16jacobjwhat the fuck
Mojo_da_Kidd, who says that you are "his best friend ever", says that you are quitting TF2 again to focus on college. Now, there's a lot of things that you need to watch out about college, things you were probably told about in your freshman year. Assuming you're North American, these warnings includes textbook prices as well as not getting back what you'll pay for when you sell, student loans that will accumulate into a hefty debt, 3rd-4th year being an absolute mental drain on your health due to your workload. College is a very stressful time, as well as very shady business practices. Post-secondary institutions in NA like to make money off of you, whether you pass or you fail.
You will also need to find time to juggle some sort of work experience nowadays once you're done with college, because quite a lot of baby boomer parents put emphasis on education before work, particularly immigrant families. Work places are looking for experience with your piece of paper that says "DEGREE" on it, not simply the piece of paper. The piece of paper will certainly help assist you in receiving work, that being said. In the current job landscape, degrees still tend to beat out general diplomas, especially if you have experience on your resume with it.
Now, let's look at Team Fortress 2. You play a few games as well as join a team. You get satisfaction from advancing your skills forward and being on point with your DM and your airshots, and you make a lot of friends going forward. But this isn't always the case, especially if your team crumbles or if you beef. You spend hours practicing some more, and often, you ask yourself, "is this worth it?". You'll probably ask yourself that in college too when the crunch comes, and you realize your shit prof skipped the one section you're covering in that exam worth like 40% when every other exam before that was just worth 10-15%. It happens.
There's a few things Team Fortress 2 can offer you beyond just skill in a video game. If you compete at the top, prize money is higher. Your fame and recognition is more well-recognized. Your skill is better. But you have to consistently keep doing it to maintain that, and I think you know that. Your skill will dwindle if you don't keep practicing. Your fame and recognition will diminish. The prize money? It's pocket change. If you work a job, you will make that much from two weeks at minimum wage than the Open prize pool. You might miss it a lot when school gets really hard. You might want to escape to it. That's normal, but remember, school is a big commitment just as much as dedicating your time to TF2. Not many can multitask effectively enough, and if they have - well, they're not you. You don't know their stories as to what they might have sacrificed, and to be honest, I don't think they themselves know what they sacrified.
But what about those other prize pots that are worth $5000, like LAN? Let's look at it like this: if you're NA-based, you need to factor in flying to LAN. Prices from NA to Europe based on where you are cost around $500-$1000+. You still need to drop a single digit if you're flying to an NA-based LAN that isn't in your area unless you drive over, which you still need to factor gas and hotel money depending on the drive. But for NA to Europe if the price is $1000, that's one part of it. Then there's rentals or BYOC tickets. If you land in London and are taking a train to Birmingham for Insomnia, that's transportation money for trains. You're probably going to need to stay somewhere too, most likely splitting money for a hotel room or AirBnB. If your hotel/AirBnB is further away from the venue, that's transportation money for cabs or Ubers. Don't forget about food. And because Insomnia is a social event with a lot of drinks, you should also save some money aside for buying your friends or some folks some drinks; although that's optional, there's a lot of people who will feel bad if people buy them drinks and they're unable to buy drinks back.
The privilege of Invite teams and players, as well as European players who still are at an estimated cost of $600 USD for everything else, is that they're often fundraised by the community. However, with the money they make, it usually just ends up paying their costs made to go to LAN. Some of them might not even make that money back. You probably already know this when you took a good luck at the higher levels, and asked yourself, "why not me?". But after talking to enough Invite and Prem players who have decided to leave, take a break, or not take it as seriously, they've also told me, "there's not much at the top. You'll play if you want to and if you love the game, you'll obligate your time if you need to and want to help your team or yourself - but otherwise, there's always other things to do."
Now, who am I to be telling you why you should pick school over TF2? Simple. I've never been a good player, ask anybody who has played with me and they can tell you what rollouts I've botched or what stupid shit I've done. I decided it wasn't worth playing it compared to doing things for it. But I almost failed the last year of college when I started focusing on TF2 and Source Filmmaker, and I was at the top of my class. I was going to go back to do another program and had a guaranteed spot due to knowing the administrative faculty well. I skipped the interview that would have put me in that program to do Tip of the Hats 2015, and focus on being one of the 4-6 well-known SFM artists/animators who gets paid decently for commission.
It's 2017, SFM has faded from relevancy, I'm focusing on a documentary as well as a charity event above other things like the Saxxy Awards (which I really wanted to finish this year since I botched it last year), and I'm making most of my money on graphic design. I don't regret 2015-2016. I have no desire to go back to school. I can't afford it, I don't want to burn money on things I know I can learn myself. Life is a little rough, and I want to focus on the people closest to me, so I have to focus on myself for a bit right now.
But 16jacobj, I might know what you're thinking in the back of your mind. Maybe you didn't want to leave because deep down, you love Team Fortress 2. You love the community even if they pissed you off, you love the game even though it felt like it wasn't worth it. You, at some point, enjoyed or still enjoy playing it, especially when you're able to win. And you love the friends you've made here. That's true, I understand exactly what that's like. Your friends, they love you too. Mojo_da_Kidd, who has made this thread to prove to you how great TF2 is so that you don't dismiss TF2 as a waste of time, must love you a lot.
But if Mojo_da_Kidd really was your friend, then he would not hold you back on what you want to do. You've got your own shit to do, you gotta figure out you. And if friends know that, that means they'll let you go rather than hold you back. You want to do college. Then go do college. You're ready to take that on, because you've decided that there are benefits to college right now over TF2. And you know what? That's okay. Maybe you will succeed, get that goddamn piece of paper that says "DEGREE" on it, and you can find good work with it. Maybe you'll not be happy with college, and you'll leave to figure things out in your life, find something else. Maybe you'll come back to playing TF2 whenever you can. Maybe it'll be harder to find a team when you come back, but TF2 should still be around. And if it's around, and if Mojo_da_Kidd is your best friend ever (as well as still playing the game), then he'll be waiting for you.
Good luck, 16jacobj. Do your best! If you decide to come back or check in on us, TF2 will be around for a bit longer. It might not be what you wanted it to be, but so as long as it's a
posted 10 hours ago