And here's VFTD's guest post, part 2. (If you would like to submit a guest post on any relevant to competitive paintball topic remember brevity is the soul of wit--and keep it short!)
For the teams in the Challengers division, you now have the chance to build a brand, hone your skills with other professional teams, provide wins for your fan base, and strive for the honor to play at the next level. Sponsors and supporters now have reasons to help teams in the Challengers division. To the teams on the fence about joining the challengers division, now extra sponsorship opportunities are possible. Sponsors want to have their teams succeed, they want to back teams that are in the mix pulling out wins. With this new format of two professional divisions, sponsors have vested interest in having all their teams perform. With the older 15 team format a sponsor could give less to a lower caliber team because they already were in the professional division and there is no reason to make them better. Now sponsors may wish to increase the development of their Challengers teams so that they can be competitive not only in the Challengers division, but when they get to the Champions division.
So how do we get these teams off the fence and into the mix? Simple, PSP needs to lock the division regardless of the numbers in Challengers division at the start of PSP MAO (having already ballsed up the division spits). I think some of the undecided teams are waiting to see if the Champions/Challengers will be a pie in the sky dream or reality hitting them in the face. Locking the division at the start of MAO means that NO OTHER TEAM will be able to go professional this year. And only by winning in Division 1 will they get to play pro EVER. PSP will have to do something that I have really not seen out of them much, and STICK WITH IT. The loss of not having a full division of Challengers and teams offering money to join Challengers will be real hard for the organizers of PSP to turn down, but they really have too. Only by sticking to the lock will teams want into the Challengers division incase the model shows longevity. PSP can use the previously mentioned relegation amendment to allow for growth in the Challengers division by promoting 3 D1 teams and religating 1 Challengers team at the end of the season. Bringing Challengers to 9 should only Texas Storm and Top Gun T1 join the professional ranks. Rinse and repeat the following year 3 up / 2 down and you are at 10 teams while proving the sanctity of the relegation model.
In my opinion having these spots in the Challengers division available give teams that are ranked lower than the top two D1 teams the opportunity to get a one year head start on those teams vying to finish D1 1st and 2nd. This opportunity is by getting to play better teams in a race-to-7 format at the professional level. At best you could surprise the Challengers division and play in the Champions this year! At least you will have the experience advantage should you have to play them next year; And at worst you would be ranked 1st or 2nd in D1 for the following year having had played 16 race-to-7 matches versus other pro teams.