I'll admit the LCG format does make for a tricky OP experience. For the last two years my store has been trying to get OP going at the levels it was prior to the LCG change. Lately, our Game of Thrones and Warhammer Leagues ahve met with success, but before that OP has been alot like pulling teeth. I attribute this to two factors:
1: The LCG switch. Game of Thrones was a huge game at our store. At its height, I could count on 6-8 players for my weekly tournaments, and we held two Regionals (Nationals as they later were called) events at our store. The initial switch switch to LCG lost me several players, then others dropped hte game because of what they felt the game "lost." I am trying to encourage many of these players back into the game, but it is a slow process, and they feel that now they have to spend too much $$ to buy what they missed.
2. Sporadic and inconsistent OP support. It took FFG a LONG time to figure out how to handle OP for the games. They used up what was left for GoT support in the first few months after the switch, before they made their LCG only announcement. Then they couldn't decide if they were providing free prize support (the initial offering of pins) ot charged support (what is now their League/OP kits). It made it hard for us to promote these games with OP support, when often we didn't know whic form it would take.
If FFG sticks with the current approach, it could work. But I think they need variety. I just finsihed two months of league play for both Thrones and Warhammer. Both leagues went over well, and I had enough prizes for all five thrones players, and the top 4 (of 11) in the Warhammer league. And everyone wants to do a new league, which I agree with they were alot of fun. But that means buying the same league kit I had last time. Now, the Warhammer players want the pins, as FFG has hinted tht the Pins will be used for exclsuive tournaments, most likely at the new event center,and the playmat is awesome take a note, FFG. Playmats for both Cthulhu and THrones, please please please! But I will be asking my players to again pay $5 to join a league, with no new prizes.
Now, the LCG has been a boon to these games. I never had Cthulhu players before, now there is a small handful, but 4 is still more than 0. Thrones is a see-saw, but most of us who play are dedicated. Warhammer drew the players because of the LCG format, and is keeping them because of how much fun the game is.
The LCG is challenging for OP the format of the game discourages using cards as prizes because the idea is there is no rarity or exclusivity. That's wy they went with pins, counters, binders and playmats. But I do feel that a strong OP program can help grow card games, and if FFG could take this to the next level, with rankings and multi-tiered tournaments at the local/state/regional/national/world level,, it would make a difference for the games. All of them