All good things come to an end. So did our participation in EVE Alliance Tournament XV, unfortunately.
On Sunday, August 6th we had our third match of the tournament. Our opponents were Pen Is Out, who had beaten IT’S ONLY PIXELS and Ghost Legion. in the first two rounds. Looking at the setups they had used there, based around a Golem and a Navy Scorpion, we thought we might have a shot at beating them. 53% of EVE NT’s viewers agreed with this assessment.
They didn’t bring a Golem this time, but the setup was still pretty similar. Great, we thought, we’ll easily kill the bombers first, then go from there. As per usual. In training, bombers had always been nothing more than cannon fodder for us.
Somehow, though, it didn’t quite work out this time. The first bomber fell relatively quickly, but after that we couldn’t break anything anymore. Meanwhile my Fleet Hurricane was their first primary, and while it took them quite some time to get me down, what with overheated Invulns and combined reps from drones and our Basilisk, I still died before we had killed anything else. From there it kinda snowballed. Personal piloting errors were made, too. I’m not sure that avoiding those would have really made a difference though.
In the end we lost 3:100, having killed nothing but the Nemesis stealth bomber. Thus our high ride through the winner’s bracket was over. While it’s still possible to win the tournament after falling to loser’s bracket, the hopes our first two wins (three if counting feeder’s round) might have built got somewhat dampened by this decisive loss.
Our next opponents were going to be HYDRA RELOADED, winners of AT IX and a force to be reckoned with. Although they were knocked down to loser’s bracket by TEMPLIS CALSF on the first weekend, they won their three matches after that. We weren’t very optimistic, but were going to give it our best and not make any mistakes this time.
When we saw their setup, though, we knew we were in trouble. Not only did they bring an all-Caldari setup, which made many of the ECM modules our two Rooks and most of our Battlecruisers had fitted rather ineffective. They also had a boatload of ECM themselves with their two Widows (probably rainbow too, so perfect against our all-race setup) and, the cherry on the pie, an Etana logistics cruiser. The Etana is basically a Basilisk that can cloak (which is irrelevant in the tournament), it’s really not that much better at repairing stuff. But, given the pricetag of such a rare ship, we knew it would be heavily tanked and take us far too long to take out, even if we were able to apply our full DPS (not likely because of ECM).
Stuck between a rock and a hard place we decided to again go for bombers first, as they are pretty squishy and deal a lot of DPS. Unfortunately, just as we had feared, at least two of us were jammed at any given time, sometimes even more. They jammed our logis too, and before we managed to kill anything our first Rook had already fallen.
Then we finally got a jam cycle on the Etana. Whoever wasn’t jammed immediately focused the bombers again, and we killed them both before the Etana could lock them. Meanwhile our second Rook had also fallen though, and now they started to focus our DPS ships. The Harbingers fell, then the Brutixes, and on it went. We got one more jam cycle on the Etana, but by then we hadn’t much DPS left even on paper, much less in reality, since now we were pretty much all jammed all the time. The two Manticores would remain our only kills, and with a score of 6:100 not only the match ended, but also our chances at advancing further in the tournament.
Oh well. We had much fun and actually advanced further than we had anticipated at the beginning, so there’s no reason to be too disappointed. Making it to the top 16 would have been great of course, as that would have secured us a guaranteed spot for ATXVI. As it is, we’ll have to wait and see if we can participate again next year. I sure hope so. As does Lakisa, who also had much fun during training, and would probably be advanced far enough skillwise to be part of the fighting squad until then.
For now, we return to our normal life in New Eden. Which ain’t that bad either.