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Thread: The Tuskers AT14 Retrospective

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    The Tuskers AT14 Retrospective

    These writeups seem to be a thing every year, and it's fallen upon me to write it for our team. Most because I volunteered since I don't know what to do with myself now that the tournament is over.

    Who are the Tuskers:

    We have our roots as an 'honorable' low sec piracy and solo pvp corp although over time we have evolved into more of a small gang and competitive pvp corp. We apparently have a 'leet pvp' reputation, but we have never claimed to be such and imo are really just as bad as everyone else. With the Citadel expansion we moved into a C2 wormhole with NS/C5 statics, and have been roaming through null sec killing carriers. It's the most fun I've had on TQ ever since I started playing.

    On to our tournament history:

    Back to Alliance Tournament 12:

    In 2014 Suleiman had just competed in NEO2 with the failheap team, and had apparently caught the tournament bug, so he posted a thread on the forums about forming an AT team. Many old members who had grown tired of Eve came back and we just about had enough numbers to give it a shot. Sulei arranged a few practices against top-16 caliber teams and I remember one particular practice where we stomped the opposing team in 5-6 matches while only losing a handful of ships in the process despite bringing retarded triple-Hyperion setups. That is the moment where I devoted myself completely towards the tournament. I do not have much recollection of what I contributed at the time, apart from looking at old AT11 setups and fits and making a few spreadsheets, but apparently that was enough to be promoted to the tournament leadership immediately. At the time I had been playing Eve for less than a year and did not have enough SP to fly any useful ship apart from a Maulus or a Celestis.

    The most useful thing we developed during AT12 practices was a relationship with Exodus, who had finished fourth the previous year. For some reason they agreed to practice with a new team, and we somehow managed to play well enough for them to continue practicing with us. The drone + maulus setups we ended up bringing during the AT12 matches were more or less copied completely from them.

    We also had what I would consider to be realistic goals from the start: winning a few matches, finishing in the top 16, and managing to not embarrass ourselves would be an amazing result. Finishing in the top 8 was seen as a stretch goal. We ended up finishing 4th mostly because of extreme luck combined with Sulei's efforts (pretty much doing everything for us) and by having just enough numbers to run consistent practices with 12 people. We had a relatively soft bracket for the first 2 matches, and we somehow managed to out-pick both Exodus and Ronin in our respective matches by bringing slightly more e-war in our setups than they did (AT12 being all about the damp war).

    We made some amateurish mistakes, like staging all our ships out of our home system in Hevrice rather than a high sec trade hub (lol), picking setups badly in both the BO3 series we had vs. Camel and Nulli, and completely missing the Marauder + Drone Assist setups that ended up defining the meta in the final weekend. Still we won 6 AT ships and were immensely pleased with the result.

    Alliance Tournament 13:

    Our practice & prep were pretty similar to what we did in AT12; with our main partner being Exodus with a few other mid-week practices vs other EU TZ teams that were a bit hit or miss at times; Shadow Cartel being very good in particular. The rules were massively different from AT12, and thus it took us a lot of time to determine what the new meta was. We developed a couple significant setups during this time; including our RLML cruiser + e-war setup, which ended up winning two matches for us in AT13 and being an important setup for AT14.

    We latched on to the same dual-TFI setup that most other top teams did and rolled with it far enough to finish in the top-6. Ultimately, brackets forced us to face the Warlords team twice and we failed to recognize the strength of Widow-based semi-tinkers during our testing, and thus we misplayed in a pretty big way and lost both matches.

    Despite all the drama surrounding this tournament, and even though the colluded match was directly focused upon giving the Warlords' team an advantage vs. us, the attitude among our team was that we deserved to lose both matches regardless and being bumped up to a share of 3rd/4th and being given 10 AT ships was a bit of a hollow reward.

    Eve NT Collides Season 1:

    There was significantly less burnout following AT13 than for AT12 and so we were happy to participate in the first NT collides tournament. We put maybe 25% of our normal "AT" level of effort into this tournament, practicing only occasionally 1 day per week at most, but this was enough. From my perspective none of the other teams put any effort into this at all and so we won the tournament without much of a problem.

    The format left a lot to be desired; since setups were pre-submitted 1 week in advance it meant that setups and ban selections mean everything, while on-grid piloting and decision-making meant almost nothing. Once setups and bans are in, each match can be choreographed to the point where the actual fight was akin to following a script with the result pre-determined. As an example, when we saw the setups & bans submitted for the Volta vs. Warlords' match, a couple of us independently predicted that Volta would win, and by a score of 3-1. This was exactly what ended up happening. In the final match of the tournament of us v. Volta, we both submitted basically the exact same setup pool but Volta's decision to ban our Sleipnir rush setup instead of one of our stronger RHML BS setups basically meant that they had almost no chance to win the series.

