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dj's Demo Roundtable
posted in News
August 2, 2012

About a month ago I created a medic roundtable with some of the game's best Medics. Since then, I have received a lot of requests to do more roundtables with other classes. The next class I am doing is the demoman. The class I wish I could play well.

When TF2 competitive was just starting out, it was like the wild wild west, no class limits, no rules. There was always a big debate on how important the demoman is in 6v6, or even 8v8 play. I remember a thread debating if teams should run a sniper or demoman all the time. I also remember a team that ran 5 demos and a medic...good times. That was before the tf2 players started understanding exactly how much the demoman can do in a match. Once more and more players started playing demo to their full potential (sticky jumping, air-piping, sneaky traps), it was no longer a debate on whether the demo should be in every single starting lineup.

Sure, I could have gotten invite demos like Solid Snake, destro and ducky. But the 3 demomen I chose were a lot easier to reach and I know will give me a timely answer. Hate if you want, but these 3 demomen chosen are no doubt in the list of top 10 demos in North America.

[/flag][b]b4nny[/b] is the demo for eMazing Gaming, the #1 seeded team in ESEA-Open. [/flag][b]You Must Recover[/b] is the demo for Apocalypse Gaming, the #2 seeded team in ESEA-Open. [/flag][b]Droog[/b] is the demo for Vicious Gaming, the #3 seeded team in ESEA-Open.

Another reason I chose the three of them is that I have played against all three and I feel like they all have a different playing style, but all three have found a way to successfully play at the high level of TF2. I always thought there were only two types of demomen, the aggro demo that causes a lot of damage (and take a lot of damage too), some aggro demos would be destro, ducky, chupa or most Euro demos. Then there are the defensive/trapping demos. If we put it in football reference, they would be the shutdown cornerback, take out half the field/map and forces the opponents to only work with the other half. One great sticky trap (Big Interception) could change the tide of the whole round. When I think of classic trap demos, You Must Recover, SolidSnake and Arc come to mind. But after talking to these guys, I realized that there aren't just 2 playstyles, every demo has their own level of aggression and in the end, it really depends on what the team needs most. Good demomen adjust to the needs of their team while the stubborn demos keep playing their own style and blame their team if he is not getting enough support by scouts or heals from the medic.

Instead of bullshitting more about what I think about the demo, why don't we just get straight to the interview? So without further adieu, dj's Demoman Roundtable.

[iq]Hello, thank you for meeting with me and answering a few questions about the class that you play so well.

First off, please introduce yourselves, your experience in competitive, and what team you are currently playing for.[/iq]

[ia][b]b4nny[/b]: Hello everyone, I'm b4nny. As a passionate gamer, I was drawn to TF2 by both its competitive appeal and by the recreational side of the game. I first got into competitive TF2 as part of the Slaughterhouse pub's competitive team back when CAL was in its last season. Since then I've played in UGC, CEVO, and ESEA. I am now playing for eMazing Gaming, which is really only my second team.[/ia]

[ia][b]Droog[/b]: Hey guys I'm Droog. I got into competitive tf2 back in season 3 of CEVO, but before that I had been paying attention to the scene for a while. I played with pretty much the same core people (TLR, clockwork, myself) for about 2-3 season of play. We went through a lot of different names and roster changes. When that team finally folded Gremaud offered me a spot on Businessmen (Now Vicious Gaming) and that brings me to where I am now.[/ia]

[ia][b]You Must Recover[/b]: Yo what's up? It's ya boy ignaxio aka X aka You Must Recover!!!. I really started to become interested in competitive TF2 back during CEVO season 3 when I joined inertia (preshoutout section shoutouts to aristotle and hyku). I have played with all sorts of people and just got very lucky with the connections I made (specifically tyranny and jack frost) between seasons 3 and 4. I currently play for Apocalypse Gaming (formerly known as Jammin' With Jammar). Just so everyone knows, we have 5 scouts.[/ia]

[iq]For the newer competitive players reading this, please explain why the demoman class is so important in competitive 6v6.[/iq]

[ia][b]b4nny[/b]: Demo is the perfect "heavy" class: tons of ammo to spam, massive potential damage output and insane mobility. On top of that, well placed traps can turn a round around (lol). There is never a time when a demo is not useful hence its secure place as one of the 4 main competitive classes.[/ia]

[ia][b]Droog[/b]: Demoman controls most of the flow of the battle. With a high damage output and the ability to deny an entire area of the map it is important to keep your demoman alive all the time. Especially in higher levels of play you will see teams targeting the demoman over any other player on the team. People argue over which class is the most Over-powered in competitive play but the demoman is without a doubt the most important besides the medic.[/ia]

