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#34 Tagg: Why I "Quit" TF2 in Videos

thanks. amended.
E: It seemed that I had that initial spelling added to my dictionary because I am an actual brainlet.

posted 1 week ago
#32 Tagg: Why I "Quit" TF2 in Videos


  • I agree with a lot of what Tagg says, and personally I'm trying to distance myself from the scene for similar reasons.
  • The competitive scene is toxic. More than a substantial amount of people are incredibly discrimanatory or spread awful things about groups or individuals within the scene.
  • Volunteers are (perhaps unintentionally) taken for granted and the game has the tendency to have people burnout quickly and just picking new people up as replacements
  • In general, it's hard to justify putting effort into the scene, when you get nothing in return and people are rarely grateful outside of events.

I empathize a lot with this video, lots of what Tagg said in the video I can relate to (outside of the whole invite thing lol). Over time I've been trying to create distance between myself and the game/scene but it's almost like an addiction. I stopped enjoying the core game about a year and a half ago and planned to quit multiple times since then. Much like he mentioned in the video, I don't want this game to rule my life especially since more and more of my free time is being taken up by work. The only thing tying myself to this game at this point are friends and the fact it's quite easy to get experience in production etc.

The scene is toxic, end of. Whilst a decent amount of people are lovely, there are a concerning amount who are outwardly discriminatory or just assholes. In some groups that I am in I've heard some downright disgusting things said about groups of people and even individuals in the scene. I try to not take any personal offence to anything, but sometimes what people say brings back really unwelcome memories and makes me uncomfortable. It really puts me off meeting new people or joining new groups because I expect that they would be the same. The community 'tried' to address such toxicity, but just ended up with a private discord server where people try to agree that being toxic is bad and briefly discussing drama when it happens. No one really cares enough to actually do something. I'll admit I'm no saint myself; I've acted irresponsibly in the past and I am not proud of it. We all need to put a little bit of effort into making sure that people feel welcome.

This sort of brings up the point regarding productions. The unfortunate truth of the scene is that without volunteers, the competitive scene is screwed. The scene takes advantage of such volunteers, bleeding them dry until someone replaces them so we get to have a show. Many people who get into production or stuff like that do it out of love or appreciation of the community, but quickly become disillusioned; especially when people trash productions because it wasn't what they thought the production should be doing. It's really easy to shit on people when you aren't the guys behind the scenes. Every few years or so, the production setup has to start from scratch because the 'old guard' gets burned out or have to get actual jobs and if we don't actually start taking action it's going to happen again.

This is more just a personal vent than anything else, but a lot of the reasons why Tagg left the scene I also share with my own relationship with this game. Getting to see everyone at LAN have a great time and seeing your name in the credits of a production truly is one of the best feelings I've had, but every time an event comes around it becomes harder to justify investing so much time and effort into it. With the amount of time, financing, and detriment to my physical & mental health that such events have caused; it's frustrating when people act like complete pricks to one another, from both a personal and organisational level.

posted 1 week ago
#16 Community attitudes in TF2 General Discussion

I feel like #5 is right regarding why TF2 doesn't really have as many players actively engaged with playing the objective/winning. OW/Fortnite are games in which winning is the core source of enjoyment as a player, it sucks when you lose outright, winning feels great, and matches that are closely fought but still lose give a similar amount of enjoyment as winning (the Near Miss effect).

In TF2, there is less focus on winning and more on enjoying the moment (through taunts, funny interactions, and sIcK PLayS). For Quake, there is a strong emphasis on your individual skill and the second-by-second moments throughout a match. In both of these games, winning is a plus but not the emphasis.

funhaver1998in my opinion this is a big contributor on why this game failed

I would hesitate to say that this game 'failed'. It was a key inspiration for many shooters, particularly ones that are class-based, cemented itself within gaming culture, and revolutionised the F2P system (for good or for bad). Whilst the game has certainly fallen off in the past few years, as to be expected, the game by all accounts is/was a tremendous success for Valve. Even the competitive scene is something to behold; a community-led esports scene sustaining itself for a decade without the support of the developers is very hard to come by, and something I don't think we'll ever see again.

