I’ve written quite a bit over the last couple days on TeamFortress.tv regarding a recent announcement that Valve is looking into building a matchmaking system into TF2. This news received a mixed reception from the competitive community. The system, if built, would feature the Highlander format, which runs sides of nine players, with a strict class limit of one player per class; the primary format within the community has been sides of six players since the game launched. To add to this disappointment, Robin Walker, who is the originator of the Team Fortress mod and leads the TF2 project, had disparaging things to say about the community’s favored format, essentially calling it boring and stagnant.
In an essay (and later comments) published on TeamFortress.tv, I tackle what this matchmaking system would mean for the 6v6 competitive TF2 scene, Robin’s remarks, why the scene should stop trying to get Valve’s undivided attention, and some directions the scene could take the format to quicken the pace and address the awkward bits that have remained unaddressed since competition started over five years ago.