[ia][b]You Must Recover[/b]: With the tools to quickly shut off complete sections of a map, the demoman has the insanely important ability to control the opposing team's actions. The better a demoman can use map control to his advantage, the more difficult it will be for the enemy team to get aggressive and make plays.[/ia]

[iq]Can you please describe your demo playstyle?[/iq]

[ia][b]b4nny[/b]: I generally play an explosive passive style. Rather than sitting on traps I focus on air detonating stickies to push people back. One thing I always try to do is punish people who overextend with a storm of stickies cutting off their retreat. I honestly don't like getting all the heals/ubers/kritz but I can still pocket decently when my pipes are strong. I'm also a very unselfish player who will throw myself out there to cover/save my teammates. Thus I'll rarely choose to bomb in unless called for by my team.[/ia]

[ia][b]Droog[/b]: I am a very aggressive demoman, high damage output and very "pocket-demo" oriented. It's hard for me to play that passive, flanking, doesn't get a lot of heals demoman. I rely on heading my team's pushes and doing the majority of the damage and letting my team get some finish off kills.[/ia]

[ia][b]You Must Recover[/b]: I have recently been changing up my style of playing. Where I had used to play very passive and waited for my opportunities, I have recently started to get more aggressive and create more openings for the rest of my team. I also like setting up forward sticky traps to make an early pick on enemy soldiers or scouts.[/ia]

[iq]What is your favorite part about playing demo?[/iq]

[ia][b]b4nny[/b]: The Demoman carries my favorite weapons in TF2. Nothing is more satisfying that hitting sequential direct pipes, and blind det'ing people always gives me a laugh.[/ia]

[ia][b]Droog[/b]: The best part of demoman is getting those clutch 1 vs. whatever situations. When your team thinks that you have lost the fight entirely and you just come in and land every shot and win it for your team. Also getting airshots on scouts is a fun part of playing demoman. Fucking scouts.[/ia]

[ia][b]You Must Recover[/b]: I love the fact that I don't ever have to really aim. On top of that, as a demo, I really have a lot of options in how to push, hold and spam. The demo is the king of versatility and most good players will take advantage of that.[/ia]

[iq]As someone who doesn't play the class well, I would just spam and set stickytraps and hope to get a few frags. But as a demoman on a high level, what kind of things go through your head, let's say at middle of Badlands or Granary?[/iq]

[ia][b]b4nny[/b]: At the start of a round, the first thing going through my head is: get to middle as fast as possible. After that it comes down to how im going to support my team's scouts in the initial 3v3. During this 7 second window is when the mid fight is often decided. If I can suppress the scouts with a little bit of damage, it will open up the whole point and allow me to shut out the entire other half of that team. Of course that isn't possible every round but it does happen every once in a while. Soon after the medic shows up mid becomes an all out spam fest. That chaos is what I try to prevent early on. Focus on staying alive and managing your ammo at middle and you will have amazing opportunities.[/ia]

[ia][b]Droog[/b]: As a demoman you control the flow of the battle in mid with your spam. You make opportunities for your team to get some frags. Experience is a big part of doing this effectively. Over my career of playing this game I have developed a sense of knowing exactly what my enemy is thinking and therefore knowing what they will do next. Doing damage in a certain way to kite the other team to fit your team's strategy is a good way of putting it. Middle battles are the hardest for me. Being the main strat caller on my team I find it much harder to tell my teammates what to do in mid. So many things going through my head. Are they running two scouts or one? Are they really running one scout or is one about to come through closet and kill me? This soldier looks like he will jump on me, spam him extra hard. And at that point BUICK yells "I have kritz go Droog!" and I have 1 sticky reloaded. :[[/ia]

[ia][b]You Must Recover[/b]: Beyond just spamming and laying traps there are a couple of very important things that a demo has to keep track of at all times. On the middle points of badlands and granary, the most important things for a demo to think about are the movements of the enemy scouts and the movements of friendly scouts. If a demo keeps track of his friendly scouts and knows when they are ready to get aggressive, he can coordinate for a quick assault on the enemy combo. By knowing where opposing scouts are, a good demo will make sure that he has a quick defense set up to fall back on if they plan to attack.[/ia]

[iq]What advice would you give to the low/mid to mid demos who are trying to get to the next level?[/iq]

[ia][b]b4nny[/b]: The first thing you should do is ask for constructive criticism from the people you are playing with. I always save a text file full of the advice I receive from others. Some of the advice is very helpful such as: Don't just play waiting around for the other team to make mistakes, try something new and set the pace of the game yourself. Or: Watch STV recordings with a purpose. For example watch your main counter class (scouts) to really learn how they are going to try to get you. Of course you may also receive some advice that is not so helpful, like: Hit all your pipes.[/ia]

