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Four months of grueling Thunderdome training have finally brought us victory. On the occasion of its tenth anniversary, Fraternity achieved 1st in the 19th EVE Alliance Tournament (AT XIX), becoming the first Chinese team to win an AT championship. From the Feeder rounds to the grand finals, we proceeded cautiously in each match. Even though we just struggled to push our limits to the fullest and played a little bit better than the opposing teams, we exemplified the principle that hard work pays off. This series of victories isn’t just luck but rather results from the concerted efforts of the entire team. In all, it was a summer extravaganza for the entire team, as well as an unforgettable memory.
For small gang players, the holy grail in EVE Online must be the Alliance Tournament Championship, which represents the highest honor in EVE PVP. From the very beginning, the founding members of our team often joked with each other, imagining what it would be like to participate in the AT, secure a position, obtain AT ships, and even make it to the grand finals. Naturally, there were secret daydreams in the back of our minds about what would happen if we could get the title. Thus, from the time we joined Fraternity (FRT) and engaged in home defense activities in Vale, our intention to participate in EVE tournaments grew stronger. Following our victory in the Summer Tournament (CN timezone 10v10) in the summer of 2021, we were always looking for a broader platform. Therefore, we (Fubuki Waifu, Alternative Muv-Luv, Remeleen) joined a Chinese small-gang alliance, Esports Petopia (F1 Monkey), roamed together, participated in AG6, and of course, AT18.
People who watched AT18 last year may know that we suffered a crushing defeat with a 0-2. Several of our teammates felt extremely dissatisfied after those matches. So after AT18 we returned to FRT and decided to start looking for teammates to participate in AT19 under FRT’s name. We believed that with our tournament experience and connections, we could build the right team with our own style. After successfully recruiting current FRT members like DarKdeZ Ever, Coppercn, Kalek Astroth, and jimzzz, we were confident to participate in the Captain’s Cup in Spring 2023. Of course, this article serves as a summary of AT and will not delve into the Captain’s Cup extensively. However, it was the surprising outcome that we, “My bastion mode is all green ABYSSALED”, a team with most of the members from FRT, achieved a fourth-place, which solidified our determination to form the AT19 team from this core group. We set clear criteria for new members and adjusted them through scrims, so that the names on the final roster are all recognized and trusted comrades. Following the Captain’s Cup, we successfully recruited Garveen Airuta and Dan Hua, former teammates from the ST, and Funny RUA from a friend’s reference. A complete team was taking shape.
After F1 and PMA teams decided not to participate this year, players who still wished to participate in the AT found their way into four different teams. Among those players, Sarion Ikaruga, and Chess Player from the Esports Petopia team, Ermily Erata from PMA, and Casimir Exusiai who was the former captain of the PMA team decided to join us. In addition to that, Zigeng Z from D-Line also got invited. Finally, we have DarKdeZ Ever, who is also from D-Line. These new members are the real pvpers among those few Chinese players who have experience in major tournaments.
As a Chinese team suffering from time zone issues, we could only scrim with Asian teams on weekdays, who are: Platinum Sensitivity, a Japanese team with a lot of AT experience, and Dracarys, a Chinese team that was participating in the AT for the first time. We are extremely grateful to these two teams who have been practicing with us!
We also managed to scrim with teams from the EU and NA time zones. Sid, the captain of the barcode team we scrimmed during the Captain’s Cup, had invited us. His team has many experienced AT veterans and former Hydra members. Throughout a couple of scrims we had with them, we gained a lot of valuable insights. Scrimming against strong teams has always been the fastest way to grow stronger.
Based on our experience from last year and our own understanding, we decided to choose our flagship among Barghest, Vindicator, and Armageddon Navy Issue. We would now like to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each ship.
