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Last Posted September 28, 2019 at 8:12 AM
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#27 BTSTF2 in LAN Discussion

The winner of each region's qualifier is guaranteed a slot. Beyond that, it's TBA/TBD.

posted 2 weeks ago
#67 Unveiling NACL in TF2 General Discussion

Hey all, I sincerely apologize for the late update. Due to limited signups, no viable divisions can be formed, and thus we will not be able to run Season 1 as currently scheduled.

Based on interest from teams, we may run a competition of smaller scale closer to the end of the year. Otherwise, we will next consider running a full season near the beginning of next year.

As always, we are open to any and all feedback - feel free to reach out to me on Discord (tsc#0386) with any thoughts you have.

posted 1 month ago
#65 Unveiling NACL in TF2 General Discussion

In light of the fact that our prize pool was determined much later than expected, we will be extending registration one week. The dates for Season 1 have been accordingly adjusted, and registration now ends on Sunday, August 18th.

aierathe real play is to take this with stride realize that the rules should be similar to esea, and stay on the wing for next season in case rgl is shit

We are currently remaining firm on the ruleset, given that community opinion is roughly evenly divded between having a 30-minute ruleset and the ESEA 60-minute ruleset. The important factors leading us to decide in favor of a 30-minute ruleset are its nearly global adoption outside of NA, and its ease of scheduling in contrast to the 60-minute ruleset (a factor especially important in the planning and execution of potential future LAN events for the league).

If there's new evidence indicating that the community is overwhelmingly in favor of a 60-minute ruleset, we are more than willing to reconsider.

posted 2 months ago
#57 Unveiling NACL in TF2 General Discussion

Don't forget to sign up your team for the first season of NACL. As a reminder, our league is completely free, with no unexpected fees!

In addition, we are happy to announce the details for the ChampGG-sponsored prize pool! The Invite prize pool will start at a base level of $600, with an increase to $900 if 50 or more full teams sign up for Season 1 and another increase to $1200 if 50 or more teams successfully complete the season.

Signups end on Sunday, August 11th. Please help spread the word and encourage your friends to sign up!

If you have any questions, or need help with anything, please don't hesitate to ask here or within our Discord: https://nacl.gg/link/discord

posted 2 months ago
#54 Unveiling NACL in TF2 General Discussion

Hey all, I'm here to report some updates as the NACL season approaches.

Most significantly, I am happy to report that ChampGG will be sponsoring the Season 1 Invite division with a prize pool based on the number of teams participating in the overall league! Exact details are still being finalized, but will be announced prior to the season starting.

We've also gone ahead and written the NACL rulebook, filling in missing details and making some adjustments where needed. The most significant adjustments based on the discussions within the thread:

  • The Invite division regular season will be played as a double round-robin with one map per match.
  • The Advanced division regular season will be played as a single round-robin with one map per match.
  • Ringer rules are more flexible - you can ring for multiple teams in the same week, and a single ringer from the same division does not require opponent approval in Intermediate, Novice, and Fundamental.

This is fairly close to a final draft, but we will continue to make adjustments to these rules based on feedback prior to the season starting.

Finally, a reminder that the season signups close in a little over 3 weeks on August 11th, so make sure to sign up! (If you are a member of a team that is interested in playing in the Invite or Advanced divisions in the upcoming season, please reach out to me on Discord (tsc#0386) - we would like to have further and deeper discussions about these divisions prior to the season starting.)

posted 2 months ago
#48 Unveiling NACL in TF2 General Discussion

As far as roster rules go, we're trying to strike the right balance that ensures rosters are allowed reasonable changes but not excessive changes. I'm currently tweaking and working through some ideas and hope to have something better to present soon.

bearodactyl2 matches is definitely better. I don't see any reason to change the format of invite to anything different than what ESEA had, playing each team only once during the season is really lame even if each match is two maps. What makes the invite season interesting is that you get to play each team twice and face them at the beginning and the end of the season, losing against a team on two maps and never getting to rematch them (unless you happen to make playoffs) is really lame and puts too much pressure on one day. Don't see any reason to do it like this, haven't even heard of anyone suggesting it either.

