The Highlander Challenge starts now!

Date September 22, 2010

The Groups and Fixtures have now been added to the site, so all Highlander Challenge teams should be able to see who they need to play and when. Please start arranging your first week fixtures now – they are visible on your ‘My Matches’ page, as well as on your Team page. If you have not scheduled your games before the Monday of the week they should be played (for example Monday 27th September for Week 1), then a default date will be assigned for that match.

It’s important here, just before we kick off , to once again remind all players about our rules! This is incredibly useful information to know, especially rules specific to the Highlander Competition, and will save many a headache should any problems arise.  Another great place to look for answers is our FAQ Section, but as ever, if you can’t find the answer to a question or have difficulty, request an admin through our IRC channel #etf2l. Simply join through your own IRC client, or use our built in IRC Plugin on the Support Page, and type “!admin” to receive help!

We would also like to take this opportunity to reiterate the need for team leaders to take all relevant screenshots of their matches (status screenshots and the final scoreboard of each map) to ensure we can easily process results. All players should record personal demos, whilst a SourceTV demo should also be recorded. This enables us to quickly sort any problems in the unlikely event that one should arise.

Finally, we hope that all team leaders will stay organised throughout the Challenge by contacting their opponents in ample time to organise the date and time of matches. We recommend this be done through comments on the specific Match Page, but if games are organised on IRC or Steam (or any other messaging platform), please post this information up on the Match Page so admins are kept up to speed! Remember your team will have to play all it´s matches or you will not be eligible for a medal.

We’re thoroughly excited to be finally kicking off the Highlander Community Challenge, and we hope you are too! Here’s to a fantastic tournament!

Season 8

We’re delighted to be able to say that we are just preparing to launch Season 8. There are loads of things planned that we are extremely excited about, so stay tuned to ETF2L.org to catch the announcement as soon as it drops!

48 Comments

  1. Skyride: DUCS said:

    laaaaaaads

  2. rydash: WAW said:

    Only a couple weeks late.

    Nevertheless, I’m still excited. Go team!

  3. crinklypaper: [TF2i] - [TF2i] said:

    woot

  4. sinosamba said:

    Awesome.

    I do need help however: uploaded the ETF2L config on our server and it keeps crashing after 1-2 rounds. Any ideas why? Do I need to add anything to the file?

  5. GooDKaT.CAT: [LBC] said:

    WAT?

    Where is the Highlander Exhibition match then ?? I wanna see the Valve rocket Launcher!! ^^

    GG for the divisions and all the work!! Let’s the show begin…

  6. ashkan said:

    The exhibition match has been postponed, the new date will be announced when it’s been set.

  7. Uncle.Otis: FM said:

    gg

  8. NuckChorris: TIDS - TSGHUH said:

    “…uploaded the ETF2L config on our server and it keeps crashing after 1-2 rounds. Any ideas why?”

    Dunno if that is what you´re talking about, but there´s a common bug that happens when you exec the ETF2L 6on6 config (might be the same with the highlander config) for the first time of the day and did not change the map before – it often crashes after 1 round.
    Simple solution is to change the map once (even if you already are on the right map, just do it again) and exec the config afterwards – it usually helps.

  9. POWERWILL said:

    GO SCHLACHTFESTCHEN & Hysteresis.

    GL with that ETF2L…

  10. Permzilla: (Legend) - LANTURTLE - WiK? said:

    “Stew slows the team down” to win! You heard it here first!

  11. kurt: trick17 - trick17 said:

    Can you be a bit more precise when season 8 will start?

  12. Pricee: has [email protected] said:

    WOOOOO Its finally here!

  13. Admirable: (Toucan Ambassador) said:

    ETF2L: Highlander Challenge Commences
    http://www.cadred.org/News/Article/121699/

  14. WildCard said:

    I’m guessing free tickets to iseries as prizes + a gift from valve ;P perhaps. (for season 8)

  15. Lauro: LoBN said:

    whaaat, My team isn’t listed D: why?