- Barghest: The strength of flagship Barghest has been undeniable since the previous year. It can be used in many forms of kite comp as the irreplaceable source of shield tank missile DPS, as well as the essential tackle/DPS in armor control comps. The most significant asset lies in its versatility to be present in both shield and armor comps, therefore difficult to counter. For us, who excel in armor control comps, this ship initially seemed to be the most suitable flagship choice. However, a series of tests during scrims eventually made us abandon this idea. Barghest’s major drawback is its half-minute reload time. This kind of “burst of firepower” makes it challenging to fly this ship in a non-EWAR armor comp, especially against long-range fire projection comps with T2 logistics cruisers and various rush comps. Winning against such comps hinges on keeping the backline (logis, EWAR ship, etc.) alive while exerting continuous pressure on the opponent’s logistics and quickly eliminating high DPS flanks like fragile cruisers or battlecruisers through friendly EWAR support. This reload issue prevents Barghest from exerting consistent pressure on enemy ships, which may lead to a situation when the ship being targeted can survive at crucial moments. Thus, we decided not to use Barghest as our flagship.
- Vindicator: The primary advantage of the flagship Vindicator lies in its officer web with a range of up to 33 km, granting it the most powerful level control among all battleships in the game. The true strength of the flagship Vindicator was not fully demonstrated last year. In a match between Lock Range Enjoyer (Grunt Kado’s team) and THL, both sides deployed BWAR comps with the only difference being that one side used a flagship Barghest and the other used a flagship Vindicator. Ultimately, THL’s flagship Barghest scrammed the flagship Vindicator for several minutes, snowballing this advantage, eliminating the opponent’s flanks, and finally securing a victory. This led to a “consensus” that Vindicator is less effective in armor comps compared to the Barghest, and it is nearly unusable in shield comps. The disadvantages of only being able to engage what is being tackled and struggling to hit those far away strongly limit Vindicator, and this is why most teams ended up choosing flagship Barghest over the Vindicator.However, we are an efficiency-focused team, and tactics involving continuous pressure are our preferred strategy. Many of our subsequent armor comps were designed based on Vindicator’s strengths (we don’t particularly favor kiting comps either), such as its ability to kill enemy ships even against T1 logistics cruisers and consume the full HPS of T2 logistics cruisers. Vindicator’s primary, and probably the only drawback is its short firing range. Being only capable of pouring damage to targets it tackles, it is very difficult to quickly switch to targets tackled by teammates. However, if one can accept this limitation, then the flagship Vindicator has very few significant weaknesses.
- Armageddon Navy Issue: This ship was the second most popular flagship choice this year, largely due to its recent buff and neut capabilities. With deadspace/officer neuts, Navy Geddon can neut up to 60-70km, exceeding the optimal ranges of all logistics cruisers. This implies that all logistics cruisers, as long as they decide to repair in optimal ranges, will inevitably suffer from these heavy neuts. Additionally, the missile bonus is the same 10% damage bonus as the Barghest’s, and when combined with drones, Navy Geddon can achieve a formidable DPS. On the other hand, the first major downside of this ship is the stability of control, i.e., relying solely on its neuts. Ships that require no cap to deal damage are immune to its pressure. The second downside is its poor maneuverability, making Navy Geddon difficult to tackle targets effectively, thus requiring a lot of flanking tackles to assist with damage application.
The AT rules this year have relatively minor changes compared to AT18. Last year, the rules encouraged teams to use low-cost ships fitted with lots of EWAR modules, such as Stormbringers with 4 damps, Jackdaws with 2 damps, and even armor-tank full EWAR Nighthawks. Therefore, shield comps didn’t appear on the field that much in AT18 due to the annoying EWAR rules. To deal with the abuse of EWAR, CCP introduced a rule this year that restricts the use of all types of EWAR modules (damps, GDs, TDs) to ships that have those specific bonuses. Despite this rule change, shield comps still weren’t favored this year.
- Rise of the Octodad (4BC)
Octodad/Pseudodad has gained more popularity this year, thanks to the cost reduction of Gallente navy ships. The core ships such as Exequror Navy Issue and Brutix Navy Issue benefited from this. It is nearly undoubtedly that this is one of the strongest comps this year.
2. 720 Flykiller
Flykiller was quite strong last year, thanks to those jackdaws with damps and Hurricane Fleet Issue with reduced cost, giving this comp a high win rate. This comp was also deployed by multiple teams this year, including THL, Platinum Sensitivity, and WhiteFlag. However, I personally don’t believe that Flykiller can be considered a T0 comp this year. It struggles against the Octodad and drone comps. In addition, there is little room for error for those no-tank Maulus pilots.
