In the second week of Mai, I received a message via the DEUComm mailing list. The list is used by German speaking capsuleers to announce community-organized events, mostly public fleets. There is also a forum thread maintained by Otto Erich Stollmmler you can find <here>. But this time the mail came from William Follet, who is known for organizing PvP around G-Fleet events: A tournament would be happening on Friday.
And with a prize pool of 2 billion ISK, it got my attention. Since I shifted the focus of my playstyle heavily towards PvP and rarely have opportunities to make ISK anymore, this would come in very handy!
The fights would be fought with Navy Frigates with the fittings already provided. Changes not allowed. To make the tournament more accessible all fits utilized meta-modules only. No T2 equipment. Still, skills on the character sheet and piloting would make a great difference.
This gave the option for some theory-crafting. The Federation Navy Comet, the Imperial Navy Slicer, and the Caldari Navy Hookbill seemed solidly balanced. But the Republic Fleet Firetail had a huge disadvantage: Lack of range. It was the fastest frigate, but since the contestants would start at the range, damage application from distance was a factor.
The arena was set up in the quiet low-sec system of Horkkisen. In its center, an Arazu would point the contestants up to 40 km. If the point was lost a boundary valuation was clear to have happened and the violator would be disqualified – which actually happened a few times and probably did cost me the victory in this tournament.
Fight One: Hookbill vs. Slicer
My closest fight was the very first one against the Hookbill of Hamilton Ellecon. We actually managed to die both. Yes, you read right. We both exploded. But due to mechanics, I was declared the winner of the match: My Slicers laser turrets applied their dps instantly and finished off the Hookbill, who had shot a salvo of missiles just one server-tick before going up in flames. His missiles still on the way towards me, killed my ship even after the Hamiltons hull was already off the overview. gf!
AUTsmarted, a capsuleer based in Austria, did an amazing job at commenting on the second bracket. It’s probably an understatement to say his commentary added 100% more entertainment value to the whole thing. 👏👏👏
The Second Fight
After reshipping quickly in Jita into a new Slicer, I was ready to take on another Hookbill piloted by Oparon. I could maintain some range and managed to apply damage with Standard crystals while not getting punished for it. When Oparons ships reached armor, I finished the job by rushing with overheated afterburner, switching to Multifrequency ammunition. Heated guns. Poof. gf.
Was an incredibly close call. The Federation Navy Comet is a scary opponent for a Slicer. It has a harsh damage profile for the Slicers resistances and with the right ammunition, it can apply well at decent ranges. Once my Slicer would get into web-range of 13 km (heated) I would have not much chance to avoid it’s turrets dps anymore. But I also had to pay attention to the drones. Hornets, even if just tech one, are no joke in a 1v1 frigate scenario. My plan was to try to defang the Comet of Garmek first. That did not exactly work since he launched them rather late in the fight. Still, I manage to kill one which made him recall his drones. This recall should give me the few server-ticks required to win the fight. But just watch yourself:
This clip is also again a great example of the really great commenting by AUITsmarted. I guess you can still hear the excitement even if you aren’t speaking German. Great fight.
Against Neovenator himself, CEO of Schweine im Weltall GmbH. I recon him streaming and entertaining Twitch-Chat did distract him from reloading from Mjolnir missiles to Scourge or Nova, otherwise, it would have been probably a much closer fight. gf.
The Final Round
The final round consisted of two fights, as it was a double-elimination. I still had one ship spare while my opponent, Wuschelchen Vyvorant had lost one round due to a boundary violation. In the first round, my Slicer just lost the DPS race after 5% hull. gf.
Not much to more say here.
Back in Jita I had the option to chose another ship. Should I go for a mirror match and just hope Wuschelchen would forget to reload from Scourge to Mjolnir missiles? Or try the Navy Comet with the subpar damage profiles? No, as Wuschelchen had proven earlier in the tournament, he knew how to defang drones and come out on top. I bought another Slicer. If I heated my Afterburner I should be able to stay at 16km and still apply with Standard crystals while the Hookbills Rocket only should fly for ~15km. A super tiny margin to work with, but it might be possible.
Also, I felt like a mirror match would simply be less entertaining.
So what happened here? My initial plan worked well. I manage to avoid quite some damage from the Hookbills Scourge missiles while applying damage myself. And it worked until I reached the boundary of the arena. I had to make a turn or boundary to violate and get disqualified. What and underwhelming loss would that have been? No, for death and glory, I had to turn back in. I knew, it was likely over at that point. But hope dies last and I switched to Multifrequency crystals, selected to keep at range 6.400m, overheated my guns and belive… and brought Wuschelchen into ~20% structure once more. But not further.
…to everyone organizing and participating in this little event! I had a lot of fun and absolutely would join in again. The 0.2 points loss of security standings were very well worth it. =)
Now that I think about it, it was my very first tournament as well. Nice.
For the chance, someone from CCP reads this:
We really would like to have the Alliance tournament back. CCPlease? 🥺
The Full VOD:
If you want to watch the whole thing, you can do so on Twtich.tv:
- First Bracket: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/621849018?t=0h42m35s
- Second Bracket: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/621849018?t=1h36m30s