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Tournament Berth: My Experiance in the Amarr Championship

SoulLess Zealot
Khaedra's Law
#1 - 2015-11-17 01:22:28 UTC  |  Edited by: SoulLess Zealot
The Amarr champion ship was announced during the Alliance tournament this year. As normal I was watching the stream when this happened. I have always had an interest in participating in a large events like this, but haven’t had the chance. I once patriated in a small player held tournament in a 2v2 frig set up (in which I went 1-1), and I guess if you could count the two AT practices I attended just after joining exodus. When I heard that this was happening I was hoping I might get my chance and as it turns out I did! Believe me when I say I was ecstatic! To be completely honest I was hounding the forums, blogs and my eve mail the week it was to be announced, I got the mail while I was at work. It would be a bit of an understatement to say I wasn’t excited. I nearly tripped over a piece of PVC pipe while I was basically jumping up and down, Embarrassing or not it’s what happened (lol). I had an idea of who I wanted on my team so I started getting them together as soon as I got home.

Once I got my team together we all got together to sit down and talk. Being not all of us had flown together before we thought it would be a good idea to do that, be it some sort of practice or on TQ. We wanted some sort of team dynamic and to be comfortable with each other. We planned to do this like 1-2 times a week at first maybe more once it got closer to the tournament. During this time we only got together once. I was the major contributor to this, as my job got busy and I was working a lot of O.T., however others were also guilty; but basically that didn’t happen. The only practice/ try out of our teamwork and execution was Friday and Saturday before the tournament.

Going into Sunday we knew we had two match ups potentially. Our first match up is what we spent most of our time on. Through our discussion we hashed out what we thought would be the best setup. Earlier in the week we had asked anyone and everyone we knew, who could help us practice for the weekend. Friday night we had a bunch of guys from the icebox corporation answer the call (thank you guys! You all know who you are.). We tested a mirror matchup multiple times and came out on top. We had decided not to use jams on our set up, we felt strong without them in that matchup. At this point people started logging off. It was late, I was tired from work and I think this sentiment was reciprocated by the rest of my team as well. We called it a night. The next day we talked a bit more about the choices in the setup and decided there was a comp “b” we wanted to test against. Comp “b” consisted of the same set-up (Oracle, Devoter, Zealot, and Sentinel) except that the sentinel was swapped for a sigil. The sigil could be tanked surprisingly well and had 4 mid slots for jams. We had set up ahead of time to practice with Kelon’s team on Saturday. We practiced a few of their setups and a few of our own, during which we had them field comp “b”. We got ReKt! Literally and figuratively. We clearly needed a rethink; either find a way to beat comp “b” or use it. At this point we just switched to our second matches setup as we just wanted a break form that fight. So we went to four slicers. I think initially most people would just say well it’s a slicer I guess you have a choice of pulses or beams and just stick a t/d on it. Basically bank on being better pilots or bust. I mentioned earlier that my team got together one time, well part of that get together was trying to get ahead of the ball and figure out what ccp might have us fly. During that first meetup we just started spit balling stuff and we decided to work from the ground up starting with t1 frigs which is where we first learned how strong jams were against them (we used magnates during these tests), so I spat out what about a no prop slicer and it seemed we all clicked; and the dual ecm no prop slicer was born [# tournylife]. Basically that was an open and shut book on testing. Now we set back to our first match were we finally decided on an ecm on the oracle to jam a sigil if fielded. It had a 90% success rate (actual numbers may vary); very were fairly confident.

