Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Exclusive Interview with the Mind behind the Syndicate Regional Alliance Tournament

Today I am lucky to have with me Apathetic Brent, Pilot of STIMULUS and Rote Kapelle, organizer of the first Syndicate Regional Alliance Tournament(SRAT). A 'respected' poster on FHC, Brent decided to take his love for the Alliance tournament a step further and organize a multi-alliance, multi-standings, neutral ground, brawl to the death. The double elimination tourney began to take shape, with various Syndicate regional Alliances and near-by neighbors looking to enter the contest

On the weekends of the fourth and Fifth of February the first four matches of the SRAT took place, their outcomes linked here. And last weekend the final matches took place, crowning the first regional Champion, Rote Kapelle. Before we dive into those results, a look at the capsuleer and the struggle of the organization of the first Syndicate Regional Alliance Tournament.

Welcome to Eve-Opportunist Brent, it is a pleasure to have you.

Thank you

What experience do you have in Eve? Give me a bit of a run-down of your eve-history and your AT history.

I started playing EVE in 07 as a carebear.  The bear corp i was in was wardecd by a group and I lost a few ships.  I asked the guy who killed me what to do to start pvping.  He told me to hop in a caracal and sit in a belt in passari.  I think we all know how that story ends.  From there I gained a little bit of experience in a low sec corp before leaving the game for a year.

When I came back, FW was out and I joined that and got my first 500 kills.  Cut my teeth in fcing, which basically just amounted to what not to primary.  I didn’t start learning about the intricacies of FCing until later on in my eve career when I flew under Garmon, Gobbins, and FMercury.  A bunch of us caldari FW guys made an alliance and we were about 100-150 strong.  We moved to Syndicate and started pewing.  The alliance started failing and some of us merged in to Important Internet Spaceship League.  This was before all they cared about was sov.  This was back when they were still decent.  I participated in every aspect of planning, practicing, and piloting in that years alliance tournament (2010?).

Once BDEAL moved to a sov holding entity me and some friends created our own corp and left bdeal.  We were true small gang.  Our normal activity was 2-8 pilots.  We had some really good pilots, and had a great time.  Most of us lost our will to play eve and started playing LoL.  After about a year I got the itch again and started playing EVE.   After I came back I joined Rote Kapelle, but too late to participate in last years AT.

So let's dive right into the tourney, When did you first have the idea for Syndicate Regional Alliance Tournament (SRAT)?

Well I'm all about making people in to better pilots.  I don't want anyone in Rote Kapelle to be an F1 pusher.  Things like the tournament force people to think on an individual level.  Getting some extra practice for the real alliance tournament didn't hurt either.

What was your first step to seeing if it was possible, and who were the first people you contacted, what was the general response?

The first thing I did was talk to my CEO, Cassius Longinus, and see what he thought about it.  He told me it was a great idea, and would speak volumes if I was able to pull it off.  From there I went to Failheap and posted in the Syndicate section of warfare and politics about it.  I was just trying to see if anyone else would be interested in participating.  At first everyone was saying it would be awesome.  But then when sign ups came, people rolled in rather slowly.  I came up with eight different alliances that were interested and decided to go with it.

When did you start fully organizing the event?

January third is when I had Entrox set up a sub forum on FHC for team captains to discuss rules.

How many hours/days/weeks did it take to come together?

Brent : After the forum was set up I spent 2-3 hours a night for about two weeks doing one thing or another related to organization of the event.  The biggest hurdle we ran in to was that I made rule making a democracy.  I wanted to get everyone's opinion on something before we made it an official rule.  We DID steal the point scheme from the normal Alliance Tournament, so other than Tier 3 bcs that part of it was rather smooth sailing.

Did you want to give the tourney up at any point?

Heh.  A hundred times.  Until we got to the "shootin people" part of it, there was a lot of effort for what felt like very little return, this compounded by that fact that our original eight teams dropped to five for various reasons.

Was there much friction working with groups that are otherwise unfriendly towards each other and our Alliance, Rote Kapelle?

Surprisingly, no.  We all behaved ourselves.  I was one guy on the forums, or talking in private convos to people.  In local or on public forums I was the same old guy calling everyone a faggot.  Everyone involved did a good job of keeping eve politics separate from the tournament.

How did you overcome friction if there was any?


Who were the participants, were there any alliances that were asked to take part but declined or Alliances that wanted to take part but unable to field a team?

The original participants were:
Rote Kapelle
Agony Empire
Flying Dangerous
Clockwork Pineapple

Sedition, I-Red, and Agony did not end up participating.  Agony ended up not being able to field a full ten man team and elected to provide refs instead, which ended up being invaluable.  I don't know why I-Red didn't participate.  It was a bit irritating that John Revenent wouldn't even talk to me and explain why.  Sedition had its tournament captain leave the alliance half way through the planning stages and they pretty much dropped out at that point.

Was it originally intended as srs tourney like it turned out, or was that a later development and it was just going to be a troll or trap for epic kills?

It was always meant to be a serious tournament.  Some of it was hard to keep that way because of a lack of defined structure and protocols, but we made it work.

You are also one of the team captains for the (champion) Rote Kapelle team, was RK supportive of your efforts to organize the tourney or was it an uphill fight there as well?

I wish I could say that it was all roses and cherries, but it wasn't.  Isk wise everything was a breeze.  One person gave me the entry fee and the other gave me a large chunk for ship/implant costs.  It's hard for us to get twenty people to participate in practices for CCP's alliance tournament, and much harder yet for something smaller scale.  I kept my staff of advisers small, and they were all very helpful.  In the end we had to practice with another team in the tournament to get practices going.

Will there be another SRAT in the future?

I plan on running another one down the road.  As to when: who knows.  Once the bitter has worn off a bit

Will that be easier to manage in the second round?

Much easier.  Now that we have a set of rules in place and we know what we'll be facing in the future it won’t be such an ominous task.

Will you look for better promotion of the event next time or keep it fairly low-key. Like possibly a buy-in from CCP or promotions from BLINK lotteries or EOH?

Yes. This was fairly low dollar on the individual alliance level, and I'd like to keep it that way so it's still easy for smaller entities to participate.  We did some live streaming for this tournament, and that went well.  Our biggest issue is not being able to tell the whole story via live stream.  We don't have a nice interface like CCP does to show 20 ships at once.  Next time we'll probably get on board with EOH and/or Blink so we can get better prizepools.

What were the prizes for placing in the tourney?

We did a 1B isk buy in for each team, winner take all.  Rote put in an extra plex on top of that, but we won vOv.

Besides you as the main organizer, were there any other main contributors or people you would like to thank?

I'm sure every team captain has people on their end that they would like to thanks, but as far as tournament setup and organization is concerned I'd like to thank Crazy Vania of Agony Empire.  He was slated to be agony's team captain, but had to drop out because he didn't have enough pilots in the time zone to participate.  Instead, he was a referee for us for all of the matches.  He did his job very well, and made my job much easier.  Aside from that, I'd just like to thank all of the teams that participated.  This went smoother than I could have imagined and I owe it to all of the teams showing amazing sportsmanship.

Will Rote Kapelle repeat [as champions] next time?



With Brent at the helm of the Rote team, the future looks bright . Of course a little bit of practice for the upcoming CCP sponsored Alliance tournament didn't hurt either.

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