The cool war continues to chill. Soon Paintball will acknowledge its very own Cold War between the Internationalist Millennium Series and the Colonialist PSP. (Colonialist probably gives the wrong impression but it sounded good. Still, one might consider the affiliates a reflection of a larger ground-taking strategy--but I doubt they are. Or were intended as such. Anyway the PSP's principle form of outreach is really cultural as it almost unintentionally promotes a like-mindedness via its influence--as the 800 lb gorilla--and format.) If you find this description overblown then you haven't been paying attention. Sure the two sides communicate routinely. Share sponsors and even do business together at various levels but make no mistake, they represent forces that will collide at some point with resulting winners and losers. In recent years the Mills have feared nearly annual rumors of a pending PSP invasion of their home turf. Last year the Millennium ham-fistedly tried to crush the nascent CPS which thereafter turned to PSP. The extent of that relationship bestows affiliate status on the CPS according to the PSP--and nothing more. But like it or not it also establishes a potential beachhead in Europe for the PSP.
Meanwhile while the PSP was gaining a dominant position in North America U.S.-based paintball industry was establishing strong ties in Central and South America and the Millennium (via the instrument of the EPBF) was gaining traction in Asia.
One crux of contention is commercial as both leagues are tied to industry powers always looking to extend their reach and market penetration. Another is structural. Largely satisfied with going it alone the PSP stands to lose power and influence if it were ever to align with the international model of the MS. (Make no mistake that wouldn't end the conflicts it would only internalize them.)
The latest moves by the MS suggest cooler heads are at work than before. From the very first concern the MS has been making a concerted effort to provide a better product and we are beginning to see the signs of some forward thinking. Take Puget-Sur-Argens for example. In essence the MS has created a potentially permanent venue in a location capable of catering to nearly every budget and with other diversions nearby for those who want them. Consider also the new Masters events recently announced by the EPBF. Offered as low cost, high quality one off events that deliver the most ranking points outside of the MS itself within the EPBF system and conveniently scheduled to take place in the gap months between Millennium events it is a much cleverer way to address the potential threat the MS thinks the CPS may pose.
This is just beginning to turn cold--with more to come--and it's just getting started.