On the topic of speedruns, Path of Exile is one game that is tuned for speed runs and rewards players for participating and wining events that happen daily.
As many of you guys mentioned, it is the combination of knowledge (which quests to do first, builds etc) and the on-the-run adaptation to RNG factors. item drops, mobs with randomized stats, and of course randomized map layouts)
Players might get lucky for one event, but with the points being tallied up at the end of each season, only the best players come up top.
Would be interesting to see the team give it a shot and hear their comments....