After taking down Pandemic Legion and Hard Knocks in the preliminary rounds, The Tuskers seemed to be a dominant force as the finals of EVEN_NT Collides kicked off. We Form VOLTA had taken down The Afterlife and Warlords of the Deep on their own progression to the finals, and were not going to go down without a fight.
VOLTA made a bold start, bringing out a Bhaalgorn setup against the double Fleet Typhoon comp of Tuskers. Both teams plagued the other with ECM drones, trying to block out the disruptive power of the Tusker Hyena and VOLTA Magus. The Magus dropped first, followed swiftly by an Ishtar, giving Tuskers a 2-ship edge with the Hyena using its target painter to give the Fleet Typhoons better hits on the smaller enemy ships. With both Tuskers Inquisitors seemingly capped out by the Bhaalgorn, focus shifted to the VOLTA Oneiros as the Hyena/Typhoon combo continued its rain of terror. As the logi dropped, it was 'GF' in local as Tuskers took the first match without a single loss.
Tuskers swapped Typhoons for Hyperions for round two, bringing two Navitas and a Scythe Fleet Issue with them to face off against the kiting rapid-fire VOLTA team with two Onyx, Cerberus, Bifrost and Maulus. The Tuskers Scythe screamed into the fray as the clock started, taking full fire as the Navitas rushed to support it; a hard switch from the Scythe to the first Navitas melted it within seconds, with the second dropping into armour a few seconds later. The Tusker Hyperions seemed to struggle to apply damage without any tackle or ECM support, while the two Onyx had free reign to apply their disruption as much as possible. The Scythe made a last charge at the VOLTA Bifrost but barely scratched its shields before finally losing the last of its armour and structure. When all seemed lost from the Tuskers, a flight of web drones caught one of the Onyxes and held him for the Hyperions to unload full damage and snatch back a kill. Drone tactics were not enough to net the Tuskers another kill, and the game ran to time thanks to the tough local tank of the Hyperions. VOLTA claimed the victory, tieing the scores at one game each.
Round three saw two very similar compositions - two battleships and three frigates for each team, with Tuskers choosing a shield setup against the armour setup of VOLTA. The Typhoon Fleet Issues of VOLTA headed straight for the Tuskers team, but it was a combination of target painting and raw damage that burnt through both of the VOLTA Inquisitors in rapid succession. With their Hyena also bleeding armour, it was all VOLTA could do to drop one of the Bantams serving as logistics for the Tuskers team before losing their target painting ship and putting their Fleet Typhoons at the mercy of two Barghests with a single logi frigate and a Vigil as support. Tuskers scored themselves a second win as the last Typhoon was slowed worked down with five minutes left on the clock.
With the Conquest system ruling out the return of the Tuskers' Barghest setup, it was the Fleet Typhoon setup from VOLTA versus the much-anticipated Vindicator setup from Tuskers. One of their two Cruors took heavy damage as the Tuskers burned in to optimal, and some quick target switching from VOLTA landed on the second Cruor in an attempt to reduce the tackle on field. While Tuskers focused on one of the Fleet Typhoons, VOLTA continued to cycle targets between the Blackbird, Cruors and the crucial Guardian, taking the logi into low armour. A sudden switch onto one of the Inquisitors saw the Tuskers Vindicator get a crucial kill, wiping out half of the repping power of the VOLTA team and seeing a survival race between the first Typhoon and Tuskers Guardian. Despite both clinging to life for as long as possible, both ships dropped at the same time and left the VOLTA Hyena and remaining Inquisitor vulnerable to the webs and damage from the Vindicator. VOLTA snatched a kill on one of the Cruors, leaving both teams with three ships on grid. With time ticking down it was all down to the points totals once again, with VOLTA needing to take down the remaining Cruor or Blackbird to secure a win. ECM drones flooded the field, almost shutting down the damage from both teams and letting the last minute of the match tick away. Some last-second maths confirmed that Tuskers did indeed have the points advantage, taking a third game and claiming victory.
Congratulations to The Tuskers, winning themselves 45 IGC Victory skins for the Typhoon as well as the first place title for the inaugural EVE_NT Collides series!