A few weeks ago, I made a NA demo roundtable with some of the top demos in the game. However, I got a lot of people wondering what the answers would have been like if I asked a few demos from across the pond. I also thought it would be interesting. So with the help of cMw, I gathered some of the best euro demos in the game and asked them pretty much the same questions. I mentioned about the two major styles of demos in NA, the aggro/high damage output demos and the defensive, sticky trapping, flank watching demos. Do the Euros have a different type of demo? Will their mentality be like what a pocket soldier would have in NA? Or are they just aggro demos that get more heals than the sollies? Read on and we'll find out together in this remix edition of the demoman roundtable, euro remix...I assume its more techno sounding, probably something related to Gunther.
Again, special thanks to cMw for helping me contact the players and gather the questions.
[iq]Hayyy vloggg, 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]Bash[/b]: Hi, I'm Bash, I've been playing competitive TF2 for little under 2 years now, a little over a year of that spent in top div1 teams. The notable bits of my team history are wotr/4Kings, the original Power Gaming and now What Women Want or whatever terrible name we go by at the time this comes out.[/ia]
[ia][b]Byte[/b]: Hi there, I’m Byte-me aka Byte. I’ve been playing competitive TF2 for over 2 years now. My main class is demoman, however I like to believe I can play other classes as well at a decent level, them being scout/soldier/medic and heavy. I’ve only been in 3 clans in my TF2 ‘career. ^wotr^ aka TCM| (the original) then I took a gap season out and helped [FB] then I paddled along to YYT| aka TCM|. Luckily I’ve always played at the top level from the very beginning.[/ia]
[ia][b]Extremer[/b]: Hi, I'm Extremer and I currently play for I Don't Know? which I've been a member of for over a year. TF2 was my first competitive game. I started playing it back in December 2007 but I didn't get into the competitive side until like the 3rd season of ETF2L (about 10 months later) where I started playing in Division 4 and worked my way to the top.[/ia]
[ia][b]m0re[/b]: Hi, I'm m0re from blight gaming. I started tf2 with some of my old qwtf friends and we were instantly seeded to division2 which we ended up winning. After that i've played in a few teams d1/d2 level and had fairly ok results.[/ia]
[iq]For the newer competitive players reading this, please explain why the demoman class is so important in competitive 6v6.[/iq]
[ia][b]Bash[/b]: The demoman has easily the largest potential damage output in the game, and is useful in pacing the game in your teams favour by spamming and traps while on the defensive and the ability to convert all that area denial into pushing power when it's time to go on the offensive. It also has a lot to do with map design which rewards the speed of getting to middle by allowing the demoman to take initial control of the round.[/ia]
[ia][b]Byte[/b]: The demoman is the strongest class in the game, it’s the most mobile class and it can do the most damage in one instance. It can always in theory get to the battlefield on any map before anyone else, and at the same time secure a calculated amount of area by applying sticky traps. Also with its ability to spam quite well, this makes the demoman the ultimate class in TF2. The funny thing is what most people don’t understand about the demoman is that it can buy you a lot of things depending on the map. It can buy you ‘extra’ time it can buy you ‘territory’ it can also buy you a ‘one shot kill’ and switch the game momentum on its head and at the same time it can apply death-matching damage while doing all of these.[/ia]
[ia][b]Extremer[/b]: He's got the most impact on the game due to his high damage output.[/ia]
[ia][b]m0re[/b]: Demoman is a perfect class both in defense and attack situations. Slowing enemy attacks or being super aggressive in own pushes, everything works.[/ia]
[iq]Can you please describe your demo playstyle?[/iq]
[ia][b]Bash[/b]: I'm generally not great at analyzing my own style, you could say that I play quite aggressive in that I like to always stay on the fringe of pushing, to always be in a position where I can deal damage to the opponent short of actually jumping in. I always try to be out of ammo, so that I know I'm disrupting the enemy as much as possible even when committing to a fight would be a mistake. I don't like playing passively waiting for people to run into a trap anyone with his wits about him will anticipate being there anyway, so I like to assert an active defense, trying to get a pick whenever I can which sometimes turns against me. I also love kritz. [/ia]
[ia][b]Byte[/b]: Well I think the majority in the TF2 community EU or US know my style and that’s a defensive demoman. I have a great analogy in life which I use for most things especially when I play sports professionally; the analogy being I’d rather neutralize an enemies attack by being defensive and then attack rather than myself attacking the enemy and making myself vulnerable. So in simple English what this means is that I’d rather let the enemy be vulnerable first so that I can attack with a greater impact than let myself attack first with added vulnerability then defend. It’s much easier to defend then attack than attack then defend, especially where momentum is concerned, and in this game there is a lot of that.