Sunday came and I was all hopped up on coffee for our first match. I went to bed fairly late the night before and woke up an hour before I planned to. The anticipation was killing me. I watched the first match and noticed both teams fielded some form of ecm, but did so with the same ship types we had. No sigil. I really didn’t have time to think about it though we were moved to field shortly after the end of their match. Our game plan was locked. We were all quiet (which is typical of our comms when we’re serious). On the warp in we see an identical set-up to ours. They came in close to us which worked just fine for our game plan. We used our zealot and devoter to burn down there zealot and take him off the field as quickly as possible. Next would be the oracle to take the rest of the damage off the field and mop up. Honestly I felt it went textbook. I spoke with Venix just after the match. He informed me he burnt out his plate. I previously didn’t think it was really possible to do that, but after looking at his kill mail he should have taken more damage. We also noticed that their Zealot had fit a 5mn micro warp which gave him zero chance of running; especially when you consider we fielded a whole lot of web drones. I felt this took away from our win partially but I also felt our comp and plan were sound. It would be nice to see the match played out again

So in any event we moved forward. We were way more confident about our second set up. Our slicer fit locked to 60 some odd km I think, had a 400 plate, beams and 2 ecm’s. The ecm’s were extremely effective in testing. We figured at worst it would be a mirror. We landed on field at range. Our plan was to sit there and see what they would do at first. They were also beam fit. The match started and all of us besides Danmal stayed put.
SoulLess Zealot
Khaedra's Law
#2 - 2015-11-17 01:22:34 UTC  |  Edited by: SoulLess Zealot
His thinking was to try to mitigate what he could right off the bat, but in the process he made himself primary. It was at this point it was clear they had eccm. I want to note right here I did not land a single jam in the entirety of that match, some of us did however. They had ab’s so they had range control and we weren’t landing jams effectively and they had an active rep. We looked to be trading even on the first slicer. Danmal went down first. It was a grim outlook. I was asked recently by Anehii (TMC reporter) what my highest high and my lowest low were. I think this moment is in contention as a low. There are a few in what was to be my tournament berth. Torei managed to swap to radio and track for the final hits on merdaneth. They managed to get torei through his buffer and he was hanging on by a thread moving away from them at the same time I started moving across the area on a perpendicular line towards the edge. It’s funny to describe things this way to me because we were only moving at 400ms. Anyway it seems that it was sort of working tori was getting out of range and I became the new primary. If he had died right there we lost. At the same time ladle on Rodj’s team was moving around us presumably to finish him off. Unfortunately this worked in our favor as he was active tank and we were all able to apply to him. He promptly exploded, followed quickly by Rodj who had been burning strait into us, also now we started to get 3 jams per ship instead of two. Even with two of our slicers in very low armor the match was decided at this point 3v1 and one of our slicers was full on tank.

We won our house Bracket! ******* Sweet! I mean at this point we felt great we guaranteed ourselves some silver magnates and were still in contention for Iceland. Needless to say we ended the weekend on a high. We were all kinds of burnt out from the weekend, and with the rules not being announced until next Friday anyway we stepped away from the game. We decided to meet back up on Friday and we didn’t speak in between.

Friday finally comes. Going into this weekend we knew we had some handicaps. We had only two real battleship pilots, one with almost max skills and one with slightly less. The same two pilots were also the only two who could field command ships, however we had zero links pilots. We only had two pilots with hac 5 and recon 5. One of which was our max skilled battleship pilot. We did have 3 logi 5 pilots but we sure the guardian would get banned in one form or another. Also we had multiple legion pilots but only one good choice, who was strongest in a battleship. With the rules laid out I felt a little worse about our odds. Our first priority was to think about setups and find our round wide ban. We first considered top bans, among them were Armageddon, guardian, damnation. So now we started mulling over what other people would consider. In hind sight we may have spent a little too much time side tracked in thinking about every possibility and consideration. As it was we were very limited on time if we wanted to sleep and get up rested. In both weekends we had early matches and ¾ of us are us tz. One of which pacific. We settled on the absolution thinking someone else would ban the damnation, or if not we would have to spend match bans on it. This left less in the way of link options in our mind. We also assumed the guardian and Armageddon would get banned and maybe the curse. We were mostly right. We then hashed out our first setup which was what we brought in our first match vs kelon save the sacrilege which would have been a devoter. We talked about the navy geddon but were pretty sure the kite set up was preferred. Again I think we spent a lot of time considering just the 4 ships in this setup. By the time we actually got to practicing is was about 7 or 8 pm eastern. So we logged onto the test server to find out that they had patched it with the new camera and fall bonuses to nuets. I am now in panic mode. The camera is terrible. At least this is my first opinion; because it’s now independent you have to move your view point while trying to steer your ship in space it doesn’t automatically follow. We also discover that the bonuses on the nuet ships isn’t working (I should probably post that somewhere). I don’t want to get into this in the write up but I do want to broach the topic in that it affected our practices and moral. We essentially got one hashed run in where guys flew to far away from the beacon and called it quits. We were frustrated and the guys we got to help us were frustrated. We talked for some hours more before all of us logged off.

