This is the second in a series of articles on the CSM X Election. Those posts will be:
- Full Endorsements – Candidates I strongly recommend for all voters. Under 12% of the candidates earned a Full Endorsement.
- Provisional Endorsements (this post) – Candidates I recommend for specific constituencies, but not for everyone. They generally are solid, interesting experts or good candidates that are made a bit redundant by either each other or other Full Endorsement candidates. Under 16% of the candidates earned a Provisional Endorsement. So less than a third (27%) of the field earned any sort of endorsement.
- Recommended Voting Slates – Here’s the TLDR of how you should vote.
- Election Predictions – My bets on who will actually be elected to CSM X
- Election Outcomes Analysis
Yesterday I posted my “Full Endorsements” – 9 candidates I think everyone should vote for. So what am I doing adding another endorsement post today? There are two reasons.
First, the field this year is not only the largest ever, it has some of the biggest power-hitters in the game, turning out largely because a sov revamp is on the table this year and every nullsec entity worth its salt – CFC, N3, HERO, Provi, PL, BL, and many smaller entities – wants a seat at the table for that discussion. Many null blocs are fielding multiple candidates. I am hoping to help null voters winnow the field.
Second, while there are only 9 I think everyone should vote for, there are several solid candidates for subsets of players, and I believe they should get their due as well. I want to highlight the best from those playstyles.
Find a place for each of the nine fully-endorsed candidates and fill in with the folks below to taste. On to the endorsements.
Long story short – there’s only one other than Corbexx that’s worth your time this year. I have had a few people question me on this. You thought there were others? Well, a real wormholer is not someone who appears to be pretending to live in a wormhole in the hope of getting bloc votes (Bane Cortex), and it’s not someone who is running on an “I Love ISBoxer” platform and augments that platform with wormhole mining as a key focus (Angrod). There’s only one other worth your vote.
- Ariete. Ariete, from my point of view, is the only other “real” wormholer in the race. Ariete is on the right side of all the wormhole issues (yes, in the town hall he got a bit sidetracked on “coalition tools” but his Cap Stable interview was right on the mark). The Cap Stable guys didn’t quite get his candidacy (in summary show #7) but this isn’t too surprising since none of them are primarily wormhole players – the TLDR is we believe and expect that Bob wants us to have two on the council – the rest of the wormhole field sucks and Corbexx needs a second. Ariete is that guy. He has already shown a willingness to organize things for the good of the wormhole community, having organized the town hall/debate with Corbexx a few weeks ago. He has lived in wormholes for several years. If you are voting a wormhole slate he should be your #1 or #2 to maximize chances of two wormhole candidates (not #3 or lower – learn from last year!). I am hopeful that with only two real candidates and not the typical 4-6 candidate clutter that we can once again put through two candidates right out of the gate. Disclosure and point of pride: Ariete is an EUTZ member of Sleeper Social Club, my alliance. That said, if you are not interested in or connected to wormholes, he may not be a great fit for your slate.
Outside of nullsec and wormholes, there are some key “area experts” that I was not convinced quite rose to the level of “everyone should vote for them” but were very strong contenders within their field of influence or capability. Given the overwhelming number of nullsec candidates this year, I recommend these folks if you are not a nullsec-dweller or do not like the nullsec candidates I have recommended. Some or all of them are likely to make my personal (aka my wormhole recommendation) ballot. In alphabetical order…
- Gorski Car. I’ve gone back and forth about Gorski over the last couple of months. In my Winter Summit post I called him out for not being visible, not being at a summit in person, and not really communicating well – as a moderator of Reddit’s r/Eve, he sure was one of the biggest shitposters. Gorski at least had the guts to come back at me in my blog comments and point some things out that I had missed. So I started digging deeper. The contacts I had said that he was indeed a shitposter by nature, but was being careful to draw a line in CSM dealings and was a very smart ship fitting guy. Then he started blogging and tweeting (despite telling me he was “not a fan of writing blogs or tweeting”) and I started paying attention when he joined Slack. Frankly, his three blog posts so far (on autocannons, Skynet and the Svipul) are absolutely top shelf and he needs to continue writing. I’m still not sure he can divorce himself from the shitpost persona. But man if he can he’ll be a tour de force that we want on CSM. Also he’s in Verge of Collapse and lives in Thera, both of which earn him bonus points. If you’re into ship balancing and fitting, Gorski is your guy.
- Jayne Fillon. Jayne is a proven content creator, period. Jayne also has a talent for and history of pissing people off, period. Is there reconciliation for this? I think so. Jayne’s work driving Spectre Fleet over the last 18 months or so has been a pretty amazing success story in its own right, and the emergence of the NPSI meta over the last couple of years can be laid at his feet along with a handful of others (notably RvB/Ganked, Bomber’s Bar and the occasional Agony Unleashed roam). With Mangala Solaris of RvB/Ganked fame stepping down from CSM, Jayne seems a natural to step into his NPSI shoe. Unfortunately for Jayne, there’s also a claimant to Mangala’s RvB shoe, which makes things more complicated. I am impressed with Jayne’s level of visibility and what he’s done to make NPSI “a thing” over the last couple of years. If you live for the goodfights first and corps and alliances second, vote for Jayne.
