Announcing Highlander Nations Cup #3

Date June 12, 2014

Banner by stuntz

Highlander Nations Cup #3

It is that time of the year again – time for the best players of each country to band together and prove their country is the best at Highlander!

The Cup will feature a Group Stage and a single-elimination Tournament, and will take place throughout July and August, with the finals to be played either side of i52. Each country will be represented by one team consisting out of players of the same nationality, led by a Captain chosen through the applications process.

Team Captain Applications

Captain Applications are now open.

National teams are created and managed by Captains chosen out of submitted applications. Each Captain will pick the best possible roster from amongst their countrymen and lead their glorious squadron to victory. There are no restrictions on which players you can field in your team, so long as they are of your country’s nationality and are eligible to play in ETF2L.

To apply, send an email to [email protected], explaining why you should be your country’s captain and describe your planned national roster. Applicants who have experience leading successful ETF2L teams and a good reputation in the scene will be given priority. This should be self explanatory  but you should include at least your nickname and your ETF2L profile link in the application letter.

Captain Applications will close on Friday, 20th of June at 23:59 CEST. Only approved Captains and their National Teams will be added to the competition.

Unlocks, Schedule & Maps

The Highlander Nations Cup will use the same unlock rules as ETF2L Highlander Season 6.

The provisional schedule and map pool are as follows:


Please bear in mind that this schedule is based on the prediction that we will have a similar number of teams sign up as last year. If the number of teams is different, the schedule may change however the dates will roughly remain similar throughout.

  • Announce & Captain Applications: June 10
  • Captains Announced: June 22
  • Schedule week: June 29 – July 6
  • Groups Round 1: July 7 – July 11
  • Groups Round 2: July 12 – July 16
  • Groups Round 3: July 17 – July 21
  • Groups Round 4: July 22 – July 26
  • Groups Round 5: July 7 – July 11
  • Tiebreaker Round: July 27 – July 31
  • Round of 16: August 1 – August 5
  • Quarter Final: August 6 – August 10
  • Semi-Final: August 11 – August 15
  • Grand Final: August 16 – September 7

Map Pool

The map pool will contain the following maps: pl_badwater, cp_steel, pl_upward, koth_pro_viaduct_rc4, cp_gravelpit, cp_process_final and cp_intermodal*

During the Group Stages, each map will be played as a bo1. During the knockout stages each map will be played as a bo3.

  • Groups Week 1: pl_badwater + cp_steel
  • Groups Week 2: pl_upward + cp_intermodal
  • Groups Week 3: koth_pro_viaduct_rc4 + cp_gravelpit
  • Tiebreaker Week: Best of 3 picked from the map pool.
  • Round of 16: pl_badwater + koth_pro_viaduct_rc4 (cp_intermodal if needed)
  • Quarter Final: pl_upward + cp_process_final (cp_steel if needed)
  • Semi-Final: Best of 3 picked from the map pool.
  • Grand Final: Best of 3 picked from the map pool.

*cp_intermodal will be played on the latest version, this will be announced once known. Until then, here is the most up to date version.


Prizes TBA.


  1. Toba: (a boT from the North) said:

    woop woop

  2. irfx: EPA - kiti said:

    wtf is cp_intermodal?

  3. Snooki: VDOH said:


  4. irfx: EPA - kiti said:

    > During the Group Stages, each map will be played as a bo1.
    also this is just stupid, steel or gpit bo1 are ridiculous

  5. SorroW: iveR - VDOH said:


  6. Tuto: TCM - 8-) said:


  7. HartzFartz: (ETF2L Donator) - Tyrone - SENS said:

    In my opinion cp_intermodal was the best map out of the experimental cup. It’s gonna be interesting to see it played at a high level.
    The only issue I have is that there wont be many highlevel games due to it being played in group stages(not many good teams in a single group) and as decider in bo16(last cup only 2 games had a deciding map)
    I propose that cp_intermodal changes place with cp_process in the quarter finals. The general feedback is supporting the map and this map is more designed for HL than 6 contrary to process. If you already make an experimental cup and try to bring new maps then at least make the good teams play it against eachother.

