DISCLAIMER: the following is about understanding and perspective. However true it may be it doesn't have the power to alter reality. Either the league will work or it won't. On its merits and on the real world demands of dollars and sense. And, of course, it's a more complicated situation than the picture I've drawn here.
Brass tacks, it's control. Not control for the sake of being in charge or in order to run paintball or even just some corner of it to call their own. (Okay, it kinda is to some degree.) It's about self-determination. It's also about survival but I'm not sure everyone playing the game realizes the stakes. Without dredging into ancient history one thing more than anything else changed the landscape at the top of competitive paintball; the quest for TV.
The quest for TV made everybody involved reevaluate everything. It was like a carrot dangled on a stick to the teams, it kept them striving and it kept their attention. TV promised fame and fortune (and that's what many focused on) but it also offered an alternative to riding the pro paintball merry-go-round until your turn ended. Suddenly there was another level to aim for, another goal to be achieved, an opportunity to build something that could last. When the quest faltered it left the landscape altered and finally drove home just what real status the teams have (and had) all along. They were, temporarily, necessary pieces of the puzzle but still interchangeable cogs. Maybe so but the new landscape also offers a broader horizon. The old promise may be empty (at least for the time-being) but the possibilities remain.
Things change. The PSP, to their credit, has been working hard to survive the present and build for the future. Does a national tournament series "work" without the ultimate level to aspire to? Maybe, maybe not. The old assumption was, not. There may be a new assumption at work though that thinks if the foundation is secure and there is a different sort of legitimacy conferred, an honest to goodness national championship at stake to be competed for independently, for example, that the result is more secure, durable and long-lasting. (It could be, but it won't be and, alas, that's another post.) None of that means the PSP doesn't care about the pro game, they do, but it remains, not surprisingly, on their terms. In any event it continues to leave the pro teams in the precarious position of competing on somebody else's terms and dependent on somebody else's whim. But the possibilities remain.
The USPL is more than a 7-man league. It is the hope and potential fulfillment of the new possibilities. It is control of your own destiny. It is a chance to build something that lasts beyond a player's career. For those taking the risk, that is the reward.