The Scout is a scrapper from Boston, Massachusetts with a baseball bat and a mean attitude. He’s the fastest mercenary on the battlefield, and his double jump leaves slower opponents struggling to keep up. Carrying a Scattergun, the Scout is ideal for aggressive fighting and flanking, allowing him to inflict massive close-range damage before dashing away to safety.
Join me Lola, as I try to catch up with these ‘four fast fairies’, whom we’ve all come to know as annoyingly dangerous and competent players: Stelio ‘WaRhammY’ Da Silva, Christian ‘RazerFox’ Da Silva, Brandon ‘Deacon’ Shaw, and Yasser ‘Xt3rminator’ Padia.
The Scout character portrait
The youngest of eight boys from the south side of Boston, the Scout learned early how to solve problems with his fists. With seven older brothers on his side, fights tended to end before the runt of the litter could manoeuvre into punching distance, so the Scout trained himself to run. He ran everywhere, all the time, until he could beat his pack of mad dog siblings to the fray (source: Team Fortress 2 (TF2) wiki).
Goldfox on WaRhammY: “WaRhammY aka Warhamster! I often ask him “HAMMY Y U SO GOOD?” and he always replies “Just.” And that pretty much sums him up, he’s just that good. I will admit he is sort of a role model for me, he took me from being an “ok” player to being one of the best, maybe even better than him (LOL Jokes). Seriously though, the Warhamster has consistently been one of the best and most prominent players in the TF2 community, without breaking a sweat might I add. Definitely the best all-rounder I’ve ever seen, he can play every single class at the highest level, and destroys some players on their main clasess where for him it’s his 3rd or 4th class. He’s a Master of all trades and a jack of none. Everyone loves him, and those who don’t just would love to be him (U JELLY?) Awesome friend and player, and mah hero! :>.”
Lola on RazerFox: “No other scout has managed to kill me as much as RazerFox, be it on pub, a pickup or a clan match. The kill is always sneaky and always from behind ;). Fox is one of my favourite people of all time. “Slaving away” with him on TF2CSA has given me so much more than what I’ve put in, his sense of humour, sexy foreign accent, thought provoking outlook on life and most of all, his passion for life, has added hours of entertainment to mine. Much <3 and respect, mate.”
Deacon on Xt3rminator: “Well what can I say about this ‘charrow’. I have known X since I started playing TF2 back in the ole’ days. He was this irritating little fly that would come up behind and “try” kill me. That been said, he has always been one of the top Scout players in South Africa (SA). He made my life difficult whenever I had to medic against Equilibrium (Eq). I really got to know X better when we formed Target and then vinTage. He has a passion for this game and a desire to understand the dynamics of it as I have not seen in any other player. He has a serious will to win and pushes his team, expecting 110% from them. However out of game he is the most mellow person and always willing to have a chat or laugh. Out of all the friends I have made playing this game I have a lot of respect for X. He took a chance on a medic who wanted to play scout and worked hard on helping me get better.”
Xt3rminator on Deacon: “Yet another medic turned scout, probably the most reliable scout partner I have ever played TF2 with. Deacan listens to every call that is made and always relays valuable information back to the entire team. He learnt the class very quick and is the type of player that continuously reads guides and listens to others to learn more about the class to better himself. He has developed his own style of scouting which would baffle the common player, but this is because the common player doesn’t think about the team. The style he developed is entirely orientated around the team and not himself, and this is what makes him an asset in a clan match, especially under pressure. In a few words if someone had to ask me to describe the type of scout Deacan is, I would say an “intelligent worker”. Why intelligent? Because he thinks before he acts and is well aware of his surroundings and team mates situations. A worker because he is always trying to better himself and never ever thinks he is better than anyone else plus works for his team.”
Lola: Give a brief description of your TF2 competitive history
WaRhammY: “I started playing just after TF2 was released. I played in a clan called niG with enemy, pulsedriver and co. After niG I joined Pantheon Gaming, we won a frag LAN TF2 competition. I also played in frenzy, swift, Nc, and finally Masters. From when I started TF2 I got into pickups and clannies within the first few weeks and been owning face ever since.”
