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.
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.
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.