Yes, the clock is counting down from twenty. The bars show you the top three guilds progress towards winning the match. Th bottom is your own guild. Only one altar is active at a time, and the altars are only one way to gain points towards winning the match...aside from kills, citywide occupation, and stealing the sigil. The icons are currently decorative, we may use them as a way to indicate the city is or is not being occupied as the message is currently a little spammy. You get a message when you log in and when a battle starts via guild messaging.