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Reflecting on UGC's Season 32 whitelist experiment
posted in News
ire
December 29, 2020

For Season 32 of their Highlander league announced that they'd be unbanning every weapon sans the Diamondback. Now as their seasons in NA, EU, SA, and APAC have concluded, we're left wondering what comes next for the league and the community. So we sat down with UGC Head TF2 Admin reno, to see the league's take on it all.

TEAMFORTRESS.TV: Why did UGC elect to run these test changes for the season?

reno: Unbanning weapons was something I’ve wanted to try for a long time but it’s a bit difficult when everyone is so used to essentially the same whitelist. One of the biggest reasons I opted to do these changes was because i wanted to see if it was possible in general. TF2 has always been the same with little change for years and years and it got to a point where i thought to myself that hey, maybe the community could use something different and show to other people that it’s possible... possible to add new maps, etc. The community is so scared of change and anything new and before I made these changes I was nervous of backlash, but honestly I received more praise.

Another reason is because for the past few seasons, people came to me personally about unbanning weapons. Someone gave me a very good case as to why I should unban the weapons, which was: “it makes it easier for newer people to adapt from pub to competitive” and I agreed. Also from past pollings people have mentioned they wanted certain weapons unbanned so I pulled the trigger for them all. Except the diamondback, we genuinely felt that weapon is... too much.

Lastly, it was a way to differentiate ourselves from RGL, we were essentially the same; map list and white list, therefore the new whitelist put us apart.

My end goal was to show that change can be made, because the Tf2 comp scene is molded around a lot of veteran’s who don’t like much change. I think the best way to keep everything fresh is to introduce new things, new maps, changes, and I’m glad I did this change because it opened my eyes that the world won’t fall apart if something is unbanned. After years of being an admin and watching our presence at UGC decline, all I can do is throw darts at a board and see what sticks. I’m very open to feedback and always looking for opportunities to grow UGC and the comp community

TEAMFORTRESS.TV: Seeing how this season's gone, do you see UGC running more of these experimental seasons in the future?

reno: Yes, likely! We usually keep anything “experimental” for the summer season , it’s usually when new things are introduced and tested. This next season won’t have anything “new” or experimental only because our staff is small and we have all been very busy with the holidays and school. I am very interested in doing more tests in the future and to possibly add other leagues like BBall etc... when we have the time we might look to arrange an experimental cup.

TEAMFORTRESS.TV: While playing in the season was there any change that really stood out to you?

reno: Well, disclaimer for me... my team came in second place so there is a possibility I didn’t notice because we won matches.

I didn’t see a difference- I played scout. But the class I saw that had the most notable change and reaction to this was actually snipers. It’s like the sniper mains became excited and flocked back from the unbans, and I can’t really tell you if it affected me or not since I’m not really around snipers as the scout. There was never a moment where the other team complained they lost because of a weapon, and vise versa. I actually found most of the time, even with the unlocks people still played standard Highlander setups. I really have to wait and see what the polls have to say, but I don’t think NA had an issue. I do know that Asia had a huge issue with the unlocks and are possibly leaving the league, we have to discuss a new NA/ASIA whitelist later...

I did notice a lot of team fights were won because of milk throws so there’s that advantage but nothing was honestly too over powered. The other weapon I think people are weird about is the short circuit on payload, but again pretty easy to counter if you’re smart. I’d like to maybe experiment with a koth/pl/cp whitelist but I’m also afraid it might be too much for people.

TEAMFORTRESS.TV: Did you have anything you wanted to add?

reno: Before this season when I unbanned everything, I genuinely thought it was going to be a madhouse in game. I signed up this season because as the admin that made this decision, it’s only fair I test it personally. I think this taught me that the community is capable of change and even if something is different, you can still have a fun and serious atmosphere. I extend the idea to other leagues to try something new, because I gained something positive out of it! (At least, until I hear the feedback from the polls lol)

UGC will be releasing a post-season poll to see how they proceed into the future, so share your thoughts to shape the coming seasons! Congratulations to the season winners Super Dickmann's KANNONEN!, Thunderstorm, Dream Hunters, Ambulas, and Suck a Thick One.

1
#1
7 Frags +

Thank you again to reno for their time on this interview. Going forward I want to try and cover more HL news on the site, so look forward to that.

Thank you again to reno for their time on this interview. Going forward I want to try and cover more HL news on the site, so look forward to that.
2
#2
0 Frags +

honestly did not see a lot of people experimenting with the new whitelist, as if not wanting to rock the boat.

honestly did not see a lot of people experimenting with the new whitelist, as if not wanting to rock the boat.
3
#3
1 Frags +

Crit a Cola ubers

Crit a Cola ubers
4
#4
0 Frags +
wishCrit a Cola ubers

literally kept mentioning that idea with my scout and we just never got around to doing it, literally just stuck to the norm for the most part. I think the only thing I really noticed was a few matches dealing with jarate.

[quote=wish]Crit a Cola ubers[/quote]

literally kept mentioning that idea with my scout and we just never got around to doing it, literally just stuck to the norm for the most part. I think the only thing I really noticed was a few matches dealing with jarate.
5
#5
0 Frags +

Was absolute aids to play against Jarate, Mad Milk, Machina and especially Short Circuit. I never got behind on why you'd think DB is too good but unban those weapons. Was a good idea to do it once to test but I'll defo never play this shit ever again.

