Day 2 started off with the promise of even more incredible matches than the previous day. The two favourites, HYDRA and PL, would be competing, as well as those teams who look to snap at their heels such as Triumvirate and Gorgon (having absorbed Darkside).
Match 17: The Fearless Empire vs. Rote Kapelle
I find it rather beautiful that each commentator has their own alliance competing this year. I may be the only one whose alliance lost their first match, but let’s not dwell on that. Rote aren’t one of the top tier AT teams, but it takes one to knock them out, this means that Fearless have a daunting job in their first round.
Fearless choose to approach this problem with a somewhat more unusual comp, a modern take on the old school Minmatar rush team; triple Sleipnir and triple Worm with Scimitar logi which doesn’t seem that odd, but then choosing to go with triple Caracal and a Talwar as their Anti-support. They make the peculiar decision to fit a TP in each of Caracal mids, despite the fact all their damage is based either on Light Missiles (which don’t need the sig bonus) or medium Projectiles, which will benefit far more from additional tackle than blooming sig. I’d wager there’s a way to get much more value from those 3 mids. Rote stay true to their heavy neuting form, bringing a very top heavy double ‘Geddon double Eos setup with an Oneiros, giving them a very interesting point distribution to finish out their comp, going for a Celestis, triple Talwar and triple Kestrel.
Rote start off the match by showing the well-lauded hallmark of any good AT team by spreading their EWAR beautifully, nearly every Fearless support ship is damped with all three Sleipnirs get hit by the heavy neuts of the ‘Geddons. Rote get off to a great start by taking out a Caracal and a Worm, losing only a Kestrel in the process, following it up with a sucker punch to the Scimitar. Fearless go into what I can only assume is panic mode and split DPS on the two Rote ‘Geddons, which tank easily while Rote cut through the remaining Fearless ships and the match is decided by two minutes in.
Final score: 2 – 100
Match 18: Noir. Mercenary Group vs. SCUM.
Two very exciting comps here, Noir bring a face-melting Gallente DPS setup consisting of a Vindi, Mega Navy and Eos supported by two Daredevils, complemented with a Heretic and a swathe of AFs. This comp is, appropriately for Noir., like a mob hitman; holding you down, getting up close and personal and wailing on you until you scream for mercy. SCUM. respond to this with their own equally intimidating faction battleship setup: two Nightmares with Vulture links and Basilisk logi, supported by the ever-popular triple Worm support, with two Harpies, two Maulus and a Talwar.
At the beginning of the match both teams pull away from each other, neither feeling comfortable rushing in at the start. The match then resolves to both teams ping-ponging between MJDs and keeping their distance from each other, with Elise and Fozzie struggling to find filler for a whole lot of nothing happening. With a few seconds until reverse-TiDi, most of the SCUM. team MJD across the arena, but don’t manage to pick anything off before it hits. Regardless, they take Noir’s two Daredevil off the field in quick succession and jam the Oneiros. More and more Noir support drops, trading only a Maulus and a Worm, but Noir. try to make a comeback by burning down SCUM’s Basilisk. SCUM. quickly respond by taking out Noir’s Oneiros. We’re now in a frantic DPS race at over 2x reverse-TiDi, BlackMatrix’s Nightmare survives in a sliver of structure as the final Noir ship goes down.
This was a bit of a slow-burner as matches go, but incredibly exciting towards the end. For maximum entertainment value watch the VOD starting from “00:00”.
Final score: 32 – 100
Match 19: WAFFLES. vs. Ministry of Inappropriate Footwork
Well, we lost. The betting on eve-bet.com implied that Waffles were a heavy favourite in this match, which isn’t a poor assesment given our surprising run last year, getting far further than anyone (including ourselves) predicted given that none of us had any previous AT experience. I think however, our “Best ATXI Ad” award made people forget that Ministry are actually a force to be reckoned with in Tournament play, losing only to Agony and HYDRA last year.
Ministry banned out the ‘Geddon, which Waffles burnt through by bringing their Flag-geddon, with a pretty standard setup the tournament has been following so far: two Eos and three Vexors for a great DPS count, supported by the holy Heretic harem for anti-frig, rounding it off with an Oneiros logi and two Maulus for damps. Ministry on the other hand brought a very tight tinker, three Eos, three VNIs and a Logi Proteus.
