With the "official" paid by deadline a week away--Monday the 15th--for the PSP's Chicago Open registration stands at 206 with 121 paid, not counting any of the Young Guns teams. There will be some last minute additions and a few teams pushing the limits on the deadline that will end up putting final registration numbers in the neighborhood of 220 but that ain't the same thing as paid and playing. While 121 teams paid looks pretty good in comparison to the prior two events if Chicago sees more than a 10%-12% decline it may put the PSP in a real spot. Every year World Cup is expected to cover for weaker events and make up for any earlier in the season losses but the added costs of the webcast plus low vendor turnout are reducing the already slim margins for maintaining some profitability. No prediction, no doom and gloom but realistically the numbers need to be there--and so far it's looking iffy. (I know I was more upbeat last week but this deadline has kinda crept up on me and the window is closing faster than it seemed just a week ago.)
We could also be close to the release of a WC location and date. No confirmation yet but indications favor a central Florida location at this time. Again, don't buy your tickets just yet. Just what I'm hearing from the voices in my head.
Over in USPL land the window remains wide open as the next event, the West Coast Open, isn't until late July but the predicament is similar. The numbers need to be there and so far things are going slowly. After postponing one event, tightening the season schedule and moving back to the left coast where it is believed 7-man is strongest the new league needs a success. (And by success I mean an event that makes a few bucks, not one everybody thought was swell but didn't attend.) Registration stands at 64 (including the 16 Pro teams) with only 17 non-Pro teams having paid their entry to date.
If you missed it check out the Monday Poll over on the sidebar as it addresses some of the concerns surrounding the 7-man format. And vote, you lazy slacker.
The Grand Tour's next stop in Lviv, Ukraine, is less than two weeks away with (paid?) registration standing at 35 total teams. This is down slightly on the recent Warsaw event and continues the trend of reduced turnout over past seasons when the Grand Tour was the Centurio and the ECS.
The MS announced some of the details for the Millennium Cup Pro and Am Open that will be the Paris event along with a D3 exclusive Millennium Trophy challenge. Having now seen the details I'm more frustrated than ever over the scheduling of this event. I'm not convinced a lot of U.S. Pro teams (or semi-pros) would have entered with friendlier scheduling but some surely would have. (Of course it could be that's not something the MS wanted. I don't know.) The main competition will have three tiers to success (the Millennium Cup, Plate & Shield) giving everybody who competes, regardless of division, a chance to win something.
Apparently the MS was unconcerned about carrying the semis & finals of Malaga over to Paris as they informed the teams in the locked divisions that they were always expected to compete in Paris regardless so no big deal really. (Hey, I'm just reading their own press release.)
With the event scheduled for the first weekend in July--less than one full month away--there are 2 D2 teams registered and 10 D3 (M5) teams registered for the event.
The open portion of the event will be limited to 96 teams with the three locked divisions comprising 71 (68) of those teams (don't know if 3 D1 teams are also expected to "volunteer" to ref) which leaves 25 (28) slots for D2 teams to fill. This layout doesn't do any of the lower division teams any favors (or those teams that are typically counterpunchers for that matter) as it will reward aggressive, effective guns up play and offers little in the way of initial shooting lanes or defensively-oriented control positions. (Post and diagram tomorrow on the Paris layout.)
Heard a rumor about the current but unconfirmed location for the final MS event. The word is the league continues to consider alternatives out of fear of player/team reaction. You gotta think though at some point if it takes too long nobody will be happy regardless. (Of course, tournament promoters are used to that.)