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A follow up on opinion articles
posted in News
Recurse
October 23, 2019

Yesterday, The Ballad of FroYaoTech, the first opinion article on teamfortress.tv in years, was published. Now that everyone has had time to digest that article, I think it is a good time to discuss what it means for teamfortress.tv as a news platform moving forward.

As it should be evident, that opinion piece was an experiment – a test to see how the people would react to a different kind of content. While there were some things that succeeded and others that failed, more importantly, there were lessons that will allow us as an organization to make better content moving forward.

To begin, some context may be in order. The longer I wrote for teamfortress.tv, the more disappointed I grew with the state of our news platform. It quickly grew stale to write about roster changes for the upteenth time, and it seemed that everyone knew the roster changes we reported on long before we published. Over the seasons, I tried to fix this by improving our workflow: proactively asking teams about their LFPs, monitoring logs.tf pages, and requesting that players keep us in the loop. Nevertheless, the process of writing, procrastinating, begging for quotes, and editing could not compare to the speed and transparency that Twitch streams and social media can offer. It seemed pointless. As a result, I, along with other writers and editors, have been interested in expanding our content; when I got word that eXtine was writing his piece (wholly independently of teamfortress.tv), I was inspired by the opinion sections of legitimate news publications and offered him a chance to publish it as an op-ed.

It is at this point I would like to acknowledge the concerns regarding that particular piece, because as soon as I made this offer, I began to second-guess myself. I grew worried that that particular article would be an improper reintroduction to the first teamfortress.tv editorial in five years. The topic was sensitive, and, in retrospect, the writing perhaps didn’t live up to quality standards (sorry eXtine). Regardless of one’s opinions towards the actual argument made within the piece itself, these are relevant and valid criticisms. After a few hours of pondering, I was about as divided over this issue as that article's comments section, and when I reached out to the writing staff, they were equally divided. Nevertheless, as is plainly evident, I eventually made the decision to move forward with the publication.

The logic is as follows. Announcing op-eds in theory is all well and good, but the barrier between theory and action has long been an intractable one. While eXtine’s article was not perfect, it presented a prime opportunity to break down this barrier and to experiment with something new. With publication comes feedback, and with feedback comes iteration, and with iteration comes improvement. Now, we are at the point where we can discuss concretely the merits and flaws of what has been created, and not what could be created.

I welcome and appreciate the candid feedback in that thread, which I believe could not have occurred without that publication. I am pleased to see a positive reception to opinion articles as a concept, and to a lesser extent new content in general, and it is great to see that the community is able to discuss serious, and perhaps taboo, issues in a constructive and cordial manner. I also recognize the concerns people have regarding that particular article, as mentioned above, and will take steps to resolve them moving forward.

Opinion articles will be here to stay, but will have regulations informed by the community feedback. Topics will be restricted to articles that “inform on topics and/or foster relevant discussion that can improve the competitive TF2 community.” These articles will be reviewed by active teamfortress.tv writers to ensure they are held to the same content and stylistic quality standards that all other articles follow. Beyond these two guidelines, any potential future articles will not need to resemble eXtine's in any way.

Moreover, as a consequence of this experiment, further ideas for new types of content have been suggested among our internal staff, so expect to see some of those come into fruition in the near future.

Any constructive feedback regarding the eXtine article or any of the content in this post is welcome and will be taken into account. My only goal as current editor-in-chief is to do what is best for the competitive community, and that is not possible without feedback.

If you are interested in writing an opinion article for teamfortress.tv, feel free to contact me directly through Steam, Discord, or PMs. I'm sure contacting any active teamfortress.tv staff member on Discord would work too, but I can't speak on their behalf.

1
#1
eXtelevision
22 Frags +

I begin my eXpositions series on /r/truetf2 because I think there is plenty of room in TF2 for these sort of editorial and opinion pieces. Previous to the piece mentioned in this article I wrote about supporting the LAN scene and the end of ESEA. I look forward to reading whatever the teamfortress.tv staff and other guest writers cook up.

