EVE Online's annual PvP tournament between player alliances (guilds) is one of the major events held each year for the sci-fi MMO. Alliance Tournament VII begins this weekend, Saturday September 5th, at 15:00 GMT, and will have 64 player alliances battling it out over three weekends culminating in a live video broadcast of the finals. (The match schedule is up but the lineup as it stands now may change due to some alliances backing out at the last minute.)
While the devs will be on hand to obliterate rule breakers, it's members of the playerbase who commentate on EVE's Alliance PvP tournaments. The first two weekends will be qualifying rounds and players can listen in for this play-by-play commentary in-game over EVE Voice, by simply joining the "Alliance Tournament" channel and right-clicking "Join Audio". You can also tune in to the Alliance Tournament on these internet radio stations:
The Alliance Tournament VII finals on September 19th and 20th will be broadcast in full HD video, for the first time in the tournament's history, but will of course be available in a standard definition stream as well. The HD teaser trailer is up with Amarr cereal, no less.
CCP Games has added something new to the tournament this year on the technical side, which turns the Alliance Tournament arena into more of a cage match. (Thunderdome in space? Two teams enter, one team leaves.) EVE developer CCP Claw explains that there will be a warp disruption bubble (completely invisible) around the battlefield, preventing any players in the arena from warping off if they're losing. Although they'd be disqualified for running away regardless, this will also save any players who get disconnected from disqualification as well since their ships can't 'emergency warp' away if their connection drops.
For more Alliance Tournament VII info, you can see the official CCP Games announcement, check out what's listed on the Alliance Tournament webpage, and follow along on the tourney's forum section for more up to the minute changes and updates.
If you followed the Alliance Tournament last year, you'll remember that it was a blast. There were some great PvP matches and even some drama as well with the player assassination during one match. We're hoping this year's competing alliances will unleash a hail of destruction and use surprising tactics as they did the last time around. Keep an eye on Massively's EVE Online coverage for more on Alliance Tournament VII as the event progresses.