So you set up yourself a Steam account a couple of days ago, downloaded Team Fortress 2 and got stuck into some public play. By now you should be familiar with the bare basics of the game, such as the different abilities and weapons that each class has. You enjoy the game immensely, but you just cant make out how this game can be played competitively. I mean, the game has cartoon graphics – how can anyone take this game serious, right? Still, you love to compete, and you want to check out how the pros play the game.
Now that TF2 has gone free to play, we have noticed an increased level of interest being displayed by new players towards becoming involved in competitive TF2. One of the greatest problems being faced by the TF2 community, both locally and overseas, is that the public modes of play are vastly different from that of how the game is played competitively. On public servers, there are no restrictions to how many of a certain class you can use. You’ve played goldrush and pipeline over and over along with the king of the hill maps, and maybe you have even experienced a capture the flag round or two on 2fort. Competitive TF2 does not work like this unfortunately, and therein lies the greatest challenge for the competitive community to overcome.
You see, competitive TF2 is structured around speeding up the game greatly. Firstly, team sizes are much smaller than what you find on your average pub server – competitive matches are played in a 6 vs 6 format. Class restrictions are in place so that teams cant exploit certain overpowered mechanics, such as huge amount of sticky spam, or chaining multiple ubers on your 5 medics. Payload maps such as goldrush are not played, but instead the battles take place on push maps such as cp_granary and cp_badlands. There are also restrictions on certain weapons that you can use in order to ensure fairness.
“So why so serious?” – I hear you asking. The simple truth is that as a competitive FPS game, not many other games come close to how fun TF2 can be in a competitive environment. The pace of the game is quite fast, but not so fast that you have to have been a quake pro to keep up. The class combinations – whilst seeming rather limited when you look at them at first – provides for a fantastically balanced and fun game. Furthermore, TF2 quite possibly requires the highest amount of teamwork out there out of any active first person shooter available on the market. You wont be seeing one man carry his team to victory on his very own in TF2 such as often is the case in certain other games.
In TF2, your team is rewarded greatly for working together. Communication and coordination are extremely important elements every team must master to be successful. Learning the basics of competitive TF2 is quite simple, but mastering the strategic factors that influence the game can be daunting and take players a long time to grasp if they don’t receive a helping hand. There are various subtle factors which determine your success as a player and a team, which includes uber management, push timing, defense, and team positioning. The slightest detail can sometimes have the greatest impact on the game, and thats why it is so rewarding and entertaining to participate in competitive TF2.
So, have I got your attention? Are you interested in giving this a shot? Then we have a good plan to get you involved. Over the course of the next week or two, I will be managing group sessions where I explain how competitive TF2 works. I will teach you about class combinations, individual roles, maps, offensive and defensive strategies – and a whole lot more. These sessions will provide you a gateway into competitive TF2, and you will be able to start participating in pickups and clan matches almost straight away if you listen to what I have to teach you.
There are of course certain conditions though which you must consider before you want to join us in these sessions. First of all, I highly recommend that you have at least 40 – 50 hours of pub experience under the belt. I wont be spending time on explaining each individual class to you and how they work – that is something that you can figure out on pub servers with a bit of time. If you want to attend a session, I expect you to join us on mumble (a voice over ip program, similar to teamspeak) and IRC. I will then take all the players onto a server as a group and teach you about competitive TF2. Follow up sessions can be organized where I can cover more advanced aspects of the game with interested players, along with map specific tactics and roles.
So if you are fine with these conditions, then I welcome you to come join me and the other players for an hour session, the next of which will be on Wednesday 6 July at 20:00. The following details apply to the session:
Time & date: Wednesday 6 July @ 20:00
IRC – server: za.shadowfire.org , channel #tf2training
Mumble – server: ts.isgaming.co.za , channel TF2 Shoutcasting
An updated copy of TF2
I will communicate the server details through to everyone who is present on mumble. I will also cover with you how TF2 pickups work, and how you can start playing. If you have any questions, feel free to join us on irc any time in #tf2training, and I will be able to assist you.
See you on Wednesday!
**If you missed Wednesday’s training just check out #tf2training on IRC**
Don’t know how to install an IRC client? Check it here: Easy IRC Pack