ATXIII Team Summaries Part VIApothne
You can read the previous parts here: one, two, three, four, five.
First match: JB-007 19:00 vs. Shadow Cartel
THEY’RE SO CUTE!
Baby Legion was formed earlier this year by Pandemic Legion, seeing the greatness of vast new player groups such as BNI, but hating the incompetent leadership aspects. Therefore, under the direction of tournament vet Admiral Goberius and BNI defector Travis Keikira, Pandemic Horde was formed to provide a place where new players could get in on PvP action with some of the most experienced players in the game providing guidance and handling the organisation.
In terms of AT, Horde should be considered the newest of teams. There is zero communication between any of the teams in the PL community. Their team captain, Brood Alpha is a young FC who came over to Waffles from Brave after being told he wasn’t allowed to FC Moas or something stupid like that. When Horde got started up he got super involved and headed up moving over there.
Their players are (relatively speaking) completely inexperienced, both in terms of the tournament and wider EVE, they’re super low on SP but they’re enthusiastic as all hell and I really hope they have some kind of achievement this tournament, even if it’s only winning a single match.
First match: PE1-R1 vs. The Kadeshi
If you haven’t heard about PL on TQ, you probably live in highsec or don’t leave your wormhole. PL are the top merc alliance in the game, with a reputation for the largest group of the most competent FCs, the biggest supercapital penis relative to size and the most catastrophic welpers in the game, from Y-2ANO to the first ever Revenant loss to B-R5RB. PL boasts such EVE legends as Shadoo, Elise Randolph, Manfred Sideous and the list could well go on. When CCP themselves go recruiting, they’ve drawn from PL a fair bit, names such as CCP Falcon, CCP Fozzie, CCP Larrikin all spent a significant portion of their EVE career in PL. CSMs 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 have all had representatives from the community from PL. PL are a big part of the capsuleer history of New Eden.
What’s more, at this point, Pandemic Legion are also the biggest name in tournament history. Four first places giving them more victories than anyone else in the history of the tournament. With the one exception of ATIX, PL have placed top four or better consistently for the last NINE FUCKING YEARS. Let’s get to the details:
ATIV: 2nd place, lost to HUN Reloaded in the finals.
ATV: Top 4, lost to Triumvirate.
ATVI: Won, beating R.U.R in the finals.
ATVII: Won, beating C02 in the finals.
ATVIII: Won, beating HYDRA RELOADED in the finals.
ATIX: Ro16, losing to HYDRA.
ATX: Ro4, losing to HUN RELOADED.
ATXI: Won, beating HYDRA RELOADED in the finals.
ATXII: Third, losing to The Camel Empire and Nulli Secunda.
There are not many teams that can boast a track record even close to that of Pandemic Legion. That said, PL’s worst enemy in the tournament is themselves.
To save writing a full essay on just PL, let’s look exclusively at their ATXII run. This will get a bit long but it was (in my quite biased opinion) one of the most exciting, if not the most exciting of ATXII in terms of close matches.
In round one they faced The Afterlife., a legit team (who used to be the Darkness of Despair team, a fact I learnt since writing their section) whose Golem/Ishtar/Loki Tinker was met with a Caldari supremacy Rattlesnake/Worm/AF/Nighthawk team. At the very start of the match, PL lost their Basilisk almost immediately, losing a frigate while it looked like they couldn’t break the Loki and would be knocked into the loser’s bracket in round one in the biggest possible upset. Critically, PL managed to kill The Atterlife Loki and thus go to win on points by the end in an insanely close match.
In round two, PL met Shadow Cartel and were bold enough to use the team Shadow Cartel did in the previous round to beat The G0dfathers for a mass droneboat vs. droneboat face-off. Again, it looked like PL were going to lose in a giant upset when while their entire team were damped, both Bursts boundary violated. After some tardes, PL looked to be in a bad spot, but Dancul and then Cheeb managed to die as slowly as possible while PL burned through the Shadow Cartel DPS and managed to slowly turn things back around, exhibiting some excellent piloting to mitigate DPS. PL and SC were at 62 points to 60 respectively, then as more ships were traded it became 72-66 to SC. However, SC had control ships left on the field while PL had DPS, the match tied up at 72-72 with a minute forty left. Paik’s infamous Eos is slowly going down as the timer ticks down to zero, but PL pick off a Heretic to put them in the lead. Paik is screeching through the last reserves of his armour, but the timer hits zero just a few seconds before he finally explodes.
