Thinning the Herd: Alliance Tournament XI Day 4 in Pictures (Part One)
At the start of Day 4 of EVE Online's Alliance Tournament, nearly half of the starting 64 teams had already been eliminated. By the end of the day, only 16 would remain.
In the double elimination format, each team can afford one loss before being eliminated. However, to do so means descending into the so-called losers bracket, through which almost all teams will pass, but the earlier the fall, the more matches must be survived for a shot at the championship title.
Of the matches in the first half of the day, only the first two were between still undefeated teams. For Red vs Blue, The Initiative, Agony Empire and Pandemic Legion, the prize was to avoid the meat grinder that is the losers bracket. For all the other teams, it was a desperate fight for tournament survival.
Match #87: Red vs Blue vs. The Initiative.
The battle is joined between two of the few teams still undefeated in Alliance Tournament XI. Both Red vs Blue and The Initiative. start many of their heavy ships at the centre of the arena, so a slugging match immediately begins between The Initiative.'s Vindicator and Megathron Navy Issue battleships and the Red vs Blue Hyperion battleships. Teams relying on Hyperions had thus far not fared well in the competition. Could Red vs Blue change this?
Despite losing some supporting frigates, Red vs Blue take the points lead as their Hyperion strike force successfully downs BoaCon's Megathron Navy Issue. Perhaps the Hyperion curse has been lifted as they proceed to blast chunks out of the armour of Morvin's Vindicator, but then Red vs Blue's Professor Clio explodes in his Oneiros logistics cruiser, leaving the Red vs Blue fleet dangerously exposed without means of repair.
The loss of logistics support makes easy pickings of Red vs Blue's fragile frigate support and The Initiative. are able to -ahem- regain the initiative. Suddenly, the new dawn for Hyperion battleships proved to be false as they became the helpless tracking disrupted victims of an almost full The Initiative. fleet. A last ditch Red vs Blue attempt to down Garphos Trectes' Oneiros wouldn't have garnered enough points even if it had been successful. Red vs Blue drop to the losers bracket.
Match #88: Agony Empire vs. Pandemic Legion
Despite heated exchanges and shifting electronic warfare targets, long minutes pass without a loss as both sides put on an impressive tactical display. Then Oli Geist's Oneiros logistics cruiser explodes, leaving Agony Empire facing a painful second half.
A cascade of exploding spaceships follows as Pandemic Legion spread their brand of violence across the arena. Here we see the most impressive of the explosions, as ElvisLives's Hyperion doesn't. Shamis Orzoz flies the Proteus strategic cruiser in the foreground as Dancul1001's Vindicator battleship is bathed in the explosion.
Match #89: SCUM. vs. R.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N
SCUM. (red icons), clearly spoiling for a scrap, start with the majority of their fleet as close to the enemy as possible and waste no time charging down the more cautious R.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N in order to pin them down for the oncoming Typhoon battleship missile barrages.
To the amusement of the commentators Bacchanalian (@RickSpies) and CCP_Rise, SCUM.'s confidence in their victory is underlined by their use of a snowball launcher to hurl snowballs at jennifer 1's Ishtar as it is slowly destroyed. Indi man orbits in a Wolf assault frigate as SCUM. ends the R.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N.
Match #90: Circle-Of-Two vs. Curatores Veritatis Alliance
Both fleets keeping their distance at the end of the first minute, but with Circle-of-Two taking the more aggressive footing, Aquarelliste's Tempest Fleet Issue battleship comes under fire as he leads the charge.
Circle-of-Two's charge is quickly blunted with the destruction of two of their battleships and Zuquar Bonaparte's Tempest Fleet Issue is ravaged by missile fire as he faces the same fate. Curatores Veritatis Alliance had lost their logistics cruiser and a frigate by this point, but the destruction of the third Tempest would effectively thwart any chance of further reprisal. A Tormentor frigate orbits in the foreground.
The match resulted in a strong display from Curatores Veritatis Alliance, whose performance surprised and impressed many, including CCP Fozzie. EVE's oldest alliance survives to fight again in the losers bracket, whilst Circle-of-Two rolls home.
Match #91: Nulli Secunda vs. Exiled Ones
Due to some unspecified pre-match issues, under tournament rules Jakub Trokowski of Exiled Ones was required to start in the centre of the arena in his Bhaalgorn battleship, whilst the remainder of his team began some 30 kilometres away. Already at a disadvantage, Exiled Ones faced a challenging rendezvous with the exposed battleship to protect it. Challenging became impossible as Jakub Trokowski inexplicably chose to charge alone toward the massed enemy fleet, where he was unsurprisingly intercepted and destroyed. Shenanigans were suspected.