  8. Asaaj: said:

    Brb applying <5

  9. Spreijer: WASP said:

    nations cup is not experimental cup and most of the teams have a short time to form and develop a playstyle, so putting maps nobody even played in the main hl season is not the best idea.

  10. HartzFartz: (ETF2L Donator) - Tyrone - SENS said:

    To state an example to undermine my argument. Lets look at what teams that play eachother in the groupstages from last nationscup and how much effort a win will need.

    Just gonna pick 3 at random: Lithuania vs France, USA vs Austria, Belarus vs Spain
    In these games one team is clearly the favored and they don’t even have to know the map to succed. If you roll your enemy you don’t really know how good of a map it really is.
    If the admins don’t try to push the map to popularity and get constructive feedback then why even bother trying to get new maps in the mappool.

  11. Fuxx: SENS said:

    I agree with Hartz, can we please replace these awful maps? Intermodal is the perfect replacement.

  12. Raf: w//e - .awkward said:

    Best of one during group weeks?

    Am I reading and understanding right we’re doing payload and cp best of one? As in, no teamswitch on payload at all?

  13. Fuxx: SENS said:

    Actually- allow me to elaborate.

    Some of the maps used in Highlander, such as Process, are maps that have been proven to work for 6v6 and are genuinely fun to play in that mode. I personally love it when I play 6v6 and am quite familiarized with that map. For Highlander however, the map feels absolutely alien to me.

    In 6v6, the map has just the right proportions, distances and overall design to enable cohesive teamwork and an overall comprehensive idea of what is generally occurring in one’s surroundings. Even low division teams such as the one I am currently at are given the freedom to intuitively understand their roles and assimilate to the metagame in order to play the map in a proper manner that is fun for all and also entertaining for excited spectators. It’s fun!

    For Highlander, it’s not fun. Even at the current level I’m at (1.5 seasons in div2) I still find it to be an absolutely horrible clusterfuck of spam, luck and stupidity. Whilst in 6v6 we are granted glorious midfight plays and exciting team vs team standoffs, working together like clockwork, Highlander shows only the display of DM in it’s most raw form, with the occasional obvious maincall here and there. The design of the map does not enable exciting new things to happen, it does not promote new styles of play, it does not grant anyone the freedom to do anything of significance and ontop of it all it is extremely bland, boring and uncomfortable beyond words to play in. Surely I cannot be the only one who believes this way?

    Personally speaking, the only people I know who truly enjoy process only do so because they themselves dedicate only to 6v6 and are simply “enjoying” it because this is a map they play a lot and actually recognize. They like it because it’s not new to them. Should they dedicate to HL and be forced to practice this horrible beast of a map, they would feign unavailability JUST so they could /avoid/ playing it. I’ll admit I am exaggerating a tad in this last bit, but only for emphasis on the contrast of opinions held between people who dedicate to 6s and people who dedicate to HL.

    Now, I do not wish to start a 6v6 vs HL argument, that is not what I want to do. I am a fan of both and do play actively in both. What I want to point out is instead how it is only natural and logical for them to have conflicting opinions on the same map because they are accustomed to different ways of playing it. How would 6v6 players feel like if pl_badwater was suddenly thrown into their map pool? Why they would be greatly upset.

    I played all 3 experimental maps in the pool and wrote long walls of text pointing out the flaws for rust and fuel, as seen here, respectively:

    As for intermodal, my opinion was a brief one:

    Here, let me quote a small part of it:

    [i]“Has potential for a viable highlander map, imo.

    Just played it in the cup and it was all smooth sailing. My team had literally zero time to do more than explore the map in 5 minutes and we still found it rather easy to play it. Positioning and overall “gamesense” came intuitively, with barely any confusion at all on who should be doing what and where. I really REALLY like this map! It is the only 5CP HL map that I don’t hate, so that’s a good thing! Bravo, really.

