Shacknews TF2 Community Defeated by Cruel Valve Oppressors Despite Valiant Struggle

By Chris Remo, Sep 26, 2007 1:57am PDT "Valve demands a match against the Shack," said Erik Johnson of Team Fortress 2 developer Valve one week ago in The Steam Community's Shacknews chat room. "Prepare your team."

The Bellevue, Washington studio had previously challenged members from Rich "Lowtax" Kyanka's venerable Something Awful to a match that ended in humiliating defeat for the humor site. Last night, two Shacknews teams went up against Valve for a total of six games.

Though the SourceTV spectator server was down, Shackers pancake humper and rosewood provided live audio commentary on the games via KOCK, the Shacknews internet radio stream. The first round of the first game on map Dustbowl was over in minutes, with the highly organized and well-practiced Valve team making short work of their plucky Shack opponents. Commentator pancake humper noted that the Shack team started to find its bearings in the second round but fell apart for the remainder of the game, calling it "a steamrolling from beginning to end."

After the first team left the server, Shack's second team joined up to test its Team Fortress 2 mettle against the game's creators. Reports suggest that the second team was on its game somewhat more than its predecessor, albeit not enough to conquer the Valve juggernaut. With voice commentary down for most of the second team's matches, it was difficult to gauge the flow of the battle beyond later secondhand reports.

Some pointed to Valve's single-digit ping rates (thanks to Phil, skankcore, and freshyk for the screenshots)--a result of the company playing on its own servers--as a contributor to the defeat, but no Shacker suggested it was a primary factor overall. "On Granary, at the start, when it was scouts versus scouts, ping made all the difference," noted skankcore. "I don't like to bitch about factors I can't control, but it was clear they had an edge."

All in all, Valve members seemed impressed by the fight put up by the Shackers--though the effort was not enough to claim anything other than a moral victory. "They owned us so hard they made me sign over my power of attorney," reflected Team 1 combatant alphablu.

Valve told Shacknews during a recent studio visit that in recent months, the company has spent more time playing Team Fortress 2 than it has ever spent with any of its other multiplayer games, turning the office into a well-oiled TF2 machine--still, it had to work for its Shack victory. "That really was a lot tougher than the Something Awful match," said Johnson. "Lot more fun for us."

Robin Walker, current Valve designer and co-creator of the original 1996 Quake mod TeamFortress, added, "You guys have done the best yet."

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