Was absolute aids to play against Jarate, Mad Milk, Machina and especially Short Circuit. I never got behind on why you'd think DB is too good but unban those weapons. Was a good idea to do it once to test but I'll defo never play this shit ever again.
6
#6
UGC
7 Frags +

thank you for the interview, ire! It was a pleasure speaking.

thank you for the interview, ire! It was a pleasure speaking.
7
#7
-29 Frags +

Not sure if this is a hot take, but if reno and everyone else over at UGC genuinely cared about the health of the scene, they would close their doors. By continuing to exist, UGC splits the playerbase and discourages players from migrating to a much more competitive, higher quality league.

Not sure if this is a hot take, but if reno and everyone else over at UGC genuinely cared about the health of the scene, they would close their doors. By continuing to exist, UGC splits the playerbase and discourages players from migrating to a much more competitive, higher quality league.
8
#8
11 Frags +

playing in UGC in no way prevents you from also playing RGL.

playing in UGC in no way prevents you from also playing RGL.
9
#9
18 Frags +
-waxNot sure if this is a hot take

this is a hot take

[quote=-wax]Not sure if this is a hot take[/quote]

this is a hot take
10
#10
8 Frags +
-wax

How absolutely mentally deficient do you have to be to believe that reducing the available options to play competitive TF2 in any way benefits the growth or longevity of competitive TF2?

[quote=-wax][/quote]

How absolutely mentally deficient do you have to be to believe that reducing the available options to play competitive TF2 in any way benefits the growth or longevity of competitive TF2?
11
#11
0 Frags +
-waxNot sure if this is a hot take, but if reno and everyone else over at UGC genuinely cared about the health of the scene, they would close their doors. By continuing to exist, UGC splits the playerbase and discourages players from migrating to a much more competitive, higher quality league.

most people that play ugc are teams that dont scrim, newbie teams that play both RGL and UGC, or like what I did, a team for backups who are not needed sunday nights. Now if they didnt revert the match day back to sunday from monday, then yea I would agree on this. But in the end, they switched back. So its really just in the end a extra thing for anyone wanting to do something on side. However maybe this effects more with HL outside NA, I really cant comment on that.

[quote=-wax]Not sure if this is a hot take, but if reno and everyone else over at UGC genuinely cared about the health of the scene, they would close their doors. By continuing to exist, UGC splits the playerbase and discourages players from migrating to a much more competitive, higher quality league.[/quote]

most people that play ugc are teams that dont scrim, newbie teams that play both RGL and UGC, or like what I did, a team for backups who are not needed sunday nights. Now if they didnt revert the match day back to sunday from monday, then yea I would agree on this. But in the end, they switched back. So its really just in the end a extra thing for anyone wanting to do something on side. However maybe this effects more with HL outside NA, I really cant comment on that.
12
#12
2 Frags +
-waxNot sure if this is a hot take, but if reno and everyone else over at UGC genuinely cared about the health of the scene, they would close their doors. By continuing to exist, UGC splits the playerbase and discourages players from migrating to a much more competitive, higher quality league.

if they didnt genuinely care about the scene they wouldnt be putting in this much of their time in it to begin with. the implication you're making is that they dont actually care for the health of the scene. i dont know how new u are but its been known for a long time now its basically impossible to profit off this game and no other incentive outweighs that, this is all community service.
edit: wait ur actually just a highlander player, all makes sense now

[quote=-wax]Not sure if this is a hot take, but if reno and everyone else over at UGC genuinely cared about the health of the scene, they would close their doors. By continuing to exist, UGC splits the playerbase and discourages players from migrating to a much more competitive, higher quality league.[/quote]
if they didnt genuinely care about the scene they wouldnt be putting in this much of their time in it to begin with. the implication you're making is that they dont actually care for the health of the scene. i dont know how new u are but its been known for a long time now its basically impossible to profit off this game and no other incentive outweighs that, this is all community service.
edit: wait ur actually just a highlander player, all makes sense now
13
#13
4 Frags +

I can see why this was done, as UGC highlander in NA isn't at all reflective of the skill of highlander teams. It does seem to be more of a "pub player" form of highlander, as anyone that actually intends on competing in highlander in NA just plays RGL. Weapon bans had always been pushed by silver-plat level players, and this trend continues in RGL HL, so it's not a surprise that when none of them play UGC anymore that the desire for weapon bans goes away. (This take is purely relevant for NA, idk how seriously EU/AS highlander takes UGC)

I can see why this was done, as UGC highlander in NA isn't at all reflective of the skill of highlander teams. It does seem to be more of a "pub player" form of highlander, as anyone that actually intends on competing in highlander in NA just plays RGL. Weapon bans had always been pushed by silver-plat level players, and this trend continues in RGL HL, so it's not a surprise that when none of them play UGC anymore that the desire for weapon bans goes away. (This take is purely relevant for NA, idk how seriously EU/AS highlander takes UGC)
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