One fairly major change in the AT rules I forgot to cover in my initial post, match times have been reduced.
So previously each match lasted a full 15 minutes, but now that has been reduced to just 10 minutes.
Now I say "just" because 10 minutes seems like an awfully short amount of time to me. I remember many matches either going to "time" or close enough to it. Perhaps not in the qualifying rounds, but definitely during the finals. There were even instances of the match flipping on a dime in the final minutes, had those matches been shortened then that would never had happened.
I'm not sure what the driving motivation is behind shortening the matches, but it doesn't seem to make too much sense to me at least.
For clarification here are the exact words from the dev blog
"Match times have been reduced from 15 minutes to 10 minutes."
"Fights are limited to 10 minutes in pre-qualifying rounds and group stage, and to 10 minutes on the final day. If a fight reaches time, it will be stopped and whichever alliance has the higher total points value will be declared winner. See "Victory Conditions", below."
- During a match, a team scores points for each enemy ship it kills, equal to the tournament points value of that ship. The team that has scored the most points at the conclusion of the match, or that destroys the entire opposing team, is the winner.
- If a team chooses to field less than 100 points, non-fielded points count towards the opponent's score.
- This rule applies to the 50 point limit during Pre-Qualifying, not 100 points."