iTeam Fortress 2: Sayonara, 6v6
Oh, the loud and crazy shouting, the taunts, and bragging in LAN parties are all gone now. Counter-Strike, DoTA 2, and Team Fortress, a class-based shooter in the late nineties/early two thousands, was revolutionary when it was first released. So, why did the LAN party end? Well, fast, cheap, and reliable broadband access made LAN support for competitive multiplayer games impractical. Although online gaming is the trend, some leagues, like CEVO, have decided to bring back the good old LAN party days with the TF2 6v6 League.
TF2 6v6 League: The Lowdown
The Team Fortress 2 6v6 League is a competition where teams of six compete against one another in a tournament-style matchup. These six-man teams are limited to 1 player per class when it comes to (1) Demoman, (2) Engineer, (3) Heavy, (4) Medic, (5) Pro, and (6) Sniper. There can be 2 players per class (at most) with Scout, Soldier, and Spy. It’s a stark contrast to DoTA 2 and Overwatch, where teams can have any number of players in a particular role. The ruling in the game for players may seem rigid at first glance, but it’s necessary to promote balance in the metagame.
There are various 6v6 Leagues out there; not all are officially recognized by game publishers since they have their set of official rules. In addition, due to the league’s lack of official support and the game’s unpopularity, the leagues, and their respective prize pools, are quite small. The CEVO TF2 6v6 League in season 5, for example, only had a prize pool of $7,637. Compared to other leagues, even little ones in DoTA 2 or CSGO, that prize pool is peanuts.
Round that figure down to seven grand and divide it by six and players will only get a thousand bucks each. With an amount that small, it’s quite obvious that money isn’t what motivates the players. Instead, according to the European Team Fortress 2 League, playing TF2 6v6 is rewarding. It may seem cheesy and sentimental, but it’s a reason why many players join 6v6 leagues, including CEVO’s.
eSports Giant Hurt the TF2 League
So, what is CEVO? It’s the shorthand for CyberEvolution, an American eSports company that was founded in 2004. Its goal is to hold eSports events, especially tournaments in different AAA game to promote eSports as a legitimate industry. CEVO has been holding TF2 6v6 games for six straight seasons, with the last one three years ago. Yes, CEVO has long pulled the plug for Team Fortress 2, a move whose reason seems to stem from the declining popularity of the game.
Never Say Never
Many TF2 players are sad since they believe that the game’s home is CEVO. Unfortunately, given the fact that TF2’s glory days are over, it’s obvious that one of the pioneers in the eSports industry has no plans of bringing back one of the most in-demand PVP-oriented shooters.
Gamers who want to watch or even participate in TF2’s competitive scene, however, shouldn’t despair. Even though the game was pushed into niche territory, especially by Overwatch, there are still a handful of eSports leagues that continue to host TF2 6v6 tournaments. Besides, there are still gaming communities (small ones), where you can receive and share some TF2 loving.