Month: March 2017

120 seconds with – The Other Team

Major League veterans and now 2 time season winners, The Other Team have sat down with us to an extended interview. The Championship still has one week to play, but no one can threaten their position. We were joined by renowned Team Captain Hoodie Mafia.

Congratulations! How does it feel to be the winners of your second EVE_NT Major League Championship?

We worked really hard this season and invested a lot of time into it, so it feels awesome to know that it was time well spent. I think everyone on the team is very happy with it

What do you feel was your biggest theorycrafting challenge in the whole tournament?

Re-discovering the meta after the changes Bei made to the fits and the inclusion of the links to the tournament. We sort of picked it up where we left last season but quickly realised things were very different and that even small fitting changes can have a huge impact on how you ban effectively.

 

Other than that it was to attempt to stay 1 step ahead of our opponents, and having to test what felt like endless possibilities to figure out what our opponents were going to do

Bei Artjay said you were practicing 3-4 times a week but we all know he believes anything anyone tells him. How many times did you really practice?

We practiced 2 times per week vs teams from the Minors and Major league, we have a rather small team that is split between EU and US timezone so weekday practices are normally out of the question for us. We did hold regular theorycrafting sessions when the time zones allowed it

How often have you won as being Red team?

After our 6th game we are evenly split 3 red 3 blue, so that gives us 3 red wins. We did pick blue whenever given the opportunity though, since we felt that blue is a bit easier to do and requires less banning preparation. In the end we felt that the color we got should not impact our match results, and it didn’t

Do you guys participate in any other eSports and how do you feel the formats compare?

All of us have had some Alliance Tournament experience, and some are AT veterans. Compared to the AT this format is easier get into and requires less time commitment, but allows for a greater level of control through piloting due to being limited to 5 people.

Both tournaments reward practice and dedication, and we feel that they work perfectly next to each other

This seasons main prize is the IGC skin for the Raven. What ship hull would you like to see in the IGC Skin next season?

The Hyperion for sure

Do you have a system for distributing the prizes among your very small team?

Everyone that makes it on the team gets whatever they put into it, we don’t look at how many matches a pilot has played in but rather how many training sessions he attended and how much he has contributed to theorycrafting. This ensures that if you commit a lot of time to it you will get rewarded for it, even if you weren’t picked to fly in some matches

Just how ISK rich have you (guys) become through playing exclusively in eSports related activities?

We aren’t into the tournament scene for the ISK, but for the thrill of winning and overcoming challenges. Most importantly we simply very much enjoy the balanced field pvp in eve where player skill and teamwork makes a massive difference

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The reward is certainly nice though, and some of us have been able to afford some more luxurious things by selling the prizes

What has been your favorite hull from the tournament so far, and are there any that you would change?

It has to be the Ferox, and I don’t think that surprises anyone. We feel that the Ferox is the ultimate Battlecruiser in terms of dps, projection and tank. On top of that it is the only viable skirmish link ship and still has some tackle fitted to deal with small pesky ships or hold something down.

 

We think pretty much all of the fitting decisions were great because it forced you to think in terms of what the ship and the given fitting can do. You might see the Armageddon as a very dominant ship but fitting restrictions might make it less ideal and you have to look at other ships that are tailored for the job

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If we were to change anything it would be the banning order, some ships and ship classes saw (nearly) no play because they are underwhelming compared to their counterparts. Examples of this are dps cruiser vs logi cruiser or AB frigate vs ewar frigate (except the Griffin).

Changing the ban order allows these to be used as counter picks and would allow for even more theorycrafting

Looking ahead to your final match, one must assume you won’t fall at the final hurdle, and will remain undefeated this season. Phalanx have not had a good run of luck lately. How certain of victory are you?

We try not to underestimate any opponent, mistakes are made easily and what looks like an easy win can become a quick defeat if you get too cocky.

Our closest game so far has been vs Provi-ShotZ which statistically is not the strongest team in the league. We underestimated the Kestrel and while it might not have looked that close on the stream we nearly lost due to our Rokh being pinned down by it. Luckily for us we were able to recover and take out their Tempest instead
So while I think we are clearly the favorites and we think we can win we will give Phalanx the respect they deserve.

