"CODE. did not show up for their scheduled match against Red vs. Blue nor did they make any attempt to inform the tournament organizers of their status. We have decided to interpret their actions as a sign of resignation from the tournament. As such they have been disqualified from Alliance Tournament XII and CODE. will not be able to enter future Alliance Tournaments."Assuming the CODEdot team was planning to attend the match, it's a shame Circle-Of-Two won't get the chance to play. On the other hand, this might be the most exciting thing that's ever happened to them. But enough about Circle-Of-Two. This is about CODEdot.
In addition to banning CODEdot from the remainder of Alliance Tournament XII, CCP Gargant took an extraordinary step: He announced that CODEdot will not be allowed to enter future ones. CODEdot has been officially permabanned from the Alliance Tournament. This is the first time in EVE's history that any alliance has ever been banned from multiple tournaments for any reason, let alone permabanned.
Thus, CODEdot retires from its Alliance Tournament career without having lost a single ship. Even more impressive, CODEdot no longer has even the potential to lose a ship in the future. Or even a shield hitpoint!
Now, I know what you're thinking, skeptics and rebels of highsec. "Big deal. Anyone can forfeit a match and get permabanned from the Alliance Tournament. You better not say CODE always wins."
First of all, don't bother scrolling down to the bottom of this post: You already know it's tagged with the "Victory" tag. Second of all, are you sure any alliance can do what CODEdot did? How sure are you?
Though I'm best known as the Saviour of Highsec, I wear many hats. It just so happens that I am also the foremost historian of EVE. Today, I'm going to do something that I almost never do in a MinerBumping post. I am going to take off my Saviour of Highsec hat (actually a gleaming crown) and put on my EVE Historian hat (actually a tweed jacket with leather elbow patches). The reason I'm doing this is that I want you, the reader, to gain a full appreciation of just how historic CODEdot's Alliance Tournament permaban truly is.
To begin with, AT bans are rare, but they're not unprecedented. In Alliance Tournament IV, Hedonistic Imperative was disqualified from a match for rules violations. One of its team members then shot and destroyed a neutral player who was serving as the tournament cameraman. The team was banned from the remainder of the tournament. More famously, Outbreak. and Hydra Reloaded were banned from Alliance Tournament X. They had been caught cheating by CCP Screegs, head of security.
Note the contrast. Two teams, Outbreak. and Hydra Reloaded, were actually caught cheating, but that was still only enough to get them banned from a single tournament. Until now, no team has ever gotten even a double tournament ban, let alone a permaban.
You might think that CODEdot's forfeiting a match was a particularly severe crime. After all, it prevented another team from being able to play in its place. It didn't, though. Due to lack of interest, only 63 teams signed on for Alliance Tournament XII. The tourney wasn't full. In fact, CODEdot itself didn't make the original application deadline back in May, but CCP extended the deadline because the tournament wasn't even close to full.
But maybe there's something to the idea that forfeiting a match is something new, something that needed a stronger punishment. Let us examine this hypothesis and test it with facts.
There have been high-profile forfeits before. In Alliance Tournament VII, Laconian Syndicate announced it was forfeiting because its first match was to be against an alliance of "veteran players". Therefore, Laconian Syndicate tried to auction off its tourney slot on EVE-O. This caused an especially big stir because the alliance representative doing the auction was Larkonis Trassler, a member of the CSM. People got upset.
Did the Laconian Syndicate team get banned from future tournaments? No. In fact, CCP Navigator went out of his way in the thread to remind people to only place bids, not make complaints and objections, because the thread was in the Sell Order subforum. He actually facilitated the sale.
Another amusing forfeit occurred during Alliance Tournament VI, when Exalted. announced that it was forfeiting for this reason:
"Due to a crippling fear of the Minmatar Militia, Exalted. has to come to the unfortunate conclusion that we must withdraw from the Alliance Tournament. We are spineless hauler gankers and as such we have decided against risking a loss."That's right, CODEdot wasn't even the first alliance to forfeit partly due to its love of ganking industrial ships! Exalted was not given any punishment for forfeiting.
