My fleet arena shard was migrated in 2018. This was due to a "one off policy change" by CG since it was an "outlier in terms of population" and "this single shard definitely an outlying case and needs to be addressed" according to https://forums.galaxy-of-heroes.starwars.ea.com/discussion/169265/state-of-the-galaxy-5-11-18
. The original shard was closed and two new ones were created. This was concluded based on other members of the shard. We were at an incredible disadvantage and could go from ranking 200 to 400 overnight. CG improved this but did not compensate us for almost 2 years of lost crystals and zeta mats.
After the migration, the difficulty continues for most of our shard, dropping easily if not doing regular climbing. In addition, a group of approximately 35-40 whales/krakens controls the top of the arena in an exclusive shard chat that does not allow new members. I have confirmed with them that they do not allow new members because they are too crowded. To show the strength and $ power of the group, these 35 or so players have any average GP of 6.85M and over 7,000 fleet arena wins. They come from several of the top guilds. Most of them get 1st in both arenas daily. 13 of them have all 3 of the currently hardest to obtain toons: both GLs and Luke! Another 6 have both GLs. Yes, I know you can say that doesn't matter for fleet... But it will matter when those players work together, fight at all times of the day, don't mind spending tons of crystals to refresh battles and drop you out of the top 30 within seconds despite your multiple refreshes. The cost of refreshing to obtain top 20 or better will exceed the rewards. This eliminates the reward for competing.
In addition to this exclusive whale shard chat, there is actually a secondary shard chat for those trying to overthrow the main one. This currently contains another 40+ active players. Despite their efforts, this group still cannot compete with the main chat and players finish outside of the top 30.
I've looked into a group of the next
top 50 players in our fleet shard (this doesn't contain any of the top 35 members from the main chat). These, lets call them: "Group B," players have a GP average of 5.9M and over 3,500 fleet wins. A majority of Group B come first in squad arena mode daily. All of these pIayers are active in our fleet arena because they would otherwise be easily dropped outside of the top 100. I believe if most of these players were placed into a different fleet arena shard, they would be getting at least top 20 rewards. While I only looked into the top 85 players at one day, the Group B players that regularly try to be competitive in fleet would likely end up being a group of 100-200 players but I don't have the time to get data on all of them (for now).
We can't really compare fleet team stats since most of the them are maxed Negotiator or decent Malevolence teams that have been meta for so long, the teams are fairly similar.
I don't blame the main chat for this issue. They are aware of the incredibly large group of competitive players and want to protect their rewards. It is a problem that CG admitted and partially corrected and needs to be addressed again. We are all still at a significant loss of crystals and zeta mats going on for almost 4 years now. Please fix this...
Note: My previous post on this topic included now irrelevant facts due to being outdated.