Valve has added Hydro servers back into Quickplay! You can find them under the new “Alternative” tab, where it shares space with Special Delivery and Player Destruction.
tc_hydro has always been the least-loved of the original 6 maps, completely ignored by everybody everywhere, even on console where there are ONLY 6 maps to choose from! Whenever I play (indeed, when I went on and played it today) I found myself turning my brain off and just farming defensive Kritzkrieg Ubers because any serious attempt to end the round is going to be met with frustrating and repetitive failure.
I would LOVE if Valve took this opportunity to add tc_meridian officially, as its one of the most beautiful community maps that really nails the TF2 artstyle. The art assets alone would be a great boon for mapmakers, and the new Alternative tab needs content to fill itself out. It’s also caused me to try out Watergate again for the first time since the Invasion update, and while I’m not super enthralled, I’m much more interested in staying on a server switching to Hydro or Watergate over the CTF maps that used to follow sd_doomsday.
Sure, it’s not entering competitive any time soon, and plenty of players aren’t looking for a stalematey chokepoint-fest that keeps yanking the map design out and replacing it with something new after each cap, but Hydro’s always held a soft spot in my heart because of its gorgeous art design. I’ve been looking for a fun map to farm my strange mediguns, and this is just what the doctor ordered.