PL ATXII: Weekend One & TwoForlorn Wongraven
Match #1: Pandemic Legion vs The Afterlife.
Before the tournament started Pandemic Legion’s team already knew that many formerly well known teams had split or moved on to other alliances between ATXI and ATXII. In ATXI, most pilots of The Afterlife. were part of Exodus, a team which was very close to kicking PL out of the loser’s bracket in the semi finals of ATXI. During the following weekends of the tournament they strengthened their position, winning match after match. They were only stopped by Nulli Secunda’s new team in the semi final of the loser’s bracket. Pandemic Legion’s team gambled a bit for this match, hoping to face a base meta team in this early stage of the tournament. But instead The Afterlife. fielded a strong shield-based tinker, consisting of only six ships with assigned mobile drones and an EWAR resistant Golem as assign ship. Pandemic Legion’s setup used shield based assault- and pirate frigates combined with Rattlesnakes and a Basilisk, utilising mobile drones and tackle superiority. When we landed on grid of the arena our team immediately found the weak spot in Afterlife’s setup: the Loki. As I already said in CZ47, the only strong logi fitted T3 ship is the Tengu, and the result of this match is the proof. As the match started all our frigates rushed towards Afterlife’s Loki to tackle him. While the scram fitted frigates were able to kite around the tinker (as their scram was not needed), some of our ships had to get close to web the Loki. This included my very own Worm. The Afterlife. however picked our logi as their primary target, which was a smart move. Without our logi support the vulnerable frigates on Pandemic Legion’s team can easily be destroyed or chased away by mobile drones in order to focus on the heavily tanked and high DPS Rattlesnakes. The Afterlife. won the logi trade very fast, volleying off our Basilisk in seconds. At this point Afterlife. had the upper hand in the match and the mood on our comms was grim. The rep and self rep power of logi fitted T3s are insane in the tournament arena, but their vulnerability is their heavy cap feeding dependence. When you look closely at PL’s Rattlesnakes in null-sec.com’s amazing CREST match viewer you can see that both former CSM8 member Sala Cameron and Dancul went for a bump on the cap feeding Golem of Afterlife.. After several attempts the range between the Golem and the pinpointed Loki was finally enough to cut off the cap chain. Already under cap pressure from the heavy neuts of the Rattlesnakes, the Loki couldn’t keep up with the high damage applied and died. With the Loki gone the concept of Afterlife. fell apart and Pandemic Legion’s team was able to finish the remaining ships. On the russian EVE forums the Loki pilot claimed that he forgot to disable auto-reload and that it cost them the match. This is unlikely however. I counted at least 23 boosts on the Loki, meaning that he was already out of charges and kept feeding his ancillary shield booster from cap. As he was bumped out of cap transfer range his cap level dropped to zero. He activated the booster without sufficient cap to run the module, and when you do that it goes into auto-reload, no matter what the preset is.
Match #2: Pandemic Legion vs Shadow Cartel
What we faced was something different though. Shadow Cartel decided for an interesting setup in the second weekend by using two Eos and two Ishtars, combined with heavy damp control and enough destroyer based missile alpha to volley off frigates, along with dual frigate logi support. As soon as the match started Shadow Cartel used their EWAR superiority to damp all of our ships immediately. I was still able to lock the primary though, sending all my drones onto the Shadow Cartel’s Eos, piloted by Sperrzone. Sala Cameron in his Gila was being primaried immediately and went ballistic about mitigating the damage from mobile drones. As our logi frigates approached him they did not notice that Sala called out that he was approaching the edge of the arena and was about to turn. Both PL logi frigates get destroyed by CCP Veritas. Losing his crucial rep Sala Cameron’s Gila goes down while Shadow Cartel loses their first Eos. While Shamis goes down in his Gila we slowly try to get anything within lock range and get drones assigned. It takes crucially long seconds before our drones can catch up with the hostile logi frigates which need to die as soon as possible. We struggle to kill the 2nd Eos due to damps, losing our last Gila and a Worm. Shadow Cartel has more points now, but have lost their links, logi and a third of their DPS, meanwhile Pandemic Legion is slowly moving into position to turn the match. With an Ishtar from Shadow Cartel gone we can finally start to benefit from our kiting setup and our damage projection. In the small tournament arena kiting is one of the hardest things to do for a pilot. You can easily be cornered or lose focus and fly out of the arena. With three minutes left Arkale Dark falls victim to the cap pressure of constant usage of the MWD. Shadow Cartel chooses to go for our remaining Eos, piloted by well known FC Manfred Sideous in his leadership alt, since both Dez Affinity and myself in the Vexors were able to pull enough range to make us unattractive as next primary. For the next two minutes Shadow Cartel tries to kill the Eos while Pandemic Legion can even the score. With 40 seconds left Shadow Cartel’s Heretic pilot Iam Kikas leaves the arena by using the stationary MJU, while the other pilots use the MJU correctly to delay the damage from our mobile drones. After nearly 3 minutes under MWD, Manny’s Eos struggles to get enough cap to cycle the MWD once more in order to kite some of the drone damage and goes down eventually, but only after the ten minute mark, winning only by half a second on points. After two weekends Pandemic Legion continued in the winner’s bracket, however, at first glance we seemed to be weak and outplayed. Our opponents continued successfully in the loser’s bracket, while none of our own concepts had been revealed. But more on that on the next Friday!