And that is in the game’s current beta state. Once the floodgates are opened to the masses, a player might need 24,750 just to earn the lowest tier 50 gem prize. Although the goalposts were moved with the increase in mana costs for spells, top players are starting to be able to achieve Turn 0 wins again, which makes PvP once again Turn 0 or bust once the basic tier rewards (which can be fully cleared on Day 1 of each week) are achieved.
Off-topic, but similarly, Tier X PvE Events are heading in the same direction. Players are realizing that it is not in their best interests to chase higher tiers, especially with their very high gem costs, leading to large clumps of ties at “safe” scores. That’s a result of a lack of incentive (as others have said, the “big win”) to chase the top of leaderboards.
Leaderboards aren’t supposed to be a primary source of income in these types of games, but the combination of continuing long-term beta, limited numbers of players participating in the beta to enable easy leaderboard placement, and the still incomplete game economy has led to players having to rely on leaderboard placement constantly to generate some kind of gem income to finance advancement in the game.
And that’s a whole another rabbit hole to go down for another time. At the minimum, the Sunday offers of Random Glyph + Random Follower Crystal + Single Eveline Crystal (totalling 2,700 gems) should be the F2P floor for account advancement on the high end of the game. Want to advance faster than that… well that’s what the premium currency transactions are for. The redesigned shop in 0.37 screams this. However, in the game’s current state, achieving that kind of weekly gem income (or anything even remotely close to it even with top-tier leaderboard placements in both PvP and PvE Events) is not realistic. Awaiting 0.38 to see how the economy is more fully fleshed out going forward.