I’ve talked about a lot of cosmetics so far for every class. Hell, I even talked about an all-class cosmetic. Well, almost every class. I’ve not talked about a single Sniper cosmetic yet. Mainly because I hate him.
But then, I suppose I can’t avoid talking about Sniper hats forever. If I do I’m going to eventually run out of hats to talk about 10 years later. So I decided to start things off with one of the rare things about the Sniper that I like: The Trophy Belt.
The Trophy Belt is one of the first hats in TF2, released during the Sniper VS Spy update. Drops for this hat was discontinued, along with the other hats of this update, during January 2013, which came with a small blog post featuring a letter from Saxton Hale. Digressing for a bit here, whatever the reason Valve has for doing this, I appreciate the humour and lore references in this post. It is a rather nice touch.
The Trophy Belt has a rather unique attribute which, as far as I know, no other hats have.
The Trophy Belt is the only cosmetic to be a bodygroup in HWM models (no, the hatless hats don’t count). This is not a thing for any other cosmetics, not even for the Soldier’s Stash and the Mining Light, although they’re both just addons onto the classes’ default headwear like the Trophy Belt is. My guess as to why the Trophy Belt got this special treatment is because it is one of the first cosmetics to be featured in Valve’s SFM promo videos.
The Meet the Spy short features several cosmetics, which is not surprising as that is the first update to introduce hats to TF2. Considering how people now equate TF2 with hats, it’s interesting to note that hats are only part of TF2 about two years after its launch. Anyways, it is quite likely that the Sniper’s HWM models are modified to include the Trophy Belt, rather than the usual method of having the cosmetics as a separate model altogether because it’ll be easier for the animators at that time. Also a quick note, since this is the only hat being worn in that short, it is the first cosmetic to be equipped in any TF2 video ever.
What I really like about the Trophy Belt is how closely it ties to Sniper’s character. Just take a look at this:
Being something that belongs to a rugged Australian outdoorsman, the Trophy Belt a nice slouch hat (which, incidentally, is considered as a national symbol of Australia) decorated with crocodile teeth. It projects the image of a hunter that is tough and rough around the edges. That follows quite closely with how the Sniper is portrayed in official media, where he’s cold, undergoes several risks and many hardships to get his job done, and throws his piss around to look for invisible Frenchmen. The Trophy Belt is the epitome of cosmetics being closely related to the class that equips it. It fully captures the Sniper’s character and references part of his lore, which makes it a rather great hat in my opinion.
Normally, this is where I give cosmetic loadout suggestions, but since I won’t even recommend people to pick Sniper, you’ll get nothing.