RazerFox: “Well back in late 2008 I kinda tried the 6v6 when Dustbowl and Gravel Pit were the two top competitive maps. I really enjoyed the sniping wars, but the trend for competitive maps moved to Control Point (CP) maps, and that’s when I started to play scout. I joined team Headhunters and then Equilibrium where I played scout on a competitive level.”
Deacon: “I started playing TF2 because of my friend Orr4cle who at that time was playing for Criminal Misfits (CM). It looked like so much fun. After pubbing a bit I joined a team called Wicked as pretty much any class they needed, though I mostly played Soldier at that time. I used to play a lot of Medic on pub. WhiteWolf, a member of team Zodiac at the time messaged me after a pub map and asked me to try out for his team as Medic. He told me I moved funny for a medic and that made me hard to hit. This was really the beginning of my TF2 competitive gaming journey. We had a solid team and work hard together to get to a high level. I still have a lot of friends from ZodiHACK!”
Xt3rminator: “I have been playing TF2 since October 2007, I mistakenly purchased it while overseas because it was so cheap (R70). I just fell in love with it after playing it the first time. Initially I tried to play various classes but none of them felt as comfortable to me as the Scout. I played in a clan known as TJO back in 2007, and then formed a clan called |KAN| with a bunch of friends. We weren’t the most competitive bunch, but we tried and sometimes it came off, but most of the time it didn’t. Later I created Equilibrium, which had some success and always had a changeable yet solid line up. I then disbanded Eq` to form a lower tier team to help others get better, this way three new clans formed. I then tried playing Soldier and had a lot of fun, but when you are not playing your favourite class you always see the flaws in the scouts playing with you. I stopped playing mid 2011, but returned to make vinTage with some of my players from the original Eq`. This has been fun and hard work, but playing scout again brought the joy back into the game for me. I sadly will be taking a leave of absence probably more permanent than my previous as I am looking forward to personal things in my life.”
Lola: Why do you prefer to play Scout?
WaRhammY: “Well I like scout because it has a lot of utility, a good scout combo can totally control the way a team has to play. I mainly play scout though because there are not many people that can play a strong scout and then swap to sniper/spy and still own.”
RazerFox: “Well I like speed so maybe that’s why, it’s the fastest moving class! The ability to delivery meatshots (hitting all/most of the pellets from the Scattergun into the enemy for maximum damage, 2 meatshots kill every class apart from the Heavy and an overhealed Soldier or Demoman) are also a big plus.”
Deacon: “Well having played Medic for an eternity, I was really getting bored of TF2, and was ready to call it quits. X whom I have known from the beginning told me that Eq will be breaking up and that he wanted to start a low division team. He asked me to help him coach the players. The added benefit was that I was not allowed to play Medic. The choice was simple, Scout – I enjoy the added speed the class brings to the game, but most of all I like the fact the he is the ultimate team player. He caps points, finishes off weak players and still has the ability to do something crazy and change the game (like a back cap and kill spree), but with all this you have to be thinking the whole time because you can get yourself and your team in a lot of trouble thinking you a little too big for your boots.”
Xt3rminator: “I am a vocal character and scout is the class with the most speed, therefore having the ability to see more happening on the battle field. The Scout needs to pass as much info as he can to the rest of his team so that they can act on it.”
Lola: What special configs (cfg), settings and head-up display (HUD) do you use?
WaRhammY: “I use QuakeHud and a fps config from Quad.”
Deacon: “I use Garm3n HUD, the Movement Script – which allows my key pushes to work independently of each other, and the crouch jump interp change script, it’s easier to register hits on certain players when I lower my interpolation.
Xt3rminator: “In my Scout cfg I have the following, rate 30000; cl_cmdrate 66; cl_updaterate 66; cl_interp 0.1 (100ms); cl_interp_ratio 1; r_drawviewmodel 0. As for the HUD, I have tried various, since a HUD makes a big difference to gameplay and ease of play. My two favourites are the QuakeHud and Garm3n HUD.”
Lola: Do you have a unique strategy depending on who plays as your Scout partner, or do you always play Scout in the same way?
