The TF2 Unusual Apyrocalypse

So there’s a thing in TF2 where you basically had a 100% chance at getting an unusual from a certain number of crates. Specifically specific crates. As in, you open a bunch of crates and you are guaranteed an unusual. Of course as soon as word got out that you could get guaranteed unusuals, everyone started buying the specific crates and opening them and getting a ton of unusuals.

And of course, this all had a ton of repercussions.

The first was that the market for Unusual Hats dropped like a brick. Normally, unusual hats were anywhere from about €30 to hundreds, if not thousands. Unusual taunts were always a bit cheaper because, well, they’re taunts and they’re unusual and you have to stand still and look like an idiot while using them. But now you can buy yourself an unusual for about a fiver. Or about a tenner if you want a fancier hat. These cheap unusuals are AMAZING for casuals and people who have the “Unusual Hat-Wearing Players Killed” strange part on their weapons, but for those who do, uh, high tier trading, it’s pretty bad. Unless you have a very rare old Halloween unusual effect hat or something. The really rare stuff and the unusual effect hats will probably be okay after a bumpy ride.

Cheap Unusuals on the Steam Market
Cheap Unusuals on the Steam Market

The second repercussion was that r/tf2 basically died. I have no idea what happened on old TF2 SCUD (we don’t talk about that place here. Yes, I am still bitter) but r/tf2 basically shut itself down in a vague attempt to slow the inevitable spread of Unusual Hats. A bit too late though.

In order to try and stem the tide, Valve started trade banning people who bought or sold the relevant crates and people selling in huge numbers, but frankly, by then, the damage had been done.

There was one third effect though. Team Fortress 2 had its highest player count in years. Reaching 90,000 players at one point. Which is pretty cool. And chances are, despite the madness, Valve probably made a ton of money from people buying keys to open old crates.

But this whole “people playing TF2 again” thing did something else. It actually made me open TF2 and have a look myself. I didn’t manage to get an unusual (Item Server was down, of course) but I did somehow get granted an Arena Respawn medal, from an event we did YEARS ago. Not this one though. On top of that, I went one step further. I actually played a few rounds of Team Fortress 2.

A round of Suijin (KOTH) and… Dustbowl. I don’t play TF2 properly for 4 years and get thrown into Dustbowl.

That’s not the point. My point (and the reason why the title of this article is so weird) is that THERE ARE SO MANY FUCKING PYROS HOLY FUCK THERE ARE SO MANY WHAT IS GOING ON?

I kinda missed the second Pyro update, where fire was made better and Pyro got new weapons and Heavy got a pretty good weapon too. But I didn’t realise the Pyro buffs were that huge. All three matches I played, both teams had more Pyros than any other class. It was fucking insane.

It also wasn’t very enjoyable. I mean, sure, it’s shitty for Spies but I didn’t realise it was shitty for Medics as well. Healing sucks if one is on fire. And with so many Pyros, only the Quick-Fix seemed to keep up. Just about. I didn’t use the Vaccinator because I had no idea if my binds still worked, which meant me fucking up a few Spy callouts. Oh well.

Thing is, part of me kinda wants to go back and play TF2 again but… I don’t like playing against so many Pyros. And as a solo Medic main, there’s no way I’m doing competitive.

Oh well. At least I can sit back and watch the TF2 Unusual market crash and burn like everyone else…


Also known as Doctor Retvik Von Schreibtviel, Medic writes 50% of all the articles on the Daily SPUF. A dedicated Medic main in Team Fortress 2 and an avid speedster in Warframe, Medic has the unique skill of writing 500 words about very little in a very short space of time.

4 thoughts on “The TF2 Unusual Apyrocalypse

  • July 29, 2019 at 12:49 pm

    Valve actually didn’t intentionally trade ban anyone. Some people just had their accounts automatically flagged for suspicious activity, so it was an algorithm thing.

    There’s not that many Pyros usually. The Pyro improvements update was in late 2017 and it really only made the class mechanics more consistent (biggest change being the fix of ‘Flamethrower Mojo’), not the class as a whole more powerful. You probably just got unlucky if you really don’t like playing against that class as a Medic.

    • July 29, 2019 at 1:00 pm

      That makes more sense.

      Still, the Pyros were worrisome. I’ll be honest, I am rusty, but it was very strange that 50% of all players were Pyros in the matches I played, and when I tried playing the other day, the numbers were about the same, 50% Pyro, 50% everything else. And since afterburn reduces all Medic healing/shields/etc by 20%, it’s not that fun to play as a Medic in such an environment.

  • October 17, 2019 at 12:22 am

    I don’t suppose you observed as many Spys in your matches?

    • October 17, 2019 at 1:28 pm

      Just the one, oddly enough. But the Spycicle and Dead Ringer do help a lot against Pyros.


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