The wheels of Valve grind so slow that you don't notice they're moving until the dust pops out the other end. After nearly nine years of TF2 being available, five since it went free to play and far too long since any big organisations gave a crap about the competitive scene, Valve have started publically discussing a specifically designed competitive mode for their class-based shooter. Hey, better late than never.
One of the best FPS games ever was TF2, at least in its day.
A post on the official subreddit brought the Steam Group to my attention. There, Valve employee and TF2 team member Jill announced that, "We'll be using this group to send out announcements related to the competitive beta as well as seed beta invites for the expansion of the closed beta. If that sounds like a thing you need, get in here!"
We first heard about the possibility of a TF2 competitive mode last year, but its all been quiet on the Valvian front since then. There's a small, dedicated community who keep competitive play running on specific servers and via sites like tf2center, but with no official matchmaking support it just hasn't taken off. The group is the start of Valve looking to change that.
While I doubt there will be some massive resurgence in the game's playerbase or interest, it's the sort of thing that could see me returning for one last ride. I fell out of love majorly when all the items started to roll in, losing my total knowledge of all the game's variables as the number of possible opponents and maps skyrocketed. The trading scene wasn't for me, and I still couldn't get over the fact Engineer and Pyro actually existed (obviously, I played Spy). It would be nice to use those 400+ hours for something though, so hopefully this comes to fruition.
TF2 is still regularly the third most-played game on Steam, so it has all the tools to exploit what Valve have learned from CS:GO and become an eSport in its own right. It got so close in the past: