There are 22 matches tomorrow. Things open with the final two matches from the "best of 16" in the winner's bracket (both of which should be really good matches). But then things go into the loser's bracket with eight immediate matches. By the time those matches begin, there are going to be 16 teams in the first "double slot", plus eight more teams waiting in the wings to take on the winners of each of those matches.
Short version: there are going to be a full 16 loser's bracket matches, with a full ten of those teams fighting twice tomorrow:
- the losers of the first two matches of the day; plus,
- the winners of all eight of the first round of loser's matches.
That becomes tiring in a big damn hurry, plus you're giving other teams an enormous amount of intel in terms of your pilots, ships, and comps. You also don't have any time at all to research your opponents as they are thrown into your path in quick succession. Whomever wins the loser's bracket will have taken a long road to do so.
So, two winner's bracket matches tomorrow, followed by sixteen loser's bracket matches, followed by four more winner's bracket matches, which includes ours. That will take us to day five next Saturday with four undefeated teams in the winner's bracket and twelve teams in the loser's bracket. 64 were reduced to 48 last Sunday, further reduced to 32 today, and will be further reduced to 16 teams on Sunday. Whew!
Matches I'm looking forward to tomorrow:
- Match 87: Red vs Blue v. The Initiative. We open with two good ones, of which this is one. I'm rooting for RvB, but this should be a good close match.
- Match 88: Agony Empire v. Pandemic Legion. Both of these teams did well with reasonably tough opposition in their last matches, but this is the first truly hard match for both teams. This is one Agony must win to prove themselves worthy of finals weekend, same as our Verge match was for us. That said, I think PL will beat them.
- Match 90: Circle-of-Two v. Curatores Veritatis Alliance. This should be another close match and shouldn't be dull!
- Match 91: Nulli Secunda v. Exiled Ones. This one should also be entertaining. I think Nulli will win this one in a close match.
- Match 99: (Exiled Ones?) v. YOUR VOTES DON'T COUNT. Snigg will be in a foul mood after being pushed into the loser's bracket. Should be interesting to see how they react. I think it'll be Exiled facing Snigg, but if Nulli loses to them, this will be Nulli's second match of the day.
- Match 101: (HUN Reloaded?) v. (The Initiative?). HUN fights End of Life earlier in the day and should have an easy time of them. This second match of the day will put them back on the road to the finals if they win it. They'll face whomever loses the RvB/Initiative match.
- Match 102: (Shadow Cartel?) v. (Agony Empire?). Here's another double match for whomever loses the second match of the day. If Shadow Cartel beat M.I.F earlier in the day -- seems likely -- then they'll face either Agony or PL here. Whomever is in this match, I think this will be the second best match of the day.
- Match 107: DarkSide v. HYDRA RELOADED. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to this one. It's going to be one for the ages, I think!
- Match 108: (Red vs. Blue?) v. (Pandemic Legion?). And this one, if it happens, will be a rematch of a great AT10 match last year which Pandemic Legion won.
Let's talk about some of the fun stuff that happened today. Most amusing match of the day was this one between DarkSide and Darkness of Despair, a ten minute turtle fornication between Dominix-based tinker tanks. It took nine minutes and 40 seconds for something to die:
I joked to CCP Veritas that Rote Kapelle wants to use one of our ship bans tomorrow to ban energy transfers, which make these kinds of matches possible. DarkSide won it, 2 points to 1. It was not a fun match to watch despite the expression on Shadoo's face here. ;-)
Speaking of Shadoo, he got a lot of mileage today out of "it's hot in the commentary booth" jokes. He kept comparing the booth to the inside of a volcano, the center of a desert, on the surface of the sun -- those lights were pretty bright -- all sorts of things. And the jackets required in the studio were gone in the commentary booth by the end of the first match. All the commentators did great jobs today, I thought! This is the best year for commentary we've had in the Alliance Tournament and I don't just say that because I've got two alliance-mates doing the commentary. Or at least not only because. ;-) Everyone commentating is manifestly knowledgeable, smart, well-spoken, and they're catching almost all of the nuances of each match and they're communicating them in a way that makes sense to both new players and vets alike. Bravo, guys! Next year's commentary team has a tough act to follow.
By the way, during the DarkSide/Darkness match, CCP Rise had the quote of the day though I didn't catch it exactly. But after ten minutes of nothing followed by a few seconds of explosions, he quipped (paraphrased) "That match was a metaphor for EVE Online in general: you wait a long boring time for something to happen and your wait is finally finally rewarded by a few seconds of amazing excitement." Ain't that the truth?
In the twitch.tv chat stream, there was this little bit of gold talking about Bacchanalian (a noted The Mittani twin) and Shadoo during their commentary:
ryu_ibarazaki : Left guy is Giant Mittani, a professional wrestler from Japan.Hee!
soulsniper845 : shadoo and mitani on commentary.... like watching the the devil and an imp plotting evil....
Congratulations to three new members of the "Bad Tournament Logistics Hall of Fame":
- Vim repairs frigates, lets a Vindicator die. Sicarius Draconis was stomped flat.
- Alar Tangor reps Enyo, lets flagship Armageddon die. RAZOR Alliance, likewise, gone.
- grim996 keeps his own Oneiros alive for a long while. Because that's the most important thing a logi pilot can do, amirite? You want me to repair people? Oh I guess I could do tha-- (interrupted by explosion) Ministry of Inappropriate Footwork is stomped into the loser's bracket.
Finally, the new CREST interface into AT matches is pretty freakin' nifty. If you're so inclined, check it out. There's also a great informal CCP stats page that's great fun.
On to day four!