If we still had EVE-BET what kind of odds would you get on your victory?

Eve-bet we miss you!
We think taking eve-bet away was a huge viewer and prestige loss for anyone participating on these tournaments. Its a shame theres not even an alternative presented by ccp after taking a whole style of game away from us

What do you think of the Exodunks claim they will win so hard this weekend they’ll win both leagues? (link citation)

You can’t say those things and then lose a match right after, at least go 7-0 in the Minor leagues before you make any statements like that.

 

But really we know they were trolling. We welcome them to the next Major league season and let’s find out how good they really are. Playtime is over

Through this whole season you have only gave up 9 ship points. Which ship in your team has the most kill marks? (Screenshots or it didn’t happen)

The Rokh Tzuko1 flew 3 matches with – 9 Killmarks 3 per match!

Is there anyone you would like to give a shout-out to for any reason?

The EVE_NT staff and in particular Bei Artjay for designing and hosting an amazing tournament
Shout-out to the color red, we feel red has been getting bashed on by everyone for no good reason and we sympathize with it

Stats Blog 3rd Quarter

We will start the Q3 blog with a guest graph, provided for us this week by LL Anum, captain of the Power Ducks team. Here we see the improvement of the Lazerhawks team across the first three quarters of the Minor League Championship. From a difficult start against NT Cup champions Nasty Boyz and Minor League leaders Exodunks they have shown an improvement in form, taking a crucial win against Footwork. Most recently there was a huge upset in the battle of animal teams as the Fusion Pigeons defeated Sudden Otters.

Looking forward this climb in win rate can be extrapolated to a 150% rate in Q4 of this season. If Uber Kestrels do in fact win 3 of their upcoming 2 games; we will have a very interesting table indeed with them even challenging for the top spot if all 3 are dominating victories. This would be scary for teams such as Clevergirls and The Other Team who, though they look to be strong competitors into next year’s Major Leagues, won’t be able to compete with up to 80 points that the Torchlight Buzzards could get out of 28 that are available to most teams.

 

On the other hand, extrapolation is like the arena boundary, there are some merits to flirting with it, but jumping in head long is a danger that the Hyper Geese should know all too well.

 

So to depart from the realms of fantasy and return to the realms of analysis. We will start this week with an ever present but generally less and less surprising graph. Armour is still more successful than shield, shield a little more popular, frigate logi hit and miss and no logi means little success.

So how about we mix things up a little here and look at side popularity for the two main meta styles.

Though initially quite mucky this graph shows some interesting points. One of the interesting ones is the zagzag property of it. This is reflected in the comparison of picks between the minors and majors overall, pointing to distinct priorities within their own drafting metas. This can be broken down more clearly below.

Okay, the word clearly may have been optimistic here. This graph shows the meta choices in given scenarios. Divided between Red on the left, Blue on the right, Minors on the top and Majors on the bottom the quadrants break down the metas played. Here you can see the distinction between Majors and Minors fairly clearly.

 

In the Majors we see a strong tendency towards Blue shield and Red armour. In the Minor’s this gets flipped with Blue choosing more often to go Armour and Red taking shield. Though we see some variation in Blue picks with shield still making up a fair number of their picks the Minor Red side doesn’t vary onto armour often, taking it less frequently than either frigate logistics or logiless compositions.

 

We also see that frigate logi has never been taken on the Blue side of the draft. Despite the fact no logi compositions have been. These are a little anomalous however. With the Major League example being taken by The Charlatans after their draft was sadly derailed by connection issues. The Minor League example was an interesting no holds barred match between Footwork and Make Amarr Great Again, in which no form of logistics was picked. And interesting look at what eve tournaments might be.

 

Returning to the chronology of it all however you see two growing trends across the season. Blue shield and Red armour. This has been a fairly constant thing in the Major League, and something we can expect to see in the finals for sure, but both have been growing in popularity in the Minors. In fact only in Q3 have we seen a Minor League team get an armour composition on red side. Plasma Falcons in their aforementioned victory over Sudden Otters and Exodunks in their dominating victory over Footwork.

 

Inevitably this had lead to declines in Blue armour picks as >95% of Blue side compositions include logistics so there is little neutral ground between the shield and armour camps.

 

Returning to the subject of extrapolation there is one piece of extrapolation that I feel I can safely make. The Other Team will continued to the end of the season undefeated. So far undefeated, though more bloodied in their latest 15-4 victory over second place Clevergirls than in any match so far. Having secured the victory the final match in securing this incredible season will be against Phalanx, a team that has so far been unable to pick up victory.

 

The Other Team’s undefeated reign is hard to pin on anything in particular, if only because in a record with no losses there is a lack of contrast with which to find what they have been doing well. Splitting their matches into red and blue side matches however gives lead to something we can analyse:

 

Thrasher, Osprey, Ferox, Rohk, Every, Single, Match, (Nearly).

Typically an AB frigate will be added to this. And this is the only team we’ve seen go so far in their faith in this little sub-class of ships as to pick the Kestrel when Team Pretty picked the more favoured Slasher away. Together this provides an incredibly strong team, with the support wing mixing survivability with decent highly applicable damage, and a top end that synergizes with its core to put damage where it’s needed.

 

However we also see adaptability. Against V0LTA the Rokh is overlooked for a Typhoon, whose huge long range damage allowed them to instantly attack the weak link of a shield tanked Dominix at the top end of the armour composition V0LTA drafted. The choice of the Typhoon here allowing them to apply pressure to a long range ship that would have been able to avoid the point blank damage of a Rokh.

 

On Red side their play has been more interesting to look at. Though a match against Provi-Shotz saw them take shield it was a compromised version of their blue side standard. This involved giving up the Ferox to their own bans and the Thrasher to Provi-Shotz picks, though getting their critical Osprey logi due to a more open banning phase by Provi-Shotz.

 

Typically however they’re forced into armour by the standard Blue side double logi bans and shield preference. Here we’ve seen them damage control in their draft and produce solid armour meta compositions, including the now classical drone boat destroyer and battlecruiser picks. We also saw them throw a considerable curveball against The Charlatans, with an effectively used Griffin pick.

 

We see them placing greater value on the Ferox than many other teams, always banning it when red and always picking it when blue. I believe this speaks to the priorities of the team. While the Ferox is no longer the dominant force that is was, having dropped to a 55% win rate, it is the only valid skirmish link platform by many accounts. In that it brings the ability to enhance benefits of piloting well, by improving damage mitigation and allowing better control of positioning.

 

By controlling this Ferox pick The Other Team solidify their goals for each match, to out-pilot their opponents. And with an undefeated record, and the Championship in their pocket, it’s hard to argue they aren’t the team to do it. Drafting a solid team in each of their matches they ensure that are at least not disadvantaged and take what advantages they can and allow skill to bring them the victory. As such their drafts are rarely anything spectacular but their matches often are.

 

In recent weeks we’ve seen Red side securing more victories and gone are the weeks of 5-2 and 6-1 biases for Blue side. A key factor in this has been an understanding of the Meta for teams. Early on the Blue side power of first picking the Logistics cruiser and Battlecruiser allowed them to control the top end of an unrefined game space in the draft. With both of these being crucial to defining a composition, if a team ends up being without the picks they want here and lacks good substitutes, they’d be at a significant disadvantage, as Red side often found themselves in early weeks.  

As we’ve seen the Championships progress we’ve seen the Red side become more versatile, but by no means less effective than Blue. Frigate logi, still picked exclusively from the Red side has given them options to move around the double logi bans Blue side so often throws out. A better understanding of power picks has refined their banning away from the pure armour battleship bans of early weeks. Though the void between the sides still exists in the Minors where over 60% of matches go to the Blue side; in the Majors there isn’t even a 5% margin between them. Shown in the chart earlier the Red side in the Minors is the most varied between the metas, inevitably this causes them problems, especially a large number of drafts taking the unsuccessful no logi comps.

