Brisc Rubal is a veteran EVE Online player, nullsec PvPer, EVE media personality and CSM member. He first came to EVE Online in 2006, and has been all around New Eden.
He’s been a high sec mission runner. He’s done some time on the Tama gate camp and lived off a couch in low sec. For much of his active career he’s been an active subcap and supercapital pilot in nullsec, currently serving as an F1 monkey in the Initiative, and he’s even managed to sneak an alt into KarmaFleet, where he is, as Merkelchen likes to say, the “only director in the Corporation who isn’t actually in the Corporation.”
He serves as co-host of Imperium News Network’s “The Meta Show,” the most watched EVE Online talk show, and joins fellow CSM members Innominate and Merkelchen almost nightly on Merkelchen’s RampageInc EVE stream. He also streams EVE on his own Twitch channel, and creates videos, usually for the Meta Show, on his YouTube channel. He was elected to CSM 13 and CSM 15.
Despite being space famous, he is still not an FC, not an alliance leader (although he’s frequently accused of running INIT), not a corporation CEO nor a diplomat. He’s still addicted to this game, plays almost every day, and there’s plenty of proof in the form of empty beer bottles, dead structures in Catch, and ASMR-laced twitch streams.
In real life, Brisc Rubal is the online persona of Brian Schoeneman, a veteran lawyer and politician in the United States. In his day job, he represents America’s largest seafaring union in the halls of Congress and the White House. He’s run for office twice, testified before the U.S. Congress multiple times, served as chief elections administrator in the largest county in the Commonwealth of Virginia (with over 1 million residents), served as Special Assistant and Senior Speechwriter for a U.S. cabinet secretary, got verified on Twitter, taken a nap smack dab in centerfield at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and Rachel Maddow even apologized for making fun of him on TV.
My EVE Online story begins, oddly enough, in Star Wars: Galaxies. One of my college friends and I had been planning on playing SWG since it was announced, and when it was launched in 2003 we hit the ground running. We built a solid guild from the ground up, and I joined SOE’s version of the CSM, their “Player Correspondent Program,” and was the longest serving member until the game shut down.
After SOE decided to ignore their Correspondents and destroy the game that my buddy and I loved, we looked around for a new game to play that could scratch that itch. I started playing World of Warcraft, and he started playing EVE Online. After a year or so, in July of 2006, he finally convinced me to try out EVE. I did.
Swing, and a miss. I was intimidated by the game – spent most of my first couple of months docked in a station training my training skills. I remember the first time I ever undocked from a station expecting to be immediately killed by other players, given the game’s reputation. In any event, it didn’t hold my attention. I would pop in to run a mission or two every month or so, and I bounced around, tried to join a corporation (I can’t even remember which one now), and just didn’t really get into it. This was me for the next ten years – every couple of months coming back and playing by myself, running missions, training my account, salivating over someday getting to fly a Raven, but not really enjoying myself. I never made it past lowsec.
It wasn’t until 2016 that I finally got back into the game permanently. A real-life political buddy of mine was highly active in the game, and he’d joined up with a group up in Tenal. He wanted me to join, so I resubbed and decided to move up there. I had nothing more than an Osprey Navy Issue (which I immediately lost to a PL gate camp in lowsec) and my skills. I finally made it up to Tenal and got into EVE Online proper. What made it different this time? I had friends to play with. I had a corporation that helped me figure things out. I finally got to PvP where I had a reasonable chance at winning. All of that combined to get me, after ten years, finally addicted to EVE Online. The longest I have gone without logging in since was the two weeks I was banned in 2019.
After joining my first nullsec corp, I spent the next six months relearning the game, unprogramming all the high sec stuff I had learned over the years and getting into nullsec PvP. I was flying with DRONE WALKERS at the time, and in January of 2017, I joined STK-Scientific, which was, at the time, one of the core corporations in DW, with the Alliance executor being a member. I was recruited to join them because I was, in the words of our current CEO, “the only guy who was willing to actually PvP and defend his space.” As part of STK and DW, we participated in all of the major wars during the first half of 2017, including the Battle of M-O, and we stayed in WALKA until we were stabbed in the back by CO2. After being evicted from Tenal by Adversity, we ended up on TEST’s couch in Catch, and were finally given space in Feythabolis. I lost my first ratting carrier to Inner Hell down there. CO2 decided they wanted the space and we were told by WALKA to move back to Catch. Live in Catch? ■■■■ no. So STK left DW and went back to the Initiative, joining Initiative Mercenaries. After two months, we made the jump from IM to INIT proper and I’ve been there ever since.
It was around that time that my STK brothers started harassing me to run for CSM. I told them no over and over, and they finally wore me down. I decided to run, ran a professional campaign, with website, TV commercial, paid advertising, appearances on many EVE related Twitch streams and podcasts including Open Comms, Talking in Stations, Declarations of War, and Mindclash, and memes galore. I was invited to join the Open Comms team, which I did until I left the show in early 2021.
Thanks to all of you, I was elected to CSM 13. While on CSM 13, I maintained a reputation as being one of the most approachable and active CSM members. I held a number of town halls and forums, I was active in over 20 EVE discords, continued my appearances on a variety of EVE media, single-handedly did the CSM roundtable at EVE Vegas in 2018, and attended both CSM summits in Iceland. I made it a point to post on Reddit and the EVE-O forums, and I went out of my way to represent the players to CCP. I reached out to underserved communities, including Wormholers, Faction Warfare and Lowsec pilots, and High Sec mission runners (of which I remain). During that time, I continued to play the game daily, managed to lose a Titan, helped evict Hard Knocks from Rage, made some funny videos and avoided all positions of responsibility within my corporation and alliance.
