The NA Invite Top 100 is a project merging history and shenanigans with the purpose of highlighting some of the best players in North American TF2 history. Access the hub post here to view outlines, honorable mentions, and previous reveals. Tune in every Monday and Friday for the next release!
As with most things, I fell into patterns and habits while constructing the various drafts. Medics seem to be sprinkled in periodically (again despite knowing that they are so different from combat classes) and super boomers tended to start a range, like alexwut, yaug, and now DESTRO. This Demoman spent his entire five season career with Evil Geniuses, and was naturally active before ESEA. EG got 4th in the opening ESEA season before jumping into Invite, where they amassed a 40-8 regular season record over the next three seasons. In that stretch they also secured two 2nd place finishes. In S3, DESTRO became the first player to get 60+ frags in a match
with 64. This was a record for five seasons and by the end of the league only three other players would ever surpass that number. During his first two seasons DESTRO led all Demomen in frags and furthermore was top three for the whole division. We may not have damage statistics from the early seasons but if you average 61.6 frags per hour like he did in S4, you're doing something right.
Surprisingly, showstopper started Soldiering in ESEA Season 3. He did not return to league play for two years until S11, and eventually made his way to Invite with Ding Dong Daddy in S17. After two seasons, he signed with Street Hoops eSports in a post-LAN world. During his debut 20b season, showstopper had the 5th highest FPH of all Soldiers (ignoring zilly who recorded a single kill in eight seconds of gameplay) and the 4th lowest DPH. Then when they rebranded to TeamSoloUber, that led to the fated lower bracket finals matchup with froyotech where TSU would come up on top 2-1, creating 3rd place b4nny. In RGL S2 with 100 Beasts, they would be the first in the league to defeat froyotech in a regular season game, and as of present day are just one of three teams to do so in the RGL Era. He was a spiritual successor to enoryt in that his streams were always a fun time
, no matter what
was going on.
cozen is another player who has used multiple accounts in ESEA, making my life extra difficult because I had his original write-up completed without that knowledge. On one hand his career numbers are not properly displayed. On the other hand, his main account nearly encapsulates his Invite run excluding a season of Main (amd half a season of Soldier in IM). Furthermore, he's the first casualty of the data-collecting system, since in S19 he played for Street Hoops eSports in playoffs and only playoffs. That aside, we have to talk about cozen's rookie season. He had the lowest DPH of any Medic paired with the 2nd most ubers and helped 20b reach LAN. At said LAN, he had some memorable moments
and impressed a lot of people. Hell, he certainly impressed Exertus eSports, who would pick him up for their S17 campaign in which they recorded a perfect regular season. cozen's got solid stats, has a perfect game
, is LAN verified, and is only "held back" by not playing more. He'll be the last Medic we'll see for a while, so you fragging class enjoyers can relax.
From here on out there aren't too many players with around five or fewer seasons played, but that's where we find tri now. He played five straight seasons smack-dab in the middle of the Golden Era, making LAN in all but one of them. The original High Rollers Gaming made playoffs in their debut appearance (S10) so tri joins cozen and several other members in that regard. He'd then go on to play for Chess Club and his eponymous tri hards, landing 3rd with the latter for the first time in four attempts. tri was one of the earliest Soldiers to experiment with Gunboats on pocket Soldier, so he played a major hand in shaping the style of Soldier we see today. While not a factor in his positioning, it's worth noting tri did go on to serve as head admin for ESEA TF2 after his playing days, doing so until the league dropped the game in early 2019.
Even before ESEA, oPlaiD had a presence at the top levels on teams like Pandemic, and that train of success didn't stop once ESEA began hosting TF2. His achievements include 2nd in S2 Open and 3rd in S3 Invite with compLexity, followed by four consecutive LAN appearances with Blight Gaming - including a 1st place finish during S6 with the likes of Platinum and mesr. Even at the tail-end of his playing time, he was still a perennial playoffs member on teams like The Experiment and srsly br0. In the first-ever ESEA Invite season, oPlaiD was #6 overall in frags, and #1 for Scouts. He tied carnage with a 51.2 frags per hour statistic that was best in the class. In his S6 championship run, he was #6 in frags again but more importantly dominated on Heavy with a division-leading 47.4 FPH. That's the kind of statistical excellence we like to see.