    The Typhoon skin is pretty sweet though. Thanks CCP.

    Alliance Tournament 14:

    We started preparing for AT14 much earlier than usual. TEST are generous enough to host open practices on sisi well in advance of the actual tournament (probably as early as February), so we were very happy to show up. Each year, a significant number of people leave the team and new people join; this time we had several new members from the old Hard Knocks team and so we viewed this as a way to build team chemistry or just work on basic piloting. Plus we just really like playing in the tournament format vs. willing opponents anyway. Although we were a bit frustrated that come June CCP still wasn't posting rules or even officially announcing that AT14 would happen, we kept this up as long as we were able to maintain interest from our membership and locate a practice partner.

    When the AT was finally announced, we were content with our bracket this time and the rule set was very interesting. We recognized very early on that a full officer-fit flagship Bhaalgorn was absurdly over-powered given the nerf to logistics optimal range and the implementation of neut falloff (summarized in one picture here: http://i.imgur.com/nmr1RSy.png). Introduction of deadspace neuts, which weren't that much worse than officer ones, also basically made strong long-range neuts accessible to everyone at a very low price.

    Even with the reduction to 10-man teams, we did not have sufficient numbers to run internal practices so we again relied on our practice partners (Exodus, Vydra, and Volta). We also attended open practices on Thunderdome, with the intention of fielding what we regarded as our B- and C-tier comps just for fun, and to see what kinds of setups everyone else were fielding. We progressively brought worse and worse setups until we started losing, at which point we more or less stopped because people on our team were getting angry and it was viewed as a waste of time. I was immensely satisfied when I saw a couple teams that we practiced against field these setups in the actual AT and win some matches.

    The majority of our testing revolved around either the Bhaalgorn or what one would do given an armor logi ban (answer: bring the Bhaalgorn anyway if you want to win the match, but expect it to die). We initially developed a setup based on a Bhaalgorn + rail Astartes/Brutix Navies (3 BCs total), but eventually we did a series with Exodus with Astarte being banned and they fielded the quadruple Navy BC version that we ended up preferring so we copied a variant of that as our primary Bhaalgorn setup. Most counters to our Bhaalgorn setups revolved around risky plays involving Amarr-focused ECM, massive amounts of tracking disruption, or a shitload of neuting power (Afterlife/Vydra Armor Curses turned out to be pretty effective), all of which would be a big risk since they'd be completely useless against other setups that we had.

    We were relatively confident in our understanding of the meta, but also knowing that we'd missed things before in past tournaments and that anything was possible. We went into the tournament expecting that probably 50% of the teams in the tournament would have a FlagBhaal because of the point cost reduction, but hoping that teams in our bracket would not be among them. It turned out that nearly every one of our probable opponents apart from Waffles & PL had one, which ultimately altered our strategy considerably.


    Match 1: Waffles

    We generally take every opponent 100% seriously, so we tried to gather as much information as possible about Waffles. They had been relatively active during the TEST open practices so we had a vague idea of what their setup pool would look like. They also did not have a Bhaal as their flagship, which expanded options greatly.

    We initially planned to bring the Artillery/RLML/kiting kiting setup that we ended up bringing in the final match against PL, but that was de-railed when Waffles banned the Scimitar. I argued in favor of bringing the Fiend setup in hopes that people would ban it in future matches vs us. For all the attention it gets the Fiend was a ship that was way better on paper (or in EFT) than it actually was, except in somehwat niche situations, and we didn't foresee using it again in our upcoming matches as it is not at all useful against Bhaalgorn setups.

    When Sulei handed me the Fiend, my net worth in Eve increased by a sizable amount. Despite sitting in a >100B isk ship, and that week-1 matches are often scary as you have no idea what to expect, this was probably the least nervous I've ever been for an AT match. Waffles brought a 4-polarized-bomber + 6 hull-tanked BC/BS setup and we just plowed through it, sacrificing what people falsely believe to be our flagship Scorpion Navy in the process (funny video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pu7ZD4_AOKU).

    Eve NT commentators wondering why our Basilisk was dropping reps on our SNI. Well, that's because cap stability of logi fits was hit pretty hard by the RR rebalance, and virtually no matchup we'd tested anticipates that a Basilisk will be repping all-out on a single target for more than 5 minutes (it's usually killed or the outcome is decided before that). Latro had capped himself by continually repping the same target for so long.


