Lola tracks down four great captains whose clans participated in the first 16Bit TF2 One Night Cup. Join her for an insightful read into how they experience gaming in Team Fortress 2.
Leandre ‘LeaRox’ van Bosch; Marc ‘Surge’ du Plessis, Yasser ‘Xt3rminator’ Padia; and Danie ‘Heckers’ Nell share their input, views, gaming history and TF2 experiences. Read about how they started to where they are now and everything in between.
A lil’ background.
Clan fury with LeaRox: LeaRox is a familiar nickname in the TF2 competitive community. She recently won the K.O. and GG competitions, hosted by mixed chicks (mC).
Clan Masters with Surge: Surge is a veteran when it comes to competitive play. Under his leadership Masters will be a tough team to beat. He admitted that Masters has not one, but six masters. Masters were the winners of the first 16Bit TF2 One Night cup.
Clan oneNight with Xt3rminator: A community stalwart, boasting an impeccable service record of almost four years in competitive TF2, read more about Xt3rminator here.
Clan fags with Heckers: Heckers is fairly new to the clan scene, but his reputation as a skilled player and his charms as a clan captain put him on par with the rest.
Tell us about your competitive gaming history.
LeaRox: “I started playing TF2 about 2 years ago. I’ve been into competitive for a year and a half now. TF2 is the first game which I’ve taken to the next step: to make a clan and join competitive.”
Surge: “ It started with Counter-Strike 1.6, somewhere back in 400 BC. Most of my early days were just Counter-Strike, where I attended ESWC in France and the WCG in Korea. After returning from a gap year in London, I mainly started playing TF2 where I played for Pantheon and then Swift.”
Xt3rminator: “I played a bit of DotA in 2006/2007 and switched to TF2 when it came out in October 2007. Since then, I have not really played anything else competitively.”
Heckers: “I played some Q3A at lans, but TF2 has been the first online competitive game I’ve played.”
Tell us about your journey in TF2.
LeaRox: “My awesome journey in TF2 is still going strong! When I started playing I was “okay” like every beginner, but then I began playing pickups and mixes which improved my skills a lot. I saw how the clans played and how much fun most of it was. I then decided to make my own clan. My journey is fun and exiting and there are always new things to do and always more people to help.”
Surge: “Well it started with a few mates of mine trying to convince me that I must come play medic for them because “I understand games”, and that I will be able to read the situations. But then I got a chance to play scout and I have never looked back. Since then I became addicted to TF2 competitive play.”
Xt3rminator: “I played my first competitive TF2 game in 2007 with a clan called tjo. We were just a bunch of guys that wanted to have fun, although, later on we did try to become more competitive. In 2008, I created my own clan called KAN which was more competitive and we participated in the December FRAG LAN. In 2009, I created a team called Equilibrium which consisted of myself, Razerfox, insano, rubilac, legolas and apple. I became a much better leader due to the experience I gained from these guys and became a better player myself.
However, Equilibrium transformed a lot due to players leaving. We participated in various comps on the way and did really well. My best team under Equilibrium probably consisted of myself, Razerfox, Fair, Kung Fu, carnage and cheese. These guys are known very well in the community and have a lot of skill. Mid 2010, I decided to disband Eq as there were not many teams to play against and I wanted to help lower tier players create teams. I did this by splitting up my players in order to create three new clans. I believe this helped the clan scene tremendously, as it formed Target, Frenzy and FuN.
I later created a new team with newer players, but the lack of progression and dedication in the TF2 scene forced us to disband once again. I played my first TF2 game in 6 weeks in the 16Bit OneNight cup. I am really glad to see so many new players in pubs and I hope some of them try out the comp scene.”
Heckers: “I started playing TF2 in 2008. A couple of months after pub started to get boring, I joined ‘Fury’. We were a really fun bunch of people, lots of good memories there. I then got invited by Kung Fu to his clan ‘FuN’. It never took off though; they restructured and became ‘Shekel’. After that, I decided to make my own clan, ‘Apex’, I picked some new players and tried to get them into competitive.”
What is your favorite TF2 class and why?
LeaRox: “My favorite class in TF2, that’s a hard one. I love playing scout. Well, I’m actually okay at scout. Then comes classes like demo, pyro, heavy and engineer. They are always fun to play.”
Surge: “Scout, because of its killing potential and fast game play.”
Xt3rminator: “Scout, definitely the most fun from all the classes. It has speed, attitude and can irritate any other class in the game.”
