Announcing the No Restriction Sixes Pilot League

   sigafoo   - 2/9/2019
RGL is very excited to announce that we are getting into the sixes format, but with a twist! We are going to be hosting a sixes league that uses the Match Making structure! And to create more incentive for players to earnestly try this, we will have a prizepool and bounty system!


Format


When Competitive Matchmaking came out inside of TF2, many players tossed it aside for various reasons and never took it seriously. Valve has made many positive changes both to TF2 and its balance since the MyM update, so we think it's time to revisit the Matchmaking format and see what it would look like if sixes teams actually tried it in a competitive environment with money on the line.

Some details on the format:
  • No whitelist**
  • No class restrictions**
  • 5cp maps will be played first to 3 round wins, no time limit
  • KOTH maps will be played Bo7
  • Payload maps will be played Bo3

** Though very unlikely, if there is a meta of classes or items that develops which is utterly horrible and no team can evolve to counter it. We'd discuss a possible change to the restrictions.

League


As this is our first venture into the world of 6s, we're calling this a "Pilot League." It will be a short, focused season that will still allow teams plenty of time to experience the format, while not being an overwhelming burden on players and staff. Depending on what we learn from this pilot season, we may push it further and explore more possibilities in the future. As the entire point of this league is to learn and generate feedback, no matter what happens we will come out with something constructive.

With that said, here is the Pilot League Structure
  • Free to enter/play
  • One Match Per Week
  • Regular Season is 5 weeks
  • Maps: Three 5cp, One payload, One KOTH
  • Playoffs: Two matches
  • Match servers will be provided**

**Though we may not provide match servers to all divisions, depends on the size of the pilot league.

We decided to make this a league, and not a cup for one main reason. We want to allow time for metas to be developed and broken. In a cup, we believe that most teams will probably opt to not experiment at all. On the flip side, if a meta did show itself in a cup, there might not be enough time for counter-meta's to develop against it. By having a week between each map, teams will have time to scrim, if they choose, or at the very least have time to formulate new strategies.

How to experience?


Register

You can register for the league on our registration page. If you are looking for a team to join, details are listed on the registration page on how to try and find a team.

Watch Matches Live


Follow us on our twitch channel to catch the live match casts at twitch.tv/RGL

Watch Match VOD / Bonus Content


We hope to have top plays, league coverage throughout the pilot season. Subscribe to our youtube channel to get notified of that at youtube.com/c/rglgg

Why


Recent conversations about league whitelists have once again brought questions about competitive TF2 formats: Can leagues unban more items? Can new maps be introduced? Can the ruleset be improved? Though all good questions and all being asked by respected high-level players in the name of progress, it seems that's where the progress halts. Players get caught up in theory crafting and wanting to protect their strict meta's rather than seek change.

After watching these global whitelist talks from the sidelines, I thought to reach out to some of the players who were in favor of opening up sixes to be less restrictive. I do believe it's possible that restrictions in competitive tf2 might be one of the reasons players are alienated from jumping into it. TF2's base game has never had any restrictions and Valve has stayed that course with Matchmaking. Yet when Matchmaking came out the competitive scene quickly turned away from any real attempts at seeing what this format could truly be like.

Despite this, Valve has made many weapon balance changes since MyM, seemingly for the comp community, but the comp community hasn't made any changes to get closer to the no restrictions of matchmaking. One thing to remember is that Matchmaking is by far the most played format for 6v6 pickup games. Having this temporarily league to try and get information to help Valve with their matchmaking and helping the competitive community to find a common point of unification with Valve would result in benefit to all parties.

One of the competitive leaders I reached out to was b4nny, who also agreed to help advise the pilot league. He had this to say about the idea of RGL No Restriction 6s:

This league will finally allow us to get concrete answers to questions that have long plagued the competitive scene. I am most excited at the prospect of collecting masses of experience-based feedback to send to Valve, which in turn can be applied to into rebalances and game updates that improve TF2. Rather than fall into the all-too-common tradition of only theory crafting, RGL is actually taking steps for change, which is more than I can say for just about any other league out there. I encourage anyone who wants to see TF2 grow competitively to participate in this league.

b4nny



As time has gone on and more details have gotten hashed out, the more excited I got for the concept. I can’t wait to see what we can learn from this venture and apply to the future of competitive TF2.

Prizepool / Bounty System


We currently plan to have a cash prize for the Invite division and bounty system for all divisions.

We are currently accepting donations from the community and seeking sponsorships to further boost the prize pool. The current prize pool for Invite is $600 dollars. The exact payout structure will be decided and released closer to the league's start date.

If you believe in what we're doing you can donate money to the prize pool @ paypal.me/RGLgg. 100% of donations will help cover the RGL prize pool.

The bounty system is in addition to the prize pool and ALL teams from ALL divisions will be eligible to receive it, provided they follow the requirements. The bounty system is being sponsored by b4nny who explained it like this:


“I want to see people make the most of this opportunity to generate feedback and push the limits of the format so I will be personally offering rewards to teams that do exactly that. Through experimentation during your matches, help us to find the answers to questions such as: How useful is having more than 1 medic? Is there such a thing as too many scouts? Is stacking demos overpowered? Is it possible to break defenses with multiple heavies or sentry guns? How do teams with a fulltime pyro/engineer/heavy/spy fare? For every team that genuinely participates in this process, no matter the division or placement in the league, I will provide the team six Mann Co Keys (one per player). For any team continues this through playoffs, I will double it to twelve Mann Co Keys (two per player). If your team wins your division, I will triple it to eighteen keys (three per player.)

The specific criteria for qualifying for the bounty are as follows:

-Use team compositions that stray from the cookie-cutter meta (anything that is not 2 scouts, 2 soldiers, 1 demo, 1 medic) across 75% or more of your match playtime summed across the whole season. Logs of your matches must be provided and will be checked. Some admin discretion may be necessary in borderline cases.
-Play every match. No forfeits. No thrown matches.
-Abide by all other RGL conduct rules.
-Submit your detailed feedback in the RGL feedback survey on the format at the end of the season.
-All or nothing. No member of the team may break any league rules or else the entire team forfeits the bounty
-Provide a trade offer link of one or more recipients to distribute the keys amongst the team.”

b4nny



Goals from the league


We will take the feedback, data from logs and everything that we learned and pass it over to Valve. We hope to provide useful evidence to Valve, so we can help figure out a way for the competitive community and matchmaking to become closer together.

Our foremost goal from this league is to learn from doing. What can we take away from this league that is good and what can we avoid doing in the future. We plan to hold an end of the season survey to participants of the league to get their feedback as well.

Example Survey questions we're planning on asking:
- 5cp matches were played first to 3 with no time limit, how did this play out in your matches?
- Did games feel particularly short or long?
- Were comebacks still possible?
- Were stalemates any more of an issue than what you’re used to?

- Were there any items that were abused in matches that you felt had a strong impact on the game?
- If so, which ones?
- What would you say is the main issue with the item, and do you have any suggestions on what could potentially be done to rebalance the item?

-Were there any class compositions that were in abused in your matches that you felt were too powerful? Please describe what they were and how it was abused.
-Were any items or classes seemingly too weak or under-represented that you would like to see rising to more prominence?

Thank you


Thank you to everyone who has helped RGL grow to become the league that it is and we are very excited to see what we can learn from this experimental pilot league.
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