Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
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Sunday, November 10, 2013

SCL5 Day Two: Winning is for losers

Congratulations to TRI the VERGE for winning SCL5!  You know, every time I think Verge of Collapse's success in tournament flying might be a fluke, they do something to convince me otherwise.  Like winning the SCL.  ;-)  They flew some of the best matches of the day today with some really intriguing comps.  They deserved to win.

Second place goes to Team Footwork which continues to be a solid contender in the SCL.  Their pilots are going to surprise some people come the next iteration of the New Eden Open.  They've now had lots of practice in the tournament format.  One of the new teams, Dunktown Abbey, took third.  Lots of teams put on displays of good flying and fleet comps, though: in particular, I was kind of amused by a Paladin-Sentinel comp executed against a blaster heavy team to perfection, using the Sentinels and other tackle frigates to isolate and neuter the opposing team's heavy blaster ships while their own heavy ships went after the rear echelon (and tore it up).  It was a masterful display of EVE tactics and individual flying. 

EDIT (11/Nov/2013): The original article credited the Paladin-Sentinel comp to TRI the VERGE, which they did not field.  I regret the error.  It was still the best comp and best flying of the day, though.  ;-)

Surprise of the weekend in terms of EVE ships and tactics goes to the Paladin.  Long regarded as the worst marauder for anything but PvE (and only moderately good at that), it showed dramatically improved capabilities again and again with bastion mode's massive increase to its long-range striking power with pulse lasers.  Just as impressive in its own way was the new Golem.  At one point today, a single Golem was able to tank nearly an entire enemy fleet more or less perpetually using only two non-Ancillary XL Shield Boosters and a pair of Heavy Cap Boosters.  It was really quite impressive.

Biggest disappointment of the day was the viewership numbers, which averaged in the mid- to high 200s most of the day.  There just wasn't a whole lot of advance publicity this time around.  The EVE player base that enjoys tournament play continues to be a very small subset of the overall EVE player base.  It didn't help there was a major League of Legends tournament this weekend as well.  eSports in New Eden continues to struggle.

The technical issues that were rampant in the tournament UI yesterday were more or less corrected today.  I was amused at how the large number of marauder-based teams usually managed to break the defense bar.  You can definitely see when a marauder enters bastion mode: the pink bar representing active repairs in use instantly doubles or triples in length.  With more points in play for the NEO and perhaps for the next Alliance Tournament, that defense bar is probably going to need some work.  Similarly, the points cost for marauders in future tournaments is definitely going to have to be looked at, something I'm sure CCP Fozzie is thinking about very hard already.  I only remember one marauder being killed all weekend, a Vargur that the No Boundaries team poured their hearts into killing.  While they were successful, the time and energy they put into the task cost them the match.

The CCP guests were fine today, with the highlight being CCP Eterne talking about the new player training initiative that he's been running.  Unsurprisingly, the session he ran on "How to make ISK" has been the most popular so far.  He stated that each of the training sessions will eventually be recorded and made available on CCP's Youtube channel, something that I completely support.

I caused a tiny bit of confusion by pointing out yesterday that SOMERblink was not a sponsor of SCL5 despite them still being visible on the SCL website.  The reason for that is simple enough: the website hadn't been updated yet.  These sorts of things are pretty commonplace when it's a player-run website...

Studio host Xander Phoena did a fine job today but also got to learn what a marathon hosting an all-day session of the SCL can be.  He was assisted now and then by Alekseyev Karrde, who also stepped in to commentate matches from time to time.(1)  Bacchanalian, Apathetic Brent, Elendar, and Dark Soldat all did fine jobs with their commentary duties, though Dark Soldat's puns and word games continued unchecked throughout the day.  I got to troll Brent fairly mercilessly when he got so busy responding to both one of these word games and some Teamspeak text chatter that he completely missed a major turning point during one of the key matches.  "You had one job!" as the saying goes...  The resulting exchange produced the quote of the day after a bit more word-play and is the title of this blog post.  But that was a minor quibble in what was otherwise a good job done by all the commentators.  In short, the staff did a great job and the action was constant throughout the day.