I begin my eXpositions series on /r/truetf2 because I think there is plenty of room in TF2 for these sort of editorial and opinion pieces. Previous to the piece mentioned in this article I wrote about supporting the LAN scene and the end of ESEA. I look forward to reading whatever the teamfortress.tv staff and other guest writers cook up.
2
#2
19 Frags +

As long as you hold the opinion pieces to a high standard, I'd love to see more opinion pieces since I agree that roster changes get boring after a while.

As long as you hold the opinion pieces to a high standard, I'd love to see more opinion pieces since I agree that roster changes get boring after a while.
3
#3
39 Frags +

If anyone is interested in reading things about actual tf2 gameplay but that are nonetheless extremely opinionated and honest I’d prolly be down to try it

If anyone is interested in reading things about actual tf2 gameplay but that are nonetheless extremely opinionated and honest I’d prolly be down to try it
4
#4
5 Frags +
mustardoverlordIf anyone is interested in reading things about actual tf2 gameplay but that are nonetheless extremely opinionated and honest I’d prolly be down to try it

pls let mustard do this

also consider bringing back weekly/bi-weekly powerranking articles!

[quote=mustardoverlord]If anyone is interested in reading things about actual tf2 gameplay but that are nonetheless extremely opinionated and honest I’d prolly be down to try it[/quote]
pls let mustard do this


also consider bringing back weekly/bi-weekly powerranking articles!
5
#5
29 Frags +
dippidy
also consider bringing back weekly/bi-weekly powerranking articles!

Be The Change You Want To See

[quote=dippidy]

also consider bringing back weekly/bi-weekly powerranking articles![/quote]
Be The Change You Want To See
6
#6
16 Frags +
articleTopics will be restricted to articles that “inform on topics and/or foster relevant discussion that can improve the competitive TF2 community."

This will prob be the most important thing. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think a lot of people will care about "I feel x about y because of z" unless they have a unique or interesting perspective on the information stated. If it's just a random opinion from someone who happens to be a writer, then more people will just not read it. Which is fine I guess, but obviously not the goal.

[quote=article]Topics will be restricted to articles that “inform on topics and/or foster relevant discussion that can improve the competitive TF2 community."[/quote]

This will prob be the most important thing. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think a lot of people will care about "I feel x about y because of z" unless they have a unique or interesting perspective on the information stated. If it's just a random opinion from someone who happens to be a writer, then more people will just not read it. Which is fine I guess, but obviously not the goal.
7
#7
6 Frags +

Personally, I think that weekly/bi-weekly powerrankings is a bit too much and that would turn them pretty stale pretty fast unless you make them into hot take central. I think some power rankings are still very cool at the beginning of a season, and I have a fair amount of new articles ideas to change things up a bit.

Regarding EU, both me and dempsey do not play at a high level nor have we been around for a really long time, so if you're like some big-brained genius that likes to speak about the tactical aspect of the game or you're an old person looking to reminisce about the good old days, I would be very interested in getting you on board. (also i need more people to do match writeups because I don't do my share.)

Personally, I think that weekly/bi-weekly powerrankings is a bit too much and that would turn them pretty stale pretty fast unless you make them into hot take central. I think some power rankings are still very cool at the beginning of a season, and I have a fair amount of new articles ideas to change things up a bit.

Regarding EU, both me and dempsey do not play at a high level nor have we been around for a really long time, so if you're like some big-brained genius that likes to speak about the tactical aspect of the game or you're an old person looking to reminisce about the good old days, I would be very interested in getting you on board. (also i need more people to do match writeups because I don't do my share.)
8
#8
6 Frags +

Nice to see that you guys have some ideas already, it will hopefully make the seasons between lans a bit more interesting. It’s nice to know a little bit about each team I think and not just have every grand final be essentially ‘these 6 players vs these 6 players’. Hopefully it will give the casters a few talking points in casts as well.

