More double-agent spy drama from the world of EVE Online this week - and this latest coup makes Monday's tournament assassination look like a storm in a teacup.
Band of Brothers, the oldest and most experienced military alliance in the game, and one of the most powerful forces in the space MMO, has been destroyed from within by a director who defected to its bitter rivals, GoonSwarm.
As reported by Rock, Paper, Shotgun yesterday, the disillusioned director had enough authority within Band of Brothers to kick out all of its member corporations, clean out its bank accounts, open all its territorial holdings to attack, and steal its name.
"This event is now the most significant coup in Eve history," wrote RPS contributor and Eurogamer's own EVE expert, Jim Rossignol. "It's a titanic victory for the Goons, who had often quoted griefing Band Of Brothers as one of their core goals."
"The catastrophic effect this has means that BoB’s empire is now totally exposed to attack from its enemies, and Goon fleets are reportedly already at the heart of the former BoB stronghold," he added.
Even more remarkable, perhaps, is the story of this double-agent's turning, documented on the official forums. A relatively lowly GoonSwarm member was attempting to scam some money off the director's "alt" - a secondary character and in this case, effectively a secret identity - but was impressed enough by his manner to recruit him for real.
The Band of Brothers director liked his new home so much, and was so fed up with the arrogance of Band of Brothers, that he confessed his true identity, and offered to use his main character to sell out his former comrades. Initially, he was to act as a spy and send GoonSwarm intelligence reports, but after a conversation with GoonSwarm leader and self-professed "space tyrant" The Mittani, he opted simply to break the long-standing alliance apart.
The animosity between Band of Brothers and GoonSwarm goes back several years, and was a root cause of EVE's "Great War", which was waged by a coalition of Goons and Russian players against Band of Brothers. You can read up on the background in Jim's articles on RPS and here on Eurogamer.
GoonSwarm is the EVE branch of a wider organisation of MMO players with its roots in the Something Awful forums. The Goons are proud "griefers" who aim to subvert the game mechanics and destroy the established order of every virtual world they enter. If griefing is an art form, then the Goons have just completed their Sistine Chapel.