No Alliance Tournament for 2019

I have to admit that I am not a huge fan of the annual EVE Online Alliance Tournament for various reasons.

The Alliance Tournament

It happens outside the game, which is not good thing for a single shard sandbox game to my mind, and all the more so since the special rewards come back into the game. (Though that you have to supply ships from the game for the tournament, and if you lose them they’re gone, does redeem that some.  Especially when a tournament reward ship blows up.)

Also, as with a lot of video game tournaments, seeing it online involves watching action on camera that wavers between being too distant to tell what is going on or too close to understand the context, making the commentary pretty much vital.  And the commentary can be… uneven.  You all aren’t Elise Randolph I’m afraid.

In addition, the skill needed to participate doesn’t translate through the screen very well.  If I watch a StarCraft tournament I know enough to appreciate some fine unit handling and situational awareness. With the AT you can be left wondering if one side was really better or if somebody just picked the right/wrong fleet composition for that round.

So, on any given year I might watch two or three of the matches.  I get more excited seeing a Drake in the mix than I do over any particular team winning or losing.

Still, I get that it is important to some people.  That it isn’t my thing doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be a thing.  There are groups out there that take this annual event very seriously.  As the joke that isn’t really a joke goes, if you want to do something in null sec without Pandemic Legion dropping on you, you doing during the ramp up to the AT because a lot of their key players will be busy with practice for that.

And I do enjoy hearing those involved talk about the AT.  More than anything else, stories are the essence of EVE Online to me.  The game is objectively not that good.  You wouldn’t play it solo.  Well, somebody would, but most wouldn’t see the point.  I wouldn’t see the point.

But the stories it produces, the tales of how things ended up coming to pass or how a given strategy came about or just the behind the scenes reactions to changes or unexpected turns of events are the secret sauce that allows EVE Online to transcend its obtuse UI and unwieldy mechanics.

And the AT produces stories, which is enough for me to support it as an ongoing event.  I’ll read or listen to those stories so long as somebody wants to tell them.

So I was a bit disappointed to see that CCP has decided not to hold the Alliance Tournament in 2019.  I am not even sure I get the reason why.  How do you go from saying the AT is a huge aspect of the game’s heritage and a big part of the annual game calendar to it being a good idea to take a break?

I mean, it doesn’t impact me directly, but it will be a hit to some, a kick in the nuts to their morale, a reason to take a break or not come back from one.

Meanwhile, as I wrap this up I see that Rixx Javix is going further in asking what it really means when CCP decides to give this event a miss.  Is this really just an opportunity to reflect or concentrate on other tasks?  Is there a bigger agenda here that we ought to know about?

I’m still digesting the rather grim view for Blizzard and now this.

6 thoughts on “No Alliance Tournament for 2019

  1. yadot

    Once upon a long time ago I was asked to train with an AT group. It never eventuated and I doubt I would have made the cut anyway, but the Tournament has been a thing for as long as I can remember. I watch the odd match and take an interest in fleet compositions. People do take it very seriously and I wonder what they are thinking now? Putting it on pause seems a very odd, as Rixx said “Where are we going?”

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  2. wartzilla

    The tournament has been a pile of junk for as long as it has existed. Uninventive shit mechanics, terrible for spectators, full of match rigging, and mostly just a form of CCP-funded welfare for the biggest nerds in PL.

    Good riddance. Hopefully they will come up with a format that actually fits Eve and is engaging to watch before they bring it back.

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  3. SynCaine

    Bad sign IMO. This was always a big event, and there is a lot of history with it. When you start cutting away at events like this, it isn’t because things are going so awesome that you are simply too busy…

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  4. Mailvaltar

    I’m pretty bummed about this, and also concerned. I don’t think CCP themselves had all that much work with the tournament during the last couple of years, so ‘taking time’ for other stuff can’t really be the main reason.

    Lakisa doesn’t know yet, she’ll definitely be extremely sad and disappointed. While I made the team in ’17 and ’18 she wasn’t quite ready for it yet. This year would’ve been her chance.

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  5. Stabs

    Personally I’m very disappointed although I’m more invested than most players.

    I do think it’s part of a bigger agenda that is rather ignoring the community. I don’t feel listened to and I don’t feel the game, which has been on automatic yearly renewal across 6 accounts for me, is going to pull me in any more.

    I’m not excited about these various limited time pve events, I’m not very excited about sov war, I’m not really looking to try something different (I’ve done most options).

    Currently I’m subbed but not playing. I’ll have to think about what I want to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. flosch

    That’s sad to hear.

    As someone who hasn’t been playing EVE all that much in recent times, the Alliance Tournament was still a fixture for me. I’d watch it every year, and more often than not, it would lead me back into the game and get me to resubscribe, even if it was only for a month or two.

    It’s also not a good sign if such a long-running event gets cancelled without any obvious reason except cutting costs. (Which, considering how the AT budget seems to have been shrinking for several years already, can’t be all *that* much money in the first place any more.)

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