The Vegas weather is deceptively lovely. Today was intermittently overcast but mostly crystalline blue skies with temperatures close to 90 degrees that for this Florida boy felt great. At the same time the intensity of the desert sun and the lack of moisture in the air are a recipe for unexpected sunburn, chapped, cracked lips and the headaches that are common precursors to mild dehydration. And speaking of deceptively lovely there's the new NPPL turf. It looks great, especially side-by-side with some of the old stuff but mix some water and paint on it and it's as slippery as black ice on an asphalt overpass in the dead of winter. (That's not news to any of you who watched any extended bit of webcast coverage.)
Speaking of the webcast I managed to get back to the hotel--not the Riviera--where the beds are as comfy as a hobo's straw pallet in the back of an empty railroad car clickety-clacking across rugged country--in time to catch most of the last Pro matches of the day. (I also received a less positive review from a friend who had watched considerably more of the action than I did.) I thought the webcast was okay. I thought the commentary was okay. But I have the advantage of knowing exactly what's going on because I know the field and I know how it was playing all day. Somebody viewing it cold--like my friend--found it lacking. (I'm not convinced, to a degree, that the same concerns don't apply to any webcast but I'll reserve judgment until Cup.)
The layout is an odd one. It can play fast but that's largely a property of early eliminations and/or a failure to secure the critical lanes. Most matches went to time with only a handful of teams reaching 5 points even when they were dominating play. (When does the league finally get rid of the carwash?) This event sees two new teams participating; Houston Heat & Phoenix Contact, and they received a fairly rude welcome dropping all three of their combined matches today. Heat went 0-2 and Contact was 0-1. The scheduling for 15 teams has seen a few anomalies over past events with 4 teams playing three times today (Dynasty, Legend, Uprising & Vendetta) with XSV & Contact to play 3 matches each tomorrow. Besides Heat's 0-2 start Dynasty has regained its form and some momentum with a solid 2-1 record today including a strong win over Infamous (but also including a loss to Vendetta.) Vendetta also went 2-1 today with wins over Dynasty & Heat while losing to Infamous. Legend was also 2-1. The other 2 win teams were Damage and Impact who only played two matches today. While nothing is settled yet all the two win teams have a leg up on making Sunday but as with today's play there will certainly be some surprises tomorrow.