Every year, when the Alliance Tournament comes around, I reserve a bit of time to build a bracket, watch any matches I can, and pay attention to the team statistics and tournament commentary. I often joke with my friends that the EvE Alliance Tournament is my version of football – I plan around matches, yell at the screen when my team loses, cheer when my team wins, and play the armchair strategist throughout.
That doesn’t mean I’m good at it though.
The first weekend just finished up, and this year’s (first weekend) meta is somewhat interesting so far. Compared to last year, there have been a lot fewer teams focused on battleships, and instead there are more battle cruiser focused teams. Also, with Tech-II drones being allowed in the tournament again, drone teams have been pretty influential in the meta, though I haven’t seen a lot of evidence that they are dominating the meta like they did a couple of years ago.
I really like the battle cruiser teams for a couple of reasons; first and foremost because it’s a hull for which almost anything can apply damage effectively, but it has enough hit points that it doesn’t just get deleted off the field when it becomes the primary target of the opposing team. While the Brutix, Myrmadon, and Harbinger (and their navy counterparts) have been popular choices so far, I also like the versatility that the battlecruisers bring to the field in that they can either be a rush setup, a kite setup, or sniper fit depending on how the team is supposed to work.
For the first weekend, I tuned in to the EVE_NT channel, and got a lot of good entertainment. However, a couple of matches really caught my eye. L A Z E R H A W K S vs. Templis CALSF was a very fund match to watch because of how many battle cruisers L A Z E R H A W K S managed to cram into their team composition. Also, I really liked the execution of the Bright Side of Death team against No Handlebars – it looked initially like a misplay, but their use of the micro-jump unit in the center of the arena was just brilliant. There are so many ways that could have been disastrous, but they pulled it off nicely.
So far, my prediction record is 38 of 64 matches – not so great, but it’s still good to be watching the Alliance Tournament again, getting into the analysis, and just having fun watching the matches. I’m certainly looking forward to the next three weekends!