A quick aside before I get started with the actual subject of this post: I find the predictable lament from a portion of the paintball community at the demise of another pro team almost ironic. They mourn the loss of a particular favorite but somehow seem to fail to grasp the larger implications for pro paintball generally. At the same time how many of the same people dismiss the NPPL which is, like it or not, the only hope for continuity in the pro division--at least insofar as things are organized right now. Regardless of what one might think of some of the teams, the scale of the league, the intentions of the owners, the format, etc. Joy isn't the first and won't be the last.
Word of the Joy Division retirement from the ranks of pro teams probably couldn't have come at a worse time for the Millennium Series and its premier division, the CPL. Each season the CPL relegates the two bottom teams back to the SPL while promoting the top two SPL teams. At least that's how it's supposed to work. Keeps everyone working hard, something to play for and so on. Except as I recall last season there were a few instances of teams who earned promotion who chose not to be promoted. The MS then had to go down the list until they got some takers to fill the open spots. (Though as I recall that didn't include any CPL spots ... but I could be misremembering.) Regardless, it's going to happen this season.
The two CPL teams to be relegated are the Ducks & Comin At Ya. According to the formula they should be replaced by Art Chaos Moscow and Outrage Valence. Assuming both teams accept promotion that will still leave holes In the Bullets, Joy & Menace spots. That means 5 of 16 CPL teams will turn over this season. Nearly a third. More interesting is the fact that Menace is looking to sell their spot as is (apparently) their right. Does the same apply to Joy & Bullets even though both have formally announced they are done competing? If Menace can sell its spot why not Bullets and Joy? (Maybe they can.) Does Menace have to sell before next year's license fees come due? What if there are no takers? For one thing the CPL pool gets diluted as the MS offers the open spots around to any SPL takers. Relegation & promotion are made a mockery of--and how can the league begin to justify charging a licensing fee for something nobody is willing to buy? (The answer to that remains the apathy of the Euroteams to stand up and refuse to be squeezed but that's a separate topic.)
Last year's Millennium scramble revealed the cracks in the structure. This year the cracks are fissures and the league doesn't have enough plaster to hide what's happening this time around.