Heckers: “I am a pocket soldier. I like it because it is a simple class but is very versatile. I like pocket because then I can get all the healz :)”
Give us a few tips on your favorite class.
Learox on scout: “Be very sneaky. When you are a scout you think differently. You should be behind the other team, in places they won’t think you are. When you can aim that is a bonus, jump around like a crazy chicken and they will never get you.”
Surge on scout: “Get yourself a decent mouse and mouse pad combo and drop your sensitivity. Most people play with a sensitivity that is too high for their mouse control. Scout is all about aim and controlled aim and not that ‘flicking’ that everyone thinks. A good graphics config helps a lot with scout. Also, changing r_drawviewmodels to “0” helps by letting you concentrate on your crosshair not the gun model. Know how to work together with your fellow scout.
For example, I let WaRHammY run in and take the hits while I pick up the kills. Another tip: get yourself a meat shield (does he mean WaRHammY by this? :P) Protect your demo on mid battle points, always call where the other scouts are and get on them. A lot of people think the scout’s job is to take out the opponents demo/medic, but if the other scouts are good enough and you let them through, that can put your team in an awkward position.”
Xt3rminator on scout: “Be aware of your surroundings. Relay as much info back to your team as you are the quickest to certain areas. Don’t chase after frags. Think about the team when playing competitively, and PLZ CAP THE POINT. The best way to better your skills is to spec/watch demos and to practice in clannies and pickups.”
Heckers on solly: “Learn how to rocket jump effectively. Use your shotgun! Splash damage is your friend. Shoot the ground or walls next to your target, and of course, work on your aim. When facing scouts, wait for them to land before you shoot.”
You all have been playing TF2 for quite some time. What is your opinion on the following?
Playing TF2 competitively.
LeaRox: “I really think the competitive side needs to be more fun. Everyone stresses so much and screams a lot. When fury plays, we make it fun. We are still trying to get our structure right, but I think when we have fun doing it, everyone wants to partake and work together. More clans in TF2 need to be active and ready to play. In the last few weeks, it has been hard to get a game going. The more clans play, the more practice is provided, and the more fun there is.”
Surge: “TF2 is the funnest competitive game I have ever played. If more players could just try it out, I promise you they will get hooked.”
Xt3rminator: “From what I have seen, I think TF2 is the most balanced online FPS and demands loads of teamwork. Individual skill doesn’t always matter and that’s what’s brilliant about the game. At the same time, it is so much fun.”
Heckers: “TF2 is a great competitive game. It is hard to start on because the skill ceiling is so high. But it is very rewarding. It has a lot of elements and good aim alone wont make you successful. Teamwork and communication is very important. There is also a great variety of classes to suit any gaming style.”
The TF2 competitive community.
LeaRox: “People in the TF2 community need to be less malicious and more friendly towards one another. There always seems to be a fight or something going on with the people in the community. The people you clique with and become friends with makes it all worthwhile. The small events in the community make a difference, like when we had the K.O. competition. There should be more ‘just for fun’ events.”
Surge: “The TF2 competitive community is great when everyone is on board, but we just lack the numbers in terms of teams.”
Xt3rminator: “It lacks dedication. Players like to talk about how much they put in, but never really live up to it. When the going gets tough, they quit.”
Heckers: “Unfortunately we are a small community. TF2 has a very high skill ceiling, so the gap between top teams and bottom teams is quite big. This does cause friction in the community. Nobody likes to get owned. Razerfox has really helped this community a lot. Big ups to him.”
On running a clan.
LeaRox: “Running a clan is hard work. I’ve given some of the guys specific jobs to do, like: one organizes clannies and another posts on the websites. It makes it easier and then you won’t feel so stressed because all the pressure is on one person.”
Surge: “Just stick together, the standard isn’t high in any game in SA. Just get a bunch of guys and practice and don’t change your lineup like your underwear :P”
Xt3rminator: “Respect your clan mates and they will respect your decisions. Management is the biggest factor. Players want to be in a team, this entails managing their players when they cannot manage themselves. I think 80% of the players we have lack the understanding of management and time management skills. They then quit and blame their team because of this.
If you are a good player, don’t wait and join a team that is already doing well – create a team and beat them. I have seen so many players that create teams, then quit because they believe they are better than their team and then join other teams. How is this making the community better? My aim back when I disbanded Eq was to create more teams and to have more balance, and it worked, but the selfish players that we have in this TF2 community do not want to do this and would prefer seeing a community getting destroyed before helping it.”
