Is there no respect for the dead? Can’t we just leave the corpse to it’s eternal rest? Why am I subjecting Vanilla TF2 to the equivalent of exhumation and being ridden around the graveyard in a macabre game of horsey horsey with this record breakingly long graph fest on the joys of i52? Just remember, if the cops come by, this is the way we found it and we’re just trying to bury it again as any civic minded citizen would do.
One year ago I started these articles reviewing the stats at i49. At that tournament an innocent and bright eyed young Demoman named War (at that time rated as one of the best Demos in Yorkshire) playing in an unfancied local team made his name and has since become an integral fixture at the top of the TF2 scene, with i52 marking his final coming of age representing Europe’s finest. And then he (and the rest of his team) fucked it up.
Hopefully I’ll rise to the challenge of summarising this awe inspiring event a little more successfully than the grand finalists, although the spectre of players deliberately selling out their team to inflate their stats purely to look good in this article has raised its barely believable head, so much of this article also contains experimental and never before seen analysis methods. Can I find a way to stop the stats being dominated by log trolls? We’ll see.
Hildreth — Who would have thought this time last year when SNSD were adding shelves to their growing trophy cabinet that India would be the new superpower in European Highlander? Well I may be perhaps exaggerating the influence of the sub-continent country but alas, a team bearing the international flag with their long standing esteemed nayakPancake took the ETF2L crown and established themselves as the current best team in Europe. I am of course talking about Kill Switch who claimed this accolade with a win over Highpander in a DDOS affected Final and earning themselves a hefty 500 Euros to convert into rupees and pay their multi-national roster. 3rd placed side Itsallgood arguably gave Kill Switch a harder game than the final itself as they narrowly lost the regular season playoff match with the champions, earning a respectable bronze whilst former champions DAROUTOUTOU and SNSD came 4th and 5th respectively. Former runners-up Parrot Gapers dropped after one match whilst, Legolas were relegated via playoffs losing to Division 1 runners-up Stacked who finished behind Chessclub Techniques, both securing a Premiership spot for this season. Finally Sookie Doing Work, finishing 6th place did secure themselves another season in the top flight however amid some roster troubles they have folded and this leaves one spot available in the Premiership for Season 6.
So there you have a quick recap of Season 5 and how it impacts season 6’s proceeding, ultimately we have seen a rise in a “new generation” of teams in Europe with some of the old guard being knocked off the top and the rest being succumbed to history. The result of this is nothing short of fantastic, as between seasons we have seen the new established top teams building, the former champions reshaping their rosters to rise back to glory and new additions to Prem coming in with ambitions beyond avoiding relegation. To make up the numbers, the newest addition to ETF2L Prem is a challenge like no other for our resident European teams, the challenge of the Americans in the form of current UGC Platinum leaders Electric Temptations putting out a side to try and snatch the intercontinental cash monies. Speaking of money, the prizes they are all fighting over will be a €1000 prizepool thanks to another anonymous donation (this league is floating with charitable rich sponsors) and courtesy of TteSports by Thermaltake, nine sexy Tt BLACK Gaming Mice will be won and handed out to the winning team alongside their slice of €500, with second place settling for €350 and third place getting to share €150 euros.
Excited? No?! What if I told you Admirable was playing Medic this season for one of the teams? Convinced now? I thought so…onwards to the previews!
Admirable — As promised I have compiled a more in-depth look at the TeamFortress.TV ZOWIE Invitational #2 which is happening tomorrow. I’ve got you covered for rankings, rosters, results, gossip and insight on Europe’s top eight teams. This is ETF2L Season 17 on crack!
Oh, you missed the announcement? No idea what’s going on, eh? Allow me illuminate that rock you’ve living under. This is the second invite tournament hosted by TeamFortress.TV and sponsored by the good people at ZOWIE GEAR. The current eight best teams in Europe are coming together tomorrow, Sunday, January 26th at 06:00 PST / 09:00 EST / 15:00 CET to slug it out for their chance to bag some highly coveted ZOWIE merchandise on servers provided by the ever-so-charitable serveme.tf. The best part is that it’s being broadcast on twitch.tv/teamfortresstv for your viewing pleasure, with Admirable, CommanderX, huhy, Ducky and Jon bringing you live action, team comms, insight and interviews throughout the six hour tournament duration.
beach — Having got back from LAN pretty late last night, I was still taking in the events of an amazing weekend that ended in European victory (owned, America/Australia). The TF2 Community has once again pulled off an amazing effort to get HRG, TCM-Gaming/broder, Team Immunity and the Frenchies to LAN by contributing their own hard-earned cash to various fundraising campaigns.
And what a LAN it has been: after a shaky week of PCWs (probably due to BoneS’ shoddy PCs…) Team Immunity surprised many fans of TF2 by putting up a great fight against the best the rest of the world had to offer, beating HRG during the Invite Group stage, along with TCM-Gaming and a struggling Team Infused. It was during this game that I started to realise how much of a great LAN this would turn out to be: the Americans were showing that they weren’t untouchable, leaving the top prize very much open for any of the top 4 teams to claim. We also saw Epsilon eSports continue their domination of TF2 since this time last year by not losing a single game throughout the group stages, and indeed until the Grand Final they were again yet to lose a single map. Even the lower groups stages for us noobs were somewhat more exciting: we no longer had to waste the pros’ time by standing in their way for 10 minutes and could give getting into the knockouts a real shot, as opposed to resigning to the fact that “oh, Epsilon are in our group along with that pretty good Div 1-2 mix, we’re out already”.
