Do you know any consistently free to play players in the top 10? It was nearly impossible to recover your items after the update, even if you were good before. On average, it takes about a month to grind a mythical. The top players are rolling in them. Why? They buy tokens, or else they would be at where I am (after legacy I pretty much lost everything). This paragraph is in response to your “not necessarily” comment.
The top players have a good reason to buy tokens, it is their only way to keep their status as a top player. Balance does need to be achieved. But I don’t agree with your method.