Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Alliance Tournament: Captain's Report, stardate 2015.06.16



10 days ago I was doing a fleet. The conversation turned to the Alliance Tournament and I casually mentioned "I don't think I'm in the squad this year." "Check your evemail," said Avaren.

Now let me explain. I'm a huge Alliance Tournament nerd. The first one passed me by as I ran my missions oblivious in high sec. And the second. The third one was kind of interesting but very confusing because I didn't know the ship names. So I watched it alt-tabbing to Eve to see what a "key-soon" was.

The fourth one I was pumped for and got as far as attending a practice session with Test's AT team but the summer of 2013 was a hectic one for Test FCs and I decided to focus on Tranquility instead.
My fifth year in Eve I missed it because my alliance was in transition and with the relaunch of two merged alliances as The Bastion they didn't want to take on an extra project.

This is my sixth year in Eve. And 10 days ago I opened an evemail which was sent to the pilots who had been selected for Brave Collective's Alliance Tournament team.

WOW!

Oh boy oh boy oh boy.

But hang on, what's this?

"Main captain - Callduron - Not only willing but put forth a damn fine argument for why he should be"

Let me explain.

In the original mail it stated priority would be given to pilots who had been in Brave over a year. I was so disappointed. But never give up, right? I wrote an eloquent pleading case for why I have high sp, have done lots of small gang stuff, am positive and cheerful and would be a real asset to the squad and please please pretty please with bells on can Cinderella just go to one teensy weensy ball?



So.

Here we are.

It's now been a week for me to comprehend the massive task of leading a team that's genuinely good and that will make our alliance proud.

Kelnon gave me a reality check that I'm going to pass on to you. The Alliance Tournament is dominated by obsessive veterans who are really really expert and in our first year we're not expected to make it past the first stage.

However.

We have a squad of amazing pilots, dedicated, skilled, enthusiastic. Some of the newer people, and we absolutely have some low skill point players in our squad are a little lacking in confidence but the team will be picked on how well people fly in our practices.

We have set up a practice schedule that will see us run at least 6 practices a week till August - in the week it's split 2 US and 2 EU so for most of us there are 4 practices available per week.

We participate in Test's open practice on Saturdays because it's crucially important that we play 12 v 12 matches against competent teams.

We are actively looking for practice partners and that's going to be my main focus for this week.
I have one guy who can't make either practice time so I'm looking for someone who does AU
timezone AT practice who could use an extra body. It's important to me he gets a chance to train.
In our first practice matches we lost to Test in a disorganised snafu of a match (I had to grab a Vexor instead of a command ship because I thought we had one fit but we didnt), we beat RvB who were in a rather experimental comp, we lost a really interesting match to Test where they utterly outflew us positionally.

We're learning tons.

Our private AT squad forums have exploded with theorycrafting as squad members passionately debate their ideas, some of which are genuinely brilliant.

Kiu has done a ton of work to set up Jabber, Mumble and Core for us as well as our funding board. Big thanks to him and to Kite Co for hosting our forums.

Kelnon and Lychton have been wonderful in giving me a clear set of parameters, every support I need and then leaving us to get on and make it a success.

Tosan is co-captain. Not only that but he has agreed to be our Compliance Officer carefully checking that everything we do is tournament legal.

We are closed to applications to join us. We have now got about 25 people but there's a few who are somewhere in the process but haven't yet been accepted. If that is your situation contact me, there's probably something needing fixing to get you in. Anyone who is in the works but not sorted out by next Monday will not get in, we'll draw a line under recruitment then.

There is a possibility we might recruit more if people drop out. I have to say so far that seems vanishingly unlikely, everyone's super keen.

Now I'm going to ask for money. First I'll explain our vision which I hope will get the Brave community, hell, the Eve community even, inspired and interested. Then I'll give details of how you can send isk.


THE VISION

Generally speaking AT stuff happens under a rock. Teams do stuff in secret in wormholes on the Test server and the AT is never mentioned in the run up to the event.

Bollocks to that.

Without throwing away our competitive advantage we're going to be much more public. We want our AT project to be a BRAVE project not an expensive treat for a tiny handful of members.

Picture this: a new player starts in August. As she bumbles around the interface and the opportunities a friendly person invites everyone in Local to come to a party. Apparently Eve has some kind of World Cup and these guys their alliance is in it, is about to play and they're going to let newbros join in the fun on mumble while watching it on Twitch. After the party our new player is invited to join this alliance and escorted out to the wild wild west of Eve where she meets the e-sports stars she watched just hours ago on TV.

Pretty awesome?



So we're going to be an outward facing tournament squad in ways that really haven't been done before. I've got several squad members signed up as willing to talk to podcasts, Eve sites and so on so if you are part of the Eve media we'd love to talk to you about the Alliance Tournament.

Squad members will pass on some of the intensive training we receive in piloting and small gang tactics to the rest of the alliance in the form of dojo classes.

We'll also be leading fundraising events. I have some ideas already for something involving arkadian thingys farming and newbro mercenary index raiser Venture fleets.

This project is your project something I hope our whole alliance will get excited about will cheer about will watch us play and will us on. There's a saying in football that sometimes the supporters

can be so awesome that it's as if the crowd sucks the ball into the net. We can't progress without your belief and support.

Further post about it. Let's see questions on /r/eve, let's see AT players in the Eve media. The Brave Collective will be dragging the Alliance Tournament out of the closet in which the bitter vets have been hiding it and making this wonderful content something for all the people of New Eden.

FUNDRAISING

This is our fundraising site: http://fund.bravecollective.com

Donations can be made by using Give Money with reason "AT team" to the corporation BC Piggy. Check that the CEO is Lychton C Kondur and it's in our alliance before you send the cash, I'm sure this post will inspire some scammers.

We will be doing events to raise money for this project.

CONCLUSION

I'm deeply honoured to be given a chance to create something amazing for this alliance. We will be making as strong a run as possible, and go as far as we can this year.

I want this to be a huge deal for our Brave community with people getting excited and passionate. Post your ideas. If you want to watch Brave play in real life meet ups in esports bars, if you want to go collect a bunch of newbros from Arnon and have Brave's AT run be one of the first things they see in Eve that would rock. Get behind us, get inspired post ideas.

Wish us luck!

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