Prominent members of Team Fortress 2‘s online player community have banded together to create the #savetf2 movement to create awareness about the game’s severe hacker problem, and to protest Valve’s lack of response to fix the situation. The peaceful online protest — in which participants will discuss their love for the game with the #savetf2 hashtag — will be held today on every major social media platform.
Let’s save TF2 together! (read replies) pic.twitter.com/1t7LXCiUGR
— TF2OutofContext (@TF2OutofContext) May 24, 2022
TF2 has been rendered near-unplayable by the influx of hacker bots after the game’s source code was leaked in April of 2020. The bots have the ability to headshot kill players with near-perfect accuracy across maps, play loud music in the game’s voice chat, spam offensive and hateful messages in the text chat, and even impersonate other players to get them kicked from the game. Washington-based developer Valve has implemented several unsuccessful solutions described as “security improvements,” but has otherwise avoided directly addressing the issue. Nevertheless, the Seattle-based studio behind the Half-Life series continues to push out paid cosmetic collections for the game every six months or so.
The campaign to save TF2 first began with Youtuber SquimJim uploading a video on May 7 where he discussed the game’s long-standing issues and urged the community to email Valve en masse. After IGN reported on the story on May 17, members of the community decided to combine their efforts and launch #savetf2, which was announced in a post to the r/tf2 subreddit by ShorK on May 24.
The hashtag has already landed on Twitter’s trending page, with notable TF2 content creators such as Muselk, RTGame, and Antoine Delak having already done their part. Other users like Ryemanni eloquently state the impact the massive impact the game has had on players for the last decade and a half:
Team Fortress 2 was the game that got me to install Steam all the way in 2012. It’s still my favourite online game to date, as I am always able to return to it and have fun with friends. I haven’t been able to do that in a while tho, because of all the bots. So please #SAVETF2