3. Disappearance of Providence
The previously widely used Providence comp with T1 logistics has significantly unpopularized this year mainly due to the introduction of the EWAR script rule in AT18, revealing the fact that Providence is pretty much unplayable with a ton of tds and is also easily kited. It struggles even against variations of Octodad/Pseudodad.
4. Missile Kiting Still Unpopular
Missile Kite comp this year is weaker compared to last year. It also has a low win rate against Octodad/Pseudodad. However, it is still strong against armor control and drone comps.
5. Armor Contol
After the introduction of EAWR script rules last year, various types of armor control comps have emerged. While most of the kiting control comps have largely disappeared under the new rules this year, traditional armor control comps and ECM control remain strong. They are still powerful if key ships are not banned. Despite the reduced number of TDs/GDs this year, EWAR armor control has not been significantly impacted. Our core setup this year is constructed around ECMs and other EWARs: the flagship Vindicator paired with another battleship, a.k.a. Vindi EWAR. This strategy relies on weapon disruption and ECM to reduce the opponent’s damage application and utilizes the Vindicator’s strong control abilities to tackle multiple targets simultaneously. Vindicator and the other battleship can apply damage efficiently to kill flanks while ignoring the opponent’s logi reps. This comp requires highly efficient communication and clear execution for all team members, but a fully functioning Vindi EWAR comp can win against most comps, including but not limited to various rush comps and armor control comps.
We theory-crafted tons of comps and after numerous evaluations through scrims, we ranked the strength of the final main tournament comps (only including those we have used), along with the counter relationships.
Disclaimer: All rankings are purely our subjective opinions, so your thoughts might differ from ours – both perspectives are valid so don’t argue with us.
T0 Comp: Double battleship EWAR, Barghest Kingslayer
T1 Comp: Armor Neut battleship drone control, Octodad/Pseudodad, Dual Curse armor control, Barghest BWAR, Flykiller
T2 Comp: Ham-rush (Heavy Assault Missile rush comp), Min-rush (Minmatar rush), Providence (ABD-rush), missile kiting without Barghest, Tinker Battleships
Note: There are numerous variations for each comp; this list only includes the broad categories and doesn’t delve into specifics. Some require a flagship to achieve a certain level of strength.
Feeder VS Boundary Experts (1-0)
Since flagships are not allowed during Feeder, we didn’t insist on using armor control at that phase. Since the opponent banned Abaddon and Celestis, and generally speaking, people using various kinds of kiting comps tend to ban them, we chose Octodad which counter shield kiting comps.
When we saw Boundary Experts fielding a shield missile kiting comp, we knew we had gained the upper hand. Our later executions were smooth as well. We used Keres to restrict RLML ships, quickly killed their Orthrus to protect our logis and EWAR frigates, and secured the victory easily.
Game 1 VS Bright Side of Death (BSOD) (1-0)
Noticed that BSOD banned 4 TD ships, we believed they must be aiming for Octodad or providence-like comps that fear weapon disruption. Our initial plan was to stay in the top 16 and fight for a position in the top 8, so we decided to use our flagship in the first match no matter what. Following the principle of “use what the opponent fears,” We chose the uncommon Pilgrim to substitute Curse and fielded a Vindicator & dual Pilgrim armor control comp.
BSOD’s comp was as predicted when we landed. Our approach was to control two battleships with our Vindicator and then let one battleship get in and kill it. However, the opponent didn’t hurry but advanced as a tight group, with three battleships pushing together while their Oracles were shooting at a safe position. This made it difficult for us to effectively hit any of their targets. As a result, we decided to slowly chew up one of their battleships, forcing their T1 logi frigates to come closer for repping, and then used drones to kill their logi ships. T1 logi frigates usually can’t withstand the drone DPS from multiple ships with drone-related bonuses. After losing the logis, the opponent got too anxious and tried to secure some kills, pushing all their DPS and tackle ships forward. We, however, slowly stepped back with patience, letting their tackles and Oracles in, and destroying them. Once the opponent was in our pace, there was hardly any chance for a comeback. 10 minutes later, we won this match by points.