Nice to see that you guys have some ideas already, it will hopefully make the seasons between lans a bit more interesting. It’s nice to know a little bit about each team I think and not just have every grand final be essentially ‘these 6 players vs these 6 players’. Hopefully it will give the casters a few talking points in casts as well.
9
#9
4 Frags +
mustardoverlordIf anyone is interested in reading things about actual tf2 gameplay but that are nonetheless extremely opinionated and honest I’d prolly be down to try it

this is mostly what i want and have been surprised not to see much of anywhere. i remember war took a stab at some high-level gameplay tutorials and i found them really helpful

[quote=mustardoverlord]If anyone is interested in reading things about actual tf2 gameplay but that are nonetheless extremely opinionated and honest I’d prolly be down to try it[/quote]
this is mostly what i want and have been surprised not to see much of anywhere. i remember war took a stab at some high-level gameplay tutorials and i found them really helpful
10
#10
6 Frags +

Op-eds are something that I find really exciting for the future of tf.tv, but as aelkyr mentioned I'm (relatively) new to the community and do not play at a Premiership or Div 1 level myself. So if anyone has an idea on an article they'd like to write or co-write with me, please feel free to reach out :)

Op-eds are something that I find really exciting for the future of tf.tv, but as aelkyr mentioned I'm (relatively) new to the community and do not play at a Premiership or Div 1 level myself. So if anyone has an idea on an article they'd like to write or co-write with me, please feel free to reach out :)
11
#11
5 Frags +

i also liked when commanderx did a top 4 of each class and role at i58 i think? or maybe i55? those were rly fun to read so maybe doing something(cause its prolly a fuck ton of work) like that for each season could be interesting

i also liked when commanderx did a top 4 of each class and role at i58 i think? or maybe i55? those were rly fun to read so maybe doing something(cause its prolly a fuck ton of work) like that for each season could be interesting
12
#12
11 Frags +

You do not need to police yourselves to some standard of bland, marketing-like writing or sports news reporting. Write about anything you like that's TF2 related, and state your opinions. Even for people like me who disagreed with eXtine having those available is still good and stirs the community. Better than having the same memes under every roster news.

You do not need to police yourselves to some standard of bland, marketing-like writing or sports news reporting. Write about anything you like that's TF2 related, and state your opinions. Even for people like me who disagreed with eXtine having those available is still good and stirs the community. Better than having the same memes under every roster news.
13
#13
3 Frags +

Not to repeat what's already been said by dempsey or Aelkyr, but absolutely reach out if you're interested in (co-)writing (and ideally have a draft) a piece. For a while, I've thought more op-eds (or generally articles of that nature) would be great for TFTV, so if you have an idea, reach out

Not to repeat what's already been said by dempsey or Aelkyr, but absolutely reach out if you're interested in (co-)writing (and ideally have a draft) a piece. For a while, I've thought more op-eds (or generally articles of that nature) would be great for TFTV, so if you have an idea, reach out
14
#14
2 Frags +

to the point that people wouldn't necessarily want to see an opinion about an event, I don't think that's necessarily true. Not everyone constantly knows what's going on, and piecing it together from a 6-page thread with some weird-ass title isn't fun for people that aren't terminally online. Having a well-thought out, well-written bit about it could be beneficial.

to the point that people wouldn't necessarily want to see an opinion about an event, I don't think that's necessarily true. Not everyone constantly knows what's going on, and piecing it together from a 6-page thread with some weird-ass title isn't fun for people that aren't terminally online. Having a well-thought out, well-written bit about it could be beneficial.
15
#15
2 Frags +

always willing to look at stuff if i'm free, I know this particular article was maybe not the best choice but i'm excited to see the remut of content offered here expand, and ultimatley if you don't like it, don't read it.

always willing to look at stuff if i'm free, I know this particular article was maybe not the best choice but i'm excited to see the remut of content offered here expand, and ultimatley if you don't like it, don't read it.
16
#16
4 Frags +

Dear god anything that gets us talking about something other than the state of tf2 so i can stop being so tempted to drink the bleach i soak my hair in

Dear god anything that gets us talking about something other than the state of tf2 so i can stop being so tempted to drink the bleach i soak my hair in
17
#17
-8 Frags +
samifaceDear god anything that gets us talking about something other than the state of tf2 so i can stop being so tempted to drink the bleach i soak my hair in

u wont do it pussy

[quote=samiface]Dear god anything that gets us talking about something other than the state of tf2 so i can stop being so tempted to drink the bleach i soak my hair in[/quote]

u wont do it pussy
18
#18
-1 Frags +
GetawhalesamifaceDear god anything that gets us talking about something other than the state of tf2 so i can stop being so tempted to drink the bleach i soak my hair in
u wont do it pussy

thats not funny.

also I'm all for more articles like this as long as they are unbiased and fact driven.

