6v6 Newcomer Guide

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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 an introduction to the essentials of 6v6.

It might look like a wall of text, but this guide contains everything you need to know about the 6v6 gamemode! Read through all of this and you are ready to go!

1: Hi, I’m new.

2: So, this website…

3: Do I need my own server?

4: Do I get prizes for playing?

5: Where do I start?

6: What is the 6v6 gamemode about?

7: Any specific rules to keep in mind?

8: Are there any basic tactics that we can start with?

9: “Swiss System”? What is this about?

10: What are Substitutes and Mercenaries?

11: What if I don’t have a team?

12: What is a Mix?

13: How do I search for a competitive match?

14: What are Tiers?

15: When and how do I sign up for a Tier?

16: What is P-REC?

17: How do we get better as a team?

18: How can I improve individually?

19: I have more questions…

Hi, I’m new.

Welcome to the ETF2L!

You found the biggest competitive Team Fortress 2 league in Europe.
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 the top right you have your menu bar, that will lead you everywhere you have to go.
You can access further tools for your profile- and team management in the dashboard:

etf2lteama

One of the most important sections will be the Rules & Configs tab, which contains General, Forum and competition specific rules.
Obviously you don’t need to remember each rule word for word, but knowing what rules there are certainly helps.

Should you happen to own a server that’s where you will find all the League configs needed to configure it properly.

Do I need my own server?

Don’t own a server or don’t know how to obtain one?

The benevolent Netherlands Arie offers you the opportunity to reserve one of many (20+) free servers over at serveme.tf .

By donating a very low amount of money you will, along with a lot of other benefits, additionally gain access to 80+ servers that are reserved for serveme premium users only.

3 months of premium status is as cheap as 5€. Make sure to visit the site!

That being said it’s probably a good idea to buy your own server after a while. It’s much more convenient and you’ll be able to customize it to your liking.

A variety of providers offer powerful servers at a decent price. Make sure to do some research and inform yourself before you buy one!

As soon as you have a server 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.

Do I get prizes for playing?

Several!

First off, playing 6v6 is a reward in itself. It doesn’t matter which tier you play in, or which placement you achieve there, as long as you have fun playing with your team!
You will soon notice that playing in an organised environment, while challenging, can be very satisfying, and that there still is a lot for you to learn!

From Season 19 onwards we have been offering cash prizes and ingame item prizes for every single tier – that means any team can win!

If that’s not enough, thanks to Maniac there will be shiny in-game medals awarded to the winners of each tier as well as participant medals for everyone playing their matches!

medals

Top row: RED team. Bottom Row: BLU team.
From left to right: 6v6 Prem 1st, 2nd, 3rd place. 6v6 Any Tier Winner, 6v6 Any Tier Participant. Same order for Highlander.

The top teams from each Tier get promoted between seasons, so if you do decimate your opponents you’ll get to compete against stronger teams and, along with massive bragging rights, aqcuire higher level medals on top of becoming eligible for better money prizes.

Where do I start?

Right here.

First, you need to find out if you even like the idea of competitive 6v6 style Team Fortress 2. Seeing how you’ve made it so far reading this guide 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 have to work together , doing their best to win, not just trying to get a high score per player.
Virtually all random elements are gone, chaos is reduced to a minimum, so the team with superior teamwork always wins.

The elimination of all these non-competitive random factors may be the reason why 6v6 seems a bit too restrictive at first when compared to a public server, but don’t worry there’s a lot of freedom when choosing how to play it.

What is the 6v6 gamemode about?

The idea of 6v6 is to offer players a more competitive experience in Team Fortress 2.

Matches are played on private, passworded servers with teams of 6 each using the ruleset of this league.

It’s not as strict as it sounds though!

There is a great deal of versatility on every map, countless tactics and never only one “right way”.
Creative thinking and innovative play can be very rewarding.

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 Demoman, Engineer, Heavy, Medic, Pyro and Sniper.
All the other classes (Scout, Soldier and Spy) are limited to 2.

In case one of your players can’t play some time, you are also allowed to use so called Mercenaries (often abbreviated as ‘mercs’).
This process will be explained in the “Substitutes and Mercenaries” section.

Are there any basic tactics that 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 (Roamer+Pocket), 1 Demoman and 1 Medic most of the time.

Scouts usually play the flank and, being a very ‘slippery’ class, dash in and out of combat to severly wound and/or finish off opponents.

One Soldier “roams” and acts as a mobile bomber/initiator of fights while the other Soldier (the Pocket) is tasked with protecting the Medic.

