(reprinted from the Caldari Navy Times newsfax)
(KINAKKA) - Caldari paramilitary alliance The Fourth District was defeated in a hard-fought match against Ev0ke in the first elimination round of Alliance Tournament VI this weekend. This marks the second time the Fourth District has been defeated by Ev0ke in such a manner, but alliance leaders remain upbeat about their performance. "Considering that Ev0ke is a former champion and reached the semifinals this year, and we had perhaps the closest loss to them of any of their opponents, we are convinced that we will continue to be a strong performer in future tournaments," said Fourth District spokeswoman CAPT Svetlana Scarlet.
The alliance began the tournament two weeks ago with a strong victory over tournament newcomers Veni Vidi Vici. A combination of strong piloting and significant electronic warfare superiority allowed the Fourth District team to clear the field of their opposition, with the loss of only two Blackbird-class EW cruisers and a single Ishtar-class heavy assault cruiser. CAPT Scarlet attributed the victory to a last minute change by team captain LCDR Trony. "Trony ordered a the Ishtar pilots to switch in sensor dampeners at the last minute, which, combined with our ECM, really kept the Veni Vidi Vici team locked down tight. Without that, we probably would have been hammered with missles from the Ravens once the Blackbirds went down."
The victory over Veni Vidi Vici put the Fourth District in 8th place overall, which meant the next battle would be against eventual champions Pandemic Legion. "We knew Pandemic Legion would probably be one of our toughest opponents in the tournament, even if we made it into the finals. We fought a lot of the pilots in the alliance during our time in Pure Blind and when many of them were on the Triumvirate. team during Alliance Tournament V," explained CAPT Scarlet. "Even a good showing that ended in defeat would make us happy."
Unfortunately for the Fourth District team, that's just what they got. Though initially looking strong, they were ultimately defeated by a combination of mass light drones, which sawed through the Fourth District assault frigates, and Drakes fielding electronic warfare that blunted the damage of their Abaddon battleships. Without the assault frigates to hold down the Pandemic Legion Ishtars, the Fourth District team's ability to inflict damage was greatly reduced. Eventually, the Abaddons were worn down and destroyed, but not before the Fourth District destroyed three Ishtars and two Vigils, giving them enough points to go through to the elimination round in 23rd place.
That meant a match Saturday against Ev0ke, who defeated the District in their first match of the elimination round during the last tournament before going on to take the championship. Five Ev0ke Dominix-class battleships and two Vigil-class frigates went up against a Fourth District Nighthawk, Drake, seven Caldari Navy Caracals, and a standard Caracal in what most observers are calling the most exciting of Saturday's matches. The Fourth District started out strong, hammering the Ev0ke team with heavy missiles, but as their microwarp drives began to use up all their capacitor, the Fourth District Caracals began dropping to the Dominix's sentry drones. By the end of the match, only a single Ev0ke ship, a Dominix, remained on the field -- a costly victory for the previous champions, the closest of any of their matches to that point.
CAPT Scarlet was quick to point out that the Fourth District had one of the toughest schedules of any of the tournament competitors. "Pandemic Legion and Ev0ke were both favorites going into the tournament; the fact that we had such a strong showing against them both, despite the gulf in resources and manpower, says a lot about our pilots," defended Scarlet. "Pound for pound, we have no doubt that the Fourth District was among the best of the tournament competitors, and we're looking forward to proving ourselves against the field in the next tournament."
Caldari Naval Forces Holonet will be replaying all of the past three weeks' tournament coverage over the next two weeks, courtesy of the Nugoeihuvi Corporation and CONCORD's Interstellar Services Division. Splinterz fans are already calling this the best tournament yet thanks to many of the rules changes. "There's just one word to describe the action we've seen today," said Echelon Entertainment sportscaster Ona Kamizaki after the final matches. "Epic. This weekend's finals shouldn't be missed by anyone."