 

You can pin this lack of adaptability in the Minor League to a single stat potentially. The number of unique ships which each team has picked is nearly 20% higher in the Major League. The ability to adapt a composition as required and not lean on specific picks match to match is a strong one. Even in the Minors, comparing the top 4 teams to the bottom 4 teams reveals a 10% difference in the number of unique picks.

 

Though of course a factor which would have diminishing returns, being able to comfortably use a variety of ships and compositions gives you the tools to take advantages in the draft or at least mitigate damage. This should of course be taken with a pinch of salt as teams will have trained compositions and options they have not played.

 

With that in mind a few interesting statistics, especially so late in the season, do emerge. Sadly in the last week Team Johnny have lost not just a match to Clevergirls but also the title of most varied team. Clevergirls have overtaken them and have now played more than 30% of the available ships for the format.

 

At the other end of the spectrum Team Pretty and Make Amarr Great Again have never played a shield based composition. In fact Make Amarr great Again have only picked 12 different ships throughout the Championship, 30% down on the overall average of 17.5. Impressively true to their name they have suck to just one Amarr frigate for the entire championship: the Punisher.

 

On a bittersweet note the compromised draft by The Charlatans did produce the most unique single draft of the tournament with 4 unique picks. Only by having picked the Talos in the Battlecruiser slot could it have been made an utterly unique team.

With the Finals ahead of us we could see the most volatile week yet in terms of drafting with teams throwing out hail marys. Or, with so much data to draw on, we could see some of the most calculated and optimized drafts yet. Personally I hope to see teams focus on what they are comfortable with to try and maximise their capacity to out-pilot opponents.  But this is EVE and min-maxing is what we do, so we can expect nothing less here, I’m sure. With everyone from Exodunks to the Tesla Coil Owls fighting for position in the Minors and Cleversgirls through to Team Pretty still battling for it in the Majors there is a lot on the line.

60 seconds with – Make Amarr Great Again

The team that memes well, Make Amarr Great Again spared some time to answer some questions. Team Captain aria Yatolila joined by THE WHOLE TEAM – took some time to meme the crap out of this.

Let’s start with the obvious, tell us about yourself and that team logo? Why?

It took us two hours to debate about this answer, we wrote a story, deleted it and argued in a constructive way that only the TEST local can match, simply the Logo was just a collaborative event and we didn’t give much thought to it, we are the former Khanid Champion team from the Amarr Championship, we fought under the banner of WL for the AT and made MAGA for the Tyrian trophy and now EVE_NT. As for the logo I first made a brick with lasers, I added 1600 plate with sexy hair, but something was missing, then along on the discussion, suddenly an idea, “What If we Add Chessur ?”, there is no real explanation to these, the answer was “Just let it happen”. I put chessur, and the magic happen, it worked, it lives, what else than Chessur can make Amarr great again ? Only God know.

Your next 2 matches are against Nasty Boyz (EVE_NT Cup winners) and Sudden Otters (2nd in Minor League table). How do you plan to beat these teams?

We have been studying the mysterious ways of the HML bellicose and believe in the power of bringing the shittiest cruiser in the tournament. In case of a ((((specific)))) HML meta 4 bellicose ban against us, The vigil should be good enough.

Where do you see yourselves finishing this season?

Feeding does not allow to lose points so I know that reaching the bottom will be very difficult.

Do you guys compete in any other eSports and if so how do the formats compare (the RvB Tyrion Trophy)?

We have a Dota team but we don’t win due to teammates feeders, In regards to EVE we memed the whole RvB Tyrian trophy with full Amarr comps and got defeated only once by a mirror.

The AT was only esport when you could bring unlimited amount of AT ship on field.

On a more serious note we wrote a full AAR with video about the Tyrian trophy which is available on reddit, in short, not having access to battleship and being more a cruiser size tournament is very different with different tactics, but I feel that it was more easy to fly full dps comp for example. (reddit post at bottom of page)

Your team has made use of hulls outside the Amarr option available, but what has been your favourite non-Amarr hull this season?

This is a pretty difficult question here, a lot of non Amarr hull are very strong, Hyperion, Ferox or Exequror to just name a few of them, but i think ultimately that the Bouncer I is the strongest one across the available ship, including the Amarr one.