I think that there is more to say and discuss here, but I'll save you the torture of another fucking nerd essay from me.

posted 3 weeks ago
#4 i65 VODs in Videos

Unfortunately, none of us saved the VODs directly from the stream. We contacted Twitch the day after the vods were deleted once we realised our mistake to see if there was something that could be done, but they were unrecoverable. We are looking for anyone who may have any matches saved locally since they would be useful for conducting our own internal reviews of the streams for future events.

I wholeheartedly apologise on behalf of everyone at Essentials for this oversight and will make changes to ensure that this doesn't happen again at future events.

posted 1 month ago
#18 question about LAN-streams. in TF2 General Discussion
klassyThis is true but does it really matter when there isn't any real monetary gain to compete over? I don't think the quality of production would stagnate because of fewer streaming platforms.

Except financial incentives aren't necessarily needed for one organisation to have leverage. Everytime iSeries comes around again, both organisers internal to the event and ourselves have to justify TF2 to be at the event or else its just ignored. Other orgs, in theory, can ask to be the contractor for TF2 at iSeries and the organisers just want a good show so long as there are people who can work it.

The more events that you work, the longer your 'resume' as a organisation becomes, potentially resulting in bigger or more chances to grow. At the end of the day, Essentials and Phoenix Red are businesses and as such self-interested. Exclusive broadcasting rights over all events is a serious amount of power to hold and I cannot see any org willing to be consolidated into another for the 'benefit of the community' with no real incentive in doing so.

I don't think that quality would stagnate under a exclusive production or even that multiple orgs would necessarily warrant innovation as you say, especially since most production stuff is open source and freely available. But the risk of losing what events we currently run and/or people preferring one event over another forces us to actively improve our approach year-by-year.

posted 1 month ago
#13 question about LAN-streams. in TF2 General Discussion

So gemm has the origins as to why the european production separated towards different orgs, mainly due to people having friction and differing ideals leading to circlejerks of "our way is the best way". Early on, I was very committed to bringing the orgs closer together to potentially globalise down the line, looking back however I don't think that this would be a good idea.

Multiple orgs encourage competition, Essentials pretty much got iSeries since there weren't other orgs that could pick up after TFTV and remained as the defacto EU LAN until CPG came around. Regarding personnel, I am completely comfortable bringing people who work in or with other orgs on board to Essentials to do other events and vice versa I would be happy to work with other orgs on events like CPG. But trying to unite all orgs under one banner at this point isn't going to happen, previous attempts have shown this. From a personal standpoint, each org working on their own event(s) allows them to focus on their own priorities, if for instance we would like to bring back the Monthlies and prioritise online tournament coverage or looking at other LAN events we could cover on the calendar we can explore those options without trying to please a sizable group of people, all with different views on what TF2's competitive and production should look like. Anyone that knows me should be vaguely aware that I don't care for HL or Prolander, so under my supervision such tournaments could potentially see very little coverage from Essentials, but KritzKast is more than comfortable with doing so and is much more oriented towards what they aspire for the game.

I think that there are still teething problems from the initial splintering as orgs are to this day trying to find their niche but it is my own personal opinion that the way we have it now works; drastic reforms this late into the scene's existence would do more harm than good.

posted 1 month ago
#86 My Story With Dashner: A Thread in TF2 General Discussion

This should be a wake up call for all of us. No one should feel like they have power over someone else due to their perceived worth in the Community. People were scared to talk because of his value in production, but we can always get new people willing to learn. Keeping people like this in the scene out of necessity is a disgusting premise but its a lot easier for us to just block out the noise rather than approach the problem head on.

We need to make it known that we do not tolerate this behaviour in any capacity; from off putting comments, to groping and sexual assault. Victims should not suffer in silence.

posted 2 months ago
#69 b4nny doesn't support iseries in TF2 General Discussion

Ok. Since you have made it known that you don't want a back and forth, ill give you the luxury of a concise rebuttal.