Also to add onto this style of play, because a demoman is that important to the battlefield, attacking so aggressively may cost your team to all die or to at least lose the point usually if you die on the battlefield.
Having said this...recently I’ve been asked to play a more aggressive style which I have been doing within moderation. It’s something that’s not in my depth even though I know when I should be going after calculating the odds and %’s of what my chances are of winning and staying alive, but at the end of the day I used to choose to stay back and not be aggressive.
I like using Kritz alot as my prediction with stickies is much better than grenades![/ia]
[ia][b]Extremer[/b]: I consider myself really aggressive, sometimes even suicidal. This occasionally gets me split from my team but usually it works out. But when I'm closer to my team I hog the heals and steal the kills.[/ia]
[ia][b]m0re[/b]: I'm trying to be very situational based player, taking it passive when it suits my team needs. tho mostly I try to be aggressive as demo can deal a lots of damage and give damage support even from a long range etc.[/ia]
[iq]What is your favorite part about playing demo?[/iq]
[ia][b]Bash[/b]: I enjoy the versatility, being able to work with almost any situation and never having a moment when there is nothing to do except wait (excluding on cp_well). I love the first few seconds of the mid points of granary or badlands when it's probably the only true 1on1 situation in the game where you know things are fair and square and it'll make your arriving team start at a disadvantage or an advantage, depending on your performance.[/ia]
[ia][b]Byte[/b]: I must admit this may sound vulgar, but my favorite part about playing demoman is when I have outwitted someone. By this I mean I’ve set up a sticky trap and I’m death matching them and they think they are in control, the enemy team think they have the momentum; they think nothing can go wrong, then BOOM. As most in the EU know me for “lawl stickies” it’s in reference to my sticky traps, they sometimes bring an entire round just due to one immense trap. The amusing part is that it’s so obvious to me as to where I would look for sticky traps in general that it makes the enemy looks twice as stupid when he dies from them. A very intelligent class and this is why I like it.[/ia]
[ia][b]Extremer[/b]: The ability to output an incredibly large amount of damage which leads to those amazing clutch killing sprees.[/ia]
[ia][b]m0re[/b]: Movement, speed and pine kills (qwtf way of saying pipe kills).[/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]Bash[/b]: First, the obvious one, get there as fast as possible. A slight difference in speed won't lose you a midfight, but it'll mean you have to hit those first couple of stickies precisely so the enemy demo won't capitalise on your tardiness too much. The initial demofight is nearly always the same, you try to damage him more than he damages you. Sometimes if you hit the first three stickies you'll kill him, very often you'll set him up as an easy kill for your scouts or soldiers, but it's important not to overdo it as after those few stickies you need to start doing something else, wasting your damage potential on one guy who can either take you down himself or run away is not advisable when there are people coming through juicy chokepoints you can pick on. Assuming neither is doing any "alternative" strats including any balc or choke strats, or quick "all-in" takedowns through the middle, the damage you do to the enemy demo in relation to how much you take in translates into freedom to work with just as the soldiers are coming in.