Waffle start (despite some split DPS) with an intelligent primary, one of the VNIs. The Eos and Proteus have T2/3 resist profiles, so if they can break the reps on anything through raw power it will be one of the VNIs. Unfortunately, the VNI holds reps fine so Waffles choose to try the renowned tank of the Proteus. Ministry put TDs on the Vexors in case they have Blasters fit, and through damping Dainael manage to start taking out Vexors. Stormwind’s Proteus dips to low Armour, at multiple points, but is seemly bait tanking and quickly refills his armour bar. Waffles, having lost a fair portion of their DPS try for jam drones, but to no avail and continue losing ships, their flagship, and the match.
Notably during the match the Ministry team deploy web drones to slow down the Oneiros, making their heavy drones apply damage beautifully to it.
Final score: 0 – 92
Match 20: Mortuus. vs COVEN
Neither team has any tournament history (at least under those names), nor are particularly prevalent names thrown around on TQ, so this match was something of an unknown. Thankfully however, both teams brought some very interesting setups to pit against each other.
Mortuus. rock up in a very cool triple Rattlesnake setup, combining well with the ever popular triple Worm. They do however make the novel choice of bringing three Garmurs to the table rather than the more common Heretics, rounding the team off with a Scimitar for logi and a Corax fit (as many teams to) to ReSeBo and remote ECCM their logi. The Coven team brings us a relatively normal Gila setup , supported by the usual swathe of Worms and Maulus, adding in a VNI for a little extra damage and using a Nighthawk for links.
Mortuus starts the match by nuking the weak link in the Coven DPs chain, the VNI, while Coven take out two Garmurs to protect their frigs, then go to work on the Mortuus Scimitar. Mortuus respond by returning fire on Coven’s Scimi, but it holds reps while their own goes down. Things go from bad to worse for Mortuus as they lose their third and final Garmur while still failing to break Yuusaka’s seemingly endless tank as Coven quickly take out all their Worms. Mortuus do manage to pick up a Gila kill but are left with only their Corax (which quickly drops) and Rattlesnakes, with their Rattlers being damped beyond all measure by the Coven Maulus. The Mortuus Rattlesnakes are ASB fit and manage to take out two worms before their first Rattler runs out of cap charges and explodes shortly after. Coven pick up a second Rattlesnake kill before the match finishes, without losing another ship.
Final score: 32 – 80
Match 21: The Godfathers vs. Shadow Cartel
With the Cartel being something like the Mafia Godfathers of Low Sec, this was an apt matchup with two very idiosyncratic comps put forward by each team. Shadow Cartel have competed in the last two Alliance Tournaments, and Godfathers three, tag teaming Snuff Box last year with one knocking them down into the lower bracket and the other eliminating them, both teams only losing to the stronger mid to higher tier teams.
Godfathers bring us a heavy neuting setup with a Bhaalgorn and their flag-Geddon, inexplicably using a faction EANM (naughty naughty). More DPS is added in the form of an Eos (no armour comp is complete without one, right?) and a Proteus, with a mixed AF/Stealth Bomber/Heron/Incursus frig wing and Oneiros logi. This team felt a little pick and mix to me, without a clear focus. Shadow Cartel however are firmly on the drone boat wagon, bringing an Eos, two VNIs, two regular Vexors, three Gilas and two Worms for a crapton of drones, supported by two Bursts for reps.
Godfathers warp their Eos in at zero, possibly hoping Cartel will take it as their first primary (or more likely warping in at the wrong range) and allowing its T2 resists to hold reps easily, only the Oneiros gets damped and no reps land. DPS switch to the Godfather frig support which melt rapidly, while the first ship to go down for the Cartel is King Rudi’s Gila which dies even more slowly than this guy. Cartel even manage to burn through Oneiros reps on a Proteus, a testament to the raw DPS of their team. The Bhaal and ‘Geddon are largely useless without a key ship like a logistics or a cap-dependant battleship to deal with, so spend the match chasing the speedly Cartel cruisers around, until they are finally taken off the field.