Heckers: “Running a clan is not easy, it’s actually hard work. That’s why it is so important to get people you really enjoy playing with and people that are dependable. Communicate with your team regularly, it also helps if you are all friends. My opinion is, when making a team, don’t just try get the best players possible, rather get people you get along with.”
Advice to new players who want to experience competitive TF2.
LeaRox: “Just remember that competitive can be fun, too!”
Surge: “Just play pub until you are comfortable with the game and then try a few pickups and I promise you’ll be hooked. Just don’t listen to the team “captain” when he puts you on medic, because it’s one of the hardest classes and you’ll just get shouted at for not knowing what’s going on. Just play scout, it’s a great class to learn the game.”
Xt3rminator: “Don’t be scared to play in pickups and start a clan. The only way to get better is to play against better opponents. Read guides and spectate better players and ask them to help you.”
Heckers: “Start playing pickups and be willing to invest time. You won’t be good straight away. Ask good players for help. Try and contribute to tf2.co.za, even just by making comments and voicing your opinions.”
Just having a blast!
Tell us about your most memorable moment in TF2.
LeaRox: “My most memorable moment has to be the latest one, where I won the mC K.O. competition. I was excited when I heard about it, but did not think I would stand a chance of winning it. When I beat the first player, my heart started to race and I got excited; from then on, it was fun. Muishond, pink and all my clan guys were there to support me :D”
Surge: “In every game there is something that’s memorable :)”
Xt3rminator: “There have been loads, but I think to this day it has been a 1-1 stalemate on ctf_2fort vs CM. It was not a win by any means, but the bunch of guys I played with would usually get steamrolled against CM on other maps. That day was the first time I experienced the intensity that goes with competitive TF2 play.”
Heckers: “I remember one game, I think it was a pickup on cp_gullywash. The other team was on last and we just got a back-cap. I spawned and found their whole team on our last point. I killed 4 or 5 of them, including the medic, I was so chuffed. But I must say, I have also made many great friends and my time with them is what I will always remember.”
Any funny moments you can share?
LeaRox: “When we had our first fury friendly, I was talking to Heckers. The guys heard me wrong, and they thought I called him sexy. We had such a laugh, and from that day on we still call him “Sexy Hexy”! Once, we were in a competitive clan game on last (cp_freight) Me as heavy, the medic and the soldier were standing on the train track as the other team pushed in. I took out a sandvich and ate it, but when you eat it you can’t move. I saw the train, but the soldier and medic did not. I freaked out, but they were a bit slow, so all three of us were hit by the train, but we got a good comeback after that.”
Surge: “When you play with WaRHammY there is always something. Example…”Master WaRHammY: We were pushing last point, and Devon said push in hard! Me and Surge said “That’s what she said!” at the same time.”
Xt3rminator: “Nope soz, everything I do in TF2 is fun:)”
Heckers: “The other night on pub something made me lol. This guy used the hunstman, he shot two people in the head and they were stuck to the wall with arrows in their heads. He walked to their bodies and admired them for about a minute.”
Why are you still playing TF2?
LeaRox: “I really enjoy playing TF2, we have a whole group playing together and that makes it more fun. For me, it is about having fun. If I’m not in the mood for TF2, then I play a bit of something else, but somehow, I always come back to TF2! Work hard, but have fun doing it.”
WaRHammY: “It’s one of the best and most fun games I’ve ever played, and I love it (we <3 you Hamster).”
Xt3rminator: “ I’m not sure why myself, all I can say is that I have fun in the game and that I have met some good friends whilst playing it.”
Heckers: “Because there is no alternative for me. Nothing is as much fun as TF2 for me.”
From interviewing these four, I have discovered these golden nuggets about TF2;
- Don’t take the game to serious, take having fun serious – LeaRox
- Don’t change your line up like you change your underwear and you’ll develop into a top notch team and have special bonding times with the mates – Surge
- ‘Help me help you’ is the best way to expand the competitive community, but you kinda start loosing your mind and forget why you started jamming the game in the first place – Xt3rminator
- There is simply not a better alternative to having fun – Heckers
If you are interested in experiencing the TF2 competitive community, head on over to the following IRC channels on the ShadowFire network: #tf2 (pickup channel), #16bittf (one Night comps channel), #tf2training (for you new folks). Also, browse the various sections in TF2CSA for loads of useful information. You can also join the TF2 SA & 16 Bit TF Facebook groups.