The Highlander Open: FAQ & Other bits

Date June 16, 2014

The Highlander Open Cup

Reminders: Rosters can only have up to 1 player with experience in Division 5 and higher (HL & 6v6) as that person is your ‘buddy’ and can only play as a medic. Everyone else on the roster must be new to competitive or be in Division 6. Updates: 

  • The Conga taunt if used at the end of a round can glitch hitboxes for the next round. Therefore it will be banned.
  • All the new weapons will be allowed.

The whitelist for 9v9 has been updated and can be found here.

>>> Sign your team up! <<<

So here we are with just over 1 week to go until the closure of signups on The Highlander Open after 2 whole friggin’ months!! If you are not too sure about how to enter, check out the guide here.

I just want to mention briefly about coverage. Certain matches will be casted LIVE on BlackOut TV so those of you who are not playing a game on some days or who weren’t able to participate because of other issues can enjoy the action as much as the participants!

For those of you who can’t wait to see the medals, here is a sneak preview of the 1st place medal in development! Ain’t that pretty so far? Well if you want to get that tip-top medal you should be setting your eyes upon that 1st place position. I digress though with all these special things, the main purpose of writing this post now is to clarify any problems or questions you, the players, may be facing. If you want to check out some of the other bits and bobs, scroll down to the bottom. Here we go:

Information pertaining to matches:

Is there banned unlocks?

Yes. Check the bottom of this post for specific details.

What’s all this stuff about needing a private server for the games? How do we communicate with each other? How are servers configured?

You have a few options in regards to servers. You could purchase a server from hosting companies such as PurePings for your games. Another way is via the brilliant service courtesy of Netherlands Arie where you can rent a server for a couple hours completely free for all competitive TF2 uses. The final option, our lovely folks over at PurePings have given us a range of European servers that you can use. Just contact an admin here and ask for a server for your match.

Also, your team needs a way to communicate with one another right? Well in the competitive scene we mainly use Mumble as our voice chat client so to benefit you lovely players more we have a 10,000 slot mumble server set up (courtesy of Team Colonslash) for you to join and have a channel for your team, it couldn’t be easier! IP:    Port: 9004

Your server will need to have a special Highlander config file and weapon whitelist (9v9 ones here) on the server used to set the competitive environment. If you rent a server from, you will only need to select the right ones from the drop down menus. If you are provided a server from ETF2L for your match, the configs will already be set and an admin can help you in regards to map changes and more.

What are the specific dates for stages in the cup/What are the stages of the cup?

The cup will be in 2 main parts, the Group Stage and the Single Elimination Playoff Stage with finals at the end.

  • Signups close: Thursday 26th June
  • Final divisions announced: Sunday 29th June
  • Schedule deadline for Group Stage Week 1 matches: Friday 11th July at 23.59 CEST
  • Week 1 start: Sunday 13th July (scheduled by Friday 11th July)
  • Week 2 start: Sunday 20th July (scheduled by Friday 18th July)
  • Week 3 start: Sunday 27th July (scheduled by Friday 25th July)
  • All Group Stage results will need to be submitted by 23.59 CEST on Sunday 3rd August
  • Tiebreaker Week: Sunday 3rd August to Sunday 10th August

At this point the top 2 in each Group of 4 (or top 1 if you’re in a Group of 3) will be placed into the Single Elimination Playoffs (starting Monday 4th August) where each round half of the teams previously will be knocked out of the cup. These matches will need to be played promptly.

  • Round 1 of playoffs start: Sunday 10th August
  • Round 2 of playoffs start: Sunday 17th August
  • Round 3 of playoffs start: Sunday 24th August
  • Round 4 of playoffs start: Sunday 31st August
  • Quarter-Finals week start: Sunday 7th September
  • Semi-Finals week start: Sunday 14th September
  • Grand Final to be played between: Sunday 21st September and Sunday 5th October

What is the map pool? What maps will we be playing each week?

The map pool is as follows:

  • koth_viaduct
  • pl_upward
  • cp_granary
  • pl_badwater
  • cp_gullywash_final1
  • koth_lakeside_final
  • cp_process_final
  • cp_gravelpit

The map schedule for each week is as follows:

  • Group stage Week 1 – cp_process_final & pl_upward
  • Group stage Week 2 – pl_badwater & cp_granary
  • Group stage Week 3 – cp_gullywash_final1 & koth_lakeside_final
  • Tiebreakers are played best of 3 maps from the pool above
  • Round 1 playoffs – koth_viaduct & cp_gravelpit
  • Round 2 playoffs – cp_granary & pl_upward
  • Round 3 playoffs – koth_viaduct & cp_process_final
  • Round 4 playoffs – pl_badwater & koth_lakeside_final
  • Quarter Finals, Semi Finals and the Grand Final are all played Best of 3 maps from the pool above. Details will be listed on your match page

I’m a team leader, how do I schedule my matches? What do we need to do on match night?