This is the first victory (of two matches thus far) for frigate logi setups, the previous match being HUN vs SSC.
Final score: 12 – 100
Match 22: The Afterlife. vs. Pandemic Legion
You have to feel sorry for the Afterlife team (previously Darkness of Despair), pulling four time gold, one time silver and two time semifinalist Pandemic Legion, boasting the best record of any team in tournament history. The only time PL have ever finished worse than the semifinals since they first started participating in the Alliance tournament back in AT IV was AT IX where they lost to their perennial nemesis Hydra in the round of sixteen.
Afterlife make the bold decision to bring a Tinker setup consisting of a Golem, Vulture, Loki and three Ishtars, only a six man team. We’d only seen one other six man team this weekend in CAStabouts match which, despite tanking well, could not win them the match. PL show a pretty standard setup for what we’d seen thus far, a pure Caldari team: two Rattlers with Nighthawk links, supported by a Basilisk logi and a squadron of Worms and assault frigates with a Corax. It’s worth noting that T2 Caldari have an exceptionally high native thermal resist, which is the damage type of the highest DPS drones of Gallente.
Afterlife start by dropping Bouncers (explosive damage, great choice) and take out Lucas Quaan’s Basilisk within the first thirty seconds of the match. All they have to do is hold reps and carefully work their way through the rest of the PL team to give us possibly the biggest upset in the whole tournament. PL are hammering on the Afterlife Loki, tackling and painting it but to no avail. Despite being neuted the Afterlife Golem is cycling its smartbomb, doing work on the drone subset of the PL damage profile, while the Afterlife Ishtars abandon their bouncers, switching to Geckos, which start to wreak havoc in the PL frigate wing, taking down all three Worms and thus giving their logi Loki a much easier time.
Then it happens.
Just as my old Waffle CEO Cheeb Aman’s Hawk dies, PL get a key bump on the Afterlife Loki, knocking it way out of position to receive incoming ETs to keep it’s shield booster going and it gets nuked. This was the key moment of the match, without this bump Afterlife could have kept burning through PL ships to knock the defending champions into the loser’s bracket, but it was not to be. We’re now in a race to clear ships: three Ishtars, a Golem and Vulture for Afterlife, against two Rattlers, the Nighthawk, three AFs and the Corax for PL. Unfortunately for Afterlife, they split damage between the two Rattlesnakes who tank using their ASBs easily, while PL exacts their vengeance for their frigs by knocking out the three Afterlife Ishtars in quick succession. The Vulture is next and finally Jonathan’s Golem explodes without PL taking any further losses, despite Sala Cameron’s Rattlesnake bleeding into structure.
Despite beautiful execution to begin with by Afterlife, PL show their knowledge of the inherent weakness of a Tinker setup (they did invent it after all), keeping their cool and pulling out a win from a really tough spot. If anything this shows that AT giants are killable, but you can never count them out until the last ship is down.
Final score: 29 – 100
Match 23: The Methodical Alliance vs. End of Life
Methodical bring one of the most insane setups we’ve seen all weekend in their match; a no-logi, eight man, triple Rattlesnake, triple Jaguar Paladin/Tristan team. End of Life bring us a more normal triple Eos and two VNI drone DPS setup with a an Oneiros logi, but make the less common decision to bring three Punishers along with an Algos, Ishkur and Tristan for support.
The match starts with the Methodical Paladin hitting bastion and the EOL Rattlesnakes ETing each other, for some kind of cap-supported local tank. Methodical split DPS over two Eos and Punishers, while EOL focus down one Jaguar at a time. Due to possibly just sitting still on top of the Paladin more than anything else, General Vachot’s Eos goes down while EOL neut and pour DPS onto the Methodical Paladin. Methodical have cleared a few rep drones and slowly burn through an Eos, then, when it becomes apparent that the Paladin is tanking the EOL team with ease they switch DPS to a Rattlesnake. They have lost so much DPS at this point that it too manages to hold reps seemingly forever, slowly losing chunks of armour, then structure, and finally going down after tanking for minutes, during which Methodical burn through the rest of the EOL team. EOL start to work on their second Rattlesnake, but the match is already well decided by this point.
