6v6 Newcomer Guide
Hey there! If you are new to the ETF2L and competitive 6v6 in general, you have come to the right place.
This is not the official ETF2L FAQ, which you can find here, this is just a friendly introduction for the essentials.
This might look like a wall of text, but it contains everything you need! Once you’ve read through all this, you are ready to go!
Hi! I’m new
Welcome to the ETF2L!
You found the biggest competitive Team Fortress 2 league in the world. Don’t let this intimidate you however, everything is as easy going as it gets.
By the way, ETF2L stands for European Team Fortress 2 League.
So, this website…
It’s pretty straight forward: On top you have your menu bar, that will lead you everywhere you have to be lead. You can access further tools for your profile- and team management in the dashboard.
Important for you, as a future combatant in ETF2L competitions, will be the “[Rules & Configs]” tab, which lists all rules you have to know about. Obviously, you don’t need to remember each rule word for word, but knowing what rules there are certainly helps.
If you have a server, that’s also where you will find all the necessary League configs.
Server you say, do I need one?
If neither you, nor the team you are playing against have a server, you can borrow one from the league for your official matches.
If you ever happen to get into this situation, the ETF2L admins will gladly help you with that!
However, most teams already have servers, so that probably won’t happen.
You will probably want your own server after a while, that you can mess around on whenever you feel like it.
Our sponsor Hypernia offers affordable match servers for everyone. Go here to check it out! By using our referral link, you also support ETF2L with every purchase.
As soon as you have one, you might want to take a look at “Metamod: Source”, “Sourcemod“ and the Supplemental Stats plugin for services like logs.tf so you can see damage, kills, assists, healing spread and much, much more.
A lightweight alternative to Sourcemod is the TFTrue Plugin developed by AnAkIn. A worthy addition to any competitive server with excellent suite of features including Supplemental Stats, tournament STV auto-recording, unlock restrictions, map change delay, unpause delay and more.
Season 15, what is this about?
Season 15 marks the 15th season of competitive ETF2L 6v6.
Yes, there have been 14 seasons before (that we speak of. Nobody ever mentions the AFS Season in 2010)! But you are not late, no, you came here in the best moment possible!
Do I get a prize for playing?
First off, you have an awesome team that you can be proud of. It doesn’t matter which division you play in, or which place you make there, you have fun playing with your team! You will soon notice that playing in an organised enviroment is very challenging and there is still a lot for you to learn!
If that’s not enough, there will be shiny in-game medals awarded for winning each group, as well as just playing all your matches!
The top teams from each Division get promoted between seasons, so if you do decimate your opponents, you’ll get to compete against stronger teams and win more bragging rights and better medals, eventually reaching physical hardware and money prizes.
Okay you got me, where do I start?
Right here, you came to the right place.
First, you need to find out if you even like the idea of competitive 6v6 style Team Fortress 2. Once you get to know it, you probably will!
It offers a great experience that is nothing like public server play, and captures the essence of the most exciting part about TF2 – teamwork. Everyone on your team will be doing their best to win, not just trying to get a high score. Virtually all random elements are gone, chaos is reduced to a minimum, so the team with superior teamwork always wins. This is the reason 6v6 may seem a bit too restrictive at first.
So what is the idea?
The idea of 6v6 is to offer players a more competitive experience in Team Fortress 2.
For that you play on private servers with teams of 6 each with the ruleset of this league.
It’s not as strict as it sounds though!
There is a great deal of versatility on every map, many tactics and never only one “right way”.
Are there any basic tactics we can start with?
Possible tactics in each and every situation all depend on what classes you use and where you position yourself.
Most teams run 2 Scouts, 2 Soldiers, 1 Demoman and 1 Medic most of the time. Scouts protect the flank and dash in and out of combat to get finishing shots, one Soldier roams and acts as a “bomber” while the other Soldier protects the Medic, the Demoman deals out most of the damage and controls territory, while the Medic keeps the team alive and often serves as the team’s commander.
This is considered the “standard” class layout, a solid balance of speed, versatility and firepower.
Don’t let anybody tell you your team can’t play with a Pyro instead of a second Soldier though.
Just be aware that Pyro/Heavy/Engineer/Sniper/Spy all come with serious downsides and situational upsides, so you may find them tricky to use in a gamemode centered around speed and positioning. The more you play with it, the more you’ll learn when/where to use certain class and when/where not to use it. Remember that even now, after four years, 6v6 is still far from being “figured out”.
Any specific rules to keep in mind?
Several, don’t worry though, most of it is just common sense.
The game mode is 6 versus 6, that means 6 players per team.
There is a limit of one per class on Heavy, Demoman and Medic. All the other classes are limited to 2.
In case one of your players can’t play some time, you are also allowed to use so called Substitutes or Mercenaries.
Substitutes, Mercenaries? What’s that about?
There are always unforeseen things happening around you and your team members, but that won’t stop you from playing!
Substitutes (short “Subs”) are official members of your team (your team can have more than 6 members overall!) that you will replace someone of your line-up with, in case that person can’t play at a certain day. This is why having more than 6 players on your roster is very useful!
Mercenaries (short “Mercs”) are not members of your team, however, they may help you out in case you don’t have a Sub available. You can use everyone who is registered at the ETF2L as a Merc, however, the enemy team has to approve of the Merc you want to use before the match starts. You are allowed a maximum of 2 mercs at any given time.
