Hey guys I was just reading some TF2 news and found this awesome article written TCM Byte and how he sees the current situation of TF2 competitive and the factors at play that have not let TF2 competitive community get much of support to grow as much as the others top competitive games. Check it out:
Top Teams, Or Lack Thereof
Written by Byte
So what’s the deal? We have top teams like Dignitas, Pwr Gaming, Epsilon, Blight and TCM-Gaming……..and that’s currently it at the moment.
Sure some of the top teams have lost 1 mappers to lesser teams however in a period of inactivity this is bound to happen, so what is the real deal here? Why are we missing soo many top teams? We’ve only ever had the top 5 and before it was even the top 3 only in this Team Fortress 2 Community. Why is it so hard to excel in this game for individual players and teams? What makes Team Fortress 2 such a difficult game to be noticed ‘out there’? Lots of questions! Lets hope I can answer them all!
*long pause and deep breath readers*
So I take a look at the past 2 years of what teams have come and gone from the divison 1 and premiership league. We’ve had epsilon known as the old skool idk? we have blight gaming originally known as TLR|/r@ts who have excelled and succeeded by jumping over the top 10 hurdle and making it into the top 5. We have currently some lesser teams (but up and coming) like Fakkelbrigade and GamzerZone trying to break the barrier and jump over that top 10 hurdle and get in the top 5, which is great to see. It’s still not enough, for Team Fortress 2 to ever be taken seriously by organizers at LAN events and offer substantial prize funds we are going to need MORE competition. We simply don’t have that currently.
It’s a mixture of two problems really and they both relate to the ‘core’ problem which is discipline. The discipline a player has and the discipline a team has. Let’s address the individual aspect first.
The current problem I see with players is them giving up, them reaching a potential to which they peak but never seem to excel harder. That usually describes their personality in real life, sure it’s just a game but how you think and play is affected by the type of person you are usually. All you have to do is take a look at myself and realize I’m more a thought-process defensive person than an utterly risk-taking aggressive person when I play demoman. I don’t like to call names when I’m describing a negative but it can also be a compliment to that person.
I’ll use VYE.Koeitje as a fine example, I remember when he started, was quite a naive person but very willing to excel in his *original* class which was demoman, then about 3/4 seasons ago he switched to scout. Now there are probably 101 reasons in his mind as to why he switched from demoman to scout. An obvious few would be him thinking scout is maybe a more powerful and lethal class another reason would be maybe because he ‘believed’ he would excel more in this class than demoman or maybe it’s because he’s an impatient person in real life and likes to get to places fast and make an impact fast.
Like I said the reasons could be endless, however I’ve mentioned this fine TF2 community player in this article to show you the problem that has come by him switching classes. Not only has it affected his "Illustrious TF2 Career" but also it has changed his odd’s of ever succeeding. Why? Well if you think about it when one changes their class to another it will make you think that you’re going to be ‘better’ more ‘stronger’ and can compete maybe at the top. Why would one think that? Well because when something is new, fresh and something you enjoy, you think you are unstoppable and can easily improve if anything gets in your way. It’s the same with anything else in life when something is fresh and new you tend to enjoy it more and the short-term affects are amazing but the long-term are usually disastrous. The problem lies in the discipline of the class you are in. No one said it was going to be easy, no one said it was going to be a case of practice for 2months and hey you’re a pro and no one said just because you win one or two maps (as a clan) or individually in a tournament against a top team you become instantly ‘pro’.
I couldn’t see it myself personally why would someone switch from the most powerful class, the demoman to a scout. Now I’m sure Koeitje will have his own backlashing comments after he see’s this article, but to me I see what he has done, happens almost every day with players from division 6 to 2 (mainly), you do get the occasional peon in division 1 who think’s he can switch while trying to get into the premier barrier, which makes me *face palm* every time.
Sure alot of you readers might be going, "hey wait a minute Byte-me didn’t you switch from demoman to medic?" No, I’m currently TCM’s medic and TCM as a team have excelled with the switch contrary to popular belief. (obviously that is NO disrespect to Springer what so ever). However my main class is demoman and will always be demoman and when I get the chance I WILL switch back to my class, currently TCM needed a roster change and needed a medic and someone had to cater this, that’s where I came in and moved to medic and we brought numlock ze aggressive beast in!
Bottom line is, stick to your class, excel in it, if you are failing and unable to compete with the opposing enemy in the same class or any other class, then clearly you are not putting in enough effort (this means watching demos putting in the time to deathmatch and getting advice from higher skilled players). Trust me all you have to do is look at -Jh- & Predz (wow Geek) such a fine example of pure success. Him and predz got frustrated to hell sometimes back when they were learning in wotr³/wotr/4kings, but they kept at it practicing, listening getting help from people above them (at the time) and it paid off dividends. That all links to ‘discipline’ the ability to maintain your discipline and control for the thing you want to succeed in and not give up.
