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News / MavWar Hype Tournament: Unity (2018)
« on: January 13, 2018, 09:15:14 pm »

We hereby officially announce the MavWar Hype Tournament: Unity (2018)! We are aiming to have as many as 16 teams battle each other in a round robin format, with 8 teams then advancing to the single-elimination knockout stage. The prize pool will be $1,000 split between the top 3 teams, and there will likely also be a prize for the participant voted by the public as the MVP of the tournament!

However, because the tournament is being sponsored by a foundation who is attempting to raise money for mental health, 10% of any donations will also be allocated to the prize pool. The choice of config for this tournament will be Pro Mod Elite.

Now before you get the urge to message your friends and stack together, this is NOT an open tournament. You don't sign up as pre-established teams; you sign up as individuals who will be slotted into teams via a specific selection process. You can sign up here via this eFreak thread.

FoundTyme is the official sponsor of the tournament and will be providing and paying out the prize money to the players. It is a foundation that was created in remembrance of Found, Tyme and Hype; three L4D2 players who passed away. The foundation raises money to support the following:

  • The Project for Mental Health
  • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
  • Brain & Behavior Research Foundation
  • Trevor Project

eFreak is the official server group of the tournament. The matches will take place on their servers, and they will also be responsible for forming the draft teams. A player's ability to compete in this tournament is contingent on them being able to play on eFreak servers. So if you're banned from the servers, be it temporarily at some stage of the tournament or permanently, that is completely within eFreak's jurisdiction and it will not change just because a tournament is ongoing/on the horizon.

Maverick Warriors is the official organising group of the tournament. Even though eFreak will be responsible for selecting the teams, ALL participating players and teams will still have to be approved by Maverick Warriors. Once that happens, Maverick Warriors will take over the tournament process itself and all participants will be directed to join the official tournament steam group, discord channel and website. Anyone who competed in previous MavWar tournaments will be familiar with the process.

For those who aren't familiar, know that we're looking at a minimum of 2 months before a tournament date can be officially announced. The first course of action is to gather a list of willing participants and start putting the teams together. A word of caution: registering yourself initially on the sign-up page is not an ironclad guarantee that you'll be competing, but we shall do our best to accommodate those who signed up first provided they qualify.

Other details worth mentioning:
- This will be a lengthy process; the tournament itself will go on for about 2 or 3 months. So if you are lacking in either maturity, responsibility or commitment, then please DO NOT sign up! In this tournament, the actions of one player can affect the whole team; if one player commits an offence, it risks punishing their entire team. We aren't as concerned about the skill level of players as we are about their conduct.

- Teams will be required to create artwork/team logo. The logo template will be provided by Maverick Warriors.

- This tournament will not allow for rescheduling. MavWar will handle ALL game schedules. There will be more information on this later.

- No ringers. Each team will have 4 official players (who will get paid prize money should their team win) and 2 official substitutes (who will NOT get paid prize money should their team win).

- Tournament rules will be provided to players later on, they are still being worked on.

- Penalties, Suspensions and Disqualifications can and will most likely occur should any of the rules be breached by a players or team.

- All official tournament games will be streamed on the official Maverick Warriors Twitch Channel that is currently being worked on.

Bear in mind that the ultimate purpose for this tournament is for charity: FoundTyme is doing this in order to aid groups focused on mental health. It’s a noble cause for which we’re organising a fun competition to further help raise awareness, and it’s an angle that hasn’t been explored before in competitive L4D2. And with the eFPS tournament about to begin, there already is an open competition with pre-established teams competing, so we chose to go a different route by doing draft teams.

P.S. Before people get any misconceptions, I would like to clarify a few things. Myself and the owl haven’t been involved in the L4D2 scene since the previous MavWar Heroes vs Villains Tournament back in 2016, and we were recently approached by Lotus (head of FoundTyme) who asked if we would be interested in organising a tournament which he is willing to sponsor and who MK (head of eFreak) is willing to provide servers for the matches to be hosted.

Both Lotus and MK requested that Pro Mod Elite be the config that is used and since their groups are providing both the sponsorship and the servers respectively, we acquiesced with their request. With that said, both the owl and I have not been in the scene for around 18 months, so we looked into the config situation by watching a few games and asking around, and saw that the current climate is far from ideal no matter where you look, for reasons I’m sure that any avid reader of L4Dnation is all too aware of.

