One of the biggest events for players in EVE Online is the Alliance PvP Tournament which is held annually. CCP Games' new Alliance Tournament page explains what the event is all about: "The EVE Online Alliance Tournament is the ultimate battlefield in which the top pilots in EVE Online fight for the glory and honour of their alliance. 64 Alliances compete over 3 weekends of intense, explosive action, with the final weekend broadcast live via EVE TV."
Last year's was tournament was a big success, with some excellent commentary on the matches from members of the EVE playerbase and no small amount of drama. Given how well things worked out last year, the 2009 Alliance Tournament will follow the same format, but there are a few changes that EVE developer CCP Claw discusses in his dev blog "How do you stop a man with seven alliance tournaments?"
There will now be a notable change with how tournament signups work; the system is no longer first come first served. 16 teams from last year's tournament are autoqualified, and the other 48 teams will be selected randomly. CCP Claw writes, "This ensures that everyone has a fair chance of getting to play, and ensures that the people who fought hard previously get to do so again." The signup fee has now increased to 2 billion ISK, but there will be 128 billion ISK given out to the tournament teams in addition to prizes (to be announced later).
Beyond the signup changes, CCP has revised some of the tournament rules "both for reasons of balance and reasons of keeping the format fresh." The complete rules are already posted but a few highlights are that logistics ships can be used once again, no more than two of a given ship type will be allowed, and point values for fielding fleets have been altered. Last but not least, two new ship types will be allowed in the tournament -- Tech III strategic cruisers and haulers. (No idea why haulers are allowed.)
For players interested in representing their alliance, check out the info on the new signup page. Also, as a reminder, CCP is still looking for players who eat, sleep, and dream PvP that are interested in being tournament commentators this year. (Free trip to Reyjkavik and lots of beer are added incentives.)
EVE Online Alliance Tournament 7 will kick off in early September 2009.