18 slots for HL

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  • I feel like an important part of this discussion was not mentioned… why is selling roster slots bad?

    They’re not taking money away from rgl and players are using their investment in the community to earn some money. I feel like the fact that “it’s hard to prove when someone does this” just means it’s not an impactful event that affects anyone negatively. This seems to be a case of “making money = bad” but if anyone has any insight why this should be outright taboo I would be interested to hear.

  • @Despy I believe it’s at least partially because Valve does not permit the buying or selling of medals, even if you consider it to be indirect. If it does become a known issue, RGL could lose the ability to distribute medals

  • we all know if the cap is changed to 18 or 12 it wont matter because when a main is missing on match day 90% of teams are gonna go look for a ringer who is “good” instead of using their crusty washed up rostered subs

  • @nabla I co-led for a couple of seasons and we never opted for a ringer if we had a dedicated sub for that class. The only times we went for a ringer over an available sub were if only a multiclass sub could cover it, and a lower roster cap requires you to rely more on multiclass subs.

  • I need 18 roster slots please

  • @Mothership you literally cannot have a dedicated sub for every class because the roster limit is 15. a high invite team is forced to roster unicorn players that can adequately perform on 3+ classes to account for this + random availability issues, or roster dedicated subs for the players that are most likely to miss matches, or move their mains around to suboptimal lineups.

    before you say, clearly you needed another demo sub, note that this is also the season that mcm literally did not have the same roster for two straight weeks the entire season due to shifting availability. here’s how our roster and ringer situation was that season

    scouts: 2 players (1 rostered, 1 ringer)
    soldiers: 3 players (all rostered)
    pyro: 3 players (all rostered)
    demo: 5 players (3 rostered, 2 ringer)
    heavy: 2 players (all rostered)
    engineer: 2 players (all rostered)
    medic: 1 player (chad Rogue)
    sniper: 2 players (all rostered)
    spy: 3 players (2 rostered, 1 ringer)

    for those counting at home, that is 19 rostered players + 4 ringers
    15 slots is not enough

    also i wont deny that this is an anomaly of a team, but this also forces a team leader to cut someone who may have played most of the regular season at the roster lock if they can’t make scrims, etc. doesn’t make sense

  • @rj The fun thing about logs is that I can actually fact check you fairly easily.

    While I understand your count does not take off-classing into account, it is something I have to take into account when running my fun excel sheet.

    Ignoring the rostered/ringer/off-classing, the only thing you were off by is you only had 4 demos players total in logs and not 5. otherwise you are completely correct in that regard.


    the other thing that was incorrect was that you used 5 ringers throughout the season, not 4. Another thing to note is that only p3nguin and animus were not rostered on a team for that season.

    • animus once on scout (1 match)
    • p3nguin once on solly (1 match)
    • dog twice on demo (1 match)
    • odb twice on demo (1 match)
    • agb trice on spy (1 match)

    Another thing to note is that both of the un-rostered ringers were only used during the regular season, and all the rostered ringers were only used during the post-season.


    The last thing of note, is out of your whole roster, you only had a total of 18 players ever rostered for that season. 5 of which never played a match for you guys. meaning you only used a total of 13 players that were ever rostered on your team.

    • Rebel left before the start of the season
    • Reika Left after week 2
    • Frost left after week 2
    • Rue never played a match
    • Ether never played a match

    Ignoring the pre-season roster, we can see that both Reika and Frost left the team after week 2, and were replaced by zuchima and bm. Bm who was used the earliest in week 4, and zuchima in week 5.


    We can also infer from the data that your team had a few subs that they used for the season:

    • Supreme Toad on Pyro Twice (2)
    • Jerry on sniper once (1)
    • Zuchima on heavy trice (3)
    • Whatever was up with bm.


    Taking into account off-classing, we can see:

    • RJ played 3 classes (solly, pyro, demo)
    • Calo played 2 classes (heavy, engineer)
    • bm played 2 classes (pyro, spy)


    This does mean that after taking off-classing into account, your team used a total of 18 different players throughout the season for your matches (13 rostered players + 5 ringers).

    Player counts:

    • 13 Rostered players that played.
      — 9 Mains
      — 3 subs + bm
    • 2 roster riders by the end of the season.
      — Rue
      — Ether
    • 2 Ringers that were not rostered on a team.
      — animus
      — p3nguin
    • 3 Ringers that were rostered on other invite teams.
      — dog
      — odb
      — agb

    So what does this mean?

    idk, you can make your own inference from this data. You can either look at it and say :

    “they used a total of 18 players! This is perfect evidence that we should have 18 roster slots!”

    or you can focus on other aspects and say:

    “They had 4 roster riders at the start of the season, if they had kicked Rue and Ether and replaced them with the un-rostered ringers, then they would not of needed more than 15 roster slots anyways!”

