Team Fortress 2’s Meet Your Match Update Announced

It’s been a long time coming but matchmaking in Team Fortress 2 [official site] is almost here. Valve today announced the Meet Your Match update, which I imagine likely means it’ll launch this week. Look forward to a ranked 6v6 mode, unranked 12v12 ‘quickplay’, and all sorts of levels, medals, and statistics tracking your performance. Three new community-made maps are coming too, and sportsball mode Pass Time will launch out of beta.

Competitive Mode is, y’know, ranked play. The game will pull twelve players of similar skill together (yes, you can matchmake in a party with pals) and make them fight to the death for the glory of climbing rankings. I will be sorely disappointed if matches don’t end with the winners posing on stage like in this trailer:

Competitive Mode isn’t quite regular TF2, though. As the FAQ explains, it’s reducing randomness by giving shotguns fixed spreads and disabling random critical hits. If you get murdered, you can’t blame it on luck.

Competitive Mode isn’t for everyone. To dissuade cheaters and smurfs and whatnot, it’s only open to folks whose Steam accounts are tied to an active phone number and who have a ‘Premium’ account – people who either bought the game or have bought an item from the in-game store. For folks without phone numbers, Valve will sell Competitive Access Passes granting lifetime access. Those will cost $9.99 when Competitive Mode launches, then later cost… more?

If that all sounds a little too serious for you, well, Valve are also updating TF2’s ‘quickplay’ so it puts together a 12v12 unranked match rather than dunking you into a random in-progress game.

Do check the FAQ for all the nitty-gritty on Competitive Mode.

And what the heck is this image, leaked early from tomorrow’s Meet Your Match reveal campaign update, teasing?


  1. Lumière says:

    Sorry Valve, but I just don’t want to give you my phone number. Keep trying and soon I’ll stop giving you money too, cause this is really anoying. I should choose how I keep my acound safe, and a email verification is just fine by me. Now start working on Half Life 3 and maybe I’ll recover my faith on you.

    • Douchetoevsky says:

      What do you think they are going to do with your phone number that you don’t want the added security it brings? I’m assuming you trust them with your credit card information?

      • Lumière says:

        No, I don’t trust them my credit card info, I use other payment methods, but this is a relevant information for them and I understand that, my phone number isn’t, theres no reason for my PC games be linked with my phone. What they want my phone for? I don’t know, they who should answer that. Security isn’t, because there’s many other ways to do that. Maybe they want to call me on a date, in this case they could at least pay me a dinner first.

        • SomeDuder says:

          It’s… two-factor authentication. You know, log in with a regular account/password, then you get sent a SMS which contains a one-time-pass that you need to enter to continue. Many, MANY services and organisations use this. And while I would indeed be wary of giving personal information to anyone who asks, a phonenumber is quite innocent, and you’ve done business with Valve before. I mean, it would be silly to distrust Valve at this point, when I have more than 300 games in the library.

        • treat says:

          Cheating has been a big issue in TF2 for a long time. Tethering your phone number to your account means that if you’re ever caught cheating, you not only need to create a new Steam account and re-purchase premium, you need to get a new phone number. It’s an added deterrent against cheating, and that’s okay (see: incredibly necessary for fun and fair competitive play).

      • Zekiel says:

        Personally I don’t trust them to store my credit card info (which is why I always untick that box).

        Also – Steam works great for me now, and given Valve’s appalling customer service record I’m not about to add another level of security to my account which could go wrong and lock me out of my games for weeks while customer service deigns to reply.

    • Deadly Sinner says:

      Except it’s not about keeping your account safe, it’s about making sure cheaters can’t just create a new account and continue to ruin competitive. You have the option of paying for the access pass, or, you know, playing regular TF2.

      There’s also nothing wrong with using a phone number for verification.

    • Joe Clark says:

      gaben wants to maybe call you up sometime and ask what you’re wearing.

  2. Douchetoevsky says:

    Hmm, so you can switch characters mid match? Bit of an Overwatch ripoff huh?

    Jokes aside I kind of do wish they would limit the weapon pool to either the originals or that first expansion. Though with it being ranked I doubt you’ll see many Demoknights running around so it may be a problem that solves itself.

    • Jalan says:

      I’d be more excited over this update if they’d included a system to ban certain weapons via a vote system before the ranked matches begin (or something similar).

      • Stevostin says:

        There are practically no weapon that are better than the basic ones.