- Khador Vess. Khador is the RVB candidate, a fleet commander for the Blue side. His platform is well-detailed and pretty solid, even if it isn’t bold and out there. He hits the right notes and says the right things. Where Jayne is the natural fit for Mangala’s NPSI side, Khador is the natural fit for Mangala’s RvB side. The two of them likely will go well together on any ballot, but I suspect only one of the two of them will actually make it in. I do think that Khador stands a strong chance of picking up some of the EVE University (read: highsec fightin’ newbie) vote as well.
- Psianh Auyvander. Psianh is the best mercenary candidate, head of Noir Academy. He has had a lot of positive press from across the broader Eve community as well, from a lot of different and diverse faces. In addition, I have not found a good representative of “the darker side” of highsec – I could not endorse any of the “griefer” candidates this year. I think that the Merc class can help give some voice to the wardec world (making it fun for both sides) and give some “less dark” viewpoints that the more thoughtful of the ganker class might like along with the Merc class. I also think that bounties and fights for hire need a voice on the council. I do think his platform as stated in his thread is a bit weak and needs additional detail on his passions around mercenary game play. If you want a mercenary voice on the council, vote for Psianh.
Speaking of the Wormhole voting method, it looks like HERO is taking a page out of our stack-and-pray method. HERO has apparently decided to support all three of its considerably strong candidates equally rather than naming a slate or a front runner – just telling members “vote your conscience so long as they’re your top three”. Unfortunately, both BRAVE and TEST have a legacy of unstructured voting. Two years ago it led TEST (then the largest alliance in the game) to go unrepresented and last year BRAVE voted in the most inactive member of CSM 9, later given the boot. But predictions are a post for another day, so we’ll focus for now on endorsements. The bottom line is that “someone from HERO” (or from Provi) is a good choice for most ballots because with the CFC, PL and N3 pushing for sov changes, someone needs to represent the little guy as well. The good news and bad news is that HERO really does have three well-qualified candidates – something N3 can only wish. But picking which one is difficult not only because all three are qualified, but because there is no clear front-runner. I think you can safely vote for any or all of the three of them. Let’s discuss each briefly in order of my (admittedly nearly tied) preference.
- Cagali Cagali. Cagali is the Director of Education, Recruiting and HR for Brave Newbies. Of the three, I place him the highest by a very thin margin. Much like Matias Otero before him, it’s hard to argue that Cagali is not a strong driver of content, especially for newbies who are the lifeblood of the game. That also makes him extra conscious of Matias’ failings and he has stated specifically that he has taken that into account to avoid. His bona fides are pretty much unquestioned – and given the size of BRAVE, the primary thing standing between him and a seat on the council is how disciplined his voters are. On top of that, he has in-thread endorsements from Corbexx, Sugar Kyle and Bam Stroker, some of my top candidates, add further credibility to his candidacy.
- June Ting. I put June just behind Cagali. June is the CEO of the Of Sound Mind alliance. She is well-liked by her alliance and has a reputation as a strong leader. June was Ali Aras’ campaign manager for the CSM 8 run that put her in the spotlight and has a very good idea what made Ali successful in CSM 8 and less so on CSM 9, so she has close-up in-person understanding of the commitments. She has been visible and active not only with her alliance and coalition but in the community. The unfortunate part for June is that Ali was almost too successful – June is to some extent running on Ali’s platform, which has in my opinion already gotten so much traction that it already has a life of its own in CCP (which it didn’t when Ali was first elected). June also occasionally comes across as abrupt, although on asking some people familiar with her in-alliance, their judgment was “no more so than any other nullsec leader”. I do have concerns about the fact that she will be unable to attend any sessions in Iceland – I have read too many times how much more productive those sessions are in person. That said, I know that Sugar, Corbexx and Steve were all successful this year outside of summits as well (so June can be), and Ali has explicitly endorsed June.
- Migui X’hyrrn. While I’m not as sold on Migui at the same level as Cagali and June, I do think Migui is worth a look for HERO voters specifically. He is another strong leadership candidate, the Head Diplo and Finance Director from TEST. Migui does have some interesting ideas around lore (although Ashterothi represents similar views) as well as some love for Lowsec and some good points around the late lamented battlecruiser/battleship meta. In another year, with a less-strong cast of candidates, I think Migui would have ranked higher.
Yesterday I endorsed several bloc Sov Null candidates, including Bam Stroker (PL), Manfred Sideous (PL) and Endie (CFC). I think those three will be good for the game regardless what kind of space you hail from. There are several other candidates that are also worth a look, but in my opinion only if you are at minimum a nullsec resident, or ideally within their bloc. Listed here alphabetically.
