I am emotionally drained and a little drunk, so this blog post won't be one of my best. It may be one of my more honest though.
Why am I in this condition? Because I've just run the EVE Online Alliance Tournament gauntlet. Not as a competitor, nor as an organiser, not really even as a commentator (other than some Twitter and chat channel randomness). However, as a spectator, I was fully invested. A month of weekends, almost* every match.
Given EVE Online's complex socio-entertainment strands and internet devilry, the Alliance Tournament is not really an easy experience to quantify, especially after a bottle of
Together with five impressively knowledgeable and articulate fellas whom I let dictate my weekends through my computer monitor, I've taken a rollercoaster ride to equal any football World Cup, Superbowl or Olympic Games. It's simply a matter of investment and - as much as it chagrins me that I may have picked the phrase up from doing too many Mittani impersonations - these are my people. I couldn't give a crap about football, that weird thing Americans have done with rugby or even the upcoming London Olympics. But I do respect the time, effort and dedication that my fellow internet spaceship nerds have put into organising and competing in the EVE Online Alliance Tournament.
The Alliance Tournament is the premiere internet sports event with something to appeal to everyone from chess enthusiasts, to psychologists, to sporting purists. There is no doubt in my mind that I have just witnessed excellence on many levels; the set design, the organisation and preparation, some frankly superb camera work with sub-par tools and some really entertaining brilliance from the competing alliances.
But if you're looking for a studious and learned breakdown of matches, go somewhere else, this is Freebooted, I'm no good at "serious". What I really want to do is honour the five excellent "experts" who have shared their wisdom with us for the past few weekends. And by honour, I mean ridicule in a warm and friendly manner.
Let's look at the guys who were sent out to Iceland to explain to us what the hell was going on.
Lazarus Telraven (@Laztel)
|Lazarus Telraven clone, CCP TorfiFrans|
Special ATX Skill: "Knowledge" - he delivered the true pronunciation of "Sleipnir" - SLAYP-neer.
|Zastrow clone, Peewee Herman|
Erudite and affable, Zastrow is perhaps the most refined of the the EVE experts. His apparent humility and gentle humour set him poles apart from his evil Goon twin, The Mittani. Primary distributor of "Purple Dong" medals, Zastrow is apparently the soft centre of Goonswarm but a knowledgeable and articulate commentator.
Special ATX Skill: Power-drill juggling.
Michael Bolton III (@MichaelBoltonII)
|Michael Bolton III clone, Rudyard Kipling|
Special ATX Skill: That moustache, especially with CCP Affinity's modifications in the final matches.
|Kil2 clone, actor Zachary Quinto|
Special ATX Skill: Bringing the art of silent comedy into the 21st Century by saying nothing but telling everything in the presence of MBIII.
|Raivi clone, Deep Blue|
Special ATX skill: EVE omniscience.
Thanks fellas, you all did a superb job of making the details entertaining and transparent to the layman. The community owes you beer (but I'm hoping CCP are picking up the tab).
And congratulations to the surprise winners and first-time ATX champions, Verge of Collapse - proving that the key to success is to punch harder than the other guy.
(*as a married man, compromises must be made)