        • Jalan says:

          You don’t need to tell me, as I play with stock loadouts almost every single time I play. The rare times I don’t are when the team I’m playing on decides that it’s better to have 3-4 of the same class doing a pissing contest about who can outpro the other (or some other equally insipid nonsense), often leaving the team void of useful classes like a Medic.

  3. PseudoKnight says:

    They’re certainly getting more and more aggressive with this phone number nonsense. It was annoying when they kept asking. Now it’s very disconcerting that they keep making it a requirement for certain features. I bought TF2 in 2007. I have had a Steam account since day one (and beta before that). I have 278 games on my account. But apparently all that isn’t enough.

    • Stevostin says:

      It’s not about you, it’s about cheaters bans. There are a lot around – way more than I thought initially. I actually gave up on fps because there are so many. If they can fix this, amen.

  4. gwathdring says:

    I’m not sure why folks find the phone number thing concerning or suspicious. It’s a straightforward security tactic: entice people to engage in protocols you think are more secure or force them to with arcane restrictions.

    If you’re worried about data security, that battle was lost the moment you gave Valve a phone number at checkout which, last I recall, is required though I suppose you can use any phone number for that whereas you need an SMS capable phone number for the security features Valve is banging on about.

    In any case I get not wanting to give Valve a phone number to a point; I don’t get why 2 out of 5 people seem to think it is some kind of creepy and oppressive request. This isn’t entirely different from when passwords need to have meet a bunch of arbitrary requirements; the goal is to get you to use a better password, but since they can’t force you to do that they try what they think is the next best thing.

    That doesn’t mean it is good security policy either, of course, but it hardly seems nefarious!

    • Jalan says:

      It definitely makes it impossible for scummy types to run 50 different accounts under a single phone number. Now they’ll have to at least get a few cloned phones to spread things out while they do their fleecing of the masses in regard to digital tat.

      How’s the saying go – Gold chains, track suits, swimming pools, movie stars?

      • El Mariachi says:

        I think it goes “Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece / Jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash”

  5. AlexStoic says:

    Not a criticism, but I don’t get how some people can play the same game for 9+ years. Don’t you get absolutely sick of it?

    And how long is a developer expected to keep supporting an ancient game before it’s actually unreasonable to give you more content for the $10 you paid back in 2007? I know it makes money with the crate gambling system, but good lord. Who is looking forward to a hardcore TF2 competitive scene in 2016?

    Good on Valve for keeping it up I guess.

    • cbn says:

      >Who is looking forward to a hardcore TF2 competitive scene in 2016?

      Probably the hardcore TF2 competitive scene of 2016 :]

      I think it gets a few thousand twitch viewers for the bigger lans. Weirdly despite the relatively low viewership, they set up some pretty slick production

    • Person of Interest says:

      > I don’t get how some people can play the same game for 9+ years.

      There are bunches of comments hanging off every TF2 article which lament that today’s game is, in fact, nothing at all like the original game they loved in 2007.

      Consider also that TF2 spent more than 9 years in development (I had an unfortunate friend who pre-ordered the game in 1999) and got so many things right, that for nearly a decade no one could meaningfully improve on the formula. On top of the weapons, hats, and rebalancing, there are great level designers in the community who’ve been steadily building new maps for the game.

      There are also clans, dedicated servers, and other social structures that encourage long-term loyalty to the game.

    • Stevostin says:

      chess, poker, soccer, tf2.

    • eAi says:

      I’ve moved away from t the

      • eAi says:

        One thing Valve really should do is an update to the UI and perhaps the graphics. The UI (on Mac, where I primarily play) is really quite broken, with text not fitting in the boxes that it should do etc.

    • eAi says:

      Sorry for that previous half reply – not sure what happened and I can’t edit it.

      Anyway, I’d moved away from it and come back a few times over the years. Ive played it a fair bit recently and it’s still a great game – when it is well balanced.

      As others have said, it’s also changed a lot over the years, and the main game modes that Valve push you towards are now game modes that didn’t exist when the game was released (Payload being the first one).

      Despite it changing, I think they’ve managed to keep the basic game very similar – and it’s easy to play while basically ignoring all the hat, item, badge and crafting malarkey.

      I’m looking forward to this update.

  6. Catweasel says:

    I wouldn’t mind the phone number thing but they ban cheap providers and I have a budget phone service and am barred. They don’t actually tell you what providers are allowed though so I can’t try to choose a cheap one that is accepted. Fuck that.

  7. yogibbear says:

    Looks like a complete rip-off of Overwatch. Valve getting lazy. Almost expect TI6 Immortal 3’s to be forever delayed.