Monday, January 13, 2014

Riffing On PSP Pro Paintball

This post picks up where 'Riffing On Stein' left off--sorta. In the title I'm reminding everyone, myself included, that the pro context is PSP pro, not MS pro or generic "other" pro. Just so we're clear. Because it does make a difference. Anyway, after John Dresser (mega-Mod at PBN) moved Stein's original post to a higher profile forum it has turned into the thread that just keeps giving. And what it's giving me is indigestion and this odd tic at the corner of my left eye. (It was so bad for a while I started wearing an eyepatch .. and I almost posted to the thread directly.)
This time around I want to touch on two things; the lifecycle of the pro team and the oft-expressed belief money equals championships. Any comparison anyone makes to *real* professional sports and pro paintball is necessarily very broad and general at best and laughable at worst. At this stage of development all paintball teams rise and fall at the whim of their creators whether that's a wealthy individual or a group of friends banding together. And the team lasts only as long as the creators choose to sustain it. For the very simple reason there are no external forces at work that help keep them together. (Okay, this isn't totally true. Sponsorship inasmuch as it reduces the cost to operate may extend the lifecycle of a given team but that's as far as it goes.) And at the top of the game it is creating a future problem that is going to be difficult to resolve. Despite the fact teams usually have a limited lifecycle every team, every team creator, has aspirations of longevity, of continuity. And here is where the problem arises. The game's evolution has driven the teams to professionalize in order to compete and at the same time sponsorship shrank--and a lot of "pro" teams were lost. (And this process upped the ante on divisional teams too--but that's another post.) Now we have a high risk high cost webcast that is delivering the game direct to an international audience--and trying to figure out how to make it profitable. Whether the ultimate goal is television or not the critical juncture is profitability. If it doesn't happen the whole edifice collapses sooner or later. If it succeeds a truly professional league may arise but in the here and now the pros are seen as transitory and unreliable--yet how can they be anything else?
Let's shorthand the money argument shall we? I say Impact in 2013, you say Heat in 2012 and I say there can be only one--winner--and everybody else necessarily isn't so while the metric money equals championships sounds good it simply isn't true. The truth is money provides a level playing field if you're competing against similar resources and ought to provide some advantages over teams that don't have similar resources. And I say ought because while the money can make a difference it needs to be used in advantageous ways. So if you want to say teams with money [resources] unavailable to other teams have an advantage I'm still going to disagree to an extent. I agree they have a potential advantage and a potentially significant one. If you want to say it's unfair I will agree with that too. And that group of ten players is more talented than another group of ten. That too is unfair after a fashion, it's just not the sort of thing objected to in sports. Let's pick on Impact some more because it's a good example. Last year they had rostered players from all over the U.S. and Canada and they played in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Their schedule alone demanded resources only a handful of teams could even consider matching and we haven't spent anything yet on what matters when it comes to competing. Now let's add player compensation. Something Impact is able to do in order to draw (hopefully) top tier talent. To this point a lot of resources have been expended but not on competition or preparation. Did Impact practice more than most teams? I don't know, maybe. Did they practice effectively? Did they utilize their time and resources in better ways than their competition? They had a strong season. They had a consistent season. But they didn't win. You say money make them a top a team and I say talent. Yes, money matters. Especially if you ain't got any but it isn't the deciding factor. If it was the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins would be perennial champs as would the Red Sox and the Yankees--but they aren't.


NStoer said...

Money results in the longevity of teams (like you said), and provides a greater opportunity for Championships but it is not the sole contributing factor for a Championship team.

I would say money is probably the most important factor but in the end, it'll boil down to a bit of luck, talent, and effective use of time for preparation.

A good example is the old Infamous, had the backing (and I'd say the talent) to be the best but never committed.

At this point, one thing the majority of the top PSP pro teams have is financial backing. Enough to sustain a solid roster base, and practice enough. The only one I'd be iffy on would be X-Factor, and consistency is their biggest issue. Is that a result of a lack of funding, or proper preparation? I don't know, obviously the talent is their to win.

Anonymous said...

"You say money make them a top a team and I say talent."

Money can buy talent. If I were wealthy and wanted to put together a top paintball team, I could offer big contracts to the most talented players and get them on my team. Granted, this would not guarantee success, but I'm pretty sure an team of all-stars that have the budget to practice everyday and are paid well enough that they don't have to worry about having day jobs would have a good chance of winning.

Baca Loco said...

Did you read the post or just look at the pretty picture?

Anonymous said...

Ironmen and Infamous prove money will get you halfway with great talent you pay for. Impact spent more than Heat and couldn't duplicate the results. Money doesn't win.

Anonymous said...

Towards the previous anonymous.

Lets remember, that Dynasty picked up a heavy sponsorship from hkarmy, which helped buy back dalton from impact. Not to say that he doesn't want to be there, but he was on impact for a few hours before the 2013 season started.
Dynasty also gave short and spicka decent deals for the 2013 season.
However, spicka did turn down a better deal from are chaos for the season.
Dynasty won 2 events this year…

Houston heat pays those starters that helped win the 2013 Chicago psp open and 3 events in 2012.

We know Damage pays some of their players. They won west coast open and 1 event in 2012.

X-factor, well they are just good dudes on a good team.
Not sure if any of them have deals, but I wouldn't be surprised if Archie has some sort of deal.

That leaves one event (2012 Chicago) won my by infamous. Most of those dudes do get some guns, some get more than others, and several of those dudes work for the empire.

Impact didn't necessarily pay more money than heat did last season.
The russians were paid a lot and so was chad George.
Don't get me wrong impact straight out bought some players, but if you think about how much the new heat players/ex impact players are being paid for the 2014 season, you can assume the russians were paid the same amount or close to it.

You are right money doesn't win, players win. Players that have heart leads to teams having players that are willing to work hard.
Hard work will hone your skills. Skills are in the equation for breeding success. Talent comes natural.
Players with heart, hardwork, skill, and talent are the ones that win…but some of them are also paid rightfully so.

From anonymous 2

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