    Match 2: Rote Kappelle

    This was our first of many opponents who had a Bhaalgorn as their flagship, which made us a bit nervous. We had initially hoped to keep the Bhaal + 4 BC setup hidden until at least the 2nd weekend but after Exodus used it to stomp Vydra we saw no reason to hold it back. I should note that this was the 2nd year in a row that Exodus were the first team to show was would end up being arguably the most important setup of the entire tournament; them having shown the dual cruise TFI + T3D/ECM core first within AT13.

    Our setup was essentially a pretty hard counter to the Rattlesnake/Sleipnir rush that Rote Kappelle brought, so the match was pretty one-sided.

    This was also the beginning of my personal battle with Time Warner Cable, which would last throughout the rest of the tournament. My DL speed was periodically slowing down to 0.1 mbps and my connection dropping. I was swapped out in this match for that reason.


    Match 3: Mercenary Coalition

    Our match with MC was on the same day, so we decided to bring the same setup again, expecting that they wouldn't be able to come up with a counter within a few hours. Leaving our Bhaal on the sideline was also viewed as too much of a risk since they also had a Bhaal as their flagship. It turns out that we under-estimated them somewhat. They banned only the Oneiros vs. us, so we expected Amarr-focused ECM and doubled-up on re-sebos on our purifiers. They brought what looked to be the beginnings of a counter to our setup, in the form of a double-Bhaalgorn (neuts), Scorpion (focused ecm), and double-Arbitrators (TDs), but ultimately didin't have enough DPS to kill anything we had, so we were never in real danger of losing. I was still having severe internet issues, so I went to a coffee shop with my laptop to help prepare and watch the stream.

    Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUZwBCDM0V8


    Match 4: Ronin (2nd Weekend)

    Another match, another team who had a flagship Bhaal. Ronin were the first team we faced who had demonstrated a willingness to use their flagship without T2 armor logi support. They had been running setups with a Bhaal + Blaster ships (Vindi, Astartes, Navy Megas), which was also a bit more of a risk for our Navy BC hulls. Although the Navy BC setup has pretty good overall DPS, in order to apply enough DPS to break through a Vindicator they'd have to load max DPS ammo and get dangerously close to Vindi web range. They were also loading 3200 cap boosters into their battleships, which meant that our Bhaal would be incapable of shutting off their DPS until they run completely out of cap boosters (which takes ~4 minutes, uncomfortably long).

    We instead banned Deacon + Thalia to force them towards their Vindi/Mega Navy/Bhaal setup, brought our Bhaal+TFI core with extra long-range webbing ships instead, warped in at long range and screened their battleships away while we burned through their Vindicator. Given enough time we broke the Vindi and caused the Navy Mega to run dry on cap boosters, after which the rest was cleanup. We were able to use the loot from their flagship to upgrade one of our Officer Noses on our own Bhaal.

    Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZgMJ1lHimg

    I had been bitching at Time Warner Cable on the phone all week, and they sent me a new modem. My connection had been solid all throughout the weekday, but again started fail me just minutes before the match. I was again on the sidelines, watching this match on the stream.


    Series 5: Afterlife (BO3)

    Other teams are not stupid; A lot of Bhaal flagships were still alive and once the Bhaal + Navy BC setup was shown many teams began to copy it. Afterlife had gone a step further, knocking Exodus down to the losers bracket by bringing a counter with double-Bhaalgorn with ECM.

    After reviewing bracket possibilities, the decision was made to preserve our Bhaalgorn at all costs, even if it meant being knocked down to the losers bracket. We banned armor logi and brought a cruise SNI setup that deserved to be left on our bench. Afterlife brought a very creative setup with Bhaalgorn + Paladins, probably the best use of Marauders in the entire tournament. We lost the match plus our Etana.

    Match 1 Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0kxGe3cdpo

    At this point we brought out one of the few non-Bhaal setups that had a chance in the matchup, with the added advantage of being a setup that Afterlife would likely have not practiced against it very much: our RLML kiting setup. We stacked Amarr ECM on our Kitsune, which more or less permajammed the opposing Paladins and we took the match plus the Afterlife flagship. This match included some major piloting errors on our part (with the Scimitar boundry violating), but at that point we were too far ahead for the outcome to be affected. We looted a Tobias Web from the wreck, which finally allowed us to upgrade our Bhaalgorn to it's full potential.