What if I don’t have a team?
You surely have some buddies that you like to play pubs with with. If not, any responsible players who long for true teamwork, and are willing to practice and improve, are good candidates. Talk to them, play mixes, have fun, and get immersed in the 6v6 experience. You will certainly want to team up and fight for a higher cause!
Remember that playing a class in 6v6 is not the same as playing on pubs though. Introductions on the most common/expected playstyle of your personal class can be found here.
This is where you start your 6v6 career once you know how your class is usually played.
“Mix” is a confusing word, and yet it makes sense: In a mix you gather your friends, no matter if they’re already in another team or not, you just play with a mixed bunch of people against another group of 6.
That can be both a team or just an enemy mix (or friendly mix – get 12 people, split them up in groups of 6 and voila, you have a doublemix!).
A PCW(Practice Clan War) is the next step. Once you have a mix you regularly play with, you can team up and begin challenging other mixes and organized teams, to practice as a team and get the team spirit and an idea of tactics you are going to use when playing league games.
Okay, I have a few friends, and we all want to play now, where do we start?
With your current knowledge you can indeed play already! Go for it.
If you have 5 friends with you and want to play a Mix and later a PCW, join:
#tf.wars @ Quakenet IRC
To use it properly either watch the other players asking for matches or write in the following format:
6v6 div5 on now
“6v6” stands for the game mode,
“div5” for the skill level. The division equals the ETF2L division,
“on” means that you have a server online that you can play on. If you don’t, put “off” there.
“now” stands for when you actually want to play. Sometimes teams write a time there, for when they want to play.
CET is the timezone most commonly used, equivalent to GMT+1. During Summertime, CEST is used instead, which is equivalent to GMT+2 (GMT is not affected by Daylight Savings).
In case you don’t have 6 people to play with, you can also play a pickup. It works similarly to TF2Lobby, however, the skill level is higher and generally more professional while still being friendly to newcomers. Unlike TF2Lobby though, voice communication is mandatory, but players are more responsible and will usually help you with advice should you need any.
You were talking about Divisions?
Yes! We are finally getting to the core of playing 6v6 in the ETF2L!
Assuming you now have at least 5 more people to play with and you want to create a team, you need to decide which Division you want to play in based on your skill level.
ETF2L uses a fairly straightforward divisional system that you may know from your national football league. Clubs (teams) play in Divisions based on their skill level. If they reach a high rank in the division they play in at the end of the season, they will be promoted to the higher division.
The highest division is called Premier Division where the very best European teams play in. Followed by Division 1, then 2, down to 6.
New teams usually start in Division 6, depending on whether they can prove they can play higher or not.
You can base your judgment on playing around with your skill level in #tf.wars.
Don’t think playing in Division 6 makes you the worst though. It’s entirely up to you, and most players, if not all of them started in Division 6 or 5. You are the newest, not the worst!
Okay I signed my team up for a Division, what’s next?
That’s great! Welcome to the league!
Now you will have to take a look at the rules, and at some things that might make your life in the competitive world easier.
One being P-REC.
P-REC stands for PoV record and records a PoV Demo.
That means: Whenever you play a competitive match, P-REC will automatically record a demo (not a replay!) from your point of view, so in first person.
That will also allow you to share your wicked sick killstreaks with your buddies and maybe even eXtv who might publish them, for a large fan base to see!
It will also make your life as a team leader easier, as it takes the necessary demos and screenshots required from you when playing an official match if you tell it to (Advanced Options).
For more information and download links, check the P-REC FAQ.
You should not rely too much on the machine though because it is possible the tool fails. Double checking if all needed screenshots have been taken is recommended.
Read about what screenshots you have to take in the Rules, it’s not too much, but important!
Okay, now I played some matches and want to improve, what can I do?
That’s a very good question that everyone will ask him- or herself at some point.
The core of competitive TF2 is teamplay, which requires practicing with your team to improve. But you can grow as a player via independent practice as well, by working on your game sense and improving your aim, reaction speed and dodging skills.
Like in every other activity though, you won’t become amazing in a week. It will take a lot of practice, but the outcome will be highly satisfying!
Aim and gamesense, how do I improve those?
To train pure aim you can play MGE or TF2 Deathmatch servers. Good aim alone does not make a high level player, but will improve your deathmatching skills, which are still important to be credit to team.
The other vital player quality is gamesense. Gamesense in a nutshell is the ability to make good decisions in-game, and do it very quickly. Knowing the best way to approach a fight, intelligently picking targets, choosing good positions to be when holding ground or ambushing the enemy team, all that and much more is covered by gamesense. You can improve your gamesense by reading guides, watching top teams play and just practicing 6v6 matches. Amazing aim may propel you into higher divisions, but gamesense is what really counts.
The most important thing here is: Don’t get frustrated! There will always be better players than you, but also there will always be worse! Where you belong on that scale is entirely up to you, and you can always move a bit higher!
Now have fun playing and the best of luck in the upcoming season!
But I have more questions…
This thread goes into more details and covers some things not mentioned in this particular guide. If it doesn’t help either, feel free to ask your question by contacting admins on irc (type !admin in the #etf2l channel at Quakenet), or ask on the forums!