These developers need to hire someone specifically to think events through and keep them properly focused. Or hire a facilitator that can help lead your discussions because this weekends schizophrenia was easily avoidable.
In one weekend you tried to both cater to new players and your longtime players with the free to play weekend on the one side and a prize money tourney on the other. Two things which would obviously interfere with eachother, after months of practical absence, the developers felt needed to be done simultaneously.
So the free to play weekend needs full servers to be at its best. Thursday we had que’s at least in solo’s popping fast and fairly full. By Friday my guess is teams were already starting to shift into squads for practice for the tourney because already we went down to more like 30-35 lobbies. And then Saturday was even worse. So many of the people who would have helped populate your servers YOU sucked out of them into a tourney that could have easily have happened next weekend instead, you know, perhaps building on the momentum of an actually successful FTP weekend.
You could have run kill dev events during the FTP in solo and duo ques if they numbers allowed for both. You could have made the weekend so all the beam drops had perm skin unlocks but you could only carry one and only unlock one per day.
You could have manually controlled some lobbies during slower times to try to pop them for better experiences for new players. You could have populated those lobbies with devs now and then and talked with the proximity chat. That’s the kind of more unique experience that could win over some new players.
You could have promoted your discord and other social media with your lobby page before you click to que up.
So much focus could have been put into the actual point of the free to play weekend: bring in and keep new players
Instead, other than the FTP, you did literally nothing special to cater to new players. Meanwhile a tourney damaged your servers populations when you needed the players most.
So here I was on Saturday, a fan of your game, again not getting full lobbies:
"Hmm, well, (insert streamer) is showing their tourney run guess I could check that out. Hmm, lots of lobby time…i wonder if someone else is casting the whole tourney…nope, doesnt look like it…guess its back to (insert another game thats not IO9).