So if you have questions about the config, it’s best that you ask either MK or Jacob or whoever else is involved in its development. But if you have any questions about the organisation or structure of the tournament itself, then fire away!

Equilibrium / Equilibrium Cup #4 (EQC4)
« on: December 03, 2015, 04:33:01 pm »

Hello ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, and welcome to the 4th EQ Cup which will be coming to you soon in the New Year. It will be showcasing the latest and final instalment in the Equilibrium project. Team NV are the reigning double-champions of the Equilibrium Cup, but are they still in existence and if so, will they show up once again to defend their crown and make it a hat trick? Or will new champions emerge to take the title currently held by the hugely successful Japanese team? We shall find out in March next year!

What type of tournament is this and is it international?

In response to it being international, yes and no. The reason for both answers is because of the format of the tournament: we are separating it into two phases where the first phase is split into groups and is completely domestic. This means that in the group phases, EU teams will only play other EU teams, Russian teams will only play other Russian teams, NA teams will only play other NA teams, etc.

The top finishers of all the groups will then advance to the single-elimination knockout phase which is when international competition will start taking place. Depending on how many teams sign up, we are looking at this tournament to last for a maximum of 2 months, provided there are no delays.

Why is it done this way and not in swiss format?

For several reasons; international competition is a great spectacle for fans and viewers of comp L4D2 but it does not come without its inherent difficulties for players and teams when it comes to scheduling, sometimes being enough to keep a few teams away. Done in this fashion, the only teams that will experience international competition are those that succeed in the group phases. This makes it a lot easier for all teams in the domestic phase to experience the competition without the same problems and risks associated with organising international draws.

We opted not to go swiss this time because a) we wanted to try something different from the usual format and b) because elements of swiss (such as resistance points) also present their own problems which is completely out of the hands of the teams and can result in debates about fairness, etc.

Is there a limit as to how many teams sign up?

No, there is no limit. The great thing about the format here is that it's flexible enough to accommodate any number of teams, it wouldn't matter if we had an odd number of total teams. Even if a large number of teams enter the tournament, the group phases are there to essentially defragment the competition in its entirety and make it a smoother process that sticks to a reasonable time frame.

What config will be used?

The newly-released EQ 3.0 config will be featured and used in the tournament. Any previous version of EQ or another config used for a match will render the result null and void, so make sure your servers have it installed in advance!

Which maps will be played?

Depending on how many rounds are played in the competition, all nine stock L4D2 and L4D1 campaigns are included in the rotation, along with Detour Ahead as the one and only selected custom campaign. But there is no guarantee that all 10 of them will be played.

Are there any prizes?

As of yet, there are currently no planned prizes. If the tournament gets sponsored then perhaps that might change. But a couple of hundred dollars/euros divided between at least 4 people is pocket money which you could probably earn in just a day or two's work in a minimum-wage job, and shouldn't really be a factor that decides whether teams enter a competition or not.

And finally, where do I go to find out more and sign up for the league series?

You can sign up, read and hear about all the latest developments, post your match schedules, your match result screenshots and match VODs, all on the Neo Earth 4 Dead steam group which is where the entire thing will be hosted. Signups are officially open now and you have until 00:00 Pacific Standard Time on January 10th to register your team. So spread the word, get yourselves signed up and we'll see you in the New Year!

EDIT: Direct link to the official signup thread is right here:

Streaming & Casting / On The Couch - Podcast Series
« on: October 13, 2014, 08:59:38 am »
Battle, Oni and I will be hosting a new podcast series with Joe as our resident streamer. It is named after a steam group I started with a former team-mate almost 4 years ago, and the series will focus on delving deep into the psychology that courses through L4D2 and the competitive community. We thought it would be an interesting thing to do because psychology plays a huge part in the competitive community and also how players and teams perform, yet not many people are fully aware of the scale of its impact and while e-sports psychology might be something that is mentioned for more popular competitive games, there's almost no official documentation on the subject that can be directly applied to L4D. We intend to shed light on the topic and have got plenty of content to impart as the series continues onward.

We cannot say for certain exactly when the podcasts will take place as it will depend on whenever the four of us are free at the same time as each other, but they will be announced here when they are scheduled to take place. The nature of the podcasts will be about discussing certain topics within the psychology of L4D, interviews with guests, and we've even talked about the possibility of having a few 'talk show-style' episodes where there are two guests/parties discussing/debating whatever it is they either support/contradict each other on, as long as it's something that highlights the psychology at work in L4D. Sometimes we will have guests and other times we will not, that will depend a lot on who volunteers or who would be a suitable guest to discuss the chosen topic as we build up to it. For those that aren't sure about what we'll be talking about, it will be things like how psychological state can impact a player's performance, discussing positive elements such as a harmonial team atmosphere, strong leadership and good rapport among the team, as well as negative elements such as disharmony, raging and complacency being just a few of many examples of both sides of the spectrum.

