BLUF (bottom line up front): CC hosts mid-sized “total war” type tournaments, PAL hosts small hardcore infantry tournaments, PS2P hosts pickup matches and large server scrimmages known as ServerSmash.
Some of you may be wondering what in the world is going on with the competitive/scrimmage environment in Planetside 2 (PS2). You may have heard of CC tournament this, PAL tournament that, PS2 pickup match this again, and wondered what the difference is between them all. I’m right there with you. That’s why I asked the three organizations what they were and how they fit into the community. Here is what I found…
History: Community Clash (CC) is the more well known competitive event in Planetside 2. It’s actually the brainchild of the ReachCast Show. The person in charge of it all is Torkz. He, along with Deringer, Noxx, Hamma, and JennyBoo, and others have all been the force behind this organization. CC was originally founded in April of 2013 by Torkz and a group of players. Things didn’t go exactly as they planned, which in turn led to a couple restructurings in July of 2013, which led to the current iteration of CC that you see now.
Mantra: The purpose of CC is to “Provide a controlled environment for outfits to battle each other for the community and general players entertainment.” The intent is to stimulate normal PS2 gaming.
Focus: CC has a combined arms approach to their matches. Meaning, anything goes. If it’s in the game, it’s in CC. Of course, this doesn’t mean they won’t have specialized tournaments, but the basic approach for them is to capture the game in its full glory.
Who it’s for: Casual and non-casual outfits, both US and EU. Basically, the entire outfit community. Let’s take that a step further. CC matches generally focus on 24v24, as a result of consulting the community. So if you have a dedicated, but not-so-large outfit, CC is a great place to start. For you larger outfits looking for a 48v48, have no fear, Torkz has hinted that CC would like to accommodate that, but hasn’t had the community interest to get it going.
How it works: CC has two seasons, a casual and non-casual season. They alternate seasons every two months, and have both US and EU brackets. They cast each match on their ReachCast Twitch with commentators.
Resources: CC has integrated itself with Sony Online Entertainment (SOE). Specifically, they have obtained permission to use the private Jaeger server, received SOE’s endorsement, and actual in-game prizes developed by the PS2 developers for the winners. CC itself has about seven staff members on the US side, and five staff members on the EU side. It also uses Planetside-Universe’s (PSU) teamspeak 3 server (ts3.planetside-universe.com).
That’s CC in a nutshell. Torkz would like to say thank you to the community for generating the rule and format of the matches.
History: Professional Arena League (PAL) is the newest in the community. It debuted in the beginning of December 2013. It was founded by VengeanceD. Since its founding, PAL has been trying to carve a niche in the competitive community, nailing down its style. Early on in PAL, VengeanceD tried to offer cash prizes for the upcoming tournament and its winners. However, when he pursued SOE’s support, they gave him a choice. Either, he could do the tournament independently of SOE and keep the winning prize, or do it with SOE’s support and offer non-monetary prizes. Since SOE’s support included the private server, VegeanceD went with the second option, which is why the monetary prizes disappeared.
Mantra: The purpose of PAL “Is to determine who is the best infantry combat group in Planetside 2.”
Focus: PAL is an infantry-based, end-game type of thing. Vehicles and air do not have a place in PAL. Competing tournaments must prove their worth using only their infantry skills.
Who it’s for: The hardcore, elite players and outfits. PAL pays particular attention the 12v12, single squad combat, but is open to expanding the size. This is a true gladiator approach to competitive PS2. If you win these tournaments, you probably have some of the most skilled players in the game.
How it works: PAL does not differentiate between seasons or regions. They have tournaments that they sponsor that anyone can enter into from anywhere. It doesn’t matter whether it’s US or EU, everyone is grouped together. Outfits signup via this link here.
Resources: PAL is also integrated itself with SOE. They have been granted access to the private Jaeger server, and will be able to offer in-game prizes for the tournament winners. PAL has about eight staff members total. They will be streaming their tournaments via the PAL Twitch channel. If you would like to support PAL, click the “Support us!” link on their website. Additionally, PAL intends to provide weekly infantry matches in a effort called “PAL Weekly”.
That’s PAL in a nutshell. VengeanceD’s personal motto is “By the community, for the community.”
History: PS2 Pickup (PS2P) has technically been around for a while. It was founded by Dotz0r and Furiosus in August of 2013 while they both were reminiscing about the glory days of the CoD4 pickup community. The intent was to create more interest in competitive play and act as a “gateway drug” for players to enter into CC and PAL. Every week, Dotz0r, Furiosus, and a bunch of players would randomly select teams and play against themselves on the Planetside 2 Test Server (PTS). Allelujah took over Furiosus’s duties and started publicizing it more. Some advertising on Reddit, the forums, and word of mouth, and PS2P started attracting more than 40 players a week. They participated in the Miller vs. Woodman vs. Ceres match that crashed the PTS, the brainchid of that was [IP]Itzhaki. So they kept doing weekly pickup matches, until Lanzer convinced Dotz0r that a Connery and Miller 96v96 server scrimmage would work. With help from a lot of people, it did, and ServerSmash was born.
Mantra: The purpose of PS2P is to be that “middleman” organization that bridges the gap between live server play and hardcore competitive play.
Focus: The weekly pickup matches are infantry only, in the form of PAL. The ServerSmash scrimmages are combined arms, anything goes, in the form of CC.
Who it’s for: For the pickup matches, any PS2 player can play, whether in a outfit or not. For the server v server scrimmages, any outfit that has confirmed participation with their server representative can participate. The server v server scrimmages are mainly geared for the casual outfit, but hardcore outfits are allowed to play as well.
How it works: For the pickup matches, every Saturday (usually 22:00GMT/18:00EST/15:00PST) players congregate in the PS2P TS3 channel (22.214.171.124:12667). Just show up, get randomized on a team, and play. That’s it. For ServerSmash scrimmages, find the server v server match you want to participate in, and then contact your server rep to reserve your slot. This calendar has all the events on it.
Resources: PS2P primarily uses the PTS, it does not have a lot of dev support, nor does it have access to Jaeger. INIcast and the ReachCast team does offer commentator and casting support to PS2P. It does have its own website, teamspeak channel (126.96.36.199:12667), and frequently tweets events. It doesn’t offer prizes to winners, just a ton of fun.
That’s PS2P in a nutshell. Dotz0r would like to say that PS2 Pickup’s ethos is “Competitive play in a casual and fun manner.”
Hope that clears some things up, now you should know what the three orgs represent. All organizations are great to get involved with. Try one, or all three!