WaRhammY: “It really depends on who we play against and who I’m scouting with. If it’s someone I can count on I generally play more aggressive, if it’s someone I’m not used to then I tend to play more defensively – watching the flanks and so on.”
RazerFox: “Yes, it really does make a difference for me if I’m not playing with my partner, because you usually can predict your partner’s positioning and movement, which allows us to sync much easier while in game. That having been said, when I’m playing with someone else I easily adapt to avoid risks and I communicate more.”
Deacon: “Mostly I try playing the same sort of game. I’m not so strong in Death Match (DM), so I try to play with my team or Scout partner most of the time. I allow them to make the push and giving me the opportunity to add the support. Mostly I just try doing my job. Sometimes in a map I will have no kills but be second on the scoreboard because of caps.”
Xt3rminator: “This depends on if I am playing a pickup or a clan match, but I do tend to focus on the same things being, the relay of info, capping, and taking advantage of opportunities as it arises. The Scout that I trusted the most to partner with in the past was RazerFox, and since vinTage it has been Deacan, with these two players I can just focus on enjoying the game and playing to my maximum potential. My play style is more focused on to know what the other scout is doing and devising a way to make that work for the team, than sticking together with the other scout all the time.”
Lola: What scout loadout do you prefer and why?
WaRhammY: “Scatter Gun, Pistol, and HolyMackerel. The Scatter Gun at medium to close range with its 6 shots before reload is by far the stronger. I like the Pistol to pick off people running away, the Holy Mackerel is just to troll.”
RazerFox: “I use the standard loadout because I like Vanilla ice cream and it’s good enough for me :).”
Deacon: “I’m a Vanilla fan through and through. I’m a firm believer that the quality of the game has decreased with every update since the Medic one, but to me the vanilla plus medic unlocks in my mind gives the most balanced gameplay possible.”
Xt3rminator: “Stock, it’s the only viable option in 6v6.”
Lola: What is your favourite scout map and why?
WaRhammY: “Gullywash, there are a lot of places to use to gain height advantages, back capping and just generally be a nuisance.”
RazerFox: “Badlands, I prefer the freedom of movement this map provides for the Scout.”
Deacon: “Pretty much all the competitive maps, but if I had to choose I would probably go with Granary. Although it’s pretty linear, I like the dynamic of it. Also it’s a pretty flat map with big open spaces. I’m not a big on jumping, I prefer to stay grounded so this kind of helps me.”
Xt3rminator: “Badlands, the layout of the terrain makes it exciting and gives the Scout a lot of opportunities to cap, back cap and frag.”
WaRhammY: “Granary, it’s just so flat in its layout and it mostly makes for boring games.”
RazerFox: “My love for TF2 is so BEEG that I would jam in the worst rated map without any problems. If I had to choose though, I would say that tight maps like Granary where splash damage from walls and crates can cause a lot of problems for Scouts.”
Deacon: “My worst competitive map of all time is Gravel Pit. I feel it is so segmented and lacks any feeling of flow. It’s all too predictable.”
Xt3rminator: “Granary, there are only two ways to push from middle point, or to middle point, making it really hard for a Scout to go unnoticed and take full opportunity of doing what a Scout does best, frag and cap. It is a spam-fest on middle point, making it really hard to play, and it is essential that your own heavy classes also deliver focused spam.”
Lola: What is the primary role of the Scout in 6 vs 6?
WaRhammY: “Capping points, dealing with scouts, watching flanks and doing a lot of calling. Pretty much a combo of these that make out the role for a scout, it’s not just one thing.”
RazerFox: “First of all as the front line and eyes of the team, it’s calling the enemy’s positioning. The more feedback you can give to your the team the easier it will be for decision making. Then at the same time Scouts are keeping an eye on the opponents positions and actions in order to supply that feedback. Scouts also keep a check on the flanks, where the opponent’s scouts are, and if the Demoman and Medic are in a compromising position where they can get picked. Scouts also could call for the team to be aggressive and take out key players by flanking. The flanking part is like a “mop” job where we are there to clean up the enemy, taking on low health opponents or those not keeping an eye on their flanks.
Deacon: “Well this depends on the game situation, but mostly protect your teams flanks and Demoman from other scouts. Cap points and finish off weak players. All this can be done by having good clear communication. Call what is important and not what hat that scout has on :P.”
