NOTE: Opinions in this article do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of EveNews24.

Some alliances always seem to court the spotlight; whether it’s articles in the Eve news media, self-glorifying Reddit posts, or YouTube videos showing off their exploits, chances are that you hear the same names time and time again. There are other alliances which, despite having a rich and storied history, have largely had their stories untold or told by their enemies.

One of those alliances is Circle-Of-Two. Despite being instrumental to the conclusion of World War Bee (or, as our Imperium readers know it, The Casino War), having their alliance leader banned on what is now known as Judgement Day, and putting up a spirited fight in the recent Imperium campaign in the north, we very rarely hear CO2’s side of the story.

Recently, I got the chance to sit down with their head diplomat, Da Winci, to bring you that crucial perspective.

EN24: For the benefit of some of our readers who may not be familiar with CO2, could you give us a little background and history of the alliance?

DW: CO2 is a nullsec PvP alliance. Born in Venal some 10 years ago. We’ve been through enough to have made a lot of friends and enemies in EVE, and that is a good thing.

EN24: Okay; we don’t hear a lot about CO2 on public forums, Reddit, etc. What have you been up to in the last year or so?

DW: You won’t ever hear a lot of stuff from us through Reddit or other news outlets. We tend to keep to ourselves. As most of those media are ‘owned’ by groups not friendly to CO2 we don’t bother entering into forum wars.

The last 12 months have been somewhat of a rollercoaster. We died and reformed again. Personally I’ve only been back for half of that time, so I can only really comment on the past 6 months.

After reforming, we were kindly offered two constellations in Vale [of the Silent] by Vince Draken (Northern Coalition) to get back on our feet again, which we happily did for a couple of weeks. CO2 isn’t the type of alliance to sit around and krab for long periods of time, so we needed to look out for opportunities.

Around that time the skirmishes in Pure Blind and Fade intensified and caused MOA to collapse, those regions being the gateway to the North.

Here it became interesting: we see ourselves as one of the alliances that actively fights Goons. Having the North collapse would be beneficial to Goons, so it was something that we wanted to prevent from happening.

With that in mind, we started negotiating with Sort Dragon (DARKNESS.) – as MOA was part of GOTG, he has the last word on sovereignty negotiations. We settled on fade to move to, and it’s important to mention, not as a member of GOTG.

Internally we discussed this for weeks: the move could be too risky & too soon. If Goons went full retard before we had the time to settle… but being CO2, we went in anyway, knowing full well we’d be shielding the North and taking the brunt of any potential attacks.

Let’s face it… unless you’re Goons or NCPL, (if you have sov) you’re always shielding for someone in the current meta.

EN24: So, the war came, a lot of the intel which we did see suggested that CO2’s relations with allies – particularly GOTG – deteriorated heavily towards the end of the conflict. Is that true, and if so, can you tell us a bit more about what happened?

DW: The context is important here. When CO2 disbanded, some corporations joined GOTG to continue being part of the North. When we announced our move to Fade – yes, to shield the North – those corporations [which had rejoined CO2] were not very happy. They’d felt unhappy about the level of commitment GOTG had shown to defend the North and weren’t inclined to go back again to help.

We did anyway.

Towards the end when numbers across the board were dropping, even more corporations felt that GOTG’s support was lacking. Only Ranger Regiment was a very active GOTG group helping out in the daily defense. For Northern Coalition and Pandemic Horde, who were not directly under attack, their support was adequate. They fought and died alongside us.

So yes, working with Sort became increasingly frustrating.

EN24: We heard some stuff about people being locked out of structures

DW: Yes, ‘accidentally’ corporations got locked out while we re-staged from DW-T2I to D06H-Q, trapping Titans and Supers in their Keepstars. I say ‘accidentally’ because guess what – it was during a CSM meeting. The same meeting where Sort Dragon concluded his deal with Goons to pay them an insane number of faction fortizars in exchange for some krabbing time. The same CSM meeting during which coincidentally some so-called gigX characters got banned.

And just because it seems odd to me, I want to draw attention to the timing of that second series of bans. During a CSM meeting while the offensive is stalling… those characters were part of CO2 for months prior. Why not ban them earlier if they were ‘clearly’ associated with gigX? Anyway, it gave new momentum to their offensive and we lost Fade. End of that adventure.