[ia][b]Droog[/b]: Watch a lot of demos of higher level players or watch STVs. Game sense is much more important in tf2 than aim is, especailly for demomen. Also don't feel like a nerd for going over a map for 30 minutes trying to find some nice new traps that no one has used yet. It could just be your opportunity for a clutch med pick. And most importantly, remember that you have to be communicating with your team at all times in order to be effective.[/ia]

[ia][b]You Must Recover[/b]: Try going through some of the maps and coming up with new spots to hide stickies or new spots to spam from. Get creative! Too many demos seem to be doing nothing but sticky jumping into the enemy combo. Come up with some new sticky placements or areas to spam from. The demo is the most versatile class in the game, use this to your advantage![/ia]

[iq]What do you do to improve your pipe aim?[/iq]

[ia][b]b4nny[/b]: I hate over thinking pipe aim. I believe that all it takes is to get comfortable with the speed and distance that your pipes are going and improvise the rest. That sort of warmup can come from pubs or tr_walkway or whatever. I tend to aim with my whole screen so I do not find it beneficial to play as a scout or sniper or other precision aiming classes. [/ia]

[ia][b]Droog[/b]: Play more than just demoman. Play other classes to improve your overall aim and aiming pipes will become second nature for you.[/ia]

[ia][b]You Must Recover[/b]: My pipe aim is honestly atrocious. I would be the worst demo to take pipe advice from.[/ia]

[iq]Your favorite and least favorite maps to play on as a demo?[/iq]

[ia][b]b4nny[/b]: My favorite map to play is badlands. It simply has the best jumps, terrain and mid fight. I also have a lot of fun on viaduct and yukon. My least favorite map is gravelpit because I have no idea how to play it. Its a good enough map and a good testament to a team's skill but I just don't play well on it.[/ia]

[ia][b]Droog[/b]: My favorite map oddly enough is follower. Follower is such a good scout map and outsmarting scouts is kind of my thing. Knowing just where they're going to flank from and when they'll do it is easier on that map for me than others. Least favorite map would have to be yukon. So many stupid things you can clip on while walking around, so many ways a soldier can jump on you or a scout can double jump around some stupid rock or something and kill you.[/ia]

[ia][b]You Must Recover[/b]: My least favorite map is definitely gravelpit. Now this has nothing to do with it being bad for demomen or anything, the map just seems to have gotten old and stale to me. This season I really enjoyed viaduct and turbine. With its fresh and interesting gameplay and unexplored possibilities, I feel like these maps could make for some great new additions to the NA competitive scene. [/ia]

[iq]The Euros tend to pocket the demo a lot more than the NA teams. Do you support that strategy? Why or why not?[/iq]

[ia][b]b4nny[/b]: Overall I think a soldier is a much more suitable pocket than a demo. Obviously, scouts will cause a large problem for a demo pocket which may result is more dead medics. Thinking about uber vs uber fights I also would give soldiers a huge advantage in handling the opposing combo.[/ia]

[ia][b]Droog[/b]: Euros have a strange way of playing and after watching a lot of euro demos I have realized that the reason pocket demo is so effective is because the soldiers are so passive. I don't think that shit would fly in NA tf2.[/ia]

[ia][b]You Must Recover[/b]: As a demo with far below average pipe aim and not incredibly impressive stickies, I don't think this strategy would work for my team. On the other hand, teams like VG, eMg and HF could work really well with this strategy as long as the soldiers are willing to live without being at a constant 300. The only problem with this setup is that it will sometimes either leave soldiers out to dry or maybe even allow for the combo to be mauled by scouts if not supported well enough.[/ia]

[iq]Thanks for interview guys, feel free to give some shoutouts if you like.[/iq]

[ia][b]b4nny[/b]: Shout-outs to my friends team eMg, team MmM, Cerpy, Sandy, Sagi, Oafmeal, the Slaughterhouse community and jump maps. Extra love to everyone who has watched us play this season.[/ia]

[ia][b]Droog[/b]: Shoutout to everyone on VG, smithers, clockwork, bruce, TLR, Fanlaen, Scottermac, and chupa. An extra shoutout to chupa for being my first tf2 mentee. Don't worry you'll be as good as me someday. Also an extra shoutout to clockwork and Scottermac for teaching me how to be a racist douchebag.[/ia]

[ia][b]You Must Recover[/b]: Shoutouts to DChow, conebone69, sterl (the king of yoyos), frances, scootah, aaron "aaronlol" koslik, Harbleu, Radio (Timothy) Raheem, Jack Frost, Austria's #1 medic, DChow again, everyone on Apocalypse Gaming and my boyz TheGuy, Blak and move. SHOUTOUT TO MEGA64. TheGuyTheGuyTheGuyTheGuyTheGuyTheGuyTheGuyThe_Guy[/ia]

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