Game has fundamentals issues and its hard to have retention unless you are dedicated to improving or you play purely for fun and eventually people who play purely for fun go away.
I think a lot of people also play pvp a few times then just quit because toxicity and just generally ass maps/players on global.
I don't think most play ladder Because it's not pushed enough to the front. If anything we need to start making matchmaker more of a focus and push global into a arcade type style like SC2 does.
So paying many to promote FAF is a huge waste of money when nobody is dedicated to actually dealing with core issues that just make players not want to come back.
Everything money wise for tournaments, promotion etc could be a lot more if we had a more dedicated fan base instead of people who just play with 0 interaction. I think that stems from a toxic mentality and an inability to actually change major components of the game and not only the game but how even the client is structured and etc.