Monday, February 16, 2015

PSP Backlash

If you thought the latest escapade from the PSP was over and done with you are mistaken. Yes, the league backtracked mightily on the sponsorship restrictions impact on divisional teams and players and they have offered a quasi-defensible explanation of how they stepped in it this time--but this time it's not all simply gonna be swept under the rug, dismissed as the occasional PSP screw-up or forgotten. Besides, there are elements of the grander narrative still in play; the fate of Dye, PBA and perhaps even the PSP itself. And the extent and duration of how this sponsorship rigamarole unfolded will continue to send ripples across the pond of competitive paintball. Not only has the league taken a hit but so too some of the early responders among the league's sponsors. Whether fairly or unfairly the PSP's latest miscalculation has had an effect across the spectrum of paintball up to an including local fields and stores. Stories about a grassroots backlash aimed not only at the league but at its sponsors are beginning to be told. Stores threatening to switch product lines and fields threatening to impose their own gear restrictions. VFTD has no idea how widespread this phenomenon may be but if I'm hearing about it it's substantial enough to get industry's attention.
Closer to home today is the second entry deadline for the PSP Dallas Open and as of this afternoon the team numbers stood at 136 registrations with 107 teams paid. There is no doubt whatsoever that the latest brouhaha has cost the league teams and participation for Dallas. With today's numbers the league may be lucky if the turnout is only off 20% from last year. And as reported previously the losses are in the critical D3 and D4 RaceTo divisions. What the league needs now is a rousing success in Dallas and a lot of positive buzz from the Dallas webcast. The new rules need to prove effective and the matches need to remind the competitive player base that its the game we love. If the PSP can reassert its role as the leader in professional paintball the prior natural order may be restored.
Of course that still leaves the uncertainty of critical divisional losses to begin the season and the unknown legal status of Dye. Meanwhile conversations and tentative plans continue to form and reform in various corners of the competitive paintball universe. Until the previous status quo can be reestablished--if it can--the future of competitive paintball will remain less certain than it has seemed to be in many years 

1 comment:

Bruce Anderson said...

Good weather for Dallas is very important for the PSP right now. I don't imagine a poor weather situation will be handled as well with the additional stress involved.