The Demoman class is ideal for controlling territory, using sticky-bombs to place traps or his grenade-launcher to surpress chokepoints.

A Medic keeps his team alive and overhealed, on top of providing them with the “Ubercharge” ability which is used to push heavily fortified objectives or defend against a strong enemy assault.

banner-6v6-lineup

This is considered the “standard” class setup, a solid balance of speed, versatility and firepower which has established itself over the course of the years.

Though in spite of that don’t let anybody dictate your lineup.
Your team is free to play with a pyro instead of a second soldier, just be aware that the Pyro/Heavy/Engineer/Sniper/Spy, also referred to as the “off-classes”, all come with serious downsides and only situational upsides.
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 a certain class and when/where not to use it.
Remember that even now, after many years, 6v6 is still far from being “figured out”.

There are tons and tons of basic and advanced guides and tactics for individual classes/roles and teams as a whole.
You can google them or use our Training & Tactics subforum to see if you can find the guide that you need.

“Swiss System”? What is this about?

Season 20 marks the 20th season of competitive ETF2L 6v6 and introduced the Swiss Tournament System to our league.

The goal of the swiss system is to match teams against each other based off of an estimated skill level within the season that they’re playing in.

A more detailed explanation can be found in our Swiss System FAQ and the “Swiss-system tournament” Wikipedia page.

What are Substitutes and Mercenaries?

There are always unforeseen things happening around you and your team members, but that won’t easily stop you from playing!

Substitutes (often referred to as ‘backups’) are rostered members of your team (your team can have more than 6 members overall!) that you are able to replace someone of your main line-up with, in case that person can’t play on a certain day.
This is why having more than 6 players on your roster can turn out to be very useful!

A player that’s not verified on a team’s roster (listed as unverified on the roster, or not on the roster at all) counts as a Mercenary (often abbreviated as ‘mercs’).

Competition specific rules apply, so make sure to check the specific rules for each season to see what’s permitted and what’s not.
Currently the permitted maximum number of mercs usable per official in the 6v6 gamemode is 2 mercs, given that your opponent approves of them.

What if I don’t have a team?

You surely have some buddies that you like to play pubs with with: You can register a team and invite them to it following the instructions on our FAQ page.

If not, being a player who longs for true teamwork, and is willing to practise and improve, you should be a good candidate for the exisiting teams out there.

Finding them is as easy as visiting the Team section of our Recruitment page. There you can see which classes/rolesskill level and gamemode teams are looking to find players for.

Alternatively you can put up a recruitment post for yourself.
Simply visit the before mentioned Dashboard and go to the Recruitment section.

The page should be self-explanatory:

rec1

Please keep in mind that recruitment posts automatically stop showing up in the recruitment section after 30 days.
So if a month has passed and you haven’t found a team yet close your old post and submit a new one.

Alternatively the two most common ways for newbies to play comp 6v6 without having found a team are:

TF2Center : This website offers a lobby style PUG (Pickup-game) service for players of all skill levels, though it tends to be less organized due to voice communication generally not being enforced.
– “Mixes” (see the ‘What is a Mix?’ section below)

Remember that playing 6v6 is not the same as playing on a public server.
Don’t just dive into it, introductions to the most common/expected playstyle(s) of your personal class and an explanation of your role in the team are mandatory if you want to understand what’s going on in a match.

Once again, a visit to our Training & Tactics subforum might be beneficial, other than that you can google for the most recent common tactics in 6v6.

What is a Mix?

A “Mix” is when 6 people, who aren’t in the same team, get together to compete against other Mixes or even organized teams.

The difference between a Mix and a PUG is that the former makes use of voice communication (usually through Mumble or TeamSpeak) while the latter doesn’t.
This causes mixes to be generally more organized than PUGs.

A variation of the Mix is the Double-Mix in which 12 (instead of 6) people get together, form random teams playground style and play against each other.

A PCW (Practice Clan War) , also referred to as scrim , is the next step:
Once you have a team that you regularly play with you can begin challenging mixes and other organized teams.

Regular practice matches as a team bring you together and enhance your teamwork.

They are crucial when preparing for the league matches that are being played during a season, also known as “officials“.

How do I search for a competitive match?

If you have 5 players with you and want to play a Mix, or a PCW if you’re a team, then join:

#tf.wars @ Quakenet IRC

Set a nickname, join the channel and type in your request to search for a match by using the following format:

6v6 Open off now

6v6” stands for the gamemode that someone is looking for. It’s often left out since tf.wars is mainly used for 6v6 anyways.