Game 2 VS No Vacancies (NOVAC) (1-0)
In the second match, we were facing No Vacancies, a wormhole alliance. We stuck with our standard BP strategy, banning the Osprey, Scimi, and Orthrus – three core ships of their missile kiting comps. The opponent also followed their standard strategy by banning our damping ships. Since most of the key ships in Vindi EWAR were still available, we decided to use our flagship again.
Challenges were that the opponent had brought two powerful neuting battleships, and their EWAR frigates were fitted all tds. As a result, our Vindi got 4 TDs and was only able to shoot ~1km with Null. During the first 3 minutes, we were waiting for them to push, seeking any gap between their frontline and backline. Because of the heavy neuting pressure, it was very difficult for us to engage straightforwardly while their entire fleet stayed as a group. Bhaal’s strong field control would keep our Vindi at a distance where it couldn’t hit any ships. Therefore, we decided to pull back and regroup, and tried to find an opportunity to MJD to their backline. However, the opponent decided to push rapidly after waiting for about 3 minutes. At that critical moment, Fubuki sent our Confessor and VNI to pin down their two core battleships, while the rest of us circumvented them and then went directly for their backline. We successfully killed their Draugur right after. The most dangerous moment was when our Vindicator and Redeemer went very deeply into their backline, and Novac’s cruisers found a gap and rushed towards our Oneiros, applying strong neuting pressure on him. There were only 2 minutes left, so we all pulled back to defend, tackled down their VNI and Navy Aug, and eventually managed to stall for the remaining time to win on points (8-0).
Game 3 VS Odin’s Call (1-0)
At this point, we had successfully secured a spot in the top 16. Before this match, we expected the opponents to analyze our strategies from the previous matches and counter our Vindi EWAR comp. Surprisingly, the opponents followed their standard ban-pick strategy. Their flagship Barghest had already been eliminated in the previous match, so we decided to ban Barghest and Osprey to counter their missile kiting comps. Our bans on the Armageddon and Navy Geddon also targeted drone-neut comps. After the ban-pick phase, we determined to utilize our Vindi EWAR, our strongest comp, despite the possibility of being countered.
In this match, Odin brought the Octodad comp with T2 logi cruiser. They went straight to the MJD unit at the beginning, so we all moved forward as fast as possible, making sure that we were always staying roughly 50 km from them. They hesitated a bit before hitting the jump button and eventually landed at least 40 km from our logi. Our tackles were proactive and pinned down all their battlecruisers far away, while Vindi and Redeemer webbed down the more squishy Navy Exequror and Navy Aug. Odin didn’t kill anything before all their cruisers died. There was just no way for Odin to turn the tide when every single ship was tackled.
Game 4 VS HIDDEN LEAF VILLAGE NINJA AssAssIn SQUAD eSports (1-0)
In the fourth match, we were up against the HIDDEN LEAF VILLAGE NINJA AssAssIn SQUAD eSports, who had their flagship Navy Geddon. They had consistently been using an armor control setup with three battleships and logi frigates throughout this AT tournament. During the BP phase, they specifically impaired our Vindi EWAR comp by banning the strongest T2 logi cruiser Oneiros, and the core EWAR ships, Blackbird and Sentinel. As a result, we chose Octodad, which is versatile enough to either kite or rush depending on situations, aiming for a range control game.
Upon entering the arena, we spawned 180° opposite to each other, so we decided to kite backward and tried to one-shot their Hyena. However, the 10mn Hyena is too hard to kill if it’s not webbed. Therefore, we decided to have our battlecruisers and Skybreaker hold opponents’ battleships while the rest of the team flanked and took down their Logis. The biggest drawback of triple battleship comps is the lack of tackle, causing them to be unable to threaten our backline or protect their own. When they were pushing forward, they left a huge gap between the battleships and their backline. Our Confessor and Navy Auguror MJD’d to tackle and kill their backline one by one. In the end, only three battleships were left lambs to slaughter, and we claimed the win with a 100-point wipe.