[quote=Getawhale][quote=samiface]Dear god anything that gets us talking about something other than the state of tf2 so i can stop being so tempted to drink the bleach i soak my hair in[/quote]

u wont do it pussy[/quote]

thats not funny.

also I'm all for more articles like this as long as they are unbiased and fact driven.
19
#19
6 Frags +
mustardoverlordIf anyone is interested in reading things about actual tf2 gameplay but that are nonetheless extremely opinionated and honest I’d prolly be down to try it

I don't really have same passion for TF2 anymore but back in the day these were some of my favourite things, starting back in like 2009-2011 or whenever with Power Rankings, pieces with contributions from lot of regular Prem players/commentators - Admirable was best at opinion pieces as he was unbiased and articulated well. VanillaTF2 was great to just put up an article about any topic, whether it was Prem 6s, Mid 6s, Highlander, etc etc.

They can also make a bigger difference then you think, one of the great compliments I had is I did a piece about "state of European HL and dominance of SNSD" where I criticised how EU HL had been managed compared to NA TF2 (though I was part of the management team so some of it was self-criticism) but also production and I remember being told by BlackOut Jon that it helped inspire BlackOutTV - Many other players tell me some articles I wrote inspire them to contribute to the community too. Though my content used to range from serious, to controversial to damn right silly or just trolling (UGC days in particular), some of it very immature but reflects my age really. It's embarassing to read now but at the time, people enjoyed it and I think making the point to directly criticise UGC Admins who were way out line at the time was important.

It does make me go back to 2009 and seeing likes of eXtine do eXtv and commentate and you think "I can do this" or "wouldn't it be great if we had more content like this regular, live streams and so forth?" Of course nowadays streaming is normal part of TF2, but back in the day every article / contribution was an influx of activity that allowed the community to be alive. I always think the day TF2 dies is the day there is an unlock discussion and everyone agrees or stops caring. I may be of the opinion adapting to unlocks is better than complaining about their effect on the game but it doesn't change the pure fact that disagreements = passion to the game. Everyone I ever argued with online was passionate about TF2, and that is the main thing. It's also why outside the competition, you can be friends with vast majority of people or at least share a drink and a conversation.

But the best articles were DJC when he wrote for MyGamingEdge, amazing mix of satire, comedy, opinion and it was mostly focused on performance of individuals. And speaking to DJC you'd learn he actually had a lot of respect for good players but man he did love to call it how he saw it. Admirable too. Even Kaidus back in the day. Good times for writing. Many more I forgotten but so many good articles, just remember to proof-read kids.

[quote=mustardoverlord]If anyone is interested in reading things about actual tf2 gameplay but that are nonetheless extremely opinionated and honest I’d prolly be down to try it[/quote]

I don't really have same passion for TF2 anymore but back in the day these were some of my favourite things, starting back in like 2009-2011 or whenever with Power Rankings, pieces with contributions from lot of regular Prem players/commentators - Admirable was best at opinion pieces as he was unbiased and articulated well. VanillaTF2 was great to just put up an article about any topic, whether it was Prem 6s, Mid 6s, Highlander, etc etc.

They can also make a bigger difference then you think, one of the great compliments I had is I did a piece about "state of European HL and dominance of SNSD" where I criticised how EU HL had been managed compared to NA TF2 (though I was part of the management team so some of it was self-criticism) but also production and I remember being told by BlackOut Jon that it helped inspire BlackOutTV - Many other players tell me some articles I wrote inspire them to contribute to the community too. Though my content used to range from serious, to controversial to damn right silly or just trolling (UGC days in particular), some of it very immature but reflects my age really. It's embarassing to read now but at the time, people enjoyed it and I think making the point to directly criticise UGC Admins who were way out line at the time was important.

