The problem when you make a game F2P is systems need to be designed around annoying players enough to pay. Some games are less annoying than others, but at their core they need to give you a reason to spend money. Burying pay-to-win mechanics under an initial layer of skill-to-win, providing advantages that become required for competitive play, roadblocks or surprisingly reduced game functionality tucked underneath paid barriers that weren't obvious when you started.
They aren't rewarding you for "almost being good enough to win." They're rewarding you for nearly matching another group of player's skills but ultimately losing. It's incentive to keep trying when you're on a losing streak.
It would be frustrating to not get at least something out of it, when you're losing.
That's ridiculous. Defeat should have no reward associated with it.