers. Not today, however, as Ubivalnik’s Maelstrom, the last to live, didn’t survive nearly as long as his comrades did, depriving Red Alliance of nearly all their DPS and ensuring that, even without tinker reps, Monkeys with Guns would not soon fall. And fall they did not, as they forged ahead to kill off the remainder of the Red Alliance team, all but the Claymore, finishing the match with their Golem and Vulture left alive. Final score: 58-80. Match 64 – Triumvirate. vs. REVOLUTION(dots) Null-sec replay First off, yes, I know that’s not how that alliance is technically spelled. I don’t care. This isn’t MySpace, we can punctuate like grown-ups here. I have to give them credit, though, despite the terrible punctuation, for fielding four Raven hulls (three Navies and a Golem), plus a Scimimtar and two Merlins. It’s a gutsy move, and it failed utterly. For all those launcher hardpoints and damage bonuses, they killed a single Maulus, leaving two Navy Scorpions, a Sleipnir, a Scimitar, two Vexors, a Crow, two more Maulus, and two Merlins alive on the Triumvirate side of things.
Damps dominated this match, with everything but the Golem damped by Triumvirate from the outset. Some well timed reps by StarFleetCommander saved the Maulus early in the match, while Tri’s DPS chewed straight through one Navy Raven without bothering to dispatch the Scimitar first. Seeing that they had the DPS to break the Ravens, and that the damps and some neuts had the Scimitar effectively knocked out, Triumvirate burned down a second and then third Navy Raven, gutting the period-happy alliance’s damage output. Tri then slaughtered everything else, leaving KupoB’s Golem for last. It tanked a bit, and then died. Entirely expected, and honestly, any result other than this would have been surprising. Tri had a tough first-round matchup and were widely expected to advance out of the second weekend, whether through winner’s or loser’s bracket, and indeed they did meet those expectations. Final score: 100-4.   That’s it for the second weekend of matches. Lots of tinkers, lots of drones, a brief nap or two for me, and most of all, lots of explosions. I was particularly pleased with the examples we saw of how and how not to run a rush team this weekend – I’m a big fan of boundless aggression, and we got to see that in full effect from several teams. Good show, that. Week Three should be even better, as the commentators are even now in Iceland gearing up to broadcast live from CCP Headquarters for the final two weekends, and the stakes are higher than ever.  
Tags: ATXII, Oh Takashawa

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Oh Takashawa

Oh Takashawa enjoys smugness, spaceships, and burning unnecessary amounts of helium isotopes.