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ATXIV - Final Weekend (Part Two)

Image of ATXIV - Final Weekend (Part Two)

The final day dawned, and with it two best-of series that would determine the positions of the last 4 teams remaining in Alliance Tournament XIV.
We Form V0lta vs The Tuskers (best of 3)
Match 1 had not one but both teams' flagships on the field in what was almost a mirror match, with V0lta favouring the control of a Kitsune and Amarrian bombers over the Svipul and Nemesis picks of Tuskers. V0lta took first blood with a kill on Tuskers' Oneiros, but their own quickly followed. Bombers of both sides were quickly taken out in a fairly even trade before V0lta focused down the Navy battlecruisers of their opponents and wiped out most of the remaining DPS. It was all Tuskers' flagship pilot could do to avoid certain doom, and he did a great job of dodging away from the remaining V0lta ships for the whole second half of the match timer. A victory for V0lta, but both flagships lived to fight another day.
Match 2 - Tuskers were seemingly unfazed by a first round defeat, choosing to bring the exact same setup - including flagship Bhaalgorn - for round 2. V0lta decided against their Navy-heavy setup and left their own flagship docked, bringing a Scorpion and Sleipnir core instead. The opening minutes were a testing ground to find good targets, while smartbombs took care of the many rep drones assisting in the logistics role. Again with a logistics ship trade, but V0lta were also down 2 Svipuls and a Hound already. Tuskers lost a Navy Brutix and Purifier in trade, but kept up a huge amount of control on the 2 Sleipnirs of their opponents. V0lta held on well but would eventually succumb to the Fleet Hurricanes and neut power of the flagship Bhaalgorn. With the score level, round 3 was on the cards.
Match 3 would be the decider; both teams' flagships made a return to the field, with Tuskers once again sticking to their Navy Issue battlecruiser comp and V0lta mixing it up with a more tradition Typhoon Fleet Issue setup. With the long reload time for missiles, V0lta struggled to maintain damage on the Navy battelcruisers of Tuskers as their own bombers, logistics and Fleet Typhoons were worked through and destroyed. The first flagship explosion of the day also went to V0lta, and with it went their chance of a place in the final. With 'GF's in local, self-destructs set, and microjumps made out of the boundary, it would be Tuskers getting a rematch against Pandemic Legion.
GRAND FINAL - Pandemic Legion vs The Tuskers (best of 5)
With a 1-match advantage from their undefeated run, it would be an epic rematch between undefeated Pandemic Legion and The Tuskers. It would be the third series of matches of the weekend for the Tuskers, as well as a quick turnaround following their win over We Form V0lta. Their flagship Bhaalgorn was still standing despite being a key component of every match they had played that day.
Match 1 saw the return of Tuskers' flagship Bhaalgorn, and would prove to be their only ship loss of the match as they took a commanding lead over the PL team. As their flagship was focused down, the rest of Tuskers were able to take down logistics and most of the support ships of their opponents. Taking the flagship out early and surrendering their one match lead may have a been a smart tactical maneouver on PL's part, but Tuskers proved their coordination and good target calling could work against the almost undefeated opposition.
Match 2 - another almost perfect mirror match, with just a Malice from PL differing from the Purifier pick of Tuskers. Another match with a lot of damage trade but no kills in the early game until the now familiar logistic trade- though Tuskers lost a Svipul and Blackbird as they tried to break through the repair bots keeping PL's Oneiros up for as long as possible. Without logistics and with smartbombs being used against rep drones, Tuskers just lot too much too early to make a strong enough comeback. While they did manage to take an Eos down with them, a second victory went to Pandemic Legion and put them back in the lead.
Match 3 would prove to be short, but far from sweet. Both teams suffered from multiple pilot disconnections within the first 3 minutes, with PL losing half of their team within seconds of each other along with at least two of the Tuskers. It was fairly clear that PL would struggle to recover a win - especially with their logi pilot being one of those disconnected - and in the midst of the confusion the remaining pilots of PL had no fight left in them for this match. As tournament rules state that the match simulation would be taken as-is in such circumstances, it was a somewhat bittersweet second win for the Tuskers that gave us a fourth and deciding round.
Match 4  - Once all pilots were back and after a slightly extended break to ensure connections were as stable as possible (as well as giving both teams much-needed recovery time), the final match got underway. A swift kill of a Hyena and Merlin by the Tuskers put them in a great position early on, secured even further by the death of PL's logistics ship while Tuskers themselves had only surrendered a Kitsune. PL seemed to just fall apart for a while, finally dropping Tuskers' Scimitar and a second Kitsune but down to just 2 Barghests and a Drake. With PL's heavy hitters working on Sleipnirs and Tuskers now without its Kitsune disruptions, the pace slowed for the midpoint of the match. The final Barghest of PL seemed to get a reload on its shield booster too little too late and collapsed under the missile damage of the Jackdaws and Orthruses, prompting the last Drake standing to boundary violate and confirm that the 4th match and final victory would be going to The Tuskers.
And so another Alliance Tournament draws to a close - GF to all the teams who took part in the three weekends of honourable space combat, and congratulations to The Tuskers on their victory!

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