Skill Levels in TF2

I was just checking some TF2 articles and found this one from of how they classify the skill levels between the competitive community in overseas, we don’t need to do this in SA but I just want you guys to check the description of each level and the advice given, because the skill levels in TF2 is a problem anywhere, so have a look at the article and focus on the highlighted part:

by djfivenine

Lately, all I’ve been doing is interviews, I miss writing…

This is my first shot at an actual blog entry, so please don’t just spam y4 bl0w, please provide details on why i bl0w.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the names of the skill levels, it just haven’t been updated for almost a year now. The new players in comp have no idea what a gather is or who the hell is frozenshift. That post was pretty much a joke post that turned into the tf2 skill bible. So I’m not here to rewrite the bible, just going to update it a little bit, make it seem more official. Some of the things I’m going to copy from JK, some I’m going to add/change. Going into the writeup, here were the things I wanted to alter a little from jk’s skill levels:

– Expand the lower skills by making the “mid” level a little bit easier to claim. It is ridiculous how there are under 100 players that are mid/high to high, while there are over 500 players who are low or low/mid. We need to find a better way to differentiate the lower players.

– I added the Mid+ skill level. There is only a SMALL difference between Mid+ and Mid/High. The Mid+ teams are the guys who are too modest to say they are mid/high or are afraid they might get ridiculed. If I had the choice, I would combine the two skill levels…but you know the TF2 community and their hatred for change, let’s just leave the Mid+ around.

– Changed Mid/Low to Mid- to keep consistency with Mid+. Also, I’ve never seen a team say they are high/mid. So there shouldn’t be a level called mid/low as well.

– I have tried to make this a little bit more objective. jk’s post was filled with inside jokes. I just want to state some points and try to make it clear which skill level you and your team should list as.

– I have added an “advice” section for some of the skill levels, just my opinion on how you can move up to the next level.

Again, this is not a bible. But I hope it will clear up some of the debates about certain teams and players and what skill levels they claim to be.

For the TL:DR people:

Low – Little to none league experience

Low/Mid – TWL DIV 4/5 or low 3. UGC, STA.

Mid- (mid minus) – TWL D2 or top D3. Low ESEA Open, low CEVO Free

Mid – TWL D1, near .500 ESEA O and CEVO F

Mid+ – Playoff caliber ESEA O and CEVO F

Mid/High – Title contenders for ESEA O and CEVO F OR low ESEA I/CEVO P

High – Middle to top ESEA Invite and CEVO P.

Low – Pubstar. I have been getting into competitive. I have pugged and lobbied, but I have never been on a team that played through a whole season in any league. I understand the basics of the roles for each class but still need to learn about team chemistry. In pugs, I have good nights where I topfrag or top-point, but I do often find myself bottomfragging or not even picked in when the mid or higher players show up.

Advice for low: One of the biggest missing holes right now is experience. You need to pug and lobby often, learn how to play 6v6 and not 16v16. Winning is not a priority right now, so don’t try to overrate yourself by saying you are low/mid or mid or using some made up term like low+. You are a low player, find yourself a low team, preferably a group of guys from your pub community, make sure you like them and they are dedicated to scrimming, and just have fun with it. Get rolled, laugh about it. Win some close games against other low teams, figure out what you did right and discuss it with your team. OR if you have a hard time finding 5 other low players, then beg a friendly low/mid team to take you on as their mentee/backup. I did that for the Ubermelons and I learn a lot from watching them scrim, play matches, and also jumping in there once in a while to scrim.

Low/Mid – I’ve been on a 6v6 team for an entire season. TWL D4/5 or low D3, UGC, STA. I have a low understanding of tactics/dm strategy in this game. I understand calling/comms are important and do so well. I understand the importance of teamwork to success. In pugs, I have good nights where I topfrag or top-point and I regularly get picked in However, I still find myself getting overwhelmed by the speed of the games when the invite players are in there. My team regularly rolls low teams and can get a few points up against mid teams. We run the basic tactics and we run them pretty well. However, on bad days, we get rolled by the mid teams and have a hard time beating the low teams.

Advice for low/mid: I have seen a lot of teams move from low/mid to mid by scrimming a lot and playing through more seasons together. Notice I said teams, not players. The easiest way to move up to mid is with a team. Again, find 5 guys you can get along with, find them in pugs, lobbies, etc, and just play together. You can’t make it any further in the skill levels if you don’t have the team chemistry and communication skills. Oh, and this is the skill level when you begin to roll some of the low teams, you will start looking really impressive in some of the scrims and matches when you 5-0 the low teams. You might even get picked 1st in some pug.nas when the list isn’t impressive. Some of the low players will start calling you “good” and “omgsogood” and start stroking your ego. DO NOT GET COCKY. You are still a low/mid player. And that low player is NOT trying to stroke your ego, he is just being nice. Help the low players out the best you can, but don’t get a big ego from it.

Mid- (Mid minus) – I have been on a successful low/mid team for an entire season. This means TWL D2 or contender for D3 or top 3 for UGC. My team is good and we are one of the “big fishes” in the community outside of ESEA and CEVO. I might have played for an ESEA or CEVO team, but that went nowhere or our record was below .500. My team is starting to try out some different and new strategies, not just the standard way of playing. I am understanding a lot of other aspects of individual play that makes you successful in TF2, not just having a good deathmatching skills…but knowing it is important to have good awareness, movement, positioning, tactics, and adaptation to the enemy, just to name a few. I usually dominate pugs and lobbies when there are only low to low/mid players present, but I still get outplayed and outsmarted by the higher level players.

