Last year, when I was still playing only with S1 4* teams on offense, I made it into top 100 global 4 times without trying too much. It’s possible that was due to the early effect of aethers though.
This year I made it into top 1000 legendary challenge event with a team consisting of S1 heroes + Wilbur with relatively few replays, so I guess it’s not impossible, it just takes time to accumulate the necessary heroes and a bit of luck to get particularly Wilbur who has no F2P alternative.
Moreover I remember the famous Di, who is completely F2P, making it into top 100 Legendary at a certain challenge event and even being inteviewed by mr Jekylandhyde in one of his YouTube videos on thar particular achievement.
So I’d say that top 1000 legendary challenge events and top 100 global in raids are possible for the f2p. And if that f2p plays for, say, 3 or 4 years, it’s very likely they complete the requirements to join a top 100 alliance.
The very tricky and frustrating part of the game for the f2p is the early development, especially the first few months, with emphasize on insuficiency of 3* ascension unfarmable mats, of quality 4* heroes to ascend and of emblems/limit break materials to make those heroes viable. Then again, as an old RPG player I’d say that is true for any non-online RPG game - there is always a very long grinding stage in similar games. And that stage requires a lot of patience to overcome.
I would say that this somewhat ties into a S1 relevance discussion as ftp could be the group most reliant on S1 heroes. There are maybe a handful of top 100 alliances that would take a true ftp player (“maybe” because I don’t know all of their recruiting requirements).
I see these as the biggest roadblocks for a true ftp to join a “typical” top 100 alliance:
Troops - multiple high level troops, a longshot to have these.
CoK/MT - requires resources or specific rosters to satisfy meeting minimum requirements.
Rosters - can require specific heroes, emblem counts, sheer numbers.
A couple years ago, I could see an avid ftp working their way into a top 100. Not so much anymore.
Just received news that Doug Smith’s remains were taken Back To The Future through an expensive moving portal and he’ll be back after his augmentation to a Universal Soldier. He won’t need his old scuba suit, police uniform, or fire suit to take care of those pesky smugglers!