All the EVE Alliance Tournament XI Viewing Resources You Need (Popcorn and Beer Not Included)
As thousands of internet spaceship geeks around the globe settle in to watch the spectacle of explosions and tears that is the eleventh EVE Online Alliance Tournament, your curiosity may well lead you to stop by to see what the fuss is about.
You should, it'll be fun.
Just like trying to learn any new sport, it can also be pretty overwhelming and confusing. But stick with it and try to get a sense of what is occurring. Basically some internet spaceships are trying to kill other internet spaceships.
Like any e-sportsman, there are some very dedicated spaceship professionals out there who have been training for months for a shot at the title. There are intricate manoeuvers and cunning tricks they will employ in pursuit of their goal, but you'll develop an eye for spotting those the more you watch (check out our one paragraph guide below).
Ongoing GameSkinny Coverage
Our coverage of the tournament will be ongoing for the duration of the competition, this list will be updated with all new content:
- Those Who Are About to Explode, We Salute You: Gladiators of Alliance Tournament XI
Weekend 1 Coverage
- Way of the Exploding Spaceships: Alliance Tournament XI Day One Review
- Alliance Tournament XI Day One In Pictures
- The Undefeated: Alliance Tournament XI Day Two in Pictures (Part One)
- The Vanquished: Alliance Tournament XI Day Two in Pictures (Part Two)
Weekend 2 Coverage
- Fights, Camera, Salmon: Alliance Tournament XI Day 3 in Pictures (Part One)
- Are You Not Amused?: Alliance Tournament XI Day 3 in Pictures (Part Two)
- Thinning the Herd: Alliance Tournament XI Day 4 in Pictures (Part One)
- The Last Quarter Given: Alliance Tournament XI Day 4 in Pictures (Part Two)
- The Untouchables: Alliance Tournament XI Day 4 in Pictures (Part Three)
Weekend 3 Coverage
- Burning ISK: Alliance Tournament XI Day Five in Pictures (Part One)
- And Then There Were Four: Alliance Tournament XI Day Five in Pictures (Part Two)
- And on the 6th Day... Champions Will Rise: ATXI Finals
- Pandemic Legion and THE R0NIN
- Exodus. and HYDRA RELOADED
Below is a list of links to assist the Alliance Tournament viewer in getting the best from their viewing experience.
I will be adding to these resources as the tournament develops, so please let me know if there's anything you'd like to have explored, explained, or dissected.
CCP Foxfour's Prototype Tournament Stats Page
A work in progress, this tool could prove to be a useful source of information for anyone masochistic enough to want to try their hand at some statistical analysis, or just to find out which team has lost the most ISK.
The Tournament Brackets
This fantastic official tool allows viewers chart the progress of every team through every stage of the competition. It's also a delight to use on smartphones.
Alternatively, check out the third party Null-Sec site for a player-developed tournament monitor (as well as browser-based character monitor and ship fitting tools).
The Full Schedule
Saturday 20th July: 32 matches beginning at 1330 UTC/GMT - 0930 EDT
Sunday 21st July: 32 matches beginning at 1330 UTC/GMT - 0930 EDT
Saturday 27th July: 20 matches beginning at 1500 UTC/GMT - 1100 EDT
Sunday 28th July: 20 matches beginning at 1500 UTC/GMT - 1100 EDT
Saturday 3rd August: 18 matches beginning at 1500 UTC/GMT - 1100 EDT
Sunday 4th August: 13 matches beginning at 1500 UTC/GMT - 1100 EDT
Tournament Tactics in One Paragraph
In general, each team will field two or three big ships (battleships and/or the slightly smaller battlecruisers) whose job it is to deal the damage with their huge arsenal of weaponry. The remaining 'support' wing varies, but will often comprise a logistics cruiser (Oneiros, Scimitar, Guardian or Basilisk - a 'space priest' who provides ranged 'healing') and an assortment of small but useful cruisers, destroyers and frigates who will provide a range of utility roles from 'tackling' (immobilising enemy ships so the big guns can hit them) to electronic warfare (assorted means of disrupting the enemy's ability to return fire). Every ship has a points value corresponding to its usefulness, with a maximum of 100 on each team of no more than 12 ships.
Although the basics are fairly easy to grasp: a knockout competition requiring the destruction of the other team's spaceships, and there will also be commentators will be on hand to explain the intricacies, the complete rules are always useful to have nearby in case you want to know how the ships are selected, what "banning" is all about, and what constitutes cheating (definitely a grey area in EVE competitions).
The official rules are here.
Previous Alliance Tournaments
The long and chequered history of the EVE Alliance Tournaments has seen its fair share of heroic victories, inexplicably stupid decisions and devious skullduggery. Seemingly unstoppable returning champions, giant-killing underdogs, treacherous B teams, and heart-stopping moments litter the previous competitions.
Go check them out.
Ships on EVElopedia
The jargon used by commentators can be confusing. Many of EVE's 250+ ships will see action during the tournament and it is tricky for the layman to tell their hulking battleships from their logistics cruisers and their battlecruisers from their frigates.
The ship section of EVElopedia is what you need.
For spectators with access to the in-game currency of ISK (InterStellar Kredits), the temptation to have a flutter on your friends or just on that team name that made you laugh, the canny EVE community provides.
EVE-Bet and Monocle Madness both offer a variety of match betting services.