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Thread: NACL 2020

With the North American TF2 community reaching the conclusion of the fall 2019 season, and renewed interest in NACL, I thought it would be best to share an update on where we currently stand.

Background

To recap previous events: it was never our desire to run a full-fledged league for North America, but the events surrounding the end of ESEA TF2 were of great concern to us. Finding the various proposals for successor leagues personally unpalatable in different ways, we chose to launch NACL to provide a viable alternative, and resolved to allow the community to decide which league(s) to play. Although a significant amount of preferential interest was indicated for NACL, the bulk of the community actually committed to another league, and running an NACL season became untenable, so we made the decision to suspend NACL's operations.

New Interest

With the fall season coming to a close, it's clear that various questionable administrative decisions, among other things, have left a vocal portion of the community dissatisfied, and they have called for NACL to resume operations and the community to migrate there.

Conflicts

I previously stated that it would be possible for NACL to run a smaller-scale competition near the end of the year, as well as a full season at the beginning of next year. However, this was prior to the announcement of the #BTSTF2 event. With a large portion of our staff (including all of our directors) involved in the event, it is not possible for us to run anything until after its conclusion, and as a result NACL must remain suspended until at least the end of January 2020.

Future Plans

It remains our intention to provide a league if one is desired by the community. However, with a majority of the community having committed to play other leagues, it is unclear that there is enough demand for NACL, and it does not make sense for us to make all of the necessary preparations for a league season if there is not clear indication that one is likely to happen. In particular, we would need evidence that many players and teams are willing to commit to the league, and not simply expressing interest without the intention of following through.

Timing

If a league season were to happen, careful consideration must be taken as to when it would occur. Given that #BTSTF2 involves 4 top-level North American teams, it is imprudent for a season to begin before, during, or immediately after the event, and thus any season should not begin until the end of February.

With the desires of the community in mind, it would make sense to align our season dates with other events that we have the potential of partnering with. As such, the ideal timing for a season, as far as we can determine at this early point in time, would be for a potential season to begin in mid-to-late March and conclude in June.

However, the main problem with this potential schedule is the significant gap it leaves between league seasons. As such, if we were to consider running a season around this schedule, we may also pursue running shorter events in February, which could be used to test a wide variety of factors that could affect the full season.

Conclusion

I hope this provides a better look at our thought processes and plans for the future of NACL. If you have any questions, feedback, or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me directly to share them. As always, thanks for your support.

Scout/soldier, over 100 ping and different timezone

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Soldier/Demo, possibly medic if I like the team enough.

Will put in the hours if I join your team

teamfortresstv thread: https://tf.gg/52987

After much deliberation, the "New Beginnings" team is proud to announce that we are forming NACL - the North American Competitive League.

Season 1

We are launching a full community-run league as a replacement for ESEA, and it is our hope that it is one that the community can unite behind to sustain the NA competitive scene for years to come.

The results of the survey conducted by botmode, as well as our own thoughts, have led us to tentatively decide on the following as the structure for our league, though details are subject to change based on community feedback as well as our own continuing deliberations.

Timeline

The league will start with a few weeks break after the end of ESEA Season 31 playoffs, which are currently scheduled to conclude July 22.

  • August 11th - end of signups
  • August 14th - provisional divisions posted
  • August 16th - divisions finalized
  • August 17th - initial matchups determined
  • August 18th - regular season starts
  • September 28th - rosters lock
  • October 12th - regular season ends
  • October 16th - postseason begins
  • November 9th - postseason ends

Divisions

We plan to have four primary divisions:

  • Invite - ESEA-I
  • Advanced - top half of ESEA-IM
  • Intermediate - bottom half of ESEA-IM + top half of ESEA-O
  • Novice - bottom half of ESEA-O

In addition, if there is enough interest from teams composed of new players, we will have a fifth Fundamental division, which will have some minor changes from the rest of the league to help players learn more about playing competitively.

Teams will be placed based on previous performance in ESEA, and based on signups, we will adjust the divisions as appropriate.

Structure

In Invite, teams will play each other twice during the regular season, with each match played as a map determined by a veto process. The top four teams from the regular season will proceed to a double-elimination postseason to determine the season's champion (all matches best-of-three except for the best-of-five grand finals). Teams will be ranked by maps won, with ties broken by head-to-head results, followed by sum of map performance scores (derived from match scores and lengths).

In the other divisions, teams will play one opponent within their division per week during the regular season, with each match played on two maps set by a predetermined rotation. The top teams from each division will proceed to a single-elimination postseason to determine the division winner (all matches best-of-three). Teams will be ranked by maps won, with ties broken by sum of map performance scores (derived from match scores and lengths).

There are no default match times; teams must negotiate match times, play the match, and report results by a specified deadline each week.

Rosters

There is no limit to the number of players a team may have rostered. A team may only add one player per week, and a player only may switch teams once per week (but, after playing a match for a team as part of its roster, a player may not switch rosters to any other team for the remainder of the week). Team rosters are locked prior to the final weeks of the season, during which time players may only be added to a roster with admin approval.

Players added to a team roster less than six hours prior to a match may be denied by an opponent. A team may use up to one player not on its roster (merc) in a match with the approval of the opponent prior to the match starting; any additional unrostered players require admin approval prior to the match. Once a map begins, players may only be switched out due to connection problems or other urgent problems, and the replacements must be on the team's roster.

$$$

For Season 1, we will not be requiring players or teams to pay league fees to play.

The prize pool is to be determined based on sponsorships.

Format

NACL will use the global whitelist.

Standard Control Point (i.e. 5CP) maps will be played with one regulation period of 30 minutes, with the first team to reach five rounds winning the map. If 30 minutes elapse with no team scoring five rounds, the team with the most rounds wins. If both teams have scored the same number of rounds and a tie is not permitted, an untimed "sudden death" overtime period will be held, where the first team to score a round will win the map.

King of the Hill maps will be played as a best-of-five (i.e. first to three rounds).

Each team is permitted to take one tactical timeout of 3 minutes during each map. This timeout may only be taken between rounds in regulation. If an overtime period is required to decide a map, the overtime period will begin after a 5 minute delay following regulation (unless both teams agree to skip the delay).

Map Pool

The following seven maps will be played:

  • Badlands
  • Gullywash
  • Process
  • Product
  • Metalworks
  • Snakewater
  • Sunshine

LAN

There will be no LAN finals for Season 1, but based on the league's performance, we are open to having LAN finals held for future seasons.

Other Events

Based on interest, we plan to run smaller and shorter events during offseasons. However, we do realize that it is sometimes difficult for teams to play in such events, so we would like to gather your thoughts on what would make these types of events easier for your team to play in.

People

As stated previously, this is primarily being organized by the "New Beginnings" team, with the following people in senior roles:

  • twiikuu, Technology Director - responsible for NACL's technical operations, including the league website and other technology
  • erynn, Staff Director - responsible for NACL's staff, including league administrators
  • tsc, Competition Director - responsible for the overall design and execution of NACL's various competitions

We are looking to rapidly expand our staff to ensure that the league has the people it requires to be successful, including administrators, anticheat investigators, and so on; if you're interested in being a part of NACL, please reach out to us.

Conclusion

We're always taking feedback on how we can make this league better, so please be sure to let your opinions be known in this thread or by reaching out to us privately (you can PM me on Discord - tsc#0386). Thanks for your incredible support over the past few weeks, and we can't wait to hear your thoughts!

Thread: Welcome

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