Alliance Tournament - Day Two
Day two of the Alliance Tournament saw Friday’s winners continue their march towards the next stage of the competition. While loosing teams and default winners from day one showed their willingness to assimilate winning strategies. Maintenance drones were heavily used during all matches and some teams resorted to targetting them early on in an effort to gain the upper-hand.
The Five continued their success from the first day with a win against Serenus Letum; however several subsequent matches proved to be disappointing as the Caldari Gaming Commission announced a number of teams had forfeited their matches. Mercenary Coalition won their second fight of the competition, defeating Interstellar Starbase Syndicate. For alliances such as Mercenary Coalition, the tournament is a chance to showcase their unique destructive talents and redeem themselves after being knocked out of last years tournament.
Red Alliance was forced to field substitutes during their first battle with Veritas Immortalis due to a number of absentees in the Red Alliance line-up. Consequently their performance appeared to suffer and -V- won the match, gaining some ground after their defeat at the hands of Band of Brothers during the first day.
One of the pleasing things for neutral observers is the emergence and performance of previously unknown or low profile alliances in the tournament. Chorus of Dawn´s win against Ushra´Khan announced their arrival on the scene as opponents to be respected.
Goonswarm lost their second match five ships to one against 3rd Front Alliance, whilst Lotka Volterra eased into their second successive victory following a decision to target primarily OXIDE´s command ship. In the previous matches of the competition battlecruiser class vessels have traditionally been the last to be destroyed. The command ships have proven to be valuable assets in this tournament and their continued usage has seen a slowdown in some matches and forced teams to adapt their tactics.
In one of the more exciting encounters, Morsus Mihi bested Fountain Alliance, and as the tournament continues it has become more apparent that the correct balance between damage and logistics is paramount.
Late replacements for E.R.A, The Sudden Death Squad was defeated in a close match against The Red Skull. The use of capacitor transfer modules, damage control systems, stasis webification drones and the first sighting of a Rattlesnake marked this match out as something different to the previous fights of the tournament. Day Two also saw the Caldari Gaming Commission modify the rules as strict time-limits were imposed on the games. If both sides had ships in the arena after fifteen minutes of combat, the team with the most vessels would win. However the loosing team will no longer forfeit their surviving vessels as with previous instances of a tie.
SMASH Alliance made tactical use of logistics modules and drones to defeat Electus Matari, whose Machariel class battleship encountered problems navigating obstacles in the arena and was severely hampered by SMASH stasis webification drones. Nosferatu modules saw heavy use in the Ascendant Frontier vs. Coalition of Carebear Killers match. With no guns visible on either of the battleships, it was no surprise that the first kill came more than five minutes into the fight. ASCN´s change to combat drones ensured that they gained the upper hand as the opposing Dominix was destroyed. Stain Empire´s first forays into the competition resulted in a win with five kills and one loss, and Interstellar Alcohol Conglomerate rounded off the day with a win against T R U S T.
The correct usage of maintenance drones appears to be one of the deciding factors in the tournament. However, there is enough variety of tactics being used that tournament pundits believe that it will be the teams that can adapt and welcome change that will go the furthest in the contest.