This is where the two maps start to differ, and this bit is already too long to be interesting. In short you try keep track of the enemy scouts (which is only really possible on granary) and tag them with a sticky if they show their faces to make them easier for your scouts to handle, try to keep the soldiers under too much pressure to do anything useful and give the enemy medic too much stuff to heal (on badlands, 150-200 damage between both soldiers just as they enter the midpoint often means a middle won) and perhaps most importantly try to stay alive for long enough to do all this.[/ia]
[ia][b]Byte[/b]: At the top level of the game, speed is crucial (depending on the map of course). If you are 1 second later than the enemy down it’s a recoverable process however any later, you need to think of a different way to get to capture point 3 while applying pressure to the enemy demoman and two scouts.
Spam is the next key thing on the “process”, if you time your spam, the soldiers become benign and quite useless. The same goes for the enemy scouts if you weaken them too quickly they have no chance of going aggressive due to the fact that your team scouts will just annihilate him in one shot. The key thing for the demoman is...
- Staying alive, 90% of the time whatever the status of the demoman is what dictates the winning/losing of the capture point.
- Applying the maximum amount of damage possible while being alive.
- CALLING what you have damaged, this is imperative; before the demoman got nerfed it would need no help to own all 6 players. Now it needs its team mates to apply the “last bullet” to kill the enemy. So it’s really important that you call what you have damaged a lot and you have to be specific as to how much. For example “medic tagged......medic VERY weak...” meaning you’ve just done around 130hp damage and all the medic now needs is a rocket on its face or next to it to die.
- Speed – getting to the middle for example on badlands is very important luckily there are “back-up” routes which allow lesser skilled players to get to the battlefield and apply pressure without having to do the fancy jumps.
Subtle thing is...if you’re dying every time on the battlefield on capture point 3, I’d re-think your routing options you have to stay alive to give your soldiers and scouts a chance.[/ia]
[ia][b]Extremer[/b]: On middle I mainly focus on doing as much damage as possible. I usually spam the enemy demoman at start, then get a few potshots on the scouts, put up some defensive stickies and spam the soldiers. However, you can't really have a set tactic all the time, you gotta improvise a bit sometimes. For example, if it's the enemy scouts that are causing your team the most trouble - you should focus on them the most. If it's the demo - spam some stickies at him and tell your soldier to finish him off.[/ia]
[ia][b]m0re[/b]: Lots of things tbh, as I've always been main caller for my teams. Trying to out damage enemy demo and get a sticky to one of the scouts and call where the enemies are coming. Same time calling aggressive or passive moves for our sollies/scouts and picking up targets from lonely/weak enemies.[/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]Bash[/b]: Play a lot. The only way you'll learn the positioning and gamesense you need for basic effectiveness in the game at a higher level is by playing with your team, DM skills will come with time, in fact many lower level demos have a pretty good grasp of them already as DM'ing at lower levels where enemies don't really shoot back yet is laughably easy. This also leads to many demos getting overly cocky, "I'm already top scoring, what else can I do?". That's something you want to avoid if you want to be a teamplayer.[/ia]
[ia][b]Extremer[/b]: Just play really. Demoman needs more tactical thinking and decision making than amazing aim. Of course, you need to have both if you want to be a top demoman. You could also watch a few demos of other demomen playing to learn the basics but everything besides that you'll have to find out by yourself.[/ia]
[ia][b]m0re[/b]: Remember that this is a team based game, try to focus on team play with scouts and sollies and focusing same targets with them. You're best as a damage dealer so you can make killing easy for other classes as well. I've seen lots of good deathmatchers who have failed to focus on team aspect on this game and from mid to high level thats all the diffrence.[/ia]
[ia][b]Byte[/b]: Every top demoman has a different way of learning how to improve and get to that “next” level. My TF2 learning curve was purely and entirely from public play. I learnt everything about demoman just by playing on public servers. The reason I did this was besides the obvious that public servers are usually 18/24/32 players meaning more carnage so more chance of death-matching. Public style gives and offers the game strategy of “expect the unexpected”. I’ve played a lot of public TF2 and I’m amazed as to when I see an engineer sticking a sg in a particular place, a sniper sniping in the weirdest of places, a heavy weapons crouched in an odd corner. This may of seemed odd at the time but when I think through as to why the enemy is there, it opens up my mind as to what to anticipate and makes me more aware.