It's just a pity the audience wasn't bigger!  Finding a way to get EVE players to engage with tournament-style content is going to be key to a successful CCP eSports strategy... assuming they still want to have one.  Next up in the tournament schedule should be the second iteration of CCP's New Eden Open.  I really look forward to seeing what iterations CCP throws at the format to hopefully increase player engagement.

Congrats again to the SCL staff and to the winners of SCL5!


(1) In a clear conflict of interest, Xander took virtually every opportunity he could to troll Aleks mercilessly about who had the better pod-cast...  ;-)

25 comments:

  1. As someone who enjoys Eve tournaments but also works on the weekends, I really appreciate when the tournament matches and studio sessions get edited to size and posted on YouTube. Some kind soul did this for SCL 1 and 3 but not for SCL 2 and 4.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://z142.net/scl5/ one of our pilots (footwork) has made this - links to all the matches which he will finish off tonight I think.

      Delete
    2. SCL2 will never have Youtube versions, because the footage of the event has been permanently lost due to a misunderstanding with Twitch.

      SCL4 and SCL5 matches will be up on Youtube whenever I get a chance to go do the editing and recompressing :)

      Delete
  2. Not only a LoL tournament....Blizzard held Blizzcon (and announced the next WoW expansion) this weekend as well. I'm not sure how much worse the weekend picked for SCL 5 could have been

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed. I was glued to the Star Craft II championship all day Saturday. Sorry EVE Online, it's just that much more exciting!

      Delete
    2. Couldn't be helped, really. The prior weekend had prior engagements for several of our commentators and staff (and CCP guests). The weekend afterwards, Fozzie wasn't available. The weekend after that is Thanksgiving weekend, which none of the teams wanted to play on.

      We had to either hold it on the 9th/10th, or delay it until December.

      I've come to accept that pretty much every weekend will be bad, for one reason or another, and you just have to do what you can do.

      Delete
  3. eSports, your tourney, and EVE. Sorry the viewership numbers are so low, but I suspect a lot of people are like me and, quite frankly, couldn't care less about it. Sorry. Watching other people play eve just isn't my thing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. " It's just a pity the audience wasn't bigger! Finding a way to get EVE players to engage with tournament-style content is going to be key to a successful CCP eSports strategy... assuming they still want to have one. "

    Well for starters CCP needs to stop pissing off the potential audience by leading them to be bored and then stupidly gate camped slaughtered in insanely bad live events. Who wants to watch Eve tournaments when CCP has just gone out of their way humiliate chunks of it's player base? Most of them are deciding whether to quit Eve right now, not watch tournaments run by and participated in by mostly elite Nullsec players that mostly openly despise new or HiSec players.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mate. Stop trying to make a connection between those two events. Just because CCP fucked up with an event doesn't mean that ppl would rage and buycut a playerrun tournament.

      Also SCL isn't catering the nullsec players (get rid of your tinfoil hat please) TriVerge is pretty much a former WH alliance who recently went to null, Footwork is a WH alliance and Dunktown is a group of lowsec players from Mafia Redux, who have run a pvp podcast to help new players get into pvp. Likewise, test alliance is quite new player friendly and Noir Academy trains new players (they got into the tournament with a 1 day notice so thats why their performance was suboptimal) so I dont really understand where you get the "this tournament is only for nullsec leets".

      In fact SCL is a great chance for people to get into tournament pvp. Footwork are rather new to that, but are doing pretty well. So gather your hisec friends and make your own team instead of whining.

      Delete
  5. "I was kind of amused by a Paladin-Sentinel comp that they put together and then executed with against a blaster heavy team to perfection, using the Sentinels and other tackle frigates to isolate and neuter the opposing team's heavy blaster ships while their own heavy ships went after the rear echelon (and tore it up). It was a masterful display of EVE tactics and individual flying. They deserved to win."

    Wut?

    What sentinels? I dont recall us flying any sentinels. Are you sure you are not confusing it with the Dunktown team?

