There has been a growing amount of inane worthless rambling on the supposed “betrayal by Co2” during World War Bee. Most of it is warped by the typical war propaganda that comes with such conflicts. It’s not the first time Goons have used the victim narrative in order to inspire its members to action. Much like the events surrounding Haargoth and Band of Brother’s demise, this has entered Goon mythology. And much like their predecessors, the current new blooded recruits of the past two years are especially susceptible to this kind of myth making. For the past few years they’ve been fed a steady stream of “Casino War” propaganda about how the Goon’s rightful ownership of the north was taken away by the evil Casinos funded by plantations of gambling addicted minors and Co2’s “betrayal.” Mitten’s lamentations regarding how many minors are addicted to Eve gambling (won’t somebody please think of the children!?) via polygon is hilariously cringy but just shows the kind of mental gymnastics some people are willing to go through.
Never mind that the claim that the Money Badger Coalition was funded via ISK RMTed by the casinos fails the slightest objective examination. Casinos make ISK. They don’t need to buy ISK with real money. They used ISK to hire alliances to fight the Goons. Any ISK they RMTed would be turned to real life currency and thus they would have less ISK to pay alliances. Had the Casinos hired the MBC with real money, none of the piles of ISK would have been used to pay them. The complaint that Casinos were “untouchable” could likewise be used for the Goon’s media site which also makes money via promotions of other games. INN’s predecessor, TMC, even attempted a gambling venture which failed. Lastly gambling was banned in Eve due to the issues regarding international law and video game gambling. Counter-Strike had a similar issue. CCP, rather than entering a thunderdome of litigation decided simply to ban it all and avoid any drama. But this is the kind of propaganda and myth gets created in the thick of conflict and understanding this can help one understand the mindset surrounding similar tactics used for Co2’s defection.
For the sake of simplicity we’ll analyze and correct many of the myths surrounding the Co2’s defection and use primary sources to establish the facts. We’ll be using Moomin Amatin’s recent piece on Co2 due simply to the fact that it exemplifies the highest concentration of misinformation out there currently.
He clumsily assembles a Frankenstein monster of unsourced hearsay from 2nd and 3rd hand sources. I’ve said this before although I haven’t been active in my writing for a while now so I’ll repeat it: INN is primarily a propaganda mouth piece for the Imperium coalition and should be read as such. Does that mean every article is handpicked and designed to sing the praises of the Goons? No. But that’s the general trend and culture around INN.
“B-but Seraph! Look at this one article written by Brave Newbie member # 98,327 playing for 2 months who just wrote this amazing article about how to fit your Tristan! See? A diverse and unbiased perspective!” Token pieces like that don’t change the underlying purpose of the site. But of course anyone deviating from utmost admiration for the narrative is called out for carrying water for “the other side.”
But going back to Moomin’s article, he notes that the Imperium had been providing “ongoing assistance in managing” Co2 and that “any reasonable person” would have considered it a “good thing.” So how dare Co2 not appreciate the Goon’s micromanaging of Co2’s affairs?! Those ungrateful traitors! He goes on to mock the notion that Co2 was a pvp oriented alliance and that it was simply a “narrative pushed by GigX” during WWB. And yet Co2 was the only alliance that had success on its front, with SMA collapsing in Fade and being left to die by the Goons, and Initiative abandoning the far north and moving to Syndicate. The claim by Moomin that Co2 was unhappy about moons is not completely untrue, but as usual he’s dishonestly portraying the situation. The issue was that other groups in NPC Venal would frequently attack and take moons from other coalition alliances. And Co2 would always have to go and retake them and give them back to alliances that were clearly unable to protect them. He closes out this portion of the article stating that after the Imperium fought for 9 hours, GigX just up and decided to reset his coalition. Not surprising he lacks any insight beyond this since he was not involved in anything closely resembling relevance and his loyalties and role as a propagandist prevents him from deviating from his alliance’s narrative. A common tactic of dishonest propagandists like this is also to use the phrasing that “there is talk of X, Y and Z.” Specifically the line, “There is also talk of Co2 attempting to lay a trap for the Imperium super capital fleet.” Yeah…from you guys in the Imperium. But using this kind of language, the propagandist makes absolves himself of any responsibility to actually show evidence of this. Just simply announcing “there is talk” and you can make anything true.
A question some of you may be asking, especially those who have only been playing since the closing of WWB is “but who are you and what relevance do you have regarding the events? Why are you any more reliable than anyone else commenting on this?” I was the counterpart of Co2’s negotiations regarding their defection. In late 2015, I reached out and contacted Da Winci, the guy who negotiated the Co2 side of things. (Even this simple fact eludes people like Moomin who keep referring to GigX when in actuality it was Da Winci.) I sat down for about 3 months and developed ties with Da Winci which would eventually culminate in the departure of Co2 from the Imperium which effectively ended any real resistance by the Goons in the war. I meticulously wrote out every detail of these events with Da Winci in four parts and on the one year anniversary of the defection, with Da Winci’s permission, I published our entire chat log of negotiations. No one was closer to the center of these events than myself and Da Winci, and the logs themselves are primary sources. As far as proximity to the event, I’m playing on the ball field and Moomin is in the stadium parking lot watching the match on a handheld TV with a delay.
