I love discovering subcultures that occasionally spawn from videogames, and trickjumping is a wonderful example. Give Quake players the ability to propel themselves through the air by firing rockets at their feet and a momentum-building jumping bug, and what do they do? They make custom maps and challenge each other to perform feats of aerial ballet, of course. Delightfully, that scene is still going strong nearly 20 years on in Team Fortress 2.
The Beginnings 5 TF2 jumping competition began last week, and features three different events. There’s a speedrun competition on set maps, a trickjumping competition that involves doing something impressive on any map, and – perhaps most excitingly – a live race.
This Reddit post provides a neat overview of the rules, submission dates and map details. If (like me) you’re just learning that TF2 jumping is a thing, then I doubt you’ll be looking at winning – but hey, you might have a shot at a participant medal. These are badges you can wear as an item in TF2. I still treasure the one I got from participating in a UGC highlander competition many moons ago.
To bag one, you’ll need to “send in a run that’s faster than the showcase time of the map you submit a run on, send in a trickjump that isn’t obviously bad, or participate in the live race”. You can find details about the live race here, though to qualify you’ll need to send in one of the 16 fastest submissions. It’ll take place on June 23rd.
There are three categories in the trickjumping competition: one for Soldiers, one for Demomen and a co-op one that doesn’t have a class restriction. I’ve been looking at previous runs and they’re all impressive, but it’s that last category that I’m most enamoured with – it involves shooting explosives with pinpoint timing and accuracy at a friend who’s likely sailing through the air several hundred metres away.
Submissions for the trickjumping competition close on July 7th, and those for the first stage of the Speedrunning competition close on June 23rd.
I’m not planning on participating, but now that I’ve seen this highlight reel of last year’s winners I’m definitely planning on watching.