Tip of The Hats, TF2 Charity Event
Video games and charity; two things that have gone together hand-in-hand over the past few years, and for good reason. The gaming community has, time and time again, proven to be one of the most effective, most ambitious and most generous when it comes to fund-raising and this is perfectly exemplified by Tip of the Hats, an annual 48-hour stream event run by the Team Fortress 2 community, bringing the best names and personalities of both the casual and competitive scenes together under one banner and one cause: to raise as much money as possible for One Step Camp. If you’ve heard of it, you understand the hype. If you haven’t, dear reader, you’re in luck; this year’s event is coming up very soon indeed, on the weekend of the 19th-20th of September.
One Step Camp‘s premise is simple, but very sweet indeed. They offer camp programs for children suffering from cancer, giving them a friendly, supportive environment where they can relax, have fun and, most of all, get a chance to just smile and be kids. Tip of the Hats has been running since 2013 and the community have raised more than $130,000 over only two events so far, with last year’s event securing the spot of 5th biggest Twitch charity events of 2014. The streams in years gone by have featured appearances from top competitive players, beloved community content creators and even a surprise appearance at the end of last year’s event from the father of Team Fortress himself, Valve‘s own Robin Walker!
The accomplishments made by Tip of the Hats so far have been undeniably incredible, so it would be more than respectable to just maintain last year’s quality and keep it up, right? Well, true as this may be, if there’s one thing that it’s important to know about the TF2 community, it’s that they’ve never been inclined to rest on their laurels. This year the Tip of the Hats stream will be coming straight out of a brand-spanking-new studio in Chicago, with all of the main staff hanging out in one location to ensure top production quality, top organization and, of course, top banter. With planned guest appearances from the community’s most loved names, including but not limited to STAR, Jerma985, Muselk and Tagg, as well as the continued involvement of the competitive TF2 community where the main Tip of the Hats staff members found their roots, this year’s event isn’t just set to ride the success of previous years. It’s set to knock them out of the park.
So, if you have some time to spare on the weekend of the 19th and 20th of September, starting on the Saturday at 12:00 EST (that’s 5pm for us Brits!), I can assure you that the Tip of the Hats stream is a damn fine way to spend it. Confirmed events so far include:
- Public server events, allowing the whole community to get involved and play with some of the game’s biggest names including the Tip of the Hats staff!
- Exciting North America vs Europe show matches in both of competitive TF2’s major formats, 6v6 and Highlander 9v9, featuring top players from both continents!
- Mini-tournaments in 1v1, 2v2 and the beloved fast-paced custom mode BBall, exhibiting the thrilling deathmatch skills of some of competitive TF2’s most entertaining and explosive players!
- Jumping and surfing showcases – if you’ve never seen the beauty of TF2’s movement mechanics taken to their limits, you’re in for a treat!
- ‘Uncrating’ sessions: the suspenseful yet sadistic glee of watching TF2’s top personalities opening crates so you don’t have to!
- A fan favourite returning from last year, Dota Fortress, a very special series of 6v6 games in which two captains draft their own 6-man team from a pool of top competitive players with a Dota-esque pick/ban system!
Of course, a charity stream is nothing without donations and the incentives this year are bigger and better than ever. Returning from previous events are raffles – everything from new weapon skins to Unusual hats to shiny golden “Australium” weapons and even special real-life prizes will be up for grabs to donators. There’s even a Team Fortress 2-themed hand-made quilt! Yes, really! On top of this, thanks to some co-operation from the lovely fellas at Valve, donations of $20 or more will net you a fashionable in-game pin badge as cold, hard proof of your generosity.
Tip of the Hats events of the past have produced some of TF2’s most memorable moments and raised outstanding amounts of money for the wonderful cause that is One Step Camp. Every year the team are always doing everything in their power to make the event as great as it can possibly be and the huge step up from 2013’s event to 2014’s displayed it with style. With the team and the community working so hard, there’s only one thing missing to make this year’s event even better than ever: you! Head over to Tip of the Hats to find out more including a full lists of guests or to donate, or if you really can’t wait hop over to youtube.com/user/tipofthehats to watch the 2013 and 2014 events and get a taste of what’s to come.
Many thanks to Jay ‘Vanguard’ Fothergill, an active member of the TF2 community, for his fantastic piece on this worthwhile cause. Here at GeekOut, we accept articles from all geekdoms and for all manners of events – If you’d like to submit an idea for an article, please email us and we’ll get back to you ASAP.
The full schedule for Tip of the Hats can be found here.