Saturday, October 5, 2013

Mr. Curious Hears What? About Who?

The NPPL is hosting their championships in Vegas this weekend. Now I could comment on the sad state of affairs that is their webcast. Really? One camera panning across the field? Announcers with muted mikes half the time--which is an improvement over when we can actually hear them. Or that only 55 teams are competing. Or that less than half of them are competing in the traditional 7-man format. I could comment on all those things but I won't--because I feel kinda bad for the NPPL. (Naw, that's a lie. I just can't muster up enough energy to care anymore.)
However Mr. C did perk my interest with his latest rumor. He picked it up creeping the dingier corners of the Vegas strip--otherwise known as the Riviera Hotel & Casino--along with something else he'll likely need penicillin for. Apparently some of the NPPL 4.0 braintrust is debating the possibility of going with a 5-man format and kicking 7-man to the curb.
As the Dr. Phil of Tournament Paintball might say, "Really? REALLY? Have y'all lost your minds? We need to talk."
Look, as long as the NPPL offers an alternative format it can make the claim its trying to keep a paintball tradition alive. If or when they go straight 5-man is it traditional 5-man? Xball lite? or Race To? Since the NPPL "pros" are playing 7-man Race To and the D4 5-man division is playing a variation of Race 2-2 odds are a full on 5-man league would present itself as direct competition to the PSP in the PSP's format. The result is the league alienates what's left of the hardcore 7-man players and teams and challenges the PSP directly in their format. And that, my friends, would be no bueno. It would probably force the PSP to respond and what makes the NPPL imagine that competing directly against the PSP would be an improvement?  


Nick Brockdorff said...

When you are running out of money, profitability comes before strategy.

Better to be a profitable 5 man league, catering for a market which is already there (and possibly growing), than trying to revive a format which is, for all intents and purposes, dead.

Anonymous said...

Or maybe it's time to sound 6 short blasts followed by 1 long blast and abandon ship (yes you can look that one up!). A move to 5-man may draw some players and friends of the upper league management but it won't and can't compete with the PSP.

Any tournament paintball player with half a brain and worth their salt knows that if they want to be the best they have to play the best, and that means playing in the PSP. And for those players out there to have fun - well guess what a PSP is a lot more fun. There is a bigger trade show and a real pro field to watch. Don't give me the location bull - because with the exception of HB - and maybe Vegas, the other two events were at oh a PSP location and somewhere near Chicago.

There must be some people over at the NPPL who are really good at failing in an upward direction. If the league couldn't afford to pay out the winners at HB they probably aren't sitting on a whole bunch of cash. I would sell the name (if you could), sell the bunkers, and disband the league with a nice letter to all of our friends and supporters. Cash out, buy a pina colada and go work the stores, fields, and companies you already own and that do well.

NewPro said...

As much as I hate to say this, a "cheaper" 5 man race2 format may very well be their ticket back to a national presence. With the right dates and right locations, it is definitely doable. The point of format and their 7 man niche market, I believe registration for their "world" championship shows that's dead. If they offer a competitive "cheaper" option to the PSP, you watch players flock to it. We luv to hate but we also love to save a buck. Collectively we as pb players have very short term memories


Anonymous said...

Continuing what NewPro said, there is no reason why the NPPL and PSP can't trade places 4 years down the road. It would be smart for Valken/Shawn to ride this out, run a cheap 5man national series and see what state the PSP is in 3 years from now. There is nothing permanent in business, especially in the tournament paintball world.

Dye might sell out to Kee or some other company at some point, in which case we could all be happy there is still another (lessor) league still running that can move into the top spot if needed.

I can see the following doing well:
-Race2, and they can call it "Best-of" (if they won't want to say Race2)
-No coaching
-NPPL mode (make up their own ramp mode, but if they ramp they have to reduce the rate of fire). I'd propose Millennium ramping to PSP rate of fire. (rather than 10bps cap like in Mill)
-No penalty boxes (1-4-1s, etc. and all the associated tradeoffs and benefits...still it's not like penalty boxes don't have tradeoffs)

What else should the format have?