Tuesday, November 30, 2010

CPL meltdown?

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.


abc said...

From a league perspective I agree it's bad. It would be better if Joy, etc. could maintain the brand name and move forward with new players rather than replacing one of the top names in paintball with a new brand that in the best case could only hope to take their place after proving themselves through several years of competing.

But for a player in Europe, I suppose now has never been a better time to be involved in the CPL.

Missy Q said...

That's your take on it?
Please explain how this is a great time to be playing the CPL? Is it because you have a greater chance of winning, because the teams that habitually won the events can't afford/don't want to keep playing in it?

Baca Loco said...

I don't know. 17 US pros on CPL rosters other than Dynapact. 15 US players in the SPL. And 6 more in the top 3 teams in D1.

Anonymous said...

What a league! The euro's don't want to play in it anyway, apart from a handful of rich (&stupid) euro benefactors who can just hire US guns to compete against each other for the tiny prize-fund.
How can you listen to the whining from those teams about the cost of entry, when the money they spend on flying in the usual faces would easily cover their next entry.
These guys need to get some pride. The Euro's used to play in these leagues to represent their countries. Now it's just a joke. I say if the yanks want to go play in the euro league, they should enter a team themselves, not bleed the euro-teams dry by demanding free rides out to euro-land 4 times per year.

abc said...

Just looking at things from a team that wants to break through. When the old growth in the forest dies, the young saplings have a chance to take their place.

From a player perspective, look at it this way. Do you love paintball and want to play it as your hobby/sport at a high level? It makes room for other teams that want to move up.

Very sad to see any team like this go. And I think the league loses out in star power. But some other team can now strive to grab some of that lime light.

The reality is that the individual players on Joy obviously couldn't keep playing indefinitely. It's a shame the team isn't carrying on. At the very least they could "start over" and rebuild moving back up through the ranks (wouldn't that be fascinating to follow?).

Stark said...


So then you throw in the mix teams to play at a level where they dont belong and loose every game 0-6 when playing against top teams?

You cant expect to challenge the top teams in CPL if paintball is just an hobby to you and you have to pay all the expenses yourselve. You need lots of resources if you want to do that. And no I'm not talking about flying in single US players witch is quite short sighted for the team.

Anonymous said...

Isn't that the problem though? Clearly the teams that deserve to play in the top league, such as Joy, Menace, Bullets, can't actually afford to play in it either. What is the point of a pro-team league that pro-teams can't afford to play? My guess is that another 2 CPL teams drop out before the start of next season.

Isn't the problem that the league does actually need to attract players who can afford to pay their own way?
If the CPL can only be played by teams who don't have to pay their own way, how is it a benefit to anyone? At that stage, isn't it just an expensive anchor weighing down the rest of the divisions? Isn't it a division that can only work if you have 8 or more teams sponsored to the hilt?
Is there any point to a showcase league in Europe, other than to provide 4 all-expenses paid vacations to some lucky Americans?

Reiner Schafer said...

The point of supporting the pro teams and providing some of the players with paid vacations so that others can idolize them and also want to play a game they can't afford to play. How else are you going to get them to commit to a lifestyle of poverty and hand over all available funds.

abc said...

Stark, that was my point. If you just replaced 1 team, you would have a good likely hood of them losing 6-0. If you replace 5 teams? Well I imagine not all of them will lose 6-0. Hence, now is the best time for a team to move into the CPL. I'd rather move up to the CPL when 5 other teams are moving with me.

Anonymous said...

But, if over half of your opponents are people you have already played against the previous year, and you have to buy a spot to play them again in a higher division, why not just wait. if the CPL isn't viable you will see a re-shuffle of divisions, and you'll save yourself having to 'invest' in the CPL spot. They will continue to sell CPL spots as long as people want to buy them. Stop buying, and then you'll see some change.

Stark said...

Its about the resources to train and build your team for an longer period of time if you want to be able to challenge the top teams in CPL. Not about how expensive its attending an event.

I can compleatly understand why Joy decided to call it a day. With the same bunch of guys (unless you go a long amount of time back) they have already achived a lot. When you grind year after year it takes its toll when you dont even get paid. If you arent planning to have any family and kids you can go on for a longer time. Nowdays I belive it takes even more work than it used to.

Volkan said...

Hi guys,

just to clearify an unimportant detail regarding the Menace. The reason of retirement of Menace is mostly a roster based issues. We would like to have an all-norwegian team, and the reality is that due to the age of the last years roster it is diffucult to rebuild a roster that would be competative enought at the CPL level with the available players in Norway. We just dont want to invest the kind of money needed and TIME needed to play another shitty season. So we desided as a team that we rather call the day rather then play halfhearted.

And yea, it costs cash cash cash to import US players, in these times of economics that is not an option. I guess most of the players will try to play for other teams.

CPL is now transforming to be a french division ... and Millennium more and more french with 2 of 4 events in France. Im kind of hoping the PSP to get over here and start a new league and bankrupt Millennium... :)With the kind of money spent, the players are the loosers and the Millennium the winners.

Have a nice day...

Best regards,
previous Menace player

Baca Loco said...

Thanks, Volkan, for the additional info regarding Menace. Best of luck.