So what actually happened? The full details are in the article above, but the short version is fairly straight forward. Co2 felt it had been mistreated for a long time (or I guess ungrateful of the Goon’s benevolent managerial assistance if you’re a Goon) and I contacted them as things were heating up in the north late 2015. My initial intention was to push Co2 to defect and spark the war. Instead, Co2’s defection would be the factor that ended the war. Da Winci’s intentions were for Co2 to continue fighting on behalf of the Imperium and that he did not trust MBC/NCPL. However he believed that the MBC forces would eventually focus primarily on the Goons and the Imperium coalition itself would shatter. In such an event, Da Winci wanted to rebuild a smaller coalition with their Imperium neighbors at the time, LAWN and Bastion. Unfortunately for Da Winci, Mittens had convinced LAWN and Bastion leadership to abandon their space when Mittens called for the Great Imperium Pull Out of the north leaving Co2 to defend the north alone. So to recap, Co2 wanted to continue fighting and form closer ties with their Imperium neighbors in light of the seemingly likely destruction of the Goons and the Imperium as a whole. Co2 never left their front. Instead it was Goonswarm who abandoned the fight and told everyone to come hide in lowsec at which point Co2’s response was to officially cut ties with the Goons. Had Mittens not pulled out of the north pulling LAWN and Bastion with him, there would not have been any Co2 defection. Goons left the north. Not Co2.
None of this has been any kind of a mystery for years now. The fact that I published the primary sources/chatlogs to these events, and we still have propagandists like Moomin peddling false narratives shows at best, a willful ignorance of the truth. The notion of “Co2 being cowards” is further disproven when after WWB Co2 went on to carry a respectable 3 -4 month long defense of their region against the might of NCdot, PL and Pandemic Horde with half measured support from their allies at the time TEST Alliance. This while Goons were “bravely” taking Delve from a handful of small alliances.
Instead of admitting and recognizing this truth, Goons continue to churn out rumors like some possessive jaded divorcee groping women in the club, bitter over their own failure to consolidate their coalition. Furthermore Co2’s sentiments in leaving the Imperium were also mirrored by the departure of numerous other coalition members including Executive Outcomes, Razor, Fidelis Constans, and lastly SpaceMonkey’s Alliance which was slaughtered mercilessly one region away as Goons watched. But the victim narrative of entitlement is conducive of the “it’s everyone else’s fault but my own” mentality espoused by Moomin.
“Why is this such a big deal and why are people still talking about it years later? So some alliance left a coalition and someone else won the war why care?” Well it wasn’t just another war. It was a re-ordering of the Eve world order. For years the Imperium (formerly CFC) had ruled the entire north and had grown to immense proportions. WWB was a reaction by many other alliances in Eve, many of which did not and still do not like each other, in order to dethrone the Goons from the north. The keystone of this event was Co2…and not just according to me.
When asked about the relevance of Co2’s departure, Bastion’s leader, Carneros said, “Unquestionably relevant. I personally feel like it had a substantial effect on the conflict. One of the effects it had was to shorten the length of the active hostilities.”
Sabre A, leader of Mercenary Cartel and the entity that had fought Co2 the longest during WWB stated that the defection “stopped the only major alliance fighting and in my opinion it was what won us the war at that point.”
Endie, former head of GSF Intelligence and current member of PL stated that the defection “robbed the Imperium of their most aggressive and competent EU force and of their most competent remaining supercap leader. It shattered the illusion of imperium unity and the ensuing vindictive war of words did much to reveal how unpleasant imperium culture could be, and gave the lie to the “all friends together” narrative. It encouraged the attacking forces in the belief that having done this, no imperium member was safe, and more importantly it did the same thing to Imperium members, who suddenly focused on saving their assets and looking for exits.”
Grath, noted director in Pandemic Legion stated, “I would say it was pretty much the tipping point in the war. Co2 has very large fleets for its alliance size, much less an Imperium alliance. Them leaving showed some of the other Imperium alliances that they didn’t have to deal with the shit given to them and that they could live apart and away from the Imperium without being hunted like dogs. The narrative that Imperium leadership spun for the longest time was that if its members left, they’d be hunted down and killed for their years of service with the Imperium. Only that hasn’t happened at all. In fact most of the alliances are doing well. Fcon’s fine, Co2 is fine, Init, while still with the Imperium has shown that operating at arms length has kept them strong. So it was pretty much another crack in the façade, and probably the last one. After they left there weren’t really any fights of size to care about. There wasn’t enough meat left in the Imperium grinder and it lost massive number of players over the weeks after. So yeah, big, huge.”
***Key to note is that when I interviewed these people back in 2016, it was not widely known that I was involved at all and so spoke freely.
In short, without Co2 defecting, victory for MBC in WWB is unlikely to say the least. Outposts were still a thing at the time, citadels were introduced which the Imperium had prepared for by stockpiling materials to build them, and the only entity that had any extensive experience with the new sov mechanic was actually the Imperium through their earlier Providence campaign. Had the conflict lasted in full force a couple more months, the Imperium would have flooded the north with readily available citadels, the internal divisions within the MBC which had already shown themselves would have widened, and the MBC would have ceased to be an effective fighting force. Even the big sizable alliances like NCdot, PL, TEST and Darkness only referred to their involvement in the north prior to Co2’s defection just as “gudfites.” But it truly became a full invasion because of Co2’s defection. Once the defection occurred, the floodgates opened and all elements of the MBC felt comfortable enough to commit to a “real invasion.”
This is why certain propagandists continue spinning the “betrayal” narrative with their third hand hearsay. There’s no interest in looking at actual facts or taking responsibility for their failures in leadership in keeping their coalition unified during WWB. It’s “I’m a victim, woe is me.” Although they will continue to spew misinformation on the topic, those with eyes to see and minds to think can draw their own conclusions when actual sources are provided.
– Seraph IX Basarab