The change was made to align the Invite division more with the other divisions. The two formats are fairly interchangeable with subtle advantages to each; single round robin with two maps is a bit better for scheduling and ensures more map variety, whereas double round robin is a bit better for reflecting a team's progress through a long season.

This decision is probably better made once we know how many teams are participating in Invite and what their preferences are.

posted 3 months ago
#40 Unveiling NACL in TF2 General Discussion

Based on the feedback from this thread, here are the probable changes to the league:

  • Old: In Invite, teams will play each other twice during the regular season, with each match played as a map determined by a veto process.
    New: In Invite, teams will play each other once during the regular season, with each match played as two maps determined by a veto process.
  • Old: A team may only add one player per week, and a player only may switch teams once per week (but, after playing a match for a team as part of its roster, a player may not switch rosters to any other team for the remainder of the week). Team rosters are locked prior to the final weeks of the season, during which time players may only be added to a roster with admin approval.
    New: A team may only make four player additions during a specified transfer window (from the start of the season to a few weeks before the end of the regular season). When adding players above the four player transfer limit, or outside of the transfer window, admin approval is required. Players may switch teams without limit, but require admin approval to switch to a team in a separate division or to be rostered on a team for the first time after the season starts.
  • Old:
    New: All players for a team in a match (whether they are rostered or unrostered) must not have played for another team in the same week of the regular season or round of the postseason.

In addition, here are some additional changes we are considering, for which feedback would be greatly appreciated:

  • Old: There are no default match times; teams must negotiate match times, play the match, and report results by a specified deadline each week.
    New: Matches will normally be scheduled by each team selecting at least three days of the week (between Sunday and Thursday, inclusive), with the match being played at 9pm CT on a randomly picked day among one of the days both teams in the match selected. Teams may choose by mutual agreement to forgo this standard procedure and instead manually negotiate another time to play the match. However the match is scheduled, match results must be reported by Friday noon CT.
  • Old: A team may use up to one player not on its roster (merc) in a match with the approval of the opponent prior to the match starting; any additional unrostered players require admin approval prior to the match.
    New: A team may use up to one player not on its roster (merc) in a match without admin approval; if the player is not rostered on a team in the same division, the opponent's approval is required prior to the match. Any additional unrostered players require admin approval prior to the match.
louster200What is your stance on STVs?

We will require all Invite matches (including the postseason grand final) to have publicly-available live STVs open to all and to have STV demos available shortly after the conclusion of the match, and we will highly encourage matches in other divisions to do the same. In addition, we will coordinate with Invite teams and interested casting organizations (such as teamfortress.tv) to help ensure matches are broadcasted wherever possible, but we will not require participating in that process to have access to a match.

posted 3 months ago
#36 Unveiling NACL in TF2 General Discussion

Hey all, just wanted to address the timing issue, since it seems to be the major point everyone's bringing up. (I'll address the other feedback later today.)

I don't disagree that it would have been ideal if we could have made an announcement or even mentioned something a week or two ago, but it was very important to us to have something concrete to offer, and we simply were not ready to do so until now.

ESEA generally announces seasons much closer to the end of the regular season, and their seasons start with a few weeks gap after the postseason. In contrast, RGL's league announcement was early (in the middle of the ESEA regular season), and their season starts extremely early (literally the day after ESEA playoffs are scheduled to conclude). I think it's very ignorant, at the very least, to schedule a season in that manner, and I can only assume that RGL must have had a very good reason to do so.

In the end, we did want to offer an offseason similar to that of previous ESEA seasons (currently three weeks between postseason to signup deadline), so we felt like we had some extra time to nail things down. There's a bit less than six weeks until our signups end from now, so there should be plenty of time to decide whether to play NACL.

To those that felt pressured to sign up for RGL because we were unable to make an announcement soon after theirs, I can only offer my deepest apologies. I do believe it's possible to play in both leagues, given the current format of both and our experience of many teams playing both ESEA and CEVO with even more severe time constraints. If your ability to play in NACL is a concern, please reach out to me and I'd be more than happy to discuss it with you.

posted 3 months ago
#1 Unveiling NACL in TF2 General Discussion

After much deliberation, the "New Beginnings" team is proud to announce that we are forming NACL - the North American Competitive League.

