Last week the entire paintball world was abuzz with the news that PSP was expanding the pro ranks and creating a “new” division. While there has been much debate about how this move will affect the teams, there has also been a lot of misinformation and speculation thrown around that has muddied the water and made the expansion look much more complex than it actually is. So, in order to fix that, here’s what you need to know.
- The PSP has expanded the pro division. They have not created a semi-pro division, and they are not forcing anybody to bump. They are, however, dividing the pro-ranks into two brackets: the Challengers and the Champions.
- The Champions bracket will be the top 10 teams in the pro division. The Challengers bracket will be comprised of teams that are invited to play. Again, the teams in this bracket are still considered part of the professional division, but will be playing teams closer to their own skill than not.
- At events, these two brackets, while the same division on paper, will be operating as separate entities with their own field and referees.
- To make this a little more exciting, and to prevent the bottom few teams getting dominated every event, the league is dropping the bottom 2 teams from the Champions, and relegating them to the Challengers bracket, while moving the top two from the Challengers into the Champions. This means that every event, 4 teams will move in total. Two up and two down!
- EXCEPT for the first event in Dallas! Currently there is no Champions and Challengers bracket – we simply have the Professional Division. To create the Challengers bracket the PSP is using the Dallas event as, essentially, a qualifier. Currently there are 15 teams in the Pro division, and of those teams, only 10 will be taken for the Champions. The bottom 5 teams will then create the top half of the Challengers. The league has stated that the Challengers will be comprised of 10 teams total, so where will those next five come from? The jury is still out!
- So what are they fighting for? Teams in the Champions bracket will be playing for the traditional prizes and such, however teams in the Challengers are playing for a spot to compete with the Champions bracket during the next event. The league has also said that the Challengers bracket will also have its own set of prizes that they will be fighting for, on-top of the chance to play with the Champions.
Starting to make a little sense now? The most important thing to remember is that the pro division has expanded, not been divided into a pro and semi-pro, and that anything can happen on the paintball field. This format makes every match a potential season killer and provides you with the best paintball from the moment the event starts, to the moment it ends. With the new format, there are no easy games, which works out for you – the viewer! So sit back, relax and enjoy the show as we begin to prepare for the 2013 season!