Advice for mid/low: Like low/mid, the easiest way to move to the mid level is to gain experience by scrimming and working with a team. At this point, finding a backup spot on a mid or mid+ team really won’t help improve your game as much as before. It comes down to playing a lot and having better game sense. Learn by doing. Oh, and this is when you should start watching the invite/pro games and actually try to understand what they are trying to do instead of only watching it for entertainment.

Mid – I have played on an esea open, cevo, or a D1 TWL team for a full season or longer. I understand that playing with good communication and teamwork is not only important to me, but important to my team’s success.  I am starting to understand what type of player I am in competitive, I understand my talents as well as my weaknesses. My team can take rounds off the top teams in CEVO F and ESEA O, but we are not considered a playoff caliber team. I still get overwhelmed and outplayed when I play against high players, but I understand how they were beating me.

Advice for mid: Up until now, winning really didn’t matter too much, but to become higher than mid in TF2, you will need to start beating some known teams or outplay some known players in the game. I have always found that teams like Crack Clan and Terribles were good “gatekeepers” for mid+. If you can CONSISTENTLY beat those teams, you can call yourself mid+. RIP to both of those teams, we’re gonna need to find ourselves some new gatekeepers.

Mid+ – I have consistently been on a playoff team for ESEA Open or CEVO-F/M, still looking for that one awesome opportunity or to improve that one aspect in my game to get to the invite level. It is getting to a point where the competition in UGC and TWL are jokes to me and the only places I can get my competition kicks are in CEVO and ESEA leagues. My team has developed a consistency, always being able to put up points against mid/high teams, and always able to beat the lower teams. We can even get a few caps or steal a point from the high teams when they are trying. I have filled the gaps in my game and feel like I am a solid all-around player that can contribute on any team from high to low. I am not intimidated by the pros, in fact, I look forward to playing against them in pugs or scrims to test my skills.

Advice for mid+: Ok, so you have won with teams, you have filled the gaps in your game, what is next? How do I get to invite? Three different ways, in my opinion.

1. You work together with your mid+ team, you all get better together and get to invite together. example: dynamic, strickland propane, muscle milk

2. You play on a mid+ team and become the star player, get noticed by some pros or try out and get on an experienced invite team. example: kermit, TLR, Grieve

3. You get to know the higher players, pug and hang out with them, jump on the team as a backup and get a chance to play in a few matches. no examples.

Mid/High – Previous TWL-Invite and/or haven’t missed the playoffs in ESEA or CEVO with your team for a long time. Maybe had a stint in CEVO-P or Invite.  Been active for many seasons. The top teams know who I am and can vouch for my skill. I know what I’m doing, can communicate very effectively to my team. I’m skilled in the DM/Strategy/Movement aspects of this game. Can easily make a difference on any playoff caliber Open team. Not only did I fill the missing gaps in my game, I am looking for areas to excel in as well as finding that “it” factor that will get to the top of this game.

Advice for mid/high: Honestly, I really don’t have any advice for these guys, I am not sure how you get on the level of carnage and enigma and I’m not about to go around telling people how to do that. But I wish you guys the best of luck. TF2 needs more active mid/high players.

High – Someone asks “Who are the best players in each class in TF2?” and my name is often mentioned. And honestly, I really shouldn’t be making a looking post. Most of the competitive community already knows that I am a free agent. If I am not on a team, it is only because I haven’t found the right invite team to join, or I feel like taking a break, not because no team wants me.

Advice for high: I know, who the hell am I to try to ask the high players to do something? But honestly guys, you are the faces of TF2 competitive. Please understand that some players look up to you guys and some might even worship you. You don’t have to sign autographs or spend your day mentoring kids. All I’m asking is for you guys to be nice. Say hello to people if they greet you. Don’t rage at kids in a pug if they don’t play up to your standards. Represent NA TF2 competitive with pride and not the “too cool for this game” I see in some.

written by djfivenine

Here in SA we have also the same problem with skill levels and in such a small community it really makes it very hard to create a well balanced competitive level between the players and teams.

Anyways guys that’s about it and probably things will not be able to improve but at least we can still have some fun if we stick together with what is left of the TF2 SA Community, think about it and see you around…

**For those who don’t know:

Pug = Pickup Game

Lobbied = Stands for pickup games organized through the Lobby TF2 system.  How it works?

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12 years ago

look if we cant even hav two pug games at a time then wat is the chance that the community we ever recover?ask your self that not even do gaming wants to back a tf2 comp tf2 will always remain a pub sever guys choose another that has a strong community and comps forget about tf2 its a dead end

12 years ago


12 years ago

Its a Game Boet,Relax. LOL. Dont get so serious

12 years ago

who the f is djfivenine?

12 years ago

Jan you need to change your attitude. Look at the attitude some players had in December. “Oh no! Dead game is dead…” “Whats the point of making a clan…” Those types of comments make me PISSED OFF! Go play another game then is what i told them. And im not saying i did much to try jump start it again after the “plague of negativity” but really. Also FYI, there are at least 5 pickups a day now. (not as much as COD4 but who cares!)

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