  16. lawn-ornament[CW] said:

    Guys, you’re joking right? You let us wait for weeks, fair enough. But after leaving us in the lurch for all that time you finally decided in your great wisdom to change the map schedule completely and have us play totally different maps than we could train without so much as a little warning. Amzing guys, great work. Not.

  17. killing games: [M:o:D] said:

    damn still forming team arghhhhhhhh

  18. RAGEcrow: KoP!? said:

    Also , a hat! I mean – also not all groups are made of 4 teams. so it’s not fair for the rest. Even if only 1 team advance, it makes it way harder in 3-team gropu because there is greater diversity among 4 teams so there might be even a chance to ‘play4lulz’ in your last match. Or I don’t know about something? Please englighten me.

    Cheers~~

  19. killing games: [M:o:D] said:

    or its easier as you get 3 tries to get wins ???? :P

  20. ashkan said:

    Lauro: Ask an admin in the forums or on the IRC. Could be a simple mistake, probably on your part. In worst case, you can be put on the waiting list to replace teams that drop ;)

    lawn-ornament[CW]: Overall, the maps are almost the same, just moved around between group stage and playoffs. Sure, the group stage maps are a lot different, but they are popular maps that people already know well. You still have plenty of time to practice them a couple of times.

    RAGEcrow: Sorry, I didn’t understand, maybe someone else did ^

  21. CanFo: (Legend) - [HA] - #T4F said:

    Lauro: I took a look into the signups and could not find your team. Please contact us via IRC to settle this problem.

    Thank you ashkan, you should receive an extra medla for your efforts ;-)

  22. RAGEcrow: KoP!? said:

    ashkan, what I mean is why there are so many groups and there are only 3 teams on each, instead of 4? Yeah as I checked [and I did it many times] total number of teams [actual time 02:39 CEST] is 872. It gives…. 218 teams [256 right now and since announcing Provisional Groups]. Why there are waaaay more groups and most of them have only 3 teams? It gives different experience for both 4-team and 3-team groups. Plus, It’s not fair for 3-team-groups because they have to try harder than ppl in 4-team-groups. In 3-team-grups you cannot even think about playin’ lightly. 4-teams after 2 wins, can just play another match lightly [because skipping it wont give a medal, heh]. And we signed up [I hope the most of did] just for greater cause not only for bonus item.

    Peace guys!
    waiting for some explanation to this situation. Why 256 groups while we can make less groups?

  23. Crasp: (Legend) - BACΩN | - бекон said:

    There are 846 teams signed up. Believe me, we checked it a hell of a lot of times. The 26 others are on the waiting list.

    Groups with 4 teams are probably harder; you have a 25% chance of getting through, but 3-team groups have a 33% chance. In 4-team groups after 2 wins, if there is another team with 2 wins they would be playing each other in a winner-takes-all match, playing lightly wouldn’t really be an option there.

    256 groups will give us 256 winners into the playoffs. We can then narrow it down to 128, 64, 32, 16, 8, 4, 2 and finally 1. 218 (or 211.5) groups would make the knockout stages vastly more complex.

  24. RAGEcrow: KoP!? said:

    I see, well I did a quite lot of math before you announced that Week 1 is starting. Got just curious why THAT way not the OTHER way, groups were formed. Of 1/3 is more than 1/4 so yeah. ;)
    Was also wondering why you did let 50 more teams after singups were closed but I assume they did signed up that day and something made ’em waiting. ;)
    Besides, what’s wrong with team-pages, many ppl can’t merge their group with Steamgrops, including me. o_o

    Cheers !

  25. Eliandor: Üb said:

    I am disappoint about the map schedule changing. Badlands and Freight have been dropped and the group stage – which are a guarantee for being introduced with competitive play for all teams – feature Dustbowl twice.

  26. RaCio: GoT² said:

    Groups of 3/4 is the best way to handle so many teams. The alternative was having groups of 7/8 which would take way to many time. Remember we are searching for the very best community team.