    The design was good, the spacing was good, the flanks and corridors and rooms and chokes were good.”[/i]

    Other than the aesthetics of it, I could find no genuine reason to dislike this map. It flowed smoothly, positioning was intuitive and really assisted a positive HL environment. It was fun to play and not awkward in the slightest. In my view, this map triumphed over any other 5CP HL map I have ever played.

    You may also see how many people give this map the thumbs up, so I sincerely hope that you take into consideration that just because this map was in an “experimental cup”, it doesn’t mean that it so has to remain. It was tested, people loved it and it clearly surpasses the boring, bland and awkward cp_process, a map which I shall remind you right now, has not gotten a lot of positive commentary when threads were made months ago asking for opinions. I could try to find them but honestly cannot be arsed. I hope everyone here has a healthy enough brain to remember such threads.

    The conclusion of this massive post is that I URGE you, etf2l staff, to let go of this map and allow intermodal to shine. It deserves it and cp_process is not special in the slightest.

  14. Phroblem: 8-) said:

    bo1 gpit, gg wp etf2l and also, the fuck is this intermodal shit, even pl_waste is a better choice (that’s actually really cool map to play imo)

  15. Fuxx: SENS said:

    ^Did not play in the cup.

  16. adysky: 7 said:

    intermodal should not be played, replace it with other cp map.

    also bo1 on a/d and pl is joke

  17. Phroblem: 8-) said:

    yea i didn’t but i still think it’s a shit map and also a shitty idea to “test it” on nations cup, i can’t say “it was tested on experimental cup” when many players (from higher divs, who will play in this nations cup) didn’t even hear about it

  18. Fuxx: SENS said:

    let’s play process for another season xd

  19. Leftism: - KC&LtL said:

    We should play the same maps over and over again because that will never get old. :x

  20. HartzFartz: (ETF2L Donator) - Tyrone - SENS said:

    Phroblem, let me break something down for you: when you act like this, it makes me want to spite you – to actively seek out ways to tweak you and your “rules” and your demands. And so I do… there are situations where I could just shrug and say, “Well, I don’t agree with that person,” and move on – and usually, I do. But, sometimes, I think of people like you, and I know that it will make you literally indignant if I post something snarky or dismissive. So I do it. And you can rage all you want, it will never change anything. There’s more like me than there are of you, and there always will be. Tell yourself whatever you want to believe. What I say is true whether you believe it or not.

  21. Sabesaroo said:

    can i pyro 4 inglind pls

  22. Permzilla: (Legend) - 7 - WiK? said:

    Classic. Don’t test new maps in HLNC! But we won’t play them when you test them in an experimental Cup. Oh and also, please add some new maps into the season map pool! Haha :>

    As for intermodal, I completely understand where you’re coming from. However it’s worth mentioning that it will also be a part of the map elimination system for the semi-final and final. As well as the 3rd map in the RO16. Also it will be a part of some close group games, either #1 vs #2 or #2 vs #3 or #3 vs #4…. I think it will get some good playtime overall

    Not being forced to play it in the quarter finals doesn’t mean you shouldn’t scrim it either, as I said it is a part of the map elimination process and that means you can’t completely ignore it.

  23. Fuxx: SENS said:

    All I see here is a perfectly good 5CP HL map that beats another 5CP map’s arse and we’re simply keeping process to “play it safe” even though it’s horrible.

  24. [email protected]: EF2L said:

    Hartz is mega handsome and right with everything that he is saying.

  25. Max: Fusion said:

    Incoming 10/10 drama watch this boys.

  26. Permzilla: (Legend) - 7 - WiK? said:

    I will also explain why the maps are bo1 in the groups, since it seems like most people can’t think it through for themselves.

    Lets look at a group from last Nations Cup to explain this a bit better.

    I’ll use the group I was involved in, Group F.

    In total there were 6 matches. 4 of these were a complete roll, the other two were England vs Spain and Bulgaria vs Belarus. I think this is reasonable to assume most groups follow this pattern.

