And in the process continues the downward slide of the once important league by trashing what remains of their own reputation. In order to have 15 teams competing in the Pro division at the NPPL "World Championships" in Vegas in a few weeks the league has invited teams, any teams, to make the jump and "test" themselves at the Pro level. Hard to believe, I know, but it's right there on the front page of their site. What's next, a ringmaster? See how many refs can be stuffed into a clown car? The whole thing is rapidly devolving into a circus. A circus of Shawn Walker's making. I confess when his name came up I had my doubts based on past NPPL history but this is just a pathetic joke.
First, when D1, D2 & D3 collectively only field 10 teams between them (at the Windy City Open) adding pro-in-name-only teams isn't a priority. The fact all those teams made Sunday in Chicago has already made a mockery of any pretense of real competition in the NPPL and adding more pro-in-name-only teams only diminishes what little standing the NPPL pro division retains. Just because the league calls them "pros" doesn't make it so--and everyone--the teams included--knows it.
Here's some free advice if Valken continues to support the NPPL next year. Change the pro division to open. Eliminate semi-pro and restore D1. Schedule as far from PSP events as can reasonably be done. The league can't compete against the PSP and the goal ought to be to draw as many PSP players (and teams) as possible to NPPL events. That will only be accomplished by making it as easy as possible for players to participate in both.
And Valken, sponsoring the laughing stock league of over-sized pretensions is not a net positive. If anything the league's flagging rep will only reflect poorly on Valken and Valken products. Which brings me Valken Cup. Great idea, lame execution. The number of paintball players who don't know what it is or when it's supposed to happen or even what the format will be are legion. It only serves a real purpose if it creates some serious buzz and gets the competitive paintball community excited. It has the potential to be a great flagship event for Valken but it won't be this year. Maybe next time. (If you need a marketing consultant give me a holler.)