Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday Poll in Review

The poll followed the path I expected, more or less. Four of the teams receiving double digit percentages of the vote are in the PSP exclusively while the other eight [of 12] are in the NPPL. (There is of course some player cross over between leagues.) Ten teams received votes ranging from statistical 0% up to 6%. We can call them the established or solid pro teams--at least in the minds of the voters. Unsurprisingly the solid teams are mostly the most recently successful teams as well as teams with a "history" of success. (In reality they are anything but solid.)
My thought when posting the poll, 'Which Pro Teams Won't Make It To 2013', was merely the seasonal curiosity given the lack of stability in the pro ranks in recent years amid shrinking sponsorships and the struggle to stay motivated on a losing team.
(Warning: digression. Teams that have moved up the ranks from success to success may be better suited to handle early pro division failure but however a team reached a pro division the losses pile up and wear the players down. Winning and losing are habitual and any given team, or group of players, can only struggle and fail for so long before something has to give--whether that means calling it quits or a wholesale attempt at a rebuild.)
For purposes of evaluating the likelihood of a team making it to the 2013 season I'ma rely on two categories; finances & motivation. Being competitive in the NPPL is less expensive than the PSP given roster, practice, etc. West coast teams have greater access to practice partners. Successful teams receive more support. Losing teams get demoralized.
Three teams received votes from more than 50% of voters; CEP, Contact & Criticial. CEP is the best of the 3 but with 2 full seasons of pro experience they are at higher risk. Contact is at virtually no risk because they've only got one event under their belt. Critical is one full season in. (The new car smell hasn't quite worn off yet.) Consequently VFTD rates Contact is a net plus (+) and good to go. Critical is a wash ( / ) but VFTD predicts another NPPL season (if there is a NPPL) for the team. CEP is a net negative (--) but appears to remain highly motivated. Their off season self-evaluation and some time away will tell. VFTD calls it a coin flip.
Two teams received more than 30% shares of the vote; Thunder & Explicit. Explicit has the benefit of being a NPPL team, an apparently still motivated owner and a majority roster that was put together at the beginning of last season and a Sunday run. Thunder also had a Sunday run (early) but they are a self-sustaining PSP team. On the plus side a blend of youth and age on the roster with only one full PSP season under their belt. Explicit (+), Thunder ( / ).
Four teams were above 20%; Uprising, Vendetta, Legend & Arsenal. All are NPPL teams and all but one played on Sunday at least twice in 2012. Legend and Arsenal have team owners with the resources to keep their teams active. Uprising has players who are motivated and many of whom also play PSP. If the resources exist they will continue to compete. Uprising (--) VFTD expects both Vendetta ( / ) and Legend (+) to continue while Arsenal depends on the whim of owner, Tom Fore. ( / )
Three teams received votes in the teens; Avalanche, Aftershock & Upton 187 Crew. Avalanche is a NPPL team one full season into a new organizational structure and holds an "ownership" stake in the league. Unless unforeseen circumstances change the status quo Ava should be a (+). While ' Shock ( / ) has an illustrious name it was a new team last season and last season was the first for Upton 187 (+). In both cases it will be a lack of resources and support that would dictate what happens to both teams as they each remain highly motivated.
Don't think that the solid teams are impervious. The same forces that act on the teams that received the majority of votes play on all the pro teams. Six or seven of the solid teams exist and can continue to exist purely on the decision of their owners. Others require their sponsorship terms to survive and a couple depend on a combination of owner support and sponsor support. Of the ten solid teams VFTD would rate 2 of them ( / ).
Twenty-two pro teams played in either the PSP or the NPPL or both in 2012. VFTD predicts 19 of the 22 teams will compete in 2013.


Anonymous said...

I hope Aftershock and Thunder survive. Aftershock is fun to watch in a car crash kind of way, but obviously has the talent to be good. Thunder is good, but can't seem to put it all together just yet. Could benefit from a superstar on the roster. 187 will make it, I think, just cuz they're on the way up. CEP is head scratcher. They do seem tenacious.

As for the NPPL, does it matter which exclusive team disappears? Even Davey said on the Vegas webcast the idea is to party and oh yeah play some paintball. So for a tournament that requires a few weekends of practice and some extra beer money, it seems of very little consequence which NPPL only teams survive. Some of the lower ranked pro teams seem like throw togethers anyway.

Anonymous said...

187 has strong support from their local field sponsor. If they're gone, it won't be because they weren't able to pay to play.