    Does it make sense for England and Spain to play a 3 hour bo3badwater/bo3steel when all they are playing for is a seed in the next round? It makes it a ballache simply for a seed, when usually one round of a map will decide who is the better team.

    I understand that for the 3rd vs 4th match, since they are not progressing that this is their only opportunity to play. And that is the only downside of playing bo1, I apologise to the teams affected in this way.

    So that’s the main reasonings, Why should badwater have to be a bo3 when it’s England vs Bulgaria? Is a bo3 really needed? It really drags out the group stages.

  27. fraac: JOHN - CENATION said:

    i agree with perm: ultimately it’s only highlander, get it over with

  28. MIGHTY BURGER ツ: (Senior Anti-Cheat Admin) said:

    I personally loved intermodal and think it’s well suited to the HL format. In 10 minutes of walking around you can get the hang of it (if you’re too lazy even for that, then shame on you), it plays smoothly and it never feels choky even in very tense fights.

    It’s also one of those 5cp maps where you can and have to actually play Engineer instead of being forced to go fulltime bastard scout like on….. process.

    (Oh and yes, pl_waste would be cool too :) )

  29. Muuki: bin - bad said:

    fraac div5 hero talking shit about gamemodes

  30. Bulow: bad said:

    I enjoy Process in Highlander, but giving intermodal a chance is good.

    Also, I said this last year, why do you call them weeks when they are not weeks? Will the 6v6 nations cup be given full weeks, even though each match will involve a third fewer people?

  31. Permzilla: (Legend) - 7 - WiK? said:

    @ Bulow

    You’re right, I fixed that now thanks.

    It all depends on the signups, if the signups are a similar level to last year then we are forced to have the rounds within a 5 day period or so. Once we know exactly how many teams are taking part, we can plan the schedule for final.

  32. Sockx: ;) said:

    Can I have a question, why are dates for 5 weeks but maplist just for 3 weeks?

  33. Permzilla: (Legend) - 7 - WiK? said:

    @ Sockx

    Good point, haha. Oops. Not sure how that happened. Well like before we’ll see how many teams we have to see if we need a Round4/Round 5. The first 3 rounds will definitely remain as they are, for teams that want to get practising early.

  34. Munkyman: .Qc` - .-SRR-. said:

    Bo1 on AD is daft.

    cp_intermodal has some pretty big balance issues. Between second and third with the height difference. Last being so close to the spawn. Other things as well. Not sure why you are pushing it so hard when at best it is a Foundry/Follower love-child with no polish.

    Also if you want decent teams to play in an experimental cup then pick the maps and date better. Don’t just look around the UGC website and pick and choose maps other formats are using.

  35. Fuxx: SENS said:

    ^Another who didn’t play in the cup. These problems you are only imagining after what I’m assuming was a brief tour around the map in singleplayer.

    Pushing to last is decently balanced, with the distance to spawn not playing much of a role at all. If your pushing to last is taking so long that the people you killed during it are respawning again, odds are you’d have lost the push anyway. If instead you are pointing out how people can easily go back for heals at spawn and returning to the fight then you forget how they’re willingly putting themselves out of position and have made themselves very easy targets.

    What’s wrong between second and third?

  36. Hyce said:

    To all you talking about cp_intermodal-

    Please, let me hear your exact complaints about design. I’m the map maker, and if it’s something that needs to be fixed, I’ll fix it. I rushed it into RC for UGC preseason in NA; I’m going to back it out because it is not quite there in detail yet.

    If you have any critiques. please, by all means, let me know. Thanks!

  37. 1pt said:

    Why are people complaining with the rules and the maps? If you don’t like them, don’t play then the admins will notice something, and you’ve got people talking that will most likely not get selected for their country to play this Cup. I agree with Hartz, you know TF2 gets boring when you are playing the same maps over and over again, you’ve gotta change the meta, switch things up to attract new people.

    Anyways, I hope this is going to be fun, I think I might have a full lineup for Switzerland this year, and good luck to everyone else. :)

  38. HartzFartz: (ETF2L Donator) - Tyrone - SENS said:

    So far only players that didn’t play the map are against it and those who played it are in favor of the change.

