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Ready Up opens with a shot of the CS:GO grand finals at ESL One. The size of the stadium dwarfs the players on the stage, who all wear deadly serious expressions. There are thousands of people in the audience, many of them frantically waving inflatable tubes covered in sponsorship scrawls. A member of one team makes a clutch pistol play, and the room erupts in a roar of screaming and thunderous chanting. The player solemnly acknowledges the applause with a showboating chef kiss, but he doesn’t look like he’s having much fun.
Then, we change rooms. A few dozen people are sitting in front of a screen, watching their friends compete at a Team Fortress 2 LAN event. The players seem focused, yet relaxed. “Ah, I’m dead” says one of them, half-grinning at his misfortune. At the heart of the competitive TF2 scene, it transpires, is a community with bonds that transcend the tribalism you might see in other esports. I spoke to Alex “Dashner” Pylyshyn over email, who co-directed Ready Up alongside Ness Uberchain Delacroix, about the past, present and future of competitive TF2.
As if the hordes of pyros weren’t scary enough, Team Fortress 2‘s Halloween event launched on Friday. Instead of doing something new, they’ve chosen to make every previous Scream Fortress – going back to 2009 – playable once again. Get your spooks in while you can, because the event ends on November the 8th.
The match seems to be going terribly. My teammates don’t appear to be interested in defending the capture point, and about half of the enemy team have dominations – meaning they ve killed the same player multiple times without that person getting revenge. Yet weirdly, the game continues.
I m dead, tabbing through the viewpoints of everyone who s alive, when I realise why. One of our Red pyros is dancing with six members of Team Blu, keeping them occupied through the use of a taunt.
Team Fortress 2 is weirder than ever.
Today the Pyro will get a chuffing jetpack in Team Fortress 2 as part of the ‘Jungle Inferno’ update. This is a big’un, bringing one new Valve-made map, five new community-made maps, and the long-promised Pyro class update. All flamethrowers are being improved and the Pyro is armed with four new weapons too, from a beefy single-shot flamethrower to a cheeky slap (hey, it worked in Absolver).
The update was expected to launch last night but Valve delayed it for a little more testing, so it’ll now hit today. (more…)
The Team Fortress 2 [official site] gang are off to a lush tropical island to fight around the remains of Saxton Hale’s failed theme park Yeti Park in the next big themed update. The Jungle Inferno update will re-open Yeti Park as Mercenary Park, where mercenaries fight mercenaries (for control of capture points). Psst, that’s us. Five tropical community-made maps are coming too. As is TF2 tradition, Valve are counting down to launch day-by-day with collected teases, so more is to come. Dare I dream for the promised Pyro overhaul?
And yes, of course this means we have a fine new TF2 animated short to watch: (more…)
Traditionally, Valve have maintained impossibly motionless poker faces about what they have planned in the longer term for Team Fortress 2 [official site] updates – something which helped to build insane degrees of anticipation back in the day, as we prayed and begged for videos and comics and guns and hats. These days, Overwatch seems to absorb most of the air in the room, and in addition TF2 is so fatted with stuff> that it’s hard to get too excited about this or that being tweaked. That’s why the latest round of patch notes are semi-notable: they’re telling us what they’ve got in the pipeline before it gets sprayed into the game, as opposed to the usual after. … [visit site to read more]
Team Fortress 2 [official site] recognises that yes, Smissmas is a time for gibbing your fellow man then leaving their labelled hunks under the tree, but also somethings for coming-together. Valve’s free-to-play FPS has kicked off its Christmas event with an update bringing the traditional assortment of new icy items but also handy features for casual play. A new team autobalancing systems gives players gifts if they even up teams, while Casual matchmaking now keeps players together after matches to pick a new map and go again. This should mean more fun, less yelling, and an end to the Red and Blu sides of the family glaring at each other across the lounge on Boxing Day. … [visit site to read more]
Team Fortress 2‘s [official site] annual Hallowe’en festivities are upon us and, although there are nowhere near as many of them as Simpsons Treehouse Of Horror episodes, the Roman numerals are still contriving to make Alice feel hideously old. So that’s something!
So what’s the haps this Hallowe’en-tide? … [visit site to read more]
Valve launched matchmaking for Team Fortress 2 [official site] on Thursday but its reception wasn’t wholly positive. As well as introducing 6v6 competitive ranked matchmaking, the Meet Your Match Update replaced TF2’s casual ‘quickplay’ with 12v12 unranked matchmaking – and that second mode has frustrated some. Its problems included long waiting times and limited options, but Valve are working on those and more. Over the weekend they acknowledged these complaints and launched the first update aimed at correcting some of casual matchmaking’s problems.