    @lawn-ornament
    The choice was a tricky one. But in the end we wanted to have Dustbowl switched with Gravelpit to the group stages. Due to the time it can take to play Dustbowl (longer then 1 hour) it is not smart having it in a playoff stage where you play 3 maps. There were some other small changes which tried making the map pool at bit easier to train for.

  27. lawn-ornament[CW] said:

    @ashkan: Ehem. Removing freight and badlands, which were supposed to be in the group stage and switching gravelpit does not count as nearly no change.

    @RaCio: Well, your point with Dustbowl is a valid one. On the other hand: Leaving people to believe they will play a set of 5 Maps during the group phase and letting them train these 5 maps for over 6 weeks and then changing that set without prior notice completely 4 days before matches start DOES NOT make training for the group phase easier.
    And mind you, that is the vast majority of teams. The pubbers, the occasional gamers will only ever see the group phase. And training costs an awful lot of time for them. They have a job. Some of them even a life. ;-)

    So basically the more ambitioned pubbers spent 6 weeks training time almost for nothing, because you removed two of these 5 maps overall and changed another one for good measure. And there is no way you can motivate a team after this to put in the energy it takes to pick up a 3 stage map like Dustbowl in 4 days.
    This just makes me furious.

    I really appreciate the work you guys put into this. I had hoped you would value the work of the trainers and players of these 846 teams as well and you would have thought of the implications of these last minute changes for yourselves.

  28. RaCio: GoT² said:

    Obviously some maps had to be cut as the divisions size got smaller and could only hold a few maps. Having to many 5cp maps or dustbowl in the playoff stages proved to be a problem.

    That said, we obviously like as much feedback as possible. To make things easier, a good compromise could be be to look at moving freight back instead of granary and switch around week 1 and 2.

    pl_badwater – cp_freight_final1
    cp_dustbowl – pl_upward
    cp_dustbowl – cp_freight_final1

  29. Eliandor: Üb said:

    I believe that doesn’t solve the problem. Maybe remove one instance of both Granary and Dustbowl, so you get the following:

    pl_badwater – cp_granary
    cp_dustbowl – cp_badlands
    cp_freight_final1 – pl_upward

    I think teams will value the diversity of maps in the group phase because (as said before) it’s the round everyone is guaranteed to play.

  30. lawn-ornament[CW] said:

    Thanks for considering this, RaCio. That would really help a big deal!

  31. Eliandor: Üb said:

    To clarify, “the problem” is people trained for Gravelpit, Upward, Freight, Badwater, Badlands and Granary, a little Dustbowl, Goldrush, Viaduct because those would appear later in the tourney.
    As it looks like at the moment the maps in the group phase are Dustbowl (new), Badwater, Upward and Granary. That’s a big chunk gone.

    I appreciate the site admins trying to get feedback by the way.

  32. lawn-ornament[CW] said:

    @Eliandor: Considering the information we had before, badwater and upward are the only two maps in the old and new map pool. Moving granary to first week would leave many teams with the same problem as playing dustbowl in the first week.

    Whatever compromise be made, I would heavily suggest RaCios line: As many maps as possible from the old group phase pool (badwater, upward, gravelpit, freight, badlands) with the necessary adjustments (switching dustbowl for gravelpit). Aditionally no new Maps in the first week to give teams time to practice.

    So thanks once more for the suggestion RaCio, I think yours is really well thought out.

  33. RaCio: GoT² said:

    Eliandor, you proposition would make things a bit harder as there would be 6 different maps in 3 weeks, which is very hard to prepare for. Because highlander isn’t as quickly paced as 6v6 and is more crowded it isn’t a good idea to have the 5cp maps in the playoff stage either, as good teams can easily lock the map and make it more stalemate-ish. So that’s why you’ll see more of maps like upward and gravelpit in the playoff stage.

    I’ll keep you posted about the proposition.

