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The Highlander Open

The Highlander Open Cup

>>> Sign up now! <<<

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.

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.

NOTICE: Fun teams can now enter too. If you are currently in a normal Highlander team and want to create a team with you as the buddy, go ahead and make a Fun Team (ignore the 6v6 part)

If you encounter problems signing up, please follow this guide , Again, you can only click the sign up link above if you are the leader of a team.

Update: We have now added a new team role for ETF2L Teams called ‘Buddy’, this means you leaders can specify who is the buddy on the team. Once set, they can Edit the team, submit results and schedule your matches!

Introducing The Highlander Open, a brand new initiative to introduce non-competitive players into the comp scene or for those wanting to get into league-style competitive TF2 in a simple manner sponsored by ETF2L.org and PurePings.com. After a few months in the works, we are now thrilled to announce it is happening!

And what exactly is this, we hear you ask? Well check out our fantastic and visually pleasing Highlander Open Page! It contains all the basics about what exactly the Highlander format is, and essential (light) reading for all who want to get involved.

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.

If you are a lone player wanting to get into a team or if you want to get more players for your own team, check out the Recruitment Section. If you are a team looking to get a buddy, load up the Steam Group page and check out the comments.

Rosters must only have a maximum of 1 player with experience in Division 5 and higher HL and 6v6 as that person is your ‘buddy’ and can only play as a medic.

Resources

  • 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 comp.tf

Sponsors

  • ETF2L - Hosting the cup with their extensive back-end system
  • PurePings.com - Providing the massive amount of servers required to let the event run smoothly
  • TF2Pickup.net & Whitelist.tf - 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

Format

The tournament will kick off with a Group Phase designed so that all teams involved will have the chance to play some exciting games with a final catchup week to play any outstanding matches or tiebreakers.

After the Group Phase the best two teams from each group will engage in a straight knock-out cup as we progress on in our journey to discover, and reward, the very best Pub team in Europe.

Prizes

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.

Schedule

he 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: Thursday 10th July at 23.59 CEST
  • Week 1 start: Sunday 13th July (scheduled by Thursday 10th July at 23.59 CEST)
  • Week 2 start: Sunday 20th July (scheduled by Thursday 17th July at 23.59 CEST)
  • Week 3 start: Sunday 27th July (scheduled by Thursday 24th July at 23.59 CEST)
  • 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 will be placed into the Single Elimination Playoffs (starting Sunday 10th 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

Please note that dates are subject to change due to tiebreakers and other unforeseen circumstances.

Maps

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 (cp_process_final as decider)
  • Round 2 playoffs – cp_granary & pl_upward (koth_lakeside_final as decider)
  • Round 3 playoffs – koth_lakeside_final & cp_process_final (pl_upward)
  • Round 4 playoffs – pl_badwater & cp_gullywash_final1 (cp_granary)
  • Quarter Finals, Semi Finals and the Grand Final are all played Best of 3 maps

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

Servers

For competitive, you will need play on a private server (password protected) with a special Highlander config file and weapon whitelist (provided) on the server used to set the competitive environment. We understand not everyone will have access to their own private server so you have a couple options in that case. You can rent a server using serveme.tf (courtesy of Netherlands Arie & providers). If that is not possible or you’re in an emergency situation, we will have official match servers available (provided by PurePings.com Team Colonslash).

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! Details about the mumble server will be released at a later date.

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.

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. 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.

FAQ

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 serveme.tf 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: mumble.highlanderopen.org    Port9004

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 serveme.tf, 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
  • Week 2 start: Sunday 20th July
  • Week 3 start: Sunday 27th 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

Please note that dates could slightly change due to tiebreakers and other unforeseen circumstances.

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.

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

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 be assigned to teams on depending what language they speak. If you have a link to a particular community, you can request to be their buddy.
  • 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:

  • USA Queenie – Organising logo creation, SFM stills and promotional video (coming soon)
  • Russia nabique – Designer and creator of the medals
  • England Permzilla – Supporting the tournament with ETF2L’s back-end and overall guidance

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