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Old 07-03-2021, 03:47 AM #1
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Astra Invitational Announced, $15,000 pro only limited paint event

ProPaintball has broken a story/rumor that the Astra Group run by Demetri Ninios is putting on an invitational with a $15k prize.

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Originally Posted by ProPaintball.com, Quinn
Our ProPaintball insiders are reporting that a group of veteran pro paintball players known as the “Astra Group” are working on a private paintball invitational with a $15,000 prize on August 14th and 15th called the Astra Invitational.

The event is rumored to be held at Paintball Fit in Texas and will be for 12 select paintball teams on an invite-only basis. Paintball Fit is widely regarded as one of the premiere tournament paintball complexes in the United States. Our source tells us that this location was chosen because Paintball Fit does a great job at promoting and supporting tournament paintball, and the “Astra Group” wants to help give back in their own way.

The format is quite an interesting break from what we have been used to over the last decade. It is reported from insiders that the event will use a 4-pod per player format. This was done by the promotors “to change the format up and bit and keep costs down.” This is quite a change from the normal unlimited paint format that has dominated US tournaments for the last few decades. It should help to promote aggressive play and reward high IQ players the most.

In terms of the structure of games, the event will consist of five matches in a preliminary round, and then finals on day two to crown the champion of the large cash purse.

Our source told us the roster rules as well; “Teams are allowed to use their current 2021 rosters of up to 8 professional players, and can also add up to 4 semi-pro divisional players. No stacking the deck with athletes from non-playing (pro) teams.” We are also hearing that a few select semi-pro teams may be invited.

The rumor is that paint will be BYOP (bring your own paint) but insiders are reporting on a rumor that a major paint manufacturer will be selling paint on location as well.

The source close to the group had the following to say regarding the purpose of the event “They want people who compete at the highest level to rub shoulders with each other and see how semi-pros stack up; see why pro’s are pro’s and why semi pros are semi-pro”

Rather than taking the traditional route for media, matches will be recorded and then released over TikTok, Youtube, Facebook, and other major platforms by a professional videographer group, sources say. This route was chosen because they want as many people outside the sport to see this event as possible. There will be no cost for this media and it is reported that it will be openly available after the event.

The “Astra Group” is confirming that the event will be reffed by professional players and veteran referees in order to provide elite levels of field judging.

This story is developing and our team will continue to report as we learn more. This is a rumor from our insiders and sourced from those close to the group.
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Old 07-03-2021, 06:47 AM #2
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Big if true.
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Old 07-03-2021, 08:48 AM #3
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Big if true.
Demtri Ninios seems to be the guy organizing it and PB Fit has confirmed that the event is planned to be hosted there. ProPB will have the team list soon.
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Old 07-03-2021, 09:23 AM #4
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So we have a shadow company/investor and a whole bunch of unconfirmed bullet points on how the event is going to run.

call me skeptical but...
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Old 07-03-2021, 09:40 AM #5
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Super excited for this but the location almost guarantees AC Dallas will be invited over other, more competitive teams. I'm of the opinion the league should limit the number of pro teams to avoid split deck (at the highest level only), but this one could go sour if we don't see the actual top teams.

Either way, I'll still be watching. Hopefully it's live. Might even drive to Dallas for this one.
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Old 07-03-2021, 10:38 AM #6
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I'm assuming the media portion means no live stream? That's disappointing, but still neat to see things like this happening. It would be awesome to see an event like this streamed on Twitch or similar.
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Old 07-03-2021, 11:26 AM #7
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I hope they pull it off.

They should try to get a live stream though. Major sports are live for a reason. A lot of people have no interest in watching a game if they already know the outcome. No suspense=little interest.
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Old 07-03-2021, 03:11 PM #8
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I hope they pull it off.

They should try to get a live stream though. Major sports are live for a reason. A lot of people have no interest in watching a game if they already know the outcome. No suspense=little interest.
It depends on how it’s presented. People used to buy traumahead and derder hand over fist and they already knew the outcome of the games. I’m not saying that’s how this will go down but I don’t think being recorded is a show stopper by any means.
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Old 07-03-2021, 04:19 PM #9
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So we have a shadow company/investor and a whole bunch of unconfirmed bullet points on how the event is going to run.

call me skeptical but...
Demtri Ninios and Raney are running it with backing from close associates and its confirmed funded. All these points in the article have been confirmed. PB Fit has confirmed they are holding the event there. Pro teams and the selected semi pro teams have committed.

