Most Confusing for new viewers:This has to to go the match between Exodus. and Agony Empire in the final day. Agony brought a bait and switch setup that focuses on the nuances of ATX rules to be effective. The commentators do a great job of explaining the situation, but the simple breakdown was this. Agony's setup was based around a heavily tanked "bait" Basilisk, a logistics ship that would have usually provided extremely strong repair for the ships around it, however the real repair ship was a similarly hard-tanked Tengu fit with the logistics sub-system. This was the basis for a rare bait-and-switch gambit. The match teetered on the edge, but in combination with switching primaries and some pilots on the Exodus team noticing the shield transfers coming from the Tengu, the jig was up, and the t1 resists of the Ferox, most likely holding a shield resist link, was the first to fold, followed by the Tengu and a Gila literally seconds before the end of the match.
'Hard counters' produce unexpected results:HUN Reloaded had been cruising through the Alliance tournament showing off their Vargur chops like a honey badger. In fact they only came in a single setup that didn't revolve around the Vargur. I predicted in my bracketology that HUN would actually put Pandemic Legion out of the finals, and it looks like my bracket was at least right up until that point. Pandemic Legion had just debuted a new setup, one with three Widows. Now as most people know, the HUN's Vargur weakness, if they had one, was extremely low sensor strength. Pandemic Legion arrived with their Widow ECM setup, their hard counter to the Vargur. HUN just didn't let it happen, their tanks lasted through the jams of the widows and they managed to slowly make headway against the heavy ECM and tank of their opponents. In a match of patience and discipline, HUN was able to come out on top.
Short but sweet:
Additionally, another quick and dirty match showed why even a single Vindicator was above there reproach of several Talos. Capital Punishment faced off vs Suddenly Spaceships. The matchup was really something that turned out to be a defining moment, both for the Vindicator's future in the Alliance tournament and the fate of Talos based setups.
This last fight I want to draw attention to was as Brutal as it was fun to watch, Once again it was Suddenly Spaceships, but this time vs Shadow Cartel. The Paladin heavy setup of Suddenly Spaceships faced off against a talos swarm, at first it looked like things might be going their way, but the Talos DPS was just too much, downing first one Paladin and then the other, only losing a pair of Talos in return. From there Shadow Cartel cleaned up the rest of the field.
Consensus "match that made the tourney"
The Culmination of 4 weekends:
Verge of Collapse had just as difficult a path, beating Rote Kapelle, Mildly Intoxicated, and Exodus., just to show up in the finals. Now take me as some kind of fool, but I always tend to root for the team that puts my team out of the finals. Except for the Dallas Cowboys, but that's a different story entirely! To me the two teams in the final represent all the participating teams up to that point, everyone they have beaten and everyone that those people have beaten.
It all comes down to one final fight, and what a fight it was. Vargurs hadn't been denied yet, and HUN looked up to the challenge. Verge of Collapse had won massive battles on their path to the finals and were just as deserving of being there. Truly a memorable final match.