Alliance Tournament IX - The Juicy Details
As mentioned recently in CCP Loxy’s dev blog calling for player experts, we will be holding Alliance Tournament IX again this June! We have been working hard to make sure that this will be another epic event within EVE Online, and that we can bring the best action to you live via Internet Television!
We had a pretty amazing tournament last year, and we were very happy with how the event ran as a whole. Coming out of it, we had a few points that we wanted to improve on and this has given birth to a changed tournament format that should result in a bigger, better event for both competitors and spectators alike. We want to expand on the good bits and improve some of the areas where we have been lacking.
As with each tournament in the past, we try and change things up a bit each time to keep it fresh and interesting, and this next one will be no exception. Using a highly secret blend of player feedback, meeting room shenanigans and just a dash of beer we have come up with some new stuff that will spice things up a bit.
If you aren’t too interested in the how and why details of the whole event – here are the key things you need to know:
- Tournament Dates.
- Signups: 2nd May – 15th May.
- 64 team Pre-qualifying – 28th, 29th May, 4th, 5th June.
- 32 team Group Stages & Finals – 11th, 12th & 18th, 19th June.
- Signup fee – 2 billion ISK.
- Max number of participants: 64 Alliances.
- All participants will need to be a member of the alliance they wish to compete for from the date that signups close (15th May).
- Live EVE TV Coverage of the Group Stages and Finals.
- Full Tournament Format - //www.eveonline.com/events/alliances/tournament/t9/format.asp
- Full Tournament Rules - //www.eveonline.com/events/alliances/tournament/t9/rules.asp
- Alliance Tournament Discussion Forum - //forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=topics&f=264
How Alliance Tournament IX will work.
The biggest overall change we are making for Tournament 9 is that we will be focusing the tournament around a 32 team group competition (think FIFA world cup, or Alliance Tournaments 1 – 5). There will be eight groups of four teams, with the top two teams from each group going into a 16-way elimination on the final day.
The reason this is being done is that it will give us more matches per team than previous tournaments, and allow for more fierce rivalry in the early stages. The tournament will focus around the better teams in the competition, and the hope is to give more balanced, entertaining matches throughout. Teams will know exactly who they have to fight pre-tournament, and be able to size each other up accordingly. Rivalry is fun!
To ensure that we still give a fighting chance to the usual number of 64 alliances, we will run 2 weekends of pre-qualifying that will get us the best 32 contestants for the Alliance Tournament proper. This will be run in a similar way to recent Alliance Tournaments, will be a modified "swiss system", with two rounds taking us from 64 teams down to 28 + 4.
The top four teams from Alliance Tournament 8 will gain automatic entry to the group stage, and will not need to fight in the qualifiers.
For full format details, see here.
The matches in Alliance Tournament 8 were pretty awesome – we were very happy with the pace and entertainment value of the tournament, so we are going to leave the match rules largely the same. That said, we want to make sure the theory-crafters have something to keep them up at night, so we have added a spicy little detail to this tournament that will no doubt be a challenge.
A summary of the main changes we will make:
- Flagships: Definitely making a return, officer mods and all! You will also be able to change their fitting from match to match.
- Banning: A new mechanic for this tournament. (See below)
- Points Tweaks: Most of the ship point values will remain the same, and the total points limit will remain at 100 points. Some of the lesser used ship classes from last tournament will have their points cost reduced.
As this tournament will run over four weekends, we will be making the two pre-qualifying rounds use a slightly modified set of rules to ensure the match format (and the “winning setup”) does not get stale and overused before the final weekend. In pre-qualifying the ship limit will be five, and the total points limit will be 50 points and no flagships or banning will be allowed.
The full rule listing is available here.
“Wouldn’t it be really funny if that Dominix pilot got sent home before the match started??”
Hilarious, in fact.
So this is what might just happen to you. Prior to each match starting, team captains will have the option to remove any single pilot from their opponent’s team. Choose wisely, however, as you will not get points for killing someone you don’t actually kill! Flagships of course will be exempt from this.
We are all in agreement here that this is an evil mechanic. I can’t wait to see it in action!
EVE TV – now with 2 x the Studio!
EVE TV will of course return – live, in HD and free of charge. Not only that but we will expand the full studio-based EVE TV coverage to two weekends, ensuring that all of the action from the group stages will be covered in the best possible manner!
With all this being channeled into Tournament IX, and the expansion to an extra weekend, we will not be able to keep live TV coverage of the entire event. With the expansion to four weekends, we will not be providing coverage of the pre-qualifying weekends. This will be a bit of a loss, but it really will allow us to provide the best possible coverage of the main weekends of the tournament ;)
Match Commentary & Expert Selection
I think this deserves its own section, as it is a very vocal area of feedback following each tournament. What I can say is that we see what you see, and we have tried a couple of extra things this time around to ensure that we do the best job we can at selecting and training our experts.
Commentary is a very fast-paced, edge of your seat kind of job, and with recent tournaments we have been throwing our commentators off the deep end by having them commentate their first matches from home. This can be confusing and nerve racking, and what we have learned from the past is that it is much easier for them to do their job once they get to the studio and sit next to each other. We are taking this ball and running with it – all our commentators will be on site in Iceland for the duration of the broadcast, and will be working as a team right from the start.
Selecting experts is a whole dev blog unto itself, but in short we put a lot of focus into meeting and trying out people at Fanfest this year. The commentary interviews are not over yet, but we certainly enjoyed meeting face to face and having a good conversation with some of the hopefuls. It really makes a huge difference to meet people in person when trying to work out if they will be good at this kind of thing.
I think this will lead to a pretty awesome commentary team this time around!
The Tournament IX Team
The tournament would be nothing without a super dedicated team within CCP who give up many, many evenings and weekends to run this event. I cannot stress how much time and effort is put in by these amazing people, and the tournament would really be nothing without them. A huge thank you is in order!
- CCP Loxy – Director of EVE TV, a futuristic robot sent back in time specifically for this purpose.
- CCP Sreegs – Tournament Manager, resident troll.
- CCP Zirnitra – Tournament Match Referee. He was trained ruthlessly in the Icelandic wilderness by CCP Claw. Don’t mess with him!
- CCP Soundwave – EVE TV Host and all round nice-guy!
- CCP StevieSG – EVE TV Content, expert wrangling and sci-fi quotation engine.
- CCP Mindstar (that’s me!) – Tournament Producer. I just make sure it’s all running smoothly and everyone has what they need. I also make sure the live streaming works.
Of course there must also be a tip of the hat to CCP Claw, previous tournament manager who has since left CCP – a significant number of the changes for format and rules this year were things we discussed together during and after the last tournament.
So with that I will turn it over to you to start the manic theorycrafting and training. We are all super excited for this tournament and we hope you are too!
All the best!