MuukiFirst, it's been tradition especially in the higher divisions in Europe to not play friday/saturday. People generally actually have something else to do with their lives, and a lot of people are obligated to spend time with families or other hobbies during the weekend.
How did the Beater cup that get more than double the minimum that Essentials needs? Sure, people are still gonna be busy some weekends, but the way this has been going, it's more like there's a straight up boycott on Essentials. If you're a team that plays 5 days a week, cancelling a day or two of scrims around the cup shouldn't be a big deal. Most of the maps in the ETF2L rotation are in the Essentials pool as well.
MuukiSecond, playing 10+ hours of TF2 for money to buy one pizza is not worth it financially, so the money point is moot (just like any other point made about money in this game unless your name is b4nny). Not to mention ofc that only 24 people will reach this minimum amount of money a month, so what about the 100 others? Money is never a factor in this game. Not to mention that it takes like half a year for them to pay out most of the time.
I hear about money in TF2 constantly. In NA it's "oh, we only play ESEA because they're the only league that offers a prize pool." In EU it's "oh, EU players don't try hard because there hasn't been a prize pool for a few seasons." I don't know that those are your personal opinions, but they're definitely common, so I don't know how you can claim that TF2 is never about money. It's unfortunate that the payments are late, too, but they do come, and it should be exciting to see sponsor money from places like Twitch come into TF2.
MuukiThird, nobody is going to skip on practicing for ETF2L to play against a bunch of mix teams and low divs for hours on end. Winning/placing well in ETF2L is, and always will be more prestigious and important to Europeans than getting top4 in a monthly mix cup of mix teams and 7.
In any sport, in any e-sport, it's always more prestigious to win the season over a small tournament, but these cups are treated like absolute dirt. Issues like late payments and weird whitelists are not enough to spit on a group of people that are only trying to help TF2 sustain itself. As for practicing against mix teams, I assume that was the point of putting together an invite bracket this month, but no one cared.
MuukiFourth, the admins are poor at reacting to feedback in terms of rulesets: The monthlies actually allowed all sorts or broken shit like the Pretty Boy's Pocket Pistol for multiple monthlies, that just being one example. They also have an extremely small mappool and removed viaduct because having 1 point instead of 5 is apparently too confusing for new viewers, so you're not even getting practice on all the ETF2L maps you might have to play.
Fair. I haven't seen any space for players to offer feedback on the whitelists or rulesets, and I'm not sure why. I also don't think these are very big issues. I haven't seen any of the new unlocks used to any great extent in any of the cups I've played. Stuff like the pocket pistol is overpowered. But broken? It's no soda popper or crit a cola.
MuukiFifth, the biggest sports event that happens every 4 years is going on right now, not to mention that its the knockout stage so every football fan would rather watch that than play a dead kids game. Not to mention the game is losing players anyway because it's outdated and the current way of playing it is not fun for most of people.
Low turnout has been a pattern for months, though. I don't think any of the cups besides the ones in January have broken past 20.