The last half of the article has been rewritten; less beholden to hyperbole and quick summations of the relationships involved, more questions on CCP rulings.
Last year was my first alliance tournament. Not as a competitor. Obviously. As a spectator. I was super excited about watching it. And barring the final match (more on that in a smidgen), the tournament exceeded all of my expectations. Mainly because of CCP. Damn, they put on a great show. I've never watched video game tournaments before, and did not quite realize how sporting event-like they could be. It was like watching a compressed version of the Final Four tournament (a big American college basketball tournament, which I don't actually watch, because basketball is hell of boring, but if you live in North America you can't help but know something about it.)
Alliance Tournament IX was quite exciting. I especially enjoyed all the in-match commentating by actual players (flown out to Iceland for the job on CCP's dime, no less.) The inter-match banter and analysis was even more fantastic. Damn, if CCP Soundwave isn't the funniest person living in the middle of the North Atlantic. CCP put on an excellent show that flaunted their game most spectacularly.
Some of the shine to all this CCP and competitive excellence was taken off the event with the shenanigans of the final match. One alliance, Hydra Reloaded, decides to cozy-up with another alliance, Outbreak, train, strategize, share tactics together, two teams become one. They ensured they were in separate draws come the final day of the tournament. Effectively, one team makes it to the final match.
So come the tournament final, Outbreak throws the match for Hydra Reloaded. It was a complete farce. Their apology afterwards? They were sorry they couldn't have faked their fight more convincingly. Like, what the hell? Fake is fake, convincing or not. That shit would have got out no matter, no way to keep that secret. People in EVE can't keep their mouths shut if they think they've pulled one over.
So the rule for the upcoming Alliance Tournament X, alliances will not be allowed to field multiple teams, consider it the Hydra Reloaded rule. They won last year's tournament, so they get the infamy of the new rule named after them.
We wouldn't be particularly enthused if the University of Indiana were fielding two teams in the Final Four tournament. Even worse if the University of Indiana created the University of Central Indiana, which doesn't normally have any students except during March when suddenly basketball players, and those basketball players are students at the University of Indiana the rest of the year.
So, this year, so far, three alliances have been banned from Alliance Tournament X. Hydra Reloaded and Outbreak. Because they figured they could do as they did last year, two teams from, effectively, one alliance. As well, Your Votes Don't Count has been banned, apparently Pandemic Legion's version of Outbreak.
The rules do state that only the B and C teams of an alliance will be disqualified, which should mean that only Outbreak is out of the tournament. So, why Hydra Reloaded as well? They got it right with Your Votes Don't Count, they being the alternative team of Pandemic Legion. Team B out, Team A remains. So, again, why is Hydra gone? In that case both Teams A and B were disqualified.
The new rule against pre-tournament collusion, it's good in essence, if not so much in wording or in the quality of the actions taken so far by CCP.
So kudos to CCP Sreegs for trying to make the starting line of Alliance Tournament X fairer, even if he's somewhat failing at consistency. Come down hard on folks trying to game the pre-tournament entry process, but don't have every ruling be some special case. (Also, why is Sreegs such a dick in all his forum posts? Still too much Goon in him? I find his sarcasm hilarious, but it doesn't help the situation. Most people don't appreciate good sarcasm.)
One alliance, one team. Seems fair enough to me.