An Ancient Post on TF2’s Community Competitive Play

Now, there’s been some talk on the forums as of late regarding “comp elitists”.  Now, coming from someone who’s been on the forum’s UGC 4s team for both seasons, I have a bit to say, but I won’t be the most valid or most trusted compared to seasoned veterans (see what I did there? Anyone? No? Okay…)

First off, let’s-

You find yourself hearing muffled sounds. Timmy is no longer here. Wherever he is now, you have no idea. He has been placed by a deranged German lunatic. One who seems somewhat angry. It seems that, after SIX YEARS of this article being left abandoned, the crazy doctor has picked it up. Why? Because Medic, as always, has something to say.

Old Competitive TF2 always was weird.

I never wanted to run a competitive TF2 team. Back when I actually played competitive Team Fortress 2, there was no competitive mode. Back then, there was no easy click-and-pay matchmaking, not really. The best thing we had was Quickplay, and, well… that’s a whole different subject. But competitive TF2 was its own little microcosm. It was essentially completely separate from normal, casual Team Fortress 2.

In fact, I still call it Community Competitive. The official yet unofficial game mode run by the community, for the community. With the occasional thumbs up from Valve. Community Competitive is a VERY different beast to the built-in competitive mode we have these days.

The teams playing in competitive had to basically do everything themselves. Sure, we still have sites like UGC that host the teams and scores and all that. But a lot of work, especially back in 2014 when this article was started, fell on the teams themselves. Teams had to communicate with one another to schedule a match time, but they also had to find a server to play on and actually host the games themselves. With UGC, you had to input the scores and make sure everything was correctly noted.

Back in 2014, Timmy was part of SPUF’s UGC teams. But he also did a team for 4v4. A team that I ended up joining.

A 4v4 team hiding from a barrage of explosions in TF2
A 4v4 team hiding from a barrage of explosions in TF2. And, aside from the smile on that bastard Medic’s face, a pretty accurate picture of my experience in competitive play.

Timmy, you abandoned me.

Somehow, I ended up mostly running both the SPUF 6v6 team and the 4v4 team. And I fucking hated every moment of it. It was the worst possible way to enter Competitive TF2. I wanted the genuine competitive experience and I got it in a massive tsunami of unorganized messes. So, as soon as season 5 of 4v4 and whatever season of 6v6 was ended, I jumped ship and basically never played competitive again.

But frankly, I don’t think I was alone here. I think a lot of people ended up the same way both Timmy and I did. Running a competitive TF2 team is insanely stressful. Even if you’re playing mostly for fun. I genuinely don’t blame Timmy for dropping out and leaving the rest of the team to sort itself out.

As for elitists, you can’t deny they existed.

There are plenty of people who think TF2 should never have had new weapons. And plenty of people who believe that completely removing and deleting things is the best way to go. Every game has a subsection of stubborn, uncompromising players that will not budge at all. Team Fortress 2 included.

The problem with TF2 elitists is that, well, there was always a lot of “this weapon should be removed!” rather than “this weapon should be nerfed”. And that was what annoyed people. In fact, the only thing that elitists have been right about is that random crits should be removed. The majority of players, again, just like every game, are willing to compromise and talk and argue a little. TF2 elitists have always been particularly stubborn.

Back then though? Elitist TF2 players had their own little playground to hide in, via ESL or UGC or ESEA or whatever league they liked. These days, with an in-game competitive mode available at the push of a button, that elitism has died down somewhat.

Well, there’s another, more obvious reason too…

These days, as far as I’m aware, there’s not many places left where you can have genuinely good TF2 discussions. The old forums still exist, and there’s also r/truetf2 for actual discussions. Everywhere else is… simply too busy to have a proper conversation. SPUF used to be a great middle ground for both the high ranking competitive players and the more curious casual players, but that nice sort of mixture and clash of gaming is pretty much gone now.

Like everything else on this planet lately, everything is just so damn polarized these days. Even discussions about video games.


Editor’s note: Timmy, if you’re reading this, sorry mate, I stole your article. But it’s been sitting here for ages, I might as well make use of it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *