Thursday, February 14, 2013

EPBF Beatdown: Hamet Speaks

The plot, like a bubbling batch of goulash, thickens. First, the EPBF kicked the CPS to the curb. Second the Millennium counter-scheduled a free practice weekend on the otherwise unavailable Med. Cup event layout for CPL teams the same weekend as the first CPS event. Then GI/DXS chose not to sponsor the CPS but also strongly urged their sponsored teams not to play in the CPS and their distributors not to get involved. And now we have the official Laurent Hamet (MS/EPBF) response on a French website, in French no less. However that hasn't kept VFTD from making available to y'all our unique combination translation and paraphrase that not only reveals what it says but also what it means.

"Look, it’s like this. If the CPS had been satisfied being an Italian league we were well on our way to recognition and inclusion in the EPBF. But no, Slava had to get all uppity and decide to run events where he and the CPS didn’t belong. If the CPS had stayed in Italy everything would’a been swell. Now those right-thinking Italian partners of his bailed and started another Italian league under the aegis of the ipbs. They know their place and they’re happy to have the Italian piece of the EPBF pie and not rock the boat. Besides, Slava is a deadbeat and the CPS might have a negative impact on other EPBF member nation leagues some of whom just happen to be our business partners in one venture or another. Once it became clear the CPS was gonna cause trouble action needed to be taken.
"To prove his bona fides Laurent reminds us that when he was a player he carried all his gear and that of his teammates too on his back to the various venues walking uphill both directions no matter the weather and was grateful for the opportunity to pay outrageous prices because he loved the game so much.

"Returning to the CPS he explains the simple truth there is no place in Western Europe for a Millennium competitor as there is no money. It’s a time of hardship and we’re (the MS?) already squeezing the rocks [of competitive paintball] as tight as is humanly possible for every last drop of blood. Besides, this CPS thing is a joke. It may look cheap but there’s no way it can sustain itself at the prices being charged of players and vendors. What looks like a good deal to the uninformed is really a paintball series that is doomed to failure. This is followed by a litany of “hidden” costs that a reputable and properly organized tournament series has to undertake in these days of endless regulations and rules.
And if you don’t believe me (Laurent) why just ask Bart Y. from Edmonton Impact who has carried the financial burden of running his own half-assed league lately.

"He begins the closing paragraphs by asserting the MS is the world standard and while not cheap the league is following a thoughtful and conservative course into the future that will change the economic model and provide all kinds of heretofore unimagined coolness in future venues, exciting media and even outside of paintball sponsors! While not at liberty to offer details he wants everyone to know what future blessings the MS will bestow if only y’all have a little patience and get (stick) with the program. Go Millennium!"

So there you have it. Is the CPS a league destined to failure by its own mismanagement? Then why go to this much trouble? And why make such a concerted and unprecedented effort to keep CPL teams away from the CPS? From this vantage point I don't need to know anything about the CPS to see that the power establishment in Euroland sees them as a threat, a threat they are determined to crush.


Anonymous said...

Laurent says there is no room for 2 leagues in Europe. If that's the case doesn't the problem solve itself?

The CPS would go away because none of the teams or vendors could afford it.

The truth is, there is room for the second league. But there is not room for the Millennium to continue to squeeze money out of the players and industry if that second league exists.

Anonymous said...

I hope you will get a literal translation of the speech.
Your résumé is good, but you missed some very crispy hilarious passages.

Baca Loco said...

I tried to stick to the highlights considering VFTD's readership. :)

Anonymous said...

I do not support the idea of having two leagues because I think it's better for the sport to advance. But, why can't they have two leagues? In the US it's very clear the PSP is the best and not many people support the NPPL. If the MS is the dominant league it will be shown by the players.

DanC. said...

why the shot at Bart Yachimec? is there bad history there?

Baca Loco said...

What shot? Hamet's statement refers to Bart directly with respect to the costs of running a league.
The half-assed was VFTD editorial comment but I don't consider it a shot at Bart. Maybe that's just me.

DanC. said...

Oh..I thought Laurant called the league half assed.... Never mind

Anonymous said...

I think you ought to have the counterpoint from Slava at least.

His original post on FB is in English, so it's not his native language. Maybe Baca can "translate" for us?

Dear Laurent , Stephen and Manfred ! I know that what i will tell now wont change nothing maybe , but i will try . Please stop pushing and attacking the teams ! What do you think after they will change their decision to come to CPS Venice how do you think they will feel ? All those already successful people managers , directors , owners ? What do you expect then ? Long term relationship ? Friendship ? Partnership ? How those guys will feel after it ? We are sportsmen in the first ! We are hardly working , practicing and after playing on the field ! We are loosing wining , but never give up ! Thats why the other people call us PRO PLAYERS ! Honor , dedication and respect those are our words which make us men ! After all of this things WE WILL NEVER BE THE SAME ! Something will break inside ! Dont do slaves from us !
Champions paintball series concept 2013 . Two fields , two days event , 70 teams . Easy lovely atmosphere for the people which want have perfect off weekend playing paintball . Surprises , nice trophies , party . Events in France Austria and Italy as its so cheap to travel in between of this countries . Fun . Get the teams willing to travel because its cheap . This was the goal !
Millennium builded event with 150 200 teams , a lot of promotion , exciting big thing ! Real competition !
Where do you see danger ? in both cases teams will benefit with playing , sponsors with customers , we would grew paintball market , would do more promotion for the paintball . Sport would just get better ! I even offered you guys to find the perfect place in Venice as we have here very strong background , we could manage great deals for the hotels how we did for our event ! Everybody happy !
Please i spent many hours with you on phone , lets stop this shit ! And everybody of you will get back to work instead of thinking how to hurt destroy or whatever .
Happy Valentine - this day of love can perfectly fit for our new paintball life !
Jaroslav Ziugzda
Head manager of Champions paintball series

Anonymous said...

I put it through Google translator and had some fun.

"All that rattle the Millennium is too expensive should look more closely at the American leagues, which are 2-3 times more expensive and provide a lower quality to remain polite as that found in Europe"


"The rest as well as the NPPL PSP 2013 or PALS copy the business model of the Millennium because it has become a reference"


"Have two leagues, as is the case in the states is a disaster. This hinders the development of the rest of paintball across the Atlantic that today fewer teams in Europe."

... So Laurent think Americans charge too much and offer less value yet we copy the business modle of the MS. And somehow the NPPL and the PSP are to blame for fewer teams playing in Europe. Their is a crisis but don't worry the MS will fix it in 2014 because Laurent loves paintball, has dedicated his life and has taken on a christ like appearence for Easter.

Grant Harrison said...

Why does all this not surprise me and it totally backs up past assumptions that someone's dream to create an international federation is more about locking up global market share.

What a shame.

Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike said...

CPS has a Facebook page up regarding the current drama.!/WeSupportCps

Nick Brockdorff said...

It's interesting how the MS is not "detrimental" to the national federations, while the CPS is.

It's interesting how the EPBF tries to sneak in the MS as their official flagship league... while there is no official ties between the two.... and the MS is not organised by any of the member federations.

All the reasons Laurent is giving for the CPS not being part of the EPBF, could just as easily be said about the MS.... and last year, they were happy to give ranking points to teams participating in Grand Tour events, which (if memory serves me), took place in 5 different countries.

It's a pretty genious move actually.... and if it succeeds, nobody will ever again question the validity of the MS being an EPBF league.

Anonymous said...

Nick, I gotta say it because we're all thinking it: We told you so. This EPBF thing was destined to go this way, period.

Anonymous said...

How are there no official ties between the two? The EPBF logo is part of the Millennium logo?!?

How does it work in Europe, who owns the EPBF trademark?

Reiner Schafer said...

It would be really odd if there were no official ties between a Paintball Federation and Paintball Leagues, in my opinion.

Nick Brockdorff said...

First of all, yeah.... I just hoped for better, because if would benefit the sport.... gave them the benefit of the doubt - but that doubt has now evaporated.

Secondly... there ought to be no ties, and the way the EPBF was set up and presented, there were no official ties except for the MS being a league that the EPBF had approved so that teams gained ranking points there.

In normal business, a person can be on multible boards, without the companies being linked in any way.... I guess I forgot for a moment that this is paintball - not real business ;)

Anonymous said...

Nick - that's just not possible in any business paintball or otherwise.

Do do you think would vote against their own interests?

You won't even do it. You already said you have your team's travel money on the line or otherwise things would be different.

So how should Laurent, etc. behave when their money is on the line?

In legal cases, judges excuse themselves when their is a conflict of interest.

Laurent and any Millennium member has an interest in the CPS not doing well, at least according to their own thinking.

In reality, the CPS is nothing more than an opportunity to go play some paintball a week or two before the Millennium event and get a quality practice in against teams in a tournament environment.

If the CPS made any mistake, it's calling itself the Champions Series. They should have called themselves the Practice Circuit or something like that.

