Today may just go down in EVE online history as the most brutal betrayal of all time. And as of this moment, no one is more at risk of losing their heads, or hands, than the illusive Mittani.

Like a thief in the night, the declaration of war came down the chain of command and caused every fleet commander in EVE’s largest alliance to rattle their sabres and clench their teeth in anticipation. “Gentlemen”, I heard over the notably aging Ventrilo channel the Goons have continuously run since 2006, “We’re going to war.” This was nothing new to Goonfleet, as any new member is effectively trained in a “constant war” doctrine that mainly involves teammates shooting you to send you home faster.

The clamor had begun. Small, timid voices piping up over the sound of burly space mercenaries of all different languages. Was it Klingon I heard in grunting, dislocated whispers? I wouldn’t find out because the channel was soon muted by the swift action of command. “Gentlemen” was repeated, the entire scene playing itself over again as if by script, but this time without the constant chatter and Duke Nukem soundboard spam to overlap the commander’s voice. He continued: “These people, they’re more comparable to animals than true men.” The sound of a water bottle being thrown caught my attention. Hard day at the office, perhaps.

“For years they’ve sat on their forum, upvoting themselves and babbling on in their stupid inside jokes. Cranking out propaganda and declaring themselves the bad boys.” he stammered, quickly correcting himself with a momentary pause. “Bad guys of space.” A quiet chorus of “yeah” came from the industry overseers who had unmuted themselves with their admin powers and only served to sound like mafia yes-men in the grand scheme. “So it’s off to war. We’ll move dreads, we’ll move supers, we’ll do whatever it takes.” was the jist of the speech that followed, mainly involving about thirty minutes of details involving logistics, moon mining operations and potential fleet movements. Considering the sizable crowd gathered in the ancient VOIP channel, I wasn’t able to gauge people’s reactions with everyone muted.

On and on the speech went, livestreamed on both Twitch and Youtube on three different channels (including Español) as well as via Soundcloud in condensed, easy-to-digest snippets, or HD if you opted for the Premium Goon Bundle (available on their website for $13.99 USD, 499 Plex via jetcan transfer or 1.63 bil ISK)

We finally reached the end of the three hour announcement as it was increasingly clear the gathered Goons where growing anxious. The big reveal. The target. Dogs of war frothing at the mouth, chomping on the bit, ready to let loose hell itself. The Mittani did not comment as he was on a two week vacation at the time his fleet commanders opened fire on each other.

Looking back, Goonswarm Federation vs Goonswarm Federation would turn out to be the biggest spectacle of the entire year and generate untold trillions of ISK for the industry backbone of New Eden.