    It is impossible however, for us to make the second argument without making assumptions that may or may not be true. We do not why Rue or Ether did not play, or the reason why Reika and Frost were rostered at the start of the season. For all we know they could of been subbing in scrims, or just was not available when the team actually needed them. The only thing we can really deduce consistently from this is that it is hard to align the schedules of 9 different players.

    My conclusion? Is that Rogue is a Chad among Chads.

    Although none of this answers why you guys never had a dedicated demo sub.


    Team link: https://rgl.gg/Public/Team.aspx?t=7948&r=24
    Match Logs repository: https://engineer.tf/demos.php

    Weekly Lineup:
    alt text

    Final Tally:
    alt text


  • I should preface this that I am not a Highlander admin anymore and have not been for the past 4-seasons. However, I still help out with giving input and suggestions for the HL team here and there.

    Just to address some things:

    • The HL team did not lower the roster spots to 15 in direct response to individuals selling roster spots.

    This was a rule that was added during that offseason under [1007.2.4] - Fraud which specifically outlines that this is not allowed anymore (timing may have led to users believing that this was why slots were reduced). This is also a rule that exists in ETF2L as well. The reason why major leagues in TF2 do not allow selling spots on your roster is that it is indirectly allowing individuals to buy medals, which is a strict policy that Valve does not allow at all. Loss of the API distribution of medals is a possibility. The only exception to this policy is for charity TF2 events, which allows players to donate and receive donator medals.

    • Instead, the HL admins wanted to address the issue of “roster riders”

    When I used to be a Highlander admin, default ringing in Invite and Advanced used to be allowed as well as teams having 18 roster spots. Teams would still routinely use default ringers throughout the season to do the following:

    • Replacing their starting player who is readily available and intentionally using a default ringer to “upgrade” their roster
    • Default ringing a player who is eliminated from playoffs and intentionally using them as a starting player to “upgrade” their roster

    While default ringing is no longer allowed in Invite and Advanced, there still exists a ringer culture to just approve all the ringers that your enemy team proposes. In a sense, the defined roles of a substitution player have become less prevalent and meaningful over time as a result of the teams relying on ringers (even if default ringing is not allowed).

    The HL team’s stance was to increase the value of substitutes and discourage roster riding. Now, whether the solution is to decrease/add more roster spots is the most effective solution is a discussion for that admin team.

    EDIT: One note that I forgot to mention is the concept of exceptions for “roster riders”. Basically, this pertains to when there is a low division player (e.g. IM/Main) that rosters on an Invite team. That same player tries to play in their correct division the following season and then there are players that complain about how the admins are allowing “Invite” players to play in a low division and sandbag.

  • @Mothership this is a really long way to say that, no matter what, you have to pick between dedicated class subs. frost (pyro), reika (scout) and rue (heavy) were all basically dedicated one-class subs. this actually highlights the point really well that we had to remove 2 of them for more generalist players.

    this is very much not the point im trying to make either, but since you brought it up again, we HAD a dedicated demo sub (exile) when rosters locked. I had to move off demo because we had to shift the roster around in the middle of playoffs when someone left the team (also the reason we had to use ringers all throughout playoffs). the unrostered ringers were the result of having to make last min substitutions when people had emergencies and we couldn’t give our subs warning they would be needed. everyone deals with these struggles. it makes sense to add 3 more potential players that might happen to be online and ready to play to avoid these situations

    side note i would love to see soapy play pyro and i am sad that that never really happened

  • I still don’t get why there are no default ringer rules when the roster limit is 15 players. A full invite highlander team would have at most 6 eligible subs for its 9 players. The reason “ringer culture” exists in invite hl is partly due to the fact that something can pop up last second and a team may have to use a player from their roster who doesn’t even main the class that they’re playing. If teams really want to sell roster spots, its not really a big deal, as its only hurting teams that might need to use that spot later down the line. What does hurt teams is placing strict restrictions on roster sizes, which makes team leaders have to juggle the prospects of rostering one player over another, and having to decide who on their team has consistent schedules, and which players can multiclass sub in an emergency. There’s virtually no reason to choke down roster limits from 18-15, besides doing as rj said, punishing single class subs, or cracking down needlessly hard on the selling of roster spots/ roster riders.