I woke up early Saturday again. I liked the idea of our kitting setup but in the back of my mind I felt it was untested. I was fairly nervous before this match. I know him and his team members. I know there good, but in my mind not unbeatable. I know they have links which assuredly meant we needed to fight through better resists. First match in we wanted a win. The pressure was on. There was a lot of chat in local before the match. More than the g/l most of us exchanged, probably the most all day maybe even all tournament. We warp to field. In front of us was Navy geddon, Navy harb, Devoter, confessor. Just prior to our match this day there was some talk about our cruiser. There was some want to change the devoter for a sacrilege. Eventually the sacrilege was brought. We decided we wanted to get rid of the Damnation in the bans there wasn’t much else we were concerned with. We went first I decided to ban the prophecy first then wait for their bans. They seemed more worried about the recons. We felt the recons were squishy. Last ban was mine where I banned the damnation.

On our end of the field we had Navy apoc, Navy harb, Sacrilege, Heretic. We wanted to pull back and try to kite per say with this setup. We also wanted to split up so they couldn’t mjd on top of us.
SoulLess Zealot
Khaedra's Law
#3 - 2015-11-17 01:23:20 UTC  |  Edited by: SoulLess Zealot
. Our thoughts on the sacrilege was hitting resist holes. And the heretic should be able to kill a frig or keep the confessor off him. Worst case would be a heretic vs heretic fight. The match starts and Lucian in their devoter starts burning in at us. We drop web drones to get him to slow down, while we start laying into him. We have t/d’s on there apoc so he can apply to us at all. At the same time we start burning away myself in the harb in the opposite direction of the napoc. They decide to come after me first. Maxine in the confessor starts shooting off the web drones. At this point we have the devoter into half armor or less, without taking any significant damage. Wasa QC was trying to chase in the Navy geddon but had given up and started chasing torei in the napoc. This is interesting to note because it helped seal my fate. At this point I start running out of room my hope was to eventually get to the mjd beacon and get away from the devoter. However the web drones were shot off and I dint heat my prop mod as much as I should have. By the time I reached it I was worried about getting scrammed so I started making a beeline across the back of the arena towards torei. I was so focused on Lucian I didn’t notice where wasa was positioned. As I’m running across the back I get scrammed but we sling past each other and I quickly over heat my mwd and turn it on. Unfortunately I was heading straight into wasa’s path. This move here was the match decider. If I had burnt upwards instead of across, there may have been a different outcome.

At 7:40 on the clock the Devoter was near death. At 6:50 I’m dead. This defeat burned. Not just myself but the team. Previously we had wrote it off as a loss. But not because of player error. This was extremely demoralizing for myself. Another spot in time that is in contention for my lowest low.

Before I go through the rundown of our second match, I would like to state this was the second of only two matches to go to time this weekend, and also the only match to be decided by a tie breaker in the entirety of the tournament.