Currently all I see is players finding it easier to switch or quit then make a fail come back in another class, it’s not helping you. Man the frik up and do the dirty work for the first half and in the long run it will make you a better player and person.
*okay so you’ve probably fallen asleep or you’re drinking more beer to try and understand the garbage stated so far :D?*
Now to the more important part of the article, you’re probably thinking what has discipline got to do with being in the top 5? Well quite alot really, we see well over 20/30/40 team folds in every season. Team Fortress 2 is a game mechanic based on momentum, team moral is sooo crucial in any team for Team Fortress 2. I’ll go through a bad-case scenario and a good-case scenario.
You’ve just finished work one night, you’re currently not in any team, you want to play a mix, you meet 5 new players or 3 new players and two friends you usually play in mixes with. You get a mid- or mid game, you all play your main classes or most of you. You win against an established team and think, "WOAH?! guys we could form a team here and compete out there," the idea of winning appeals to you and your amigos. Then you get one ‘leader’ to get a team together based on the mix, you finalize your team with 8/9 members. You then request to join ETF2L and show vasts amount of screenshots beating ‘established’ and ‘pro’ teams. You think you’re the ‘dog’s bollocks’. You get into divison 4 and your team are elated they are on a total high currently. One month later the league starts you play your first official, you assume you’re going to win, you believe that playing the map that you’re going to play in the official in a pcw as a warmup is suffice.
You think this will go well with the team play and cohesiveness. You play the official, things aren’t going well people are raging, the moral is low the frustration is high, the psychological aspect is distorted. You lose your official on both maps, you see what went wrong, you get various members privately messaging other members saying “he’s not good enough” or “he played so badly”. You try and vent your rage and frustration on each member(s). You eventually forget the official and try and “restart” your thoughts about being in this team, 2nd week of official comes in, you have some positivity you feel you might win, you try and get the team moral going. You play the official, things go wrong again, SOMEONE IS NOT PULLING THEIR WEIGHT.
SOMEONE IS NOT PLAYING AS A TEAM!!!!!!! ARGH!, the rage intensity increases, the frustration explodes. You lose the first map, you try to re-gather your thoughts and keep the team spirit going (but it isn’t working), you lose the 2nd map just! You start to question if it worth staying in this team, your team may lose 1 member because he got too down-hearted, he got too demoralized and couldn’t stand losing. You try and find a new player to replace him, you play your next official week 3, you win 1 map and lose 1 map, you as a team collectively are losing heart into each player. Some of you are in doubt, some of you have no belief anymore and some of you think it’s not worth it.
This scenario happens almost every 1.5 weeks. I can confirm this when we get clans pm’ing us here at ETF2L saying why they’ve folded, the majority are due to people leaving and wanting to join other teams, due to that team losing too much or fights breaking out because of the pressure in officials and mixes they play.
So why have I just described this scenario to you? Well this is what I see happening all the time, no one said it was going to be easy no matter what div you are playing. So why quit? Is it the easier option? Yes it is, does it make you more happier to try and find a new clan and hope that it will be better? Yes it does. With this method you will not suceed. You are a team you all have to support each other and help each other, if someone is not on the same skill factor as the rest of your team, you have two options usually.
1) You can help him yourself or get help for him (like a mentor)
2) You can go down the business route method and kick your member and bring in a suitable replacement.
Sure option 2 maybe harsh, but as a leader you have to make a decision, because if you keep the weak player in you will end up killing your teams "bond" and "faith", due to getting more demoralized and having no momentum. Option 1 is more difficult to implement and it takes time unfortunately, and while it takes time you have officials still to play. So you’re kinda in a rock and a hard place. If you had to ask me which option would I undertake, I’d usually say option 2. It really does depend on what your desire is. If its just to play for fun then maybe option 1 is feasible, however if it’s because you WANT to be the best and reach the top and be in an MGO then it has to be option 2. I’ll give you a fine example and it wasn’t easy and I had to make the decision at the time when we were in ^wotr^.
Xman, the Godfather of TF2, this man is a legend we all know it and he’s supported me and the TF2 community from the very beginning, he played medic for ^wotr^ since the start, and played for 1 good year, then he was on the hunt for an MGO he had to do his research his negotiating his effort to get the ^wotr^ members into being sponsored. He achieved it but at the same time it affected his game time, his skill level. He knows it now, but at the time it was difficult to tell him, no one in the team had the ballz to tell him the truth, so I told him myself infront of the team. Being the mature guy that Jim is he took it on the chin, and you know what he did? He tried to find a suitable medic for us and was genuinely helpful.
My point is sometimes you have to kill off the weak link(s) and replace to keep your team going, the problem is the fine line of knowing when something is a ‘dead-end’ and when something is worthy of potential. Currently we have people willing to leave a team and thinking they are fine and nothing is wrong with them but everything is wrong with their team, sort of like ‘each to their own’ demeanour.