  34. Eliandor: Üb said:

    I’m afraid you’re not right @lawn-ornament

    Old map pool (only group phase):
    – 1. Gravelpit 2. Upward
    – 1. Gravelpit 2. Freight
    – 1. Badwater 2. Badlands
    – 1. Badwater 2. Granary

    Features both Granary and Freight. Replacing all Granary with Freight isn’t much of a change.

  35. Eliandor: Üb said:

    Right, I understand that @RaCio. Fact is teams have been preparing already. Could possibly change one 5cp map to another so it features one of them twice.

  36. lawn-ornament[CW] said:

    @Eliandor: These informations are from the time, when there were still 5 teams per group, which would mean 4 games during the group phase.

    I have to admit, I assumed that the map schedule for the fourth game would be transfered to the round of 128. So one way or another I assumed that we would either not have to play that map at all or if we would win the first match, there would be still enough time to pick up on that map. Having to play that map in the first week would pose the same problem for us as playing dustbowl. Well, learning and training 5 Maps in 6 weeks with a new team was hard enough as it was.

    True, it was an assumption, but what are you to do with a given amount of time and resources and little information.

  37. ashkan said:

    @lawn-ornament[CW]

    “Removing freight and badlands, which were supposed to be in the group stage and switching gravelpit does not count as nearly no change.”

    I thought the problem was not having enough time to practice a specific map, not that teams potentially wasted time practicing maps that were removed? In that case, the only problem is that cp_steel was added (which is a couple of weeks away anyway, and only a fraction of the teams will play it).

    “So basically the more ambitioned pubbers spent 6 weeks training time almost for nothing”

    The absolutely most important training aspect is getting your teamwork together, not practicing map-specific tactics (since even half-experienced teams already know all the maps well enough). The most ambitious teams have been practicing for the tournament ever since it was announced, 24 weeks ago, and they won’t need more than a few matches to perform close to their maximum capacity on any new map.

    “And there is no way you can motivate a team after this to put in the energy it takes to pick up a 3 stage map like Dustbowl in 4 days.”

    Schedule the first game for the weekend of week 1, and you have 9 days to practice.

    “I had hoped you would value the work of the trainers and players of these 846 teams as well and you would have thought of the implications of these last minute changes for yourselves.”

    The admins are not as disconnected from the newly founded highlander community as you seem to think, especially with me harassing them all the time. If they make a change, it’s for a good reason. You probably should’ve toned down the sarcasm in your first comment, and just started by asking for the reasons for the change.

    With that said, I did convey my thoughts about the map pool to the admins when the maps were being picked. I thought it would be a shame not to have the teams play 6 popular maps in the group stage. They thought it would easier for new teams to practice 4 maps instead of 6. Both arguments are correct, and in reality, it barely matters. Both would work perfectly fine, so there’s no reason to get “furious”. Personally, I’d welcome a bit more variety into the group stage.

    In any case, I’m glad to see this commitment from team leaders (other than the ones who have been practicing for the tournament during the past months), and I hope you all stay involved in the competitive scene after the tournament is over.

  38. lawn-ornament[CW] said:

    @ashkan
    “I thought the problem was not having enough time to practice a specific map, not that teams potentially wasted time practicing maps that were removed?”
    I think both situations are not very desireable. Yesterday it looked like 3 of the 5 maps we expected in the group phase were removed and 2 new ones were introduced.

    Yes, I know, I am focussing on the group phase, because that is what 3/4 of all players will only experience. And teams like ours, without buddies, without players active in competitive gaming will have a very hard time seeing more than this.

    And yes, it wasn’t very contructive to post a sarcastic comment like that. As an explanation, I was rather frustrated to learn this and was willing to communicate that. As team leader I know about the amount of work, that goes into these events and I really appreciate that. Still, making rather big changes to the map pool without so much of a hint is a sign of a rather poor communications strategy.

