Where y'all hiding? From all the big talk one hears outta the D1 division I'ma little surprised the PSP isn't having to beat off wannabe Challengers with a stick. Where you at, Pro Material? Finally a chance to play RT7 with penalty boxes and everything. Plus a fast track opportunity to jump in with the best of the best almost immediately--if you're good enough. What more do you want? An engraved invitation? Oh wait, you're practically getting one of those too since access to the Challengers bracket is by invitation only. So what are you waiting for people?
I didn't for a minute think the league would have any trouble getting 8 Challengers and thought it as likely the bracket would fill up right away. Look it's certainly possible a number of y'all are taking a close look and thinking this through before you decide and it'll all get settled in the wash but come on--all this calculation and hedging has an odor about it. Maybe I'm completely wrong but it smells like fear to me. Offered what everybody claims to want all of sudden it's a matter of ciphering up some numbers and doing our due diligence. Nope, I ain't buying.
But, but, but everyone agrees--the money matters. And I don't disagree. A top level pro team these days ain't cheap and ain't delivering a return beyond the opportunity to compete at the highest level and the satisfaction that comes from being part of that competition, hopefully a successful one. And looking at the team list what I see are a lot of similar expenses. Everything is the same except how much paint you expend in preparation and even then the truth is everyone is on a budget. Every team has limits they must abide by. And if you're a prospective Challenger and you know you can't throw money at the difference you perceive exists between you and the top of the pro food chain then you best start looking for another way.
I guess maybe it comes down to what you really want. Are you willing to risk failing in order to have your shot at the ultimate brass ring in competitive paintball--or would you rather play it safe and tell yourself maybe next year.
UPDATE: League sources say as many as 12 teams have either contacted the league or been contacted about filling a spot in the Challengers bracket. Since some of the wannabes are D3 and/or untried let's call it 6 serious candidates. While it's good to know there are teams actively considering or seeking the move I still say, what's taking so long?