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Super excited for this but the location almost guarantees AC Dallas will be invited over other, more competitive teams. I'm of the opinion the league should limit the number of pro teams to avoid split deck (at the highest level only), but this one could go sour if we don't see the actual top teams.

Either way, I'll still be watching. Hopefully it's live. Might even drive to Dallas for this one.
I heard a rumor they are looking to do the lower budget teams and not guys like Impact or Heat.

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I hope they pull it off.

They should try to get a live stream though. Major sports are live for a reason. A lot of people have no interest in watching a game if they already know the outcome. No suspense=little interest.
The choice to have a professional videographer film it with HQ cameras, with the ability to edit it and present it in a top level way is appealing to me. Live steams never show the whole story, post event editing allows that.
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Old 07-03-2021, 05:12 PM #10
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I talked with Meter about this in Philly and this won't be for the top pro teams.

This will be for the pro teams not in the top 10 (or so) AND top semi-pro teams. It will be cool to see how the pros stack up against the semi-pros.

He also said teams will not be able to pick up players for the event. Now I think he meant pro players from teams in the top 10, but he also might have meant other players as well.

Granted, this is all in flux until it actually happens.
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Old 07-03-2021, 08:36 PM #11
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I heard a rumor they are looking to do the lower budget teams and not guys like Impact or Heat.
Why? so Xfactor can stomp them?

Makes no sense and doesn't offer a true NXL alternative/competitor unless the big boys play.

Also, Damian said NXL is going to have an open division at the next "regional" now since this was announced. However, when I went to pbleagues I still only see d2-d5...

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I talked with Meter about this in Philly and this won't be for the top pro teams.

This will be for the pro teams not in the top 10 (or so) AND top semi-pro teams. It will be cool to see how the pros stack up against the semi-pros.
So he's working to set it up through his employer but his own team won't be playing? Seems kinda pointless and like another nxl offseason practice event like the invitationals.
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Old 07-03-2021, 09:17 PM #12
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Also, Damian said NXL is going to have an open division at the next "regional" now since this was announced. However, when I went to pbleagues I still only see d2-d5....
I think that is just limited to 10 teams and by invitation.
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Old 07-04-2021, 04:11 AM #13
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Quote:
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I talked with Meter about this in Philly and this won't be for the top pro teams.

This will be for the pro teams not in the top 10 (or so) AND top semi-pro teams. It will be cool to see how the pros stack up against the semi-pros.

He also said teams will not be able to pick up players for the event. Now I think he meant pro players from teams in the top 10, but he also might have meant other players as well.

Granted, this is all in flux until it actually happens.
All that info was already confirmed in the article on ProPB a few days ago. Its 12 teams total, 8 pro, 4 semi pro. No roster shuffling, must use current 2021 rosters.

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Why? so Xfactor can stomp them?

Makes no sense and doesn't offer a true NXL alternative/competitor unless the big boys play...

.
X-Factor isn't playing it. Most of them are reffing the event with Raney being the head ref
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Old 07-04-2021, 06:26 AM #14
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It depends on how it’s presented. People used to buy traumahead and derder hand over fist and they already knew the outcome of the games. I’m not saying that’s how this will go down but I don’t think being recorded is a show stopper by any means.
That is a valid point.

Hopefully they pull it off and it is a success. I would like to see a strong push for a limited paint format. I also like that it is BYOP. Paintball will benefit if the stranglehold GI has on the sport is evened out.
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Old 07-04-2021, 06:47 AM #15
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Demtri Ninios seems to be the guy organizing it and PB Fit has confirmed that the event is planned to be hosted there. ProPB will have the team list soon.
So I guess it’s big then!

I definitely dig the idea to stream via social media. It’s high time the sport stopped trying to chase the TV dreams, TV is old times media. No one is traveling to the event by stagecoach.
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Old 07-04-2021, 10:03 AM #16
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There's nothing you can do to change the pro pb industry from being looked at as a huge joke. This isn't the answer either.
Got a better idea that you can get launched?

Someone outside the established tournament league is trying something. It won't be everyone's bag, and that's fine.
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Old 07-04-2021, 05:24 PM #17
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If it was more inclusive and an actual alternative to the NXL I'd have a bit of a different stance. But it's not and it's not going to help solve the true problems paintball faces:

- 1 National league with horrid venues, prizes and management
- Overall negative/laughable public perception
- GI monopoly
- Bad media approach / not watchable to outsiders

Why does everyone want to come up with crappy Band-Aid solutions vs addressing the actual underlying problems?
So what are your ideas?


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X-Factor isn't playing it. Most of them are reffing the event with Raney being the head ref
Gotcha. That makes a lot more sense. Going to be interesting to see another nxl-style invitational with lower ranked teams.