Xt3rminator: “The relay of info and capping.”
Lola: What is the Scout’s strengths?
WaRhammY: “Movement, speed, and medium to short range combat damage. Being able to use double jump to overcome obstacles, and get to places most classes can’t. To just generally being a pain in the ass to the other team :).”
RazerFox: “Quick mobility and a very powerful scatter gun.”
Deacon: “Well besides the obvious speed, double jump and massive damage output from close range, I would say the Scouts ability to seize small advantages his team creates quickly. You need to be awake here and thinking as a player. It’s amazing the amount of damage a pair of scouts can do if they slip past unnoticed and get behind, like back caps and critical kills. You can stall the other team’s advantage completely by just being alive and behind them, giving your team valuable time to regroup.”
Xt3rminator: “Valve’s intentions for the Scout were its ability to change direction quickly, double jump, the ability to finish off in close combat and to me the most important strength, capping twice as fast as any other class.”
Lola: What is the Scouts weaknesses?
WaRhammY: “Low health percentage (HP) and the lack of long range damage dealing.”
RazerFox: “Unfortunately low heath, 125 doesn’t enable to “tank like a baws”, but I guess it is balanced with the dodging and quick movement ability the Scout has.”
Deacon: “He has no HP…. but besides that I would have to say team work. Either from your side as a scout or as a team. If you have no team work in your game you better enjoy running out of spawn.”
Xt3rminator: “Having 125 HP and over extending due to being blessed with superior speed.”
Lola: A lot of people play Scout, but what are the skills that would set you apart as exceptional in the class?
WaRhammY: “Overall game sense and experience.”
RazerFox: “Well I guess you need a good combination of aim and game sense that can blend with discipline. All of these can be improved by training. I would say that discipline is key in order to play properly, even if you don’t have the greatest aim or super game sense. With discipline you can learn to avoiding unnecessary risks, like frag hunting on your own and suicidal moves (unless you can pull off a ‘Bruce Willis Die Hard stunt’ :P). If you need better aim just find your sensitivity sweet spot and play some 1v1 scouts to fine tune it. Game sense will come with experience, trying to soak in as much info as you can from the better scouts and be at the right time at the right place, you will learn to almost predict your own destiny in game.”
Deacon: “I wouldn’t see myself as exceptional by a long shot, but the main thing I try to work on every game is teamwork and game sense. Being able to read and react to certain situations. Just a tip for new players playing Scout. Spot watching all these scout frag videos where you see these guys go in and get 5 kill streaks and what not. It looks all spectacular and shit but what the clever scout has not shown you is all the work the rest of his heavy classes have done by doing all the damage. It’s not your job to Rambo into a fully buffed team. Read the game and think a bit.”
Xt3rminator: “Simply said, I do the most basic thing correctly, and that is ‘cap the point.’”
Lola: Movement is the scouts main ability. Elaborate on how you use this to your advantage in competitive play.
WaRhammY: “Jump like a monkey on acid when you around a Demoman or Soldier, just strafe around Scouts.”
RazerFox: “I would say that dodging is the number one use of it for me, as you really need to dodge well to stay alive when under pressure. Then the ability to be sneaky enables you to flank the enemy much easier and retreating from danger as well.”
Deacon: “It’s all about being unpredictable. Using footing on maps allows Scouts to get to funny positions or around the flanks quicker, but remember the key word is unpredictable. Some Scouts just jump around all the time. You know straight away who the player is just because of all the jumps. They hardly hit anything so it’s pretty much a waste.”
Xt3rminator: “Movement is a big ability of the Scout if used correctly. You often get scouts that go head to head with a soldier combo, and then trying to jump randomly in order to kill them, only to fail and die. To me that is not using the movement ability, it is just playing plain stupid. Using the scout’s movement ability is key if coupled together with his opportunistic arrogance and taking the enemy by surprise. I’ve practised this a lot and I believe that I do it very well.”
Lola: In your opinion, how important is it to play MGE in order to work on your aim?
WaRhammY: “For a Scout MGE doesn’t hold much value to be honest, playing pickups and clannies have more value.”
