The roster of the registered only increased by one this past week as the deadline rapidly approaches for the not so Grand Tour’s Venice event. What is the matter with you people? It’s Venice (almost). On the GT website there are links to copies of two documents (in Italian) confirming that the event is legit and not some hit-and-run renegade urban paintball assault–which sounds much cooler–to me anyway. It may be there has been some hesitancy to consider competing on the part of teams due to paintball being illegal in Italy. Come on people, it’s Italy–where the law is more like a suggestion that can, on occasion, be conveniently ignored.
The NPPL will open registration for Chicago any day now–they may already have done so. (My online time remains limited lately.) A Chicago field layout will be posted shortly as well. Otherwise there is little to report that didn’t make the assorted HB reports. The league is making a big push to develop the PR arm of the league to feature the pro teams and players and those changes and additions should be coming online as time permits. One thing I think the NPPL ought to do is video the responses of the divisional teams to the event(s) and post those on the league website. As much as players enjoy watching the pros play nobody shells out entries and pays all the related expenses just to watch the pros–they do it for the competitive experience. All the peripheral things the past NPPLs focused on are great extras but do not take the place of a positive competitive experience and one thing NPPL 3.0 needs to do is prove to potential participants that playing paintball is their number one priority.
Chicago registration has been open for a couple of weeks now in the PSP. (The one thing that could hurt NPPL Chicago registration is the small-ish time window between HB & Chicago.) As of yesterday there were 58 Race 2-X teams and 16 Race 2-2 teams registered. Keep your eye on the Race 2-2 totals. The PSP appears to have capped the Race2-2 category at 100 teams. That’s interesting because it’s the Race 2-2 (5-man) teams that have lifted past Chicago totals over 200 teams.
This past weekend the PSP announced a new ‘supporting’ league, the MSXL and their Race to World Cup 2010 series of events taking place in Indiana, Kentucky & Illinois. In a continuation of the process begun with the first announcement of the affiliates leagues the PSP moves into a previously unrepresented part of the country. What I want to know is why is this a supporting league and not an affiliate league.
So where is the field layout for Chicago? And with the numbers decline in Phoenix will the league risk an "unconventional" layout as seems to have been recent past practice in Chicago?
Squeaking in at the last second DYE signs up to be a MS platinum sponsor. It looks like there will be no diamond sponsors this year--another sign of the times. (Even if a past diamond sponsor or two received an unannounced discount.) It will be interesting to see how much of a show some of the big sponsors roll out this year. Over here it seems the trend is to economizing on the traveling road show. Where the biggest vendors used to go all out they mostly don't nowadays. Will the same hold true in Euroland? Did the MS pro rate their sponsor packages after they dropped Antalya? I heard a couple of numbers that were lower but not by much. Even so with the rush of included sponsors (and teams) in the closing days there must have been some horse-trading going on.
The current team list is looking much healthier--I hesitate to call it the final team count--as there seems to be no real deadline other than the horn for the first match--and even then, who knows, the league might be willing to squeeze another team into the schedule then, too. Anyway, the tally is CPL, 16 teams; SPL, 28 teams; D1, 22 teams; D2, 24 teams; D3, 18 teams & M5, 18 teams for a total of 126. Still down from last year's 143. Two weeks ago registrations were off nearly 30% compared to 2009. Somehow the league closed that gap to less than 13% in the last two weeks. Now all they have to do is run the event and pray for good weather.