Last edited by (dr) : 07-04-2021 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 07-05-2021, 07:18 AM #18
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All that info was already confirmed in the article on ProPB a few days ago. Its 12 teams total, 8 pro, 4 semi pro. No roster shuffling, must use current 2021 rosters.
Sorry, only skimmed what you posted here. And even that you said some of it was a rumor with unnamed sources.
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Old 07-05-2021, 02:30 PM #19
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If it was more inclusive and an actual alternative to the NXL I'd have a bit of a different stance. But it's not and it's not going to help solve the true problems paintball faces:

- 1 National league with horrid venues, prizes and management
- Overall negative/laughable public perception
- GI monopoly
- Bad media approach / not watchable to outsiders

Why does everyone want to come up with crappy Band-Aid solutions vs addressing the actual underlying problems?
Bad media approach? That is the game. Not how it is filmed. What are you going to do? Have 10 split screens so you can watch everyone on the field?
A lot of talented videographers record the game. There is only so much they can do.

Have a better idea? Please explain IN DETAIL how you would film 10 guys shooting each other on a field full of obstructions.

Venues are fine. If you need to play on pretty soccer fields.... go play soccer.

Laughable public perception? Who cares what other people think? If you go through life worrying about what other people think, you are going to have a long sh!tty life.

I will give you the prizes. They are pretty much non existent. Giving a team a fraction of what they spent and some Kohls bucks (that can only be used at another event) is a freakin joke.
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Old 07-06-2021, 11:00 AM #20
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They should try to get a live stream though. Major sports are live for a reason. A lot of people have no interest in watching a game if they already know the outcome. No suspense=little interest.
This takes $$$. They have some really cool ideas for how to broadcast but the goal is to provide a fun event that has a real prize purse. Everything else is secondary.

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Originally Posted by (dr) View Post
Why? so Xfactor can stomp them?

Makes no sense and doesn't offer a true NXL alternative/competitor unless the big boys play.

Also, Damian said NXL is going to have an open division at the next "regional" now since this was announced. However, when I went to pbleagues I still only see d2-d5...

So he's working to set it up through his employer but his own team won't be playing? Seems kinda pointless and like another nxl offseason practice event like the invitationals.
You are looking at this as if its intended to compete with the NXL. That is not the case. These guys are _trying something different_ and its an invite only event. We should be looking at this as an opportunity to learn how limited paint, large cash purse, and more realistic team budgets might change outcomes of events. From a marketing perspective, its going to be fascinating to see how not locking up footage behind a paywall will impact eyes on broadcasts. They are testing all sorts of social media strategies with this event. That is very good for everyone in paintball.

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There's nothing you can do to change the pro pb industry from being looked at as a huge joke. This isn't the answer either.
There is plenty you, or we, can do. It just takes effort and those willing to take risks. These guys are making an effort. We are as well. Your welcome to step up to the plate anytime..otherwise perhaps try and support them and provide constructive feedback post event.

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Originally Posted by Cleetus3.0 View Post
If it was more inclusive and an actual alternative to the NXL I'd have a bit of a different stance. But it's not and it's not going to help solve the true problems paintball faces:

- 1 National league with horrid venues, prizes and management
- Overall negative/laughable public perception
- GI monopoly
- Bad media approach / not watchable to outsiders

Why does everyone want to come up with crappy Band-Aid solutions vs addressing the actual underlying problems?
Read above about how this Astra event was not intended to challenge the NXL. It is something different. Something everyone can learn from.

Regarding your points, that is a much larger topic and probably better discussed under a different thread. Short response, there are solutions to several of the above points in the works. No promises but from what various ProPaintball insiders tell us, people are definitely trying to improve the situation. Stay tuned.
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Old 07-06-2021, 12:34 PM #21
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From a marketing perspective, its going to be fascinating to see how not locking up footage behind a paywall will impact eyes on broadcasts. They are testing all sorts of social media strategies with this event. That is very good for everyone in paintball.
As it stands I've seen zero advertising for the event, even within paintball. That's an obvious starting point and with the name of the event not sounding like it has anything to do with paintball, I wonder how that will be approached.

Hopefully there will be some time of advertising that will hit the target market or we can't really expect anyone besides "us" to even know about it, much less watch it.

You can't just stream it for free and expect people to care.

Like Matty has said over and over. People come for the story and stay to watch stars play. There is very little storyline that's been created for the lower level teams and even less star power to draw in viewers.

It will be interesting to see what astra does to get around this.
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