However this is one side to improving, the other side is to watch src tv demos of how other top demomen play. A champion never learns by himself he/she has to learn from someone else.[/ia]
[iq]What do you do to improve your pipe aim?[/iq]
[ia][b]Bash[/b]: I play 20-30 minutes of TF2DM on most days I have some official match coming up, but it's only really to warm up. I don't think there's much I can do about it; I've played for hundreds of hours, I'm fairly certain I know how the hit a grenade at this point, so right now it's all about being in the right mindset. Over thinking it or panicking will give you bad results, as does randomly spamming towards the enemy. I just try to keep aiming and and not thinking too much about it.[/ia]
[ia][b]Byte[/b]: I don’t have pipe aim: D. All I’ve noticed with my own pipe aim is that if I’m not calling on mumble for my team my pipe aim improves dramatically if I start calling then it’s worse than a div 6 player :D. But on a serious note best ways again is playing with your team medic or find a medic and go round on a public server and death-match versus endless amount of enemies. Each enemy has a unique way of strafing and moving such that if you keep practicing against 18 odd players to improve your aim you will eventually inherit solid aim.[/ia]
[ia][b]Extremer[/b]: I don't practice or think about it at all, seems to be working so far.[/ia]
[ia][b]m0re[/b]: I've played demoman since qwtf so I'm taking it lazy and just believing in my old skills !:D[/ia]
[iq]Your favorite and least favorite maps to play on as a demo?[/iq]
[ia][b]Bash[/b]: My favourite would be badlands for obvious reasons, the best jump pattern, the most options for different things to do, the most balanced. Really not much to say that everyone doesn't already know. I can't stand well, it's truly baffling why we still play it after all this time, it allows none of the interesting gameplay that I look for in this game and cultivates a playing style that can only be detrimental to the game. Generally I think all maps we currently play are in a similar quality range, with badlands way above the rest and well way down below.[/ia]
[ia][b]Byte[/b]: 1st – Dustbowl – I am Mr. Dustbowl.
2nd – Badlands - due to its aerial, elevation and speed.
3rd – Obscure - ^_^[/ia]
[ia][b]Extremer[/b]: My favourite would be Badlands because it's still fresh even after playing for about a thousand times. My least favourite is Obscure. The demos role in that map is basically put a stickytrap, move forward, put another stickytrap. That might be fun to some (hi byte!) but I just can't stand it.[/ia]
[ia][b]m0re[/b]: My favourites would be gravelpit and badlands. Fastlane being one of the shittiest I've ever had to endure.[/ia]
[iq]The NA teams tend to let their demos roam a lot further from the medic than the Euros do. Why do you think the Euro strategy is the more efficient demo strategy to run?[/iq]
[ia][b]Bash[/b]: This is a debate I think has more to do with the NA pocket/roamer fetish than anything, a system which doesn't even exist in top level EU TF2. None of the teams I have played with have had a dedicated pocket/roamer setup, and I know most of the other Euro top teams don't run such setups either. It's a pointless, overly rigid system that grants too much heals to one person who doesn't need half of it. The way NA players look for pockets where there are none is very odd, actually.