League Season 1

We are launching a full community-run league as a replacement for ESEA, and it is our hope that it is one that the community can unite behind to sustain the NA competitive scene for years to come.

The results of the survey conducted by botmode, as well as our own thoughts, have led us to tentatively decide on the following as the structure for our league, though details are subject to change based on community feedback as well as our own continuing deliberations.

NOTE: The information in this post reflects the original proposals made for the league; the most up-to-date information can be found on the NACL Season 1 page and the NACL rules page.

Timeline

The league will start with a few weeks break after the end of ESEA Season 31 playoffs, which are currently scheduled to conclude July 22.

  • August 11th - end of signups
  • August 14th - provisional divisions posted
  • August 16th - divisions finalized
  • August 17th - initial matchups determined
  • August 18th - regular season starts
  • September 28th - rosters lock
  • October 12th - regular season ends
  • October 16th - postseason begins
  • November 9th - postseason ends

Divisions

We plan to have four primary divisions:

  • Invite - ESEA-I
  • Advanced - top half of ESEA-IM
  • Intermediate - bottom half of ESEA-IM + top half of ESEA-O
  • Novice - bottom half of ESEA-O

In addition, if there is enough interest from teams composed of new players, we will have a fifth Fundamental division, which will have some minor changes from the rest of the league to help players learn more about playing competitively.

Teams will be placed based on previous performance in ESEA, and based on signups, we will adjust the divisions as appropriate.

Structure

In Invite, teams will play each other twice during the regular season, with each match played as a map determined by a veto process. The top four teams from the regular season will proceed to a double-elimination postseason to determine the season's champion (all matches best-of-three except for the best-of-five grand finals). Teams will be ranked by maps won, with ties broken by head-to-head results, followed by sum of map performance scores (derived from match scores and lengths).

In the other divisions, teams will play one opponent within their division per week during the regular season, with each match played on two maps set by a predetermined rotation. The top teams from each division will proceed to a single-elimination postseason to determine the division winner (all matches best-of-three). Teams will be ranked by maps won, with ties broken by sum of map performance scores (derived from match scores and lengths).

There are no default match times; teams must negotiate match times, play the match, and report results by a specified deadline each week.

Rosters

There is no limit to the number of players a team may have rostered. A team may only add one player per week, and a player only may switch teams once per week (but, after playing a match for a team as part of its roster, a player may not switch rosters to any other team for the remainder of the week). Team rosters are locked prior to the final weeks of the season, during which time players may only be added to a roster with admin approval.

Players added to a team roster less than six hours prior to a match may be denied by an opponent. A team may use up to one player not on its roster (merc) in a match with the approval of the opponent prior to the match starting; any additional unrostered players require admin approval prior to the match. Once a map begins, players may only be switched out due to connection problems or other urgent problems, and the replacements must be on the team's roster.

$$$

For Season 1, we will not be requiring players or teams to pay league fees to play.

The prize pool is to be determined based on sponsorships.

Format

NACL will use the global whitelist.

Standard Control Point (i.e. 5CP) maps will be played with one regulation period of 30 minutes, with the first team to reach five rounds winning the map. If 30 minutes elapse with no team scoring five rounds, the team with the most rounds wins. If both teams have scored the same number of rounds and a tie is not permitted, an untimed "sudden death" overtime period will be held, where the first team to score a round will win the map.

King of the Hill maps will be played as a best-of-five (i.e. first to three rounds).

Each team is permitted to take one tactical timeout of 3 minutes during each map. This timeout may only be taken between rounds in regulation. If an overtime period is required to decide a map, the overtime period will begin after a 5 minute delay following regulation (unless both teams agree to skip the delay).

Map Pool

The following seven maps will be played:

  • Badlands
  • Gullywash
  • Process
  • Product
  • Metalworks
  • Snakewater
  • Sunshine

LAN

There will be no LAN finals for Season 1, but based on the league's performance, we are open to having LAN finals held for future seasons.

