Team Fortress 2 artwork of the Pyro flying

[Update #2]: Team Fortress 2's June 2022 update seems to have solved the bot and cheater epidemic!

[Update]: Valve is working on fixing Team Fortress 2's overwhelming problem with bots and cheaters.

After dragging their feet for nearly a decade, Valve finally introduced a Competitive Mode into Team Fortress 2 back in July of 2016. While it was an excellent addition, the update was also highly flawed and riddled with problems, much to the chagrin of the playerbase that has been eagerly awaiting its release.

Thankfully, that chapter of Team Fortress 2's history has now come to an end as Valve has finally released a greatly improved Competitive Mode. The old 18 competitive ranks have been consolidated into 13 new ones, while the players themselves will now be ranked using a model based on the Glicko rating system from CS:GO. This massive change also means that your current competitive rank has been reset, and as such you'll need to secure 10 wins in order to 'unlock' your new competitive rank.

While the competitive changes are worthy of an update on their own, I am also glad to say that Valve has implemented this new skill rating system into casual matchmaking as well. In order words, you can now expect to have a fair and balanced playing field in Casual Mode, something that very rarely happened before. Compared to the competitive rework this is a seemingly minor change, but it's one that I feel is going to have a major impact on how enjoyable each match truly is. Perhaps most importantly, it's a change that will slowly but surely raise the overall skill level of the playerbase, thus making the Competitive Mode even more... well, competitive!

The final thing worth mentioning is that this update has also added a myriad of balance changes and bug fixes. There are far too many tweaks for me to cover in brief, so if you're interested in all of the details you should head on over to the official website. What I will say, however, is that Valve has finally shaped up given that pretty much all of the changes are spot on.

Have fun, and good luck with your placement matches!