Is not a ship's name, a pamphlet by Erasmus of Rotterdam or a patriotic painting by JMW Turner. It is the current locked division system used by the MS (Millennium Series) that is fleecing the passive paintballers of Euroland. That sounds kinda bad, doesn't it? Hints at a personal bias perhaps? Well, from the perspective of the MS it's a brilliant solution to a variety of promoter concerns. Hey, if locking the Pro division makes entree more desireable it should do the same across the board, shouldn't it? And locked divisions offer predictable event-to-event income as well as guanrantee a base level of participation to potential vendors. Win, win! And even better the MS sells licenses to teams who have to purchase one in order to be considered part of a locked division and buy the privilege to pay entries to all of the season's events. Cha-ching!
As it stands the MS now has 3 locked divisions; the CPL (pro), SPL (semi-pro) & D1. D2 and what, M5 (?) remain unlocked. (M5 is like 5-man Xball in the PSP, more or less, while the basic game, called M7, is like Xball Lite, at least at the CPL level.)
But really, who cares?
Granted, but it's possibly interesting on two counts. 1. What if some U.S. league decided this was the way forward given present struggles? 2. The MS has just empowered ALL it's locked division teams and nobody seems to have realized it.
It seems to me, the not quite all-knowing, not even close to all-powerful Baca, that a few other factors apply. One, the MS's only competition is the Centurio which hasn't yet made any deep inroads into European tourney ball. Two, the scale of locked divisions presumes there are potentially or actually more teams that wish to compete than slots available. Three, locked divisions ultimately limit the scale of the event presented regardless of how many teams might be inclined to participate--which is a hedge against bad times but a barrier to good times. [How will the MS reward teams loyal to the league if Euro paintball suddenly explodes?]
Now for the good part. Each locked division team buys their license. This license entitles them contractually to a spot in their chosen division and obligates them to play every event during the season. It doesn't give them a piece of the league but it does give them a piece of a division, at least for a period of time. (Of course it won't matter but more's the pity because it could.)