"Badges are cheap" doesn't mean that (cost of free games * chance of free games) will be greater than (cost of crafting cheapest badge.)
I've made $37 in steambux on mass crafting badges for giggles this sale. It's not like most people are treating it like a second job, they just throw a little bit of playtime at the steam meta-game to level up their steam level for fun. Some people make money, some lose it, just like every other steam event.
I went from level 50 to 65ish and made enough dosh to fund a bunch of free steam games just by spending a little time mass crafting, selling cards, and so on. What's not to like?
Irony is a maginot line drawn by the already condemned
Craft 70 or so cent badge, you get a summer adventure card, which you can sell on the market for around 35-40 cents. When the days competition is over, you get a second summer card from contributing points to your team. You now have 2 summer cards, which you can sell for around 70-80 cents at the current market value. Tada, you can craft another badge and repeat this process throughout the whole sale. This isn't even counting the third summer card you can get just by doing the 3 votes per day.
you just need to be on the winning team and craft one cheap badge to be eligible, it's not like it costs much to have a chance at free games.
Yeah, and I'm on the Blue Team which had a pathetic showing Day 1 and is in dead last today. So I have zero chance at free games, which means that I agree, you may as well just buy them because even if I was on a winning team I'd still have basically no chance.
"Crafting a cheap badge." still costs money which can be used to buy a game, and there are actually games available for less than a dollar even that are worth more than worthless Steam XP.