FWIW, it seems to me that the current matchmaking system is designed more to eliminate the “I was matched against nothing but weak defenses” complaints from the previous tournament but didn’t do much to address the concerns over the uneven distribution of attacks against players’ own defenses. We are in the final hours and there are still people reporting only being attacked a few times. Myself, I have been attacked 9 times, 7 of which came in the first hour of the tournament beginning, the 8th an hour or so after that, then the final one at the very beginning of day two… nothing since then. This means that my defense score was set early and there was no opportunity for it to improve.
It also seems to me that the current design is designed so that one’s defense ranking (and the substantial number of points that may be gained or “lost” from that) is based on how one’s defense compares to other defenses of roughly equal TP, not how they actually rate in the universe of all participating defense teams. If player A has a defense team with a TP of 2400, but which is not optimal for the ruleset that challenge because of roster limitations while player B has a defense with a TP of 1600, but which is otherwise well constructed, is it really fair to say that player B’s defense is “better” that player A’s simply because it does better against significantly weaker competition. While it is true that the theoretical ceiling for player B is lower than A because they can’t likely score high difficulty bonuses on their attacks, the fact that they will almost certainly score significantly better defense bonuses (up to 2800 points) and will be facing easier opponents when they attack meaning that they will likely get more, albeit smaller, points for those attacks, player B will probably finish higher than player A in the final standings. I think that if the current matching system remains in place some degree of “sandbagging” is going to be the best strategy unless you have an excellent roster that can genuinely compete for the top 1% given the rules of the particular tournament.
Personally, the more I consider these tournaments, the more I’m wondering just what the goal of the tournament should be. Should they identify and reward the players with the best teams and skills? Or should they instead give everyone a roughly equal chance to win good stuff (assuming that the loot rewards are eventually “un-nerfed”)? The current system frankly seems to be leaning more in the direction of the latter. It will probably pretty accurately sort out the top 1% or so, but anything after that is probably going to be full of questions.