We have some interesting numbers this week though, as always, I'll leave it up to you to decide what they may mean. (Well, that's a bald-faced lie, isn't it? I don't always leave it up to you at all. But it sounded good.)
With PSP's Chicago Open about 10 days away official registration closed yesterday. Final registration numbers including the Young Guns (Play-for-free) totalled 230 teams. A solid number. Paid teams total 213 although it's probably a more accurate assessment to drop the Young Guns off both for a 216 - 199 comparison since the Young Guns are only paying for their PSP IDs. I expect a few more teams to end up on the final tally sheet so will guess actual paid participation will be around 205 - 210 which will amount to about a 15% drop from last year. If you look at the raw numbers the big drops seem to be in D2X & D3X but interestingly if you total participation from Pro thru D2 last year and this year the total difference is only 3 teams. (Which may or may not say something about how the classification rules have been working but puts the real problem area on a steep decline in D3X participation.
On the plus side the PSP's website remains the VFTD official major league website that blows the most!
USPL numbers continue to slowly tick up for the mid-July West Coast Open with total registration currently at 65 teams including the Pros and total paid registrations at 20 not including the Pros. Realistically, without a bunch of registrations coming after the Chicago event it looks like the USPL is in a battle for 7-man supremacy within the regional context of Cali and the left coast more than it is struggling to establish a national presence. Though perhaps one thing at a time.
It seems there's some rumor out there about Chuck H. being on the outs with the USPL. This may simply be a misunderstanding of his changed status with Kingman but in any case it isn't true. Chuck continues to work diligently on behalf of the USPL.
Over in Euroland the MS is gearing up for the Paris Open which will, in fact, be an Open with all the teams from the CPL thru D2 competing for the same tier of unique titles. I wonder if this, rather than the close proximity to Bitberg, is influencing the D2 teams. So far only 5 are registered and it may be they have concerns competing with 3 divisions of more accomplished teams. It would be interesting to poll the D2 teams that have played this year so far and see what they see. (If you're a member of a D2 team please comment on why or why not your team is or isn't playing Paris. Feel free to do so anonymously if you like.) D3 (M5) currently has 17 teams registered for the event which will take place the weekend of July 4.
This coming weekend will see the Lviv Ukraine stop on the Grand Tour and it appears final participation numbers are down over last week's registered team list as the 4 5-man teams registered apparently will not be playing. That leaves 31 teams competing in 3 divisions.