I was talking to my Overwatch-Competitive-playing sister who goes by the edgy name Skully. She’s totally not a Reaper main, can’t aim those guns for shit. She mostly plays… well, anything BUT Reaper. Mercy, Junkrat, D.Va mostly. That’s beside the point. We were talking about how competitive game modes just… aren’t that fun if you take them seriously. Which spurred me to write this article.
It’s Too Serious
Team Fortress 2 is a stupidly goofy game. On the flip side, competitive 6v6 is serious. Super serious business. It’s pretty hard to take the game seriously when you’ve got a Heavy nomming a sandvich. And when you finish a match, you get Humiliation, where you mow down your enemies with 100% full crits.
This partially applies to Overwatch as well. What sounds better, being a great player at a military shooter game, or being the best at a class-based shooter? Where everything is brightly coloured and shiny?
But on the flip side, everyone gets so angry and upset when they play competitive. Even sister Skully was like that, until she gave up and decided to play for fun. She still tries her best, but now that she doesn’t care about her rank, she doesn’t mind losing so much.
The Meta is Stale
I can hear you all know. But don’t you dare fucking tell me the meta isn’t stale. It’s been 2 Scouts, 2 Soldiers, a Demoman and a Medic for so damn long, to the point that the only time it WASN’T the traditional 6’s setup, that was when more classes were allowed. Alright, the way the classes are used has changed slightly over the years, and weapons come and go from the meta if you’re lucky. But it’s the same old same old.
The Medic in particular has it pretty shitty, his meta has not changed at all apart from more people using the Crossbow. Medi Gun, Crossbow, Ubersaw. That’s it. Using any other weapon is either not allowed or essentially throwing the game. The Kritzkrieg may be the most balanced weapon in the game but to use it is a lost cause.
At least Overwatch’s meta changes occasionally.
The Game is Too Hard to Follow
TF2 makes for a really bad spectator sport. Everything is fast-paced. Movement is done in three dimensions, meaning that following Scouts and Soldiers is awkward. Advantages really aren’t obvious outside of who’s dead or alive, and tracking Uber advantages is kinda boring for someone who doesn’t really get the meta. Camera angles are awkward as action often happens in multiple areas, and moving through props is ugly.
There’s also not much permanent control. Watching something like CS:GO or Dota 2, any advantages a team makes is permanent, players remain dead in CS:GO and towers are gone forever in Dota 2. That doesn’t happen with TF2, making advantages even harder to keep track of outside of “X people are dead, Y has Uber advantage and Z has X control points.”
Kills are pretty cool, the average life is pretty quick (unlike in Overwatch where everyone takes forever to die), but it’s not enough to make pro TF2 easy to watch.
It is Impossible to Accurately Measure One Player’s Skill in a Team Game
Unless you’re playing as a fully fledged team, that is. A team works together and their skill can actively be compared to other teams that they play against. But you can’t do that in a public area, there’s frankly too many variables. Team mates and enemy players are the obvious ones – after all, it’s not your fault that one guy decided to play Heavy and spend all day feeding sandviches to the enemy team, and it’s not your fault that the other team refuses to kick the blatant hacker with 100% crits.
But also, in a class-based game, it’s very hard to compare someone who mains Medic to someone who mains Scout to someone who mains Soldier. The Medic does no damage but gets a ton of points from healing. The Scout gets points for capping and bonus points for things like stuns, but needs a team to back him up while he flanks. Soldiers only really get points for kills, but a good Soldier can and will carry a match. Points are dumb anyway. While you can compare individual players playing a single class, you can’t compare their skill based on matches in general.
I’m Awful at TF2 and Don’t Want Everyone to Know…
This is more of a personal one for me, and actually comes from my experience playing League of Legends and posting on their forums. Amazingly, despite the fact that I only ever played ARAM or Coop VS AI, people seemed to respect my opinions more than those of people who are ranked Silver or Bronze in Ranked. Which is dumb. But people tend to judge others all the time.
But just because someone is in UGC Steel or whatever, doesn’t mean that their opinion is automatically wrong. Elitism runs amok, even in the TF2 community, and I want no part in it.
But also I don’t want everyone to know how shit I am and thus disregard all my opinions, simply because I’m bad at everything apart from Medic. Or because I only play Vel’Koz/Cho’Gath/Sona/Garen well. Or because Conclave is stupidly hard.
TF2’s Competitive Mode is Shit
Well, this one’s obvious. But it is. No weapon bans, no proper class limits, no proper placement matches and a ranking system that makes fuck all sense. It’s stupid and should have never been released. Or at the very least never released from beta.
So there we go. A ton of reasons why not to play competitive. What are your reasons for not bothering with competitive gameplay?