Ok, not really. I mean the AT does start on Saturday, but the stress and pressure parts are really exaggerated for effect. Oh sure, stress and pressure exist, don't get me wrong. But our team is prepared and ready. I'm sure once things get under way the butterflies will start rumbling, I know they did for me during the NEO and that isn't anywhere near as intense as the AT. One thing that will help the nerves is the fact that this weekend's matches will not be officially commented on by CCP. They will be streamed, but just not in an official AT format. That does take some of the pressure off.
We have a lot of motivation. Not only is this the first AT we've competed in, but let's face it - we are serious underdogs. We are the underdogs of the underdogs. The luck of the draw made us the 51st seed, but by all rights we should be the last seed. No one knows us and I suspect no one in their right mind would give us a snowballs chance in Hell of doing well in the Tournament. It is sooo bad that our write up on the Crossing Zebra's AT Summary is probably the shortest one ever!
I understand all of that. We have no history in the AT. While I've had several "almost" moments of playing in the Tournament over the years, this is the first time the Alliance didn't failscade under me, or lose a war, or other factors keep me from participating. A Band Apart, despite being the most awesome Alliance in Eve, is not super well known. I get all of that. I prefer being the underdog, the team no one respects and no one expects to do well. It takes most of the pressure off. And all we can do is use all of that for motivation to perform to our best ability.
How will we do? I dunno. I can tell you this much, our team is ready. I am extremely confident in each and every one of our team members. Our comps are strong and well-tested. We've been fortunate to have great practice partners and I'd like to thank each of them for allowing us the chance to work together. Thanks to The Bastards, Ministry of Inappropriate Footwork and Circle of Two. Much appreciated. I'll say that in each case we gave as good as we got, but practice is practice. The point isn't always to win, but to test and test and test some more. Ultimately it is all about building a team that can work together.
No matter what happens, we can't lose. Anything we do will be more than expected. So all we have left is our own personal goals and motivations. As for me, I told everyone from the very beginning that my own goal is to win the damn thing. Why else play? Why else practice? Why else put yourself thru this? So sure, my expectations are extremely high. We have a great team, we are doing what we do every day in Eve - fighting. We are prepared and ready. Everything after that is gravy.
I know that no matter what happens, our team are winners in my book. And always will be.
The rest? Well now, that will all get decided on the field of battle. Just as it should be.