I applaud Badges and I love gaming, but keeping the Leaderboard as it currently exists is a bad idea. How was this turnabout decision made after deprecating the code and originally intending to let the element die? Were editors consulted? I don't recall that and I've been a wiki editor since 2013.
If modernization and evolution is the goal of the UCP, the recognition of editors should likewise modernize and evolve from competition to collaboration. I would love to see Phase 2 eliminate the Leaderboard in favor of only giving Recognition Badges, which are great because they can be earned by anyone and often allow new editors to grow into regular editors because it doesn't have the overlay of one-upping someone else nor attracts that kind of person who, in my experience, makes a community less enjoyable by being overly-competitive or by making meaningless edits for the sake of earning "points." This does not promote Community.
I can personally attest to the lack of a Leaderboard leading to new editors becoming regular editors because there is no pecking order. However, if a Leaderboard must be present, I hope it will reset on a weekly/monthly basis to give all editors an equal shot at gaining an honorable rank and prominence within the wiki's topic. The Leaderboard could also be multi-tracked with individual honorees for text, images, blogging, etc. That would be a fairer recognition system that honors all types and levels of editors. Moreover, leaving old rankings to stand usually leads to editors who have achieved a wanted rank "sitting on their laurels" instead of actively editing. That's neither fair nor encouraging to newer editors.
I sincerely hope that this concept of encouraging editors via personal recognition (i.e. badges) without competition (i.e. Leaderboards that do not reset) is seriously considered and not ignored. I respectfully request a response. Thank you.