    Match 2 Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uMMTU_6qwE

    At this point we banned the Bhaalgorn + the Curse that they had shown in a previous match, and ran a triple RHML BS setup that also should have remained on our bench. However, at the moment Afterlife were clearly tilted by the 2nd match and brought the same setup with the Bhaal replaced with a TFI; a setup which couldn't win vs. much of anything. We headshotted their logi and rolled to a win from there.

    Match 3 Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2u8QJU1yeuo

    I should point out here that playing a BO3/BO5 series in the AT format is extremely difficult. The short turnaround time between matches massively increases the chance that one makes a poor decision in either bans or comp selection. This was the third BO3 series we've been involved in but only the first that we've actually won. I was happy we won the series, but still spent most of the next week reflecting upon our drafting and feeling that we ultimately played the series pretty poorly.

    On a more positive note, repeated complaints to Time Warner Cable had made them send a tech to my house, which fixed all my problems and boosted my speed by 5X so I was able to play again. Shockingly, their customer service was actually very pleasant to deal with throughout this ordeal.


    Series 6: Pandemic Legion (BO3), the final weekend

    PL had managed to make it through their bracket without showing much of anything, and without having to face off against any serious flagship Bhaalgorn setups. While looking at the series I began to regret that we had shown the RLML setup vs. Afterlife, as I felt it would have been a completely obvious pick vs. PL in this series otherwise. I posted on our leadership forum that I rated our chance of winning this series vs. PL as "very low" even with our perceived Bhaalgorn advantage, mostly because we had shown a larger amount of our setup pool in addition to our relative lack of experience in the BO3 format compared with them.

    At this point, the only other Bhaalgorn flagship left in the tournament was Volta's, so we again felt that it was a better strategic decision to preserve our Bhaal at all costs since the chance we'd win a subsequent BO3 in the loser's bracket was looking to be pretty high. Our internal testing had mostly revealed that it was extremely difficult to counter both our Bhaalgorn/BC setup (even with T1 logi) plus our RLML kiting setups with the same comp, so we decided to play to this advantage. Our hope was that PL would have more respect for the Bhaal setup and would place more emphasis on countering this than our RLML setup. The RLML comp was something that wasn't really ever used by anybody apart from us, and is much easier to fuck up in terms of execution, so we had some hope that PL would be more dismissive of it.

    In match 1 we banned the Oneiros to remove the high kinetic resist logi ship, while having some hope that PL would either expect us to default to an armor comp if the guardian were available, and/or bring some armor-based Bhaalgorn counter that goes all-in on Amarr ECM and tracking disruptors. In a way we sort of expected the 'old PL' to emerge at some point, who in the past seemed more than happy to play the RPS game and go all-in on countering specific setups. That of course never happened.

    PL ended up bringing one of the more interesting setups seen in the tournament: and armor railgun setup with an Adrestia, which was something that we would have never considered given that the Bhaalgorn-based versions seemed so much stronger to us. The resulting match was extremely close and probably both teams would say that we executed at below-average level. We continually had multiple ships ram into HIC-scram range of their Phobos, whereas since we had minimal tracking disruption in our setup they could have sniped our Jackdaws & Flycatcher immediately after our logi died which would have caused us to trade much less efficiently. PL ended the match with a boundary violation of their Phobos after a mis-guided MJD, which may have been funny to viewers on twitch, but didn't make a difference to the outcome since our remaining Cerb would have just chased and killed him anyway.

    Match 1 Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6hL5A0Aevc

    For match 2 we had planned in advance that we would just run our RLML setup a 2nd time regardless of PL bans. However we out-thought ourselves and brought the weaker version of the setup when T2 armor logi was open; something that we'd never do normally as the RLML setup has little chance of breaking an armor logi vs. a TFI core when 15 heavy rep drones are on it. I knew match was lost as soon as we landed on grid, and it didn't help that we were being continually jammed.

    Match 2 Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIOVgzX1lho

    For match 3 our lack of experience in the BO3 format showed again, as we felt it to be a bad idea to bring the same setup a third time even though it was open at it's full strength. We brought a 'kingslayer' triple RHML BS setup. Prior to the start of the series, we had discussed this particular setup and completely ruled out possibility of fielding it against PL at all; since in my view they had clearly demonstrated that they had prepared to fight against it during their match against NC., plus Exodus (who we again copied the final version of the setup from) had already shown the comp multiple times in their prior matches. However when you constrain yourself by not fielding the flag Bhaal, not bringing RLMLs again, and having minimal knowledge of your opponent's setup pool, there seemed to be few other options. In the match we failed to kill PL's Scimitar fast enough and lost the series.

