Why would it negate the competitiveness or its seriousness if people are willing to wait longer and play more fair matches (a goal TVPlus MM is supposed to achieve anyway) instead of playing more unfair ones? At the moment, it is very much dependent on luck who you are matched with (in the context of restricted choice of potential match-partners).
Lets call a spade a spade here - when we talk about "more fair" we're talking about "easier to win", since what people consider to be "unfair" are matches that they believe are too hard to win. The only way that the environment can be a serious competition is if everyone is equally affected by the variance in difficulty of matches within the context of the matching system. If you give people a method whereby they can deliberately reduce the difficulty of their matches as compared to the matches faced by others, you no loner have a serious competition.
Are fewer matches played that are more fair less competitive? I thought the fair matches were more competitive. Are longer waiting times less competitive? Where does the diminished seriousness come in? Are fair matches less serious?
It's competitive because its consistent. If people can opt out of standard variance it is no longer consistent. If people want to maximize their ability to compete at that point they need to engage in that same waiting behaviour in order to reduce the general difficulty of their matches and maximize their success. As you deliberately reduce the effect of variance on yourself you'll likely increase the effect of variance on others, too.
Are people who are willing to play more TV-skewed matches (naturally in some cases in the hope to be the TV-overdog more often than not) more serious or more competitive? Are people who deny themselves this possible advantage less competitive?
It's not about intention, it's about effect. People who deny themselves any potential advantage are less competitive in terms of effect. Choosing not to game the matchmaking to get easier matches would be a less effective strategy in the same way that choosing never to use inducements would be a less effective strategy.
We know such a voluntary restriction would affect only a small number of games, according to your analyses, that would not be played. Are these games somehow the core of the competition that make it what it is?
Even if you don't understand distributions you should be able to understand this in terms of averages. If you lop off the top values of a set, you don't just remove those values you alter the mean. In terms of distributions you compress the distribution horizontally and increase it vertically. Since this would not be a consistent application, it would compress the distribution for some people while leaving it uncompressed for others... lowering the mean difference for some people while leaving it higher for others.
The consistent distribution is a core part of the environment being consistent for all the participants, to the best of our ability to make it so.
For people who can't wrap their head around this, try this summary: for a competition to be fair enough to be called a serious competition, the matches need to be randomly assigned - people can't be allowed to game the system in order to give themselves easier matches.