I didn't think I'd be able to follow the tourney matches in an audio-only format, but HUGE props to EVE-Radio, Split Infinity Radio and New Eden Radio, they really did a great job. Good tunes, good commentary and blow-by-blows that actually made sense. It's also very cool to be able to watch the fights the next day on YouTube.
I was pretty 50/50 with my predictions, which admittedly were based on very little hard fact.
The first day gave us wins for AAA (friends of the U'K), Dead Terrorists (Ahmed FTW!), Electus Matari (Minmatar FTW!) and others.
The U'K vs. Otherworld Empire Productions worried me right up until the last few seconds. I know who was involved on our team and who came up with those setups, but until everything was said and done I couldn't figure out the reasons. It was really risky and in the end we gave up quite a few points, but we beat some tourney favorites and proves you don't need skillpoints to be be effective in this format. Big congrats to my brothers and sisters in the U'K.!
The Federal Defense Union (Gallente FW team) did a really good job beating Capital Punishment, and the State Protectorate (Caldari FW team) won as well. The Tribal Liberation Force (Minmatar FW team) and 24th Imperial Crusade (Amarr FW team) didn't fair as well. All in all I was a little disappointed that they didn't fly 100% race-specific fleets. One could argue it's was for tactical concerns, but IMHO there's a matter of pride.
As per a great commentary slip-up, Exquisite Malevolence should change their name to Exquevolence.
The best fight of the day was R.U.R. vs. Celestial Imperative.CI fielded an expensive T2 lineup and R.U.R. went all T1 ships. Everyone called an early victory for CI but once the fight began all the commentators were dumb-struck as R.U.R. ripped CI apart swiftly. A great match and one for the books.
On day 2, Obviously I was pulling for the Bastards, who managed a victory, and Star Fraction (being RPers), who's win was not shocking at all. Molotov's loss was a little bit of a surprise, as was Agony's loss to the Beachboys. I'm glad the Goons lost to Ev0ke. I was hoping the Privateers would lose, as it was their gatecamp that cost be my Hyboria, but The Honda Accord really had no chance.
I learned a few things from it all. HACs and Command ships are really cool. Missiles are not useless if you use them right. The bane of drones is a smartbomb, which I thought had no real use. Mostly, you really don't need too many skillpoints to play a part in a fleet like that.
I also got a good overview of high-efficiency use of Caldari and Gallente ships, which were very much on display. Ishtars and Drakes and Kitsunes, oh my! Looking forward to being able to fly them all by the end of the year.
I also learned the true value of a good FC. Not only is it important in a ship-choice/setup/training capacity, but having the ability to analyze a situation instantly, create a solution and effectively command your fleet in order to execute it is a critical skill that during the matches it became painfully obvious that some teams had it and some did not. I wonder if EVE University has classes on Fleet Command...
Still waiting for the 2nd weekend matches to be announced. Apparently there were issues with point recordings. It'll probably be up later today. Next week I'll comment on the 2nd qualifiers and post my predictions for the finals. Amazingly, the finals will have a live video feed!
I got no problem clearing my schedule for the next 2 weekends to catch the rest of the tourney. I did a lot of mining in during the whole thing, so I was being productive as well.
I'm still new to the tourney scene, so calling a winner is difficult, but obviously I'm pulling for the U'K to take it all.