Other Events

Based on interest, we plan to run smaller and shorter events during offseasons. However, we do realize that it is sometimes difficult for teams to play in such events, so we would like to gather your thoughts on what would make these types of events easier for your team to play in.

People

As stated previously, this is primarily being organized by the "New Beginnings" team, with the following people in senior roles:

  • twiikuu, Technology Director - responsible for NACL's technical operations, including the league website and other technology
  • erynn, Staff Director - responsible for NACL's staff, including league administrators
  • tsc, Competition Director - responsible for the overall design and execution of NACL's various competitions

We are looking to rapidly expand our staff to ensure that the league has the people it requires to be successful, including administrators, anticheat investigators, and so on; if you're interested in being a part of NACL, please reach out to us.

Conclusion

We're always taking feedback on how we can make this league better, so please be sure to let your opinions be known in this thread or by reaching out to us privately (you can PM me on Discord - tsc#0386). Thanks for your incredible support over the past few weeks, and we can't wait to hear your thoughts!

posted 3 months ago
#108 On NATF2's Future in TF2 General Discussion

I think the main issue is not that one team can park the bus, but that not pushing is better than pushing for both teams (in terms of risk/reward) so you have a bad equilibrium where nobody wants to do anything.

Fiddling with the timers is the simplest way to upset that equilibrium by either increasing the risk of not pushing or decreasing the reward for not pushing. It may be that the other team has even more of an incentive not to push as a result of the change, but the point is that at least one of the teams should always have a clear incentive to push.

The two extremes are a) having no round timer and a short match timer, so that the team that's down rounds has an incentive to push because otherwise they'll lose the match, and b) having a short round timer and no match timer, so that the team with the advantage has an incentive to push quickly because there's no timer to run down and not pushing means they lose their advantage. The former is akin to soccer, while the latter is akin to a shot clock.

Of course, it may be the case that no amount of tweaking of anything is sufficient to decisively tip one team towards pushing at all times, but if that's the case then it's a fundamental flaw in 5CP that no ruleset can fix, so picking a ruleset comes more down to personal preference. We can't really know for sure either way without seriously testing at least some of the ideas discussed previously in this thread.

posted 3 months ago
#89 On NATF2's Future in TF2 General Discussion
PhraktureI'd enjoy watching the "park the bus until their players have to go to work tomorrow morning" meta, but I don't think froyotech needs more buffs.

If there's no timelimit, what incentive would froyo or Se7en or a similar team have to park the bus? The main point of parking the bus is running down the clock so the opponent has less time to stage a comeback later in the match, but if there's no timer, that has no effect.

Of course, with no match timer, a team could continually try and sac players in to try and get picks or a pop, but the round timer prevents that from going on endlessly, and the round timer could be shortened to prevent a team from making several unsuccessful attempts before they're forced to push.

Ultimately, though, the main reason parking the bus is a problem is because there's little incentive for either team to push in that scenario. If a team is down and stuck on last, their best bet is to turtle and either wipe the oncoming push so they have a much better chance of pushing all the way to middle, or run out the round timer for the reset and a new midfight; if a team is up and on the cusp of last, their best bet is to not push and take as much time off the clock as possible before pushing to prevent a comeback later on. The only way to break this equilibrium is to make it less beneficial for one team; either prevent the winning team from wasting as much time (shorter round timer/longer or no match timer) or reduce the amount of time the losing team can spare (longer or no round timer/shorter match timer). Having a winlimit/windiff gives a little more incentive for the winning team to push, but it's not much if they still win when the timer runs out.

posted 3 months ago
#86 On NATF2's Future in TF2 General Discussion

If shorter timelimits do indeed increase the tendency of teams to park the bus, wouldn't the better option be to remove the timelimit entirely and just have matches be decided by straight winlimit/windiff?

posted 3 months ago
#1323 PugChamp in Projects

Should be resolving shortly.

posted 3 months ago
#37 On NATF2's Future in TF2 General Discussion

(I am not speaking officially for the "New Beginnings" team or for ChampGG, though my opinions are influenced as a part of both.)

glassyou say the main allure of rgl is money, but right now the main allure of rgl is that it exists.

it is a functional (or dysfunctional, we'll see) league that has servers, a website, teams signed up etc. sigafoo has a spotty track record, but we know the season will actually happen, teams will compete and prizes will get paid out.

you guys can tear it down all you want, and a lot of the criticisms are valid, but tearing it down won't get tf2 matches played. i think it's important for the esea replacement to happen quickly so the small core playerbase doesn't melt away in the interim. while everyone else is still talking, sigafoo has a league set up. that's the allure, for better or worse.

