I appreciate the work that's gone into this new format. The biggest issue I see with the Group Stage portion of the skirmishes so far is that it takes a pretty significant time investment per evening vs the old skirmish format. I used to like when skirmishes lasted between 30 to 60 minutes per night. If the bracket sizes were cut in half or much smaller the current format might be more appealing but as it stands these take about 2.5 hours per evening with all the 5 minute breaks in between the 10 minute battles feels pretty lengthy.
I agree 100%, the new skirmishes are just way too time intensive... we're at around 7ish hours just to get through the group stages (which really isn't all that fun). Playing close to 30 games with all the garbage time between matches feels like such a grind. I think the new skirmish structure would be more attractive if you added more groups and cut the teams in the groups to like 6-8 teams. Another possibility is to keep the existing format but limit it to two days of group stage instead of three.