Season 30, my thoughts:
I was approached by exile and ninjax to make a team with them for season 30, as none of us were really getting offers that we were interested in, and since I had enjoyed playing with them in previous invite seasons, I decided to agree to it.
Fast forward a month, and we have a full invite roster before the end of the year. It turns out that there are two other teams that are also competing for the last invite spot.** However, from what we were told, we were the first of the three teams to give our roster to tri, so we were feeling confident that we would get the spot in invite. Additionally, we had players that all have played invite before (with two players placing 5th before), while almost no one else played invite on the other teams, and we had also found an org that was going to sponsor us for the season.
** other 2 teams (sorry if I got the rosters wrong):
Dylan's team: ghostac / tony / dylan / morsca / vaati / drake
HappyBOB's team: uber / ebsikl / alexandros / lights / fygg / happybob
Fast forward again to two days ago, and we're told that a vote will happen among the invite leaders to decide which of the three teams would get the spot. I figure that's a fair way to settle the matter, as we can't do a bo3 due to having 3 teams and also due to missing players on my team's side (in fact, this helps my team probably more than hurts).
Fast forward to now, and I see that HappyBOB's team has been moved up to invite, for the sole reason that they'd like to move up previous IM teams to increase the level of competition of IM in future seasons. This bugs me, for two reasons: first, how was the vote even involved? Out of the 8 other invite teams, the 3 teams I asked all said they voted for my team, so unless almost all 5 other teams voted for the other team, that means the vote meant nothing. Second, shouldn't we be trying to increase the level of competition of invite by moving the most capable team up? If we don't, then this leads to more sandbaggers (as the more capable teams go down to IM) and a worse invite, which is the opposite of what they want. Not saying they aren't the most capable team by any means; I just feel that the justification used was bad.
Overall this next season was probably my last season to play seriously due to school getting much harder after this semester (I took last semester off, and I'm attempting a Math/CS double major, so upper level courses + having to compensate for time off), so I'm sad that I don't get to play invite again. The past few seasons have taught me that playing open/IM isn't fun anymore, so I can't play that either.
Looks like I'm done with tf2 for now. Thanks for the fun times. It's been a good 9 seasons.
Best of luck to HappyBOB's team in invite.