Saturday, September 8, 2012

Phoenix Contact, Pro Teams & Sanctioning Leagues

As much as I've enjoyed the bits of snark on display in the comments of the Phil Veatch interview I think some of the comments have been misunderstood and others have characterized some things as being factual that aren't. Factual, that is. That being the case I'ma take a moment to clear things up at which point y'all may continue sniping at one another.
Contact is blameless in all this, whatever this is. They are just a bunch of guys excited over an unusual opportunity. Whether or not it's a good idea it's one they couldn't resist.
Just because someone thinks giving an untried brand new in the box team a pro spot is a poor idea and a poorer reflection on competitive paintball as sport doesn't make them a jealous or resentful hater. To the great majority it is the situation they have an opinion about, not the team or the players who almost nobody knows from Adam. (The real haters, if there are any, undoubtedly reside in the Phoenix-Tucson corridor and are not the product of Contact getting a pro spot but of local animosities and past histories. Which nobody outside the Southwest knows about or cares about.)
Nor is this about the dictionary definition of professional athlete or the paintball world's notions about pro players or the so-called legitimacy of pro teams. Everyone interested in this subject understands the game is still young and evolving and comparisons to other sports is not about validating competitive paintball but about establishing an ideal, a target to shoot for. And contrary to some of the pedants now is when the game needs clear direction and as much of a shared vision as possible among its adherents. If we don't care about the integrity and purity of the game who will?
As to the leagues supporting pro divisions. No, they are not all equal. By rule the most restrictive is the Millennium. Unfortunately their rules are more like suggestions at times. And while promo/relegation up and down the locked divisions should produce the most competitive "legitimate" teams that only applies as long as demand exceeds supply and over the last 3 years the league has worked long and hard in the off season to keep as many locked division slots filled as possible--including CPL spots.
While no rules exist the PSP is very mindful of the status of its pro division. The league's top 2 priorities are fielding a competitive team and having an organization that can sustain a team over time. The only team to be allowed into the league in recent years that didn't meet that criterion was Thunder and that was because they were largely an uncertain quantity. (They had played in the pro division in the NPPL.) What Thunder did bring to the table were ties to the Naughty Dogs--a long time pro team--and a home in the Northwest. In the year CEP joined the pro ranks (Galveston 2011) the pro division lost Entourage, Aftermath and XSV along with the whole Semi-pro division. In 2010 the pro entrants were Vicious and XSV the top 2 semi-pro ranked teams from '09. Sure the numbers matter. They matter in each league but that doesn't mean they're all the same.
In the NPPL 3.0 they needed to fill an arbitrary 16 team pro division in their first season with the enticement of owning a share of the league. The result from the beginning was a suspect pro division that remains suspect to this day and even with the prospect of league ownership a significant number of teams failed to make a go of it on the field or as organizations. Nor has the league been able to maintain a 16 team division despite efforts to regularly add new teams.

So say what you want about the perceived legitimacy of pro teams and divisions but in every case the level of respect for each league hinges on that perception. And which league is the most respected isn't in doubt.

33 comments:

Nick Brockdorff said...

Well, "the last 3 years" have seen paintball in a rapid decline, due to the overall economic climate.

That doesn't mean a promotion/relegation system is wrong - it just means it was introduced at the worst possible time, and went a division too low in times of economic turmoil.

Attendance is up across the board this year, and I expect the coming season to be the first where the promotion/relegation system works as intended.

As for the rules thing.... yeah, it is absolutely ridiculous, and one that should make people think, if one league totally dominating a market, is really something to strive for, as long as our sport does not have an overall governing body ;)

Anonymous said...

Baby steps, Nick. Besides, one league already dominates the market.

Anonymous said...

Seriously Nick, do you have a life?

Anonymous said...

When did you play pro and win tournaments? Why are you so scared to tell us?

What's the big deal if you played pro paintball

Anonymous said...

When I first read your post on PBN I thought" ok this guy sounds like he loves the game!""


Now I'm like " this asshat just likes to talk"

Nick Brockdorff said...

Yeah, I do have a life - thanks for your concern though! :)

Maybe it's just that I write faster than you read? :)

Anonymous said...

Doubtful..
What pro teams have you played for and when did you win?

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know as well.

For a guy who spends all day upbraiding people about their views on tourney teams, your hesitance to tell us what your actual tourney experience is, is quite "interesting".....

Anonymous said...

@NICK

"To the people that don't know - I've won national events, at Pro level - I just usually don't find the need to toot my own horn to debate, since intelligence and playing experience have very little relevance to eachother....."

You said this in a previous post. You claimed to have played pro so we just want to know?

Baca Loco said...

VFTD policy on comments is to keep it as simple as possible in order to encourage a wide diversity of opinions. If you've got something to say I don't care who you are.
That said Nick did open up this line of conversation himself so I'ma help him out--and point out to the rest of you how silly it is for a bunch of anonymous commenters to ask for bona fides from the one guy using hsi real name. Nick is a member of the Euro paintball community and was playing pro ball before most of you knew what paintball was. That doesn't make him right or any of you wrong in any particular disagreement you might have. Now carry on and keep in mind this isn't the Nick Brockdorff Story.

Nick Brockdorff said...

"Blackballed 2 - The Nick Brockdorff Story" - soon available on VHS tape in a store near you.

dan. said...

VHS? dang Nick, i need it in Beta please.

Missy Q said...

That's actually a different Nick Brockdorrf. 'Nick Brockdorrf' is the most common name in Scandinavia. In fact 3 out of 5 guys and 1 in 2 women are called 'Nick Brockdorrf'.

I was actually christened 'Nick Brockdorrf' myself, but changed my name to avoid confusion and angry hate-emails.

That said, there is a 66% probablility that someone called 'Nick Brockdorrf' has played pro at some time.

Hope this helps.

Nick Brockdorff said...

Dammit Owen (or maybe I should call you "The artist formerly known as Nick Brockdorff") - every time one gets comfortable disliking you, you murk the waters with your awesome sense of humour.

It's pissing me off :D

Other very common scandinavian names that could cause confusion:

Nick Lundquist
Nick Lundquist (the other brother)
Sebban Brockdorff
Magued Nick Brockdorff Idris
Nikolai & Anders Brockdorff (the twins)
Viggo Mortensen (Nick Brockdorff)
Marcus Nielsen (one of the few non-Brockdorffs)

I hope this has cleared up the matter sufficiently for everyone now, and we can get back to debating Phoenix Contact?

Anonymous said...

Contact got shit all over today. What a surprise....

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