Stay tuned for more information.

Equilibrium Cup / Round 3 - Swamp Fever
« on: May 19, 2014, 06:46:06 am »

Match 28 - NV- vs Wubbalubbadubdub!

Match 29 - Pink Panther Gang vs Team Switzerland

Match 30 - Team USA vs Team France

Match 31 - Team N0n`Stop< vs Team nicename

Match 32 - Tim Vintage vs Of Four Ubermensch

Match 33 - The VooDoo BoyZ vs Sweet Venom

Match 34 - Team Axis vs Team something...

Match 35 - Dynasty vs Impossible Gods

Match 36 - l4m vs Team dno skill

Match 37 - Agents vs Crazy Frenchies

Match 38 - Team Dat Italy vs Team aZ

Match 39 - Combat Care Bears vs His Infernal Majesty

BYE - Team A`Q

Even though there are quite a number of international matches, we are predicting that most of them will only require a single match on a neutral server, so we ask that you please be vigilant and do any ping testing required before making your decision on which server(s) you play.

In addition, I'd like to add that team captains also be more consistent with posting their scheduled matches and their screenshots of the final scores, both tasks can also be done in the discussion threads found in the cup steam group. Thank you.

Left 4 Dead 2 / Looking for a volunteer who knows how to use Stripper
« on: April 09, 2014, 10:46:20 am »
There's a custom campaign called Fall in Death which looks interesting for versus and a few of us are very keen to see it in action. It's a 4-map campaign, the individual maps don't feel too long either and it seems to have a decent flow as you progress through the campaign. With an intriguing finale in addition, we're determined to see what it can do.

Originally, estoopi was helping us out with this campaign. But he withdrew from the process due to personal reasons, hence why this thread is up. We would really appreciate any volunteer willing to step up. There isn't really a huge amount left to do, as most of the hard work was in map 1, which estoopi was close to completing but how far exactly he got, we would need to find out. With map 1 almost finished and map 3 being completely fine already, only map 2 and the finale need a few changes each and it should be good to go.

Equilibrium Cup / Equilibrium Cup #3
« on: March 22, 2014, 04:53:54 pm »
We are proud to announce that EQ Cup #3 is coming soon, an international competition pitting the very best teams around the globe against each other. Team Impossibru from Europe were the champions of the inaugural tournament back in 2012 and only a few months ago, Team nv- from Asia clinched a long and hard-fought victory to become the new reigning champions. Will they return to defend their title, or will there be new winners waiting to clinch their glory?

The deadline for signups will be announced as soon as EQ 2.1 is 100% ready, which will be happening very soon. Teams can have a maximum of 6 players and there is no limit to how many teams sign up. The teams that are officially registered and confirmed by the admins, will be listed at the bottom of this opening page.

We will be unveiling a ruleset and map rotation very soon, and as for signups, this discussion thread right here is the place to go to enter your teams:

It's an international competition which is open to teams of any skill level: you can be top tier or new and fresh on the scene, it doesn't matter to us. So get together with your friends, get in shape, have some fun and we'll see you very soon! ;)

Registered teams:

01. Vintage Germany (Germany)
02. Team Clarity (Russia)
03. Agent's Team (Russia)
04. PlatinuM Clan (Russia)
05. A`Q (Russia)
06. Crazy Frenchies (France)
07. N0n`Stop< (EU)
08. Team France (France)
09. Team Dat Italy (Italy)
10. The VooDoo BoyZ (USA)
11. Team USA (USA)
12. Team Africa (EU)
13. His Infernal Majesty (Peru)
14. Team Combat Care Bears (USA)
15. Team Singapore (Singapore)
16. Dynasty (EU)
17. Impossible Gods (Russia)
18. Pink Panther Gang (UK)
19. Team something... (USA)
20. NV- (Japan)
21. Team Axis (USA)
22. Team - aZ (Taiwan)
23. Team dno skill (Russia)
24. Sweet Venom (USA)
25. Knockout n' Walkout (USA)
26. Wubbalubbadubdub! (USA)
27. l4m (Japan)
28. Team Of Four Ubermensch (South Korea)
29. Team EXtra (USA)