    Also. Dark Soldat's terrible puns made me miss Selderine. He had some awesome puns.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hm, my mistake, and corrected. Thanks for the pointer!

      Delete
    2. Not to be a PITA, but were sentinels really fielded alongside a paladin? I might have been busy with our own matches, but the only time i saw sentinels was when Dunktown fielded them alongside Navy Harbs and support (and damn they wrecked us in the first of those matches).

      Delete
    3. "I really appreciate when the tournament matches and studio sessions get edited to size and posted on YouTube."

      ^ This one too. That would do a great deal to showing specific Highlights, specially to non-eve people. And Youtube is more accessable than twitch recordings anyway - also you could for example announce future SCL's in those annoying "announcement" boxes that flood every video nowadays.

      Two Pods, one bomb.

      Delete
  6. I really enjoy SCL, however, I wasn't aware of it being ran until I read about here in this blog:-( Perhaps, CCP can display a notice on the Eve launcher the Thursday before it goes down. CCP does Featured Fansite - why not Featured Event? I hope the fellows at SCL don't get discouraged due to the low viewership - they just need to find a way to get the word out. Get hot CCP and help these fellows.

    ReplyDelete
  7. tbh the audience wasnt bigger cause the "marketing" of SCL is quite franky: shit and/or non existent.

    I, for example, took only notice that /another/ SCL was taking place by your "friendly reminder". Even if 'you' would announce them a week beforehand people who read your blog would spread the word more.

    Get the word out there that its happenig, audience will come.

    I, for one, enjoy SCL's more than AT's so far.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, as I keep saying, I'm not technically part of the staff, but I'll pass the message along.

      Delete
    2. What a cop out lol.
      Jester: why didn't anyone watch?

      Us: well you didn't tell us to

      Jester: that's not my job

      Us: well it should be you git

      Delete
  8. You need to take into account the number of people that watch the SCL after the fact on the archived videos on twitch; I can't get the time to watch it as it happens and tend to catch up when the kids are in bed. Of course, the stream being re-titled to display the winner kinda spoils the surprise. It'd be really nice to have the VOD section of the SCL page updated; the mechanics of the page are really neat and good for watching it without everything being hugely spoilered :)

    Thanks for not putting the winner in your blog post title; it's appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'd say that bad promotion was definitely a factor. The first I heard of the SCL was your post on combat metas.

    If only you had some sort of prominent platform from which to alert people to these events...

    ReplyDelete
  10. EVE e-sports will always be super niche, since even the average EVE player won't be able to tell what's going on, let alone a random spectator.

    ReplyDelete
  11. never watched never will...why? cause I don't like the whole only the most leet get to play, there is no chance for smaller groups to work their way up and by excluding them you tell them that they are not worth the time to compete against fat, old, moon rich null alliances.
    And I don't think I'm alone in that thinking.
    let the flames begin

    ReplyDelete
  12. Let's see, no advance notice or advert of the event on EVE client, any CCP site, themittani.com, evenews24 or even this blog. Frankly I'm amazed there were 200 viewers, who frankly speaking were team members and people they know to whom they were giving free beer for coming over to watch some matches.

    So yeah, the marketing could be improved somewhat.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I would have loved to watch this except I didn't find out about it until today. And the Finals were going on during work hours.

    I'm hoping someone will put an archive of the stream somewhere as I would love to watch the matches. Tournament EVE is probably one of the only EVE videos I enjoy watching.

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    Replies
    1. Same here. I love watching eve tournaments but i had no idea this was happening...

      Delete
  14. I am late to this party because, being unaware of the SCL5 until I saw this blog post on Monday, I was only able to finish watching last night. SCL needs more exposure from CCP, bottom line, and has since just about day one. The tournament needs to be announced in the launcher in the days before the event. Even better would be if "SCL 5 announced" would hit the launcher when the event is announced. Please gently encourage CCP this direction, with force if necessary.

    While spaceship tournaments may be a niche, the only way to grow that niche is through exposure.

    ReplyDelete

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