Status Updates on Team Fortress 2 and ETF2L

Date April 20, 2013

This is a general post to update our community about some recent and upcoming changes concerning ETF2L and the game we all love, Team Fortress 2.

Prepare for Steam Pipe

The Team Fortress 2 game files will be converted to Steam’s new file distribution system called “Steam Pipe“. The conversion is scheduled for Tuesday, April 30th (Valve time), and is a one time event that may take a little bit longer than the usual download of the whole game. We advise you not to schedule any matches for that night because problems and long delays may occur.

Below is a list of the advantages Steam Pipe will bring with it.

  • Faster and smoother downloads
  • Faster game boot times and map load times
  • Easier distribution, installation, and management of mods
  • Smoother dedicated server distribution and update rollover

Because the game directory will change, you should make sure to backup all your customised game files like HUD, configs, game menu, etc. Latvia AnimaL has written a little guide on how to best prepare. We strongly recommend to take the suggested measures before April 30th.

Running Unsigned Plugins and Bypass -insecure mode May Lead to VAC Bans and ETF2L Bans

Yesterday’s update brought the following patch note with it:

  • Disabled plug-ins that would allow users to connect to secure game servers even when -insecure is specified on the command line
    • Continued use of such plug-ins will risk your Steam account getting VAC banned

This concerns the popular OpenPlugin that allowed lower mat_picmip settings and higher fov_desired values. We would like to remind you that every VAC ban that affects Team Fortress 2 on a Steam account that is registered at ETF2L also leads to a one year ban from all ETF2L competitions. There will be no exceptions.

Additionally, we would also like to remind you that using server plugins that enable unusual alterations of any game variables will be considered cheating in matches. This includes server plugins that allow higher FOV values than normal. This point is currently being discussed by our staff, however.

Site Updates

Below is a list of recent changes to the site.

  • The infamous team avatar bug is fixed. Team avatars are grabbed from the linked Steam groups and should now again update over night.
  • Are you missing your country’s flag in the ETF2L database? You can now request it in this thread and it might get added soon. Please make sure to read and understand the opening post, before requesting a flag.
  • As of November 2012, ETF2L user profiles list all ETF2L matches the player participated in, based on uploaded status screenshots. This does, however, not work, if the Steam ID of your ETF2L account got changed before Novemer 25th, 2012. If you want your old Steam ID to be displayed as well, you may request it in this thread.


  1. Marshy: BB said:

    Thanks for this

  2. fraac: JOHN - CENATION said:

    I just added TFTrue to my servers because I thought it was allowed. Clarification pls.

  3. Netsky: [HA] said:

    well you CAN use tftrue obviously, but for the time being do not allow fovs above 90 ;)

  4. Cookeh said:

    Does this affect P-REC?

  5. ryse: encore said:

    nice backbone

  6. brseker: TS said:

    Cookeh: No, P-REC is the only client plugin signed by Valve.

  7. AnimaL said:

    Im sorry, but why would tftrue not be allowed to use 120fov? What has changed suddenly? it has been allowed for 2+ years wtf etf2l?

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

    Using server plugins to achieve higher values of ans client variables has never been allowed, by the way. This is just a reminder.

  9. fraac: JOHN - CENATION said:

    So if a new OpenPlugin gets popular that allows 110 fov, you’ll allow TFTrue to add 110 fov as a server option.

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

    No, fraac. That would be considered cheating as it is an unusual server setting.
    Also read general rule 5.4 for more information, which has been effective since forever.
    This point is currently being discussed, we may allow this on mutual agreement.

    Also, you are of course allowed to use tftrue, as long as you disable the option to get a higher fov during matches.

  11. fraac: JOHN - CENATION said:

    So TFTrue’s higher fov were considered cheating when everyone used OpenPlugin for the same purpose? What a fascinating technicality.

  12. AnimaL said:

    idd, considered i asked about this back in the day when tftrue came out and admins told me its ok to use

  13. Snyyppis: RLM said:

    I think you’re using the word ‘everyone’ a bit freely there fraac.

    The point is that having server side plugins to change game settings is forbidden in the rules. Just the same as you can’t have sv_cheats on during games.

    You can, of course at your own consideration, use client plugins to achieve the same effect, but then at least the server-side maintains the desired playing field. Which many would argue would still be in place, though.

    I for one would like to see etf2l enforce tftrue on all official match servers.