Team Fortress 2 Getting Competitive Mode and Matchmaking with Meet Your Match Update

Posted by at 9:42 am on July 7, 2016

Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2 was released nine years ago (wow, right?) and now Valve announced that the upcoming Meet Your Match update will finally bring the long-awaited matchmaking and a full-on Competitive Mode to the game.

Yes, this is another instance of “Valve Time“: Matchmaking was announced as a “high priority” feature in April 2015, and a Competitive Mode beta group was set up in January. But better late than never, and now that it’s on the verge of going live, all the bases appear to be covered. The Competitive Mode FAQ says matches will be six-on-six affairs with no class or weapon restrictions, no random critical hits, no changing teams, and fixed shotgun spreads. Symmetrical Control Point maps will be fought over in best-of-three or best-of-five matches, while Attack/Defense maps will play by Stopwatch Mode rules.

Inspired by CS:GO and other games, TF2 Competitive Mode will have 18 ranks to be earned, ranging from “Fresh Meat” to “Death Merchant,” and also bronze, silver, and gold medals that will be awarded post-match for outstanding performance in the score, kills, damage, healing, and support categories. Penalties for leaving games before they’re over will be harsh: Abandoning a game in progress will count as an automatic loss and result in the deduction of points, which could actually cost you an earned rank. You’ll also be temporarily banned from joining new matches, and the more matches you abandon, the longer each ban will last.

To take part in Competitive Mode, you’ll need to have a Premium TF2 Account (details on that can be found here, but the short version is that if you own a purchased version of the game in any format or have bought something from the Mann Co. store, you’ve got it), and must provide a phone number on your Steam account, to help “ensure a greater degree of account security and player accountability, which reduces the likelihood of cheating and abuse.” If you can’t or don’t want to provide your number, you can opt for a Competitive Access Pass instead. They’ll be available for an “introductory discount” of $10 when the update goes live; the full price hasn’t been announced.

The introduction of matchmaking will also have a big impact on how Team Fortress 2 can be played “casually,” the announcement says. “Now, instead of jumping randomly into an in-progress game, you’ll be matched into an unranked 12v12 game with players of similar skill. This means no more auto-balancing—you’ll be playing a match from start to finish, with actual winners and actual losers.” 

Valve hasn’t said when the Meet Your Match update will go live, but Day 2 of the update is “coming soon.”

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