Does Team Fortress 2 Have a Competitive League?

Team Fortress 2 is one of the most popular game out there, known namely for its comedic touch, dynamic gameplay and vibrant characters. On average, the title welcomes around 600k players everyday, which makes it one of the hottest products in the industry. However, do people only play it for fun, or maybe there’s an intense competitive scene for TF2?

Read this article and find out all about TF2 competitive play.

A Little Bit More About Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2 is an awesome online game that was initially developed as a mode for one of the original competitive titles, Quake. Its first version was released in 1996, however, the FPS that we know today was released by Valve (which is the beloved studio behind Counter Strike 2) many years later, in 2007. Today it is one of the most popular products available on Steam.

What Is the Purpose of the Game?

The gameplay in Team Fortress is based on the fact that the players involved in the match are divided into two teams that face each other, namely RED and BLU. Before starting, everyone chooses one of the 9 available classes, which are divided into support, defense and offense categories.

The classes are as follows:




After choosing a character, players compete against each other to earn battle-based objectives that depend on the specific game mode they choose. The team that succeeds first is the winner.

Remember, if you’re preparing for a TF2 match, it’s a good idea to refresh your inventory a bit and sell old items on SkinCashier for extra cash.

Does TF2 Have a Competitive Mode?


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Although Team Fortress 2 is an insanely popular title, not many people know that it also has a competitive mode. This means that it can be played not only casually, but also for the purpose of climbing the leaderboards and earning valuable ranks, which are evidence of the many hours spent in the game.

But how does it actually work?

What Is the Difference Between Casual and Competitive in TF2?

To give you an idea of how it actually works, let’s take a look at the differences between casual mode and competitive mode in Team Fortress 2.

Casual mode

When it comes to the casual mode in Team Fortress 2, many people play it for fun and don’t take it too seriously. This doesn’t mean, of course, that they don’t want to win or don’t try at all, but it’s definitely less intense, especially considering the fact that the player matching system is somewhat “loose.” Yes, it does try to select players who best fit a given skill lever, but it’s not like the game will wait for hours to find the right group of people. Basically, if the wait is too long, you will be thrown into a “less” suitable match so that you are not stuck in the queue for a long time and can actually play the game. After all, as the name suggests, it is supposed to be “casual“.

And contrary to popular belief, in Casual mode you actually earn ranks, but they don’t necessarily matter a great deal. This means that you do actually collect XP by playing a lot of games, and your rank will be displayed on the screen, but it doesn’t necessarily mean much in terms of matching players or scores on the leaderboards.

Competitive mode

As for the competitive mode, it’s supposed to be a little less chaotic and more serious than the casual mode. In what ways?

The most important difference is that in Competitive mode, every match you play affects your rank, and thus the pressure is greater. What’s more, the number of maps available in it is smaller and limited to only a few game modes, with only 6v6 being supported.

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In addition, the matchmaking system is much stricter and it’s not like you’ll be randomly thrown into a game just to “play a match“. In Competitive, servers will focus on bringing together players with similar skill sets. The purpose of this will be to make the gameplay truly COMPETITIVE and allow users to actually test themselves. This is important because the outcome of matches played in this game mode determines a player’s MMR.

What Is an MMR?

MMR, or Matchmaking Rank, is a system that is well-known among gamers because it is used in various games that allow to play competitive.

It works on the principle of evaluating in-game performance according to the results of matches. This means that if you win, points will be added, and if you lose or abruptly abandon the game, points will be deducted. Then, the MMR score will determine which players you will compete against in future matches. In addition, it will also determine your rank.

It’s important to note that in order to enjoy competitive Team Fortress 2, you must complete 10 ranked matches so that the game can actually evaluate your MMR and then match you with the appropriate team members as well as opponents.

What Is a Team Fortress 2 Rank?

Rank in Team Fortress 2 is a way to group players with similar skills, and show others how much you’ve accomplished in the game. As mentioned, rank is determined by the MMR, i.e. performance in matches played in Competitive mode.

There are currently 13 ranks available in Team Fortress 2:

  1. Mercenary I
  2. Mercenary II
  3. Mercenary III
  4. Contract Killer I
  5. Contract Killer II
  6. Contract Killer III
  7. Executioner I
  8. Executioner II
  9. Executioner III
  10. Expert Assassin I
  11. Expert Assassin II
  12. Expert Assassin III
  13. Death Merchant

As you can see, the range of ranks is quite broad in TF2, which means that there is a huge variety of skill levels among different players. Death Mercenary is a category reserved only for the best and most experienced gamers and reaching it is extremely difficult. After all, don’t forget that not only do you get points added for winning matches, but you also deduct them if you lose them. This means that in order to become one of the top users, you need to have an almost perfect winning streak.

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Is it possible to win medals in TF2?

Yes! Medals are an actual thing in Team Fortress, and you can earn them after every match, as they are awarded to players who have shown exceptional skills during gameplay. You can receive them in 5 categories:

  • score
  • kills
  • damage
  • healing
  • support

In each of these you can earn a bronze, silver or gold medal.

How Do You Enter Competitive Team Fortress 2?

As we mentioned, the Team Fortress Competitive format is intended to be a little less chaotic than the Casual, so a certain level of selection is assumed. This means that new players are not allowed to enter the competition right away. Instead, they must:

  • Have a TF2 Premium account
  • Have reached the Casual 3 level
  • Have a verified phone number connected to Steam

Or, if they don’t feel like following these steps, they can also purchase a lifetime pass to the rivalry from the Mann Co. Store, which costs $9.99.

Can You Play Competitive with Your Friends?

Interestingly, Valve allows groups of friends to participate in TF2’s Competitive mode. One would think that since this particular game mode is supposed to be mainly about competition, it wouldn’t be allowed, but in practice you can easily invite buddies to a match, provided you have each other as Friends in the game or on Steam. What’s more, you probably won’t even be separated, as the matchmaking system should find rivals matching more or less to each player’s level. Of course, take into account that this process may take longer than average.


As you can see, Team Fortress 2 allows you to compete and it’s a pretty cool system that has been around for a while. So even if you haven’t heard of it before, you should try it out and add some rivalry to your matches. After all, TF2 is basically a comedy game, but that doesn’t mean it can’t also be intense.

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