    Match 3 Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBTx1hCSs8U

    Preparation for the final day:

    We spent a few hours talking about the next series, and then the rest of the EU-based leadership went to bed. I had more time to reflect upon our decision-making on the past two series, and so I re-organized all my spreadsheets that summarized our setups in way that would make comp selection quick and easy, rejecting a few setups in the process. I suppressed any thought that either Volta or PL would have a game-breaking setup that hadn't been shown to us yet.

    Series 7: Volta (BO3)

    I was extremely annoyed to have to face yet another series against yet another team who had a fucking flagship Bhaalgorn.

    Despite all my preparation, we ended up making a bad decision for Match 1. We banned out the TFI, which steered Volta away from a Bhaal+TFI that I think they would have preferred running, towards the Bhaal + Navy BC setup that was actually stronger. They also brought a kitsune fit with full Amarr jammers that helped decide the match for them, plus they had a double-plated Oneiros which made the logi trade more favorable for them. We also had a sub-optimally fit Bhaalgorn, and Volta played the match perfectly. The combination of all of these ultimately lost the match for us, and at about 5 minutes into the match we resigned ourselves to losing the Bhaalgorn and finishing 3rd.

    However, Suleiman was able to run from their BCs and preserve the flagship, which boosted morale of our team considerably.

    Match 1 Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqxoFpOpZ_Y

    In match 2 we did the same set of bans, doubled-up on re-sebos, and vowed to call any Kitsunes on the field as the first primary. Volta instead brought a Sleipnir rush setup which wouldn't have won vs. any of our Bhaal setups, so we managed to pick up our first win in the series here. Our execution was pretty terrible, as we prioritized keeping their SNI's smartbomb away from our logi, which instead left their Sleipnirs free to rush in and kill our logi. We also still had a gun-less Bhaalgorn, which made trading less efficient for us.

    Match 2 Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XexRuitBzwU

    In match 3, I finally came to my senses, we re-fit our Bhaalgorn, and we did what we should have done in match 1: we banned Blackbird + Malice to steer them towards their Bhaalgorn + RHML TFI based setup, while removing the strongest version of it by taking the Malice away. They brought this exact setup and we brought the BC version a third time. We just plowed through their comp as we had the setup advantage. Crisis averted, but a great series overall.

    Match 3 Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=421rmqcvuX4

    Series 8: Pandemic Legion (BO5)

    During my preparation, I was thinking of the Volta series to be the 'finals' for us, as I considered the possibility of beating PL in the grand finals to be very small. This was mostly due to inevitable fatigue we would experience due to having already played 3 matches before, plus the fact that PL still had only shown what we presumed to be a very small amount of their setup pool.

    Most people who have never had to grind through multiple BO3s would ever understand this, but at the start of the series I really didn't care much about the outcome of the grand finals. This was down to a combination of (1) mental fatigue from playing so many matches (2) physical fatigue from having had very little sleep in the previous 2 weeks and (3) satisfaction at having secured a place in the top 2, which guaranteed us enough prizes to be able to hand out AT ships to team members for the first time, and (4) Legitimately feeling we had nearly 0 chance to win the series anyway.

    Match 1 started, and the strategy I had proposed in the previous day basically dictated that we would bring our flagship until we lost it. We made sure to ban the Barghest, as we had done some small-scale internal testing that morning and felt their setup had a slight possibility of actually being able to win the match by nuking our T1 logi quickly. PL brought their SNI+Sleipnir setup and went straight for our Bhaalgorn. At this point it was pretty obvious that they were throwing the match in order to kill the Bhaal, as our own testing had mostly revealed that no setup can call the Bhaal as the first primary and subsequently hope to win the match and presumably PL knew this too.

    RIP: https://zkillboard.com/kill/56636791/. You were a good Bhaalgorn.

    Match 1 Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHXF1Im2Gf8

    In Match 2, the next setup in line was our dual-TFI comp, which wasn't particularly unique, but it was one that we hadn't been able to use yet. It didn't make a whole lot of sense for us to run this setup as long as our flagship was still alive. I was hoping for a TFI mirror that would at least come down to execution and ECM RNG luck. Shortly after the first match I asked Suleiman to ban the Malice + whatever and go with it. I believe we were mostly in agreement, but then Sulei went off and focused on preparing ships/implants or one of the other 1000 things he had to worry about.

