Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Major League Paintball Held Hostage: Weekly Update

Over in Euroland the Grand Tour's Warsaw event is less than two weeks out and there are currently 40 teams registered. This is an improvement over last week but still probably a disappointing turnout for the new league. However, if they do a bang up job, coupled with the MS's recent woes, who knows what the turnout might be at future events? Interestingly, 6 of the 9 teams in the pro division are MS pro & semi-pro teams. (Hey, maybe more, my eyes aren't what they used to be.)
Btw, if anyone takes any pictures of the event VFTD would like to see them.

Staying in Euroland the only official word from the MS so far seems to be Mr. Barry Fuggle's statement brushing off any league culpability for the Fiasco in Malaga while assuring one and all that the new inflatable fields were the greatest things since the Euro. (Okay, maybe not better than the Euro, but close for sure.) (If your sarcasm alert went off it is in perfect working order. If not you might want to have it checked.) No telling how Malaga will impact future events but the Bitburg event is scheduled for the weekend of May 29-31 which is less than a month away. The locked division team numbers are set (although D1 is down one to 27) and so far D2 & M5 (D3) each have 4 teams registered. If registration lags (Is Bitburg usually the least will attended anyway?) will it be because of Malaga?

Rumors of a national 7-man league in the U.S. were apparently exaggerated. (That was more irony, I think, than sarcasm.) The USPL wisely put off the DC Challenge but in the process have put themselves in a virtual make or break situation when it comes to the upcoming but unofficially unannounced as of yet San Jose or Bay City Open. (And if you are wondering how it's possible to name an unannounced event, it's not easy, but here at VFTD the impossible just takes a little longer.) With a revised schedule of 4 national events and the new 2nd event of the season in Cali this event will need to be both a paintball and financial success. So far the league's website offers no additional information about the proposed venue or date. (But it's gotta be June, doesn't it? And doesn't that cause pro teams in both leagues some concerns? It does me. Fortunately, I'm not running a national league.) (For those scoring at home that was flippant.)

UPDATE: USPL announces second event date of July 24-26 at SC Village in Corona Cali. Apparently, it didn't have to be in June but I confess I'm now scratching my head over when the third event will be now--the rescheduled DC Challenge.
The USPL is also starting to toss around the old NPPL brand name perhaps to see if it still has any traction with the tourney community. It looks more like a lodestone to me but you could reasonably (not really) see things differently.

Meanwhile, the PSP just completed what must be considered a successful event at the MAO despite the fact total team numbers were down over last year and the vendor presence continues to be thin--though that is likely to be the case for the foreseeable future. MAO '09 numbers were a match for Phoenix '09 numbers. Overall Phoenix was up over '08, MAO was down but only by about 10%. The last couple of Chitown events have been 230+ teams. So far only the PSP appears to be on track although there have been rumors swirling around about the lack of a date and location for World Cup which has, in recent years, been a Disney and central Florida autumn staple. Regardless the PSP stands today as the only solid international league. Putting the PSP head and shoulders above the rest is the amazing quality and professionalism of the webcast project. (The Eurokids might object and claim their TV show is superior because of its reach and that's a fair point. The question is though will the webcast or the show eventually prove the more effective vehicle for promoting and mainstreaming paintball.)

Being a glass half empty kind of guy I'm not seeing the major league season as being a rousing success just yet. In fact, it's staggering like a Brit kicked out of the last bar of the night too drunk to fall into the curb. Okay, maybe not quite that bad but come on, you can't say things are going swimmingly. Still, they're going and that's something. Right?


Pelc said...

I think the PSP is doing really good actually. I haven't gone to an event this season but the webcast is really taking off. Best production i've seen for any event and instead of in between matches they have all the pre-recorded videos of the teams talking which were really good even though they got annoying after so many times seeing it it's still better than watching people clean the field.

Also the numbers are atleast consistant which Pheonix was up and MAO was down only slightly but i'm sure everyone was expecting all the leagues to be down in attendance with the economy in the shitter. So if they can keep it up for this tough time, i'm sure they'll be really good for when things get better.

Mike said...

It's as if I actually like this Blog now that I know I can interact with the blogger...

BTW - you are the coach of TBD? Correct? Or am I confused and misinformed.

Baca Loco said...

Pelc--there is a difference between putting on a good event and being in good shape as a business. Far as I know the PSP is in okay shape biz wise but the season ain't finished yet. And yes, the webcast has been terrific.

Earth to Mike
Nothing new here.
As I'm not a psychiatrist I'm not qualified to speak to your mental state though I did stay at a Hooliday Express recently so if you'd like to tell me a little more about yourself I'd be willing to offer an opinion. It is, after all, what I do here.

sdawg said...

The PSP webcast was awesome, especially when contrasted with the joke that was the USPL webcast. I was even willing to put up with Cuba's rasping, gurgling commentary when he was in the box.

I'm more convinced then ever that the "race2" format is more enjoyable to watch. With the 7 man format, you have no idea who is winning because there is no continuity when two teams are playing. When I was watching the playoffs on Sunday, I could sit down and watch a game from beginning to end with few interruptions, see the winner, and know who the winning team was going to be playing next. The quality of the feed and the production was stellar.

I can't foresee USPL surviving. However, I can foresee Huntington Beach becoming and annual tournament, like Bunkerfest used to be down here in San Antonio. It doesn't matter what the format of the event is, ballers want to go kick it on the beach every year.

Missy Q said...

Wait! Baca! So you're saying I was 'right' about webcasts being new route to 'televising' the game?(you may not remember the debate but fortunately I do...)
I think the Chicago PSP is going to be even stronger than people think. For starters I hear they have a killer announcer for the finals field. Some handsome english guy - can't wait!

Lawrence said...

i still say that race2 is lame, the name that is.

Baca Loco said...

I vaguely recall something in the ballpark but I'm still not convinced we agree. :) I see the webcast as a potential stand alone but also as the developing model of how to televise paintball.
Heard the English guy whistled when he talked and was really annoying. Probably two different people.

Lawrence--have you seen the logo? It's a train, I tell ya.

Mario said...

Yeah the PSP should have stuck with the xball name, it sounds so much better than "race2"

anonachris said...

Xball... trademark issues? Doesn't scale well (what is 5man)?
Arenaball... blah
Race2... too odd sounding, but will eventually sound ok, and works to explain the point structure in the name.
Qball... a winner! Out with the X and in with the Q!

As far as the webcast, it's all the PSP has going for it promotional wise, so they have to do it. It's not like it would be better than a live or delayed broadcast of the webcast. But it is a good bootstrapping way of going about the coverage. If we did it this way to start instead of going straight to the TV pros which are stuck up morons, we'd be in a much better situation today.

The webcast will be perfect in Chicago if they can take the MAO webcast and add in just a little bit more closeups. I would like to see the camera linger for 5 seconds in a moderate closeup on the players in their spots. Not any longer than 5. And not all the time. But everyone of those close shots where you can see what the player is doing in the bunker, yelling etc really adds to the action/intensity. Phx I'd rate at 85%, MAO at 90%.