Final score: 100 – 34
Match 24: The Gorgon Empire vs. The Nameless Alliance
Don’t let the new appearance of the Gorgon Empire into the Alliance tournament fool you into thinking they’re fresh faced and naive. They absorbed Darkside, an incredible AT team comparable to the likes of Exodus. Amazingly, both teams bring Stratios setups, something we are yet to see in the tourney, which to me is surprising considering their great tank bonus and huge drone bay.
Gorgon bring three Stratios with a Eos for DPS, a ‘Geddon, and Oneiros logi, supported by the duos of Vengeance, Malediction and Merlin. Nameless go heavy on the DPS, bringing two Stratios, an Eos and three Ishtars in their nine man team setup, supported by Guardian logi with a Dragoon and Tristan.
Gorgon start the match by putting heavy pressure on the Nameless Guardian, which doesn’t put up much of a fight and falls just after the first minute, while Nameless unsuccessfully go after Gorgon’s frig support, partially due to dropping Wardens. Nameless get further behind by losing an Ishtar and a Stratios, still failing to kill the Gorgon frigates. Gorgon follows up with a sucker punch to the Eos, cleaning up and taking the match handily without losing a single ship.
Final score: 100 – 0
Match 25: Agony Empire vs. Circle-Of-Two
I loved this match, it has my two favourite heavy ship types in all of EVE: Gallente blaster boats and Typhoons. Agony are one of the oldest alliances competing this year, forming all the way back in 2006 and having improved their AT performances with each run over the past few years. Circle of Two on the other hand had a deep run in AT VII, coming in second to PL, but have failed to get very far in tournaments since.
Agony bring a balls-deep Navy Megathron and Vindicator combo with an Eos and two Vexors to fill the drone DPS requirement for any tourney team this year, supported by three Vengeances, a Merlin and an Oneiros for logi. I can’t help feeling that the Celestis would be better turned into two Maulus with some frig fiddling for points, but Agony are much smarter than me so I’ll trust them. Circle-Of-Two bring a triple ‘Phoon setup, something we’ve seen sprinkled in by other teams over the weekend, supported by an Ashimmu, three Algos, the nasty triple Heretic gang, a Dragoon and an Oneiros logi.
As soon as the match starts Agony damps out the C02 Typhoons to mitigate their missile DPS, and Circle-Of-Two don’t really have any tankly AFs to provide scrams to slow down the Megathron hulls from bearing down on them. C02 make the peculiar decision to shoot the Navy Mega – contending with the Eos to be the most tankly ship on field given its extra low slot – over the Vindicator, while the Vindi gets on top of the Typhoons, where all three of them get megawebbed. Agony lose a Vengeance but quickly take out one of the ‘Phoons, following it with a quick second Typhoon and the Oneiros shortly after. In the meantime C02 have tackled down and killed the Agony Oneiros. Agony go to town on the final Typhoon while C02 seem to struggle to apply DPS to anything, slowly killing two Vexors. Agony finish the match by clearing the C02 support without taking any more losses.
Final score: 100 – 29
Match 26: RvB vs. CODE
Ah, the match of controversy. RvB ban the Catalyst and Talos, mocking CODE’s proclivity for Highsec ganking, while CODE ban the venture and Police Pursuit comet. CODE then fail to show up for the match, effectively forfeiting and wasting everyone’s time, while earning themselves a ban from this and all future alliance tournaments. As a result they gave a bye to C02 in the losers bracket. There is a post made to their public site complaining about how three teams in three separate tournaments have forfeited and not received such punishment, while sidestepping the fact that each of those teams gave CCP notice rather than just not showing up.
A disappointment, but a free win for RvB.
Final score: RvB win by default
Match 29: Fidelas Constans vs Nulli Secunda
This match has a nice little story of being two alliances on either side of the current sov cold war. FCON have no previous tourney experience I could find, while Nulli have been competing since ATIX, notably getting to the Ro8 in ATX, giving Nulli a clear advantage in terms of experience.
