#savetf2 movement image.

Who Started The 'Save TF2' Protest And Did It Succeed?

On May 26th, Reddit, YouTube and Twitter became a stage for one of the largest and well-coordinated protests ever staged by a video game fandom.

Fans of Team Fortress 2, a multiplayer FPS game released by Valve in 2007 and still enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of players worldwide, staged a peaceful online protest, posting over 250,000 tweets with the hashtag "#SaveTF2" in hopes of seeing their game free from pesky, game-ruining bots once again. Was #SaveTF2 a success and who started it? Learn all about the online protest in our explainer here.

What Is "Save TF2?"

Save TF2 or #SaveTF2 is a community protest by the Team Fortress 2 community that took place in May 2022, which aimed (and succeeded) at attracting Valve's attention toward the long-running bot problem with the game.

Who Started Save TF2? And What Happened?

Team Fortress 2, a sequel to class-based multiplayer shooter Team Fortress Classic, was released in 2007 to much love both from critics and players. Colorful, memorable characters, easy-to-learn but hard-to-master mechanics, fun gameplay and low system requirements helped the game to find a strong community of loving fans.

While the game did not receive any major updates since 2016, its player base has not only not dropped, but managed to grow since then, with the community maintaining its own thriving culture of Source Filmmaker and GMod videos, fan art and, of course, memes.

It's all the more disappointing that for the past two years the game has been facing a major problem. Since late 2019, the game's official servers have been plagued by hoards of annoying auto-aiming bots that pretty much ruined the fun for casual players.

The problem got Valve a lot of flak over the past two years, but the community remained ever patient for an eventual solution. Finally, on May 7th, 2022, Team Fortress 2 YouTuber SquimJim said, "enough is enough," posting a video in which he urged his viewers to send multiple emails to both Valve and to gaming news websites in hopes that the developers would finally pay the players some attention and fix the issue.

And then, as SquimJim's subscribers mailed gaming websites en masse, articles about the bot crisis started to appear one after another, with a tweet about the bot issue posted by IGN going viral.

As the reignited discussion picked up steam, on May 24th, a group of Team Fortress 2 content creators announced the #SaveTF2 peaceful protest that would take place two days later, inviting everyone who loved TF2 and cared for the game to make a post about it.

As hundreds of thousands of tweets, Reddit posts and YouTube videos poured in on May 26th, Valve was seemingly left with no choice but to finally react and respond to its community — and to much celebration, they did.

Save TF2 Memes

May 26th was rich in Team Fortress 2 memes and fan art of all kinds as the game's creative community shared their works to support their favorite game and get the word out.

trøffelmasse @constantinnenn #savetf2 even though you were late to the party, you were still the life of it. #tf2 #teamfortress2 2:09 AM · May 26, 2022. Twitter Web App (10) : ... Skymin @SkyminSlash TF2 has been an extremely influential part of my life. It was the cornerstone of my content, the basis of many friendships, started my enjoyment of cosplaying and thousands of hours spent playing/creating/thinking TF2. Even if we can't #savetf2 Valve still owes it closure. Skymin Slash YouTube 9:25 AM May 26, 2022 Twitter Web App . If nobody got me I know THE ENTIRE TEAM FORTRESS 2 FANBASE got me Can i get an AMEN ?

One type of content stood out, however, as the Team Fortress 2 community has had a long tradition of making propaganda posters – something that fits very well with the style of the game and was even picked as a theme for a community contest in 2009 – many such fan-made posters were shared during the Save TF2 day.

. 日 #SAVETF2 應 。 0 O e 0

Now, the ball is still on Valve's side, and the memes are all about the company keeping its words and delivering the actual fix.

WISE MAN ONCE SAID, [ ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS. VALVE ... FPSthetics FPSthetics @FPSthetics Team Fortress 2 fans after bringing up attention to the bot situation hoping Valve will finally listen but instead they shut down TF2 permanently 2:28 PM - May 17, 2022. Twitter Web App .

Was Save TF2 a Success?

While Valve did acknowledge the bot crisis and said that it was working on a solution, the actual fix is yet to be delivered, and the estimated time for it was not given.

For the full history of the Save TF2 protest, be sure to check out our entry here for even more information.

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