Standard competitive lineup
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The standard competitive lineup is the most common team composition in games following the. Using the standard competitive lineup is not mandatory in any league, but it is used by almost all competitive 6-man teams because of its efficacy and adaptability.
The standard competitive lineup is made up of the following team composition:
- 1 , usually
- 1 , also usually
- 2 , usually both
The medic and demoman almost never change classes within a game. Depending on map, either or both utilities might actually spend more time as a, especially in maps like . Soldiers most commonly remain soldiers throughout the entire game, though switching to (or, if a strategy calls for it, a utility class) is not unheard of.
The players who work as pocket and roaming oftentimes switch roles throughout individual games based on which team members are alive and present in a given situation. Some teams will have both soldiers simultaneously pocket or roam. The combination of the medic and at least one of his partners (generally a soldier or two) is referred to as the.
Each slot choice of the standard lineup has a specific purpose.
- Main article: Medic (competitive)
Medic is the most essential player of a typical 6v6 match. Healing has obvious benefits of keeping team members alive for longer periods of time without making them wait for pickups or returning to resupply. The medic's ability tois a keystone of competitive dynamics, acting as one of the most important factors when teams decide to push, hold, or retreat. For other class members in a majority of situations, ensuring your medic's survival and/or the opposing medic's death is generally considered worth dying for.
Medics are limited to 1 in all major 6-man leagues in order to prevent stagnated gameplay and ensure class variety.
- Main article: Demoman (competitive)
Demomen provide huge tactical advantages in a wide range of situations. They are generally either the first or second class to, and once they get there, they can lay down sticky traps to deny areas and use grenades to chokes before most of the opposing team even enters the area.
The demoman's ability to slow enemy pushes, deny chokes and control points, and spread damage in a large area makes him an indispensable team member for pushing, holding, and defending. Because of his high damage output, he is the most common target for kritzing.
Demomen are limited to 1 in all major 6-man leagues in order to prevent excessive spam and area denial.
- Main article: Pocket
- See also: and
The pocket's job is to protect his team's medic and (if possible) help him build uber faster. Soldier is the most common choice for this role for a number of reasons:
- He can keep up with his medic with .
- He has solid projectile and hitscan firepower, giving him good combat adaptability.
- He can damage himself intentionally to help build uber faster.
- He has a large hit point pool, letting him tank damage for his medic.
- He can use rockets to contribute to spam.
- He can very quickly go from defensive to offensive with a rocketjump and an uber/kritz.
- He can enemies to prevent them from getting closer to his medic.
Heavy is occasionally used instead of soldier. Doing this is quite rare in 5-cp push maps, though in areas where height advantages are limited (like indoor areas), transit time is not important (such as when both teams are building uber for a final point confrontation), and/or when enemy flanking/ping scouts could be problematic (such as when your scouts have switched to other utility classes like sniper and/or spy to break a stalemate), heavy can be a very viable choice. Heavy carries some extra risks, though, because he has trouble dodging lethal effects like headshots, backstabs, and kritzed explosives.
- Main article: Roaming
- See also:
The roaming player functions as his team's offensive muscle class and acts as a backup pocket if the normal pocket dies. This job is usually relegated to a soldier because of his ability to reposition himself with rocketjumps and take on the role of backup pocket. Some strategies might call for the roaming to go for a specific strategic attack involving a class other than soldier, like running aon .
On some maps where utility classes are more desirable and spam is less effective than usual, it's not unheard of to see the roaming slot play a utility class. For example, on, the importance of scouts combined with the potency of a sniper at all three points sometimes leads teams to run one pocket soldier, two scouts, and a sniper instead of two soldiers and two utilities.
- Main article: Utility
Utility slots are usually filled by scouts, though in many situations (especially when dealing with the last point on a 5-cp push map, or in attack-defend maps like), one or both will instead play a .
- Main article: Scout (competitive)
In most 5-cp push maps (the most common competitive map type), scouts are considered the most effective utility, particularly for theand general combat/transit. In said maps, scouts are either the first or second class to mid (the other contender being demoman). They are very effective at getting s, doing , and capturing control points. Scouts are also generally helpful for patrolling flanks, both to intercept incoming flankers and pick enemies that are hurt and/or alone. Their high mobility and hitscan damage output allows them to function very well both in solo efforts and when working with other teammates, especially another scout (who can keep up with him without medic heals/pickups).
- Main article: Sniper (competitive)
Of all situational utilities, sniper is the most common. Useful both offensively and defensively in a variety of maps, the sniper can help deny areas and get picks with little setup time and at a fairly low risk to himself, assuming he has backup. He can instantly kill enemy medics with one hit, using either a headshot with no charge-up or a fully-charged bodyshot (both of which deal exactly 150 damage, exactly enough to instant-kill). In open spaces, a sniper can provide extremely high damage output that give enemies little choice other than to retreat to cover or countersnipe. His biggest disadvantages are his long transit times compared to scout, his poor capping capacity, and his vulnerability when alone.
- Main article: Spy (competitive)
Spy is used most commonly to break stalemates and give his team a player count/uber percent advantage. He is most effective if used sparingly, as enemies are more likely to spot and stop him if they anticipate his appearance. Spy's main role of getting stalemate-breaking picks is similar to that of the sniper, but the spy has the unique advantage of being able to perform these even if the medic is behind obstacles, walls, and/or team mates. The spy's lack of health and firepower gives him a serious risk of dying after he's been spotted, so backstab attempts are usually followed by either immediate death or narrow escape. This, combined with the fact that the he has to spend a long time in transit and stealth, makes spy a very high-risk, high-reward option.
Outside of stalemate-breaking pick situations, spy can also be used to help take down an engineer nest or provide situational support with the dead ringer, which he can use to block doorways, capture points even if there are stickies on them, intercept general spam, or stay alive longer in combat.
- Main article: Engineer (competitive)
Engineer is a standard choice for attack-defend maps such as gravelpit. In 5-cp push maps, he is used most often to defend the final point if his team has time to build up. He provides good area denial, particularly against scouts—something that demoman's area denial sometimes has trouble with—and can keep his teammates' ammo stocked and his medic's health full with a dispenser. Teleporters are generally a low priority for him because of the fact that the more helpful a teleporter is (how far it transports teammates), the harder it is for him to prevent the entrance from being destroyed and/or rebuild it.
Engineer is particularly useful if the enemy is using the, as buildings are immune to .
- Main article: Heavy (competitive)
Just as he's used as a situational pocket class, heavy can also be used as a situational utility class. This most clearly comes about when a team wants the type of area denial of a sentry gun but does not have the time or stability to build it up. A utility heavy might also be used if enemy scouts are becoming a problem (which may happen if your team's other utility switches to sniper or spy) or to defend an area while the combo pushes out (especially if the demoman is unavailable or is needed to push with a kritz). Heavy is a more risky choice if the enemy is usingor , as you will be unable to reliably evade.
- Main article: Pyro (competitive)
Pyro is usually limited to specific situations in serious competitive play. He is sometimes used as an ambush class, particularly on the. His ability to defend points with also comes into play in certain areas, most specifically on gravelpit C.
Pyro sees very limited use because of his comparatively restricted capabilities. His flamethrower deals little damage if the enemy reacts quickly or keeps him at a distance. His afterburn matters little when the enemy team has a good medic with health pickup privileges. His airblast has a low rate of fire and can therefore be overcome fairly quickly, particularly if there's more than one person attacking him. His transit time is slower than soldier, demo, and scout, even though he needs to get in closest to match their DPS. In addition to these factors limiting his potential, his flamethrower's attack mechanism can be unreliable in terms of directionality and distance, which makes him even more unwieldy.