eSports is growing like crazy and in the past few months I've become fascinated with it and I've started following what's going on in the eSport world. One of the things I recently learned is that Valave is in the process of prpping Team Fortress 2 for eSports.
According to an update from Valve, within the next week or so they will start their first round of beta testing for Team Fortress 2's competitive matchmaking mode. They will open up the new mode to select members of the Competitive Beta Steam Group and it will host limited-time stress tests with larger numbers of members.
Valve offers the following information:
We know you'd all like to start testing now, and eventually we hope all of you WILL get a chance to play and share your thoughts. But remember that all testing happens in stages, and right now we're at stage one.
Our plan is to start small and increase participation as we go. For this initial phase of testing - which will begin in the next week or so - we'll be gradually granting random members from this group an in-game item called a Competitive Matchmaking Beta Pass. Once you've been granted a pass you will have ongoing access to the beta.
In addition, we will begin holding both announced and unannounced stress-test events, inviting many group members to participate for the duration of the event to test our systems. Group members selected for stress-tests won't require a pass to play for the duration of the event.
The group members who have the best chance of being selected have to meet the following criteria, which has been outlined by Valve:
- Have either purchased a copy of Team Fortress 2 prior to June 23, 2011, or have made a purchase from the Mann Co. Store
- Have Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator enabled
- Have a phone number associated with your Steam account
This new mode should open up some serious eSports potential for Team Fortress 2 fans and gamers. Valve also has a solid handle on eSports as they are the same company behind Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2. Last year the world championship series for Dota 2, featured a prize pool of $18.4 million! It'll be interesting to see how much Team Fortress 2 grows in the eSports world.