You probably all have noticed that ETF2L has published it’s map pool for S11 after two polls that didn’t include all possible map choices. I’ll run through all maps that can be considered candidates for being played in competitive TF2 followed by a small survey (or just click here to go straight to it) containing all the maps I would consider to be candidates for a possible map pool. But first the official ETF2L S11 map pool. The most surprising maps are, of course, Cp_Freight_Final1 and Cp_Foundry being a decider map while not being in the map pool.
The 7th map, cp_foundry, will be the decider map in any and all Season 11 playoffs. This means that during the map-pick/elimination phases, teams only need to pick 2 maps rather than 3.
Maps included in the current ETF2L Map pool for S11
A classic. No map has ever come close to contesting Cp_Badlands in terms of popularity. It's lay-out makes for action packed games where scouts play a pivotal role
This map might not be unanimously loved by all, but it cannot be denied that it is still very popular. Unlike Cp_Badlands, Cp_Granary is a slow paced map with clear choke points and almost no flanking possibilities. Good team play and focus fire by the heavy classes is essential for victory.
With it's Attack-defense style Cp_Gravelpit offers a break from the 5-cp styled maps. Because of it's style and best of 3 format it offers hardly any room for mistakes. One of the best parts about the map is that all classes can be used to good effect. This allows for many different strategies. Combine this with the high pressure caused by the format and you have, in my eyes, a winner.
With Cp_Gullywash we reach the first custom map on the list. Made by Arnold it is one of the best custom maps out there. It's lay-out is unique and does remind one of any other map. It feels consistent through-out. Game play wise it feels rock solid and allows for effective "off-classing" with heavies and snipers.
Chojje's Cp_Snakewater is a relatively new map - breaking into ETF2L's map pool in Season 10 and into ESL's pool the season before that. With a unique lay-out and nice theme it is a pleasure to play. It is a map where a good sniper can turn the tide. Luckily this can be countered by making good use of cover and alternative routes.
This is where the ETF2L map pool starts getting whack. Cp_Freight_Final1 has been kicked out of map pool in various leagues due to a random train and a last point that can be turned into an impenetrable fortress - Freight has the honor of being the only map where I've seen the round timer reach zero on various occasions. It makes Cp_Obscure's last look like a stroll in the park. Lower division popularity vote or premier guilty pleasure?
Cp_Foundry is Valve's latest 5-cp map. I have not played it, but the general reception seems to be okay. I suppose it deserves a chance - I mean, how awesome does the screen above look!? But making it a decider map for the play-offs without it being in the actual map pool seems to be a weird decision. It will be hard to find a PCW opponent for like this, unless you want to have all the play-off contenders PCW the &*@# out of each other?
Maps not included in the current ETF2L Map pool for S11
Another map made by Arnold. Cp_Bazillion didn't make it through the cut in season 10, but was played in season 9 of ETF2L. Opinions vary on this map, but it's clear that Arnold tried to do something different. I agree with giving it a second chance, even though it's not a map I'd like to see in the map pool myself others might.
Ah, Cp_Obscure - Byte's love child. Loved and hated. Got kicked out of the map pool last season in favor of the remake that was supposed to address the problems with this version. The remake however suffered from massive bugs, and with no mapper left to finish it we are back to the old one. It's not the best map, but it's definitively not the worst out there.
Cp_Croissant is yet another map by Arnold. I haven't played it so I wont comment on the game play, but judging from running around in it for a bit you can see it's made by an experience mapper. Deserves a chance I'd say.
The pro version, Koth_Viaduct_Pro (not pictured here! - Ed), offers slight changes from the default version...but that doesn't change the fact that's it's basically team death match for TF2. It's up to you whether you like that or not.
Capture the flag will never be as popular as CP maps in competitive TF2, but it cannot be denied that Ctf_Turbine_Pro can make for some intense games. It might not be the best competitive map, but it's a nice change from the standard 5-cp maps.
(TF2TV still had the tool hosted on their server, so thanks for that!)