BB40: Sandlot Games

Fresh from publishing the community spotlight on the EVE blogosphere and Blog Banters, CCP Phantom has suggested a banter focus on competitive tournaments.

There is no finer spectacle in the universe of EVE Online than the explosive dance of weapon-laden spaceships in combat. The yearly Alliance Tournament is the jewel in EVE Online's eSports crown and the upcoming New Eden Open should deliver the same gladiatorial entertainment showcase.

Given the scope of the sandbox, what part should eSports play in EVE Online and what other formats could provide internet spaceship entertainment for spectators and participants alike?

I suspect that the very first Corporation in Eve, once they had undocked from the Station, warped around a bit and discovered that no good fights were available - turned to each other and said, "We should have a Frig Tournament!"

Tournament style events are as much a part of Eve as... well, heck anything. Much of that history is sadly unknown or forgotten. But I can remember hearing stories about some events even back when I first started playing. Then my own Corps and Alliances would often hold tournaments of one type or another. I can remember a Badger Race in low-sec and a few others.

In 2010 I created one called the Death Race which was very successful. Over 100 ships departed low-sec and raced right thru the heart of Providence and out the other side. Billions of ISK worth of prizes were awarded and we got a lot of press for the event. Sadly plans for another event in 2011 had to be abandoned. ( Stupid RL economy! )

This Saturday The Tuskers are holding a rather awesome Frigate FFA that everyone should attend. ( Free Plug!! ) At the very least it has a very nice poster!

I haven't personally had a chance to participate in the Alliance Tournament, not yet. And sadly, I can't participate in the upcoming New Eden Open cause some tool scheduled it during Thanksgiving. So events like the Death Race and Frigate FFA are more "Blue Collar" than the official events.

If you haven't noticed, Eve is a universe that people like to say is an open sandbox - and while that is true for everyone in theory - it is more true for some than others. Those special people, or more likely the ones that can buy their way into things, are the White Collar "Upper Crust". While the rest of us working stiffs are regulated to working our way thru Eve the old fashioned way.

Much like the days of Rome, combat tournaments, events, scheduled ops, Corp Frig Tournies, Races, Carrier Kills, Bring Me the Head of Kirith Kodachi, The Hunt for Rixx Javix, Celebrity DeathMatch, and dozens of other events - are for the entertainment of the masses. The opiate of the regular Joe. The glass teat if you are old enough to remember that reference.

The more open these events, or some of these events, can be - the better. CCP Phantom wrote a decent piece about the Eve Blogger community and one thing we've also been good at is providing our own entertainment. Most of the events I remember, except for the yearly Alliance Tournament, are player/blogger created and driven.

We're just like those first guys that undocked and couldn't find a decent fight. We get bored and then we do something about it.

From giant Hulkaggedon events to a couple of guys testing new fits around a station, competition is rampant in New Eden. Official or unofficial, the games will go on.

We don't need official permission to have fun. Eve is actually more like a Sandlot than a Sandbox the more I think about it. Pick up games all day and all night in the neighborhood.

All we need is a ball.

For a complete list of BB40 posts click here.