You come back form work, you want to play a mix, you get some of your friends and three other randoms you don’t know. You play a mix, you win versus a mid/mid- team. You believe it’d be fun and maybe something worthy of forming a team. A belief you can compete. You start playing more mixes with the same members, you have a discussion and form a team, you apply to etf2l, you get put in div 4. You play your first official you win the 1st map and lose the 2nd, your team is unsure as to how its going but no alarm bells yet. The 2nd week of officials come, you lose both maps, you start to rage and get frustrated, you all collectively realize it’s a problem within the team and not an individual player. You play your 3rd official you win the 1st map and lose the 2nd… 2months later you ended up 6th in divison 4. Not an excellent season but you and your team stuck together and played the next season.
You play the 2nd season in division 4, you play all your officials, you all collectively try to improve as a team by watching demos, getting help from people above and going through tactics. You win divison 4!!!! You get moved from div 4 to div 2 due to the vast improvement in your team! Your team is on a high! The sky is the limit, your team know they have the potential they just need to put the effort in and NOT quit when it gets tough and demoralizing no matter how much your team loses by!
For those that need a reminder as to which clan I may be talking about it’s GamerZone aka Mister. a truly a fine example and credit to this TF2 community, these guys have stuck to each other for so long. They’ve had to endure a huge amount of losses to be in the position they are in now, but at the same time they’ve excelled. Are they over the top 10 barrier and into the top 5? No not yet, but I believe they can see and smell it, they are not far off at all. So what makes this team almost on the verge of being in the top 5? Well think about it, they’ve suffered quite a few beating and alot of demoralizations, they will admit that I’m sure but they’ve stuck through it and are still going strong, they didn’t want to go down without a fight! Nor did they think that it’d be a case of just playing, playing and playing and they’d improve.
They’ve come to me quite a few times asking for help, and I love these amigos, I don’t know why! but I do. I think their personalities are great and funny and they have my full respect and help just because they stuck together as a team and a unit despite the numerous amounts of beatdowns & maintained their discipline made me want to help them anytime and for anything in TF2 and even out of TF2!
They enjoy playing at the top and want to remain their and to do so they are staying disciplined and keep practicing and trying to get even better, it really is not easy to remain top in this game or even to get to the top. One thing I can guarantee you any money on is that if 95% of clans that have gone through what Mister./Gamerzone have, would of folded and called it quits, thus losing ANOTHER potential top team or an ‘up n coming’ team.
This all relates to the topic in hand, ‘Top Teams or Lack of.’ We are lacking in more top teams due to the discipline of players and teams out there, the majority of teams and individual players always look for the short-term easy answer. You can deny it all you want I’ve heard it all before believe me I’ve mentored well over 60 teams and well over 70 players to know what the general consensus of problems occur from. It’s a pure lack of discipline.
If your aim is to just have fun and play Team Fortress 2 then this article really might not relate to you as much, but I know for a fact that 30% of the teams in ETF2L competing want to be the best and reach the top. Try and see the bigger picture regardless of where you live, if we have more teams coming through to the top bracket and can compete with ANYONE in the top bracket, we have ladies and gentlemen a bright future for TF2, more MGO’s will come to this game and start sponsoring teams, which means funding for players who live in a 4th world country 😡 The increase in MGO’s will occur because more LAN’s will happen with even higher prize funds, prize funds that MGO’s would kill for.
We have one minor problem left which I know the disciplined teams face, which is playing harder/higher opposition. I.e. you get the top elite teams not wanting to play the lower bracket premiership or top half division 1 teams, because it usually ends up in a rick’rolling of 5-0 on both maps. There is no real solution to this but one minor thing us "prem" boys can do is change how we play the game. It’s difficult for a premiership team to take a 5-0 winning seriously when they need to warm up and practice for an official.
So what can we do? Well the only real thing we can do is alter mp_windifference to 0 and make it 30mins full on (in the pcw). This way the ‘up n coming’ learning team may lose 12-4 or 20-5 but it gives that team a chance and and even LONGER time to realize what truly is the problem. Alot of people after reading this section of the article might disagree but I really do believe it’s worth a try this way because this way it shows you for sure what is the ‘main’ problem. I.e. is it one members deathmatch ability? Or is it the teamwork? Or is it because their sollies are better kamikaze soldiers? etc…
Either way the score line won’t make a difference (maybe to your pride and e-penis) but in all honesty it should make no difference to you or your team, you eventually in the 11th ot 12th round will realize what is the core problem, what is making you lose, is it the transitions between capture points? Is it one of the enemy players ripping you apart? etc… With this option it opens up various strategies and tactics played, and eventually whoever your caller is, he/she will realize how to tackle it.
‘No pain no gain’