At the heart of the EVE_NT Nottingham event is the open tournament, a live PvP showdown open to all NT attendees. Those who throw their name into the draw for a spot on the player roster have a chance at winning some fantastic prizes- from mice and headsets courtesy of CoolerMaster and Plantronics, to EVE art books and swag from CCP.
The time round, 64 players were drawn for a 2v2 tournament of Command Destroyer and Cruiser pairs. Teams were drawn at random, and a selection of pre-fitted ships were available to choose from- from the return of the ever-popular Vexor and the wildly underestimated Bellicose, to the speedy kiting power of the Magus and Pontifex. With the full fittings displayed for players to see beforehand, there was a little time to find your partner and talk tactics if so desired before the first round got underway. Thanks to the wonders of technology, the whole tournament was broadcast live on Twitch with live commentary from NT regulars Bei ArtJay, Apothne and Suitonia, alongside Suleiman Shouaa, StarFleetCommander and Johhny Twelvebores.
The first round of matches was dominated by Vexors and Magus?, the speed of the Gallente CD and the sheer drone damage output of the Vexor chewing through much of the competition. Though the Pontifex saw a stronger showing in the later matches of round one, many of the fights came down to a cruiser-on-cruiser brawl in a cloud of drones and tackle. The sheer brute force of the Vexor fit was shown in a match with the sole survivor of a Vexor in 3% structure, having chewed its way through both a Pontifex and the enemy Vexor.
It was no surprise to see the Vexor banned for round two, with many teams picking up the Bellicose in its place. The Stork/Bellicose combo proved its worth, taking three wins out of the eight matches; but the pressure seemed to be getting to the CDs, with three matches lost through boundary violations. The Minmatar cruiser fared less well in the quarter finals, with a more even spread of ships being brought out to fight and die, but it was still deemed strong enough to be banned out for the final matches of the day.
The two semi-final matches could not have played out more differently; the first, a tense drawn-out battle down to a sole Rupture survivor, the second being a great example of a flawless victory for the Amarrian pairing over their Minmatar/Amarr opponents. But there was no rest for either of the losing teams, as the battle for third place followed shortly after. Though Blue team lost their Command Destroyer before either of the Red ships lost their shields, the huge armour tank and focused damage of the Blue Maller pulled back a victory.
Finals time, and almost a completely Amarrian showing as a Pontifex/Maller team squared up to a Pontifex/Rupture pairing. The Red Pontifex seemed to melt into armour within a matter of seconds before teaming up with its Rupture partner to lay down some damage on the enemy Pontifex. Too little too late, as the Blue Pontifex repped back its armour and let his Maller partner charge into the fray, holding down the Rupture and unleashing the full power of its pulse lasers.
The victors had one final battle ahead, and this time were going head to head against each other with a brand new partner and a case of beer on the line for the true winners! Mister Marram picked Suitonia to join his team, while Giobatta chose StarFleetCommander as his new partner. Not willing to let a good thing go, a mirror matchup of Pontifex and Maller collided in the arena - and made short work of each other as the Blue team pulled off another flawless victory.
Congratulations to the winners, GF to all who participated, and thanks to the crowd for bringing the hype. Huge thanks to the sponsors for the prize donations, and to all of the NT tournament team for bringing us yet more exploding spaceships.
1st: Giobatta/Mister Marram
2nd: NastaKilla/Kirith Darkblade
3rd: Jin'taan/Elinari Rhodan
You can watch the full stream of the event below.