We (forum users) talk about sandbagging teams and players fairly frequently. I really am not sure how much is sandbagging and how much is that higher leagues and in particular I’d think Diamond leagues, burn players out. Players needing a break from the competitive demands can’t really go to Sapphire, at least S1 or S2 that I can tell… these players tend to be incredibly active, with spending, level and possibly team organization being the biggest difference (opposed to in game time and activity). That leaves Platinum and even Gold 1 for players who do not want to give up the game, but need a slower pace… be it time, spending or both.
It’s WD version of an aging demographic and imo we are now going through the “baby boomer” stage of competitive retirement and how that changes the economy, environment and game play. From my personal perspective players looking to get into the competitive side of WD are not meeting the demand within teams of players leaving the competitive side of the game… but that is another discussion.
All level of players are dropping down into the lower leagues and influencing how the game is played at that level. When I started Gold seemed to be a starter league and lower Platinum for the teams that stuck through the early stages and growing pains. Now these “starter” leagues are literally littered with high level players and this is changing the dynamics in ways that the current league system does not seem designed for (based on my interpretation of forum posts). In many cases it appears to be influencing new players experience and not necessarily in a good way, despite all the knowledge these players bring.
Time will tell if the large influx of experienced players in these “starter” leagues will ultimately have a positive influence or if perhaps a “retired” league or other change(s) may be in order.
I’ve played in Sapphire long enough that I am really no longer familiar with what happens in lower leagues and have never been in Diamond, but as demands become greater and I am struggling with what I want my gaming experience to be, it has me thinking about these things…