Would you change anything about the format of the championship?

The Amarr championship was a great example of why allowing racial ecm in a single race tournament was a healthy metagame, EVE_NT should take example from the whole first week of this event by only allowing Amarr hull with at least two racial jammer being used on each ship. An alternative would be to allow only exclusive (aka AT) ship to be fielded, but they can be only fitted with meta 1, 2, and 3.

Is there anyone you would like to give a shout-out to for any reason?

Shoutout to gorski car who is the best captain and CSM having done neither for the past 2 years.

 

To Damassys Kadesh for being unable to use anything else than lasers and Missiles afters playing for 10 years.

 

The slackbot for messaging in general a bunch of meme each time I wrote “Chessur”

 

slackbot Custom Response [13:37 PM] I was mining veldspar in an apocalypse when Chessur came into the belt, flying his Scorch XL Nano Fitted with a 50000 MN Microwarpdrive II, I tried to escape but he tackled me by the force of his will, I fought back but his piloting skills were too high tiers for me, my Miners II weren’t able to hit him at all – highest tiers piloting. I was doomed to face my destiny of being ganked by the sexiest Meme alive when I remembered my Caldari legacy, I dropped my EC-666, It was very close because they are slow and clumsy, except the one who have his 1600 plate offline, once they were at 200 km from the fight, they uncloaked and jammed Chessur unsuccessfully unlike the Exodus’s Griffin, then CHessur had a Socket closed.

Then as I was warping away, I noticed that I had – 0 hull points left, and CCP Round() appeared in a flash and told the truth, that to bring Miner II online requires 9 power units, but only 11 of the 13,37 units that your power core produces are still available.

He Also told me It was only a dream. I suddenly wake up in the bed.
My beautiful Chessur turns to me in bed and kisses me… his cute smile fills me with happiness… Chessur holds me close as he whispers in my ear, “You know this isn’t real, you’re just a slackbot, you aren’t even real.” “You’re the highest tier pilot.” I keep mumbling…

RvB Tyrian Trophy AAR/VID – Make Amarr Great Again POV from Eve

60 seconds with – Power Ducks

We caught up with Power Ducks captain LL Anum before they enter the final weekend of the Minor League, and play their last 2 matches this season. Sitting just off the bottom of the league table, they can still cause upsets in the final standings.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your team name?

Our team is made up of pilots from Lazerhawks, with the team name being a parody of our corp name. We very nearly went with Anum’s Angles but my ego just isn’t there yet.

As a new team to the Championship your team earned their place here by participating in the EVE_NT Cup. If things stay as they are, would your team enter another EVE_NT Cup to qualify for next season?

Definitely. We’ve been enjoying it so far and I feel like minor league is a good place for a new team such as ourselves.

Your team recently played and beat 2nd in the league, Sudden Otters, in quite convincing fashion. A strong team that had only previously lost to Exodunks. What did you do to prepare for this match?

Lots of practice, and a little meta gaming. With one of each logi banned, the blue team (Otters) can lock red team (Ducks) out of the preferred logi since they have first cruiser pick. This basically forces red team to have an off-tank frigate pick or fly a logiless team. We had practiced and theory-crafted against this kind of play, so I was pretty sure how the rest of the picks and bans would go as soon as Otters used their first ban on a logi cruiser. By picking slasher we feigned a shield team, encouraging Otters to commit to a shield team and take the osprey, allowing us to take an armour team, which we feel is stronger.

One more week to go, and 2 more matches – Offline and Templis – where do you expect to finish in the league table?

I don’t claim to be an expert statistician but I think the numbers speak for themselves:

Following the current trend, I can say with confidence that we will win 150% of our next matches. This would probably put us into the top 4 and dump us into a very grueling major league.

Can you see yourselves winning any dominations in these last 2 matches?

Totes.

Your team has made use of nearly your entire roster, with 2 players having played more matches than yourself (some of the player roster data includes the EVE_NT Cup matches). Will you continue this trend or have you got a core set of pilots now?

