Just the Facts
On the early morning of Jan 26th, the Goonswarm alliance lost sovereignty control of about 30 systems out of about 130. However, some of these systems were of great strategic importance, including the historic NOL-M9 system in Delve region. Goonswarm's enemies (IT, -A-, S-K, and others) descended on Delve, Querious, and Period Basis regions in an effort to secure station systems with which to launch further attacks into the area.
It was later revealed that the reason control dropped in these system was because the bills came due and the controlling corporation lacked funds in the right wallet division with which to pay them.
Despite a desperate defence, many key systems in the area were taken by IT alliance (which is the core of the old Band Of Brothers alliance goons screwed over a year ago) and -A- alliance. Soon thereafter the Goonswarm leadership announced to its members that the fight for Delve and the rest was already lost with the key systems lost and that the alliance would withdraw to Syndicate region to regroup.
Then on February 3rd, the coup de grace: the current leader of Goonswarm and CEO of the main corporation, Goonfleet, kicked all corporations from the Goonswarm alliance and moved Goonfleet into an alliance called Band Of Brothers. The Goonswarm alliance is empty except for an executor corp, and Goonfleet is locked into the Band of Brothers alliance as the perpetrator announced his intentions to leave Eve (taking the keys to the corporate control with him), this last act his poke in the eye to the players he felt had lost the way according to his posts on forums. According to some estimates, he also made off with 300 billion in cash and assets
Its hard to feel sorry for the Goons who will lose a lot in the following days and weeks as they try to regroup in Syndicate. This is, after all, an alliance that used every meta-gaming trick in the book and took great pride in scamming and trying to ruin other pilot's enjoyment of the game at every turn. But when you are part of an alliance built on such attitudes, can you really be surprised that eventually you get burned by the same disregard for others towards yourself?
I was surprised by the announced retreat to Syndicate so soon in the episode. I expected them to be able to put up a larger and longer fight, but apparently a large majority of their cap fleet assets were locked in those stations that fell, crippling them at the knees against a refreshed and hungry nemesis in IT alliance. Rather than fight a demoralizing battle over weeks or months, leadership apparently thought it was better to cut the losses and run.
But as frustrating as the loss of space must be, the betrayal of their leader and the loss of their brand and name must sting even more. Homeless in space and name, is this the end for the Goons?
Rewind one year. Band Of Brothers alliance was disbanded by a disillusioned director with too much control who defected to the Goons. The pilots reformed as Kenzoku and fought a battle to prevent their space from being taken by the invading Goonswarm, but they lost that fight and the alliance seemed to crumble and disperse in empire. Then, this past fall a new alliance called IT forms of the old Band Of Brothers/Kenzoku corporations and launches attacks at high end moons and eventually Fountain region, an obvious stepping stone towards Delve and the Goons.
The point is that names and space can change and assets can be lost worth billions, but a dedicated group of pilots never go away in Eve. I expect the Goons in some form or another will be back, causing their brand of mayhem.