EN24: Not to dredge up painful history, but you brought up the gigX ban? I’ve had this discussion with others and some have produced evidence like that Wingspan video where Chance Ravinne is clearly threatened, but they didn’t result in perma-bans. What are your feelings on that?

DW: Well, for starters, I haven’t seen anyone being perma-banned from EVE that quickly. That was lightning fast; and yes, I do wonder why that happened and who would have been happiest for that to happen.

Secondly, they froze all alliance assets which were held on some of those accounts. That really feels like trying to headshot an alliance rather than just a single player.

For me it’s not a coincidence. I’m pretty sure any other alliance leader saying that would not have received an instant perma-ban. I’m sure someone on the CSM pushed for that. Can it be proven? Of course not. Is it an enormous stretch of the imagination [given the timing]? No, it isn’t.

EN24: I don’t think I’d ever heard about alliance assets being suspended, and coming on ‘Judgement Day’, that must have been tough.

DW: Look, what the weasel did, the weasel did. Goon narrative pictures it as payback for the so-called betrayal during World War Bee. Fair enough, I would do the same thing.

Our point being, how was CCP so fast on the ball, again during a CSM meeting? That is a recurring fact. I’m happy to fight against Goons any day and probably lose because they have the numbers to swamp anybody. It becomes a different proposition when there is even a hint of having to fight against CCP also.

EN24: What is it that’s kept the alliance fighting on through massive adversity?

DW: Our belief that a healthy EVE needs a healthy opposition against Goons. For sure, it wasn’t the money [we made] or the spirited fight GOTG put up once we left. I really feel that fighting, even against overwhelming odds, is part of our culture. Very much the core, even.

CO2 is the alliance that self-destructed a Machariel fleet to be able to re-ship and come back to the fight faster. That sometimes retarded mindset keeps us going.

EN24: Moving back to GOTG and the deal… were CO2 aware of what Sort Dragon was cooking up? He says his allies were consulted on it and gave input.

DW: His allies had no input. Ask Chaos Theory who since left them.

We were not aware in a sense that he announced his intentions, or even asked our opinion. He didn’t need to. CO2 wasn’t a part of his coalition so he had no reason or obligation to do so.

But yeah, we had some intel coming in that deals were being discussed.

EN24: So, next up is what allegedly happened in the east with Mackinaw Empires and Hard Knocks. Something about CO2 agreeing to help evict Hard Knocks. What happened there?

DW: I dare anyone to produce proof of any kind that CO2 had any agreement with Mackinaw Empires. We just came from a summer of fighting in Fade, we wanted some downtime to recover. It would be foolish for us to offer to take on SkillU and Hard Knocks in the shape we were.

So yeah, great impact from that one guy who made the meme. Props to him.

EN24: That takes us to the present; what are you up to now? I see a lot of action around Venal and Deklein on zKill. What’s next for CO2?

DW: Nullsec is gearing up for another series of conflicts. We decided to deploy to familiar ground: Venal, our birthplace. We reset or have been reset by most other alliances so it’s obvious our kills are made in or close to Venal.

Where we will end up next week or in 5 months? I don’t know. Maybe we’ll all end up in a Serenity type of scenario, where alliances can live and thrive by the good grace of the Imperium. Until then, I will keep trying to avoid that from happening.

EN24: What do you see as the key to stopping the Serenity scenario? Is there something the players can do, or would it take intervention from CCP?

DW: Every player needs to decide that for themselves. I don’t care if the player base decides one way or the other. Serenity died, that’s a fact.

As for CCP, I can’t imagine it being a viable long-term model where one group controls the game. Talking to people who have been playing for years I gather that few are willing to pay for such a scenario.

EN24: If you could give one piece of advice to a player who likes what you have to say, what would it be?

DW: Join Circle-Of-Two, of course! Never a dull moment.

Seriously, make sure there is a healthy dose of antagonism – don’t buy precious krabbing time. For what reason? To build more titans to fight the Imperium you just paid off? Put your leaders on the spot.

Decide what side of the fence you want to be on, and act accordingly.

EN24: Thanks for your time.

EveNews24 reached out to Sort Dragon for comment, but have not yet received a response.

So, readers, what do you think? What does the future hold for CO2? Was gigX’s ban fair? Does the CSM have undue influence over CCP? Are we approaching a Serenity situation? Sound off in the comments below.

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