    I think everyone can pretty much agree that selling roster spots is cringe as hell, and if I go up against a team whose asking me to ring players after I see them bragging about selling roster spots, I’m going to make them pay to ring players 🤡

    Jokes aside, if rgl is really concerned with the selling of roster slots, they can just ban people from doing it. I don’t have any ideas on how to stop people from roster riding, but at least an increase to 16-18 roster slots would ease up a lot of pressure on team leaders when it comes to rostering potential subs.

  • @rj Gonna be frank. A random looking at my weekly lineup would assume that exile was the main demo, and you were the main pyro. but if you were suppose to be the main demo, then you guys basically did not have a main pyro whatsoever. I will also update my sheet since you are correct in saying Soapy did not play pyro. I am not sure why I had him down for that. might of confused him with supreme toad.

  • @Mothership yes this is the point i am making with roster instability - and this is a good case because it was a historically unstable roster. the “main roster” had to shift almost weekly. and this meant either cutting the former main to make room for new subs when our subs stepped in (which we did not do) or using an occasional ringer from another team (which matters even less when you consider it is a top invite team playing against other top invite teams)

    i also really appreciate that you had to make a special format for when i slept through the first map of grands

  • Make it 18 players, perma ban people that sell spots with or without prior infractions. If someone asks to buy the spot and the leader wants to snitch, id also argue for the person asking to buy the spot should also be banned.

    Its fucking Team Fortress 2, stop paying for virtual medals.

  • if you wanna use the argument of “oh rue and ether never played so they were just taking up valuable spots, dont roster them if they wont play,” how would mcm know that rue or ether wouldnt actually be needed? all they can do is roster in the off chance they need one of them to play, but they had to get rid of both to make room for subs who can play multiple classes anyway.

    “you had to ring a pyro, why didnt you just roster this pyro player who was lft as opposed to having 2 people who didnt even play” how am i supposed to predict several weeks in advance who will or won’t be missing, and who can actually play…boosting the roster limit would mean less of the guessing games…

  • With 15 players it’s also probably a bad idea to have a dedicated spot for certain classes like pyro at a (high) invite level anyway because a lot are pretty one trick, and even if they aren’t i would take a multiclasser who could flex onto better classes over a potential pyro/spy/engineer/whatever multiclasser any day.

  • @spring-rolls said in 18 slots for HL:

    With 15 players it’s also probably a bad idea to have a dedicated spot for certain classes like pyro at a (high) invite level anyway because a lot are pretty one trick, and even if they aren’t i would take a multiclasser who could flex onto better classes over a potential pyro/spy/engineer/whatever multiclasser any day.

    Honestly, regardless of if we end up qith 15 or 18 slots, this should be exactly what teams should do.

    Like, you can take any high level scout and throw them onto engineer, just tell them were to put buildings and they will do just fine. Carsin got 1st place invite last season despite that being his first season on engineer when he is actually a heavy main. I was wrong.

    You don’t need a deticated pyro/engineer/heavy sub unless your mains are that unreliable.

  • @Mothership carcin (one of the only players in highlander that could probably play every class in high invite) had already previously won a season of invite on engineer lol

  • After leading Home Depot eSports for something like eight seasons, I have amassed a pool of something like forty non-starting players that would all be willing to sub for me and could play if I just asked.

    I also have lots and lots of players that have lives and miss scrims often.

    I say fuck 18, give us 21 back. I seem to recall pushing for 21 on the previous forums and eyerolled so damn hard when I saw it was reduced for some reason

  • Why is roster size such a sour point for RGL staff, is there any leader that actually advocates for 15 slots? Both UGC and ETF2L have 21+ slots for HL, and we can’t even get 18, and from the looks of things it’s players/leaders vs administration. It’s just a bad look when you have essentially a unanimous opinion on the player side of things being blocked by league administration.

    I read someone mention that selling roster slots is bad because it could force Valve to stop allowing RGL to use medals…well if the RGL administration is unable to prove someone is selling roster slots and then not able to enact a ban, Valve isn’t going to find out either lol. People have been selling roster slots in UGC and ETF2L for nearly a decade now, and they still have medals and 21 slots.

    I know RGL wants to be different from the other leagues, and you guys have done a good job being different in a good way, but reducing roster sizes is doing it in a bad way. This isn’t some instant reaction either, we all tried to make it work the past two seasons and have found that it is a heavy job to find 6 people who can actually fill the 9 roles properly and have good availability when the mains are absent.

  • let’s just make it 10 slots and the whiny babies can deal with it lol. we need to solve the roster riding problem.

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