Because that's really the product they are selling and I'm not sure why the Mill. would be afraid of it.

Reiner Schafer said...

The odds that someone would form a brand new sports federation without already having an interest at high levels of that sport, would be extremely low. Where would one find people like that?

Now, should they be operating at arm's length? Absolutely.

Should there be some kind of process in place to determine if current or new leagues could/should fall under the umbrella of such an organization? Absolutely.

Has the EFBF done a good job in this respect? It doesn't look like it.

Nick Brockdorff said...

What's not possible?

I have clients that sit on 35+ different boards, so I guess I beg to differ :)

One thing that IS clear to me, is that Laurent should excuse himself from the EPBF, since he is apparently unable to divorce his MS interest from the best interests of the EPBF.... not least after that completely personal and inflammatory post he made on a french forum.

It's unprofessional and amateurish.

..... and yeah, I know I keep trying to hold paintball principals to standards that are normal in business generally, and keep being let down.... so feel free to call me a hopeless optimist.

Anonymous said...

You can't show me a person in business who is in charge of an influential organization that makes a decision which causes direct harm to their own investments, potentially threatens the long term viability of their business, all to the sole benefit of a competitor.

The laughable part is all this proves the importance of the EPBF. The EPBF is important not because the federation does anything worthwhile, but because it's run by the people who are important -- the very same people who own the Millennium -- the very same people who own much of the industry in Europe (for the most part).

Anonymous said...

If they are leveraging suppliers not to support a 'competing' series while acting in their capacity as the EPBF I think that's extremely unethical. I would have said 'may be illegal' but who knows with the french? You can still legally 'make love' to livestock in France so it's hard to say where they would stand on this issue.
No offence to the southern states at all. Some livestock is of course 5760too damn sexy to resist. The difference is that in France, it's actually legal, or so I hear...

Anonymous said...

you're kidding or you're stupid ?????? where the hell have you heard that making love with livestock is legal in France !!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hello There
First, thank you Baca for reporting and analyzing the situation on your blog. Few dares.
I'm Cyril Job and managing Marseille ICON team. We are playing CPL in the MS and we do support CPS.
We will be in Venice for the first event. We will keep on playing there while the quality of this series will remain good.
The name of one of my player was even mentioned (not in a good way) in Laurent press release just because he supported CPS (commenting the EPBF decision).
We think there is conflicts of interests with the fact that a MS shareholder leads the EPBF (claiming the will to federate the paintball), except if the interest is not paintball evolution...
We just want to play paintball, take the CPS as a good way to train for the MS, but we didn't appreciate at all the "Free training" story where only the teams going there will have the layout first. You can't try to control teams like that.
It won't change anything for us obviously and we will play CPS but it is a shame. We will soon communicate on this.
PS: regarding livestock relationships, hum... Dont think it is allowed down here :), we can barely get Beavers ^^

Anonymous said...

2 pints to make here:

1) The CPS entry fees are suspiciously cheap for the kind of events they are promising, OK, it may be feasible if it were held in a cow field, but decent (and I don't mean high profile) venues don't come cheap. Nor do set-up, organisational or reffing crews.

2) What exactly is wrong with offering the top division/pro teams early practice on the layout? Though the league sponsoring the venue is a bit strong, though its still not as free as some on the internet might make out, they still need to fly, drive, hike, cycle to the venue, accommodate and feed themselves, as well as cover their paint costs.

Baca Loco said...

I think you've had more than two pints, Mr. Baldwin.

Nick Brockdorff said...

Suspiciously cheap?

So, the EPBF should penalise leagues for saving us players money? - Or what is the point exactly? - I don't get it :)

Nothing is wrong with organising a practice weekend.... but:

- Why are some teams getting an unfair advantage in terms of learning the layout? (Sure, all could just attend.... except, do you expect Dynasty and Heat to fly to Europe for a practice weekend, or is this a european protectionist move, designed to put them at a further disadvantage?)

- Why is it scheduled the same weekend as the CPS, when there are plenty of other weekends to choose from?

- Why is the layout not made official 1 month ahead of the St. Tropez event, as is normal.... might it have something to do with the CPS event being 3 weeks ahead of St. Tropez?

Do you think we are all idiots since you use the "innocent defence"? ;)

But hey, that is all cool, as long as it is the MS battling the CPS directly, I'm fine with that actually..... but when the EPBF gets involved and actively takes sides, I smell a rat!

Anonymous said...

Cps is suspiciously cheap. Free practice weekend is legitly cheap. Now you know.