- Corebloodbrothers. Yes, after being lukewarm on Core for the last two years, I’m going to give him the nod this year. The simple facts are: 1) He won the #1 votes last year hands down – Provibloc is not a joke, 2) He represents a key area of nullsec that is the major outlier in nullsec that is “non bloc”, and 3) He got clear endorsements from both Sion Kumitomo and CCP Leeloo for his hard work at the Winter Summit. I’ll be honest – I still don’t entirely see it, even reading the summit minutes. Sion put it very well: “there was a vast swath of the term where I thought he was mostly out of game. He wasn’t at meetings, didn’t talk in channel much, and rarely posted. Had I not met him at this last summit, that’s where this blurb would end. Instead, I discovered that he was unable to attend remote meetings due to work, and instead of dropping feedback in public areas, he tended to contact CCP directly and privately. He’s also smart, active, willing to take a stand.” It’s unfortunate – I’m still in that “that’s where this blurb would end” place. Core is invisible to me – and to a lot of people I think – outside Provibloc. I think that’s unfortunate, because maybe the rest of us could gain from the insights he is sharing privately rather than publicly. I hope this term he opens up to the rest of us a bit more, and I hope his followers decide that they should vote for more than one person on their fourteen-vote ballots this year. Don’t say I haven’t given you some good ones to choose from, Provi!
- DomanarK. I liked what I saw of DomanarK, and he’s gotten some good press from other candidates. As a Black Legion member he has some nullsec PVP cred. As a podcaster he has some community cred. And as a guy with an alt in Rifterlings he has some Lowsec cred. So my gut check says that he is likely to bring value to the conversations. I like his interest in the bounty system, which I think needs a complete overhaul. However, I didn’t feel like I ever got a completely clear picture of him or his candidacy, so I couldn’t bring myself to endorse him more broadly. If you are a BL member or fan, or live in non-CFC non-N3 nullsec, he’s probably a good one to have on your ballot.
- Sion Kumitomo. I keep going back and forth with Sion, but I think in the end and taken as a whole he is a hard worker and a strong and intelligent voice from the CFC side (he is after all The Mittani’s right hand metagame guy – by definition he’s smart). You may not like what he says if you don’t like CFC, and make no mistake, that’s who he’s there to represent. But he has been a visible and strong presence this year – much more so than I ever expected. I’ve enjoyed a handful of interactions with him on Twitter and am impressed by his demeanor on Slack during conversations that draw out the trollbait from others. I am a long-time advocate of better CSM transparency, which is why during CSM 8’s tenure I wrote a little thing called Nondisclosure. I commend Sion for kicking that discussion off this election season and by doing so made it a key part of the discussions for every serious candidate. That said, I don’t think his methods in doing so were productive – he unfortunately didn’t quit while he was ahead and degenerated pretty rapidly into what most (including me) perceived as mudslinging. Because of his chose methodology, I am not as convinced that he will be able to be successful on either the transparency agenda or the sov agenda. But if you’re a CFCer or an advocate for CSM transparency, you’d be a fool not to at least consider voting for him.
- Xander Phoena. It’s been a pretty rough and ugly couple of months for Xander. He seemed to be doing well (outside looking in) all through CSM 9’s term until just before the Winter Summit, when he blocked Sion and Corbexx on Twitter. From there on, it was all downhill, and the crapstorm came out in public over the next month. Xander and Sion have been slinging mud at each other in public ever since. It’s unbecoming and it’s also what has me listing Xander here rather than on the full endorsement page. Don’t get me wrong – I like Xander. I think he is an excellent podcaster and publisher. I think that CCP Leeloo explicitly calling out that Xander has not broken NDA, plus the evidence that he was invited to the Winter Summit on CCP’s dime says that he is not looked on unfavorably by CCP. Unfortunately, outside looking in, it’s impossible to know the truth for anyone who has not been on the CSM. Which argues, again, for transparency. I recommend Xander for all PL voters as well as people who are fans of Crossing Zebras and the podcasting community in general. However, I think he has an uphill battle this year. If he doesn’t make it, I am very excited to see his return to both regular short-form podcasting and CSM 11 interviews. Disclosure: I have written a handful of articles for Crossing Zebras.
One other side note: There are 6 candidates (Crante, Erweb Maken, Miralisa Issa, Purinpu, Roban Crause and UAxDEATH) who were not vetted by me because they are candidates for specific Localizations (French, German, Russian) and did not post on the standard forums. Since I don’t speak any of those languages, I have no basis to judge one way or the other.
So those two posts should give you all the candidates you need for your ballots (sorry N3, I am indeed recommending you ignore your voting orders. Again.). There are easily enough for everyone to pick fourteen. I’ll be back next post to tell you what order I recommend putting them in on your ballot depending on where you live.