Nevertheless, there's an important difference between those two forfeits and CODEdot's. Unlike those two alliances, which announced their forfeits on the eve of the contest, CODEdot's team simply failed to appear at the tournament. There was no warning, and no way for CCP to rustle up a replacement team. Perhaps this is why CODEdot's punishment was so far in excess of any yet seen. Have any other alliance teams committed CODEdot's offense--not showing up when called to the field?
As a matter of fact, many teams have forfeited by failing to show up for the Alliance Tournament. Like, a lot. It has been happening literally since day one. After the first day of the very first Alliance Tournament, all the way back in 2005, CCP announced:
"Sadly a great number of teams had to forfeit their fight because they were engaged otherwise or could not assemble a team of fighters on such short notice."A "great number of teams" forfeited. A great number forfeited on the first day. The reporter speculates that the teams were otherwise engaged. Maybe ganking carebears in highsec? I hope so.
The punishment, of course, was not a permaban for these teams. There was no punishment for forfeiting whatsoever. You might write all of this off to CCP having difficulty organizing the first tournament. But the forfeits continued in subsequent Alliance Tournaments. Complete statistics are impossible to come by, but Alliance Tournament II still has some of its original reporting online. We have much more detail about it than Alliance Tournament I. From the second day of Alliance Tournament II:
"The Five continued their success from the first day with a win against Serenus Letum; however several subsequent matches proved to be disappointing as the Caldari Gaming Commission announced a number of teams had forfeited their matches."That's "several" forfeits. In one day. Sixteen matches were scheduled, and they only describe about 11 of them, so we can guess around 5 matches with a forfeiting team (or both teams!). From the report on day four:
"Some unique tactics including smart bombing fleet commanders podding their own players and mining lasers on Megathrons were the highlight of a day that was spoiled by a large number of forfeits. With the tournament moving into the Second Round, many alliances appeared to have given up both on qualifying and the Caldari Navy Raven on offer as compensation..."A large number of forfeits on one day; it looks like another five of 'em. And day five? Even more:
"The final day of the group stages was one marred by the most forfeits in the competition, but those games that did go ahead provided some firsts for the Tournament."That looks to be another 7 or so forfeits in a single day. Filling in the gaps, I managed to find an archived version of the day one report on a Finfleet board:
"The final match was the third forfeit of the day which whilst disappointing, allowed the tournament to finish on time."You see? There's even a silver lining for all those forfeits, as it keeps the tourney schedule moving quickly. No permaban, or any punishment of any kind. But my favorite is the report from day three. After mentioning two other forfeits, we hear about Pure. alliance:
"After forfeiting their first two fights on Friday and Saturday, Pure attended their third against The Five with a lone Ishkur pilot as an apparent sporting gesture."Not only was the Pure team not penalized for forfeiting, it was allowed to continue on in the tournament. Then it forfeited again. After two forfeits, CCP still allowed them to continue.
Detailed reports on subsequent Alliance Tournaments are harder to come by, since much of it was done on an Interstellar Correspondents website that is no longer online. The official records which are still available simply record wins and losses without noting which matches were forfeits. Nevertheless, bits and pieces of information about forfeits are still available, if you Google and Eve-Search around. Due to financial incentives and better organization, the number of forfeits declined over the years. But they continued. A few examples from about ten minutes of digging around:
In Alliance Tournament III, Serenus Letum forfeited. The team received no punishment whatsoever.
In Alliance Tournament V, SMASH Alliance forfeited. The team received no punishment whatsoever.
In Alliance Tournament IX, United Front Alliance forfeited. The team received no punishment whatsoever.
Then there was Alliance Tournament XII's CODE. alliance...
Yes, that wicked, wicked, naughty CODEdot. How could they forfeit a match? Who would dare do something like that, at an Alliance Tournament of all places?
Seriously, though, across the years, there have probably been around 50+ cases where a team simply didn't show up. Most of those were in the earlier tournaments, but certainly not all. In every single instance, the forfeiting team received absolutely zero punishment whatsoever from CCP. No team has ever been banned from participating in future tournaments due to a failure to appear for a tournament match.
Until CODEdot, that is. They got a tournament permaban--a punishment that even cheaters don't get.
Not that I'm passing judgment or anything. Whilst I am clad in my tweed jacket with leather elbow patches, I am a perfectly objective observer of events. I simply find the matter interesting, from a historical perspective.
You can't say CODEdot isn't good at making history.