As the second weekend of the New Eden Open dawned, it was clear that it was a vast improvement from the snooze fest that opened the tournament last week. Riskier team setups, actual tournament ships being fielded (and promptly lost) and a shakeup of the commentary team suggested mistakes from last weekend were made and improvements followed.
Let’s start with the commentary team. On the first day of the second weekend, CCP Dolan and CCP Fozzie continued to commentate. Whilst the odd one-upmanship and distractions happened periodically, it was less noticeable this weekend. Whether that was because I had become immune to the MB3 syndrome, or whether he had been told not to do this, is anyone's guess. Come Sunday however, CCP Falcon was in the commentary team with CCP Fozzie. Whilst Falcon did an admirable job himself, there were less of the fireworks and more of the nodding head syndrome by CCP Falcon when CCP Fozzie was talking. Not that there is anything wrong with nodding along, but without chemistry in a commentary team the whole affair becomes very lackluster. Whilst I agree that CCP Dolan can come across as annoying, he did provide some entertainment value to the team.
The stream itself was very good. Adverts came back with a vengeance and I was bemused to learn that own3d.tv rarely cycle adverts so I endured Van Goghurt three times in a row on many occasions. The desk is still as glittery as ever and there were some initial glitches to start with, but these were smoothed over fairly quickly and overall the viewing was enjoyable. The weekend viewership was down overall to around 2,500-3,000 at any one time. Whilst this could be associated with it being Thanksgiving weekend in the States, nonetheless it should serve as a small concern to CCP. Hopefully the numbers will improve heading into the final weekend.
In terms of the actual matches, it was a better viewing experience than the first weekend. Teams fielded riskier setups, including XXXMity using three, yes three, Malices (Alliance Tournament ships from the 9th Tournament) and losing all three at a total cost of 90 billion. After the match, it was widely reported that the Damnation pilot on Team XXXMity forgot to activate his links. It was a rookie mistake, but one that clearly demonstrated that more powerful ships do not necessarily equal a more powerful team. Nobody is perfect in this game and simple mistakes can cost you billions. Of course I’m sure XXXMity will differ in opinion.
Highlights of the weekend, aside from the destruction of three Malices, include: The opportunity to see the CCP Commentary team having makeup applied as well as Much Crying Old Experts banning out the Broadsword in their fight with My Little Nulli. For those that didn’t watch the AT10, Nulli Secunda brought three Broadswords and won pretty convincingly.
The final weekend is next week but for those that haven’t kept in the loop at all here is the bracket heading into the final weekend and the results of this weekend: