Just today, I stopped counting at 20 uses of variations on the phrase "It's surprising to me that...", "I don't understand why this team is...", and "It's kind of a strange choice, when they..." These are all very lovely diplomatic versions of saying "This team is being kind of dumb but I don't want to come right out and say that." That said, I was really pleased to see so many new tournament pilots. It's also pretty clear that several alliances are using this opportunity to build up tournament skills with their pilots ahead of the next Alliance Tournament later this year and that's also a good thing.
But it did make for some matches today that were kind of hard to watch.
The two upsets? The "Agmar Money Team" Pandemic Legion squad was pushed into the loser's bracket today by the "Kolbasz Inside" team. And the defending champion Asine Hitama's Team was likewise put into the loser's bracket by "WeHURT", a collaboration team of small gang and solo twitch.tv streamers including streamer and occasional SCL commentator Zao Amadues. Oh, and the "Warlords of the Deep" Hydra Reloaded team lost two ships in one of their wins, which kind of counts as an upset.
That said, being in the loser's bracket wasn't exactly an impediment to PL's last tournament run. Next week, the first team they face is "No Boundaries", which is three Rote Kapelle pilots as well as Syndicate residents, primarily Clockwork Pineapple. Meanwhile, the Hydra squad has a particularly easy road to the finals.
Commentary was quite good this weekend, with CCP Fozzie, CCP Rise, and CCP Dolan all providing experienced play-by-play with no serious missteps that I noticed. Hosting duties fell to CCP Bro... the poor guy looked really stiff and nervous all weekend. He certainly doesn't have the effortless ability to swing conversations from one topic to the next the way CCP Soundwave did. But it is just his first weekend so he's got lots of time to improve. But that did result in the between match chit-chat alternating between good and tight, or rushed and unfocused. A button to activate a smoke machine in the background on Saturday didn't help; use of it was dialed way down for Sunday.
And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Dolan's kinda distracting habit of apparently watching himself on one of the video monitor in front of him. ;-) Someone go in there this week and shut it off, please.
So far, I think my favorite commercial is Hydra Reloaded's...
It's amusingly in your face while also being a little understated.
The peak viewers I saw over the weekend was about 11,500... not too shabby!
Finally, Bro has been pulling occasional tweets from hash-tag #neoii and occasional conversation from the twitch.tv chat. That makes the proceedings more social, which I approve of. I personally came up in them when I noted (a little sarcastically, I'll admit) that the 8 CAS team with a core of three Raven Navy Issues didn't use any Target Painters; they certainly weren't visible being used in the stream of the fight itself! It was quickly pointed out on stream (presumably with information from the team itself) that the Herons on the same team did indeed have TPs... but the battle report confirms they were never applied. Probably, the 51km Heron lock range had something to do that with that...
That's all for now. On to weekend two!