EVE Online ("spreadsheets in space") is an empire-building game that allows players to move real cash in and out of the game, a wrinkle that's spawned massive Ponzi schemes, a profitable espionage industry, and massive in-game wars, but even by the game's own bizarre standards, this week's "Judgement Day" attack is world-beating.
The tldr is that a Goonswarm player (affiliated with the Something Awful forums) called Aryth sought revenge on an autocratic boss called Council of Two, and cooked up a double-cross that started a massive war that has already destroyed $20K worth of in-game assets, with the total still rolling in.
"I saw an opportunity, and I laid out my plan to the other senior leadership, [and] they were horrified. Some wanted a slow burn, but I wanted to set up a 'Super Prisoner's Dilemma'. I knew this was the time," he said. As the CSM summit began in earnest, with The Judge separated from his alliance, the dominoes Aryth saw began to fall. In a situation eerily reminiscent to the lead-up of World War I, small skirmishes began to trigger mutual defense pacts, which led to favors being called in, which eventually led to Circle of Two looking down the barrels of their guns, and seeing members of fellow members of the Legacy Coalition on the other side of the field.
Aryth looked on as between summit meetings, The Judge tried to get a handle on the situation, but to no avail. The leader of Circle of Two was ruining his relationships with another major alliance, Test Alliance Please Ignore. "Judge sees his hard work disintegrating, and his leader, Gigx, just doesn't care."
Aryth said that he and his fellow CSM member Innominate played the situation very casually, allowing the Judge to come to them, to talk about what he wanted to talk about, and to lead the conversations, playing the part of consoling friends. Then it happened: Another alliance called Legacy Coalition was turning on Co2. Judge tried to fix things, but could not persuade Gigx, his leader.
At the final night of each Summit, CCP treats the delegates to dinner at a fine dining establishment in Reykjavik. The high-level players sit down and have a meal with some of the development team as a thank-you for their time and support.
"I knew this was my chance," Aryth said. "Innominate and I discussed the plan with the rest of the Star Chamber [Goonswarm's highest leadership channel], and they had some doubts, but I was fully confident." Knowing that this would be his last chance to isolate The Judge in real life, away from the screen, away from his alliance, Aryth motioned him over to a corner seat.
How EVE Players Pulled Off The Biggest Betrayal In Its History