There was an idea...to bring together a group of remarkable people to see if they could become something more. Following ESEA's announcement of its termination of support for TF2, questions arose regarding the future of North American TF2 with the region's most prestigious league leaving the scene. In pursuit of a direction going forward, Cat Agent organized a meeting between representatives from UGC, RGL, TFCL, ESL, ETF2L, and the New Beginnings team, additionally featuring veterans from the competitive scene.
The meeting began April 26, 9:30 EST. After some brief introductions, each league summarized their plans for the future and their qualifications to possibly bear at least part of ESEA's burden. These included possible LAN events, the addition or expansion of prize pools, and various other new endeavors. These statements were then compiled into a spreadsheet due to be released publicly in the near future.
From there, the subject moved to how the leagues can better cooperate to solidify the North American player base after ESEA's departure. One solution included sharing and consolidating player data between leagues, with the goal of eliminating sandbagging and unilaterally banning players. Another, which was resoundingly rejected, was to unify all leagues behind a front-runner as to avoid fracturing the player pool. The leagues instead opted to each pursue their own unique vision for the competitive scene, leaving the community to decide their ultimate fate.
The next major point of debate arose in the creation of a global committee of leagues to formally legislate and recommend proposed rules for competitive TF2, namely in ruleset, whitelist, and map pool. Scrutiny quickly arose over the particulars of such a system, specifically in the weight of player and community input. Ultimately, the topic was informally shelved.
Instead, the discussion quickly shifted to the question of expanding the map pool. The representatives agreed over the viability of many new maps being developed exclusively for the 6v6 meta and appeared open to introducing popular and well-tested new maps into league play.
Finally, the meeting concluded with a brainstorm on possible changes to the ESEA ruleset. Ideas including using win difference as opposed to win limit, removing the two half system, changing the server time limit, and changing the win limit were proposed, with the representatives placing particular emphasis on promoting fair and engaging competition.
Eventually, the meeting concluded at precisely 1:00 AM EST, with the group being open to future meetings.
A few participants were willing to give their overall impressions of their first league round-table conference.
I think the meeting went well, albeit long. Leagues were able to discuss their plans for the future, expected timelines and prizepools. There was also much discussion around minor changes to league structures that I found interesting. I look forward to announcing our paid and free traditional sixes league in the near future and to working with established community members to help hone our rulesets, whitelist and league structure.
Cat Agent (UGC):
I think that coming out of this meeting, a lot of us, including UGC, will work on our own paths on what we need to do to help the Team Fortress 2 community strive with what we have and how we can help the community at large. I'm looking forward on the outcome of this meeting and everyone involved as I hope all parties involved will walk away with something to help everyone out in the long run.
mitch (ESL Play):
The meeting went better than I expected it would; we got a lot out of it. There are several leagues in the works at the moment, all looking very promising. I hope that they will continue to communicate in the hope we can maintain and improve the North American scene. We will provide our own statement regarding ESL in the coming months.
I really think the meeting was great. It went much better than I thought it might, and though it went off track on multiple occasions, we ended up having some good discussion, and I feel like we're going to have several good leagues battling it out to become "the best." Whichever one gets there in the end is ultimately up to the community at large.