Beta & Arie– It’s that time of year again, the time when your pockets are empty from the countless fundraising schemes having taken place and when you have been enjoying the great weather for once in the UK.
Of course with the summer coming to end, this means only one thing… the Multiplay Insomnia Series event taking place in Telford, UK. This time around we are in the 49th edition of the event with over 2800 BYOC players in attendance.
We here at VanillaTV are proud to be associated and picked as coverage partners for this event, so we thought why not share some of the plans we have in place for you at home and at the event to enjoy all weekend long.
First off, the TF2 tournament schedule.
Friday - Group stage
Saturday - Knockout stage
Sunday - Finals
Our broadcasts will obviously based on these tournament times, so make sure to tune in at those times for our casts!
Beta — As we come into the business end of the season, only 2 games are remaining for some teams at most. With this in mind, every point counts and tonight is no different, with broder vs Crack Clan both of whom are wanting that second place spot.
Of all the hype about this season, I guess some of the familiar faces in the broder team returning to the game or for some moving house did get quite a lot of attention. They are currently ahead of their competition tonight by 7 points, having won more maps this season but they have played 2 more maps then Crack Clan. Apart from a massive upset in other teams remaining games this season, a victory on at least 1 map tonight will near enough secure 2nd place place before the playoffs stage of the season.
Medic – Mirelin Demoman – ryb Soldiers – Zebbosai and Tek Scouts – cookye and Bybben
The ball for tonight’s game firmly sits with Crack Clan. With the team currently sitting behind broder, a 2 map win tonight would be the preferred choice to negate the risk of their next match up not going as expected. This won’t be an easy task for them, Crack Clan have made some changes in house with the French Soldier T-Mac coming into replace minimoose. The flanking power of the opposition scouts could be a concern for Admirable tonight, especially on the larger mid-fight map cp_Process.
Medic – Admirable Demoman – Brego Soldiers – ipz and T-Mac Scouts – smzi and TviQ
Things to look out for?
– The second map for tonight will be Process, could we see some potential sniper play come in from TviQ?
– Brego vs ryb – The school boy vs the lecturer – how will this battle end up….I know where my bet is being placed
– T-Mac will be under the spotlight tonight, will he be able to deal the vital plays need to securing points tonight?
That said there have been some questions raised regarding some of the play style used by broder this season. It will be interesting to see how maybe some smart gameplay could come into tonight’s game, with strong death matchers on both teams, who will come out on top?
Tune in tonight at 21:15 CET with Arx & Beta guiding you through the action, with the camera being controlled by Animal. We will have a nice new feature on the stream tonight, with further adaptations to the damage monitor being developed by Arie hopefully ready to go live.
WAIT WAIT – there is more! Tonight we will have our first edition of English and French broadcasts with Luzzu& KnoxXx hosting the game for our French viewers over at our French Stream. If you fancy watching both, this can be accessed from our Twitch Team page here
Disclaimer – This article is long and about Highlander, if you don’t like or watch Highlander then this isn’t for you to read.
Hildreth – Yes ladies and gentlemen, well…mostly gentlemen, it’s that time again where Highlander pops up on this website, the game format being akin to the weather after the main news has been delivered, getting that little chunk of time at the end of the programme, although for a lot of people the weather is the most important part (plus the weather girls are more attractive than the newsreaders). I have started to write this commentary on the dawn of perhaps the greatest TF2 achievement of all time made by arguably the greatest, most dominant team of all time – I have put emphasis on the words ‘perhaps‘ and ‘arguably‘ to avoid comments comparing the merits of achievements. If you are however not aware, SNSD have come away with yet another title, winning the 3rd season of ETF2L Highlander Premiership division and taking a hefty sum of €1,035 divided by 9. This makes it their 3rd season and 6th tournament win undefeated, with only 3 map losses (plus a round loss on Gravelpit this season to May Contain Nuts) during the whole time, giving them an unbeatable 39-0 record in terms of matches (including default wins and bo3’s). It would be a 39-1 record if you included the showmatch between American champions The Syndicate and SNSD, but that brings the topic to another area, an area that asks why no-one has been able to defeat SNSD, why the only teams that have touched them have been just sneaking rounds/maps off them occasionally over the course of nearly 3 years and why European Highlander is not an established scene like the North American scene who as of this season sees UGC boast 350 teams in their North American divisions whilst ETF2L has half the numbers. What has gone wrong with European Highlander? What has gone right with North American Highlander and why was the 2nd best team to challenge SNSD a group of high level 6’s players who rarely practised? For me, a person who has invested a lot of his personal time trying to create a scene in Europe, the frustration of the position of our scene today feels like to me I have wasted my efforts – we in Europe have perhaps the best infrastructure in terms of a league, a community with coverage and organizations to deliver the best TF2 experience in the world yet we have failed to do so – so why?