Our second match of the day was vs the Kahnid team led by Dammasys Kadesh. We felt that it wasn’t the comp that lost the previous match, but my play mistake. The bans went the same as the first match. Go is given in local and we start moving. All except Danmal that is who is slow to react in this match. Kadesh’s team picks up on this, and primaries him. He is promptly wiped off the field. We start trading blows. Both teams locked on each other’s Harb. Again we are fighting through links. On our side we went with web drones again as we used them to great effect in our last match (and I must say throughout the tournament as well). On their side they had rep drones. We had considered rep drones before but only 1 pilot could use the t2 variant, we felt web drones would have a better affect. I also want to note all of our tracking disruption was on our heretic. We opted for tracking computers on the Apoc and harbinger. As we’re trading blows I’m slowly losing. I hang on to make it to the mjd beacon just after Kadesh loses a confessor, I get a bit out of there range. At the same time our web drones start catching up to the sacrilege. They put rep drones onto the sacrilege while shooting of our web drones. We get him into low armor before our devoter gets on top of him. At this point I was moving closer to get some damage on to try and finish the sac. They recognize this and switch to me immediately. I happened to be near an mjd beacon and burned to it. I activated it trying to get away and made it that far. Unfortunately I just wasn’t far enough away. POP. We now have Navy apoc and Devoter to their Navy Apoc, Navy harbinger, Sacrilege. Torei and Elana finish off the sac. Kadesh and co are laying into our Napoc. The Harb must have come in close to get more damage on because Elana is able to hard tackle him shortly after the sacrilege goes down. They navy Harb and our napoc are going down at the same rate. Neck and neck, all the way. Kadesh goes down first followed shortly by Torie. Now left on the field is their Navy apoc and our Devoter. Elana quickly scrambles to get in close to get under his guns. As he is moving in he’s taking a bunch of damage, and Reppyk in the apoc tries to mjd away so Elana can’t get under his guns. Elana makes it in time to stop that, and proceeds into a tight orbit with 1:20 on the clock. Basically this goes to time and all the way through the overtime. During this time Reppyk skills Elana’s web drones to try to get a better transversal. Something else to note was Elena’s cap management he only had 3 charges in his hold.

The first tie- breaker is highest potential dps at the start of the match. To quote : {In the very unlikely case that a fight is tied after 15 minutes, the victory will be awarded to the team that had more collective potential team DPS at the beginning of the match, as measured by the tournament automated “attack bar”. } end quote. The numbers announced in local were 800 something for us and 1100 something for them. We were a bit taken back by this. I could discuss this a bit, as well as the implications of AT rules vs Amarr championship rules, but in the grand scheme of things it was the rule. I also want to point out here I did ask for an explanation of how the tool worked at this point and may have been patronizing. Although I don’t feel it was accusative, I still feel a bit shameful of my actions. I want to say I’m sorry to ccp Logibro (who bared the brunt of it) and Mimic. It now feels really un-sportsman like. I hope you don’t think less of me in the future. I also want to say Good fight to Kadesh and co. It clearly went the distance and I think it was our toughest match of the tournament. It was a well-earned win.
SoulLess Zealot
Khaedra's Law
#4 - 2015-11-17 01:24:45 UTC  |  Edited by: SoulLess Zealot
At this point we were just rock bottom. 0-2. Keep in mind you only have so much time between matches. You need to get your comp/s ready and your bans, and now were demoralized. We were also relooking at our comp. We talked about some possible tweaks and our strategy for our next match vs. Ithica hawk. I forget who went first during the bans, but they ended up banning the apoc navy which made our decision easy. The name of my harbinger in this match was something like “RAAAaaaGGGGggeeeEEEee” and my team mates had similar names. We brought Navy Armageddon, Navy Harbinger, Devoter, and Heretic. They brought a Navy Armageddon, Navy Harbinger, Sacrilege, and confessor. The differences in our setups were that we brought beams and they brought pulses on the Navy harb, in which again they have a passive defense link. Secondly we brought a devoter again and they brought a sacrilege. We brought a heretic again and they brought a confessor. They had more dps from there harbinger, somewhere around 200 dps. Couple this with their links it had about the same tank, slightly less. The other noticeable difference is the devoter vs sacrilege. They do have damage selection and a bit more dps but the devoter has a larger tank. We all warped in fairly close or at zero. We primaried the Navy hard they went straight for the Geddon. We put the harb down fairly fast, and moved onto there Geddon. Elana (in the devoter) had gotten his scram on their geddon and we all put web drones on it as Torie tried to pull range. Luckily they didn’t have a smart bomb. We finish off Ithica and torie manages to hang on in low structure. The sacrilege was able to finish him off a moment later. Jaxley (the sacrilege) was tanking us well. Remember I’m beam fit and I had some t/d on me. All the while I’m taking damage. We swapped to the confessor to try to kill him off. I’m aligning to the mjd beacon at this point just for that sliver more of hope. We finally kill off the confessor as I’m breaking into structure basically. And with the t/d’s off me. I’m able to apply a lot more damage to jaxley. I end up winning the damage race and keep myself alive.

