90% of the players at my nearest venue have played him every week. There is a 3rd option...keep the game competitive and diverse enough that you see a variety of teams and styles, every game, without exception.
It is sad that the item supposed to "get players showing up" has also had the most polarizing and negative effect on play.
Is it possible that without the gauntlet the variety of competitive teams could be smaller.
In other words:
With no gauntlet, the pool of competitive pieces is say 20.
With the gauntlet, the pool of competitive pieces is 40.
Obviously, these aren't the real numbers, but my opinion is that there is a very real possibility that the gauntlet could lead to more variety, if one can look beyond the gauntlet.
I wouldn't say the Gauntlet *has* to be banned, but to avoid a negative game experience I'd want it at least be restricted to certain events
Sorry to snip your post, you made a lot of good points, but this resonated with me greatly and wanted to comment.
As a self described "purist" of the game, I think this is the easiest solution to keep the "fun" and "competitive" (whatever those terms mean to each individual player from moment to moment) happy with a rotating schedule.
It's getting to be a pretty big game, and bigger with each expansion. There's room for all kinds of play, no?