**Is this CS GO?**
Squad, as an early access game, has gone through many changes. Believe it or not there was once a time when the competitive community was not bound together, in all its shitpostery, under our lord and saviour Koods 1 Actual. Throughout the history of Squad there have been many competitive Dynasties, with many competitive teams phasing in and out of existence. So where did it begin, what changed, what was the competitive squad player of old like? Today we take a look at the path that got us here.
Date : February 12th 2016
Joinsquad releases an article about the creation of the first 18v18 tournament under the SquadLeague organisation. Fourteen clans would participate . Of these clans little is documented. We know their names. Redcoats, 303rd Tiger Battalion, Ghost, Hard Styles Gaming, iB whatever that means. The only team still known to us is the White Foxes, but when questioned about what came before Squad League they had only one messsage “There was only farm”
The round of 14 would take place on a wide variety of maps with two teams getting bye rounds to the second phase and in a few weeks they were ready.
After the first round of battle these Eight teams remained.
The flow of battle in version 5 was a simpler time, a cripser time. Rounds were won by the numbers. Rushing? How does one rush when all soldiers move the same speed? An infantry slog mid map determined the course of the battle without fail. New tactics such as the “Sprint Rally” and “Sprint fob into sprint rally” were developed to use the stamina system to the fullest.
At the end of the fight, the team that could position their shooters around the center objectives, and outslay their enemies would often prevail. The early fob and rally system also demanded fobs that we’re close, but not easily campable. The bush radio was the name of the game. A good spread of infantry was also necessary as a single enemy Squad leader and his compadre, could spawn an army in seconds if they were allowed to live.
Battles were fast, and the players that could keep their enemies dead and hold bleed flags won out. In the early days, the battles were won by swift, precise tactical movements by groups of infantry, the general strategy remained the same, but the minute differences in how a team approached the middle of the map dictated who would come out on top.
THE FIRST FINALS
Flash forward to April 30th, the Squad League finals. The old NA dogs Ghost, were set to battle the primordial EU bush wookies Redcoats on the fields of Chora.
In the first game, the spooky Ghosts would go on to smash the Russian redcoats back to Grape Farm, with an impressive 200 ticket win, oweing a lot in part to their impressive 160-110 kill to death, and all as the insurgent forces.
The second round would end in a similar fashion with the second point being captured and with Ghost claiming the crown as king shitters. With good spreads and good shots, Ghost embodied the intial Squad version 5 competitive meta.
But unfortunately the good times were not meant to last. In a still widely debated action, Squad League was abolished over allegations of poor sportsmanning. Whether the action was justified only the gods know, but competitive Squad had lost a major venue and the world of competitive squad would be plunged into darkness for a long time.
THE DARK AGES
With Squad League dead and not major tournament to fill the void squad competitive seemed to be gone. Many clans injected crystalized CCFN which simulated a decent competitive event, that all levels could partake in. A primarily EU event it was well received in its ability to provide a match that wasn’t quite public but wasn’t quite Squad League. Swarms of EU teams battled each other to find the best bushes and best prone hotkey binds, but for many other regions the competitive itch could not be satisfied. With version 6 out, the same infantry focused metagame had stayed strong, but many interesting optimized strategies were beginning to take shape. Strategic fob placements that optimized a teams ability to spawn and efficient walking routes became the norm. Some fringe strategies such as the “tunnel snakes” even began to be developed in which infinite grenades would be spammed into corridors, resulting in a nearly impenetrable defense. Not much had changed about the game as a whole, but the players had become the source of the change. A “Meatuh” game was developing…
A HOPE? A CHANCE
In July a new semi competitive event was formed, with the various regions of Squad battling it out, it was dubbed the Squad Internationals. It seemed as if another chance for the regions to prove who truly was better at playing a niche mil sim game. Set on Chora PAAS, 4 clans from each region would battle it out in a long slug fest. The hope was shortlived however, as the first round quickly devolved into a base camp scenario and the event was cancelled amidst public service announcements, and outrage.
Although the event served as a source of many fresh memes, the taste in the mouths of many was sour. It seemed there would always be a great divide. between the three regions. Some thought comp squad would only be played in private scrimmages between clans forever. There was just too many factors 2 contend with.
