I'm not a huge role-player in EVE Online, though I do enjoy reading the lore. It adds an extra level of immersion for me, and it's fun to try to puzzle out the politics and implications of in-game events. Sometimes the lore provides clues about where CCP Games is taking things developmentally. Those who play without paying any attention to the background story are missing out on a really fun aspect of the game.
And so, it was with a passing interest that I began reading the briefs on the various heirs to the Amarr throne, now vacated because of the assassination of Jamyl Sarum by the Drifters. The resulting Amarr Championships tournament, to determine the next leader of the Amarr Empire, piqued my curiosity.
Unlike the Alliance Tournament, which features fairly complex arrays of ship choices and team compositions, the Amarr Championship offers relatively simple four-on-four battles of Amarrian ships only. Frankly, these matches are a lot easier to follow, and therefore, more fun to watch.
In addition to glory and fame for the various teams, this tournament offers an interesting contribution to the evolving storyline, as each team represents a royal heir to the Amarr throne, who will all commit ritual suicide if their champions lose. High stakes, indeed.
The storyline stimulated my interest in the tournament, but then I read that one of the candidates was none other than Kelon Darklight. I recognized the name immediately, as Kelon was a fellow member of EVE University when I was a director there, and he still flies with E-UNI today.
Kelon has always been a very active pilot, who constantly and enthusiastically tries new things. He was instrumental in organizing the first Incursions fleets at EVE University, when that feature was introduced. He has ardently studied the mechanics of solo PvP, and often advises E-UNI students on the finer points of combat ship fitting and technique. Kelon listed his many credentials in his application to represent House Tash-Murkon.
Kelon is experienced, smart, creative and has strong organizational and command skills, especially for small gang combat. The Amarr Championship format is a perfect fit for his background and abilities. When I saw that he had been selected to compete, I suspected that he would do very well. I marked my calendar to watch the first day of single-elimination matches on CCP's Twitch channel.
In fact, Kelon excelled, and became House Tash-Murkon's official champion. His team moved on to the second round, a round-robin format between the six champion teams.
Let the wagering begin!
Impressed with the performance of Kelon's team, I decided to make watching the second round a little more interesting by wagering on eve-bet.com. I don't use in-game ISK to gamble very often, but I must admit, it certainly makes these tournament matches a little more exciting.
At first, I went in lightly, betting just 50 million ISK on each of Kelon's first two matches. His team's first fight, against the House Ardishapur squad, ended in a quick victory, and I found I'd won a fast 17.5 million ISK. Even CCP Fozzie and CCP Rise both commented about how impressive Kelon's team had performed. Emboldened, I added my winnings plus another 100 million ISK to my bet for the second match against House Kor-Azor. Again, my faith was rewarded, as Kelon's team won decisively.
"Well, it looks like Kelon's team is pretty unstoppable today," I said to myself. "Let's just go all in and make some real money." I bet the maximum bet amount on Kelon's third match against House Sarum: 2 billion ISK, plus whatever winnings I'd amassed in my eve-bet account up to that point.
I've taken a few trips to Las Vegas over the years, and I've never done well as a casual gambler. My sizable wager on Team Tash-Murkon certainly made the third match of the day a bit more nerve-wracking. And at first, it appeared that House Sarum might emerge victorious, but then Kelon's team came back and took the field once again, much to my relief.
All told, my first day of betting on Kelon and his squad netted me over 970 million ISK. Not bad for a day's work spectating - not bad, at all.
Go Team Tash-Murkon!
Tomorrow, Kelon's team has two more matches, against House Khanid and House Kador. Based on the odds on eve-bet.com, it looks like Team Tash-Murkon is the heavy favorite in both matches.
So, will I continue to Iet my winnings ride on Kelon Darklight and his teammates tomorrow?
Absolutely. And based on what I saw today, I'm feeling pretty confident.
It looks very likely that I'll be meeting Kelon in person at Fanfest 2016. With three wins in the second round already, his team is in great shape to be one of the two finalists for the last round, to be played live on stage in Reykjavik.
I can't wait to see it.
Fly safe! o7