So, we are all well aware of various critiques regarding the state of Trials of Osiris. I believe that, at its core, the gametype is fun and functional as high-end competitive play. That said, the barrier to access is, in my opinion, too high. We can argue whether this is due to cheats, carries, skill gaps, or whatever until we're blue in the face, but ultimately that's all moot.
My proposal? A tier system. Create a system that resets weekly with multiple matchmaking pools or tiers.
For example: everybody starts in tier 1 each week. Once a person earns a flawless for the week, they are bumped up into the tier 2 group. After that, they remain in tier 2 until the weekly reset or until they achieve their third flawless, at which point they're moved into tier 3. Same thing here, with tier 3 lasting until 5 flawless tickets, tier 4 lasting until 7, and tier 5 for anything above that.
A setup like this would temporarily reduce the overall population in a given tier, but it would encourage many more players to enter the pool over time and actually try to play. You could also add unique seasonal "trials tier emblems" which are earned when you hit a certain tier to give the sweatiest of players something special to earn. If that isn't incentive enough, you could also add an extra adept weapon drop each time a player hits a new tier. So on the first flawless card, you get one adept drop. Upon completion of your third, you get two. On the fifth, three, and seventh, four. This would (I think) give incentive to top end players while allowing less skilled players to still achieve something, but I don't think it would devalue the rewards much overall.
I'm entirely open to legitimate critiques here, but I really don't see why this wouldn't be a good idea. It would even have the added bonus of pushing cheaters up the list to where they are consistently playing other cheaters or ultra sweats who can still punish them, leaving the majority of players feeling more satisfied at the end of the weekly trials session.
The key to trials is balancing rewards and effort with population, and I believe such a system would effectively remediate the population issues while insulating the feeling of achievement.
I'm of the opinion that there should be exactly three tiers. Everyone starts in Tier 1 each season, going flawless moves you up to Tier 3 until the weekly reset, and if you've ever been in Tier 3 during a season, you start each weekend in Tier 2 and move back up to Tier 3 upon going flawless again. The intent here is that going flawless to begin with gets slightly easier each week as more players go flawless and get moved out of Tier 1, leaving the players they beat behind.
Add some cosmetic goodies and triumphs that can only be obtained by playing Tier 3 cards and you're good to go.