Our second match in EVE Online’s Alliance Tournament 2018 was scheduled for Sunday, July 29th, 18:40 UTC. Our opponents: Bright Side of Death, who had beaten The Weekend Warriors in their first battle.
Since warming up ahead of our first match had obviously done us good we met up early again for some skirmishes on Singularity. We specifically tried to get some more experience with manual piloting. Last year we pretty much exclusively used a tinker setup, so not all of us are particularly practiced with the kind of piloting that’s needed in the AT if you don’t fly tinker. We got better and better during this year’s training though, and we felt pretty good during warm up.
Then the time to form up on Tranquility came again, and the team captains were assembled for the banning phase.
We again banned Widow and Rook, but instead of the Curse we banned the Blackbird this time around, a decision we would come to regret during the match. Our opponents banned Bhaalgorn, Basilisk and Vindicator, which allowed us to field the exact same setup as on day one. We only swapped out our flagship Leshak for a normal one, preserving the flagship for later rounds in case enemy teams might ban the Leshak again.
We formed the fleet, got our ships and prepared as usual. Soon we were ported to the arena, and the command to warp came. No mistakes or client hiccups this time, everyone landed at their assigned spots.
Again we were up against an armor tanked team with a Leshak and a Vedmak, but with a quite different support wing. They brought two logistics frigates instead of one cruiser, which can’t rep from long distances but are much harder to hit. They also brought a Curse, so we knew we’d feel cap pressure and tracking disruption. A Paladin and a Praxis meant we’d have to break the tanks of three battleships.
We decided to let our heavy damage dealers focus the Praxis, assuming that it’d be the easiest of the battleships to break, while our support attacked the Thalia, forcing them to spread their reps and hopefully allowing us to take down at least one of those ships quickly.
Alas, it didn’t work out as we’d hoped. The Curse tracking disrupted our Leshak pretty heavily while neuting the Vedmak, hindering both from applying their full damage potential. The Praxis might have been brick tanked too. We couldn’t take out the Thalia either, but at least our reps held strong for quite a while too.
Meanwhile our Guardian had a swarm of hostile drones on him, ECM as well as damage drones. Strizz, our Purifier pilot, took them all out with a perfectly placed bomb. So far, so good.
BSoD had primaried our Vedmak first, but when it didn’t break for quite some time they gave up and switched to the Leshak. Which probably would’ve persevered too, hadn’t their Curse pilot managed to maneuver himself into neut range to our Guardian. Now our only logi had serious cap issues and just couldn’t keep up with the damage applied to our Leshak.
So almost four minutes into the match the first ship exploded, and with our biggest damage dealer off the field we knew we were in serious trouble. We got the Praxis down to about 60% structure, but the armor reps kept coming in. It took another two minutes, but they finally took out their next primary, the Navy Armageddon. In that moment we had effectively lost the match.
One ship after the other fell, and since we were nearing the ten minute mark anyway we decided to save what could be saved. Those who weren’t tackled burned towards the edge of the arena and tried to stay alive. When the clock stopped and ended the match our Purifier, Pontifex and my Magus were still alive. Final score: 1:85. They only fielded 99 points, hence that one point for us. They didn’t completely wipe the floor with us, but it was still a very definite loss.
Thus we dropped down to loser’s bracket. We had six days to analyze what went wrong and to train some more, and we were going to use them!
You can watch the match here, it’s worth it for the bombing run alone.