RazerFox: “Surely MGE and DM game modes can improve your game, but when it comes to aim accuracy I prefer to only play a couple of hours every week just to keep my aim on form. A 6vs6 game is better practice in my opinion.”
Deacon: “I believe aim is broken up into two things – actual mouse aim and positioning. MGE will help with both, so in my opinion, it’s very important. A Scout will probably find himself in a good number of DM situations during a clannie, and let’s face it ,any game time is helping you improve.”
Xt3rminator: “MGE has benefits but not to the scout imo. MGE gameplay focuses on one enemy that has a certain configuration and style of play, when you play a 6v6 match there are 6 enemy’s to consider that have different play styles and evading the enemy and assisting your team is your priority. So for a scout I think MGE is a waste of time. Players with good aim always do well in MGE but this rarely converts to a 6v6 success.”
Lola: Do you prioritise any class to target in 6 vs 6?
WaRhammY: “Scouts, Demoman and Medic.”
RazerFox: “Depending on the circumstances yes, at mid battles I focus on the opponent Scouts, then the Demoman, and then the Medic. When we are flanking ,the Medic or Demoman are the ‘Most Wanted’.”
Deacon: “This too depends on the situation and the map. Mid fights are usually about keeping the other Scouts in check. For me, in open play, Demoman is my first priority, because of his damage output and second the Medic. Other than that any player called out as low on hp from my team.”
Xt3rminator: “Generally the Demoman, but you often have to track where the enemy scouts are so that they do not ambush your team’s medic.”
WaRhammY: “Scouts, just strafe a lot to make it hard to hit and get up close to get meat shots. Demoman, get close to avoid the stickies. Soldier, get on top of him or stay at a medium range to get some damage off while dodging rockets. Every other class you want to get close enough to get those meat shots off and do maximum damage quickly.”
RazerFox: “Well it will always be best to flank any of them, but vs Scouts it’s always a gamble if you try take on a 1vs1. I try to get the first shot in, so that when the Scout tries to dodge he might lose accuracy while trying to hit you, it improves your chance to win. Soldier, you have to really get closer (flanking of course) to meatshot him at least twice, then back off a good distance while shooting with the Pistol. Keep in mind to time your jumps when the Soldier try to pump you with rockets. Demoman, while making sure you don’t step on the stickies (if you are face to face), you need to be really close by the time the Demoman places stickies, this will force him into the decision of suicide. If he switches to pipes the best way is to zigzag with jumps to avoid getting a pipe in your face.”
Deacon: “Scout, a coin toss really, pretty much comes down to who has a boost and who gets the first shot. I just try position the scout into my optimal hit zone and hope I get lucky. Demoman, charge him when there are stickies and jump a bit when the pipes come out. Soldier, if you can get the good meatshot off by surprise then it’s all gravy, otherwise get a good scatter gun shot off and retreat with your pistol. He might not die but neither will you, but you’ll force him back until your team can come finish him off. Don’t allow him to draw you into tight spaces. You lower you odds of success drastically by this. Medic, I hate killing medics. Don’t charge them head on. Needles will cut a scout down quickly. Jump around a bit and make it tough for him. Be aware when chasing him round a corner that you don’t get a bone saw to the face as you come round.”
Xt3rminator: “I have never given this much thought. When approaching a lone scout, demoman or soldier, conditions are pretty similar, if you land your first shot you tend to win.”
Lola: Why is it so important for a scout to know each competitive map through and through?
WaRhammY: “You need to know how to get behind your enemy, how to avoid them, how to run away, and how to hide.”
RazerFox: “If you don’t know where you are and where you are supposed to be going, then you are as dead as a fish out of the water and becomes a loophole where the opponents can slip through to damage your team.”
Deacon: “In order to take advantage of the scout’s movement capabilities one does need to know the maps. Also since you on the flanks most of the time, you will not always with your Medic. Knowing where medpacks and ammo drops are can help you stay alive and add value for your team.”
Xt3rminator: “You are the scout, the class that relays information in detail to you team, you need to know the maps thoroughly so that the rest of your team can act on it.”
Lola: What has been your best moment in TF2 as a scout?
