Social Paintball’s sources have confirmed that multiple professional teams will be leaving the NPPL, with one retiring completely from paintball. The list includes flagship 7-man teams Sacramento XSV and Edmonton Impact; and long time NPPL members Team Infamous, and Tampa Bay Damage, all of which will only be competing exclusively in the PSP in the United States. Over the weekend, Chicago Legend officially announced their retirement from professional paintball.
This is a large blow to the NPPL who has already been criticized for watering down the professional division by allowing untested pro teams (such as Phoenix Contact) to compete, and was relying on several mainstays such as XSV – who also won the 2012 series title – and Impact to be the flagship teams of the league. It currently remains unknown as to who will take the place of these five teams, but we have been told that several new pro teams are emerging to fill the void. John Dresser, of the paintball forum Pbnation, originally posted that both XSV and Infamous were leaving the NPPL.
This is just the latest battle in a war between the PSP and NPPL that has been taking place for the better part of the last decade; and with these revelations, it seems that the PSP has finally found a solid foothold in the competition. The real speculation begins when one considers that none of the teams mentioned above have a guarantee in the Champions Division – was the cost of the NPPL too much to take on, or do the teams see enough value in the PSP to disenfranchise themselves from the NPPL? To speculate even more, will XSV and Impact be able to make the transition to the RaceTo format and will they ever fall into the Challengers bracket? Only time will tell, and luckily we’re only a few weeks away!
Paul Richards, Coach of San Antonio X-Factor, has his own interesting twist on the NPPL over at his blog, ViewFromTheDeadbox.com, where he poses the question: “Where will the money come from to continue to operate a money pit masquerading as a paintball league?”