IT’S A TRAP
The V7 launch was truly one of the greatest honeypots in the history of Squad. Promising the one thing players had dreamt about for years, players were ready to dive into the driver seats of the 3 new armed vehicles. Sadly, a myriad of bugs punished any Squad players who wished to play more than a half a round of Squad. Squad and Competitive squad by extension seemingly had hit rock bottom. But a new voice was calling out from the depths. In a french accent one man claimed, he knew the path. The path back to glory, to a thriving competitive scene they called him SKOR.
He said the path was called “Squad Masters” Designed to have a rolling open season as well as tournaments every few months. Squadmasters was in its first iteration, an infantry tournament.
Teams from all over flocked to the fresh tournament, eager to provide some semblance of meaning back to their lives. A 12 v 12 infantry tournament would be the first stepping stone to a new organization that would provide small scale and larger scale 18 v 18 tournaments. After many intense infantry focused battles, two of the best known shooting clans had won out. White Foxes and Mumblebeans.
A battle that would become one of the most discussed matches in Squad history, would be played on Chora Night Infantry. It would see The MumbleBeans battling against the White Foxes for title of supreme bush wookie/water proner. In a (un)surprising turn of events, the White Foxes known for their abiliy to frag so hard, they could enter a trance and wake up with 350 kills, pummeled the Mumblebeans As the game was ending, a meme that would trump all others,was born. It would be known as ShiftP gate. Owing its name to an infamous ShiftP incident against a player that was thought to be using the water unfairly as cover. It would become the catalyst to the single most divisive moment in Squid history. Words were said on both sides, PPs were slapped. It seemed to most that a Squad tournament without at least 3 dramas, would be considered a dull affair.
Another open season of Squad Masters was played, but it lacked the staying power of a serious formal tournament and soon after the man, the myth , the legend SKOR became an hero. After which SquadMasters was disbanded. Could Squad ever be capable of possessing a large scale tournament that could be run successfully for more than one season? The answer seemed like no, but the game as a whole was improving surely something could be done?
PATIENCE YOU MUST HAVE
With the release of version 8, many players began to flock back to Squad. New toys began to change the way the game was played. Most importantly though the game was stable, players could binge as much Squad as they desired and they would crash before their game would. Slight buffs to vehicles such as a significant reduction in fire damage, and new variants began to show us the potential, that vehicles could have. How Squad was played also changed drastically with new logistical additions, fobs must be supplied in order to become spawnable. Logistical trucks were now a necessity and killing them could end the game for the enemy team. Vehicles now seemed to be a necessary part of the game, now if only they didn’t cost so much.
In addition to being required for FOBs, vehicles also allowed teams to do horrible things to the enemy team. The “RUSH” meta began to reveal itself, as teams began to use their fast vehicles to drop out at enemy capture points, before the enemy could arrive. Then able to inflict massive damage on unware pubbies, the rush meta seemed unstoppable. It seemed like Squad had become the Fast and the Furiousest over night. I’d go on, but most of this is covered in a past article.
RETURN OF THE TRYHARDS
Squad as a whole was bouncing back from the misfire, that was V7 and alongside many fresh teams came returning old ones. It seemed like the time was prime to find out, who knew how to dominate in this new Squad meetah.
Luckily for the Squad community, there was one French Canadian who was willing to make the attempt. Going by the name “Koods” a recent FFO prospect began to wonder, why big clans didn’t play each other more often. He decided a large tournament revolving around combined arms (vehicle + infantry play), should be created to do just that. He decided upon the naming scheme “International Squad Knockout Tournament” and he began attempting to get both developers and competitive teams on board. After expending all the energy his little Quebecois legs could, he had his tournament.
Eight brave teams signed up, some coalitions of two teams, to do battle in this new squad landscape.
The matches that would follow would be some of the best Squad matches to date. Vehicles being used alongside infantry, with many new strategies being unveiled and tested against each other.
Rushes were common, but they were often not game ending as they had been in public games with many teams understanding what each faction was and wasn’t capable of on any given map.
After the first two rounds of battle, the top four dogs remained FFO/PASTARISKS/F without FO/ and the Mumblebeans. During this time OWI dropped a patch bomb, containing many new game assets including mortars, IEDs, and significantly reduced vehicle ticket costs. These new assets would be tested extensively in time, but in the beginning the full potential of these new weapons was not fully understood.