General / Academy 4 Dead
« on: January 29, 2014, 05:20:40 pm »
This is a new group aimed at providing long-term mentoring to newer and lesser experienced players who are most eager to learn and grow. It's a public group so anyone can join and send invites to whoever, and you can check out the group page here:

We are open to recruiting willing mentors to help share the load should there be more eager members wanting to learn, but that does not automatically mean we will just hand out the role of mentor to anyone who simply asks. Long-term mentoring has slightly different requirements compared to mentoring on the fly under situational circumstances, and we must be sure that those wishing to volunteer are up to the task. Also, for a more detailed explanation (which was on the steam group before I had to trim it in size) about the group, I give you this copy-paste:

What is the Academy? It's the place where new and inexperienced players wish to broaden their understanding of the game beyond simple tips and tricks, where players wish to truly evolve and know what it is like to play and function like a vital cog in the well-oiled machine that is a team brimming with chemistry.

Although A4D can apply to L4D2, it is mostly aimed in anticipation of L4D3. Most of what is taught in this group can be applied to the structure of the series, so it stands to reason that whatever inexperienced or new players learn in this group, will be something they can employ in the future.

We here at the Academy can host games for inexperienced players to mix with each other, but our main speciality is in long-term mentoring, specifically consultations with an allocated mentor who can also host practice sessions for mutiple students at once, which we believe is the real way to accelerate a player's learning phase.

Of course, one mentor alone cannot do all of this. So there will be other mentors as well as open vacancies for willing mentors, specially
handpicked to instruct new students in each major aspect of the game. It is vital that students listen to their mentors at all times. Whilst it is expected of all mentors to perform their duties with a certain degree of maturity and responsibility, all students will also be required to show some respect and neither behave nor react inappropriately to anything that transpires which they disagree with.

We will also be collaborating with members from the Left 2 Learn group (L2L) to provide an enriching experience to members developing through their channel in the North American scene. Although this group is primarily based in Europe, it would be inaccurate to say it's only for the European community. If anything, we here at the Academy believe that a more unified link of communications between every competitive L4D community serves as a bonus to all, and prevents cases of isolation and disconnection from the outside world. So even on a global scale, we will also keep an eye out for mentoring possibilities for willing students in each community if at all possible.

Anyone can help A4D grow simply by pointing curious folk or potential students in the direction of this steam group. You can invite friends or even random players you meet in public vanilla games. Everyone is welcome, but antagonists will be suspended, and anyone caught using hacks will be expelled indefinitely from the Academy.

Players who learn and adapt sufficiently in the eyes of their mentor(s) will 'graduate' from the Academy and be deemed ready for higher levels of competition beyond A4D. In the future, Academy 4 Dead will also host tournaments aimed at new and inexperienced players in the comp scene, where success in any of these tournaments will automatically guarantee 'graduation' for the eventual victors.

Remember, the two most important things in A4D, are to learn and to have fun. So elevate and enjoy yourselves at the same time! :)

Confogl & Miscellaneous / Ping Compensation Points (PCP)
« on: September 05, 2013, 03:55:07 am »
There is a discussion about this in the EQ Cup #2 steam group. Because it is an international cup, there were a few points raised from CCT2 about certain inequalities when home and away matches figured into the equation. One way of addressing that is to enforce in the 2nd match the exact same tank and witch spawn percentages as they appeared in the 1st match, which I don't imagine anyone would object to as it's in the interest of maintaining consistency and equality for both teams.

The 2nd method however, seems controversial to some and is going to draw a lot of mixes opinions based on matters such as its necessity, how exploitable the system is and what consequences it will lead to. I will copy-paste from the steam group:

"Most of you will have read about this in the rules and are probably unsure about what it is exactly. Well, it is a controversial and an exploitable system, which is why we are imposing bans for individuals and disqualification for teams who try to cheat the system.

Let me explain to you the following example: Team A is from the Netherlands and on their home server, they enjoy an average 15 ping for the whole team, which is a huge advantage in an international contest. They play Team B who is from America (and to illustrate this example further, let's say that there is an American player residing in each of the 4 time zones). Their pings to a Netherlands server will vary according to the time zone they live in. A player from New York will probably have 80-100 ping, but a player from California could have almost 200 ping.

