Can you feel it? Are you ready? In less than seven weeks, hundreds of teams will descend upon Vegas, many with hangovers from the revelry of the night before. Right now, everyone has that tingle. Everyone is undefeated. Everyone can dream of that glorious moment when Billy shakes you and your partner’s hand and presents you with a giant check. Whether it’s your first World Series or your ninth, those butterflies are in your stomach and you can’t wait to find out what the pong gods will bring your way on January 1st.
But hold up. Do you really think you’re going to win WSOBP 9? The answer might very well be a “HELL YEAH!” The answer you’d give could also be “Of course not.” That’s the point. This game is for the so-called “pros” that travel across the country routinely to compete. This game is also for the husband and wife who are at the WSOBP as part of their New Year’s vacation. Or for the friends who haven’t seen each other in a while but used to run the plywood tables together in college. This game is for everyone. The enjoyment that is provided by the game we all love is evident in both victory and defeat. We’re all lucky to be able to experience it, especially on as grand a scale as the World Series of Beer Pong.
It’s true, however, that the only constant is change. This year, while the Center of the Beer Pong Universe will once again have a latitude and longitude that leads you to the familiar Flamingo Hotel, some things will be different. No beer in the cups this year. It’s a logistical nightmare, and takes way too much time and coordination by WSOBP staff. Time better served to make sure that dude mean mugging you doesn’t cross the plane while you’re shooting, or move past his side of the table to get in your face.
We’ve compiled a general list of reasons why we have decided to forego beer in the cups this year.
1. Eventual TV rights.
2. Liability/over consumption of alcohol.
3. Pong Flu/health concerns.
4. Consistency – many major and weekly tournaments use water only.
5. Drink of choice – as opposed to a flat, indistinguishable product.
You may not see all the events you’re used to this year. You may see new ones you’ll come to love just as much, if not more.
All we ask is that you remain patient as we try to create the best experience possible while not over-extending the company’s future growth potential. Television deals, major cross promotion agreements, and bigger and better events are all within reach. We need our foundation to be rock solid as those next great steps are taken.
Organizers throughout the country have seriously stepped up. We have Skype tournaments, local satellite events and a multitude of weekly tournaments that continue to bring new players into the beer pong community. We’re encouraged by the continued growth of pong in new areas, and the veterans who are willing to provide guidance to the others willing to be tournament organizers. New initiatives like BPONG’s tournament software and national program structure will make it much easier for brackets to be run well, and run quickly.
Before you arrive in Vegas this year, take a minute to reflect on the work so many did before you (or with you) that has enabled a record ninth World Series of Beer Pong. It’s a significant achievement that can and should be appreciated by all. It’s up to every one of us to keep the game going. As a community, we want a 10th WSOBP and many more after that.