Like aim, marmaloo has not been playing much of RGL Invite. The first and only season of RGL of his was on Dorsia S3, getting 4th. The active portion of his career was from ESEA S23 and S30, making playoffs six times (although playing only five). His best stretch started in S27 with three consecutive 2nd place finishes on Ascent and FROYO BLACK
. marmaloo had the 4th highest FPH of all Soldiers in S27 and S29, with the former season being quite spectacular considering he was playing roamer. I don't know if underrated is the correct word to describe him, but I'll use it for lack of a better option in my tiny brain. Oh and there was an RGL season where marmaloo flirted with the idea of playing Demoman if I'm not mistaken, but that didn't come to fruition. If it had, he'd have been the first Soldier / Demo hybrid on the list. He may have actually played some matches on the demolitions class but thanks to RGL it's a huge hassle to check how many. Since he played Soldier for playoffs I got lazy and called it a day for his data.
Of course someone named SolidSnake would be a Demoman main, it just makes too much sense. Random tidbit, SolidSnake has never lost on Gravel Pit or Viaduct in his lifetime (6-0 on each), though he doesn't hold the ESEA records for either map. In two Invite seasons with loaded, he went 23-9. In the next two seasons with compLexity, he went 25-7. He won the very first season of ESEA. SolidSnake is also part of this quirky club of five that won back-to-back Invite titles with two different teams. The core of S4 loaded jumped over to compLexity for S5. Might be a technicality of sorts, but I kept it since loaded did field a roster in S5 so it wasn't like that roster died or anything. SolidSnake never returned to Invite after S6, despite playing the equivalent of three and a half more seasons so he will rest just past the first half of the rankings.
From a Metal Gear alias to someone who simply used their first name, the rollercoaster of the Top 100 continues. justin played in the first six seasons of the LAN era, making it five times in a row. From Pandemic to Blight Gaming to The Experiment, he was a permanent fixture in the postseason. He also flashed some versatility during S7 for compLexity, playing Demoman as the team finished 2nd. The meat and potatoes of justin is of course his Sniper. In every season (outside of S7) he would routinely rank in either the top three for Sniper kills or top two in Sniper frags per hour, usually both. During the Blight season, justin averaged a league-best 56.3 FPH on Sniper. Only carnage's 49.3 was even within the same solar system. Even when he returned in S13 with Fully Torqued, justin showed he was still more than capable of hitting insane shots
on the pick class.
The aptly named boomer is up next, and is one of the feel-good zero-to-hero stories of TF2 lore. His first three seasons saw him bounce between Demo and Soldier on struggling teams like Apocalypse Gaming, The Spacewhales, and Snooplicity. He was 3rd in Soldier frags while being 6th in FPH during his S9 campaign, but we're here for S11's srsly br0. After starting the season with a nailbiting 5-4 loss to the eventual #1 seed Mihalys Flow, boomer would rocket off to a 13-3 regular season record and his first of four straight playoffs appearances. While he was only 7th for Soldier frags, he had 44.7 FPH which was 5th best in class. At his first LAN, he kept up that pace and along with blaze had an amazing LR1 series against Flow, including a Granary display
that eliminated the top seed from championship contention. Statistically, his S12 LAN with Spacewhales (same br0 lineup with clockwork in for oPlaid) was even better, with boomer and company taking the most rounds off that legendary Classic Mixup team. After stints with Chess Club and tri hards, boomer would become the first player to play on LAN as every combat class.
There are memes about corsa saying that he acquired wealth, but what he really acquired was a thirst for frags. For individual match records, corsa is one of just four players to ever drop 60+ frags multiple times, doing so in Seasons 25
. Jumping up to an entire season, sixteen players in ESEA history have led Invite in frags. Of those, eight of them have done so multiple times in their career. Then there's corsa, who is the only player that's been a frag leader four times. All time corsa ranks #5 in career frags at 6,836 of them, with 49.5 FPH. Here are the Invite players in the top 15 leaderboard with a higher FPH stat: slemnish, clockwork, b4nny. That's the list. I could talk about corsa's fragging power all day, but instead let's pivot to something more whimsical and open-ended. Many "what if" scenarios exist in TF2 lore, but the one that comes to mind here is what if he got to keep playing with froyotech? Would he have carved out a similar career to arekk? We'll never know. After corsa, there are only three players left who have never won Invite. Have fun guessing who they are.
We have reached the top 40, and the official "tryhard" segment of the project. As I introduced in the Hub Post, remember that creating a list that satisfies everyone is impossible because of different criteria, opinions, and of course bias. The previous 60 members are all still incredible players and have their own stories and legacy. If this was a tier list / grading system, I'd argue heavily that everyone we've seen would all (roughly) be the same tier or graded within decimal points of each other. But now we move on. If I spent two hours placing the previous 60 players, I might have spent...let's just say way more for everyone here on out. Fully expect discussion and comments to heat up with this intel, but stay well-mannered. Seeyou in a few days as we begin the final stretch.
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