Splash Damage Blog
Brink Competition Round-up: The Right Rules and More
GreasedScotsman from Brink TV is back for another competitive roundup. Inside, we'll examine the pre-DLC rule set that has taken hold in order to make Brink more competitively-friendly, touch on some of the European Brink competitions and give a rundown of the North American leagues and tournaments that have taken place to date.
Rules and Regulations
Quite a bit of discussion has been taking place regarding Brink's current competitive rule set. ESL EU decided the best way to keep double-full-holds to a minimum (where both teams are unable to set a time during a stopwatch match) was to limit several player abilities in Brink using some handy CVARs provided with the game. The final rule set they came up with has caused quite a stir because many see it as far too restrictive: Combat Intuition, Downed Fire, Self Revive, Sense of Perspective, Adrenaline Boost, Satchel Charges, Nerves of Steel, Extra Landmine, Gattling Turret, Command Post Upgrades, Homing Beacons, Comms Hack, Cortex Bomb and EMP grenades have all been removed. Additionally, Engineers can only place 1 turret per team and "de-hacking" during hack objectives is not allowed.
Arguments in favor of these restrictions point to the effort to keep the game focused on skill-based kills and objective completion. Further, many of the abilities, while great fun for public play, do not seem to be balanced or intended for 5v5 competition.
The counter-case has been made that these rules, while an improvement in the right direction, have gone too far and neuter the game's uniqueness. Most concede that the Engineer Extra Mine, Combat Intuition, Command Post Upgrade and perhaps Adrenaline Boost abilities make sense to remove in 5v5 competition. However, the remaining restrictions seem too harsh and many are hoping the community will reexamine and fully test the other abilities that may have been excised prematurely once the DLC and balance patches are released before a final rule set is chosen by the community.
Brink Competition Across the Globe
The Electronic Sports League in Europe has lead the charge for competitive Brink offering a 5v5 League with Qualifiers that lead to a Group Stage and of course, that Group Stage leading into a Championship, with an incredible 15,000€ in prize money. Over 200 teams signed up and participated in the Qualifiers, narrowing the playing field down to a solid 8 groups of 4. This Group Stage is set to begin June 19 at 2pm EDT / 18:00 GMT and Brink TV hopes to be there to cover it. Notable teams to keep an eye out for include Team Dignitas (who have not lost a map yet as of this writing), Veritas, Yummy Elite Sausages and Origine.
Down Under, the boys at CyberGamer.com.au have been organizing a Brink Trial Ladder. Currently “all times lucky” sits in the #1 spot.
In North America, both the Imperium Gaming League and the Team Warfare League held inaugural tournaments and both were covered by Brink TV. The IGL stuck with what seems to be a generally accepted 5v5 team size, but only Adrenaline, grenade launcher use and de-hacking were restricted. The finals went all the way to a tiebreaking map on Aquarium. If you missed the action, check out Brink TV's coverage of the tournament. The TWL branched out and tried a 6v6 team size format and restricted Engineers to 1 mine per player and 1 turret per team. While hubris and Looking4Sponsor were absent from this event, blight formed its 6-man team into the “Nazi Dinosaurs From Space Hell” and proved to be formidible powerhouse throughout the entire tournament. You can watch the VODs of the coverage on Brink TV's website.
A few other organizations, including Cyber Sports Network and National ESL have decided to wait for the pending patch/DLC that the community hopes will include some balance adjustments for Brink, some weapon tweaks and, most importantly, spawn time changes that will lessen the defensive bias in a 5v5 setting.
Brink TV will continue to support and cover the Brink scene. Our hope is that the DLC being offered for free that will be released sometime later this month will also provide some eagerly awaited balance changes that will shape Brink into a solid 5v5 experience. At that time, it is our greatest hope that teams who have been waiting to jump into Brink competition give it a try, and teams who have been frustrated by the double-full-hold syndrome since the game's launch will return to give Brink another shot. Brink TV's Day 1 Launch Event hopefully showed the potential of this game to be an intense team-based powerhouse and, despite the need for patches and tweaks, we have faith it will get there.
Have any news or announcements regarding the competitive scene? Be sure to drop us a tip at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brink TV is a community-run broadcasting organization founded by Matt 'Mattc0m' Richards and Steve 'GreasedScotsman' Huff. Its core staff, Slava 'stlava' Markeyev, Alex 'Jehar' Popa, Krista 'RottenRose' Popa and mystery woman and community manager extraordinaire, 'Retsy', work harder than anyone should for a volunteer job to bring high caliber broadcast entertainment and Brink competition coverage to the masses.