Want to play competitive TF2 at LAN?

So, you are at your first LAN, you have 5 mates with you and you fancy dipping your toe in the comp scene water! Here are a few do’s, dont’s and a little idea of what to expect! Comp TF2 at an iSeries LAN is played in the 6v6 format- that’s 6 players on each team ;) The most effective comp 6v6 team structure has been found to be as follows:

1 x medic, 2 x soldiers, 2 x scouts, 1 x demoman

Utility classes are used as well and some maps lend themselves very well to the usages of spies, snipers and pyros. Engie is only usually used on Gravelpit and on final point as a delaying tactic.The maps tend to be general stock maps such as cp_granary, cp_badlands (these 2 are ALWAYS played in comp TF2 so learn them!) with cp_gravelpit, cp_gullywash_final1 and cp_snakewater often thrown in for good measure.Non stock maps can easily be downloaded from game banana. One of the best ways to learn maps, apart from playing on them, is to watch some of the excellent vod’s and STV demos that are around. A lot of the pro games can be found on TCM Byte’s youtube channel or on VanillaTF2′s website where they do live commentary on all the pro games that are around and also hold a repository of previous casts.

One I would particularly recommend is the map analysis of the ETF2L season 10 final by Byte on Badlands:

You will also need some form of communication media, most teams use Mumble. A Mumble server can either be provided by yourselves or by Multiplay, instructions on how to request one and also how to register your team and players is available on the Multiplay tournaments FAQ.

OK, so you have formed your team, had a look at maps, sorted out a few tactics and are ready for the LAN! Now Multiplay usually run 2 TF2 competitions; the prize winning tournament and the fun tournament which is usually run after the group stages of the main competition. You can enter both if you wish but expect to be playing a lot of TF2! The main tournament starts with the group stages, the seeded (professional) teams are usually split between the groups so expect to face someone like infused, TCM or Epsilon at some stage. Depending on the size of the groups you will be playing at least 4 matches on the first day of the competitions and if you get through the group stages then you will be playing the following day as well. First round matches are either first to 5 caps or time limit of 30 mins. Sometimes a golden cap system is played if there is a draw, this is a 10 minute round where the team that advances the furthest (or indeed caps all 5 points off within the time) wins

The TF2 grand final is always played on the Sunday afternoon and at larger LANs like the iSeries summer LAN (i46 this year) is always well worth watching if you aren’t one of the ones sitting on the stage as the atmosphere is always excellent and the matches are always exciting to watch, especially with the experienced casters and commentators that organisations like VanillaTF2 provide.

The main thing, though, about comp TF2 is to have a LOT of fun, you will win some, you will lose some but TF2 is a blast!

Happy gaming :)