WaRhammY: “Practically every match I play I make awesome moments, so it’s hard to remember just one :).”
RazerFox: “The day I got my first hat for it! Batters helmet was awesome. Okay seriously, I had some fun times at Equilibrium back in the day with X.”
Deacon: “I have had so many great memories in this game, but as Scout I would have to say winning the last 16Bit Face Off challenge with viNtage. I don’t think anyone gave us a chance of coming out on top but I am in a team with not only great players but awesome people, who have been willing to work hard on the basics. I hope to continue enjoying this game with these guys in the future.”
Xt3rminator: “When I played in KAN, we played against Brazen and if I remember correctly I killed all 6 of them on mid and we actually rolled them in that round. I think this was the first time we ever scored a cap against Brazen (that any team scored against them), as they were extremely powerful (this was before they stopped for a while).
Lola: When do you change class?
Changing to auxiliary (usually only one of the scouts changes class, therefore answered by WaRhammY and Xt3rminator only)
WaRhammY: “When the situation calls for it, example, if we on defence and enemy team has über advantage, I like to change to spy to get a Medic pic. On offence I change to sniper or spy to try and do the same. Mainly when its a last point defend or attack situation.”
Xt3rminator: “I have only started doing it recently as I have been pubbing a bit of sniper. This only happens if we are attacking last point or defending last point. Usually when you need to create an advantage for your team.”
Lola: When do you change to Sniper, Spy, Engineer, Pyro or Heavy?
WaRhammY: “Sniper or spy when you are attacking last point. Heavy and Engineer to defend last point.”
Xt3rminator: “As I said in the above.”
Lola: Give a brief description on how to best play each of these classes.
WaRhammY: “Sniper is super fragile and doesn’t have great mobility, so you want to play it with a Scout or the Soldier-Medic combo around you. Basically, just sit back and get as many head shots as you can to help your team get pics. Spy, use it when the situation is dire, as if done to often, a team will be looking for a spy. I try to only do it once or twice when we on the back foot and really need to stop their team from pushing our last. Heavy and Engineer is always a good idea when holding last.”
Xt3rminator:“I think those so called utility classes work similar to the Scout, you have to be opportunistic and catch the enemy by surprise.”
Lola: What has been your best moment in an auxiliary class in 6vs6 TF2?
WaRhammY: “Pretty much taking out 3/4 guys as Spy just as your team wants to push in. Or acing a team with head shots while your teams is struggling to capture spire.”
Xt3rminator: “We played swift on Badlands and I changed to Backburner Pyro and wiped them on middle point, as I approached from their sh*thouse, I think this was the first time this was attempted and I saw it at the time in an international demo where Mike Marcin aka Jaeger pulled it off. During that time the Backburner critted four times the damage or something ridiculous like that.”
My primary class in 6 vs 6 is medic, I learned quickly to make peace with ‘death by scout’. In my ‘it’s over over 90o0’ hours as medic, I’ve come to notice a few very peculiar character traits of all the people that play scout. Each one of them has at least one very predominant quirk that defines them, maybe this is a prerequisite in order to excel in the class ;). Allow me to explain: WaRhammY has an exceptionally high opinion of his own abilities (with the track record to justify this), RazerFox is as cool and composed as they can come (has anyone ever heard this man rage or loose his cool?), Deacon has a private collection of ‘I threw this mouse there during that match’ (it got so bad at a stage that he ran out of money to buy a new mouse that Whisp had to give him his older ones), and lastly Xt3rminator, his rage is infamous (he had many a clan mate crying for their mommy’s and considering permanently quitting TF2, only to be convinced to just try again when X started apologizing after match). We can look at Andy, Takbok, Sentient the Jew to name only a few of the other mad scouts we’ve come to know over the years. This we know for sure though, they’ve all made our lives hell as we’ve played against them, but they have also surely forced us to up our game, and for that, we thank them.
This concludes my ‘class series’ of interviews, I would like to thank everyone who took the time to sit down with me and share their experiences and their Facebook pics 😉 and allowed me to make a li’l fun of them. My next series will be with the intriguingly, interesting individuals who run TF2CSA and those who contribute to us being able to play this game we all love so much.