CCP Announces the Return of the Alliance Tournament to EVE Online

CCP teased us with a count down to a video yesterday which had capsuleers wondering what the company might have planned.  Summer isn’t just a down time for players, much of the company tends to go on vacation as well.  This morning at 15:00 UTC (8am for me, so morning in my book) the video was unlocked and the big news was… the return of the alliance tournament.

Coming this November

Why is this a big deal?

The Alliance Tournament ran annually from 2005 through until 2018, then went on hiatus in 2019.  CCP allowed groups like EVE NT to host tournaments on their infrastructure, but declined to carry on with what was viewed as the “official” tournament for many players.  Many were disappointed and it has been a perennial point for CSM members to ask about its return since the 2019 announcement.

In addition to the prestige of winning the Alliance Tournament… CCP even unveiled a monument to the winners earlier this year in the Manarq system in the Genesis region… success in the tournament could be quite lucrative for the winners.

Winged Victory surrounded by markers of all the winning alliances

There alliance has not been without controversy.  For openers, one of the prime aspects of EVE Online is that we all play on a single server and everything happens within that space.  But the Alliance Tournament breaks that, taking place outside of the game.  There is also a bit of elitism as to who can participate, where the rich get in and the poor stand by.  And the wealth accumulated by some winners has seemed a bit excessive.  It has been said that Pandemic Legion financed many of its operations over the years on its winnings, so the influence of an out of game event has been felt in New Eden.

And then there have been the actual controversies within the tournament itself including accusations of collusion, with winners having been disqualified.

But it has remained a staple of the game for years and many will celebrate its return.

It will be interesting to see what impact this return will have on the game.  There have been years when wars have slowed down or stopped because key players in alliances drop out of playing to plan and practice for the tournament, often months in advance of the actual event.  Of course, with the currrent state of World War Bee right now, I am not sure anybody would notice.

So some big news on Bastille Day.

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8 thoughts on “CCP Announces the Return of the Alliance Tournament to EVE Online

  1. Archey

    I know it’s not a majority opinion but I’m happy to see it back. It may be hard to follow for the lay person but I really think it has some intangible benefits for the game – public awareness, maybe some insight into how a fight plays out, intrigue at the deep nature of PvP in Eve. And for the existing players, many alliances pull together to either finance or participate, on the team or as practice partners. Not to mention those who sub only to fly in the tournament.

    There’s just a lot that it brings to the table, though most is hard to quantify so the argument loses juice. Still, my gut is that it’s a net positive for the game.

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  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Archey – I don’t think that is necessarily a minority opinion. I’m fine with it being back. It is a part of the game at this point and has its own dedicated following.

    I think a bunch of people are happy to see it back, but CCP making it a countdown event may have set expectations higher than “we’re going to go back to doing something we used to do.” And over on /r/eve people are kind of miffed, reading this as a cynical attempt to distract from the problems facing the game currently. But as one person pointed out, you can be angry about the game and still be happy to have the AT back.

    Basically, there is a small but loud group that is going to poo-poo anything CCP does that doesn’t address the problems they thing are important.

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  3. flosch

    That is big news! I don’t know what it is about the event… I haven’t played EVE in probably close to a decade, at least half a decade… and I never watch any “e-sport” events… but I’ve always looked forward to the tournaments!

    Now, if we could have Shadoo back in the commentator booth…maybe tag teaming with Apothne… one can dream, right?

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  4. Nosy Gamer

    If people thought this was a troll, I can’t blame them. It was the day after Hunter’s Boon dropped and we have one more patch scheduled for Quadrant 2. Or because of delays, was CCP going to go straight to Quadrant 3 next month? That would explain the big production for the announcement, right? Then all CCP did was announce the return of the alliance tournament. So disappointing.

    I think the reaction would have been better if the news had trickled out as a news article on the launcher instead of some sort of YouTube premiere video.

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  5. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @NG – Companies should definitely use the countdown clock to an announcement with care. Still, I can see some people in a conference room at CCP convincing themselves that the return of the AT was such a big deal… a few people ask about it at every opportunity and they now have CCP Swift in the room with them… as to be worthy of a such a setup. At least they didn’t make it a 7 day count down.

    I did find it interesting that EVE NT will still be running the tournament. And while there will be new Mordu’s Legion ships for XVII, they will apparently recycle past AT ships for future events, which has put a few people into a minor tizzy. When you’re already angry it is easy to find issue with every little thing I suppose.

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  6. Archey

    It’s funny – I assumed mine was a minority opinion for reasons of the controversies you mentioned in the post, along with people saying it’s uninteresting and hard to follow for outsiders, and costs a lot in time and effort (not that CCP let their employees work on it “on the clock” reportedly…).

    But I guess absence makes the heart grow fonder. From reading these comments it sounds like people are generally positive except regarding details like which ships will be up for rewards.

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  7. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Archey – I honestly think that the majority opinion about the AT, like the majority opinion about nearly every specific play style in the game, is a combination of not caring and not knowing about it. The sandbox has so many little areas and people tend to focus on just what they like. I remained blissfully ignorant of the AT until I went to null sec where the influence of prizes on the finances of Pandemic Legion came into my knowledge. I think my first mention of it here on the blog was during yet another campaign in Delve back in 2012 or so.

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