Existing right now is certainly an advantage if the new league was needed today, but I don't think it's as convincing when you consider that a new league needs to be ready at the most in a bit over a month, and that's only if it starts literally the week after ESEA concludes, like RGL is scheduled to do right now. (Seriously, what's up with that?)

As a reference point, PugChamp was developed from scratch and released within a couple of months to replace tf2pug.me, and in this case a league doesn't even have to start from scratch given that platforms to run leagues already exist (most notably Citadel, which ozfortress uses).

bearodactylNoo don't do away with the halves rewind ruleset was good for lan but the half time is super good to allow teams to play strategically and comfortably while still having the possibility to come back and change their approach in the second half. With no halftime the first point that is won is easily the most important and it let's teams easily park the bus and force the other team to do crazy stuff out of desperation with the little time left.

With the half time the team that wins does so because they have actually cracked the other teams defenses and shown themselves to be the better team rather than simply getting lucky on one mid and wiping them and converting it to a round just to park the bus 1-0 with a sniper for the next 20 minutes.

Maybe I'm in the minority but the amount of comebacks I've seen enabled by the half time ruleset completely justifies the downsides (having to play a little longer I guess). Hopefully there's something in the survey though to gauge public opinion on it versus just going with what botmode suggested he wanted and sigafoo said he agreed he liked.

I'm a bit crazy, but my ideal 5CP ruleset has always been two 15-minute halves with no round timer. The importance of time management is preserved (whereas that hasn't really been the case as much in ESEA), but the half timers are short enough to the point that at least one team doesn't have the incentive to sit around and let the clock drain.

Beyond that, other tweaks I think would be viable are:

  • pre-round strategy periods (15-30 seconds), not counted off the match timer
  • post-round humiliation time not counted off the match timer
  • one tactical pause available per team each match, can be taken during pre-round
  • concede option available after a certain point in the match

The first three were actually implemented by me for at least one international LAN, so they've definitely seen real action before. The concede option is relatively simple to implement and test and would be an effective replacement to using win limit or difference to close out a match automatically.

bearodactylIn the survey it asks which playoff ban order you prefer but these all seem a bit silly, I think it should just be one ban each, pick pick, then alternate bans down to the last map so both teams get a say in it. I think that's the most fair way of doing it and only doing 5 total bans and then one team picking at the end seems like it just gives that team too much control over the deciding map.

Maybe the second seed should have more control over the third in playoffs though to reward them a little, as is the seeds really don't matter at all because you just play the other one with equal footing as far as I know (you do get to choose if you want to be team A or B if you're the higher seed I think but they don't make much difference)

As far as map pools and ban processes go, there are some standards that seem to work pretty well in other games (e.g. CS:GO) and would probably make sense in TF2 as well.

In particular:

  • 7-map pool
  • single game ban process: A bans 2x, B bans 3x, A picks from remaining 2 maps
  • Bo3 ban process: A bans, B bans, A picks, B picks, B bans, A picks from remaining 2 maps
  • when teams are seeded: higher seed picks between being A or B

Which maps are in the pool is up to the community, but the map pool should either be entirely 5CP or have more than one KotH map, as having only Product as the token KotH map doesn't make that much sense.

posted 3 months ago
#68 New Beginnings in TF2 General Discussion

Hey all, just wanted to post here to state that we're still in deep discussions about our next steps, especially in the light of RGL's league announcement this week.

We definitely want to do what's best by the NA scene (whether that means creating a league, doing something else, or abstaining entirely for now), and getting feedback from all stakeholders is important to doing so. If you have thoughts/feedback/concerns about anything related to the post-ESEA NA scene, please don't hesitate to reach out to me on Discord (tsc#0386); I'd love to have a chat.

posted 4 months ago
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