    Several things went wrong at this point; we were much more rushed by CCP than we were originally led to believe, with bans coming almost immediately. At this moment I had technical issues with my headset, which meant I could not participate in the bans. We neglected to ban the Malice. Shortly after bans were done and before we had even decided on pilots for the ships, we were told by the GM that we were being teleported within 4 minutes. After rushing to get everyone into ships in time we also neglected to fit any Amarr ECM onto our Blackbirds to deal with a probable Malice. Result of the match was predictable. Fight must have been really easy from PL's point of view after such a huge set of misplays on our part.

    Match 2 Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWdUUidcNpg

    The strategy we had defined at this point dictated that we would start banning armor logi, and bring our Artillery Sleipnir + RLML kiting setup with ECM & GD support. This was my favorite setup, and one of the very first ones I posted in our theorycrafting forum after the rules release but it was one which was not at all viable for us to field in the tournament until now. The setup has absolutely 0 hope against any kind of flagship Bhaalgorn based setups, and is easily countered by even minimal unbonused tracking disruption directed onto the Sleipnirs. With our Bhaal being dead, this setup was next in line on my spreadsheet because I had guessed that PL would have no reason to fit TDs against us anymore, and thus the setup was relatively safe to bring.

    A lot has been said about Match 3 already, so I'll just summarize in bullet points:

    * There were server issues that caused people on both sides to DC
    * At the moment the problem hit, the match had just started and was far from being decided
    * The DCs unquestionably affected PL more than us (with them losing their logistics), and the DCs made it so PL had little hope of winning the match afterward
    * Comp matchup that was fielded is not clearly in favor of either team, at least not in my opinion. However the exact setup PL fielded was not one we'd ever tested against.

    I'm pretty confident our setup would win against the PL SNI + Sleipnir team, as that exact matchup or similar variations of it had been tested many times by us. The version PL fielded probably would be a bit better because of their aggressive warp-ins and the fact that we had a slight bias towards Caldari in our ECM mods (I believe it was 3c2m1a).

    At the time within the match, we knew we had DCs, and we saw the chatter from PL in local, but it was unclear to us exactly the extent of what was happening to PL's team. It was also unclear what the result would be, and so we just focused on playing it out, said our "gfs" in local and moved on, knowing that there would be at least 1 more match no matter what CCP decided to do about it.

    Match 3 Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8K43LiA_yMs

    Shortly after Match 3 Time Warner Cable struck again, knocking the internet out in my entire neighborhood for the next several hours. I had essentially no input into what happened in Match 4, but saw that Suleiman decided to bring the same setup again and we ended up taking it. I watched the stream on my phone and was immensely pleased at watching my favorite comp (and the one which was most unforgiving in terms of execution mistakes) come up against the best team in Eve and win the match.

    Match 4 Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4un_5IeXvo

    The Aftermath:

    People will certainly question whether our win is legitimate because of what happened in Match 3. What nobody can take away from us:

    * Discounting Match 3 we were 3-3 in total vs. PL, probably the best team in the game
    * We (plus Exodus, their influence cannot be overstated) came up with meta-defining setups in this AT that even PL missed.
    * Whatever we have accomplished we did ourselves. We built our team up from nothing and made it to the grand finals of the AT after 3 years.

    For me, that's good enough.

    Finally, we need to thank a few people. First, our main regular training partners: V0LTA, Exodus, and Vydra. We learned a lot from you guys, and hope that you also got a lot out of sparring with us. Second, CCP for taking the time to set all of this up and for putting on a great show. Special thanks are owed to Logibro for making Thunderdome available - it's a fantastic addition to the eve tournament scene, and I hope it will continue to be available for future ATs. Third, PL - while match three of the grand final was a shitshow, you guys were amazingly tough and capable opponents, and the six non-fucked fights we had were some of the most challenging and enjoyable I've ever had in Eve.

    See you next year.
    Last edited by Iddo_Cohaagen; October 20 2016 at 08:22:33 AM.

  2. #2

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    Good stuff, congratulations on the win again! You guys were dedicated to winning the entire thing and you pulled it out in the end

  3. #3
    Duckslayer's Avatar
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    posting of the highest calibre. Great to get a peak into the mindset of a champion
    My Attorney has advised me to remove my new signature until further notice...

  4. #4
    Koz Katral's Avatar
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    We definitely missed the Bhaal Navy BC thing so props for coming up with that. The double arty sleip/orthrus setup is actually nearly identical to one we had in our own lineup (and also really enjoyed flying), but I think much for the same reasons as you we had pushed it to the sidelines while we worked out how we were gonna deal with flag bhaal/bc spam.