  39. Mista said:

    1pt: Prob’ly said:
    June 11th, 2014 at 08:30
    “and you’ve got people talking that will most likely not get selected for their country to play this Cup.”

    That is a pretty poor argument, Jack. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

  40. Rok0s: opee said:

    About the HLNC#3 also on the czech TFcommunity site –

  41. Spreijer: WASP said:

    Just put intermodal in the playoffs. The fact is that most of people didn’t play it yet, and considering that the national team is not your usual team that you played all the time with, it might take a lot of time to actually be on your top form on that map.

    If we play it later (and with better teams after the group stage) it will be way more interesting and most of teams might work out their teamplay in that time as well, resulting in better games. If tiebrakers happen, I think most of people will be ready to play that as well, and mostly better teams.

    For all of those that say process is horrible for highlander:

    Also, most of people who did give their feedback here have a good chance to represent their respective nations.

  42. Fuxx: SENS said:

    I saw that match and found myself not enjoying the game at all. Worst map.

    You do have a point regarding the difference between the national team and a normal team however, considering the map is a recent one, every team will be in the same level.

  43. Russian Guyovich: (Surging Meat Cable) - [T-A!]LoS said:

    You’re likely to get more feedback for a new map if you put it in the group stages as opposed to the playoffs, which I assume is the main driver behind the decision here.

    Just be thankful it isn’t fucking Converge and Waste again :D

  44. Mista said:

    At the end of the day, it will all come to a matter of opinions.

    Converge and especially pl_waste were quite ok imo for example.

  45. kzr_: gR. said:

    selling my nationality in order to play cp_intermodal. add on steam, offers in €, Buds and golds only

  46. Russian Guyovich: (Surging Meat Cable) - [T-A!]LoS said:

    Mista, go watch the Nations Cup VODs from 2 years ago. They were awful to both watch and play, hence why they have never returned.

  47. Mista said:

    I’m basing my opinion on my own experience. I played them both in group stage, in semi final and in final. Also, I think my teammates all shared my opinion as far as I remember.

  48. jakeowaty: .awkward said:

    Throw out gravelpit – it’s been proven that this map is utterly broken even for pub play, I have no idea why it keeps returning in every season’s map pool.
    Why don’t you introduce swiftwater_ugc instead, it’s such a good highlander map, even if a little bit long.

    Good call on intermodal.

  49. wonder said:


  50. The prospect of Highlander Season 7 « VanillaTF2 said:

    […] inadvertently engage in an abundant serving copious enough to appease their appetites until the HL Nations Cup, for reference purposes, I wrote a marginally controversial article three months ago (which I […]

  51. MARS^: (ETF2L Donator) - BWB said:

    why is gravelpit broken?

    oh no I have to play smart and can’t win with DM, the map is shit

  52. jakeowaty: .awkward said:

    Actually this map is nothing else than 1 Spy or Sniper pick to win the whole map.

    If map’s premise is just to abandon one of the points since it’s almost impossible to defend, than you know straight up that the map is broken.

  53. Mista said:

    Personally, gravelpit is one of my favorite hl maps, unlike most maps, it’s not just another corridor and it actually encourages teamwork and strategy.

    A fair point is that sometimes one little mistake can easily cost a round but still.

  54. Reservoir Dog: TC.Express said:

    Gravelpit is not a broken map. I’ve heard the same shit about Steel season after season, but suddenly people learned how to play it, they saw some different pushes and now it’s a great map.

  55. Phroblem: 8-) said:

    gpit is fine but not with a bo1 system, match will take like 5 to 10 mins and you probably will wait more for players to join the server
    imo it should be replaced with a better map for this system like pl_waste (like year? ago when we played it, was a lot of fun) or just cp map like process/gullywash

  56. Mankey said:

    Prizes… Hmm.. Making an actually medals with the flag of the countries would be pretty sick

  57. Kaneco said:

    Converge was one of the few maps and matches I remember from last years and it had and still has a lot of potential for me, if not the map at least that style of ctf.

