Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Upcoming Events

Tomorrow the Millennium begin their season with the CPL 'Drawing From The Hats' ceremony to determine the St. Tropez brackets. Not exactly NCAA March Madness when it comes to bracketology it's a bit of Euro weirdness not indulged in the other divisions. This time, for the first time, the top four teams will lead the 4 brackets. In Hat #1 will be teams 5-8 which will be drawn at random and assigned a bracket until there are 2 teams in each bracket. That will be followed by a Hat #2 random draw then a Hat #3 random draw whereupon 4 brackets of 4 teams are set. While it makes little sense when a perfectly logical seeding system exists we'll chalk it up to eccentricity.
The event begins a week from Friday and I gotta say I'm looking forward to it. Despite the proximity of the event there appears to be a few teams still not settled into their divisions just yet. In locked divisions (SPL & D1) that have maxed out at 32 teams playing the SPL currently has 29 with 5 other teams pending. Whatever that means. In D1 they have 26 with 9 teams pending. Be interesting to see what the final numbers are in the next few days. (How many teams are reffing?)
Finally I still wonder how it is some Euro teams end up picking up the American players they choose. I know in some instances it's a matter of sponsor affiliation but frankly that still leaves some questions in my mind. Are some teams compelled--or enticed?--into putting players on their rosters? Do teams always know what they're actually getting in the players they pick up? Without wishing to be too controversial or specific I've often looked at some of the U.S. players playing for Euro teams and I just don't get it. So how 'bout an anonymous or two Euro team captains (or owners) explaining some of the U.S. pro players pick-up ins & outs for me. Hey, a guy can ask, right?

Lastly a quick note on HB. Today the registered teams total was at 108. I still think we'll see more Pro teams in HB than the 11 presently listed. But I also think the final team totals participating will be under 100. Alot of the registered teams still don't have rosters posted and they are running out of time to do it online for the discounted price per ID. Also no updates on prize calculations given the new divisions--although it looks like 5-man race 2 will only happen in D3 & D4. 2012 rules were posted recently and I'll have a look at them before the event but haven't had a chance to look them over yet.


Nick Brockdorff said...

The reason for the draw, is that in a narrow division with only 16 teams, in prelim pools of 4, it was getting to a point where the pools were more or less the same, event after event.

So, to keep things interesting, the MS decided to do a draw ahead of each event, keeping teams in the same tier (of 4), but moving them around randomly horisontally.

"Pending" means the team hasn't confirmed they are playing - or paid.

It can be anything from a team that was ranked in the division last year, but nobody has heard from since.... to a team that has registered but not yet paid.

Right about now, the MS is scrambling to contact pending (and other) teams, to try and fill out the divisions, including offering SPL spots to Div. 1 teams and Div. 1 spots to Div. 2 teams. - It's the same every year, and some years, a division will be closed out at 28, instead of 32, rather than having an odd number in a pool.

As for US players, each spring, a lot of people in Europe are contacted by american (and canadian) players, that want to find a team to play for. Some will go play for anyone with any gear, some with anyone as long as they can use their sponsored gear, and others require a team with the same main sponsor.

It is my impression it is seldom the teams seeking out the players - it is rather the other way around - or the players sponsor asking their european teams if they have a slot for a particular player, on behalf of the player.

So you shouldn't view most the US Pros playing in Europe, as players being picked by a particular team, for a particular position... it is more a question of players looking for a cheap "paintball vacation", and euro teams thinking "he's a PSP Pro, he is probably better than what we've got".

There ARE exceptions ofcourse - some US players are very dedicated to their European teams, and play for them year in and year out.

Baca Loco said...

Thanks, Nick. If that is the case as often as not it doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Anonymous said...

You should really read the 2012 edition of the NPPL Really Strong Suggestion Book. It's hilariously bad.

Nick Brockdorff said...

Art Chaos Moscow
London Nexus
Copenhagen Ducks
Ranger Warsaw

Art Chaos = Russian Legion

Nexus = Rebuilding year, but they did pick up Mikko from Ironmen

Ducks = Picked up Sebban & Karl (former Joy Division), and should improve this year with the stability those two bring to the mix

Ranger = CPL noobs and all polish team, nobody knows how good they are at this level

GROUP B (group of death):
San Diego Dynasty
Frankfurt Syndicate
GI Sportz Montreal
Lisbon Benfica

Dynasty needs no introduction

Syndicate made every Sunday last year (only 8 progress) and they picked up Kiril from Russian Legion and Alan Goulding from Heat

G.I. = TB Damage

Benfica = pretty solid team, usually places around 10th

Toulouse Tontons
Breakout Spa
Amsterdam Heat
Birmingham Disruption

Tontons = Are contenders this year, now with a Russian Legion snake side

Breakout = Lost a few players and might struggle this year

Heat = Not really seeing them change their ranking this year - aroun 12th

Marseille Icon
Outrage Valence
Ramstein Instinct
Paris Camp Carnage

Icon = Contenders. Extremely aggressive and creative french team

Outrage = Another really good french team. Look for them to move up the ranks this year

Instinct = Rebuilding year, lost heaps of key players over the break

Carnage = Might benefit from being in a pool with 2 french teams they know in and out - might create an upset in this pool

Missy Q said...

Sebban and his brother will certainly be a strong addition to the Ducks. Both are tremendous players. It's good to see them playing again.

Mike said...

Nick - how's disruption?

Baca, I will play for Damage if you need a player in Europe. ;)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info and scouting report Nick! I'm very curious to see how your layout plays out with almost the identical snake side as galveston but a stronger D-side. Do you have any predictions given what we saw so far in Texas? Also, will there be any way to watch this, either via webcast, youtube, etc.? Thanks again!

Baca Loco said...

Appreciate it, Mike. I think we're good to go but if anything happens last minute stay by the phone. ;)

Anonymous said...

Disruption - strong SPL team that deserved to win a promotion last season but were hampered by paint problems (as I understand, that issue is currently out of the equation for this season). Often the standard amongst the higher ranked/promoted SPL teams is markedly above that of the 'coasting' CPL teams.

Anonymous said...

Nick, but what about the financial side of having a US Pro on one's team... Who pays for what?

Nick Brockdorff said...

Wow - forgot Disruption - appologies - that was an unintended oversight!

I actually see them doing well in this group, Both breakout and Heat are definitely teams they can compete with - and as opposed to the US leagues, there is not much difference between top tier SPL (equivalent to PSP div. 1) teams and the bottom half of the CPL.

As for field layout, I have nothing to do with them this year... as some may imagine, I am not Adrenaline Games - or Laurents favourite person at the moment ;) - AG does the field layouts, for both MS and PSP, as far as I know.

As for the financial implictions of having US pro players onboard, the standard usually is they get - minimum - travel cost covered. Often a completely free ride. Who covers it differs - in some cases it's the team, in most it's the team sponsors.

BTW, I'd like to go on record saying I fully support European teams taking in US pro players, as long as they do it for the right reasons.

If it's just a hired gun for events, I think teams are better off doing without them.... but if it includes participating in practice sessions on the teams home ground, it can help quite a bit in developing the right mindset with your players.

In my experience, top US players are quite different to their Euro counterparts. They are usually less proficient technically (which is why clinics in Europe with US Pro players rarely make sense), but they are generally far superior in terms of attitude, mindset and the will to win.

US players are brought up in a much more competitive environment, while Euro players often make the team, because nobody else was available. That difference shows a great del, and is the biggest reason most Euro teams have always struggled against US teams.

It's slowly changing... and the gap is narrowing... but we are not there yet.

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