In round three, Pandemic Legion faced Gorgon (who have absorbed the old Darkside. team, another exceptionally talented AT group) and showed their first tinker of the tournament, a Golem/Tengu/Eos mix with a utility Moa against Gorgon’s classic missile kite team comprised of Orthrus, Cerbs, Caracals, a Sleipnir for links and Slashers as cheap tackle. As tends to be the way with missile kite teams, they couldn’t break the tinker and were brought down without getting a single kill.
In round four, PL faced another old school team in Rote Kapelle. Rote have something of a reputation for loving neuting setups, and they did not disappoint by bringing two armageddons for a variant on the Eos teams we’d seen be popular in the early tournament. PL brought another Marauder setup; a Golem with Eos links and a bunch of various Vexor hulls. Rote are super top heavy for those neuts and Eos, so the bottom half of their team is a swathe of T1 frigs. PL drop sentries and basically volley through Rote’s Eos, leaving them with almost zero DPS, allowing PL to clean the field, only losing a VNI for their trouble.
In round five, PL faced Nulli Secunda in I think my favourite match of ATXII. That’s right, it’s the one where they Golem paint the Loki and bomb the tinker. I won’t bother with a play-by-play, you HAVE to go watch it if you haven’t already. In the second match of the series, Nulli banned Golem/Ishtar to avoid dying how Rote had, but PL just switched to Dominixes and Vexors and just did it anyway. Despite a shaky start, PL seemed to be getting into full swing.
In round six, PL faced The Camel Empire in the winner’s bracket finals and in the first game their Paladin/Domi/Vexor team get shrekt by a badass triple Widow comp. Down a game, PL bring their now infamous dual-tanked Vaga team, which promptly get tackled and just die like a team on their first entry to the tournament.
In round seven, PL faced Nulli again in the loser’s bracket finals and bring more comps that look really weird and die without much of a fight. In game one PL brought a Rattlesnake/bomber setup which was taken apart easily by Nulli’s Geddon/Eos/Vexor comp. Then in PL’s final game, they brought a Zealot/Damp team which died to a variant on the Sleip/Gila team that had been so popular throughout the tournament with Eos instead of Sleipnirs and a Basilisk to get around the Scimitar ban.
Why did PL lose? They out-metaed themselves. I can guarantee you that, in testing, each of the teams PL brought were really good against some (potentially small) set of comps they thought Nulli were going to bring. However, as is the way with more niche comps, they die awfully to everything else, and PL convinced themselves that Nulli weren’t going to bring what they did and just died horribly. When PL get it right, you get amazing games like the sentry cannon or Loki bombing from their previous matches and PL look absolutely dominant. When PL get it wrong however, the trolling on reddit will last longer than EVE Online itself.
There are more seriously good teams than ever this year, so it’s more reasonable to question a top four finish for PL this year. I’m really interested to see PL face HK in round three and then The R0NIN in round four (if the brackets go the way I assume they will). It will tell us all if PL still have what it takes to kick it with the young un’s or have started their decline into obscurity.
Phoebe Freeport Republic
First match: JB-007 14:40 vs.Clockwork Pineapple
Formed in the optimism of Phoebe jump changes, PFR strive to create freeports across the universe because… reasons? PFR currently hold a significant portion of Scalding Pass and a little of Wicked Creek. Anyway, they’re a nice group of guys and though they tend to be somewhat newer to the game, that’s no guarantee they won’t be able to win at least a match or two. The have a few old hands from NC. and PL to give them some guidance.
