There was much excitement at the confirmation (opens in new tab) that the long-rumoured competitive mode for Team Fortress 2 (opens in new tab) was in production and would be entering beta Soon. Valve didn't give away much beyond asking anyone who'd like to take part to join a competitive TF2 Steam group (opens in new tab). But now, well, the devs still aren't giving us anything so concrete as a date, but there are some new details as to how all this will play out.
"Our plan is to start small and increase participation as we go," the announcement (opens in new tab) reads. "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."
'Ongoing' is pleasing to hear, although 'random' will excite people less, but such is the nature of beta testing the primary purpose of which isn't marketing. To bring the haves and have-nots a little closer together, the beta period will be interspersed will stress tests, in which large numbers of people will be invited to participate for a limited time.
If you want to further your chances of being selected, Valve would like you to help out its ongoing crackdown on account fraud (opens in new tab), namely by:
- Having purchased a copy of Team Fortress 2 prior to June 23, 2011, or having made a purchase from the Mann Co. Store. (okay, this one is more about swearing fealty)
- Enabling Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator
- Associating a phone number with your Steam account