I’m curious if there are readily available stats on how many players actually paid for a $10 entry, versus just playing their four “free” ones and calling it a day. Just randomly clicking around, it looks like most people who qualified did, while most near the bottom did not. (Exceptions exist, of course.)
I’m having trouble articulating my feeling on this, but I sort of feel like this plays into claims of more players and shorter queue times. It feels like a lot of the players were just cashing in their free play without any serious interest in the tournament, but I also wasn’t there so I can’t say for sure what the vibe was. If I’m right, then queues would naturally be lower as these players burn their freebies and then leave.
I’m guessing the reason for structuring entries this way was to get more raw numbers of people participating, and allow them to arrive at an overall cost-per-entry number that they were comfortable with (e.g. - I only want to spend $20, that gets me 6 games, so really that’s less than $4/game!) Pretty clever and essentially an increasingly-punishing entry fee but with a cap that doesn’t allow deep pockets to just buy the event.