FCON bring a comp with a fairly simple game plan. Three Navy Domis which, thanks to their gun and drone hull bonus, can put out a ridiculous amount of DPS, combined with a Huginn to allow them to apply it, and a Scimitar to keep them alive. In support there’s a Flycatcher to deal with any frigates and three Maulus to stop anything from trying to engage at range. Nulli bring another huge DPS team in the form of Two Eos, three Gilas and Worms supported by a Crow, Heron, and Merlin, along with Scimitar for logi.
Nulli start by getting a web on FCONs Scimi and it drops almost instantly, followed quickly by the Huginn. The FCON team dropped all light drones, but by choosing to use the slower hobgoblins fail to apply any DPS to Nullis frig wing. Nulli burn through the FCON team without breaking a sweat, probably even in a little disbelief at how easily they won.
Final score: 0 – 100
Match 28: Surely You’re Joking vs. Almost Awesome.
I’m fairly sure Elise made a bit of a mess in his trousers when he saw SYJ’s setup, he’s so in love with the Orthrus I think he’s trying to get CCP to do a Taylor Swift skinned one for lifetime contribution to EVE. SYJ, to Elise’s delight, bring three Orthrus and two Sleipnirs for big-point ships, with three Worms and Tristans as frig support and a Scimitar for logi. Almost Awesome. bring two Myrmidons, a Gila, and their own Worms for another drone DPS team, supported by a Hyena, Taranis, Maulus and Basilisk for logi.
The match starts a little slowly, but after two minutes the teams trade a Worm each, then SYJ pick off a Taranis. Almost Awesome respond by nuking the SYJ Scimitar, losing their Hyena in the process. Almost choose to go after SYJs Orthrus next, which doesn’t take long to go down, while one of their Gilas is taking a pounding but managing to hold reps fine. The teams trade frigs quickly until, out of nowhere, SYJ manage to kill the Almost Basilisk, at which point they start hemorrhaging Gilas. What was an early advantage for Almost is quickly turned around as their final Gila drops, despite pushing one of the Sleipnirs to the edge of his tank, until he finally drops taking one of Almost’s Myrmidons. By retaining two Orthrus, a Sleipnir and their Tristans, SYJ clean up the last of Almost’s ships, who were in a great position until their Gilas fell faster than I think either team expected.
Final score: 100 – 54
Match 29: Curatores Veritas Alliance vs. Red Alliance
CVA and Red Alliance were historied and venerable when the rest of the Alliances competing here were thinking up their names. CVA was formed all the way back in November of 2004, followed three months later by Red in the February of 2005. The last match listing I could find for Red Alliance was all the way back in ATIII where they lost to the infamous Band of Brothers, whereas CVA have been a little more active in the tournament’s history, but have never really managed to make a deep run.
CVA stay true to their Amarr roleplaying roots and bring us a team which makes every FC wince. Three Damnations and Sacrileges means that you are unhappy with any DPS primary. These are supported by two Maulus, two Tormentors and two Inquisitors for logi. Red Alliance bring a somewhat more conventional setup; another ‘Phoon team consisting of two Typhoons, two Sleipnirs and three Worms for DPS, supported by three Merlins, a Crow and a Basilisk for logi.
At the beginning of the match the whole CVA team pulls back, apart from one Sacrilege who leeroys into the oncoming Red blob. Red pour DPS onto him but he holds fine, in the meantime CVA try to kill a Sleipnir, a much harder target than for example a Typhoon. Neither team manages to make any headway until Debook’s Basilisk gets caught and burnt down quickly, putting CVA ahead significantly in a matter of seconds. CVA manage to hold reps, even on their frigates, while they pick out a Merlin and two Worms from the Red Alliances support wing. Red manage to kill a Tormentor, but they’re running out of frigates and lose one of their Typhoons as well. At this point Red is fairly Broken, they pick up a Maulus kill but their big-point ships are getting burnt down one after the other by the slow but seemingly unstoppable march of the CVA EHP team.
Final score: 100 – 8
Match 30: Outbreak. vs. Monkeys with Guns.
