Eve Online, the epic spacefaring MMO, is gearing up for a major engagement this evening. At least one user on Reddit is hyping it as a “$1,000,000 battle.”
The Imperium, led by Alex “The Mittani” Gianturco’s Goonswarm Federation, is set to lay siege to a massive player-owned installation belonging to Pandemic Horde. The battle will take place in the 9-4R system, along the western edge of the game world.
That’s gobbledygook for most people, I know, so let’s break that down a bit.
Eve is unique among MMOs because all of its players connect to the same server. There’s no shards or parallel worlds to speak of. Eve is a singular experience, with thousands of players working together in the same virtual world. That means right now the area around 9-4R is an absolute mess.
CCP game designer “Fozzie” announced on Twitter that more than 5,500 players were present, breaking the record for the most users logged in at a single system at one time in Eve’s history. That number is climbing ever higher.
9-4RP2 local has now broken the all-time @EveOnline record for most players in one system at a time. https://t.co/VXiUZv3zCF #tweetfleet #MayGodHaveMercyOnTheServer— CCP Fozzie (@CCP_Fozzie) January 23, 2018
The previous record was just over 5,300, which came during World War Bee in 2016. Polygon readers will remember that conflict, which involved a casino magnate funding a massive war against the Goonswarm. That campaign ultimately led to a change in Eve’s terms of service, and multiple player bans that have lasted to this day.
Tonight’s battle has been elevated in stature thanks to an inflammatory post made on Reddit. User CSMprogodlegend sent up the flare yesterday, claiming that Eve was set for its first million-dollar battle. The largest battle to date in Eve took place in 2014, with an estimated $300,000 worth of virtual ships destroyed. More than 2,200 players took part in that conflict.
Polygon has reached out to both sides and will follow up on the aftermath when the smoke clears. For now, you can watch the fight live on Twitch. User Avaren will show the battle from the Pandemic Horde side, while Gianturco’s own Imperium News will have a feed from their own perspective.