Let’s Try This Thing Again – A Message from Sidular (wall of text)

Hey all, Sidular here.

First up, I’d like to apologize for my absence from the Team Fortress 2 community. I’ve been going through quite a bit of stuff, on a personal level. I lost my father on January 27th. He’s been sick for many years. As some of my closest friends may know, my mental health has been all over the place, primarily due to my fathers condition. I have been… unstable, to say the least. And that had unfortunately affected my ability to effectively run TFCL. It got so bad, that my actions and general behaviour ended up creating a divide within the TFCL team, and our lead developer had to step down. His departure was sudden, and was ultimately why TFCL was no longer capable of operating, thus resulting in our eventual closure.

To be clear, RGL’s sudden rise did not make things easier for us, though they were not why we ultimately had to shut down. TFCL’s demise was entirely internal, and I take full blame and responsibility for all of it. And to be entirely honest, I’m actually thankful that things turned out this way, as I quite frankly do not believe I would have been able to properly run and manage this league, due to my consistent life and family stuff getting in the way. I was dealing with constant stress and severe depression. Mentally, I was incapable of doing the things I wanted to do.

However, fast forward to today. It is now 2022, and I literally just lost my father a few days ago, as of this writing. I am… not fine, if I’m being entirely honest with you. Life is very hard for me right now. To make things even worse, my mother also has cancer. I could legitimately lose both of my parents in one year, and I’m only 28.

Life’s hard, but that doesn’t mean I can just quit. While this may sound weird, but losing the people I love is actually motivating me to move forward. I want to move on. I want to create my future where I am in control. Where I am capable of doing the things I want to do, and right now? Well, right now I want to do TF2 again.

That is why I’m posting up this article. I am hereby announcing the return of TFCL, or at least my intent to return. There’s still quite a lot of work that needs to be done, on our end, before TFCL can officially relaunch. I also need to sort some more things out, and restore some semblance of normalcy in my life.

So, what are my plans for TFCL? Well, that’s simple.

As some of you may know, Sidular isn’t just my alias, it’s also the name of my company. We are responsible for hosting websites and servers, as well as various gaming news publications. We even run a fan fiction archival platform. So you could say that we do a fair bit of stuff, in all fields of the internet.

This year, due to my fathers death, I intend to invest my inheritance into my company, and while I can’t say what my expected ROI or investment will be, I can at least disclose that I expect for it to be in the triple digits. Because of this investment and expected growth, I will be dedicating 25-40% of all of my revenue back into TFCL.

So, what does this mean? Quite simply, it means that I will fund TFCL indefinitely, and as my business grows, so will the league. You should expect larger prize pools than ever before, as well as paid staff, and casters. It means every single format will have a multi-thousand dollar prize pool. Whether it’s Sixes, Highlander, Ultiduo, BBall, Heavy Boxing, Pyro Dodgeball, Prolander, or any other format we happen to host. Everything will have a pool.

I’ll provide a breakdown of my league intentions below. If you have any suggestions, feel free to reach out.

 

Breakdown

1. TFCL is being funded by Sidular, indefinitely. 25-40% of all of Sidular’s revenue will be provided to TFCL, to fund prize pools, further development, as well as to pay all of our staff. 

2. I am investing almost my total inheritance into Sidular, my company. 

3. All of our league administrators will be paid $150 per season. We also intend to pay all of our casting crew $500 per event. We will compensate our staff.

4. TFCL is being rebuilt with total automation in mind. The CPU.TF network of servers is being relaunched as part of TFCL, and built into TFCL itself. Just like before, we will have servers in 16 global locations, including North America, Asia, Europe, and Australia. 

5. All of the previously announced features, such as our PUG system, server automation, scrim automation, etc, will be provided day one. 

 

Expanded

  1. TFCL will operate at a financial loss. Simply put, there are not enough active competitive Team Fortress 2 players to justify a $20,000 pool, let alone a $200,000 pool. However, despite TFCL operating at a loss, Sidular as a whole will be profitable. This means that, if the company makes $100,000 in a given year, TFCL will get between $25,000 and $40,000. My focus will be on expanding Sidular even further, with TFCL operating almost completely autonomously.
  2. My primary initial investment into growing Sidular is from my fathers inheritance. While I won’t disclose the amount, I will say it’s enough to reliably and consistently grow my business, to a point where a large ROI is expected within a two year period.
  3. Each and every single league administrator, staff member, or general helper, will be paid $150 per season. Everyone involved with our streaming operations will also be paid $500 per each casted event, which will primarily consist of playoff games, weekend tournaments, or other such events that we host and stream ourselves. Third party casting organizations are also more than welcome to cast TFCL events, and we will provide certain casting organizations that meet our quality standards and reach with monetary benefits of up to $2,000. Ideally, we want everyone to be paid, even if they’re not working as part of TFCL itself.
  4. We are providing a global network of on-demand servers, which anyone can use at any time to play their matches, scrims, pick-up-games, or anything else. We will provide support for 16 locations at launch, with all S Rank (invite) level teams and players given priority access to our ddos protected servers. This server network will be entirely free, and available to all, even those that compete or play in other leagues. So if you need a match server for RGL, you can freely get one from TFCL.
  5. All of the core features of TFCL will be launched together, as a single league experience. Otherwise, we simply will not launch at all. TFCL’s goal and general intention is to make competitive TF2 as easy and unified as possible, which is why we are opting to launch our newly revised league with every single quality of life feature and service we announced before our closure back in 2019. Whether that’s our automated pick-up-game platform, or the simple act of automating the scrim experience. Each and every feature previously announced will become available on day one.

I want TFCL to be more than just an esport league, but rather, a service for all of TF2. Whether you need a quick server for your daily pick-up-games that you host between friends, or you’re a high level esport team that is strangely obsessed with yogurt, and simply want to have the potential of making a bit more money than you are right now. Or perhaps you’re a low level Highlander team, and finding scrims every Sunday at 9:30 PM is proving to be too difficult for you to manage, and you need a little bit of help. I want TFCL to be the tool needed for you to grow as a player. The tool that helps make team management fun and simple, rather than the chore it is today.

So yeah. My father died, and I’m reviving TFCL. Life is weird.

Also to be clear, this is not a business post, or press statement. It is, by all rights, a personal message from myself. I want to make the best damn competitive platform I can, so that’s what I intend to do. It’s for my own personal reasons. If other people wish to use TFCL? Great. If not? Well, it’ll exist nonetheless. I’m looking to turn TFCL into a tool for competitive TF2. A true all-in-one platform. No bullshit. 

I’m reviving TFCL because it is something that I want to do. Like, personally. It has nothing to do with any other leagues. It has nothing to do with business decisions. I literally want to operate it at a loss just so I can say it exists. So I can compete in it myself. So I can… well, so I can say I did something. My father liked TFCL. I want to make this thing for him. For TF2. For everyone. But most importantly, I want to make it for me. 

So yes, this revival is a very personal thing for me. It’s not a “smart business”. It’s literally just me wanting to create something because I can. I have thousands of hours in TF2. It’s easily one of my most played video games. I want to support the community, since we all know Valve sure as hell won’t.

So no, don’t read this article as a press statement. It’s not. It’s just me disclosing my intentions for the future of the league. It’s me being upfront and honest, and as transparent as possible. TFCL is a passion project for me. It gives me hope. And yes, I still love competitive TF2, and see it as a viable esport. Always have, always will.

And no, I’m not open to questions at this time. I’ll take all suggestions, but anything specific regarding TFCL or my business will not be posted or disclosed at this time.

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