Thoughts and Comp Changes Before the Final Day
On the evening of the third day of the tournament, a drone comp caught our attention. An armor-control-drone-neuts comp composed of two full neuting battleships (Armageddon and Navy Geddon), an EOS, and two Arbitrators won a match in a dominant fashion. At that time, we were struggling to find a counter against the Octodad. In our previous scrims with Barcode, we realized that typical Providence or Vindi EWAR can hardly fight a highly doctrined team like them flying Octodad comp. Moreover, the opponent was aware of our Vindi EWAR comp, and if things went as expected, they would limit our armor control comps in the ban phase.
We integrated the double neuting BS (Armageddon and Navy Geddon) into our drone comps and made sweeping changes to it. Eventually, we built a drone-neut comp that we felt could beat the Octodad. To test its feasibility, we had 3 sets of drone vs. Octodad scrims right before Sunday’s matches and won all of them. This further solidified our idea of going with the drone-neut comp, even though this was what we came up with in the last two days of the tournament.
Winner’s Final VS IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII (Barcode)(2-0)
vs Barcode match 1
Barcode banned both armor link command destroyers, Curse, and Pilgrim, severely limiting the viability of us choosing an armor control comp. The two bans on weapon disruption ships indicated that they were likely to go with their signature Octodad comp. Therefore, we decided to use our newly learned drone armor control comp to counter that.
Barcode’s initial strategy was to have a Confessor get onto an MJD unit and jump to our logi, while everyone else just pushed forward. Our counter was to focus on screening to keep our logi frigates alive as long as possible. In the beginning, we were at a disadvantage when we traded one of our logi frigates with an opponent’s VNI. However, we had excessive tackles so our Vexor was able to go straight for their Rodiva and successfully melted it off guard. After their logi was down, the match pretty much became one-sided. Their DPS ships could not deal damage efficiently due to cap pressure. Besides, they were all tackled so they couldn’t pull range.
vs Barcode match 2
We adjusted our banning strategy after the victory. We banned EOS and Navy Geddon to prevent the opponent from opting for a drone comp, given they were both Conquest Banned. Barcode made no changes to their bans, still limiting our strongest armor control comps. In this BO3 scenario, we thought they would bring out their flagship Barghest. To minimize the possibility of them going for a kiting comp, we also banned Osprey which is the most common logi pick to go with Bargest, and Orthrus which has the highest burst of firepower among all cruisers. Eventually, we went with an Octodad comp consisting of T2 logi cruisers and three BCs, anticipating a probable mirror match or a BWAR.
Upon entering the field, the opponent unveiled an altered BWAR comp. They did not bring 2 Blackbirds or Rooks but surprisingly opted for an ECM Tengu with links. Facing the two 30 km scrams on their flagship Barghest which provides strong zone controlling, rushing was clearly not a good option for us. As we learned from scrims, all 10mn afterburner ECM ships are quite slow, and it takes time for them to crawl to a safe distance when pushing forward. Therefore, our whole team immediately overheated our prop mods to fall back, aiming to activate the MJD unit before their backline could enter a safe position. This tactic worked surprisingly well as we landed within 20 km of their Blackbird and Oneiros. At this range, it was nearly impossible for Barcode to prevent us from focusing on their logi and ECM ships. And without restricting our Oneiros’s position, the firepower of a single Barghest was not enough to kill any ship. Once their Blackbird and Oneiros were down, the match ended as expected.
Grand Finals VS The Tuskers Co. (3-2)
Our opponent in the finals, The Tuskers Co., is one of the most formidable small-gang PvP groups in this game, particularly proficient in various kiting comps. Their comp selection is unpredictable, thus hard to counter during the banning phase.
vs Tusker match 1
In the first game, we persisted with our previous BP strategy, banning four major ships in shield comps. Since Tuskers have a deep comp-pool, it’s hard to gain advantage through bans in the first game in a BO5. On their end, Tuskers opted for an all-ECM ban, which, in hindsight, was essentially a bait. They banned ECM yet picked a comp that is not afraid of ECMs at all.
