At the start of UGC season 5 of 4v4 and season 18 of 6v6, I had a plan. The plan was to document my time playing through two seasons. It’d be full of ups and downs, interesting things and stuff I learned. The story of a Medic going from pub server nobody to competitive game nobody. And a bit of fun. As you can plainly see, that hasn’t happened.
Originally, the reason I stopped writing was because I didn’t really want to write about our awful 6v6 losses. 6v6 was supposed to be the main focus of the series of articles, but I really was not enjoying it. We lost games so quickly, it was like playing in the Arena Respawn tournament over and over, minus the fun bugs at the beginning of the match. Our failures were made worse by Confusion and Keith being unavailable to play and the fact that UGC 6v6 Steel contains teams from pretty much every skill level from newbie pub players to people who really should be in Silver to premier 6v6 players from ETF2L or other leagues messing around. The skill levels are so varied and the number of teams so large that it’s unlikely for two teams to be evenly matched. Assuming they’ll actually play.
It quickly becomes obvious that organising matches is harder than one thinks. A LOT of teams just flat out forfeit. I think SPUF EU is actually the exception, that we try to play every match no matter what. We’ve had problems readying up but we’ve played or been available to play every single match. Other teams though seem to just forfeit if they can’t reschedule, and I’ve always been lenient with rescheduling and mercenaries.
Another issue was that I couldn’t face watching the demos from my matches. I did watch some of them, but the problem was that the games were over so quickly that I never had time to really learn anything apart from “my rollouts fucking suck” or noticing when I was out of position. It’s incredibly hard to put a positive spin on it all, or be able to write up a decent article about it. All our 6v6 matches were basically “follow meta, lose 3-4 rounds, play stupid classes, surprise enemy and push them back, lose”. That’s not really going to keep you interested now, is it?
With 4v4, the losses were less of an issue. The teams we were up against were genuinely really good teams. Silver 4v4 suffers similarly to Steel 6v6, as there’s a nice little split between 4v4 teams made up of high level 6v6 or HL teams having a bit of fun and newly promoted 4v4 teams from Steel who may or may not have much experience. Many of the 4v4 teams who were promoted stopped playing halfway through the season or didn’t play at all.
All this non-fun reached a crescendo during Week 7. The 6v6 team we were due to play against forfeited early on due to an ill player. I wished them a speedy recovery then turned to 4v4. Good news, the map was Stallone, a BEAUTIFUL but very jumpy and open KOTH map and my first official look into competitive. To my amazement, we were scheduled to play against a team on the SAME skill level as us! Alright, they were more experienced and had done slightly better last season, but that didn’t bother us, we’d spent our season getting forfeit wins or playing against pro HL or 6v6 teams. We could actually WIN this one! A legitimate win!
So we practiced. We went over rollouts and classes, we played lobbies and landed on a strategy that played to our strengths. Everyone was fired up and ready to go.
Half an hour before the match, the other team forfeited. We were gutted. Our final hope lays in Week 8. In 4v4, we have Viaduct Pro, for 6v6 it’s the old classic, Badlands. We’ll probably get steamrolled, due to being not very good at 6v6 and to having 3 wins and 3 losses in 4v4 and the high chance of facing a pro team again.
You can see why I haven’t really been writing these articles now.