Let's begin with NPPL 3.0 and the DC Challenge coming up this weekend. APPA's (official?) numbers are 57 teams total, registered and paid. Given there were at least 90 teams registered with a couple of weeks left earlier in the month this is a disappointing outcome. Particularly as Chuck, Camille and the crew made a big push to offer added value and lots of extras. None of the modest turnouts is the result of poor planning or a failure to put in the time and effort. The Cali kids are working their butts off. Inevitably, or so it seems to me, the lack of greater success has to be the format. The ranks of loyal 7-man adherents just isn't there anymore. What other sensible conclusion is there?
If you're in the neighborhood come on out to Pev's place this weekend and check it out. You'll get a free pass to come back and play another and a paintball weekend is always a good weekend.
(Btw, there was a rumor going around a couple of weeks ago that at least one NPPL 3.0 owner had spent well into 6 figures this year. Just where all that supposed cash had gone was just part of the speculation largely because the number was so large it seemed inconceivable it was spent exclusively on his team. Anyway, I've no idea if there's any credence to the rumor--I hit the vaca trail right after hearing about it--but it's interesting nonetheless 'cus it leads to questions like is the league being propped up with cash infusions and if so, what does that mean for the owners group? How long can it last?
It reminds me of that old joke--How do you make a small fortune in paintball? Start with a big one.)
By my count PSP World Cup registration sits at 304 with 11 of the Pro teams not included and I can imagine a little nail biting going on. While there's still time for additional registrations (and there will likely be some) we're close to the point where it becomes a question of what percentage of registrants pay their entries. I've no idea what the norm is as that's a number I've never looked into but it needs to be high. If 75% of registrants paid it would mean a turnout around 225. 90% gets you 270 teams. So, realistically WC isn't out of the woods just yet and we haven't touched on vendor turnout at all. (Tomorrow's post will be PB Extravaganza vs. World Cup.) Of course the bottom line here is the bottom line and I'm not overly concerned about WC as a stand alone event. The issue is how much red ink does WC have to account for from prior events this season and is the webcast on the PSP books or is it being handled separately? Hey, we could ask Lane!
Regarding the foreign team count and where they are playing I think perhaps I jumped the gun a bit on our Euro friends. One, there aren't as many currently signed up as I first thought and Two, most of them aren't taking grossly unfair advantage. Interestingly in my cursory examination I found around two dozen non-North American teams registered and nearly half of them are from Central and South America. I do think Icon and Tontons ought to be playing semi-pro and not D1. (And that about half the currently registered semi-pro ought to be given the boot but ...) I don't really have a problem with any of the others playing out of division beyond the dissonance created between the supposed future goal and the current reality.
Over in Euroland the MS's Campaign Cup is less than a month away and in the unlocked divisions, D2 & D3, there are 7 and 19 teams registered, respectively. Not exactly storming the barricades to get a chance to play Millennium ball are they? In recent years it seems there's always post-Campaign talk about moving the event because the UK teams don't turn out in big numbers to compete and support the series. If anything like these numbers hold it's more than that this time around. Could it be peeps are finally voting with their checkbooks? Or is it perhaps a combination of the usual UK torpor mixed with continuing economic hardship that is keeping the more recreationally oriented players an teams away?
Further east the Grand Tour has 36 teams signed up for the Budapest event. Or is that the Buda or the Pest event? The event is less than two weeks out and will include a one-on-one challenge as well for those who wish to sign up.