First off i agree 100% that if a team cannot commit to LAN, then they should not go to invite. Invite is meant to hold the most competitive players, and most importantly the one's that want to win, put in the time to win, and have the drive to win.
However, what's the motivation for IM teams if they are going to absolutely get murdered? That's not being competitive - it's simply easy wins for the top teams at this point. Let's take chess club...this is a team that would probably have wiped the floor with IM last season. They have an extremely talented roster, skilled players - they got to the playoffs due to beating the other teams close to their skill level (and FFW's from the teams that died). They made a great effort to compete at LAN, but got stomped....bad. My hat goes off to them more than anyone for sticking it out...but not many people want that scenario. Realistically if they couldn't even win one match against the top 3, and DTP has already said they are just a casual team...you do the math.
The fact is not everyone wants to be invite, or put in the long nights and hardships of becoming a top team. Yes TF2 is different than CS. Is Putting/forcing a good IM team to go invite and potentially getting a record like 0-16 really worth it? Harb, i understand you have fun with your friends...but how do you think the other team feels when your team off-classes 'for fun' in a match and still destroys their team? Also, invite isn't always about fun with friends, because friends get cut or chastised when they under perform - and the whole community then gets to know about it. Not every team wants to go through that.
Since ruwin/pyyour are supposedly gone - why not give 2 top IM level players a chance to join mix?? Would you be willing to go through some growing pains and losses (as well as not winning LAN or potentially even not making playoffs) to help bring in some new blood and build a new team? Or is it easier to get mesr/yz/moose to play and know you'll lock in one of those top spots? Just look at the 2-3 "new teams" forming now- it's still almost all top players split up from last few seasons - and why?? Simply put because they WANT to win and i don't blame any of you for wanting to win. Knowing you have the chance to win and make LAN is what drives some players....but not everyone shares that same desire.
If a team feels they would be more competitive in IM, why force them to move if they don't want to? I mean wasn't there a team like a season or two ago that was begging for votes to get to Invite, and they didn't get in because someone else was moved up??? I'm not trying to give anyone a hard time, you just need to see it from the other side of the fence.