  • The organisers for i63 and 65, Belong.GG, are a prominent sponsor with connections to large international companies, as the tournament was under their brand it is not our responsibility to secure sponsorships for iSeries. i65 peak viewers and i63's cannot be compared confidently due to a significant change in how front page works. The viewership was not strikingly different outside of the peak.
  • RGL's statistics do demonstrate a faster game, yes, but did you forget that the format as of the infographic was only 4-6 weeks old in comparison to a 11 year old format? Does a faster game mean a better one? ETF2L has experimented a LOT over the years and was a key pioneer in changing the whitelist/map pool over the years.
  • I am not the community, never claimed to be. I just speak based on my own perspective and ongoing research. You can have multiple communities within a single game, and many that are aware of competitive simply aren't interested, speaking from experience when talking to casual players whilst running the ETF2L Newbie Mixes.
  • We haven't given up, but rather we are being realistic about the circumstances. The game is 12 years old, supported only through shoutouts and new cosmetics/content, and this has been the case for a while. The game simply cannot compete in the current esport market, the data backs this up.
  • If you find someone who has the time and passion to establish these so called 'basic practices', provided such things exist; I will eat a picture of b4nny's face.

lol 69

posted 2 months ago
#65 b4nny doesn't support iseries in TF2 General Discussion
MisterDannyI65 had less than half the average viewership, over $2000 less in prize money and an over 400% drop in peak viewership. Clearly, there is something going wrong here.(source: https://escharts.com/tournaments/tf2), the first iseries event remains, the by far biggest tf2 event, prize pool wise, is some literal age old event from 2008 that had fucking 2fort in the map rotation, so we haven't been able to top that in the literal decade that this format has been around.

The prize pool decrease was a result of the change in the event itself, not the game as Insomnia transferred to a signup-dependant method. As for peak viewership, this was largely dependant on a variety of factors concerning how Twitch presents their Front Page. IIRC they have changed the way the numbers are registered and we only got front page on Twitch UK, but someone may feel free to debunk this. In terms of signups and engagement internationally, we had a similar amount of teams competing and more audience attendees than i63. If you were to determine our success through statistics, then we've pretty much matched last year albeit a decrease in average viewership however that has been consistent throughout on-season play as well.

MisterDannyIf you're here just to enjoy yourself and dont care about growth, alright, but this is not anything that could even come clsoe to a "sustainable tournament circuit", b4nny is willing to give other formats a chance to invite in newer players, people like you should realize that attempting to pool new players into 6s is wasted time, your TFNew projects is "not where it used to be" according to your own twitter.

There is no guarantee that dramatic changes to the format would encourage more people to play, only purely anecdotal evidence and theorycrafting (something that b4nny doesn't like, actually). TFNew and projects like it are crucial to not only engage newer players, but also older players into committing to the scene more. Unfortunately, every project in TF2 is volunteer based and extremely volatile without any sort of funding or monetary investment. It isn't a wasted effort.

MisterDannyB4nny has been talking about this for years, he's finally going to take more drastic measures to pave the way for a more open tournament circuit, there is no use in supporting a format that has consistently proven to not be sustainable, a format that has failed to break into any kind of relevance. If you wish to continue to hunt for the long gone dream of a trad 6s tf2 esport, go ahead. It's resulted in nothing but stagnation and wasted time, I'm excited for whats in store.

Ah yes, because b4nny's previous excursions and projects have been sooo successful. You can't be a pro player and also run a league/tournament system, its too much to handle. Since he makes a living off streaming and picking up winnings, why would he ditch that to try to work on a project of that scale? Funnily enough, you need the community (or the organisation owners at least) support if you are going to make significant changes. He is a divisive figure and that in turn may only divide the community further. Running an esport isnt fucking easy, and he should know this.

And noone who plays the game in any competitive setting is expecting or pushing for true viability within the current gaming market. While it would be nice to have money thrown our way, the fact of the matter is that it isn't ever going to happen, so the community has elected to shape the game in a way that would be enjoyable for the majority of current players. MarmadukeGRYLLS said it best earlier on.

MisterDannyLet's not even mention how RGL tried to build itself a sustainable viewership to gather around sponsors and build a tournament circuit, look how the community reacted to that..., it's obvious that the people in charge and the vocal parts of the community do not want anything that resembles common practicies in...any other esport or traditional sport.

