The purpose of a tournament is that it should be a skill contest. However, we get tournaments where whales, (or at least people that play for hours each day because they somehow have time for it) will always win the because they get the resources from the prizes to stay at the top. Maybe this is a reward for their dedication, but only highlights the absurd amount of resources you need to even be on a level field.
This might be controversial, but friendly challenges may already have the answer for fixing the tournament. Enforcing a same-level team (with a small re-balance to add a timer or targeting function to account for lag in same speed contests where hardware limitations and internet connections can ruin matches), this is how we actually see who has the best strategy rather than relying on grind or whale to win.
I get that we need a reason to improve our teams by leveling up stats, but maybe more players will stick with the game if they realize there’s a tiny chance of winning the tournament on the whole.
Or maybe we need to do this in the regular arena and reserve the ruthlessness for tournaments?