You guys are right, Valve is so slow at making changes that we shouldn't rely on them to grow our scene for us. I'm not advocating that we sit around and wait for them to help us.
What I'm saying is, there's more productive ways to grow the scene besides hating on Valve.
There's two camps:
1. People who think we shouldn't change anything in comp. They're happy with the game being small and hated by the casual community, and they want to continue excluding others to preserve the game they love so much. "The game is fine as is, let us play our game."
2. People who are trying to make positive change to try and make the comp scene bigger, even if it means doing things a little differently than we did it before.
I guess the reason I'm in the second group is because I've tried it your way. I've tried pushing the game forward in its current state, trying to promote the game and get people involved. Running tournaments, casting, talking to ESEA, Zowie, Twitch, FACEIT, Razer, and more. Sure, we grew TF2 from a few teams to a few more teams. But it's still been relatively the same conversation about the game being dead, where are the LANs, where's the prize pools, how come Valve doesn't commit to helping us more, if only we were a bigger game like Smash, etc.
I'm sick of it. Personally, I'm willing to play a game that has Pyro as a viable class. A game that has Rescue Ranger, and Bonk Atomic Punch, and Atomizer. Do I think those things are perfect in their current state? Hell no, so much stuff is broken and the game still needs major tweaking.
But I at least can understand where Valve is coming from. They need to make money, they don't want to alienate the people who play 5 of 9 classes who enjoy TF2 and want to play comp, and they need to grow comp TF2 in a way that is sustainable for both casuals and pros. Is it slow progress? Definitely. This reason it's slow is because there's people on the casual side who HATE comp and there's people on the comp side who HATE casual. But we're not helping them out at all, and all this anti-Valve messaging is really unproductive.
So how can we help?
Valve can't be seen pushing the comp scene so aggressively without pissing off the core casual players. They're enacting slow, small changes to the scene that are gradually pushing those players in the direction of being more competitive. Adding ranks, integrated matchmaking, exposing them to comp via in-game notifications and badges, and slowly changing classes.
We can help them out by finalizing our game mode. We've been arguing back and forth within the comp community and can't decide on the "right" direction for the game. We all want the same thing, it's just about how we get there.
Should we have first to 5 or 30 minutes? Should we continue to exclude Pyro from our metagame or should we allow it to become viable as a 5th comp class? Should there be a halftime? Do we have to have a whitelist?
These are the questions we need to answer. I'm hoping for a world in which the weapons are balanced properly and we don't need a whitelist. It'll take time to get there, but in the meantime let's keep banning weapons and making posts about why certain weapons need to be changed. These are all good conversations.