This match was significantly unfavorable for us right from the start. Weapon disruptors on our Arbitrators were completely useless, and the neuts on our battleships had no impact on those drone boats. Furthermore, in terms of drone DPS and application, their Eoses and Ishtars far outclassed our T1 battleships and cruisers. Our strategy was to put pressure on their Hyena at the beginning since it could significantly restrict our battleships’ positioning. After that, we’d have our logis MJD’d toward the battleships when needed. However, Tuskers were very decisive by sacrificing the Hyena and all-ined our backline. The poor maneuverability of T1 battleships made it impossible for us to move back to defend. After turbo-feeding our logi frigates, the game was unsalvageable and ended up with a loss.
vs Tusker match 2
Due to Conquest Bans, Tuskers continued to ban four ships focused on armor control and also banned the EOS to prevent us from using it. In turn, we targeted Deacon on top of three shield bans, making it hard for Tuskers to field an armor setup with T2 logi frigates. In this game, we assumed that the opponents might go for an HML kiting setup, so we opted for an Octodad comp. We chose the Zarmazd as logi over the more common Oneiros and Guardian to reserve for our flagship armor comps.
Upon entering the grid, we instantly figured that Tuskers outplanned us massively, picking an armor control comp despite banning armor control ships. They also fielded their flag Navy Geddon with full-neuts. The suppressive power of this ship on our entire comp was substantial. Charging directly into their comp to break through to the backline was virtually impossible, especially against an experienced opponent good at screening. Therefore, we decided to employ our MJD tactic to jump to their logistics. However, it was harder than we thought: their comp wasn’t really slower than ours, and their Guardian was running at ~ 2000 m/s with MWD instead of AB. This allowed them to close to about 50 km at any time, making it impossible for us to MJD on it if we stayed grouped. After two unsuccessful MJD attempts, we chose to disperse and attempt to encircle their logistics. Our frigates each hugged a different MJD unit and jumped from different angles. Their logi seemed overwhelmed facing tackles from multiple directions, and after losing our Astarte, we finally took out their logi. At this point, we believed that we had the upper hand.
However, after taking out their logi and supporting frigates, I, as the captain, made the biggest mistake of our AT journey. Instead of continuing to focus on their more vulnerable T1 battlecruisers, I chose to try and kill their flagship. The neuting pressure from their flagship Navy Geddon at that moment severely impacted both our firepower and the RR capacity of our logistics. Attempting to kill the flagship wasted our precious time, resulting in us losing to Tuskers by only several points at the end.
vs Tusker match 3
At the edge of 0-2, we had no choice but to believe that our flag Vindi EWAR could turn this around. Tuskers’ strategy was similar to BSOD’s, banning 4 EWAR ships, which usually implies comps like Providence or Octodad. Restricted by the bans, we swapped our Sentinel to a Crucifier and brought a Bhaalgorn to counter a potential Octodad rush.
With a close warp-in, it was very likely that the opponent would choose to rush rather than kite or try to MJD. Our initial strategy was to let our battleships push and tackle while everyone else retreated to protect logi and EWAR ships. This game turned out somewhat similar to our match against Odin, but Tuskers had a lot more webs this time. Despite our Vindi webbing down two Navy Exeqs, their Confessor and Navy Auguror still managed to pin down our Guardian. After we destroyed two Navy Exeqs and started to shoot Navy Brutix, we lost our Guardian. At this point, we realized we had to trade Logi, so our Confessor went to tackle Tuskers’ Augoror. We managed to kill it just before our Confessor died. After we lost all our flanks, it turned into a DPS race between our two battleships and their six gunboats. Rather than choosing to kite away, they engaged our Vindi at close range. Given our flagship was buffer tanked, it was a race against time. After clearing all the flies around it, our flagship finally fell to Navy Prophecy’s drones, becoming one of the most expensive fireworks exploded in this arena. Although we won this round by points, the opponent also achieved their objective: taking down our flagship. Going into the following matches with a 1-2 score, we would face two more tough rounds without our flagship.
