Different weekends of the Syndicate Competitive League have different charms, but the thing that all of them have in common is the fun of watching new metas play out.
On day one alone, we got to see hero Vargurs using bastion mode to blast away opponents, hero Kronoses using it to defend against enormous DPS, a fight between three Stratioses on one team versus a Paladin on the other, while in various matches the new Eos, Sleipnir, Abso, and Nighthawk hulls all got to rack up kills. Matter of fact, the only new ship or concept that we didn't see today was the Astero and I'm sure someone will field a couple tomorrow just to have a little fun with it.
In a way, the exact teams and players are almost the side issue. The fun is watching what players can do with all of the new spaceships. Fair warning: marauders are going to be insane in the next official CCP tournament. The organizers are gonna have to do something about their point values. When that Kronos went into bastion mode, the defense bar for the corresponding team nearly maxed out with that ship on the field nearly alone. Two marauders are gonna break it...
And of course, I can't help but watch the various drone teams without thinking Dominix plus Ishtar plus Vexor Navy Issue plus Stratios plus... Trying to ban out drone-heavy comps is suddenly a lot tougher.
There were a lot of new faces in the studio and in the commentary booth this time around. As I mentioned already, Alekseyev Karrde took on the role of studio host. He started out a little slow and had a couple of amusing gaffes, but overall he did a fine job. His pod-casting experience served him well. In addition, another new voice was Dark Soldat of HYDRA Reloaded, who may be the only human on this planet who can come up with more bad puns than Seldarine. It's quite an impressive feat.
There were more and more varied CCP guests this time around, too, with regulars CCP Rise and CCP Logibro being joined by CCP Affinity (PvE content) and CCP Karkur (UI). Tomorrow the guests are more varied still with CCP Loxy, CCP Paradox, CCP Nullarbor, and CCP Eterne being the official guests.
As I already pointed out, one missing presence this series is SOMERblink, who chose not to sponsor the SCL. We're now going to have to see if any particular players or groups are able to step up and fill the gap that SOMERblink was able to in terms of sponsorship of EVE events.
Teams this time around are a refreshing mix of both SCL stalwarts (notably Reputation Cartel, Deepwater, and Team Footwork) and several brand new teams. With no PL team and no HYDRA team present this time around, the matches have all been really close and a lot of fun to watch. One match between Team Footwork and Something Else was so close the lead was traded six times by my count... it came down to the wire. Both teams are still in the running and might meet again.
All in all, a fun day of spaceship explosions! I look forward to watching day two.