"…Also, from the FLGS's perspective, the lack of market for single cards make it less interesting to hold these events. When a store holds a Magic tournament, they can expect to sell last minute singles to players missing a card or two to tune their decks. With an LCG, what's the store's return on investment? They'll sell a couple soda and sandwiches during the day, at most…"
The market for single cards also make setting prizes quite easy, which, in return, allows the game to enjoy a continuous flow of small organized events on a local level. Take my area for instance. Even though I live in a small town, we have 2 or 3 Magic events every week, which is a lot in my opinion! Yet, not one event has ever suffered from lack of interest. I see two reasons for this.
1. When a store organizes an event, all they need to do is open a few booster packs and allow the winners to chose from it in the order of their ranking, taking turns. So, the winner gets first crack at the card pool, and then the one who finished second, third, and so on. When everyone picked a card, they start over until all cards are gone. With only 4 or 5 boosters, chances are that the winners will walk away with at least 1 or 2 rare and costly cards, making their whole participation worthwhile. But even if they don't get any expensive cards, the promise of a better draw the next time, brings players back week after week. From the stores' perspective, this format is also advantageous. They charge a very small entry fee (just to cover the prize boosters), and in return, they get a constant buzz in their store, selling a crapload of booster packs and singles to the crowd.
2. The other reason why it is quite easy to get people interested in organized events, in Magic for instance, is the worldwide ranking system. When a Magic player participates in a legal event, however small it is, he or she gets points and can immediately compare that score to all other players in the world. This leader board brings out the competitive side of most players, encouraging them to compete week after week.
While the above reasons seem to be quite specific to CCGs, I see no reason to think they could not, at least partially, be applied to Android: Netrunner. Although CCGs have the advantage of rare cards as prizes, they are essentially prize money! Most players who compete on a weekly basis have an extensive card pool. They do not compete to win new cards for themselves but to score expensive cards that they can sell for profit! By that logic, if FFG could supply prices at least on a bi-monthly basis, it could give players enough reason to compete weekly, giving a huge boost to the Android player scene. Giving the format of LCGs, however, these prizes should not to be card-related; so, the current playmat, token, etc prizes are a good start. Although, I can see rare, promotional cards to make their way into LCGs as well. Obviously FFG cannot introduce new cards just for tournaments, but they can release alternate versions of already existing cards, such as versions with new artwork or ones signed by the autor, etc.
The most crucial thing, however, I think would be a worldwide ranking database. Such a system would be a huge boost for the competitive scene and is certainly not limited to CCGs. With small to moderate investment, FFG can build a system that track players around the world, using a unique ID. This would also give the World Championship a whole new meaning, as only those players could compete in it whose ranking is high enough.
Anyways, I see no reason why Android could not become the next prominent card game out there. It just needs a little investment: a flow of cool prices and a worldwide ranking system, but it could really pick up! Plus, Android has a tremendous advantage over its competitiors: it is very unique and TREMENDOUS FUN TO PLAY!