It does make me go back to 2009 and seeing likes of eXtine do eXtv and commentate and you think "I can do this" or "wouldn't it be great if we had more content like this regular, live streams and so forth?" Of course nowadays streaming is normal part of TF2, but back in the day every article / contribution was an influx of activity that allowed the community to be alive. I always think the day TF2 dies is the day there is an unlock discussion and everyone agrees or stops caring. I may be of the opinion adapting to unlocks is better than complaining about their effect on the game but it doesn't change the pure fact that disagreements = passion to the game. Everyone I ever argued with online was passionate about TF2, and that is the main thing. It's also why outside the competition, you can be friends with vast majority of people or at least share a drink and a conversation.

But the best articles were DJC when he wrote for MyGamingEdge, amazing mix of satire, comedy, opinion and it was mostly focused on performance of individuals. And speaking to DJC you'd learn he actually had a lot of respect for good players but man he did love to call it how he saw it. Admirable too. Even Kaidus back in the day. Good times for writing. Many more I forgotten but so many good articles, [b]just remember to proof-read kids.[/b]
20
#20
6 Frags +
BrockGetawhalesamifaceDear god anything that gets us talking about something other than the state of tf2 so i can stop being so tempted to drink the bleach i soak my hair in
u wont do it pussy

thats not funny.

also I'm all for more articles like this as long as they are unbiased and fact driven.

Biased articles are kind of bread and butter of journalism, fact driven matters yes but if we as a community are supposed to be responding to opinion articles, part of the point is to use your own intelligence to decide if the "facts" presented (if any) are correct, or if the opinion has merit. Lot of opinion is based off of personal experience, that said me having 11k hours of TF2 presenting an opinion about state of TF2 has a bit more merit than someone with 1k hours, isn;t to say the 1k hour guy can produce a better argument and use better facts to present their argument, nor they are wrong and I am right, in fact it can be completely the opposite but experience = merit and as a reader you need to understand if the merit outweighs what is presented. As humans for example we psychologically respond to politicians who say things to get elected but in reality we have no meaningful insight, I think a good example if people who voted for Brexit hating NHS waiting times liking what they hear about the 35 million a week or whatever sent to the EU, but economist know it isn't that simple from an equilibrium stand point, but if you like what you hear your mind is made up without questioning merit.

Disagreeing is fine, but having independent thought is main lesson you can gain from reading someone elses thought because if you don't you turn into a forum of sheep, which is one of the issues with TF.TV when it starts witch hunting people.

[quote=Brock][quote=Getawhale][quote=samiface]Dear god anything that gets us talking about something other than the state of tf2 so i can stop being so tempted to drink the bleach i soak my hair in[/quote]

u wont do it pussy[/quote]

thats not funny.

also I'm all for more articles like this as long as they are unbiased and fact driven.[/quote]

Biased articles are kind of bread and butter of journalism, fact driven matters yes but if we as a community are supposed to be responding to opinion articles, part of the point is to use your own intelligence to decide if the "facts" presented (if any) are correct, or if the opinion has merit. Lot of opinion is based off of personal experience, that said me having 11k hours of TF2 presenting an opinion about state of TF2 has a bit more merit than someone with 1k hours, isn;t to say the 1k hour guy can produce a better argument and use better facts to present their argument, nor they are wrong and I am right, in fact it can be completely the opposite but experience = merit and as a reader you need to understand if the merit outweighs what is presented. As humans for example we psychologically respond to politicians who say things to get elected but in reality we have no meaningful insight, I think a good example if people who voted for Brexit hating NHS waiting times liking what they hear about the 35 million a week or whatever sent to the EU, but economist know it isn't that simple from an equilibrium stand point, but if you like what you hear your mind is made up without questioning merit.

Disagreeing is fine, but having independent thought is main lesson you can gain from reading someone elses thought because if you don't you turn into a forum of sheep, which is one of the issues with TF.TV when it starts witch hunting people.
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