Despite the early advantage and the gift of a 20 point lead, Nulli Secunda struggled to capitalise on their good fortune for several minutes then, at the turn of the half-way timer, everything fell into place and the Exiled Ones fleet collapsed like a house of cards. A Nulli Secunda Vexor cruiser intercepts the remaining Exiled Ones Bhaalgorn battleship.
Match #92: Clockwork Pineapple vs. Choke Point
An early collision of fleets at the centre of the field see the action erupt instantly and in less than a minute Choke Point seizes the early advantage by destroying Puskarich's Oneiros logistics cruiser and Cinamite's Thorax cruiser. Clockwork Pineapple immediately draw the points almost level as Devils Fighter in a Choke Point Sleipnir command battlecruiser explodes. Above: danile666's Kronos marauder battleship takes fire.
Further exchanges see ships traded and the points tally remains close. Dylan Reem in the surviving Choke Point Sleipnir command ship is locked in a close-range tussle with Teantis' Kronos battleship as Kassi's Claymore command ship passes by the under fire Kronos of danile666.
Match #93: HUN Reloaded vs. End of Life
In yet another space potato fight, both teams field trios of Dominix battleships, with apparent attempts to out-tinker each other with complex capacitor transferring and sustained defence management on the cards.
The early loss of tinymouse's Guardian logistics cruiser seriously jeopardises End of Life's chances of maintaining any kind of tinker-tank, but a flurry of exchanges sees the points remain close for the first half of the match, despite the clear HUN Reloaded advantage. Above: a Warrior II drone streaks past an End of Life Dominix.
As the battle of the capacitor management draws to a close, it is HUN Reloaded that emerges triumphant, which is unsurprising given the Satanic pentagram they managed to create in the midst of battle.
Match #94: Shadow Cartel vs. M.I.F
The ever-popular Dominix battleship was the focus of Shadow Cartel's fleet setup, whilst M.I.F had opted for a very tough-to-crack trio of linked Rattlesnake battleships supported by featured pilot BSL in a Vulture command ship. M.I.F's damage output wouldn't be hugely impressive, but Shadow Cartel would need to work hard to break down their shields.
Choosing to attack early proves costly for Shadow Cartel, with the loss of a single Maulus frigate leaving them at a points disadvantage which they would need to correct. M.I.F would clearly be content to simply dig in and hold on to the lead.
As M.I.F continue to pick off targets of opportunity from their huddle, the distant Dominixes attempt to probe for a weakness as more and more of their support fleet falls. M.I.F continued to frustrate their opponents and secured a place in the next round.
Match #95: Confederation of xXPIZZAXx vs. The Obsidian Front
Two of The Obsidian Front's three Proteus strategic cruisers stand by to engage in the tense opening seconds of the match. Both teams came tooled up for a high-damage brawl, but treat each other with caution as a result, with distant shots and electronic warfare exchanged for long minutes, each fleet watches for a mistake to be made by the other.
The feints and probes continue, with bait ships teasing and drone flights swarming. Tension mounts and there are only 3 minutes remaining on the clock when finally The Obsidian Front manages to ensnare the Confederation of xXPIZZAXx Vexor cruiser of Andrus Ansio and destroy it.
With the battle now fully joined, Ben OB looks to pound down ant1212's Proteus with his Megathron's blaster cannons as the Confederation of xXPIZZAXx and Obsidian Front support fleets tear into each other. Ships explode on either side, but The Obsidian Front comfortably hold their lead until the timer runs out.
Match #96: Sadistica Alliance vs. The Kadeshi
The Kadeshi team starbursts across their side of the arena as they deploy their swarms of drones. Sadistica Alliance, looking to apply focused damaged to a single target, are forced to commit to the pursuit. Tackling frigates dart across the battlefield and each team pins their chosen targets down and start applying damage. Islador's Kronos is the Sadistica Alliance ship which suffers the drone swarm's attentions and c0iler's Sleipnir command ship comes under heavy fire for The Kadeshi.
It becomes a race against time to be the first to down the high damage vessel of the enemy and it is c0iler's Sleipnir that explodes, the flaming doughnut rings of wreckage spiraling out from the burning wreckage. Advantage Sadistica Alliance.
Moments later, the advantage is lost as islador's Kronos also explodes bringing the points spread back to one. but more consistent pressure from Sadistica Alliance sees The Kadeshi pay a heavy price as they lose their logistics cruiser and several frigates without reply. A few consolation kills are too little to prevent them from leaving the competition as Sadistica Alliance move on in the losers bracket.
NEXT: The Last Quarter Given - Alliance Tournament XI Day Four in Pictures (Part Two)
More coverage of Alliance Tournament XI...