Remember when the CPS (Champions Paintball Series) garnered PSP affiliate status after Chicago PSP? (Well, they did.) And if you've been following the travails of the upstart CPS you know the Millennium kids tried to cut them off at the knees to begin the 2013 season and have since chosen mostly to ignore them. Well, if rumors are true that may be harder to do next year. (And might, just might, have something to do with all the positive changes coming claims we're hearing from the MS of late.) The rumor is the CPS will undergo a name change in the off season and return next Spring as PSP Europe. I don't know how much credence to give the rumor but I guess we may find out sooner rather than later. There are reasons to think it could be accurate for example the CPS's final event in Milan will be played to PSP standards and is being promoted as a feeder for Euro teams playing PSP's World Cup in October. If true it will put the PSP and MS more openly at odds and may also play a role in the recent MS announcement that their final event will be the first real World Cup. If true the kids at the CPS will have a lot of work to do reaching and maintaining a PSP-like standard--and that prospect should make the MS uneasy.
Moving on ... With registration closed last weekend and the event due to begin on Friday (in two days) it appears we have some solid numbers from NPPL Windy City--and if you are a fan of 7-man the count isn't encouraging. Total registration across 6 divisions is 43 teams and that includes 24 teams in D4 & 3-man Young Guns. Pro has slid to 9 teams, semi-pro (D1) to 4 teams, D2 to 2 teams and D3 with 4 teams. All that despite an entry reduction for early payment and 10, count 'em, ten teams entered supported by TMG (Trade My Gun.) While numbers are roughly similar to the last event team counts in the upper divisions are declining and in the largest division, D4, there are more teams registered to play 5-man than traditional 7-man. Overall the new Shawn Walker/Valken effort to carry on with the NPPL is treading water. Nor has there been any announcement yet as to the venue for the Las Vegas championships--or if that event will even take place. Which brings us to another Cup.
The Valken Cup. Ballyhooed as the search for the world's best all-around team with open competition in 3 formats over three days with the top teams taking home top prizes one would'a thought the whole shebang would have made a bigger impression on the paintball community at large--yet it doesn't seem so. (Admittedly, in these days of internet-based promotion it's sometime hard to judge the effectiveness of a promotion but if this thing had gone over big time there would be a lot of related forum chatter, etc.) Part of the problem has been lack of concerted aggressive effort to get the word out. There is a Valken Cup website but I couldn't find a link to it on the Valken Sports site or nary a mention--at least not a prominent one. And there is a Valken Cup Facebook page but it's in Russian mostly and appears to have been done by supporters of the event, not the promoters. And then there's the lack of information. The event is scheduled for the weekend of the 21/22 of September, in between Millennium's Paris-Chantilly event and the dates for the uncertain NPPL Vegas but few details are available other than the location. It's by invitation only but if you and your team are interested what harm could it do to send Valken a query? More thoughts on this tomorrow or Friday.
UPDATE: Seems that Valken Cup FB page in Russian was for a feeder event that between 2 and 4 teams competing. (I was given two different team totals from normally reliable sources.) While I understand a perhaps limited interest in Valken Cup from your average tourney team--in Russia!--what I don't get is why the only dedicated FB page is for a feeder event halfway around the world. If Valken is going to pony up some serious prizes in an effort to draw serious teams where is the promotion? Why didn't the push start months ago and why isn't every baller on somebody's email list being inundated with mail bombs? Not that I want any more in my mailbox but you see my point, right? Nothing wrong with the idea--but the execution is decidedly lacking--so far. May I suggest next time also work out a system to handicap teams based on their division of competition of the APPA ranking of their roster or something that will potentially broaden the pool of teams excited to compete. I am hardly a Valken mark but a dealio like Valken Cup if done right could make a positive mark.