Twilight has fallen on the Amarr militia. Most of the systems in the Heimatar and Metropolis regions are back in Minmatar control, with many systems across Devoid and the Bleak Lands vulnerable or close to vulnerable; the Minmatar sit at Tier 4, while the Amarr wallow in Tier 1. Yet even in the darkest of times a ray of hope can galvanize a battered militia. A major Minmatar alliance has closed its doors, which is being hailed as a major victory by members of the 24th Imperial Crusade.
Formed on 3.18.2012 and headquartered in Lulm, White Lotus [WL] was regarded as one of the main Minmatar alliances. However, the White Lotus alliance has officially closed as of 4.27.2014. The belief among Amarrian pilots is that White Lotus was reeling from the Lulm Campaign, with its members bleeding out towards greener pastures. The following statement was released by Odysseus Olacar of the Winmatar [WMTR] alliance’s Biohazard [-BIO-] corporation in an Amarrian intel channel:
We can flip the warzone, but it will be flipped back later, we can kill Minmatar ships but unless we can capture all their isk assets, they will always reship.
But there is one victory that is eternally crippling, and that is the defeat of an entire alliance.
Not long ago we as a militia assaulted Lulm, a home to multiple Minmatar alliances/corps, since that capture those alliances/corps lost a lot of members. And now, one of them has finally died out altogether.
White-Lotus <— This was one of the bigger Minmatar alliances, we have broken their will to fight and thus they have disbanded.
With one Alliance down, others may follow and we are one step closer to undoing the Minmatar Militia’s main core of members.
The following gif was attached to the statement as “old war propaganda,” harkening back to the successful–albeit short-lived– campaign in Lulm.
The Minmatar reaction, however, provides a stark contrast to the celebratory nature of Amarrian pilots. According to former White Lotus executor Indius Lux, “it’s a lot less interesting than any of that.” Shedding light on the closure, Indius Lux indicated that that there were only two active corporations within White Lotus, Hoplite Brigade [HPLT] and Global Isk Network [I.NET], which have “very different game philosophies.” Regarding the Lulm offensive, Indius Lux was dismissive of the campaign’s effectiveness though he respected the potential for Amarr propaganda generation. “The only thing I can say regarding anything that might have been called a ‘Lulm offensive’ is that it delayed this necessary step to everyone moving on. You don’t want to let the enemy think they’ve had any effect so we held off until the moment passed,” he added.
Ma Zhiqiang, a diplomat of the former White Lotus alliance was more explicit on the Lulm campaign. Responding to a request for a statement from FactionWarfare.com, Ma Zhiqiang writes “White Lotus closing had nothing to do with losing Lulm.” Ma Zhiqiang elaborates further on the details, “We never moved our assets out of Lulm since we knew we would be back there. We had gained some new members and had already been talking about leaving White Lotus alliance and focus on the Hoplite Brigade corporation.” The entirety of Ma Zhiqang’s press release can be found here.
Whatever the reasons and true motives, however, the closure of White Lotus is nonetheless recognized by its leadership. Reminiscing, Indius Lux added that for the last five years he has been active providing Hoplite Brigade members good gameplay and its opponents good fights, “But none of this would have been possible without a great core group who work well together and enjoy the game.” Ma Zhiqiang held similar thoughts, “The alliance got its reputation from the legendary warriors of Huang Yinglong which was later passed on to Hoplite Brigade. Its spirit will continue with the Hoplites.”
Across this spectrum of thoughts and responses ranging from “Amarr Victor!” to a calmer atmosphere of reorganization and revitalization, two facts stand amidst the rhetoric: The White Lotus alliance is now defunct and Lulm is back in Minmatar hands. So as many drawn-out conflicts go, the forces stand at a cross-road. Will the Amarr crusaders, their morale boosted, leap out of their staging areas and begin launching a counterattack against Minmatar-held systems and assets? Or will the reorganized Hoplite Brigade prove that the closure of White Lotus is nothing more than a footnote in history with no significant impact on the warzone status quo?
The closure of White Lotus is recognized across the Amarr-Minmatar warzone – if only to mark the end of a storied institution – but this may be the push that Her Majesty’s pilots need to reinvigorate their waning crusade.