Yesterday was my 25th Alliance Tournament match (counting the Alliance Open) as Team Captain for A Band Apart. Of those 25 matches, I missed one due to an internet outage and watched from home. Of those 25 matches I personally FC'd the team in 4 of them, of which we won 2 and lost 2. Of those 25 matches we went 11-14 and once finished 11th and 16th. Nearly 50 different pilots flew with us in those matches. Our FCs during that run were Jose Zampano, Devlin Shardo, and most recently Smudge245. I can't even begin to count the number of practices, hours spent fitting and planning, and sheer amount of hard-earned ISK that went into making that possible.
I will tell you this much, despite many donations (all appreciated) over the years, for the most part all of those runs were funded by me personally. Just this year I spent 13,000 Plex to get us past the feeder rounds and another 25b on the ships and mods we flew in our two matches. Probably another 10-15b was saved due to my Jita Vault from past years. And from several donations I received from other players. Again, all sincerely appreciated. We are not a rich Alliance, nor a large one. We often struggle to get 10 players together for practices and often have to cancel potential practices because of it. We can't get enough people together to hold internal practices. In all those years we probably had a total of two internal practices.
I'm telling you all of this not as an excuse, or as a way of placing blame, or criticizing anyone - simply as background for why yesterday's match was my last one. For nearly four months almost every Saturday was taken up by AT practice. Due to my time zone those usually happened from 3pm until 6pm on each Saturday. As you can imagine that schedule takes a toll on my family, weekend plans, and opportunities for Summer/Fall time. It also takes a toll on in-game time, running an Alliance, and real life stresses. Especially for a small Alliance like ours without a lot of support structure.
I have no complaints however. This is not a post like that. I enjoyed every single second of it. Some seconds more than others of course. I enjoy practices and spending time with our pilots and watching them learn about their ships and become great pilots. I absolutely love the Alliance Tournament. My goal when we started was to someday make it to the final day. And while we came close a few times that specific goal will elude me. But that doesn't mean I leave on a down note. Even though we lost our two matches for the second time in as many years.
It's just time. I also admit that listening to Dunk's message to Brave last week hit home. There are only so many hours in a day. And after years of those hours they tend to accumulate. I don't want that to happen to me. So I just want to focus on what I truly enjoy doing in Eve - and that is logging on every day to fly with my fellow Stay Frosty pilots and terrorize the space lanes of Low Sec. That is what I enjoy most. And writing in these pages about my adventures. And making art. And being annoying to CCP. And helping to keep Eve Online on the right path. And encouraging more players to embrace the Pirate attitude and explore their own PvP powers. And have fun.
I always said that when the AT stopped being fun that I would stop. And so I have. I hope that ABA decides to continue fielding a team going forward and that others will step up to help make that happen. As always I will continue to support those efforts as best I can, but from the sidelines. Who knows, maybe someday I'll even pop in to fly in a match or two, just for old-times sake. I never say never. It could happen. But the grind is over for me. Time to let others take the lead.