Sidenote by Fubuki:
Many have asked why my flag Vindi wasn’t fitted with an active tank but instead had two mag stabilizers in game 3. It is because EWAR armor control comps inherently rely on team synergy. My job was to use my enhanced webs to protect Logi and EWAR ships, and quickly reduce enemy firepower in order to relieve our overall pressure. Numerous scrims have proved that as long as the Logi and EWAR ships are safe, the flag Vindi can even withstand HAM-rush or Minmatar-rush. If I were to summarize our fitting decision, it’s that I solely trust my Logi and EWAR pilots.
vs Tusker match 4
Before the fourth game, we modified our BP strategy vastly. Due to Conquest Bans, we couldn’t field any armor control comp. Therefore, we decided to ban Oneiros and Guardian, limiting Tusker’s viability to bring out their flagship. The rest of our bans targeted Octodad cores. Given Tuskers continued to ban armor cores, we assumed that they might field a Tinker or an HML kiting comp, so we decided to bring Providence as a counter.
Upon warp-in, we saw a Tuskers-style HML kite, as expected. The Claymore is the fastest among all command ships, thus hard to reach. Therefore, our primary goal was to quickly take down their two Navy Scorpions with our three high DPS laser battleships. After losing both Navy Scorpions, the opponent started kiting, aiming to clear all our supporting ships first. Our flanks kept pulling range from enemy Claymore and tackle. In the end, we barely won this match by points. The 10-minute hide-and-seek was so mentally draining for both teams, causing the last round to be a competition of perseverance, or, even, sheer willpower, rather than strategy or skills.
vs Tusker match 5
The game came down to its finale, a fresh BO1, and became an aut Caesar aut Nihil situation. We adhered to our standard bans to limit kiting comps like Kingslayer. They banned all three T2 armor logi cruisers and Blackbird, making pretty much all our armor comps unavailable. We immediately ruled out armor control comps, especially since we’ve always believed that T2 logi frigates are inferior to T2 logi cruisers. We had considered bringing out Octodad, but it wasn’t a good choice due to Curse and Sentinel still being available. In the end, we picked the most straightforward HAM rush comp. One upside of HAM rush is that it’s not afraid of neuts or any armor control comp without logi cruisers. Even if the opponent brought their flagship Navy Geddon with logi frigates, we were confident in bursting down their flagship. We also felt we’d stand a chance against potential Min-rush or Tinker comps.
Tusker eventually brought a drone comp similar to what they had used against THL, with a Proteus replacing the EOS. HAM rush prevails over any type of drone setup, so our plan was very straightforward—rush any DPS ship that is the closest to us. Tuskers tried to intercept our Nighthawks with a 100mn dual-scram Proteus and attempted to focus fire on our cruisers with drones. One of the biggest downsides of drone comps is the difficulty in killing fast targets that aren’t tackled, and they might even pull your drones away. Under the extreme firepower of HAM rush, Proteus supported by two Logi frigates could only stand for about 30 seconds before going down. With the Proteus gone, all of the opponent’s squishy BCs were quickly taken down one by one. In the end, we took the last game by a dominating 100-1, reverse sweeping Tuskers in the grand finals. めでたしめでたし。
We would like to thank all those who believed in us throughout this tournament. We want to thank Kei Hazard for his live casting on Bilibili, and his long-time support for us. We especially thank Jolange and EN scarfer for their generous donations, we would not go this far without them. Finally, we want to thank Mystical Might for his chest hairs, as they enormously boosted our morale throughout the tournament.
天道酬勤——God helps the diligent.
From FRT AT XIX Team members (alphabetically):
Alternative Muv-Luv -黄鳝
Casimir Exusiai – 马哥
Chess Player -青衣
coppercn – copper
Dan Hua – 蛋花
DarKdeZ Ever – 小D
Ermily Erata -战战
EvilDobar – 光头
Fley Den – 乌鸦王
Fubuki Waifu – 黑莲
Funny RUA – 滑子
Garveen Airuta – 慕容
jimzzz – 肖宁
Kalek Astroth – 艾泽
Remeleen – 拉面林
Sarion Ikaruga – 斑鸠
Zigeng Z – 子根