It seems to me that the only thing it does is to allow one to say that “I have more points than you”. It certainly does not reflect the time and effort put into learning a language. Someone who works through only Level 1 in each skill unit before moving on can amass a large amount of points with a lot less effort and time compared to someone who completes an entire skill unit (Levels 1- 5) before advancing. Sometimes, getting somewhere is not nearly as important as how one gets there. D
I don't really pay attention to the leagues but I do pay attention to the folks I follow (not that it's especially useful considering you can't message each other to help motivate or to get motivated!). I find it interesting to see which other languages folks are working on, how they're progressing through them, what their streaks look like, etc.
Yeah, the leagues kind of suck if you end up in one where people are just farming XP. Some people even have scripts to do it for them. If you start later on the Monday you'll probably end up in a more chilled out group but in general it doesn't pay to put too much stock in them. I just ignore my league that week if there are cheaters in it, I'm trying to learn and they're not so why compete at their game?
Your description is exactly the way I've been working, and up until now, the leagues I have encountered appeared fairly standard, folks garnering the same sorts of amounts as me, and I know I am only doing an hour or sao a day.
But as someone else pointed out, I have just entered an area of league confusion where the top scores amassed over 1000 pts in a day.
Using harvesting bots I get, but why, it's not as if they are gonna get a Merc for doing so, but someone mentioned stories and I have no clue about these. The suggestions that tables should be language specific makes sense to me, and the ability to communicate, encorage and motivate is one I'd endorse.