First match: PE1-R1 17:20 vs. Curatores Veritatis Alliance
I don’t know if they’re the same group as Project Mayhem., but regardless they live in northern FW lowsec and do lots of lovely PvP there. As with most young alliances who haven’t participated in the AT before, there’s not much I can put in here. When I reached out to them I didn’t get a response, but if/when they get back to me I’ll get some more details in here.
Quebec United Legions
First match: PE1-R1 17:00 vs The Tuskers Co.
Quebec United Legions are a french-speaking alliance who kill a lot of noobships and Tornados in Jita. In the alliance tournament Quebec have been finding their footing for the past two years. In ATXI they lost matches to Darkness of Despair (now The Afterlife.) and Angelli Mortis, then in ATXII managed to win their first round match versus Choke Point but then lost to Pasta Syndicate and The Devil’s Warrior Alliance (now -affliction-).
This year Quebec get their first round versus The Tuskers Co. which absolutely sucks, but I hope they don’t get disheartened if they lose and show us some cool games in the loser’s bracket.
First match: JB-007 18:20 vs. It Must Be Jelly Cause Jam Don’t Shake
THE R0NIN are a sick nerd baller AT team who have been creeping up the brackets as the gatekeepers for the top tier teams for the past nine years.
ATIV: Lost to Morsus Mihi Ro16.
ATVII: Lost to C02 Ro16.
ATVIII: Lost to Atlas Ro16.
ATIX: Beat Aggrivated Assault, lost to Power of Two and WE FORM VOLTRON.
ATX: Beat Dirt Nap Squat, lost to The G0dfathers.
ATXI: Beat CAStabouts, CVA, WAFFLES., Rote Kappelle and lost to Exodus. and Darkside.
ATXII: Beat Dead Terrorists, Easily Excited, lost to TNT and then beat M.I.F, Rote Kapelle and HYDRA before finally being eliminated by The Tuskers Co.
As you can see, it took THE R0NIN a little while to get into it, but since ATXI they’ve been a force to be reckoned with. Not quite a top-tier team but damn close to breaking into that category.
They should have no trouble with their first match this year, and I don’t really see them having much difficulty until round four when they’ll likely face either Hard Knocks Citizens or Pandemic Legion.
First match: JB-007 17:20 vs. Nihilists Social Club
RAZOR are one of the oldest members of the ClusterFuckperium and for the past few years have been largely keeping to themselves up in Tenal behind the iron gates of fortress Deklein. When it comes to the AT, they’re something of a mixed bag:
ATIX: Ro4 finish beating Wild Boars, Outbreak., SOLAR, We form VOLTRON and losing to HYDRA.
ATX: Beat Dirt Nap Squad and lost to HYDRA.
ATXI: Beat Babylon 5, lost to Late Night Alliance and Choke point.
Most teams tend to improve over time, RAZOR seem to have gotten worse. I’m not quite sure what to expect from this year, but RAZOR always seem to have something cheeky up their sleeve such as naming their flagship to be a State Raven (which they never fielded, the cowards).
First match: JB-007 18:40 vs. Forsaken Federation
Typing this team’s name make me feel like I’m playing guitar hero. Anyway, R.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N hang out with all the other cool kids in northern FW lowsec, mostly Essence and Black Rise. In terms of AT, they’ve hung out in the lower end of the brackets since ATX, taking a few games here and there but never making a deep run.
ATX: Beat RED.Overlord and lost to Mildly Intoxicated.
ATXI: Beat CAStabouts and The Fourth DIstrict, lost to CVA and SCUM.
ATXII: Lost to No Holes Barred and Triumvirate.
R.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N’s teams last year were… weird. They had a shield Stration/VNI team with a Succubus, and then a Golem/Triple RNI/Scimmi team where the Scimmi should really have been a Tengu for what I think they were trying to do. I don’t know if those teams were really good in testing and we missed out, or if they were just in fact bad. I would assume the latter, but anyway, for younger teams that are yet to post good results, I would highly recommend sticking to practicing and learning the archetypes everyone else flies. Learn them, understand them, execute well. Then, once you know how those teams work and more importantly why they work, you can have a go at being creative. Doing it the other way around is much more difficult.