I live in Australia so matches are very early on a Monday morning, making it a challenge to attend without throwing RL into the dumpster. We definitely have a reliable core of pilots on the team, but we cycle in other players who are well practiced for certain roles.

Is there anyone you would like to give a shout out to for any reason?

Massive shout out to all the EVE_NT staff for running a really good competition. There’s a ton of work that goes into tournaments and it’s awesome to see players do it for our enjoyment. CCP have also been awesome. Logibro has been great sorting out the Thunderdome server for us, as well as the CCP art guys for designing some bitchin’ IGC skins.

60 seconds with – Clevergirls

Arguably one of the best teams participating in the EVE_NT Championships, Clevergirls team Captain Catatonic Dawn requested graciously to be the next team to complete this interview. We shooed the rest of the teams out of the way to come up with some clever questions. He is joined by his co-captain Taston Thorne.

Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your team name?

We started as a group that did small-gang in Horde and were big fans of the AT and Collides. Fight Club was our entrance onto the EVE e-sports scene and we’ve taken it from there. We’re honoured to be counted amongst the best competitive teams active in EVE_NT at the moment.

 

 

The team name came from the Horde evac of Cloud Ring. Midway through the State of the Goonion, with Horde halfway to our new home already, Mittens was informed we’d salted the earth on our way out by switching our vulnerability window to AUTZ. All he could say was “Clever girls”, as close to a thousand CFC pilots sat and twiddled their thumbs in our staging with nothing to reinforce. It became a Horde meme, all but lost now.

Your team were on a massive win streak of 6 games, and The Charlatans ended that run last week. Your response in your next match was to come out and dominate. Was morale an issue at all in this situation?

We’ve a history of starting badly and coming out ahead (lost our first match in both Fightclub and the previous season), so we don’t let this get us down. This is our strongest start in a season so we’re pretty happy.

Are The Charlatans now off your Christmas card list?

Nah. Jose and the rest of the team have been super strong in scrims beating us more often than not; they deserved the win.

Your team seems to have more technical/difficult matches when it comes to underdog teams. Do you take these games more recklessly, or do you experiment with the meta in these matches?

Not at all, experimentation is for practices. Charlatans may have looked like an underdog but they’ve been kicking us around Thunderdome in scrims and we knew that was going to be one of our hardest matches. We try and bring our A-game for every match.

Perhaps showing some bias here, your team logo is very good. Is there a story behind the new team logo?

We felt we needed to polish our image and it was overdue an update. Our old logo was based on that of Pandemic Horde, which despite having been where we all met is no longer our defining factor. The team includes pilots from Waffles, PL, Bikini Bottom Ultras and Mouth Trumpet Cavalry. At the time an artist named Ahmad Keramat had been putting out some impressive artwork on r/eve, so we put our heads together and after a few drafts we settled on the current logo, which we like to think personifies our attitude and dedication to the EVE-sport scene. There’s still a nod to our origins on the helmet.

Of all the teams in the EVE_NT Arena, you have used the fewest players from your roster – it is almost always the same pilots participating – do you think this contributes to your success rate?

Yes, I think so. This is the third season we’ve played with the same starting five. Having experience flying together in this tournament format works in our favour. The five of us click together and each of us know where we need to be, and when we need to be there.

How do you guys work out the fair share of the prizes that your team expect to get?

Skins are distributed between the full roster, based on how many scrims they attend. We scrim regularly, sometimes 2-3 times a week. The majority of the roster attend some or all of these. The amount of time spent practicing goes a long way to how well we do, so this rewards those who are consistently showing up.

What are your favourite ship hulls and least favourite from this seasons available hulls?

Favourite hulls are definitely those we won fight club with: Apocalypse, Oracle, Exequror, Algos, Punisher. Ask again after this season is over and we might tell you our least favourite.

Would you like to see any new hulls in future Championships?

We don’t think so. We have been enjoying the format as it currently is and can’t see any additional hulls improving this, given the balancing challenges it already presents.

Is there anyone you would like to give a shout-out to for any reason?

Shout out to the half of our roster that doesn’t play in the matches. Their dedication is the reason we’re able to scrim as frequently as we do.