|CHED||Rook||Caldari||Recon Ship||13||91.60 MIL|
|Podcat||Rook||Caldari||Recon Ship||13||91.60 MIL|
|Violatohr||Myrmidon||Gallente||Battlecruiser, Tier 2||13||26.85 MIL|
|Joram McRory||Rook||Caldari||Recon Ship||13||91.60 MIL|
|Count MonteCarlo||Oneiros||Gallente||Logistics Cruiser||12||80.00 MIL|
|fmercury||Ishkur||Gallente||Assault Frigate||4||19.75 MIL|
|Barek Ironfist||Myrmidon||Gallente||Battlecruiser, Tier 2||13||26.85 MIL|
|Endless Subversion||Myrmidon||Gallente||Battlecruiser, Tier 2||13||26.85 MIL|
|Fintroll||Huginn||Minmatar||Recon Ship||13||76.00 MIL|
|Ghen||Scimitar||Minmatar||Logistics Cruiser||12||93.00 MIL|
|Creyn Hawk||Sleipnir||Minmatar||Commandship||16||170.00 MIL|
|Shamis 0rzoz||Sleipnir||Minmatar||Commandship||16||170.00 MIL|
|Dec V||Sabre||Minmatar||Interdictor||3||35.00 MIL|
|Mr Rive||Sabre||Minmatar||Interdictor||3||35.00 MIL|
Pandemic Legion: AT VIII Champions for the Third Time After Victory over HYDRA RELOADEDReported by: Clarity Brown
It might not come as a surprise to many that for the third time running, Pandemic Legion are Alliance Tournament champions. But as they were facing HYDRA RELOADED, an alliance that performed consistently well throughout the Tournament and which houses former Pandemic Legion member, Admiral Goberius, who designed Pandemic Legion's victorious setup last year, many were astounded to see them do it so quickly.
Hydra set for the match with the majority of their firepower at medium range to the central arena beacon with their Rooks and Oneiros positioned back behind their team. Pandemic Legion, confident as ever, dropped their main firepower - three Sleipnirs and a Claymore - right on the beacon with their logistics and support off at range to one side.
Hydra's setup in the final was the same as the one they fielded in their previous match against WE FORM VOLTRON. Afterwards, Violahtor explained the intent behind that decision. "We were hoping that PL would be all 'They won't field this setup again.' They were obviously prepared for it, though."
The signal to start the match went off in a blinding flash and both sides poured drones onto the pitch, Hydra sending out the hordes of swift Warrior IIs one might expect from a triple-Myrmidon team, while Pandemic Legion went with a mix of Warrior IIs and their larger sisters, Valkyrie IIs. Right away, the first blood was shed: El'Tar of Hydra had his Taranis was caught in that first outrush of drones; it lasted a matter of seconds against them. Raino was next - Hydra's second Taranis leaving the fight as so much salvage.
The Pandemic Legion Sabres swung wide around the fighting and plunged towards the Hydra rear lines, where their vital ECM and logistics sheltered. Count MonteCarlo, Hydra's Oneiros pilot, kept up remote armor repairs to his team even as they moved towards the limits of his range. Meanwhile, the first of Hydra's Myrmidons, flown by Violahtor, was locked in position by Fintroll's Huginn and taking heavy fire from Pandemic Legion's Minmatar command ships. The Myrmidon crumpled under the relentless barrage of projectile rounds and PL immediately switched their fire to Endless Subversion, again in a Myrmidon. He proved to have an end after all and with each Myrmidon's death, a full flight of drones was also taken from Hydra's outgoing DPS.
Deros' Thrasher was darting in among the Hydra Rooks, pursued by fmercury's Ishtar, but low transversal velocity and some timely backup from the other Pandemic Legion support ships kept Deros alive to continue harrassing the Rooks and Scimitar and took Mr Mercury, and his drones, out of the fight. Meanwhile, the PL command ships continued to hunt down Hydra's heavy firepower. Barek Ironfist's Myrmidon fell hard, leaving Hydra with only three Rooks and an Oneiros to fight for them - not exactly a plethora of damage dealers with which to face the entire, intact Pandemic Legion team.
Diving below the ecliptic, almost the entire PL fleet closed in on Joram McRory's Rook; jam as he might, there was little he could do against the entire enemy team, shooting his ship to fragments then going after Joram's fellow Rook pilot, Podcat. The team then turned and swept back up the battlefield, the distance meaning to their swift vessels as they split, bringing CHED's Rook down mere seconds before Count MonteCarlo's Scimitar.
After the match, Pandemic Legion captain Shamis talked about the people and efforts who had brought his team to their triumphal position. "It was a tough field this year.We had some scary matchups but luckily we predicted what we needed and brought the right setups. And there really was no metagaming involved, just game theory.
"I'd like to thank Creyn Hawk, Raivi, and Rn Bonnet for all their hard work theorycrafting and I'd also like to thank Fintroll and Kearl for being awesome help with logistics... Finally I'd like to thank heng for being the best Logistics pilot in [New Eden]."
Shamis emphasised the degree of hard work that went into their winning team. "Practice and experience. The tourney is also a lot like poker. You have to set a precedent of a certain type of behavior, and then change it when people don't expect it. I think we did that fairly well this year.
"Every setup in the tournament has a hard counter. We try to find the best setups and then we find the counters to the best setups. Then it's just a matter of guessing what the other guy is gonna bring and picking the appropriate counter."
Former Pandemic Legion member Admiral Goberius, now flying for Hydra, expanded on this thought, drawing on the analogy between one setup countering another and the child's game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. "...With the difference that rock paper and scissor are not set in stone and a few changes to a setup can turn a paper into scissor... Good testing, which only few teams do, helps the accurancy with which you can predict if a certain setup really is a scissor to paper.
"For a practical example - we tested this exact setup. And I believed 100% it was in the myrms favour. Apparently I was wrong... By setup I meant matchup. Same ships on both sides. So for this specific game, I think better testing on PL's part played the biggest role - although 'poke'r guessing is a huge factor in the tourney as well."
So practice, testing and a keen insight into the opponent's hopes and fears leads to this: It took 6 minutes, from start to finish, for Pandemic Legion to sweep HYDRA RELOADED from the field and claim their third consecutive Alliance Tournament Championship.