FACEIT–one of the world’s largest platforms for competitive gaming–has just announced the launch of an Open Beta tournament for Team Fortress 2, with a grand prize pool of $2500 USD.
You’ll receive an elo (an electronic ratings system) when you sign up, which will track your progress and rank in TF2. There are also a variety of options to best suit your play style, including the option to solo or join a team, and the option to join either a tournament or a ladder style of play.
Due to the nature of the open beta, there may be some bugs or other issues with the system, which FACEIT intends to work with the TF2 community to correct, during the tournament. They have already received early feedback and have reportedly been working with the community to create the best competitive experience possible for players.
What then does this say for both TF2, and competitive play in general? Well, the mere fact the FACEIT believes that there’s enough of a playerbase to warrant a tournament is of itself a very good thing, especially considering both how long Team Fortress 2 has been around, and the fact that FACEIT are well-known for providing a platform for hugely popular games such as Counter-Strike, League of Legends and World of Tanks.
Since the release (and success) of Blizzard’s Overwatch, FPS players have been quick to cry that Team Fortress 2 is dead, that no-one plays is any longer, that Valve will stop updating it etc. etc. Admittedly, yes, the player numbers have seen a drop since Overwatch’s release (I know this for a fact because I’m part of that declining number!) but I’ve seen no real slow-down in fan engagement and community creations since Blizzard started throwing handsome, nipple-bearing Asian archers at us. The TF2 community seems to be as passionate as ever, and this is an important aspect of TF2’s continuing success, considering how much of the game is actually created and developed by players and fans. A significant proportion of TF2’s maps and cosmetics were created by the community, and the fandom continues to update its subreddit with a plethora of fanart and Source Filmmaker videos, some of which are entered into Valve’s annual Saxxy Awards.