Monkeys with Guns should be renamed Monkeys with Shotguns for their setup. Super close range, massive DPS from an Astarte, two Brutix Navys, three Exequror Navys and two Catalysts, completing their full Gallente lineup with two Fed Navy Comets and an Atron – noticeably lacking a logistics ship. Outbreak bring their own Gallente DPS setup, but in a somewhat more standard fashion: three Eos, two VNIs and two Vexors for DPS, supported by two Inquisitor logi frigs and a crapton of damps from three Maulus.
The match starts by Outbreak spreading damps moderately well, though I’m not sure how useful they can be against such a close range setup. Outbreak have dropped Geckos and they’re making short work if the NExeqs, while one of Outbeak’s Vexors boundary violates. Outbreak. loses a few ships to the overwhelming DPS of Monkeys with Guns, but the Eos are not to be denied their killmails, winning Outbreak the match.
FInal score: 100 – 28
Match 31: HYDRA RELOADED vs. Triumvirate.
The penultimate match of the weekend is also possibly the one with the most hype. Hydra, the perennial thorn in Pandemic Legions side and pure Alliance Tournament alliance is to go against Triumvirate, not a team that can boast as an illustrious history, but one that Hydra have to take deadly serious and not pull any punches for if they want to avoid the gruelling climb through the losers bracket.
Hydra decide to go for a good old fashioned Minmatar rush team (or so we thought). They bring three Sleipnirs with a Scimitar logi, supported by two Celestis, the three Heretics of frigate apocalypse, two Maulus and a Kitsune. Huge DPS? Check. Antifrig? Triple check. EWAR out of you ears? Megacheck. This is a scary team. Tri show us their take on the drone meta of the tournament, choosing to go with only one Eos, which allows them to bring three of each Vexor and Vexor Navy, supported by an Oneiros for logistics, an Ishkur, Keres, Malediction and Maulus. This is a matchup that can go either way.
The match starts with the Keres and Maulus for Tri exploding like firecrackers before the Tri team has a chance to react from the unusual artillery Sleipnirs, with jams landing on their Ishkur and Malediction. Next Hydra uncharacteristically split DPS on the Oneiros and one of the VNIs of Tri, while Tri still aren’t putting any DPS on the Hydra team. Tri finally tackle down one of the Hydra Sleipnirs, but it tanks easily given how much DPS Tri has lost – all their VNIs and two of their three Vexors. To add insult to injury more jams hit on the Tri team and they get cleaned up.
It is worth mentioning again that Tri are a damn good team, who brought a good setup. That only makes it more impressive that Hydra took them apart quickly and efficiently, without receiving so much as a scratch to the paintjob on any of their ships.
Final score: 100 – 1
Match 32: No Holes Barred vs. R.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N
The final match of the weekend brings us a weird choice by Rev. A Stratios, which has a armour resistance bonus, in a shield team. It’s entirely possible that they really wanted to bring a shield team but were screwed over by the Rattlesnake/Gila/Ishtar ban, but that’s just plain weird. Still, they follow the Stratios with three VNIs for a whole bunch of drone DPS, supported by a links Vulture and Scimitar, with the pick-n-mix of a Phantasm, Caracal, Crow and Kestrel for support. NHB bring their own take on the drone meta, choosing last year’s signature support of AFs in the form of three Ishkurs supporting their triple Eos, triple Vexor drone team, rounding it off with a Celestis, Malediction and Oneiros logi.
NoHo start by damping the whole Rev team, focusing on the VNIs to start, then tackling and obliterating the Scimitar. Rev go after NoHos frigs while jamming out their damp ships. NoHo extend their lead by killing the Stratios while Rev try to kill their Oneiros, and though it starts by looking like it’s going to tank, neuts are applied and it goes down. NoHo then go to work on Revs VNIs while their Celestis gets primaried, managing to kill two of them before their Celestis goes down. The match is all but over at this point, NoHo finishing the weekend with a very convincing win.
Final score: 100 – 19
Tags: apothne, ATXII
Apothne is a proud member of Sniggerdly and an experienced roaming FC. He is a Guest FC and Lecturer for EVE University and anyone who invites him to ramble on their comms for a few hours. He is currently one of the most active and experienced player commentators for EVE Tournaments, including hosting and casting AT XII-XV and all #EVE_NT leagues, as well as the Amarr Championships on stage at Fanfest 2016.