I lost interest in Team Fortress 2 [official site] around the time that I became good enough to regularly top public servers but had neither the skill nor the interest to jump to organised competition. A little matchmaking, pitting me against other pubstar-tier fraggers, would've been wonderful. So huzzah! After many, many years, Valve are finally planning proper matchmaking.
Details are a little thin for now, based on memories of conversations that TF2 community folk had during a recent visit to Valve, but one thing's clear: competitive matchmaking is coming.
Here's a report of those conversations from the folks at eXtelevision:
To recap their recap, they call competitive matchmaking a "high-priority project" for Valve. It's still early days so Valve are fiddling with how it'll work. But the current line of thinking is that it'll offer a quick play option to jump into matchmade games, perhaps with lobbies. It might be 9v9 or it might be 6v6, and it may or may not follow the 'Highlander' rule (only one of each class allowed per team).
Valve also expect matchmaking will help them tweak item balance, as it'll give them a solid pool of competitive play to draw stats from. They might prohibit certain items in matchmaking so they can see the effects on balance, encourage players to use other items, and then maybe return items after tweaking them.
Or so initial reports say. Who knows what it'll look like by the time Valve announce it themselves, or when it finally launches?