    These changes, how good the reasons may be, have a huge impact on a lot of people. So giving a hint, that there is a discussion regarding the maps still going on or at least commenting on the changes and the reasons would have been a huge plus.

    And once more, of course there may be reasons to decide on specific maps for the group phase. Making these kinds of considerations early in the process and communicating the results would have been the best solution. Now, all I (and I think many others with me) can hope for, is a compromise as lined out by RaCio above, that satisfies the needs of the organisation and the players.

    On a personal note: I am glad, that there are contacts between the admins and the community. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find any forum or channel, where these matters were discussed. Can you give me a hint?

    Thanks for discussing this and for involving yourself.

  39. ashkan said:

    “These changes, how good the reasons may be, have a huge impact on a lot of people.”

    As I explained, in reality, the impact is much smaller than you seem to think (based on my own knowledge and experience of course).

    “So giving a hint, that there is a discussion regarding the maps still going on.”

    Agreed. There have been more cases where confusion could’ve been avoided by such simple reservations.

    “I wasn’t able to find any forum or channel, where these matters were discussed. Can you give me a hint?”

    Well, the forums are the best place to discuss. There are a bunch of official threads continuously discussing various 6v6 and general subjects, but nothing for highlander as far as I know. So you’ll just have to create threads in the highlander forums, and the admins will start discussing it (albeit after, not before, they’ve made a decision regarding something).

  40. lawn-ornament[CW] said:

    “As I explained, in reality, the impact is much smaller than you seem to think (based on my own knowledge and experience of course).”
    I think your observations are true for teams and players that have been active in competitive gaming (or at least mixing) before. But for pubbers it makes a huge difference in my experience and I think that is the group this cup focuses on.

    It begins with people having to make up and remember names for locations on the maps to be able to talk to each other efficiently. And pub experience is not necessarily helpful for playing organized teams. It’s no good having a Spy that tries to chainstab while the other team kills him again and again because they communicate.

    It just takes time to get a feel for the map “Highlander style” and to start to develop some strategy and train it, until you really benefit from that.

  41. NoNoice: [SpA-b] said:

    Dear dear league admins.

    I understand the discussion about the maps to be played and all sides have good points.
    But at this moment with (Hypothetically) the first matches to be played in

    —–> 4 days <—–

    we need to know what is happening. Please do not start debate this now. with only a few days left. Enough is enough. Just go with the current map roster
    I really want to start practicing with my team for these maps which I can't with this whole discussion going on.

  42. lawn-ornament[CW] said:

    Well NoNoice, start working on Dustbowl, you will need that. And hopefully everything else will work out fine with maps you practiced due to the old map pool.
    While I agree, that a solution should be anounced ASAP this should not keep the admins from rethinking if any adjustment can be made to lessen the blow.

  43. Vanquisher: VFS said:

    My god, everyone is making it seem like the end of the world because of a few map changes. You have a few days to practice, if that’s not enough then just wing it.

    My team hasn’t practiced a day and we’re pretty confident. This is a casual torny, calm down and enjoy it. If you’ve spent weeks preparing for this then you’re just shaving years off your life…

  44. ashkan said:

    @lawn-ornament[CW]

    “I think your observations are true for teams and players that have been active in competitive gaming (or at least mixing) before.”

    My observations are from non-competitive players.

    “It’s no good having a Spy that tries to chainstab while the other team kills him again and again because they communicate.”

    That’s not map-specific ^^

    I’m not saying what you’re saying isn’t true, I just think that it’s a bit of an overreaction. Anyway, the arguments have boiled down to personal experiences, as they usually do. I’m sure the admins have got the feedback needed now.

  45. lawn-ornament[CW] said:

    I take it, there will be no alterations to the map pool anymore?

  46. ashkan said:

    Correct.

  47. Andee: GoT<3 - HoT<3 said:

    Waiting for Season 8 announcements *inpatient mofo typing* :-)

  48. .fly`: Smd| said:

    Is it allowed to pick up buildings?