Open” refers to the skill level of your mix or team. It orients itself after the ETF2L Tier-System (see the Tier section below).

off” means that you can not provide a server to play on yourself. If you can, put “on” there instead.

now” stands for when you actually want to play. Sometimes teams schedule scrims/PCWs ahead of time.

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).

A clock displaying the current time in CET/CEST can be found at the top of the infobox on the front page of ETF2L.

Sooner or later an opponent will message you, which is indicated by a sound and a red message-tab at the top of the page.
Click the message-tab which will generally include some sort of connect-string that is needed to connect to the server of your opponent:

wars

In order to join your opponents’ server you’ll have to copy-paste that connect-string into your ingame console and press enter to execute the command:

connect

What are Tiers?

ETF2L uses a Tier-System to measure the skill level of teams participating in this league.

The highest Tier is called Premiership where the very best European teams play.
It’s followed by High, Mid and Open.

If a team reaches a high enough placement in their tier at the end of the season they’ll automatically get promoted to the next higher tier.

New teams are usually placed in the Open-Tier (Starting Tier) since the more difficult tiers are…well…more difficult.

You can base your judgment on playing around with your skill level in #tf.wars, just bear in mind that teams are often looking for a challenge and will search a bit above their actual skill level.

Don’t think playing in Open makes you the worst though. Most players, if not all of them, started in Open.
You are the newest, not the worst!

When and how do I sign up for a Tier?

In the ETF2L teams compete against each other during certain periods of time within a year, also known as seasons.
The timeframe in which these seasons take place can vary from year to year.

Before the start of each season we publish an announcement newspost which contains every bit of information that you need in order to participate in it:
How to sign up, when the actual season happens, specific things to look for etc.

Those newsposts are fairly straight-forward, though should you still have any questions regarding the signup process after reading them you’re free to contact admins on the matter.

What is P-REC?

P-REC stands for PoV-Record and records a Point-of-View 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) and take the necessary screenshots required from you when playing an official match if you set it up the right way (Advanced Options).

Recording demos and uploading certain types of screenshots is mandatory for every ETF2L league match, as a result this add on can make your life a whole lot easier

For more information and download links check the P-REC FAQ.

Don’t rely too much on the add-on though because it’s possible that it can fail. Double checking if all necessary screenshots have been taken is recommended.

You can look up which screenshots are needed by checking the relevant section in our General Rules .
There aren’t many, but they’re very important!

How do we get better as a team?

That’s a question that every team will ask themselves at some point.

The core of competitive TF2 is teamplay, which requires practising with your team to improve.

Key aspects of teamwork are proper communication and coordination , which are needed for a fluid execution of effective team-tactics.
Play scrims regularly, look up team-guides, watch STV demos of good teams or perhaps consult a mentor.

You can grow as a player through individual practice, working on your gamesense and improving your aim, reaction speed and dodging skills (or in other words your deathmatching, commonly referred to as DM) but without proper teamwork you won’t be succesful in the long run.

Obviously you won’t perform amazingly in a week.
Becoming a good team takes a lot of practice, but the outcome will be highly satisfying!

How can I improve individually?

To train pure aim you can play on MGE or TF2 Deathmatch servers.

Good deathmatching alone does not make you a high level player, but it will improve your mechanical abilities, therefore posing a bigger threat to your opponents.

The other vital player quality is gamesense: Gamesense, in a nutshell, is the ability to make good decisions in-game, preferably in a quick fashion.
Knowing the best way to approach a fight, when to take or avoid a fight, intelligently picking targets, advantageous positioning and much more is what’s commonly referred to as gamesense.

You can improve your gamesense by reading guides, watching top teams play or practice by playing 6v6 matches.
Amazing aim may propel you into higher tiers, but gamesense is what you will really need if you want to make it to the very top.

The most important thing here is: Don’t get frustrated!

Nobody was born a champion, the skill ceiling for competitive TF2 is very high and it might take you some time to reach it.
The most important thing is that you never give up and keep trying hard.

I have more questions…

As mentioned at the very start: This guide is just meant to teach you the very basics of comp 6v6 TF2. Having more questions is only natural!

Feel free to ask any additional questions by creating a thread on the Support section of our forum, or by asking admins directly through the Contact Admins support page.

 


 

This concludes the beginners guide to competitive 6v6.

We hope that you were provided with the information necessary to get into competitive 6s and wish you to have fun and the best of luck when playing in our league.

With kind regards

 etf2llogo5