EVE Online New Eden Open: The Casual Viewer’s Need-to-Know Guide

eSports meets intergalactic war in an EVE Online competition involving over 500 players and a $10,000 prize.

eSports meets intergalactic war in an EVE Online competition involving over 500 players and a $10,000 prize.

EVE Online, the sci-fi sandbox universe filled with fleets of warring spaceships, is putting on a show. The New Eden Open tournament starts this weekend and will see 27 teams battling it out in a double-elimination knockout tournament for a share of the $10,000 prize pool.

The spectacle will be livestreamed by own3D.tv from 1800 UTC Saturday 17 November (and throughout the next three weekends), but fear not if that doesn’t fit into your schedule – detailed coverage will be provided on these very pages.

For the Casual Viewer

Essentially what you’ll be watching is the most complicated game of rock, paper, scissors on earth, wrapped up in a science-fiction setting. Visually speaking, it’s akin to what Emperor Palpatine could see out of his Death Star throne room window in Return of the Jedi when the Imperial Fleet engaged the attacking Rebel forces. But without the comical teddy bear uprising on the planet below.

With almost infinite ship combinations and possibilities we’re likely to see to team setups that may be designed with massive damage output, supreme resilience, the ability to shut the enemy’s targeting capability down with ECM or drain them of all their capacitor energy. The true skill is in the ability of teams to co-ordinate effectively and execute their strategy whilst stay calm under monumental pressure.

You Want Details?

Here’s a quick overview of the competition format and the basics of what you need to know to understand and enjoy the matches.

  • The double-elimination knockout format means that each competing team must avoid losing two matches to stay in the competition.
  • Due to the sheer variety of ships and equipment available, there are specific rules regarding allowable fittings and a strict points system which ensures balance and is integral to the scoring of the matches.
  • Each team must field a squad of up to 8 ships, with a value maximum of 70 points. Every available ship type has been graded for its effectiveness within the competition format. The fast but vulnerable frigates are 2-6 points, ranging all the way up to resilient and powerful battleships in the 17-20 points range.
  • Only one logistics (repair) ship is allowed to be fielded per team in each match.
  • To mix things up and add an element of surprise and skullduggery (as is the EVE way), prior to each match, the team captains will be allowed to ban two ship types from use for the match. In previous tournaments, certain ships were very popular, so this makes match preparation much more interesting.
  • It’s worth noting that although there are over 200 ship types in EVE, there are strong tournament favourites around which teams are usually built. These will likely be regular candidates for banning; the tough and versatile Tengu strategic cruiser, the high-damage Sleipnir and the four dedicated logistics repair ships – Scimitar, Oneiros, Basilisk and Guardian. Target-breaking ECM ships will likely be high on the banning hit-list too.
  • Each match will be a 10 minute battle between two teams according to the competition schedule. For each enemy ship destroyed, its points value is added to the team’s score. Every point not spent in the ship setup is added to the opposition’s score before the match begins.

With any luck, there will be a team of frighteningly knowledgeable spaceship geeks to provide valuable commentary and insights throughout the matches and in post-match reviews from the studio. The usual suspects were so impressive at the Alliance Tournament earlier in the year, that CCP even hired some of them.

For more specific information check out the New Eden Open website and be sure to tune into the live stream over the next three weekends.

About the author

Mat Westhorpe

Broken paramedic and coffee-drinking Englishman whose favourite dumb animal is an oxymoron. After over a decade of humping and dumping the fat and the dead, my lower spine did things normally reserved for Rubik's cubes, bringing my career as a medical clinician to an unexpectedly early end. Fortunately, my real passion is in writing and given that I'm now highly qualified in the art of sitting down, I have the time to pursue it. Having blogged about video games (well, mostly EVE Online) for years, I hope to channel my enjoyment of wordcraft and my hobby of gaming into one handy new career that doesn't involve other people's vomit.