Okay, i might edit this since it's pretty late and i'm being forced to write this.
I'm not sure on how far back i should go with this, but the question was, what a successful bloodline champions would look like. So you could wonder, what successful means. One might actually argue that this game was relatively successful for how small stunlock studios is. But that surely isn't a satisfying answer.
A game is "successful" when it's self-sustaining and fun. Both terms are intertwined with another, a fun game that isn't self-sustaining isn't successful and vice versa. That's something i want to remind you of since time and time again i heard people saying that all this game needs is pure skill, cut the post 2.0 crap and make it as minimalistic and hardcore as possible.
And even though that's surely a game i would play, it has a catch. It isn't self-sustaining. I am in no way an expert on that matter, but it seemed that bloodline champions had problems bringing in money to afford a team working on it. While the support during the beta and shortly after the launch was great, it swiftly dwindled afterwards. The 2.0 patch seemed to me like a way to make money, which is in no way a bad thing, but it was way too late and resulted in scaring away the hardcore players that were left over after three months of terrible inbalance.
So where am I going with this? I want to introduce you to an idea that would mean the impossibility of a pure pvp game such as bloodline champions. What if you needed a casual fan base to have a self-sustaining f2p game? Like i said, i am no expert, but maybe even if stunlock studios had made no mistakes, the server had been running without packet loss, maybe even then it would have failed after all.
Many people blame the lack of advertising. To those people: Where do you think does the money from? The game had been advertised, not greatly, but it had been done. Maybe the small player base doesn't only stem from lack of advertising, but also from lack of fun.
Many people in this thread unterestimate just how hard and unforgiving bloodline champions is. We like that kind of game, but most people don't enjoy getting stomped, having repeatedly bad experiences, while the only progress this game provides is your own sense of skill. Sure, this game is a "team game", but it's mostly too short to make valuable human interaction and the community is too harsh. Just look at the guys playing now, getting their jimmies rustled over not reaching g15, trying way too hard to not lose solo raiting that is now essentially meaningless.
In short: this game isn't casual friendly enough. A game has to be both fun and self-sustainable. Bloodline champions is neither fun enough to the average player, nor is it self-sustainable as an f2p title, because its target audience is too small. Does that mean that our game is doomed? I'm not sure. You could make it a non f2p game, but then you'd run into the same problems starcraft 2 is having at the moment. Very low to no player growth, no incentive for the developers to continuously support the game and even worse accessibility. eSports wouldn't be an option at all (i know cs:go isn't f2p, but that is negligibe, since it gets huge support from valve). The best case scenario for bloodline champions would have looked like this: stunlock studios would have supported the game for a little longer, would have listened to the community, we still had our little rivalries and a small player base of hardcore players. The game would have gotten less and less support, patches would have been becoming rarer and rarer till the game stops being supported. Some will get tired of it, some keep playing, trying to reach that g15, winghaven (͡◔ ͜ʖ ͡◔). The developers would have said, "Hey, that worked out nicely, now let's try to make a real one".