Monday, July 23, 2012

AT X - A champion is revealed!


Wow, what a final day. I wasn't able to watch all the fights, but the ones I did catch were each very very good. Everyone who made it to the final day should be very proud, just the simple time and energy needed to get that far is staggering.

My "bracketology" needed a little work, but with the exception of a few wrong turns early on, I got the long game correct, but only on half of the bracket. HUN did beat PL and force them out of the tourney right where I expected them to. I suppose if you replace Verge with Rote Kapelle then suddenly my bracket looks a whole lot better. I would have looked like a genius if I had said "the winner of Rote v Verge will win the tourney." I'm not quiet that smart :)

I could act all "I expected Verge to do well." But honestly I didn't.

Well, at least not until I watched the fight with Rote, and at that point it seemed that Verge would go all the way. Their piloting was superb, and WarGod as their logistics was just simply amazing. Yes he made some mistakes and wasn't perfect, but... they managed to win. Props to them for winning ATX!

In the end they pulled off an amazing run to victory, facing one of the toughest, if not THE toughest path to the finals than any team in history. This year there were many more competitive teams than in the past, and next year the route will be even harder as a likely pretty mad GENOS and Outbreak teams will return to the running.

HUN as well had a tough time, but they seemed to find a setup that worked for them, and stuck with it to the end. Commendable in my book, and one of the setups I will try to break down in more detail later if I feel so inclined.

As for the AT prizes this year, I have always thought that the winners should get 50 of the cruiser sized prizes as well as 25-50 of the frig sized prizes. It just seems like that would give more reason to actual win and alleviate the thing that really bothers me, the desire to look at the prizes and choose to win one or the other in order to get the better ship/prize. Despite Raivi's comments, I don't think the "Osprey" prize is very impressive, at least not as impressive as the AF for second place is.

In any case,

Standout matches in no particular order:

Pretty much every match of the Verge of Collapse team throughout the last day. From the bitter to swallow, for me, win over the Rote team, down to their next Match with MI, as they flew around trying to chase down their targets. Then the match vs Exodus who arrived with the same basic setup, MOAR DPS! I have long championed Exodus due not only their skill but also their dedication to practicing with us, all the way to the Final vs the seemingly invincible Vargur setup. Verge pushed through that fight as well, and into the final vs HUN. That match was full of surprises where Sleipnirs managed to sweep out the Vargurs and secure Verge's first Alliance tournament participation and first title.

But each winning team can look back on their match with pride:

HUN brought a Vargur based setup 8 times total before losing, defeating the most 'hard' counter they could face, the PL Widow ECM swarm, looking invincible up until the final match.

Pandemic looked great in their wins vs TEST and Darkside.. Their ECM widow setup performing better than any Widow/ECM based setup prior to that, before falling to the HUN Vargur's.

Exodus showed off their skill in their matches against the Agony Empire 'baited' turtle team, I mean come on, who wasn't screaming at that match until the end begging them to switch damage. Looked like they were going to lose four points to zero! Exodus' next match against Nulli in the elite 8 was a spectacle, QUAD windicators vs Bhaalgorns for all the marbles.

In fact I would say that perhaps even a little biased, but in many ways, ATX proved to be the best tournament thus far. Now if only CCP would get the replays on the AT site, going to be tough, given the level of partying that probably followed after another amazingly successful AT.

Indeed, where would the AT be without the full and continued support of the AT team over at CCP, so a special thanks to those people for sacrificing their weekends, cherished time off, and in some cases coming off of vacation just to speak directly to the viewers and players of Eve Online. This year's revamped match overview eased the viewing of the matches, providing a clear readout of EWAR and special effects, while adding even more information in the form of speed, pilot names, and the ever important health bars. A hearty thank you for a job well done to those guys.

On a final, more personal note, I would like to thank the Rote Kapelle team as well. Apathetic Brent was our team Captain, along with a selection of capable co-captains, Sakura Nihil, Namami, Proxay, Dradius, and the rest of our team, for making it an exciting and involving time for everyone in RK.

Next up : Who knows!

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