At the end of Saturday we were 1-2 not a good start, but we managed to keep ourselves from being shut out. We were pretty excited about that. We quickly did some math at the end of the day seeing the results of all matches. We knew the Top spot was out of question for us. What we found out was that there was only one set of circumstances that would see us in the second spot. First we needed to win both matches, and second we needed team Kahnid to lose both matches. It was a slim prospect. We felt like it was a reality safe bet that kahnid would lose to Tash-murkon, so we just had to hope Sarum would beat them. We put our heads together and set about making a game plan. We needed to try to next level our opponents. We started with Sarum, if we didn’t get past them it didn’t matter. They had a fairly clear pattern in their first 3 matches. They liked to stay at range. When the Napoc was banned they brought a beam geddon. We were pretty sure they wanted to keep with their game plan. We also noticed they were the only other team playing without links. This gave us the option of using a damnation, provided it didn’t get banned. We debated for a long while weather we wanted to try to push them off their game or if we wanted to bring a set-up to beat it. With no final decision but a lot of thought we adjourned until the next morning.

When the next morning came we hashed out that we wanted to bring. An Armageddon and a damnation rounded off by a devoter and sentinel. This set up had mjd’s fitted to both the Armageddon and damnation. We still like the Devoter in that spot because of the tank. The frig destroyer spot we talked about for a bit, it really had all to do with the bans for us. We had been bringing the heretic with tracking disruption. It was a little weaker than the confessor, but could apply its damage at long range and could t/d down anything that might try to chase it. It could also put a hurting on frigs if they were brought, so we felt it was a strong choice. We talked about banning it and bringing a sentinel I was fairly confident I could fly it well against anything but a heretic. We decided on banning that first and seeing what they banned out. I got the first ban, I banned the heretic. I don’t know what they were thinking but all day Saturday I banned the Damnation and the Prophecy. I was hoping this would mess with their heads a bit. The ban screen popped back up. They banned navy geddon and the confessor. We had a napoc fit ready for this just in case. I finished up the bans with a curse. Our strategy was to warp everything besides the devoter to fifty kilometers and the devoter at zero. As for the beacon I picked “A” and hoped they would pick one across from us. It was in fates hands at this point. Luckily they landed 80 from us. As it happened fate gave us a chance. There team consisted of a napac and damnation coupled with a pilgrim and retribution. The mjd plan went off perfectly, the napoc and damnation were now behind them with the devoter chasing in. My team started work on the recon. After finishing that they moved right into the napoc. And we won that race the damnations fate was sealed. Interestingly throughout the match they had there retribution chase me around in the sentinel to no avail. We won the match flawlessly.
SoulLess Zealot
Khaedra's Law
#5 - 2015-11-17 01:25:33 UTC  |  Edited by: SoulLess Zealot
The match with Sarum inched us ever so closer to Iceland it was a good confidence restorer in our theory crafting, perception and ability. However there was still the match with Hard Knocks and Sarum needed to win at the end of the day. Although I should note if we won our match vs lysis’s team they would be out of contention. Their match only being the decider of weather us or Damassys’s team would take the second spot. I’m not trying to say they would through it on purpose but I wasn’t sure how hard they would try to win. Our thoughts now are that we didn’t spend enough time contemplating our match with lysus’s team. We had assumed they would want to brawl and we decided to meet them head on if this was the case. We would ban the Damnation and heretic and bring a sentinel again. They banned the Pilgrim and the Curse. We landed on field with a navy geddon, navy harb, both pulse fit a sacrilege and a sentinel. They brought a mirror with the change of a confessor for a sentinel. Also of note they had links and again we couldn’t field them. Our sacrilege was supposed to land at zero with our harb and geddon behind that but mistakes were made. He warped in at the same range as everything else save me in the sentinel. The match started and their sacrilege was able to tackle our harbinger. We decided to primary there harbinger instead of the sacrilege, I’m personally unsure of whether or not this was the right call and others on my team feel it was the wrong call. I think if anything maybe we should have raced their geddon. We trade slowly on the harbinger and lose our sacrilege before we can kill theirs. With our geddon low in armor it was apparent we lost. I would also like to note rise had commended me in the fight before for flying the sentinel (of course that was against a retri). Just as fozzie is finishing commending me in this match I burn my prop mod out. Mistakes were made (lol). I try slow boating to the mjd beacon but never made it. I would love to try that again any time by the way. Eventually Torei was finished off and our Dreams were completely dashed. In hind sight we accurately predicted they would want to brawl, so why we decided to meet them as opposed to flying our original comp I will never understand. Especially when you consider we don’t have links.