  58. Tearmisu said:


  59. Bery: Seizs - LoL said:


  60. Lazybear: (Anti Cheat Staff) - MUUQ - itsallgood said:

    I actually love gravelpit as a map, but i have a problem with it in terms of it being kinda coinflippy. Even if your team is really good on it, all it can take is 1 drop on B and you can potentially lose the entire map from that play alone (assuming bo1). I’m a fan of losing or winning to a better or worse team. To feel proud about a win.

    5cp or koth, love it or hate it but in these game modes you can’t blame a loss on a single or even few mistakes. There are multiple rounds and events leading to a result, and any team that wins can feel good about winning.

    I don’t share the same sentiment to process that Fuxx does here, i actually really enjoy the map in hl. I think the biggest issues with 5cp in hl is #1: Some of the maps are not proportionally designed for 18 players. #2: Last pushes with equal ubers are much more advantageous for the defenders in hl than in 6s. (although higher divs are really getting better at last pushes). Gullywash and Process to me has started to work well in hl. I expect more 5cp maps next season so SNSD might actually have a chance. ( come at me bros. )

    Jokes aside cp_intermodal is lalso is looking really good to me. Played multiple doublemixes (although 6s) and really liking the map so far. Not sure how pushing last will work but remains to be seen.

    Good map pool!

  61. Kaneco said:

    Can you actually post the status of both 6v6 and Nations cup captains with some time in advance?

    I foresee a few clashes between some national community members (not implying directly about portugal) and would be useful to have that info in advance so people know what to expect or if they should or not sign up for captai

  62. Permzilla: (Legend) - 7 - WiK? said:

    I was planning to anyway Kanceo, but here’s the current applications. These are merely applications are not final captains

    Austria, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany (x2), Hungary, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, USA.

  63. NightWing94: VaC said:

    so Finally UAE , Cool Mefortress has been busy.

  64. nijoonen: Gaston - 8-) said:

    Fun with UAE and USA, hoping for Canada to show up aswell!

  65. Spade said:

    Surprising that England hasn’t had an application yet

  66. Piddox: Fe | said:

    Sweden to win it

  67. Lex: Fe | said:

    Oh look, people complaining about the map pool. That has never happened before.
    I agree with what Lazybear said about maps. I feel like some people would only like to play pl_badwater and pl_upward 24/7. Sure, these ones are good, but it won’t hurt to try some new maps every once in a while.
    One thing that should be revised is the BO1 rule in group stages, it would take more time to get players onto the server, as Phroblem said.

  68. Hot said:

    What lazybear said, wisdom is stronk with this one. Also there always be people complaining about something (map pool, date, applications, bo1 or bo3, etc etc…) however admins have to take a decision because its their job. Unfortunately people are looking for drama, instead of fun.

  69. LonelyWalrus said:

    Someone english pls step up so i dont have to

  70. Permzilla: (Legend) - 7 - WiK? said:

    New applications:

    Belgium, Croatia, England, Georgia, Spain (x2)

  71. nijoonen: Gaston - 8-) said:

    Suddenly Spain getting alive, is there any other spanish HL player alive except TausoN?

  72. ThaZimmer said:

    M4rk ?

  73. nijoonen: Gaston - 8-) said:


  74. Hot said:

    M4rk licked a condom once, in order to see what it tastes

  75. kronis: NASA - hi im dog said:

    Muuki: 8-) – itsallgood said:
    June 10th, 2014 at 23:37

    fraac div5 hero talking shit about gamemodes


  76. Permzilla: (Legend) - 7 - WiK? said:

    New applications:

    Norway, Russia

  77. Alezilon: TC.Express said:

    Waiting for Liechenstein to singup.

  78. Popcorp said:


    New applications:


  79. Popcorp said:


  80. Permzilla: (Legend) - 7 - WiK? said:

    New applications:

    Bulgaria, Portugal (x2) Denmark

  81. kzr_: gR. said:


  82. Fuxx: SENS said: