There’s a ‘this is the pinnacle of esports’ joke right there on the table, but I’m gonna say straight up that Ready Steady Pan is an absolute mess to spectate. But what a spectacularly daft mess it is.
This is 6v6 Team Fortress 2, where everyone is only allowed to attack with frying pans and food. And urine, for some reason. The community-run “semi-competitive tournament” is nearly done accepting sign-ups for its fourth annual competition, which kicks off at the start of next week.
Some classes are forbidden, presumably because 6 Heavies whittling down each others’ health bars would be a bit miserable. The rules say that all non-damage dealing items are allowed, and explosive damage is turned off so people can send themselves flying towards each other at rocket-propelled speeds.
So, here’s what that looks like. These are the EU finals from last year:
I’m incapable of moving on before giving a quick salute to ‘The Silence of the Pans’ as a team name.
It warms my heart that this silliness is popular enough to support four regional divisions this year. As highlighted in this round-up post, last year saw the creation of 192 teams and the playing of 461 matches. That’s 1740 people, all signing up to a tournament which emphasises fun over victory.
It’s a lovely antidote to the hyper-seriousness that mainstream competitive games can sometimes get bogged down in, which is representative of the competitive TF2 scene in general. And yeah, that scene exists! You can read all about it in my interview with Alex “Dashner” Pylyshyn, who helped make an awesome documentary about it.
Just like the Beginning’s 5 jumping competition I told you about last week, the participants and winners get special medals they can wear in-game.
If anyone wants to make team Rock Paper Pan a thing, I’m in. We’ve got till next Monday, July 2nd, to sign up, and the first matches will be played that week.