Netherlands kKaltUu is writing a guide about this too! Keep checking this post here!

How do we show proof of the score when we submit results? What’s this ‘P-REC’ thing?

At least one person during the match will need to take a screenshot of the output of the ‘status’ command from the console window as well as taking screenshots of the final score of every map in every official match.

P-REC is a tool which you can install onto your TF2 client. It can automagically record a POV demo of your competitive matches as well as automatically taking screenshots of the status command output and the final score. You can find more out about it here and how to use it. Netherlands kKaltUu will also be covering this in the next guide.

Can we have more people on our team roster as subs? (more than 9)

Absolutely. But make sure there is no more than 1 player who has played in Division 5 or higher as such people count as ‘buddies’ and that there isn’t more than 20 on your roster in total as that is the limit.

What if my team isn’t available to play one (or more) of our games?
What if the enemy team doesn’t show up for the match?
What if we cannot access or rent a server for our match?
What if I need to find out about something that’s not here?

Contact an admin via the #etf2l IRC channel with ‘!admin HLO typemessagehere’. Whatever the problem, an admin will be happy to help you.

General Information:

What is The Highlander Open?

 Visit the Highlander Open Homepage to learn everything you need to know in detail. In short, it’s a Highlander Tournament specifically for players new to competitive TF2. This tournament is meant for people who are new to competitive play, a competition to find the very best pub team essentially. That said, we understand that many Division 6 HL teams are community teams, so they will be eligible to take part and those that have played in Division 6 6v6 aswell. Anyone who has played Division 5 or higher are only eligible to be ‘buddies’.

How can I find a team to play with?

You can search for a team to play with by creating a thread here.

I have a team…but we need some more players! Where can I recruit players to play for my team?

You can find players looking for teams here.

What is a buddy?

‘Buddies’ are people with Division 5 and higher experience in ETF2L or equivalent in other leagues (6v6 & HL) who may only play as a medic in the HLO team they are participating with.

Can my player play in this tournament, or does he have to be a buddy?

If the player has experience in Division 6 or lower (6v6 & HL), they are eligible to play. If they are experienced in Division 5 or higher (6v6 & HL) they may only participate as a buddy and optionally play as a medic. If you are unsure whether a player counts as a buddy or not, please contact an admin here.

This is the end of the FAQ now Below is all the information not mentioned above from the original post:


  • Comprehensive competitive highlander guide written by Netherlands kKaltUu and Netherlands WiethoofdRussian version translated by Russia irfx
  • Play some TF2Center lobbies and gain great insight and experience in highlander gameplay
  • Find more out about Competitive TF2 as a whole at


  • ETF2L – Hosting the cup with their extensive back-end system
  • – Providing the massive amount of servers required to let the event run smoothly
  • & – Donating TF2 items for prizes
  • TF2Center – All-round service for those new to competitive to be able to partake in mix matches
  • Team Colonslash – Providing the gigantic mumble server and a few extra TF2 servers


Players that complete all their games will receive participation medals and those that finish in the top 3 at the end will receive:

  • gold medal 1st Place – Medal + 9 class-specific Killstreak kits.
  • silver medal 2nd Place – Medal + 9 class-specific Strange weapons.
  • bronze medal 3rd Place – Medal + 9 class-specific Cosmetic items.

Unlockable Weapons

The full list of banned items is as follows:

  • The Vita-Saw
  • The Enforcer
  • The Pomson 6000
  • The Phlogistinator
  • The Holiday Punch
  • The Cleaner’s Carbine
  • Pretty Boy’s Pocket Pistol
  • The Red-Tape Recorder
  • Bombinomicon
  • The Jingle Belt
  • The Bootie Time
  • High Five Taunt
  • Darwin’s Danger Shield
  • The Crit-A-Cola
  • The Short Circuit
  • The Diamondback
  • Baby Face’s Blaster
  • The Reserve Shooter

Huh, ETF2L?! How does this work?

For those of you who are new to the ETF2L site, to sign up for the tournament you will need to be part of a complete Highlander team of at least 9 players. Your leader can then sign your team up for the tournament. We will be adopting ETF2L’s ruleset for General and Highlander rules as well as the Highlander server configs and weapon whitelists. The FAQ section will explain everything about making accounts, teams and signing them up for tournaments in conjunction with the guide written by Netherlands kKaltUu.

The Forums are a great way to talk about TF2, competitive play and the upcoming tournament. Don’t have a team yet, or are you looking for more players to join your team? Be sure to check out the Recruitment Section. Even though this is a European centered event, we will welcome players from other regions with open arms. We will even try to place you into the same groups to ease the process of scheduling matches with your opponents. Against European opponents however, you will have to play on European servers at European times. The usual playing time for ETF2L matches is Sunday’s from 19:00-21:30 CEST however you can still play any other day during the week as long as the rest of your team and your opponent’s are available.