Here's a couple of examples to demonstrate: In stalemate situations (and situations where you're not quite ready to push but are "testing the waters" for weakness) more often than not, you want the demoman up front trying to get a pick due to him being able to do the most damage, which requires a lot of heals so giving anyone else the priority heals at that point is simply bad playing, not a matter of pockets or roamers. When pushing into an open area in most situations, soldiers work better jumping in and on the enemy team rather than running in painfully slowly, while the demo works best by running in and keeping a relative distance while unloading everything on the opponent. A medic will have to heal the demo until he reaches his soldiers, whether he wants to prioritise the demoman or not. North Americans, who can't help but to think of the whole game as a series of pockets and roamers, are quick to decide that euros play with pocket demos when in reality the fact that the demo gets a lot of heals in Europe is merely a matter of convenience and efficiency, and not a part of any set regime. In my opinion you need to play according to the situation, and one player being dedicated to one role and having the medic focus on mostly sticking to one person definitely makes it harder to respond quickly to changing opportunities. This game, when played correctly, is a game of offense > defense, a game where you need to abuse weaknesses and abuse them immediately as you see them. A pocket player does not fit into any of this.[/ia]
[ia][b]Byte[/b]: After watching the “top 3” demomen in the US, I was just shocked as to how they play. Not aim wise hell no their grenade aim is good and sticky sense is acceptable what shocked me was the demoman play style.
They say the EU medic’s “Pocket heal” the demoman, and there’s me thinking, err what? No the only reason it looks like pocket healing a demo is because of the style the US play the demoman class. It’s unbelievable how flimsy they treat the class. It’s the MOST powerful class by far, so why use it like a scout? Or a roaming soldier? I mean seriously you can make 200% more of an impact using the demoman’s ‘tools’ than just doing your own thing, ESPECIALLY since the nerf.
For some reason as well the US believes the soldier with enough or a good amount of heals can destroy or make the difference between two teams. No matter how much aim you have the amount of damage you do is no way near to what the demoman can offer. A soldier can’t offer you the security of an area unlike a demo a soldier can only do the same damage as a demoman with grenades thats excluding the fact that a demoman can sticky trap while doing this... The class is just overall way above soldier and this is why in the EU the demoman is important they realise what a difference his various different “tools” can achieve.
- Territory gaining
- Territory securing
- ‘Raining stickies’
- Mobility to chase an enemy with speed
- The only class that can stop a capture point without having to be on it
All these properties, if you compare that to the soldier you should notice a massive advantage to the demoman; yet the class is played like a solo scout? Why? A demoman counts as two players not one.
Bottom line is the EU take upon the demoman tools and try to use them as much as possible. A US demoman will tend to play much more solo and play a deathmatch role only. No territory gaining no game strategy.
As to why the US demoman do this? I don’t know, the demoman is in my view the most intelligent class next alongside the medic. Is it lack of intelligence? I highly doubt it because the US soldiers have a lot of game sense yet the demomen in the US don’t. So what’s changing the way a demoman is being played in the US?[/ia]
[ia][b]Extremer[/b]: Because the demoman is the most versatile class that can do the most damage. I've watched a few NA vs EU games and I noticed that NA demomen walk alone and usually get picked off by scouts (mind you, that was the Loaded/Pandemic vs Dignitas game which happened quite some time ago). I think that's just a complete waste. I'd rather have a bit more passive soldiers than a constantly dead demoman.[/ia]
[ia][b]m0re[/b]: I wouldn't say its so black and white that euros pocket demos more etc. Demomans potential is the damage dealing and giving support to other classes so this is what we are doing here in eu. Maybe we just outsmart you by reading this game far better ;)[/ia]
[iq]Thanks for interview guys, feel free to give some shoutouts if you like.[/iq]
[ia][b]Bash[/b]: Shoutout to dunc's mom.[/ia]
[ia][b]Byte[/b]: Shoutout goes to Papasma, Xman , Firdaws, Mausal, Psunfragga and Duke Nukem.[/ia]
[ia][b]Extremer[/b]: Shoutout to Mr. Greg Champagne.[/ia]
[ia][b]m0re[/b]: Shoutout to my boys agron, depch, hocz, snap and vallone. br0 love.[/ia]
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