(Editor's Note: What follows is a piece by Chopin, an Editor with TheMittani.com. Opinions and views of this piece are those of Chopin, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Marc Scaurus)
The New Eden Open started this past Saturday to not a lot of fanfare or excitement from most in the community, outside those with a direct interest in the venture. Viewership seemed to peak around the 5000~ mark with surprisingly few real issues with the stream (given past experiences with Alliance Tournaments). Production qualities in the ‘studio’, chaired by the ever laconic CCP Soundwave, were a bit low - but in terms of the technical aspects, the show was relatively smooth.
The new tournament UI displayed during the matches was interesting and probably helped those who cannot be called ‘EVE Aficionados’ better understand the dynamics of the fights. At the end of the day, however, EVE fights ultimately come down to either multicolored boxes or close ups of impressive looking ships, punctuated by the occasional blue exclamation mark of an explosion.
As for the commentary for the matches, the product put forth by CCP Dolan and CCP Fozzie was, whilst professional, lacking a certain punch that other eSport tournaments have. Whether this is due to the commentators themselves (who were very upbeat throughout) or the nature of EVE combat, the end result was a broadcast that came off as a bit uninteresting.
The matches themselves were varied; some featured grinding slug matches, others hilarious failures, and still more sported tremendous amounts of ECM. Team makeups seemed to reasonably echo the formats we have grown accustomed to seeing in Alliance Tournaments past, with little to no innovation aside from the necessary adaptations to the slightly smaller format. Ship bans proved to be something of a non factor in all but a very few matches, their potential for disruption mostly minimized by the 24 man roster most teams could draw from.
Due to the shortened field of competitors (covered here), only three teams were in danger of elimination this weekend. Unsurprisingly, the mostly-Goonswarm team of Oxygen Isonopes (led by Warr Akini of miniluv fame) were among the three axed. ISN was also eliminated, along with Pandemic Legion’s team ‘Why Dash’. PL’s surprising early exit from the Tournament largely stemmed from their first loss, where Elise Randolph boldly charged too close to the sun (in this case, the vertical boundary limit), spawning this bit of art:
The second weekend of the New Eden Open is scheduled for this coming Saturday (November 24th). Whether it will be able to maintain the viewership of the first weekend is in some doubt, as this coming weekend is Thanksgiving in the United States - the most travelled weekend in the States. For full results, check out Day One and Day Two at the official New Eden Open site.
To some, the opening weekend of the New Eden open provided an opportunity to hone their skills against other seasoned pilots. To others, it represented a new way to watch legends of old and new fight amongst the stars. Still others found themselves exchanging large amounts of ISK in the form of bets. For me, after the opening weekend was done, a solitary question loomed: Was it worth it?