  5. #5
    W0lf Crendraven's Avatar
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    Now that this AT is over will you be selling the whiptails, imps and fiends and i can i haz my isk pls? (ill just take an imp or a whiptail too if selling is to much bother )
    Last edited by W0lf Crendraven; October 19 2016 at 11:40:58 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by QuackBot View Post
    I see you have read nietzsche's little known work "beyond boobs and butts".

  6. #6
    Duckslayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by W0lf Crendraven View Post
    Now that this AT is over will you be selling the whiptails, imps and fiends and i can i haz my isk pls? (ill just take an imp or a whiptail too if selling is to much bother )
    your share went to mawderator for his commentary mate. Sorry
    My Attorney has advised me to remove my new signature until further notice...

  7. #7
    david32's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duckslayer View Post
    posting of the highest calibre. Great to get a peak into the mindset of a champion
    ( ͡Ĺ̯ ͡ )
    Lazarus for Mod!!!1


  8. #8

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    Great writeup! I think this AT unveiled the new love-hate relationship to replace the void Hydramel left behind and I look forward to facing you again next year.

  9. #9
    Donor Shiodome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by W0lf Crendraven View Post
    Now that this AT is over will you be selling the whiptails, imps and fiends and i can i haz my isk pls? (ill just take an imp or a whiptail too if selling is to much bother )
    we're sticking to the no payout to anyone policy

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucas Quaan View Post
    Great writeup! I think this AT unveiled the new love-hate relationship to replace the void Hydramel left behind and I look forward to facing you again next year.
    nope
    Last edited by Shiodome; October 19 2016 at 02:49:04 PM.

  10. #10

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    Very nice writeup. Thank you for putting the time into doing this. Congrats again, and cant wait for another shot at you guys next year

  11. #11
    Duckslayer's Avatar
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    are we not mentioning the role mawd played in match three then?
    My Attorney has advised me to remove my new signature until further notice...

  12. #12
    Sparkus Volundar's Avatar
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    Well played, Tuskers!
    Now I have a T2 gun. Ho, ho, ho.

    SHC '10 and proud.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duckslayer View Post
    are we not mentioning the role mawd played in match three then?
    I did what had to be done
    Quote Originally Posted by Daneel Trevize View Post
    P.S. mawd, are you actually korean, and do you even have T2 heavy or sentry drones yet?
    Do you think the R0nin don't know your SP deficiency? 1234

  14. #14
    Donor Lorkin Desal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virtuozzo
    The evolution of the meme. From shipspinning to meatspinning.

  15. #15
    Longdrinks's Avatar
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    Stared down PL untill they backed off

    https://zkillboard.com/character/195872744/ have a look to see all the fun im having in eve. If you arent having fun in eve you`re probably bad at eve. Please better yourself.

  16. #16
    Miriam Sasko's Avatar
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    Congratulations!

    So, for someone who has not followed the tournament this year: What happened at match 3?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longdrinks View Post
    Stared down PL untill they logged off
    My Attorney has advised me to remove my new signature until further notice...

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miriam Sasko View Post
    So, for someone who has not followed the tournament this year: What happened at match 3?
    Network problems caused multiple players on both teams to experience disconnections or severe module lag shortly after the match began, with PL being much more heavily affected.

  19. #19
    Suleiman Shouaa's Avatar
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    Hey, figured I would add a few words onto Iddo’s excellent AAR rather than making my own. Iddo’s covered all of the matches in great detail, so I’m not going to rehash that. Instead, I would like to focus on the team as a whole, as it seems that quite a few people are interested in what makes a successful team.

    Many people (including AT participants) say that you cannot win the AT (or even place highly) without having a huge team comprised of experienced tournament pilots, mountains of ISK and piles of AT ships. It's not true.

    On experience, the team is 3 years old (AT XII was the first AT we competed in) and therefore has only competed in 3 ATs, placing 4th, “joint 3rd / 4th” and 1st chronologically. The most experienced person in our team in terms of tournament play was me. My main experience in the AT was helping Hydra practice for AT XI or AT X. My contribution to their team was assessed as the second lowest (out of circa 35 people). Apart from that, we have never had an AT winner (or runner-up) in our team, let alone contributing to decision making or theorycrafting.

