Free Gates ATXIV Tournament Run AARSubmissions
This article was submitted to Crossing Zebras by Lynnly Rorschach, member of the Free Gates Coalition Alliance Tournament team. Lynny gives us insight into the life of an AT team and the challenges that they face when entering the tournament. Not everyone can afford Etanas and Raven State Issues.
When you are accustomed to making it further in the Alliance Tournament, tumbling out in the first weekend definitely leaves with you with a large hole to fill. FGC was projected to make it further into the tourney and internally we expected to reach the final weekend. Unfortunately, after winning the first match, we were quickly wiped out in the following two matches. The frustration level after the elimination match was high. The fact that our logistics pilot had disconnected 3 minutes into the final match left us in a very grim situation, but we kept fighting until it was clear there was no way we would out-execute Dream Fleet with what we had left.
Now that we’re out, I want to give a rundown of our experience this year. A little detail on our practices, theory-crafting, and our decision making on what we brought to each match. While I was not the team captain, I contributed heavily into theory-crafting, fitting ships and practices. I have tournament experience going back to AT VIII with Nulli Secunda and spend most of my time playing EVE solo PVP/multiboxing.
Once the rules for ATXIV were released on July 7th, we quickly gathered the team and adapted ATXIII setups, since the tourney meta would be shifting only slightly. Full practices began that following weekend. Starting out, we worked on variations of the TYFI (ED: Typhoon Fleet Issue) core. Establishing a strong understanding of what we thought would be the tourney standard was going to be vital to our success. After an early practice session with Tuskers, we nearly had to go back to the drawing board with the TYFI setup. In near mirror matchups, simply put, they walked all over us. Tuskers really execute with the best of them.
After our beating from Tuskers that weekend, we didn’t practice with them again until nearly the start of the tourney. We spent our time in the Test Alliance hosted open practices working out the kinks of the TYFI core against a mix of teams. Over the following two weekends we agreed the best versions of the setup were based around using a Bhaalgorn/2x TYFI or 2x TYFI/T1 Typhoon combo. A triple linked Pontifex(one link offline) was used for cheap bonuses most of the time. The Oneiros was the best logistics choice with T3D’s and bombers rounding out the support wing. Overall we felt this was the most versatile combination and would be our bread and butter setup. The three sets of armor maintenance bots could keep our logistics alive long enough for us to pick apart the other team in almost every situation. Once confident with the setup, we would practice it nearly every weekend while tinkering with other setups.
Outside of the TYFI core, we practiced an SNI (ED: Scorpion Navy Issue), Widow setup and NAPOC/Apoc based teams(don’t laugh) all with mixed success. We established a solid Minmatar rush that regrettably we didn’t get to field. I personally felt it was as strong or stronger than our TYFI comp. We also half-jokingly had a sentry drone based team similar to the shotgun setup of PL fame. As silly as this seemed, we beat quite a few teams with it. The one setup we wanted to keep under wraps was what we brought to the RONIN match. Essentially a 2x Bhaalgorn/2x Golem + bombers team. In practices, this beat everything. Initially I was hesitant to sign off on this one, but it worked convincingly. Test Alliance eventually figured out how to beat it, though annoyingly they just warped their entire team at 50km. Not something they would actually do with what they were bringing.
MATCH 1: SAMURAI SOUL’D OUT
Here we wanted to bring our TYFI core setup. Tried and true, we were confident in our execution. It’s also early in the tournament and we don’t want to give away many setups. For bans, we were going to choose the Scimitar for sure. Like the Oneiros, killing them can be problematic compared to their Basilisk/Guardian counterparts. With the Scimitar banned, we were confident that we wouldn’t be going against a kite/Sleipnir team. Our second ban was the Brutix Navy Issue. Likely the core of a blaster rush team, they take a long time to kill and are arguably more of a threat than blaster battleships. With that eliminated, we assumed we’d be facing a mirror TYFI or an SNI team. Both of which we practiced against and had beaten. SAMURAI banned Blackbird and Svipul. This had little effect on our plan.
