The 17th Alliance Tournament


The 17th Alliance Tournament starts this Saturday. A lot of things will be said between now and then, and in the days leading up to the new champion being crowned. But a lot of those words will be spent on what is happening on the field, and on the histories of the teams (and often just the name they happen to be playing under) and the outcomes - win or lose. Nothing wrong with that. It should be that way. But I just wanted to spend a few words on some other aspects of this process that others might not mention. This will be my 6th AT and our first match on Saturday will be the 21st I've played in, and the 22nd for the A Band Apart team. (I had to sit out one match years ago because our internet wasn't working) There aren't many currently active players with more experience in the AT, so let me share some perspective.

Every ship on the teams playing in these matches represents a player. A real person. Someone who sacrificed a tremendous amount of personal life to make practices, to play Eve on a test server and not over on TQ, and who gave up some significant portion of their life to make their team better. For us in ABA that has meant almost every single Saturday and Sunday for over three months. For other teams it might have meant even more, and for some slightly less. But I believe it is important to remember that fact when you are watching the matches. We can all laugh when someone makes a mistake, but that is a real person who is going to be dealing with that mistake for a long time. It is a big part of what makes Eve great. (Luckily I have a very understanding Wife)

There is no doubt that the better prepared and skilled teams will do well in the AT, that goes without saying. Our first time out way back in AT13 was a last minute we just barely qualified so we didn't have much time to practice attempt and we lost both of our matches. Which was expected, I knew I was going to be in this for the long haul. A lot of weight gets put on past performances and rightly so, it is one of the few things we can use to figure out how a team might do. But it is a bit of a weird thing. How many players from our AT13 run still fly with ABA? I can tell you that only 3 still fly with us from AT14. Much more from AT15, and from AT16-Open even more. But even still, our team this year is about half veterans and half new people. Which is also pretty much normal. Of course I happen to be the common thread and over the years my own attitude about the AT has changed significantly.

As you invest more and more time into something it tends to become more and more valuable to you. Especially when you fear it might be gone for ever. We weren't sure we'd ever get the Alliance Tournament back, and while last year's AT Open was awesome (thanks Eve-NT!!) it wasn't the real, CCP endorsed, TQ matches we all wanted. And now it is back and now it takes more of your time and energy, so of course you want to do well in it. It's only natural.

Every team has their own story. Their own players, history, traditions, and hopes for the Alliance Tournament. Just remember that when you are watching. However the matches go this weekend and next, it is the people that truly make Eve great.


  1. I fly as mercenary for Local is Primary. It has been a long time since I have looked forward to some event in a game as much as this.

    If all goes well, we might see each other in the arena.

    Good luck, space pirates.


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