All of this came crashing down in April 2019, when I was accused of violating the NDA and was permanently banned, alongside INIT’s two lead FCs, Pandoralica and Dark Shines. After working with CCP, we were able to clear our names and I was reinstated, NO COLLUSION, TOTAL EXONERATION, two weeks later. Given that I have never hidden who I am, the impact on my personal life from the false accusations was significant, and I chose to step down from the CSM and not run for a second term in 2019.
I spent that 2019 killing people in EVE. After I left the CSM 13, I went out on fleets almost every day, ratted and mined (usually under duress), participated in almost every Saturday Night Swarm with KarmaFleet (unless there was a UFC PPV on), attended EVE Vegas 2019 and EVE London 2019, lost a Widow to Pinecones in Syndicate, joined the Meta Show as co-host, and did my best to remain an ambassador of the game to the rest of the gaming community.
But, as is often the case, when you’ve been in the game and you’re suddenly watching it from the sidelines, the desire to get back in can become overwhelming. I also felt like there was still some feeling in the community that while I had been exonerated by CCP, that I had somehow bullied the company or otherwise was guilty of what I was charged with, and I knew that one of the only ways to shut up those critics would be to run for CSM again and serve a full term. So, while I enjoyed my break, I knew that I had to at least give it one more chance. So after some soul searching and the blessing of MrsBrisc, I decided to run for CSM 15.
Thanks to the help of players across New Eden, I got elected to CSM 15 by an even larger margin than my CSM 13 victory, and I hit the ground running. As one of the returning veterans, I quickly worked to help get the new guys up to speed and prepare them for the new reality of CSM-via-videoconference. I established myself as the unofficial note taker for the CSM, documenting almost every single meeting held, and providing transparency in semi-monthly updates to players about what was happening internally on the CSM. I attended more than 90% of the 50 meetings held during CSM 15. I worked hard to be everywhere that players were, responding to questions via EVE Mail, Discord, Reddit, the official forums and on a variety of EVE Media. At the same time, I kept playing the game every day, hosted marathon livestreams of multiple Keepstar fights in NPC Delve (while playing) as well as anchoring a 14 hour breaking news stream for the first battle of M2-XFE (while losing a Titan - one of the first five to die on the Imperium side), and also anchored INN coverage for the second battle as well.
Throughout CSM 15, I worked hard to bring player concerns to the developers and succeeded in a number of major efforts, including advocating quality of life fixes like adding jump gates to the auto-navigation feature, among other changes that were very well received by the player base. Finally, I did my best to demonstrate to players that the CSM is more than just a group of famous players getting a free trip to Iceland, especially since there was no trip this year. This year was pure hard work, and I made sure to put in my fair share. The results speak for themselves.
And, of course, I got CCP to fix the Red Dot.
I am primarily a null-sec PvPer. I’ve spent the bulk of the last four years in PvP alliances. As a result, I’m well versed in subcap PvP, large group PvP, capital PvP (including Titans and supercarriers), and the attendant politics that go into that area of space. Because of the work we’ve done in and around wormholes, I’ve learned a lot about them, although I would hesitate to call myself an expert (except to troll the small knot of humorless wormholers who are some of my biggest fans) in that area. I continue to run missions in high sec, I have a structure that I maintain in high sec so I’m familiar with structure and some logistics aspects of the game, and despite my ardent attempt to not learn anything about mining, I know far too much about it thanks to the krabs in my corp.
My other areas of expertise are outside of the game, but complimentary to it. As an EVE media personality, I know how to run a Twitch talk show, and I’m one of the more professional podcast/talk show hosts in the StreamFleet community. As a real life lobbyist, former public official and attorney, all of my daily professional skills are exactly the kinds of skills needed to be successful on the CSM – how to build relationships, work collaboratively, function in a group professional setting, and use the art of persuasion to maximize positive results for my constituents.
I also believe that my past experience with CCP, both on the CSM, in the EVE media sphere, as well as having been accused, banned, and exonerated by the company gives me a unique perspective on the game and the company from other CSM candidates. One thing that players can count on is that, thanks to my experiences, I am nobody’s sycophant, and I will speak truth to power on their behalf.
They can expect what I’ve promised and delivered to them in my first and second terms – I will work hard, every day, on behalf of all of the players of EVE Online. Whether you’re Alpha or Omega, come from Highsec or Nullsec, play in Wormholes or Faction Warfare, I will be there to listen and advocate for you and for what is in the best interests of the entire game. I will never put what is in my own personal benefit ahead of the game, nor will I put what’s in the interests of my coalition, alliance or corporation ahead of what’s good for the game.
Finally, I will not be here to be a mouthpiece for CCP, either. My mantra has always been “tough but fair,” and I will continue to do that if re-elected. I have said, from the beginning, that the role of CSM member is to share player views with CCP, not the other way around, and I am committed to that style of representation. CCP must do their own communications – my role is to represent you, not them.
I intend to continue delivering what I have delivered on my two previous terms on the CSM – a true player representative who is approachable, listens, advocates, and works every day for the betterment of EVE Online.
We fixed the Red Dot together in 2021 – what can we get done this year?