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Old 16th November 2010, 03:08 PM   #1
Greaver Greaver is offline

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[BASIC] #1 Getting into Competitive TF2


So you have been playing TF2 in the pubs for a while now payloading and the like and you are starting to notice the game format, while fun, is often held back by a severe lack of communication, and a complete lack of team work beyond "Lets all go heavy and piss them off".

So where does that lead you? Well right here ofcourse.

Competitive TF2 has been around in many guises since the games inception, with many of the early competitive pioneers coming from the previous Team Fortress incarnations, the class system and the required communication and team work to make it all stick make this one of the most fun games to play socially, and with a more competitive edge.

So How Does It All Work?

So Team Fortress 2 used to be played in an 8v8 format, however the 6v6 format has gained prevalence and now it dominates the competitive scene.

What classes are used in competitive TF2?

1 Medic
1 Demoman
2 Soldiers
2 Scouts

This is the basic starting line up for any competitve team, but there are some distinct variations on this dependant on the map, where your team is on the map, and the classes the other team are utilising.

For instance, Scouts are known as 'Utilitys' because they are expected to be able to swap out to one of the more specialised classes depending on the situation, one scout may swap out to sniper to try and obtain a pick on an important player to make a push less risky, another may go engineer on the last point of a CP map so an attacking team needs to focus and remove a sentry gun before their entire force enters the area.

Unlocks in competitive play

If you have come from Pub play you no doubt have quite a few unlocks you have grown fond of, some are allowed in competitive play, others are not.

There used to be a fairly comprehensive list of allowed weapons, with only a few key weapons disallowed but due to the huge increase in the quantity's of weapons over the last six months it has become standard practice to heavily limit what unlocks teams may use.

For our own New Zealand Fortress Leagues we run what is referred to as a 'Vanilla' set of unlocks, where most are banned and only those deemed beneficial to a balanced and fun game are allowed, this is our current 'allowed unlocks' list:



Our Australian counterparts, OZFortress, ran a far more relaxed setup for quite some time but for similar reasons they have devised a new whitelist of allowed unlocks that allows a few more key items they think are acceptable in serious competitive play for their premier league, the OZFortress Winter League, which are as follows:

The Amputator
The Crusaders Crossbow

Pain Train

Gloves of Running Urgently

Pain Train

What maps are used in competitive play?

The most commonly played maps in competitive TF2 are 5 CP maps (5 Capture Point maps) and these are used because they are generally symmetrical and require each to team to gain CPs and 'hold' them so an enemy team cannot take them, while attempting to 'push' to the next point and gain control of that too.
You will notice my use of apostrophes for the terms 'hold' and 'push', this is because they are the most important element in CP maps, you will spend the majority of your time on a map 'holding' a point, or 'pushing' the next one and it is important to have a firm grasp on the two terms and their relationship with what you and your team are doing while you are playing a competitive game.

The most common CP maps are Badlands, Granary, Yukon and Gullywash

The other type you may come across is CP Gravel Pit style, this map consists of three capture points A, B and C.

A & B o not have to be captured in order, your team can attempt to capture either one first, then attack the final point once both have been captured.

The interesting thing about Gravel Pit is that it is played in a timed ABBA format, this means each team will have a turn to attack and then defend, the winning team being the one that captures all three points the fastest.

Other than that koth maps such as Viaduct Pro and Ashville are gaining prevalence.

What class do I play?

This is down to the individual, you will no doubt have a favourite class from pub play but you may just find that it doesn't suit you in competitive play, my advice is to experiment with the different classes in PUGs and even in Pubs (after playing some competitive TF2 I can guarantee your perspective on whats happening in a pub will change).

Right, So How Do I Start?

First of all you need to sign up on NZFortress, while you don't need to be active member in our community to play competitive TF2, if you join a clan of players from here you will definitely need to join to see your teams public and private forums to have a clue whats going on and our community is chock full of interesting characters with different interests so I highly recommend it

Once you have signed up post in this thread and introduce yourself

I've done that, now what?

Now you get your first taste of Team Fortress 2, a PUG

A PUG is a Pick Up Game, this is a game where twelve players attempt to emulate a competitive match for fun and practice.

The best place for a Kiwi to get into pugs is to join Greavers Pugs, you will receive a steam announcement when a pug goes live and you can copy the message directly into your TF2 console, hit enter, and be magically teleported to a PUG led by none other than myself.

For all the rules and information on how the PUG works see this thread, it outlines everything you need to know.

If you wish to find an alternative to G Pugs you can try TF2PUG, it is Aussie based and is organized through IRC, or TF2 Lobby by seeing this thread by decap.

I've had some PUGs, now what?

Now you head on over to this thread and make a thread stating you are looking for a clan, check over threads in that section for the appropriate format but I would suggest stating your main classes, your availability for scrimming, how reliable your net connection is (ie your ping) and whether or not you have a reliable computer and a working mic.

But Greaver, I have a question about.....?!

Don't be afraid to ask questions you fear may be noob, you will not be shot down for not knowing about something in this community so either PM or Steam message someone like myself, or make a thread in TF2 discussion or Support (which ever it is relevant to) and ask away.

Where to from here?

If you head to the main NZF Academy contents you will find many guides you can utilize to obtain information about more advanced facets of competitive TF2, but here are links to a few specific guides.

Information on basic strats and settings



I hope some of the above was of use to you, if you have any questions feel free to pm me and add me on Steam


Last edited by Greaver; 28th August 2011 at 03:01 AM.
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Old 28th August 2011, 03:07 AM   #2
Greaver Greaver is offline

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Updated 28/08/2011
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Old 28th August 2011, 04:31 PM   #3
rocky rocky is offline
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Allowing the GRU and not allowing the gunboats is STOOPID.
Very well written guide however, Greaver. Perfect layout.
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Old 28th August 2011, 04:43 PM   #4
Greaver Greaver is offline

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Yeah its a very interesting decision

Personally I have to agree with the removal of gunboats purely because it promoted a lower skill ceiling in the lower divisions, and had little to no effect in the higher divisions.

If anyone has anything they think should be added in post below
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Old 28th August 2011, 05:30 PM   #5
juke juke is offline
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GRU is an awesome decision because it actually makes heavy a viable class in some situations. 2 scout, 1 solly, 1 GRU heavy, 1 demo. Have the GRU heavy as roaming maybe... diversity is king.
bonez: Greaver is like the Ron Burgundy of casting.
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Old 28th August 2011, 10:25 PM   #6
rocky rocky is offline
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Considering that the heavies primary weaknesses was MEANT to be low speed and mobility? >.>
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Old 29th August 2011, 12:59 AM   #7
combust combust is offline

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gru + sandvich makes the heavy a real bitch to kill even with uber

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Old 29th October 2012, 04:38 PM   #8
Joffymac Joffymac is offline
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Hey what is the normal times for pugs? DO you have any hl pugs? and i have about 400= hours on tf2 is that enough to start pugging ( i have done a few lobbys).
Thanks from Joffy
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Old 29th October 2012, 05:16 PM   #9
shooting shooting is offline
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hey, usually weekends from about midday-late at night NZT
and potentially weekdays from 4-late at night NZT, less on weekdays because people usually have scrims/matches at night
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