CCP Logibro, master of ceremonies for the Alliance Tournament, today announced not just the first 56 teams of Alliance Tournament XIV, but also revealed the prize ships and commentators for this year's event.
As 2 of the top 14 teams did not accept their direct buy-in, 44 alliance names were drawn at random from the 80 valid entries.
While the draw included the likes of A Band Apart, Circle-of-Two, and NT Collides runners-up WE FORM V0LTA, some notable names will now have to throw their lot in with the secret auction in order to secure their tournament places. CVA, NC., Pandemic Horde and both GoonSwarm teams are some of the 36 alliances who now have from downtime tomorrow (July 27th) until downtime on July 29th to get their bids in.
A couple of small rule amendments were also released in today's devblog; a 1-point increase in the cost of Heavy Interdictors, and the addition that teams may now only field a single special-edition ship at any given time. - including the Gold and Silver Magnates that were awarded to pilots in the Amarr Championship earlier in the year. (Despite the restriction, I still expect to see at least one Etana or Chremoas hit the field!)
While prizes such as the Alliance Tournament Cup and Medals are a great prize and memento of participation, it's the ship prizes that everyone remembers. Carrying on the pirate faction theme of previous years, this year's special edition prize ships are based on Blood Raider designs and have some seriously impressive stats paired with the energy-draining capabilities we know and love from our favourite blood suckers.
The Caedes frigate packs a 400% bonus to Small Energy Turret damage alongside the ability to fit CovOps Cloaking Devices and a Covert Cyno Generator- with no targeting delay after decloaking and only a 5 second delay before being able to re-cloak, it could be a tough ship to find and even tougher to take down.
Getting Logistics Cruiser bonuses alongside the Amarr and Minmatar ones, the Rabisu is fully fitted out to be a hero logi in its own right - 100% bonus to Remote Armor Repairer optimal and falloff coupled with an 80% reduced powergrid requirement means the 6 high slots could make it a noteworthy addition to a fleet. But don't let the logistics bonus surprise you, this beast retains the energy neutralising and draining abilities you would expect from a Blood Raider ship.
The top 4 teams will receive the ships as follows:
- 1st place: 25 Cruisers and 25 Frigates
- 2nd place: 15 Cruisers and 15 Frigates
- 3rd place: 7 Cruisers and 7 Frigates
- 4th place: 3 Cruisers and 3 Frigates
A unique Blood Raider SKIN is also on offer for participating teams, awarded for each series won by a team - including the single-match series that makes up the earlier stages of the tournament.
This year's commentary team sees Chessur return to the booth, alongside Zarvox Toral, Gorion Wassenar from Rote Kapelle, and Mawderator from The Tuskers.
In a final change to previous years, teams now have a brand new events server to practice on instead of Singularity or Duality. Aptly named 'Thunderdome' and running on dedicated hardware, it will only be available to participating teams and will allow them to practice at their leisure under circumstances that match the tournament itself.
Remember to check out the Alliance Tournament Forums for more in-depth discussions regarding this year's event, and we will bring you further updates as and when they happen.