Come match time, we knew exactly what to do with what SAMOURI brought. They opted for a no logistics four RHML battleship core with 2x Barghest/2x SNI and bombers. Not a bad setup at all, but something we were comfortable fighting. We nearly lost one of our TYFI’s before the opposing battleships went into their 30 second reload, but were able to stabilize during this time and killed their bombers and Barghest while losing our logistics. Our mistake here was having all our rep bots on our TYFI and 30km away from our Oneiros. Not perfect execution, but a win is a win.
MATCH 2: RONIN
With the postponed matches, I had to alarm clock it for 3am(PST US TZ FTW). It’s the AT and I’ll suck it up. For this match, we knew we had perform at a higher level than our last match. RONIN is always a solid team and we felt our 2x Bhaalgorn/2x Golem setup would be a fitting reveal here. Since the match was delayed, we discussed a little and decided we’d bring the flagship Bhaalgorn and a Barghest, thinking that this will be more versatile. During practice it had worked well. We Banned Oneiros/Scimitar. They banned Kitsune and SNI.
Once on field, we were actually confident in the face of what we saw. Bhaalgorn, Vindicator, Navy Megathron. We had beaten more dedicated blaster rush teams with our comp. This would not be the case here. RONIN were clever and had fit 2x 1600 plates on their Navy Megathron instead of the resistance modules typically found in the tourney. This had a huge effect on the time it took to kill that ship. In our practices we had always been able to burn down one battleship before any of ours were in any real danger, but not here.
After our flagship Bhaalgorn went down, we were unable to break through the Guardian reps on the Vindicator which I assume was plated as well. At this point the match was over, we gambled and went “all in”, and we lost. In hindsight, we should have stuck to the original concept with the 2x Bhaalgorns. The raw neuting ability would have made a huge difference on the capacitor dependent battleships we were facing. GG.
MATCH 3: DREAM FLEET
Now in the loser’s bracket, we knew we had to scrap and wanted to bring our TYFI core. We banned Eos and Sleipnir. Eos to avoid being outmatched with bonuses and Sleipnir because it removes the more versatile shield setups. DREAM banned TYFI and Kitsune and we opted for our Bhaalgorn + 2 normal Typhoons core. We suspected they would bring Blackbirds. They did, along with armor Barghests and bombers. On paper we stacked up pretty evenly. Our bombers had remote sensor boosters to deal with any jamming issues. Before the match had started, our logistics pilot had lost connection. We had our backup pilot ready and with implants plugged in, but our original logistics pilot logged back in and jumped in fleet, so we teleported to the system.
The match starts and we send in our T3D’s to deal with the bombers. They end up getting jammed, and around the 7:00 mark, our logistics pilot disconnects again. Our support wing dies quickly at this point and our disconnected Oneiros slowly coasts to the arena boundary. DREAM continues to shoot the Oneiros and we put our rep bots on it. At this point the match is really over, but we still try and pop their own Oneiros with little luck. Without bombers and target painters from our Svipuls, the Typhoon cruise missiles don’t have much of an impact. Being the last surviving Typhoon, I gracefully accept defeat and MWD out of the arena. We had lost and been eliminated from ATXIV.
On comms there was more silence than frustration. Most were in disbelief. Months of practice and time sunk into this, just to be eliminated so quickly. It hurts. It’s also unfortunate, as this might be the last time this group flies together. Between players leaving or going inactive, chances are slim that this core group will return flying the same banner.
The alliance tournament is one of the things which draw me to EVE most. I spend the majority of my time soloing, but there isn’t anything quite like the adrenaline rush and the shakes that come with flying in tournament matches. It’s intense and I can only really compare it to pitching in my first college baseball games. The competition this year is closer than ever. I think Test Alliance played a big role in this by giving teams a relatively simple avenue to get practices matches set up. This actually did contribute to shifting the overall tournament meta and raising the gameplay standards. CCP Logibro and Thunderdome have had a huge impact as well on improving this standard.
Hopefully this trend continues into next year, and already I’m looking forward to competing in the next edition.
Thank you Lynnly for the submission.
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