In closing I want to say this has been amazing fun I can’t thank everyone at ccp enough for giving me the chance to do something extremely cool. I want everyone to know my emotions were a roller coaster over the past two weekends, but I am now in high spirits with lessons learned behind me, and I can’t wait to compete in something else again. Oh! and I still get a sweet, sweet, shiny magnate ;). I also want to affirm that I harbor no ill will to anyone that competed in the tournament.

Ps: if you read this far I commend you. I’m not even certain other people will find this interesting, but I felt the urge to write something.
SoulLess Zealot
Khaedra's Law
#6 - 2015-11-17 01:26:19 UTC
Kelon Darklight
Boars on Parade
The Tuskers Co.
#7 - 2015-11-17 02:08:14 UTC
Very interesting seeing another captains side of the tourney. I am writing up our theory crafting/fits/testing but I'll wait to post it until after iceland.
SoulLess Zealot
Khaedra's Law
#8 - 2015-11-17 02:27:43 UTC
can't wait to see it
aria Yatolila
Literally The Worst Community
#9 - 2015-11-17 06:35:53 UTC
Really interesting, thank you for sharing your experience :)

Lady Yatolila, retainer of her Lady Kadesh and Khanid Royal House

Lucian IV
Imperial Shipment
Amarr Empire
#10 - 2015-11-17 18:51:10 UTC
Formatting pls
Insanely Twisted
#11 - 2015-11-18 01:10:53 UTC
Really awesome to read what other teams have gone through. We almost had a complete collapse after our 0-2 start
Damassys Kadesh
Sideways and Tactless
#12 - 2015-11-30 21:03:00 UTC
Finally got around to reading this, thanks so much for writing it :)

It seems to me that everyone had a few similar experiences, and a few unique to the situations they found themselves in. All in all I'm sure it was a blast for everyone.

I've finally sorted out my footage from the tournament and want to share it (I will post in a few other places and evemail all the captains as well). I did a little bit of writing in the descriptions of each video too. I hope you find it interesting to see the other side of some of the fights:

*Note: I was so distracted by our first win that I failed to dump the footage from our very first match against Soldarius :P

Sourem Itharen > Congratulations Lady Kadesh, you have been selected by trial of fire and blood, under the watchful eyes of God, to represent Lord Khanid as his champion in the Imperial Succession trials -YC117