Make sure you are willing to (and can!) play at such times and on European servers before you sign up. If you still can’t find the answer to a question or if you have any problem, then the quickest way to get into contact with an admin is to join the QuakeNet IRC channel #etf2l, and type “!admin highlanderopen <messagehere>” to get hold of someone who will help out. You can use the webchat plugin to connect to the IRC channel here.

Where you can help

You can help us with advertising too.

  • Do you run a TF2/gaming news website? We’d love it if you announced the cup to your readership.
  • If you’re a creative type with ideas for promoting the tournament – be it propaganda posters, a competitive play survival guide for new teams, etc – feel free to contribute.

If you’re an easy-going person who cares about helping the TF2 scene, we’d like to invite you to become a HLO buddy!

  • Buddies will be the representatives between HLO and the community teams. You’ll join their roster, be responsible for answering their questions, making sure they schedule their matches properly, and depending on how good a buddy you are, organising and helping them out with practising and tactics.
  • Buddies will also be eligible to play in the Highlander games themselves. But you can only play medic to keep it fair!
  • Buddies will also be awarded with a medal like the rest of their team.
  • You can put yourself forward to become a buddy simply by joining the new Highlander Open Buddy Group. Please make sure that your Steam page has the correct country information posted on it.

Special Thanks

Many people have assisted in making this great tournament possible by supplying us with advertisement, images and many other things. We would like to express our thanks to all of them. A special highlight goes out to the following people who have put a lot of time in releasing this tournament:

  • UnitedStates Queenie – Organising logo creation, SFM stills and promotional video
  • Russia nabique – Designer and creator of the medals
  • UnitedKingdom Permzilla – Supporting the tournament with ETF2L’s back-end and overall guidance

Have fun and good luck to all that participate! – England Jon


  1. Popcorp said:

    It can automagically record a POV demo


    not sure if on purpose or not 8)

  2. Jon: BOTV Manager said:


  3. Selek said:

    Oh, the buddies are going to be assigned? I wasn’t sure how this was supposed to work before, sounds good.

  4. Selek said:

    Another thing: Will Buddies be forced to leave their regular teams or are you going to implement a way to be able to join an HLO team anyway?

  5. Angry rock: TURNIPBOYS said:

    Are we playing koth_pro_viaduct or koth_viaduct for the first week?

  6. Jon: BOTV Manager said:

    To Selek:

    1st: That’s some poor unfiltered copy pasta on my part, apologies. Buddies are able to join the steam group where teams can go and potentially get one etc. The system is unmanaged as it were.

    2nd: The team they want to join can be a Fun team to alleviate the issue of the buddy leaving their current HL team (there is a Fun teams HLO signup on the Competitions page)

  7. Jon: BOTV Manager said:

    Angry rock:

    koth_viaduct so players don’t have the issue of custom map installation.

  8. TaylorSwiftFan100: PrettyGay said:

    yeah better play a shit map with shit framerate than let players download a costum one..
    don’t think it would be any trouble it’s not like they play a whole new map

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

    LFT as buddy

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

    Not expecting new players to be able to stick a file under tf/maps is a bit patronising to be honest. It seems like excessive handholding.

  11. Spriggan said:


  12. roban: (´・ω・`) - said:

    In my opinion custom maps should be played only in prem since players might have issues with custom map installation.

  13. Freakie: KOLAR - .awkward said:


  14. Sockx said: – Maybe I’m just blind, but where can I create FUN HL team? I’m that only div5 guy in team and I’m doing all stuff on etf because I have experience with it, but I have normal HL team so I can’t create another one.

  15. Jon: BOTV Manager said:


    Its Fun Team [6v6], ignore the 6v6 part though :D

  16. Sockx said:

    Ok thanks :)

  17. Samyzi said:

    Whats the point in not using custom maps if the new players have to download them anyways later on if they decide to continue playing highlander? Just have the buddies teach them how to install custom maps..

  18. [email protected]: said:

    Omg via pro is for nerds, stop complaining.
    Also do subs get medals or not?

  19. Permzilla: (Legend) - LEGO - WiK? said:

    yes, players on the roster will get a medal too.

  20. Do you like cake? said:

    So, i tried signing up for the highlander open, but it just wont work, it keeps saying: ”No eligible teams”.
    I guess im just really dumb, but could somone help me please?

  21. [email protected]: said:

    You need to be leader of a team in order to sign up.

  22. Angry rock: TURNIPBOYS said:

    The new weapons are banned too?

  23. Captain Glorypants: BrCr said:

    When it says the signups close 26th of June, does it mean everything has to be done before the day or by the end of the day?

  24. Jon: BOTV Manager said:

    End of the day

  25. Mousefox13: CSn|LN said:

    So i signed up my team and it just says waiting and then the team name. Does it mean my team is waiting approval or what?