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Getting Started In Competitive TF2

   yogrrt   - 2/25/2021
Hi there! Welcome to Recharge Gaming League, more commonly known as RGL. We are a competitive Team Fortress 2 League with divisions to accommodate any skill level, whether you’re a fresh-faced newbie or a hardened veteran!

Getting into the world of competitive TF2 can seem like a daunting task, but it’s easy once you know where to look. Let’s start by figuring out what type of competitive TF2 you’d like to play.

Competitive formats

RGL offers four different competitive formats to play TF2 in. Each one has a different feel to the next, and sometimes differ radically in their strategies and execution. These four formats are:

  • Highlander
  • - 9v9, one of each class: with every class constantly in play, there’s a place for you no matter what your class preference is.

  • Prolander
  • - 7v7, max 1 per class: focused on flexibility in teamplay, with most classes in play at any given point.

  • Traditional 6s
  • - 6v6, max 1-2 per class: fast-paced with emphasis on high mobility and restrictions on slowdown weapons/classes.

  • No Restriction 6s
  • - 6v6, anything goes: just like TF2’s Competitive Matchmaking, make whatever strategy you can think of work.


Becoming part of a team

Once you’ve decided which flavor of competitive TF2 to dive into, it’s time to become part of a team. A big part of this process is to learn and recognize the acronyms LFT and LFP: these stand for Looking For Team and Looking For Players respectively.

LFT posts are made by players who are looking to join a team, and good LFT posts include information about the player such as preferred classes, division, schedule availability, and other relevant information. LFP posts are made by team leaders who are looking to recruit players for their teams, and good LFP posts include information such as required classes, division, season goals, and ther relevant information.

RGL offers three venues for recruitment, so let’s go over each of them one by one:

RGL Discord #lft & #lfp

RGL’s official Discord server provides convenient #lft and #lfp text channels; join the RGL Discord here. Before you’re able to access most of the Discord, you’ll first have to read and accept the rules of the server. Once you’re in, #lft and #lfp are available under the Recruitment and Scrims category. Posts here tend to go by quick, so be sure to check back once in a while to remind people of what you’re looking for!

RGL.gg Site Recruitment

Found under the “League” tab, this method is integrated into the RGL.gg website, and can be useful in conveying specific information about what class a team needs, or a person plays. This method also includes many extra features to highlight important information. You also have more space to talk about anything relevant.

RGL Forums

Lastly, the RGL forums also provide subforums through which to advertise yourself or your team. Simply sign in through the link on the top-right, enter through Looking For Team/Player, and create a post within your desired format’s subforum. Posting on the forums affords you the greatest freedom in how you choose to express yourself in your LFT/LFP, so you can fill it out with as detailed of a history of your experience as you’d like, or to describe yourself as a player or your team to your satisfaction.

Using the RGL.gg website

Now that you’ve decided on joining or forming a team of your own, it’s time to make that official! Hop over to RGL.gg and scroll down to choose the league for the format you’re playing. Once you’ve entered your format’s website, sign in through Steam using the link on the top-right of the page.

Once you’re signed in, open up the League tab and click on Registration. Here you have the choice between Create Team and Join Team. Creating a team is as simple as entering a team name, tag, password, and preferred division. Once you submit the form, your team will be created with you as its leader! Don’t forget to give your teammates the team password so they can join the roster too.

The best way to join a team’s roster is by finding the team page, then clicking on Join Team at the bottom of the roster list. You can also use the Join Team link on the Registration page to search for teams by name, which will be returned to you with a join link next to it. You will need to enter the password provided by your team leader. Once you’re done, your join request will be submitted and will need to be confirmed by your team leader.

Once you’ve entered a roster, you’re ready to play a match! RGL organizes most of the things you’ll need within the League tab, so be sure to explore.

Configuring your TF2 for competitive

For the security and integrity of the league, RGL requires all players to record POV and STV demos of every league match. These are often some of the most unfamiliar aspects of competitive TF2 to new players, so we highly recommend you read our guides to POV demos and SourceTV.

In addition to the requirements above, there are several TF2 options that, while not required by our rules, are often considered essential to effective competitive play. Here is a short list of some options that are extremely helpful for competitive play with short explanations:

  • Maximum Field of View of 90 (Options > Video > Advanced > Field of view)
  • - This will widen the angle of your camera view, allowing you to see more of the battlefield.
  • Enable Hit Sounds (Advanced Options > Combat Options > Play a hit sound...)
  • - This will play a sound whenever you damage an enemy. This sound is also greatly customizable through its related options.
  • Enable Damage Numbers (Advanced Options > Combat Options > Display damage...)
  • - This will display the amount of damage you deal as a number above the player you hurt, so you can better understand how much health they may have left.
  • Enable Autoreload (Advanced Options > Combat Options > Automatically reload…)
  • - This will automatically reload your active weapon for you when you have the ammo for it, so you don’t need to press reload yourself.
  • Enable Fast Weapon Switch (Advanced Options > Combat Options > Fast weapon…)
  • - This will allow you to change weapons with a single button press without going through the weapon selection menu.
  • Enable Loadout Respawn (Advanced Options > Miscellaneous Options > Automatically…)
  • -This will immediately respawn you whenever you change your loadout within a respawn zone, so you can quickly respawn without needing to reach the resupply cabinet.
  • Enable Autoheal (Advanced Options > Class Specific Options > MEDIC: Medigun…)
  • - This will set your Medi Gun to continue healing your current target after releasing your attack button, so you won’t need to hold Mouse1 down constantly.
  • Enable Autocall (Advanced Options > Class Specific Options > MEDIC: Injured…)
  • - This will enable teammates automatically calling for Medic when their health drops below the given threshold, so you won’t need to wait until they call for you themselves.

There are also a multitude of personalization options (some of which we cover here that you may be more comfortable with than the default; make sure to ask the community what their favorite TF2 customizations are to get ideas for your own!

That’s it! Good luck and have fun with competitive TF2.

You’re now ready to start playing your favorite competitive TF2 games in RGL. The TF2 competitive community doesn’t stop there, though! There are still many more ways you can get involved, and to start, here are a few good extras:

Scrims

Short for scrimmages, scrims are scheduled matches between teams, usually of relatively equal skill, used as practice outside of official tournament matches. Teams will often scrim each other throughout the week during the evenings. Just like team recruitment, RGL offers multiple #scrims channels in its Discord and a Scrims sub-forum in the RGL Forums, both organized by format, so if you’re looking to get some organized practice with your team, hop in and start scheduling scrims with other team leaders!

PUGs

Short for Pick-Up Games, PUGs are a spontaneous, lower-commitment form of play which brings players together for quick competitive-format games. The RGL Discord offers a semi-automated system for Prolander and NR6s PUGs, and various in-house community PUG groups also exist. Come by the Discord and hop in the Pickup Waiting voice channel to get started, or ask around to see what community options are available!

Mentoring

It can be hard to know how to get better when you’re just starting out. Luckily, the TF2 competitive community has a robust and active mentoring scene to help get you off the ground and point you in the right direction. Both the RGL Discord and Forums have platforms for potential mentors and mentees alike to get in touch with each other, where you can share a LFM (Looking For Mentor) post with your needs and goals, or browse the existing posts by experienced players who’d like to share their knowledge.

Guide written by - Flare