I find that most players prefer to book their travel outside of 8 weeks before the event.
This hasn’t been an issue when we weren’t even filling up Pin-Masters including those Nationals players. Last year was the first time we ever hit capacity after 5 years, and it wasn’t until right before the event itself that we hit it.
Clearly interest in the event has increased. Holding those players that are genuinely interested in competing in the event hostage until the 8 week point, just to have those players now have to race to register Pinburgh style against ~55 NACS winners doesn’t make much sense to me.
I used to think that Pin-Masters needed the NACS to survive . . . but that’s clearly not the case anymore. If NACS needs Pin-Masters to survive, we’ll find that out once we see how many States and Provinces end up being represented.