Hello and welcome to another edition of Sit Down with NER, my name is Theodred Alabel, a writer and director for NER. Today I am joined by Jin’taan, an organizer of one of the upcoming player-run tournaments in April, Streamfleet Showdown Invitational II. Our conversation can be found below:
Q: First off, tell us a little about yourself, who you are and what you are doing in eve these days.
I’ve gone back to the core of the old corp I used to fly with in Providence, who reformed as Escalated. In The Initiative. I’ve been mostly taking a lull in activity game-wise, as I’ve had to balance my EVE time more stringently lately due to my university studies, meaning all of my time ended up going towards prep for the most recent summit & Evesterdam, and helping CCP with the messaging of the various changes that came out that. My last major action was as part of the FC team for the takedown on Rage, where I was tasked with red-teaming for HK, given my experience fighting Boosh Ravens during the Anime War.
Currently my main in-game hobby is stealing moon ore from random hisec moons with a fleet of Orcas to watch their reactions (and make ISK).
Q: In a few words, describe what the Streamfleet Showdown Invitational tournament is.
The Streamfleet Showdown is my personal attempt to make an EVE tournament that is, above all things, the most fun to watch it possibly can be.
Q: Why did you decide to set up this tournament? Who is involved in the tournament? How is your tournament different from the official AT that had been held in years past?
With the AT on hiatus this year, there was a huge gap to fill in the calendar for a lot of people who primarily focus on tournament play, and many of them had mentioned to myself and others that their corps were going to hibernate until next year. That left me with an opportunity to both help keep the tournament scene alive for next year, and to experiment with an entirely different ruleset and format.
One of the major differences is that it’s an invitational, as opposed to an open. Whilst I absolutely want to do opens in the future, for now this means I can make sure all the teams in the tournament are eminently recognisable, and prevent people from bringing on board the B-Teams that many complain about in the AT.
I have an absolutely All-Star cast on the broadcast team, who I have no doubt will knock it out of the park when it comes to the tournament, with the following being scheduled to appear on screen during the two days;
- Ithica Hawk
- Elise Randolph
- Damassys Kadesh
- Rahne Chocolate
- Virion Stoneshard
- The Bazzalisk
- Bret Thomas Thomas
- Anveri Vestigo
- Black Bart Pirate
- Tikktokk Tokkzikk
- Cycki Hexanol
Alongside this, I am working with an amazing support and technical team, with EQ11 (AT 14/15 cameraman), Aleksi Aksan (AT 13-15’s stats genius), and Streamfleet’s renowned Ms Moses and Raiden Harmann.
Q: What are some of the rules surrounding your tournament?
The full rules are here, but the TL;DR is that it’s a 6v6 tournament with “Class Based” rather than “Points Based” composition structure. Teams also have to lock in 5 compositions in advance, which are available here, and can only be used once during a tournament day. This means that both the audience, analysts and casters will have a better idea of what’s going on, and the strategic implications of using a comp in any specific match.
Q: How is your tourney being financed? Are you self funding or do you have sponsors for your event?
I am personally funding the tournament, with the exception of the PLEX/SKINs that were provided to us as prizes for the teams by CCP. So far I’ve put 20b on the table as prizes for viewers in the clip competition and as SKINs to give away to chat during the stream, and another 15b for art and advertising.
Q: In setting up this tournament, what was one of the most difficult challenges you faced so far? What kind of help or support have you received from other organizations in your effort to set the project up?
One of the biggest challenges we faced early on was one we were able to actually turn into a strength. Our original tournament, SSI 1, was fairly similar in construction (although with fewer teams), and one of the big complaints about it was the lack of artwork and advertising to go with the gameplay. This is something I have never been particularly adept at – as anyone who’s ever seen the diagrams on my videos can attest to – but Streamfleet was able to bring myself and some of the stars of the EVE Creative community such as Rixx Javix, Manic Velocity and EQ11 to help us produce the awesome graphics and advertisements you can see even on this very website.
Q: What do you hope to get out of this tournament? What would have to happen for you to consider it a success?
The main thing I hope to get out of this tournament is to prove to CCP that EVE can be a more interesting competitive game, and that there is an audience for high-quality, competitive online tournament broadcasts, which would otherwise not engage with the game. I hope that will lead to CCP offering more support in the future.
Q: Tell us a little about the teams you gathered for this tournament, how did you pick the teams that would compete in the tourney?
I tried my best to ensure that all areas of space would be represented, and as such there’s representation from Lowsec (Stay Frosty/Templis CALSF/Best Bois), Hisec (Red vs Blue) & Nullsec (Brave Newbies/Goonswarm). I had attempted to get a wormhole team for the tournament, but the two potential teams I approached declined my offer, which is something I hope to change next time I run one of these.
On top of these, as mentioned I wanted to make sure we had two top-tier tournament playing teams to help bring up the level of the format, so we have both the previous tournament winners (Spooky Action) and an NC./Tuskers All-Star team (Zero Talent), who I can’t wait to watch in action.
Q: Are there any cool prizes the winner of the tournament get?
The prizes aren’t quite on the level of AT ship goodness, but we do have the following prizes being sponsored to us by CCP;
First place: Apostle Lavacore Imperial SKIN and 500 PLEX per player,
Second place: Drekavac Metamateria Exotica SKIN and 200 PLEX per player,
Third place: Hecate Caille Neon SKIN and 100 PLEX per player.
Alongside that, we have 10 LSIs and 10 sets of +5’s to give out for our Twitch Clip competition, and a pool of 4b worth of SKINs (chosen by our SKIN expert Rahne Chocolate) to hand out to chat over the course of the tournament – So it’s not just prizes for the teams!
Q: What advice would you give to people looking to follow in your steps and organize a player-run tournament?
Plan, plan plan. Know your timeline in detail before you start anything. Know what is mission-critical for you in the tournament and prioritise that over everything else. Always have backup options for people in your planning, and contact them as early as possible in the process.
Q: How do you think CCP placing the AT on hiatus has affected the community?
I think it’s had an incredibly deleterious effect, and it’s been poorly handled by CCP overall. Trying to frame the hiatus of the AT as a good thing didn’t work, as did not having a more detailed plan for the future of EVE’s competitive play to pair alongside it. That combination was received as a signal of the death of EVE as a competitive game, and a lot of the content creators who focused on that area of the game simply quit.
For these players it’s not just the 3-4 weeks of playing, it’s the 3-4 months of practice and theorycrafting and nightly fun they get to have trying to be the best they can be at the game on a mechanical level, and they felt like their game had effectively been shut down.
Q: You have served as a commentator for the AT in the past, assuming it comes off hiatus, as a commentator, what do you think needs to be changed or improved upon?
I think CCP is stuck in the past with its current system of focusing purely on a single flagship tournament, and they’re experimenting with more distributed set of tournaments in this year’s Invasion series. I hope they will realise that there’s room in the calendar for more than one big tournament with CCP backing, and realise that teams have to be able to build up a brand for themselves if they want to grow their engagement with competitive events.
Q: Do you think CCP will organize an AT next year?
As a member of the CSM I am obliged to reply No Comment with regard to any future plans CCP may or may not have.
Thank you for taking the time to sit down with us Jin’taan. We look forward to seeing your tournament and wish the participants the best of luck! You can discuss the tournament on the official eve forums or check out this article on streamfleet’s which talks about the tournament some more.