A long time ago, back when I proudly wore my Mercenary badge, my favourite map wasn’t Dustbowl or 2fort or any of the normal stereotypical noob-friendly maps. Nope, I was a fan of Junction. At the same time, I was also not a Medic main. I know, shocking, especially since my name is Medic now.
I’m not quite sure what appealed to me when it comes to Junction, because I look back at it now and I sigh and roll my eyes. Maybe it’s because I got my Gibus on Junction, dominating a Heavy as a, um, Medic. Or maybe it’s because the only server I could get decent ping on for a long time was a Junction 24/7 server. Or maybe it’s because I used to visit a Saigns server and intentionally piss off donater cheats. Or maybe it’s because I’d routinely dominate the person who owns the most map stamps for Junction, who was a Brass Beast Heavy main, slow enough for even my mediocre aim and movement skills to take down.
There were lots of reasons why a younger, sillier me would like Junction. But there’s other reasons too. Before I became a Medic main, I was a Pyro and Engineer main. I used to Ninjaneer like no one’s business, so when I got my hands on a vintage Gunslinger and got my untradable achievement Frontier Justice, I felt like I was in heaven. Junction is almost heaven for an Engineer, what with the high ground all around the control points, particularly around C. The spawn rooms for BLU were easy to spawn if they were too slow to get out. The Sniper sight lines are actually incredibly small, limited to a couple of small points, so all the Snipers would become Spies, fetching even easier kills for the Pyros defending the heavily guarded Engineer nests. Pretty much the entire map is good for building on, particularly the weirdly large and corner-filled BLU spawn.
But Junction is also a haven for Demomen. There are billions of corners on which to hide stickies. The last control point was designed for defensive Demomen, as you can place stickies on the lights hanging above the point, utterly out of sight. Soldiers also have a lot of fun, as they have plenty of corners to fire around. On the flip side, Junction is almost hell for Scouts. There’s little space for them to exploit their speed and movement skills and behind most corners, you’re almost certain to find a sentry, a Demoman, some stickies, a Soldier, a Heavy or a combination of them all, all waiting to tear you to bits.
Junction has a huge problem though, apart from rendering Scouts completely useless. It is really easy to defend. Like, super easy. You can sit the whole game, not even bothering to defend A and B and still easily defend C. There are four paths to C, all of them rather tight, two of them giving a height advantage to the defenders and one of them being completely open to the horde of sentry guns surrounding C.
So how do you win? It’s actually quite easy to win Junction for BLU as long as you push as fast as possible, before the Engineers can get their sentries into position. But the longer the game takes, the more sentries will pile on C and the harder it gets to push through. Stock Uber is a necessity, and you need to work as a team, otherwise you’ll spend your entire life sitting at A, not doing anything.
Oh well. Junction may be a crappy map, but not every map made by the same person can be good. Harvest is great when it’s not full of Gunslinger Engineers.