People hate on RGL not for trying to "grow" the scene, they hate on them for seemingly reactionary or downright confusing litigation or rules and their poor public presence and attitude towards the competitive TF2 scene. And yes, the community doesn't want 'common practices' because it isn't a fully viable esport and the measures needed to do so are laborious, time consuming, difficult, and controversial. You are not going to find more people that I can count on one hand who have the skills, time, effort, and experience necessary to pull of what people like b4nny want that are also willing to do it for free. Its far more complicated than you think it is.

posted 2 months ago
#42 b4nny doesn't support iseries in TF2 General Discussion

I'm disappointed to hear b4nny's thoughts on iSeries. Having worked on i65, which I feel was a decent event, I believe that a lot of what he described and in turn his perception of what the game should look like are infeasible for both events and the esport as a whole.

He is a major critic of the ruleset of iSeries and other LANs like CPG and such, which typically follows this:

  • Timelimit 30
  • Winlimit 5
  • 10 Minute Golden Cap

Having a finite time may encourage parking the bus and one of the key consequences of that is garbage time, but the benefits of it FAR outweigh its drawbacks from an organisational perspectives. If I cast your minds back to i63, you may remember that we had a massive delay for our Grand Finals due to the LoL finals (which have a unlimited timepool) overran its expected runtime by a significant margin. To my understanding, we have almost never overrun on stage finals as we can give a strong estimate for how long a match will take. In a BYOC LAN setting, with multiple matches in a single day, we can confidently say that (technical issues permitting) a BO1 match will be completed within an hour. This makes scheduling when matches happen over a weekend whilst not overworking Staff or Players is actually possible with a massive pool of players, that is if people don't go on constant smoking breaks. ;)

b4nny's perspective on the notion that major international events should be the platform to experiment or something similar is a flawed belief, in my view. Tournaments like iSeries or CPG should be representative of how the esport plays currently, and has remained this way. Whilst I do agree with him that the community does sometimes use LANs as an excuse to not push changes, there are so many more factors that effect rulemaking that perhaps someone in his position may have overlooked. When I worked with ETF2L on changing the Global Whitelist/Experimental Maps, a lot of our decisions were based more on statistics than qualitative feedback, those polls have a bigger influence than random nerd essays on the internet. By taking on statistics, you can draw a more objective conclusion which, reinforced by the admins subjective perspective on rulemaking, creates a decently strong (but not perfect) environment for implementing change. LAN is not the environment to play newly accepted maps that have only been in rotation briefly, and when I worked on i63 the map pool and rulesets were dictated a lot by in depth discussions with admins and feedback from players. I didn't choose the final map pool because "we've always done it that way", I chose it because the players agreed that it would be optimal.

An esport is more than just the game, you have the productions, the leagues, the matchmaking platforms, and more importantly you have the community as a whole. Decisions made should be based on the community perspective, filtered through the people that run the organisations, not made by a select few people who play the game well and have their own uncompromising perspective. That sort of perspective is what I believe was TF2PL's major downfall, as both the people in charge and the organisation on the whole were not particularly willing to push the changes that the community wanted.

Perhaps leagues could do more to encourage more consistent and regular feedback, particularly statistical feedback through polls, etc. But not supporting events, which take a fuck ton of time and effort from so many people, because you feel that the rules don't fit your agenda is pretty poor reasoning.


  • The LAN ruleset isn't just about the game itself, but the event as a whole.
  • Timelimits save Tournament Organisers a lot of headaches.
  • LAN isn't the place to try untested rules and maps
  • Statistical Feedback from a large pool of players is far better than the opinions of a few good players
  • Rulemaking isn't done arbitrarily, lots of thought goes into them
  • An esport is bigger than the game that you play
posted 2 months ago
#1 The biggest nerd essay (also quitting lol) in Projects

Hi all,

So some of you may remember that I asked for participants to take part in an interview for my undergraduate dissertation. Well that dissertation is being reworked into something that could be academically published but unfortunately that means a lot of my discussions have to be cut out for later research or just thrown away. There's a lot that was discussed that I think would be an interesting read so I've made a public release of the paper. Note: it hasn't been peer reviewed so bear that in mind when reading.

