Colin Johanson has just weighed in on future plans for PvP. He addresses the OP’s questions about a ladder system, organizing custom tournaments, and the much desired spectator mode. Here is his full post:

All three of these features are planned, yes. It is our tradition to not discuss in detail any feature until we have it fully implemented enough that we can talk about it with confidence, as we don’t want to promise a feature to work one way and then end up having it work a different way. We’ll save details on all of those until they are ready to be talked about.

Chaplan will be putting out a blog post in the next few days that summarizes where we stand with PvP right now, and where we’re headed. From there we’ll continue to update as other Esports features come online.

Our focus right now is making sure absolutely all of the potential issues/bugs with base tournaments and rewards are 100% cleaned up before we introduce any form of more serious competition. We’re also trying to make sure we’ve given enough time for the base strategies to develop, and for any skills/builds that are out of balance are identified. Once we’re totally convinced things are in a solid state, you’ll start seeing a roll out of major PvP esports features and we’ll get this thing going like crazy. Take this opportunity now to learn your classes, learn your builds, lockdown strategies for your teams and get ready! Once we start rolling out the esports features, it’ll build up rapidly from there.

Read the full forum thread here.