Did I say these tactics are used by children? I misspoke. They're tactics used by the childish.
In the first major bit of drama associated with Alliance Tournament X, three teams have been banned from competition. You can read all about it in this forum post by CCP Sreegs. Here's the money quote:
It was widely known after the finals last year that Hydra Reloaded and Outbreak. had worked together as a single unit in order to game the competition. They are both individually highly competitive teams and when they are working in their own interests they are among the best. Unfortunately Hydra and Outbreak are working from the same playbook as last year, practicing together in a single corporation on the test server in a single wormhole.In short, the two teams were testing their combined theories against each other, sharing their theory-crafting and their fleet compositions. Similarly, Pandemic Legion's "B team" also got themselves banned from competition. PL's "A team" survives presumably because the team captain was only using the "B team" as puppets to test their comps, but presumably weren't sharing the theory behind those comps or practice locations.
Not at all unexpectedly, Duncan Tanner and Garmon almost immediately started bitching, and their bitching took a common form. Here's Duncan's version:
Perhaps you should have answered our multiple petitions and e-mails asking whether we were allowed to test together before we even started testing?And here's Garmon's:
Oh except for the one petition where we got a response from a senior GM who said teams COULD practice together.
While we were spending hundreds of hours preparing, we got the all clear 11 days after our first e-mail through a petition. So we were under the impression that we were doing nothing wrong, if we had known what we were doing was wrong, we would have not tested together.
Only, here's the important bit. Here's the e-mail that Garmon sent to CCP Loxy regarding their petitions:
Hello CCP Loxy,
We are putting a lot of effort in our tournament run this year. However we are very concerned that we might be breaking CCP's interpretations of certain rules without being aware of it. We want to follow the rules completely and contribute to making it an event that the Eve community appreciates and looks forward to.
We have described our intentions to CCP in our previous e-mail and we would like to know as soon as possible if what we are doing is alright. Specifically the rules are vague about how much collaboration constitues an A and B team situation. We suspect that there is no issue with testing against another team since multiple other hopeful entrants have been practicing together on SiSi this year. Again, however, we want to be sure.
If we could get a response as soon as possible it would put all of our minds at ease.
However we are very concerned that we might be breaking CCP's interpretations of certain rules without being aware of it.
We are very concerned that we might be breaking certain rules.
We are breaking rules.
Short version: the Hydra/Outbreak team knew what they were doing was wrong, so they passed the buck with "multiple petitions and e-mails" until they found a Senior GM that would cover for them.
Mommy wouldn't tell me what I was doing was wrong (even though I knew it was wrong), so I asked daddy.
Needless to say, I'm not shedding any tears for Hydra or Outbreak here. "A GM told me I could" is perhaps the worst possible defense when you're in this situation. Aperture Harmonics had GM sanction to take certain in-game actions too, even though they almost certainly knew those actions were wrong. But they asked "multiple" GMs about it, too, until they found one that said what they were doing was OK. And when the time came to pay the piper, that GM sanction had about as much effect as a paper shield against a flame-thrower. And AHARM had to know that this would be the case when the time came. But they convinced themselves that everything would be OK.
And I'm sure Hydra and Outbreak did, too. I'm glad they've learned otherwise.
EDIT (24/May/2012): One more thing. Don't let your emotions get in the way on this one. I know a lot of people like Garmon, but I feel pretty certain he went into what he was doing with eyes wide open. If both Hydra and Outbreak had entered and one of them was eliminated due to bad luck, it's clear the other would have picked up all the theories and fleet comps (and probably, more than one pilot flying an in-alliance alt) from the other. That's specifically what the rules were designed to prevent. Keep that in mind before you start flaming me.