I wouldn't recommend trying to read through this in one sitting, since it is over 50 pages, perhaps one section at at time would be the best way to approach this. This isn't "how to solve comp tf2" or anything like that, so please don't treat it as such.

Also to add on to this so I don't spam threads, I am stepping down from League Admin and Project Leads on future events with Essentials, as well as "attempting" to quit the game as a whole to focus on my real-life commitments, full write up below. Still be up for random mixes though.

That being said, enjoy the read and thank you for the past 5 years.

Nerd Essay: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1i4CJHE3ZRWQXEIrzh7mM28tmxTkGNX0na_GQ5GDMC2w/edit?usp=sharing

Nerd Leaving: https://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1sr0ddo

posted 4 months ago
#64 i65 Thank You Thread in TF2 General Discussion

Shoutouts to ArchRhythm and Soda for helping make this possible with me, wouldn't have happened without you!
Shoutout to Geel for the sponsor allowing us not to pay out of pocket this time
Shoutout to Jon Kelly from Belong.GG for being incredibly responsive and helpful as much as he could
Shoutout to the production team for a fantastic stream
Shoutout to the Admin team for dealing with nearly 200 TF2 gamers and server issues
Shoutout to the guy who broke his arm whilst arm wrestling, thats commitment right there
Anti-shoutout to the hospital where we waited 5 hours for fuck all
Shoutouts to Ascent and Ma3la for helping bring an NA team to LAN, honestly the best choice in the end

Shoutouts to everyone who's been thanking me or saying nice things about me, I'm always awkward about that sort of thing, but your kind words have made the months of prep and all the grey hairs worth it.
As always, shoutouts to the TF2 community for always being such an amazing bunch of people!

posted 4 months ago
#98 Insomnia 65 in LAN Discussion

There is a reddit post up now with stream schedule and such. Whilst it is mostly focused on the casual audience, there may be information there that could be of use. Check out LAN.TF for the most up to date information.

With that being said,

posted 5 months ago
#91 Insomnia 65 in LAN Discussion
Iatginkany reason why its 2 groups for invite again? as opposed to last years group with one invite group and everyone plays each other at least onceEemes2 groups means that incredibly arbirtrary seeding done by admins will have a huge impact on the tournament overall, as well as the fact that some teams may never get to play eachother which is very annoying - it's only 1 game more and worked fine at i63!

As the person who was a tournament admin for i63, having designed that schedule, I believe that it was nice for all invite teams to play together but meant that myself and Aoshi was spread super thin. For context, Aoshi had to run the entire open tournament (~25 teams) completely by himself as I was solely busy dealing with Invite. Two invite groups with varying times gives invite teams that come off the back of a BO2 w/GCs have more than a 3-5 minutes breather; less invite matches per round means more time can be spent administrating the open tournament and fixing issues that may arise like servers. There were a couple of complaints and confusion that could have been avoided last time on the new Invite schedule, but the schedule which I put in place didn't give us that luxury.

Heny has spent a significant amount of time working this into a feasible and comfortable event for everyone involved, Staff included. In regards to the concern about seedings, I can agree that it plays a significant aspect, which is why we have asked for invite teams to sign up as soon as possible to allow the most amount of time for both admins to seed the groups in an acceptable way. At the end of the day, we cannot change the format this late in the day, it would be reckless and create more problems than not being able to play everyone. We will consider this discussion for future events as and when they happen.

posted 5 months ago
#81 Insomnia 65 in LAN Discussion

The full tournament schedule can be found on our Toornament page here, as well as rules etc. https://www.toornament.com/en_US/tournaments/2587533425695768576/information

Please make sure that you familiarise yourself with match times to prevent delays during the event, especially if you are in the Invite Groups. Invite groups are split between A & B, with separate match times for each group, so check the website for more details.

The open tournament schedule is as follows:
Round 1: 12:00
Round 2: 13:15
Round 3: 14:30
Lunch break: 15:15-16:15
Round 4: 16:30
Round 5: 17:45
Round 6: 19:00
Round 7: 20:15
Slot for tiebreaker matches: 21:30

posted 5 months ago
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