"I'm proud of the guys--that we won 3 matches and how we came together as a group, and no matter what we come out winners. We have had a lot of fun and are proud of what we've accomplished."~TeaEarlGrey HOT
Getting into the alliance tournament to begin with, and then making it to the second weekend undefeated was probably the highlight of the century around here. After spending the last six months chasing stabbed frigates out of plexes, the idea of jumping into fancy battleships and theory crafting until 3 AM had alliance mates rabidly frothing at the mouth in excitement.
In a lot of ways, the ‘festivities’ of the past couple weeks have reinforced in my own mind why I love my alliance so much. Once we have made up our mind to do something, we’re are all in. There is no half-assing it.
It would have been so easy to downplay our efforts. It would be so easy to do that now –to go on about how new we are in the tournament scene and how this is all some big experiment where we’re dipping our big toe in and testing the waters.
CCP Fozzie, in his commentary before our second match this past weekend, alluded to the fact that we’re “just happy to have made it this far.”
While that is true, make no mistakes. We’re in this to win.
But enough chest beating. Let’s talk about the matches!
We were fairly confident going in against Test. Though, I think we were all a little unsure exactly what to expect from them. Watching their past matches, there was the general feeling of ‘we can DO this!’…but everyone had that niggling doubt that Test could turn on us in some sort of weird setup the team wouldn’t know what to do with.
Tea made the decision was made to bring triple Bhaalgorns. This seemed to generate a lot of surprise from the commentators, and others. CCP Fozzie called it “overkill.”
Which it turned out to be, when we saw what Test brought –a Hyperion setup very dependent upon capacitor. It was pretty much a match made in heaven for us, and I knew before the match kicked off that LNA would be going home from the first half of the weekend 3-0.
When watching the match afterwards, there was a lot of snickering on coms when the commentators immediately decided that we had spies in Test. This was a different arena for us--where spying and meta gaming is normal, and politics play a big role in peoples’ actions.
We joked around that we should play it up –drop comments about how we could neither ‘confirm nor deny’…etc.
“We’re secret agents of the CFC…dun dun dun.”
But in all honesty, most of our guys don’t have a meta-gaming bone in their body. They just like to see things explode.
And, well… plenty of things exploded during that match.
To say that everyone was crazy excited after that victory would be an understatement. We were one of only eight alliances to go 3-0 undefeated. And, win or lose on Sunday we would be fighting in the final weekend.
The final weekend of the Alliance Tournament baby! OH YEAH!
We did some research on our next opponent and knew that our next fight would be the most difficult we had seen to that point. Frankly, they looked a lot like us—a small gang low-sec group with pilots who were strong on an individual basis.
Theory crafting for this fight was a little tense. We started down ‘that’ road of thinking about what they knew…and what they knew that we knew, and what we knew that they knew that we knew.
Finally Tea nipped things in the bud and made the decision that we were going to go with what had proven to be strong for us in the past. Risking an untried setup due to second guessing our second guessing was silly.
Sure, they probably knew what we would most likely bring, just as we knew we’d be facing Armageddons in some fashion in that match.
Furthermore, the decision was made to once again field the flagship. I think of all the things my alliance have done this tournament, that made me the proudest. It would have been so easy, looking at our odds, to shelf it for another day. But, we didn’t officer fit it to look pretty. It was an asset –a tool. And we fielded it every single match we were in up until it died a glorious death.
I knew we were in trouble as soon as our support started instapopping. According to accounts later of what was happening on our coms during the match, our team was pushing every avenue, hoping for a crack…or any sort of weakness. Waiting for Exodus. to so much as sneeze and give us an opening.
According to TeaEalrGreay HOT after the match, “Exodus. fought that flawlessly. I can’t think of anything that they did wrong that I can comment on.”
And, after serving us quite well for four matches, our flagship was down.
I will NOT downplay that loss. It was a huge loss for us. There’s no ‘didn’t want that ship anyway’ in this quarter. However, there’s a certain sense of freedom in not being tethered to our ‘primary’ asset so to speak. And I find I can breathe a lot easier thinking about our upcoming match. After losing a multi-billion ISK ship, nothing seems all that scary anymore….lol.
I snuck over on our team’s coms after the match with my heart in my throat. To be honest, this is the biggest defeat we’ve suffered from as an alliance. I had no idea what to expect, even after being in alliance for several years. Would they be so frustrated and disappointed that they would stop trying for the rest of the tournament? Would they ragequit, not to be heard of until after the rest of ATXI? Was Bahamut420 still breathing? (Was everyone else still breathing? Lol…)
There was dead silence on coms, and I did not dare speak. Instead, I held my breath…waiting.
Finally, Tea broke the silence.
“So. Bahamut lost an expensive ship.....Typical day in the life of Late Night Alliance.”
There were terse, scattered snickers across coms.
“Marga lost his third Tristan in a ROW. I can’t BELIEVE that guy…” Bahamut420 complained.
Louder laughter ensued.
And I knew we would be perfectly okay. Everyone was obviously disappointed, as anyone would be. But it was far from the end of the world.
“Good job guys.”
“Thanks Sue. Let’s go watch the replay and see what funny things they said about us this time…“
“Who’s the commentator on the right that voted for us before the match?” someone asked curiously.
“What does he do?”
I <3 LNA.