Is called Phoenix Contact and they are the newest addition to the pro ranks. Apparently. Perhaps intended to replace Mutiny--which missed Vegas last year and skipped DC a couple of weeks ago. The mighty NPPL public relations machine delivered the news with all the fanfare and excitement the unwanted birth of a baby girl brings in the Chinese hinterland--they exposed it (indirectly). And almost certainly to the same ultimate end.
My first inclination was to seek out an interview with a rep of the new team until it occurred to me that I don't care about the new team. In an admittedly abbreviated search I couldn't find out anything about the team. It's almost as if they've never competed before. It doesn't matter who these guys are. Did they win a contest nobody else knew about? Far more interesting to me is why--and what in the world was the NPPL braintrust thinking? (Giving them the benefit of the doubt on that one.)
For starters what guarantee does the league have all the 13 pro teams that played DC are showing up in Vegas next month much less HB next spring? So what was so incredibly important about filling a "missing" pro spot that the league would literally jump at anything? And don't misunderstand me, that is exactly what Phoenix Contact looks like--a wildly inappropriate response to a pressure only the league felt. And while there may be some corners of the competitive paintball universe that think it's kinda cool for a no name team to get a shot it's not true. It's a lose lose for the league. If Contact becomes the latest whipping boy and gets marched off the field every time they step on it the response will be "what did you expect, they bought their way in." If they are even close to competitive with the bottom half of the league then the response becomes, "wow, look how bad the NPPL pros are when anybody can step in and be competitive." So much for building a brand, this league can't even protect what little credibility they have and worse, seem completely oblivious to the ramifications of moves like this.