    On ISK, we started AT XII with a budget of 0 ISK and had to ask individual team members to donate ISK. After that, our tournament budget stood at approximately 80B, most of which was recouped and returned after the AT ended. Luckily, that was the year that CCP introduced SKIN prizes, with teams winning 10 SKINs per “series” they won (with a typical best of 1 match classified as a series). This meant that for every victory, you would earn about 30-40B. We ended up with about 70 skins and after giving some out to team members & contributors, we ended up with about 90B for our ATXIII tournament fund. By ATXIV, we managed to increase our fund to approximately 200B, of which we spend 180B buying ships, ammo & implants. This might sound like very quick progression, but the SKINS are so valuable that you really bolster your fund after a few victories, which most teams can pull off.

    On AT ships, in AT XII we won 3 Chameleons & Whiptails, which we ended up selling. In ATXIII, we also won 5 Fiends & 5 Imps. The Fiends we won were the first really competitive AT ships we acquired. For ATXIV, we only used two AT ships in actual matches – an Fiend vs. Waffles in our opening match (where we won 100-19 on points) and a Etana vs. Afterlife (where we lost 20-100). Neither of those matches were decided by fielding those AT ships. I guess you could consider our flagship a sort of AT ship (With a value of ~45B), however it’s worth noting that it started off much cheaper – the 2nd Tobias web was sourced by killing Afterlife’s flagship, who acquired it from Exodus and the nos from Ronin.

    In terms of what we did have that enabled us to win this year, in my mind it’s a few things, although it's worth noting that we're far from perfect.

    1. Continuity – Every year, the leadership (and most of the members actually) of the team mostly stayed the same. There were always a few departures & new arrivals as is the norm, but this meant that we did not have to start from scratch every year – we could build upon the previous year.

    2. Continuous improvement – Tied in with the above, every year the team improved significantly in gross terms. In AT XII, I reckon we deserved to place top 6 instead of 4th simply because I believe that Exodus was the stronger team and we were not good enough to challenge the top 3 teams in a BO3 (see matches vs. Nulli). In ATXIII, I felt that we deserved to place top 4 – still behind the top 2 teams but able to compete for 3rd. Alas, the brackets did not allow that and we had to fight Warlords twice in BO1s and they were clearly the better team on both occasions.

    3. Humility – Every team has to be ambitious, but it’s important to be humble even in defeat. If you excuse away your losses by making excuses such as “we only lost because the other team was just lucky picking that comp which completely hard counters our comp”, “we “we only lost because they were lucky our X burnt out his modules!” then you will never try to fix those issues.

    4. Grit – The AT is a gruelling schedule. You have to be ready for it, particularly towards the latter end of the tournament. The last day passed by in a blur for me – I honestly cannot remember exactly what happened between the 7 matches we had to play within those 4 hours. You have to be ready to bounce back and not just resign yourself to losing once you drop a match. We dropped our very first match on the last day and lost our flagship vs. our first match vs. PL and still ended up winning the entire tournament.

    5. Finally and most importantly, hard work. You cannot underestimate the amount of effort that goes into the AT – we started practicing in May for the AT, stepped it up in June once the rules were announced. That was 3 practices a week vs. other really good teams (Vydra, Exodus and Volta). I estimate that we spent about 2500 man hours practicing, with another 4000 hours spent on logistics, theorycrafting etc. For a team of 16 guys, that's pretty intense.

    To the other teams in the tournament, thanks for making this one of (if not the best) ATs. Special thanks to Exodus, Volta and Vydra for practicing with us for so long, we would not have won without those practices. I’m sorry that the bracket was unkind to some of you – you deserved to place higher. To PL, thanks for being such a great team and pushing us to our very limit and beyond. Honestly, I did not expect to win the AT and was expecting to place 2nd. It’s clear that you benefited from your ex-Warlords players. In the end, I think we were quite balanced against each other and that made for a great finals. I’m not happy about how Game 3 went down, so I look forward to a rematch next year, assuming I compete again.

    To the skeptics that said we couldn’t hope to challenge PL, that it was stupid to deliberately not pick up all the ex-Warlords / Camels pilots, that we would be hopelessly out-metaed, and that we were not a top tier team, thank you for driving us to prove you wrong. We won and we did it our way, without being Warlords MK III.

    Sulei

  20. #20

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    Wait wat?
    "This meant that for every victory, you would earn about 30-40B."
    The AT SKINs are worth that much? So CAS won 60 to 80 billion this past AT, in addition to the 15 PLEX for making into the best of 32?
    I had no idea.

    Placing 4th in your first AT two years ago is, in my opinion, really fucking amazing. Good job.

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