Then what happens when the American team has the home game? Their home server could be located in New York, in which case the whole Netherlands team may have 80-100 ping. But this will be the same ping for the player connecting from California, in what is the home game for his team.

Another scenario similar to this is to picture the Netherlands team vs a Russian team which has 1 or 2 players from eastern Russia or a nation like Kazakhstan. Despite home and away matches in play, there is still a very noticeable inequality in terms of ping. Teams that are based in smaller countries can get a big advantage, whilst those who live in more geographically expansive nations are at an overall disadvantage.

So basically, this discussion is about gathering honest opinions on the PCP system and whether you believe it's right for it to be introduced. Depending on the reaction, it could influence whether the PCP system is used or if it is abandoned. But even though it might seem controversial to some, be aware that it is intended to establish equality and fair play in international contests."

I don't have time to explain a full example right now, but picture this: PCP works both ways for both teams in a home-away contest, so when the away team gets PCP, so will the other team in the next match. The only difference in the end is that it would compensate for the players who have overall higher pings to contend with in both matches, those who live in much larger nations or further away from the servers than everyone else. So if an American team was playing a Euro team and the Americans choose a New York server for their home game, then PCP will compensate overall for any players based in California or Western Canada for example.

News / Equilibrium Cup #2
« on: September 02, 2013, 07:06:57 pm »
We are pleased to announce that Equilibrium Cup #2 will be going live on 30th September. This cup is unique in the sense that nothing quite like it has ever been done before. It will be a hybrid cup, meaning that TWO different configs will be used. They are EQ 2.0 and EQ Retro. This cup is a test to see which team can master both playing styles of L4D1 and L4D2, in order to prevail over all others and succeed Team Impossibru to become the next EQ Cup Champions.

The format is simple: it’s an international cup, open to anyone regardless of their geographical location. Home and away matches are mandatory for teams and players competing from different continents or communities. Depending on the number of teams that sign up, we are provisionally set to host a double-elimination cup just as we did in EQ Cup #1. We are aiming for a minimum of 16 teams, with a maximum of 32, in which case the registration will be closed and only re-opened in the event that one or more teams change their minds before the cup begins. However, the structure of the cup itself will be subject to change if necessary.

On the provisional basis that the cup will run in a double-elimination format, when teams from different continents are paired against each other in a round draw, they must play a total of 4 matches in the space of 2 weeks, which will be devised into one campaign for home and away matches each week (note that when teams from the same continent face each other, they have the option of playing just 1 match per campaign instead of home-away contests). Each round draw will consist of 2 campaigns: a campaign to be played on EQ Retro, and a campaign to be played on EQ 2.0. In the interest of ensuring as much consistency and equality in regards to international matches, teams will play with the exact same tank and witch spawn distances as they appeared in the first match of the round draw. In addition, their pings will be calculated to compensate for teams whose players are at an overall disadvantage due to residing in more geographically expansive nations and/or different continents. The map rotation will entail: 4 L4D2 campaigns, 4 L4D1 campaigns, and 4 custom campaigns, with the latter having 2 campaigns designated for each of the 2 configs.

As for the configs, there are significant updates being introduced in EQ 2.0 which will not have any impact on EQ Retro, but the one biggest change they both share is EQ’s new and unique, hybrid scoring system: a combination of healthbonus and damage scoring. The parameters for this new scoring system are provisional and will go through testing to gauge the overall accuracy and reliability. In preparation for this cup, we will be testing out the configs and certain new features, and there is a steam group and a list of rules which everyone should familiarise themselves with, which you can find here:

We are currently looking for an admin based in North America who is well-respected, trusted to maintain their duties and serve as a reliable contact and representative admin for teams in North America. Any additional volunteers, including server admins and streamers, can talk to me.

If you’re interested in the challenge of having to play the styles from both entries in the L4D series, then this cup is definitely for you. If you’re more interested in playing for fun, then this cup is definitely for you too. We encourage anyone and everyone to grab their friends and sign up whether it’s for fun, competition or just doing your part to help make the community a little bit more active. Registration officially begins now and will close on 29th September 00:00 GMT. So get together, sign up your teams and we’ll see you all in 4 weeks from now!

P.S. - The timing of this cup is purely coincidental and is not at all intended to disturb or draw attention away from the “TI” tournament and those who are organising it.

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A dedicated community website to competitive L4D and L4D2, ran by the community, for the community. L4DNation supports all continents of play and focuses on bringing together the community as a whole to a central hub of information.