Saturday, June 23, 2012

PSP Chicago: Day 2

I had hoped to do some of my morning bracket scouting via webcast this morning. No joy for me mostly because the hotel internet is so slow I can't even get the low res version to stream live on my laptop or pad. So much for the tech revolution. Say hello to the bleachers. Fortunately, like yesterday it wasn't too hot--not PSP Chicago hot anyway--and in the afternoon there were extended stretches of overcast or maybe it was thick haze. Whatever it was it kept the temperatures mild and produced a magnificent corona around the diffused sun. (Anybody get a picture?)
Dynasty overcame their early loss to the Russians by beating the Heat today and closing out the prelims at 3-1. It was the Heat's only loss so it didn't keep them out of Sunday either as they too went 3-1. Shock gave the Legion a tough game early Saturday but eventually fell. Vicious, after a solid Phoenix, went 1-3 as did Thunder. In their final match-up with Houston Vicious had an opportunity but eventually fell in a tough 3-5 game. A win would have seen them go 2-2 and win the head-to-head with Houston and play on Sunday. So while 1-3 doesn't sound good the margin between success and failure for Vicious this weekend was 2 points.
In the afternoon bracket Infamous began the day in the driver's seat with all the Sunday spots up for grabs. Everybody else finished Saturday 1-1 except for 0-2 CEP. The Ironmen, like Dynasty, took an unexpected big loss on Friday versus Upton 187. They opened today with a grueling war with Infamous and came out short by a single point. Going into their final prelim match the Ironmen were 1-2 against a 2-1 X-Factor but as it turned out the winner would go through to Sunday while the loser went home. In an overtime thriller the Ironmen pulled it out 4-3. Again the margin for error was razor thin. Damage continued the improved play they displayed in their second match Friday by rolling through CEP and Upton 187 today to earn a Sunday spot along with Infamous and the Ironmen.
There have been some unexpected and exciting matches and Sunday should up the ante as we're playing for the trophy now.

Since the situation came up today in the Ironmen/X-Factor match I'd like to go on the record and suggest the swing point rule be abolished--at least in the pro bracket. I've never liked it much and the last time I was part of a rules revision I tried to get it removed--to no avail. I understand that some peeps are concerned that in close, tense scenarios with little time left on the clock that the threat of a penalty may not be much of a deterrent. I get that. My view is that the appropriate penalty is the one in the rulebook as it applies to the rest of the match and that in effect altering the call's impact isn't good paintball. Does my way potentially make it hard on the refs? Maybe but I think they ought to be up for it. And now that the pro game has "unlimited" overtime there is no rational for a swing point to be awarded in an overtime period. Let the players win or lose the games.

So far so good. Tomorrow will be a long day so don't look for the wrap-up until Monday.


sdawg said...

What's the word on what happened when Colt went to get the second guy? We couldn't see the hit on the webcast.

Baca Loco said...

Can't help you, sdawg. I only saw what you did. With the sideline ref beginning to make the signal as Colt closed on the second Ironmen we just guessed it must have been Pax shooting from snakeside Temple. But that's just a guess.

Anonymous said...

Hmm cep just don't seem to be improving, what with thunder and 187 already seeming to do consistently better in their first year. Wonder if they wouldn't be better off dropping back to d1...

Missy Q said...

I had a good view of the Xfac/Ironmen game, and it did seem that Colt was shot from the inside, which is what resulted in the penalty. I didn't see the hit as it was apparently on his left side, but that's certainly the call that was made.
I thought it was a shame as Xfactor were the team that went for the win, and ended up getting penalised for it. They may still have won the point if they had sat-back. Just goes to show that the swing point is generally favoring the less aggressive team, which is kind of against the grain.

Anonymous said...

Can you comment on the teams like 187 that are surprising good teams on Friday, then getting rolled later on? Did the Ironmen underestimate them in the 1st match? Are they throwing out something unexpected in their first match that later teams are able to figure out? Is there nough parity that a team could survive prelims then have everything line up right for them to win it all?

Dave Painter said...

From my point of view we’re young and inexperienced. We are also a bit inconsistent right now – some matches we play great – shooting good lanes, making clean bumps, changing our game plans up at the right times. Other times we are undedicated to our lanes, get shot out of our bunkers and wait a few points to long to change our game plans. I believe all these issues point to the youth of our team and coaching staff.

We need time to learn, time to gain experience. Right now the only time we play against pro players is at events. We’re a small budget team and can’t afford to be traveling around to practice against the more established teams. We’ll figure it out but it’s going to take a little more time.

Baca Loco said...

Anon #1
There is no dropping back. As constituted now they can't drop back as a team. Should the PSP bring back or see the need for a semi-pro division then there would be a place for them to go--as a team. Once you reach pro level it's up or out. CEP has the talent to be more competitive but right now the organization and leadership is suffering the same learning curve as the players. Which brings us to--

Anon #2
I think Dave the 187 questions fairly and accurately. (Thanks, Dave.)

As to the other questions--the opportunity to scout teams matches can make a significant difference from one day to the next but I couldn't tell you how many of the teams are adept at doing so. No there isn't enough parity if you mean can a lower tier team get thru then smack everybody around Sunday. If you mean can a team with a good track record perform poorly and skate in then win, the answer is yes.
Keep in mind that's just my opinion and I'm sure all the players on all the teams show up to each event confident they will succeed.

Baca Loco said...

That should be "I think Dave handled the 187 question ..."

Steve Nicola (CEP Coach) said...

CEP is in a similar situation to 187. We get help from our sponsors (Dye, Exalt, Kee), however our budget does not allow traveling to other Pro teams for practice. The only time we get a Pro look is at scrimmages prior to the event or at the event itself. There is a wide skill gap between a player that has been playing Pro 8 years in 2 or 3 leagues with a large budget to practice other Pros and a rookie Pro trying to break into the ranks. It's an issue I am working hard to overcome. One thing we will start doing (taking a play out of 187's book) is practice against ourselves instead of divisional teams. Our team has talent and I believe in my guys. We have flashes of great play out there, we just need to keep working hard and learning from our mistakes.