Catching Up With Dynasty Episode 2: Marcello Margott MM33
On the second episode of Catching up with San Diego Dynasty Junior had the chance to sit down with Marcello Margott, who joined the team in 2015 and was named an owner of the team in 2021. In this episode we covered a variety of topics ranging from Marcello's thoughts on the switch to having only 1 weekend to practice on NXL layouts, the health of the team, being offered a $100,000 salary to play paintball for different teams, and plenty more!
This episode of Catching up with team Dynasty was about 2 weeks prior to the start of the season, just before the team practiced on the event layout. This NXL off season was fairly calm until the just before the first event of the year, when everything was shaken up with moves all around including Dynasty loosing 2 members with Dalton Vanderbyl and Kyle Spicka both leaving and being replaced with Chris Scheer and Harrison Frye. With these moves, Marcello mentions how in order for a paintball team to grow, they must evolve and shift with new players, so while it is sad to see some of his friends leave the team, it is good for the team to get some new hungry players who are willing to put the work in and play hard, keeping the team competitive.
One of the biggest changes for the 2023 NXL season is that teams now only have one weekend to practice on the event layouts. In previous years teams had two weekends to hone their skills on the event layout, typically giving them one weekend to play it by themselves and one weekend to scrimmage another team. This change is one that Marcello does not like at all, in theory this change was made to give teams that do not have as many resources as others more of a level playing field and making it so individuals do not have to take as much time off work or their lives to make practice two weekends in a row prior to an event. One concern that Marcello has with this change is that while 11 out of the 20 professional paintball teams voted to switch to just 1 layout weekend, this will cause the gap between the top and bottom teams even higher since the top teams pay players, paintball is their job, and they now will simply practice on weekdays while members of other teams are still at work and are unable to get more field time on the layout. To achieve what the NXL was trying to accomplish, the league would need to reintroduce blind tournament layouts, so no team is able to practice on it, truly leveling the playing field.
For San Diego Dynasty, this change in NXL layout release has not changed how much practice the team has, it has simply changed to a practice weekend two weeks prior to an event on a different layout, this gives the team more time to build chemistry and focus on other important team building and (weather permitting) running a lot of points together to get comfortable with the new players and so they can get comfortable with how the team operates. For this first practice of the year the team was in San Diego, where it was a rainy and cold weekend. The team took this opportunity to get in some team building away from the field before the rain cleared up and they got about 20 points in with the new players, Chris and Harrison. On Sunday, Dynasty and San Diego Aftermath scrimmaged to prepare the weekend before the 2023 Sunshine State Major layout release. The following week after the layout release, Dynasty practiced at Capital Edge Paintball in Sacramento California, they arrived on Thursday to have a day on the field by themselves, figuring out how it played for each person, dialing in the shots, and then spent Friday, Saturday, and Sunday practicing against Seattle Uprising and Edmonton Impact. To get as much time as possible on the layout Dynasty now is practicing twice at the event before the preliminary matches start as opposed to just one practice slot in previous years.
Going into event number 1 this year, the NXL Sunshine State Major in Kissimmee Florida Marcello comments on the state of the team and some changes for this year. All of the Dynasty team members are healthy and motivated, everyone cares about the team and wants to be there. This is also the first event that the team has BFPGear's very own Junior Brown assisting with coaching and scouting, putting more eyes on the field, which is invaluable since there is less time to practice prior to the event. While other major sports have multiple team members constantly scouting other teams or focusing on analytics, this is something that is still growing in paintball, and that most teams still have yet to adapt to.
How much money do professional paintball players make? $100,000+ per year is what Marcello Margott was offered by the Latin Saints for the 2022 season. While only some of the top teams can pay their players a livable salary, most players keep this number pretty closely guarded, although in the last few years these numbers have been getting larger and larger. Marcello believes that it is important that players coming up in the game have an idea of what is possible, it gives them something to work for and while to him this offer took days of contemplation since $100,000 is a life changing amount of money, but in the end it just didn't feel quite right so he chose to stick with his friends on San Diego Dynasty and see things through with them. For professional paintball players, Dynasty offers some of the best perks in the sport with incredible brand recognition, the largest (and best) fan base in the world. If you can stand out on this team of super star players then you know you are doing something right. Being on this team is not only a substantial opportunity but can provide for other substantial opportunities, for example team ownership, large cash offers from other teams, opportunities for clinics, individual brand building, and so much more. Marcello also gave us some insight on what these large offers from paintball teams look like, typically these are 100% untaxed cash offers, but how many paintball players get cash offers? Only about 20-30 players in the entire sport get paid well to play paintball, the majority of these players typically see salaries around $40,000 per year, and only a few (the top 1%) see salaries around $80,000 to $100,000+ per year. One question that has to be asked when all these cash offers are being thrown around though is if the team really wants you as a member of their team, or is it just worth it to take you from a powerhouse of a team in an attempt to damage their chances of remaining a dominant force?
For Marcello Margott, his priority has always been to make himself a core member and a standout player on a team of standout players like Dynasty. To him it is more important to build a brand from the team than it is to take the highest paid contract. How you build a brand in paintball though is not as easy as most people would think, and while it is of course a lot of fun, you need to put in a huge amount of work. Marcello spends 40 to 45 weekends a year being devoted to paintball. Between hosting Professional paintball clinics, Dynasty team practice, NXL paintball tournaments, coaching other teams, and playing various events, Marcello has very few weekends left to himself, and that does not even take into account the insane amount of travel all over the world! Its no wonder why teams are willing to pay him $100,000 per year to play paintball when he has so much dedication and passion for the sport, This passion is exactly what led him to this point in his career, being named an owner of San Diego Dynasty! This grand gesture from Yosh Rau, Alex Fraige, and Ryan Greenspan was a major step towards Marcello becoming a core player of the most legendary professional paintball team to ever step onto the field.