Clan " " (whitespace)
August 2008 - 7th November 2008
Team Fortress 2 was a game I got... reasonably... involved in, from pubbing near release, to joining the local New Zealand community at NZFortress, to joining a clan, to admining one of the yearly leagues for NZF, to leading a clan (or two)... to a fairly sudden and somewhat depressing fadeout. One of the clans I founded, Whitespace, was both the most rewarding, and most depressing, point which led to me dropping TF2 as a hobby.
I can't remember exactly why my previous clan (mu) disbanded, but I'm pretty sure it was after that that Revenga and I decided to form whitespace. It's hard to find information, since the only written source is now only available through the wayback machine, and searching through that is rough. Also it's 10 years ago now and my memory is annoyingly vague on this. Whitespace did very well at the scrims we played, not beating the best clans in NZ, but definitely holding our own near the top of the pack.
Here's a rough roster at 'the peak' of the clan:
and a handful of the affectionately-known-in-the-community-as "sluts" who lent their help when we couldn't field a full team, including Madman and ANt.
There are a few names specifically worthy of note in that list.
Lottic came from... seemingly nowhere... into the NZ TF2 scene, and almost instantly joined the pretty much undisputed best NZ clan, ysw. For whatever reason, they let him go after not too long, and I believe he was one of the first recruits to whitespace. I never could fathom why ysw parted ways with lottic - he was a monster at any class he played - soldier, demo, scout, sniper, whatever. He also recorded footage constantly. Middies for days, great situational awareness, just an all-round great player. He went on to win the Australian UltiDuo competition (where a soldier/medic pair face off against each other), not once, but two years in a row. From what I remember, he (rightfully) rejoined ysw after leaving whitespace.
Yuki was our token Australian member, which caused plenty of trouble - routing issues from AU to some specific NZ servers meant that he actually had to miss many of our matches due to connection problems. Another great soldier, Yuki would, like lottic, also later win the Australian UltiDuo competition.... except Yuki went on do win it FOUR YEARS IN A ROW. His first win was against the defending champion... lottic. Yuki also made 8 appearances on the All-Australian team, joining the hall of fame as scout, soldier, and demoman.
No-one else can really stand up to the legacies of those two players, but bliP has a wee history of his own, making appearances in classic Australian QWTF vids representing his clan PnP - check out the "Team Fortress done extreme" vids at TF done extreme and TF done extreme 2. I also worked with the guy for nearly 10 years. I think I took a deathmatch game of Quake 1 off him once. Maybe.
Oh, and waffle once did his own version of the 48 hr famine where he instead played TF2 for 48 hrs straight for charity. I donated a goat to unicef for his audacious deed. By the end I couldn't tell if he was still playing or just had a weight on the 'run forward' key. I don't recommend trying this feat at home.
As for the clan itself, it pretty much folded when lottic abruptly left along with our medic, waffle - the heart of the clan was removed and after considering our options (and the lack of player base in the community to pull from), Revenga and I disbanded the clan after only about 3 months of existence, a handful of scrims, and having had no tournaments to enter.
Just about the only remaining artifact of the clan, and one I'm pretty proud even exists, is the clan frag vid that waffle created for us - the NZF thread is barely available via wayback at whitespace frag vid @nzf, and the OZF thread still exists at whitespace frag vid @ozf - unfortunately the video links are long dead. I have uploaded it to youtube, however copyright claims on the song "All your base belong to us" by Combichrist meant I had to tell youtube to cut that song out, but at least the video is watchable for posterity now. For the original experience, queue up the song on spotify or whatever and let rip at 4:02 (while muting the vid's music), then unmute the video again at 8:45. BTW I suggested the combichrist track back in the day, typical it's the one to get flagged - not even released as a single or anything. Pschah.
Claims of 'lottic the video' were pretty accurate - as I mentioned earlier, he captured footage constantly, and contributed about 90% of the videos that waffle even had to edit with, but honestly he would have had all the good stuff even if the rest of us captured everything as well.
Here are some of my highlights of the vid.
- Shot in the back, in the air. Can't have been fun. Glorious cinematography though :D
- Oh? I exploded? So will your medic
- The classic lottic "medic bomb"
- Friends let other friends middy
- First of the 'infamous' staged shots. More on this later.
- First clip showed in full speed with hud - shows off much better how many kills lottic got here
- One of the biggest middies I've seen in tf2
- Love this precision demo nade by Revenga
- Part two of the staged vid
- Amazing precision long range middy by Catastrophe
- So many headshots relegated to a letterboxed video, why, waffle, why?!!!
So what's with the staged vids? Apparently during a lan with some friends, nicks were changed and a few shots were staged as some extra footage to include somewhat as a laugh. I believe waffle was the only clan-member involved in this. There was some calling out it on the forums (especially since the shots got quite a bit of attention for being impressive), but they were neither taken during a match, nor against the opponents whose names were used - likely intentionally, since we had never even played against tsw/ysw. The vid lost a bit of credibility after that, unfortunately, and despite being waffle's first video and a fairly minor faux pas, he thought we'd kick him out of the clan for it. Not really a big deal, but very memorable for those involved.
So there's a bit of history of probably the only clan frag vid I'll ever have any footage in. I can't imagine playing FPSes competitively any more, as much as I enjoyed them and the clans I was a part of. Well... I would certainly train up for Action Quake 2 if it made (another) comeback.
Thanks to all the clan members, the opponents, waffle for making the video, and for lottic and Yuki for going on to make names in the international scene so I have something I can vicariously toot my horn about in a 6-degrees of separation kind of way :D