The 2011 major league tournament season officially kicks off in two days with the PSP's Galveston Open. The 5-day forecast predicts temperatures in the mid- to upper 60's, mostly sunshine and a tiny chance of rain over the weekend. If it snows again I am never (repeat never) going to Texas ever again for a paintball tournament. Period. End of. The same applies to the sudden appearance of a mystery tsunami. You've got to draw the line somewhere and that's where my line is drawn. Oh, and that monster from 'Cloverfield.' It was like a gigantic mutant Cajun crawfish hellbent on vengeance, right? Gulf coast? I'm just saying. My line includes the monster, too.
The Grand Tour just recently posted that they will soon be posting event info for the 2011 season. They haven't yet but wanted every interested party to know event info would be coming soon.
Over in the Millennium; a curiosity. The league has capped all the divisions for 2011. Not locked, but capped. D2 is capped at 28. D3 is capped at 24 and M5 is capped at 12. I thought at first the league was looking to create a scarcity and perhaps drive teams to register and pay early in order to assure their spots. It could also be the MS chose to pre-determine the scale of their events this season to have more control over the logistics and event costs. Or even both. Right now it looks like 9 or 10 D2 teams will be outta luck and that the league will cancel the M5 as only 1 team has registered to date. I'm also curious about how the numbers were chosen. I mean more slots in the higher divisions? Seems counter-intuitive but it appears to have worked out okay.
Of course the league spent much of the off season drumming up new teams to commit to the upper, locked divisions, too. I wonder how many of them paid the licensing fee. "Please, Guv'ner, take my cap, it's filled wif all the pennies I's got." Really? I don't think so. And frankly if I was part of a locked division team that had been paying the extra fees all along I'd want to see some documentary proof the new kids on the block paid too. (I keep saying this and I know some of the Euroballers agree but does anybody ever do anything except quit playing the MS?) Actually I'd probably refuse just to see if there was a deal to be made--but that's me. Cynical, suspicious & cheap. (If it's any consolation I still think the Longchamp venue is dynamite.)
Over in NPPLand registrations for HB are at 133. Which is a mighty decent number no matter you look at it and if the final participation numbers are in that ballpark the league will have gotten off to a good start in 2011--even if it proves to be the biggest turnout of the year (as it was last year.) It's all about operating in the black (one way or another.)
I remain curious as to what effect, if any, Stay, Play & Save is having on teams making the final commitment of paying their entry fees and confirming their hotel registrations.
And then there's the mystery of the true TV dealio. Will they or won't they? Who knows for sure and why hasn't the league confirmed or denied anything? Seems to me they would at least know what's happening at HB by now given it's less than a month away. I'm told there's a done deal so why isn't the league using that info to drum up more excitement and sell more grandstand tickets or whatever? The closer the event gets without some sort of definitive info the more it looks like another TV flim-flam.
UPDATE: Harrass and you shall receive. NPPL made a formal announcement about HB live streaming on ESPN3 Wednesday evening. Not that VFTD had anything to do with it, of course.
And finally there's the new pro format. If you've been keeping up you know I'm slightly unhappy with how the PSP pro brackets are going to play out in Galveston given the ridiculous influence I expect tie-breakers to have in the outcome. Well, the NPPL's move to S7 (or whatever name they've given it; Race 2-2?) is going to have a similar impact. In any bracket where a team goes 3-0 only 1 other team can go 2-1 which satisfies the determination of who moves on but leaves the remaining two teams tied at 1-2. (At that point they will be ranked in the bottom eight somewhere despite never having played anybody else along with the very real likelihood that most of the rest of the bottom eight will have identical records. Perhaps the wizard who devised the NPPA can come up with a suitable formula for distinguishing final placements.) Of course in any bracket where a team goes 3-0 it's also possible for the other three teams to go 1-2. Now one of them will move on into the top eight while the other two end up in the bottom 8 despite having identical records. If no team goes 3-0 a bracket could end up with three teams going 2-1 where two move on and one goes home, once again, despite having identical records. And with or without tie-breakers how satisfactory is it for the teams or the fans to have tie-breaking rules determine so much of the final outcome of the event? Does anybody ever pay any attention to the consequences of their decisions?
One final word for all those VFTD readers who think I'm too negative too often--if the people making some of these moronic decisions removed their heads from their hindquarters more often you'd be amazed at how positive I might become.