F vs M showed us a glimpse of what a match with two of the best shooting teams would look like on a map as shit as Sumari. After a significant win as Militia by 234 tickets it seemed like Mumblebeans was done for. That was until a juiced up Militia team slammed into Mosque capping it and seemingly positioning itself to take slums. It was then that an offer Nordie could not refuse was made. In the end after receiving 300$ in unmarked bills Nordie, took a dive in the 3rd round to prompt a 132 ticket win by Mumblebeans, not enough to buy their way to the final two.
FFO vs Pasta on the other hand showed us the clashing of two polar opposite approaches to the game on the infamous map Kohat AAS v1. FFO Began employing their signature “We need more flags than you to win this” approach as the Russian team, dropping a fob and hab in the location commonly known as “Death Trench” In response Pastaryks employed their common strategy of “Not being bad at shooting with M4s” the resulting slaughter from crossfiring Strykers, and M4 optics from hilltops left Pastarisks struggling… to remove the bodies blocking their way to the HAB.
Forced to retreat back to Mohd Zai FFO was forced to not “Play their game” A rough 184 ticket loss was dealt to the North Americans it seemed as if the hopes for a team of mediocre shots was at an end. It was then that the call to 6 rax in round two was made. Packing every man into everything that moved FFO, began a mad dash for Mohd Zai leaving skeleton crews at the first two capture points. Soon a wave of 20 marines smashed into Pastarisk defenders. Even with a solitary seige tank on the hill, the waves of stimmed marines could not be stopped. Mohd Zai had fallen.
This failing prompted a chain reaction until Sarozai lay in US hands. FFO somehow managed to advance to meet their Australian cousins and Dunkybeck walked away 500$ richer.
THE GOOD AND THE BAD+UGLY
FFO met Fortis for the 2nd time on the grassy hills of OP First Light. After somehow winning on Logar and Kohat, Backpack was out of bribe money and it seemed like an intense match was sure to follow.
It was okay.
With a stacked team, (NA Standards) and a Fortis experimenting with mortars FFO somehow came out on top with 2, 200 ticket wins. With shirts and dogtags they emerged, not caring to look behind at the ominous shell craters left behind, foreshadowing for what was to come.
HEAVY RAIN AND SEASON 2
In the brief off season of ISKT, Squad was updated such that all deployables, could be destroyed. The most significant change being that even HABs could perish to sustained mortar bombardment, and IED attacks. Exposed habs were banned from use overnight.
Many teams were painfully brought into this new meatuh, when their spawns were nuked from orbit, and their men turned into little jibbly bits.
The message was clear, Mortars we’re in, and the Mumblebeans we’re one of the new suppliers of this deadly and dangerous form of Meetar.
With this new addition the landscape of competitive Squad changed once again, with primo HAB locations being inside buildings and away teams were created to deal with enemy mortads.
FALL OF THE INADEQUATE
With the new Season of ISKT underway and a new slew of matches to watch, competitive games had become more standardized, while also being less of the same. With many strategies figured out, teams began to formulate the most concrete ways to play each map, strategies that could hold up against the most likely openings. The team that would win a competitive match would be the team that best prepared for every eventuality, and knew what assets would be necessary, and also where to place them.
Maybe having no solid mortar crew, or dedicated vehicle squad could suffice in the past, but in this new era there could be no weak links. Every member of a 24 man team, would have a vital role to play. There would no unimportant roles, only roles that were slightly more important. Games began to be decided by the tiniest of margins, or slimmest of errors.
In honour of the first Season, Salt accepted the last of FFOs server donation money, and dug up their spawn in Game 2. Unfortunately, the time for handouts would soon be at an end. It was readily apparent that Mumblebeans, the now PINDIES and Fortis would accept nothing less than Squad T-Shirts and dog tags, and the lesser blooded clans, would be bopped off the face of the Earth.
After valiant efforts, both FULL and T//A were castt out by FSQ and Salt. Respectively, FSQ, Salt and FFO would fight for the privilege to lose to PINDIES who after beating FFO in Dunkies name, faced the unholy wrath that is , Nordie sans tendies. Only the best would survive in this new competitive climate and that brings us to.
Not satisfied with bribes this time, both Fortis and Mumblebeans are poised to take home the golden llama not only for their teams but for their regions. With NAs fall from mediocre to even more mediocre. EU will battle AU, in what is sure to be one of the most hype finals of Squads brief history. Convicts vs the Welfare Collective, it could be anyones game.
Which team has injected too many PubGs? Only time will tell, but until the match on Saturday.
Be sure to vote M in case they win to get more koodoos.