Big Orange Paint: Rocky Top Paintball at its Finest

By Jack Fowler

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Have you ever played Call of Duty?  Ever experienced the fast-paced, adrenaline-inducing gunfights that made the series a worldwide phenomenon?  How about Battlefield, Call of Duty’s more realistic rival, famous for its large scale battles and painfully accurate weapon effects?  How about any other first-person shooter?  If you have, then let me tell you about the best real-life activity that mimics these games, albeit without death and dismemberment: the sport of Paintball.

 

Surely growing up there were some kids that had paintball guns, and they would tell you about how much fun it was to shoot targets, forest critters, and their annoying siblings.  But it always seemed like these non-lethal, color-creating weapons existed just for the fun of shooting things.  Well, not only is it a legitimate professional sport, it is also a subtle phenomenon.

 

Along with the pro circuit, there is a wide slew of amateur leagues in the U.S.  Colleges, too, have begun to sponsor club teams all across the country.  These club teams might not be “Varsity Sports”, and as such might get overlooked by the mainstream, but watch just one game and you’ll see that this sport is a hardcore passion for everyone involved.  Especially for Matt Jenkins, the enigmatic captain of the University of Tennessee’s paintball team in the 2010-2011 season.  The same team that dominated their SEC club division before winning the title in an undefeated tournament run.

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When I had the pleasure of interviewing Matt Jenkins, one word stuck out to me: passion.  This man loved paintball the same way that people love dogs, food, and Netflix.  From the first day he held a paintball gun, and, “shot his friend in the ass, [he] was hooked.”  He played the sport for several more years before he came to UT in 2006.  Then he almost immediately joined the club team, UT PaintBall, the “PaintVols”, with several of his friends.  This core squad became the leadership team that guided the team through five years to their championship season.

 

But what does a typical UTPB season look like?  In their division, class A SEC, they compete in 4 tournaments throughout the year, the final tournament being for the championship.  In each tournament, the teams play three games, 20 mins a piece, divided into 10 minute halves.  However, the hardest part of UTPB’s journey to the top wasn’t the rigorous tournaments or the sheer intensity of the sport; it’s fundraising.

 

Matt says that Paintball is probably the most expensive sport in college, and as a former lacrosse player, I can agree.  After getting pads, helmet, and a stick, lacrosse can cost anywhere from $250-600 a season.  And for roughly that same price, you can also get all the paintball gear required and a quality gun.  But then you have to factor in the cost of all those tournaments in a paintball season.  Ultimately, it cost Matt’s team about $4k a person to compete in their championship season.  That’s a lot, especially since the team had to raise the overwhelming majority of those funds themselves.  The University of Tennessee only gave the team the minimum deposit required to qualify, and left them to their own devices to actually compete. But that was no problem for the likes of Matt and team.  They threw every manner of fundraisers that they could, and they paid off handsomely.16683257_10208460663697253_552405261_n

 

As the UT team competed in their regular season, they travelled constantly to train and meet with rival teams Liberty University, Virginia Tech, and Kennesaw State University.  While VT and KSU sponsored their paintball teams much like UT did, Liberty heavily invested in their team.  Many high-tech paintball festivals and tournaments were held at their extensive complex, and with such funding and support, Liberty was the toughest opponent for UT in their season.  In fact, Liberty was the only school that managed to overcome the Volunteers that season, clinching a tough win by just one point.  

 

Dismayed, but definitely not disheartened, Matt’s team recouped after that tough loss and swept the rest of the regular season, going 8-1.  Then, in the championship tournament, they continued their dominance streak and won seven straight games.  And as they rose, victorious, as champions, they accepted their prize: a plastic trophy.  

 

As Matt explained, paintball in college wasn’t about money or fame.  It was all about the glory.  And as Matt celebrated with his team, he was nearly brought to tears, as they celebrated his passionate leadership and thanked him for taking them so far.  Such resolve and passion are rare, and they can overcome all kinds of odds, from fundraising and better funded opponents, to police officers escorting the team off of campus because of their “weapons”.

 

And Matt has no intention of slowing down.  He says he is going to play until he simply can’t anymore, in any of the various amateur leagues and tournaments around the country.  He is even trying to gather a UT alumni team to play in a D2 tournament this year.  And I have no doubt he will lead that team to glory as well.

Ronin Jump Episode 1: Ronin

 

Ronin Jump is a new paintball web series that features Tim Cerruti, as he trains for and plays paintball. Follow him this season as he looks for teams to compete with. And tag along as he tries to find funding for a team of his friends in the bay area to compete in the Semi Pro  Division in the NXL. He will also go over some of his methodology and philosophies that have brought him to where he is today. As well as training tips and enlightening everyone into his perspective.

The Los Angeles Ironmen Tryouts

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A 4 month adventure which began with an email to the grand master Todd Martinez about the prospect of trying out for a team that has built a legacy around a program dedicated to excellence and winning, the Los Angeles Ironmen. 

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Months of training in preparation finally led to the long awaited day which would host some of the best players and free agents in the country making their pilgrimage to the Mecca of paintball, San Diego. They all came for one reason, to compete against each other for a much coveted place on the legendary team. 

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The adventure began with a midnight journey Thursday night. Making my way down from the San Francisco Bay Area with Nate Baluyut who finished the final leg of the journey through a torrential downpour preluding to the possible weather conditions of the weekend. We reached our destination early Friday morning and met up with a few of the Ironmen and got to spend time hanging out and talking paintball.

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Later that day we made a trip down to the Dye factory, the facility was abuzz with an energy of excitement for the weekend as well as the upcoming season. The players of the Ironmen have a focus about them that can only be described as a deep hunger to bring success to the team this year. With their recent pickups thus far, it is easy to see that Coach Todd Martinez is putting together a squad full of depth and talent that will be eager to bring the Ironmen back to the top.

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After a solid night of sleep, and a nice ride to the Paintball Park at Camp Pendleton, and accidentally rolling my car into a ditch. The tryouts would begin early Saturday morning. The weather held up and the sun graced us with its presence to make way for a great day of competition. Top Players from all over the US, Mexico, and Canada  and the Ironmen began with 1v1’s. Lots of them. It was a great start to the day setting the tone and the pace. After plenty of 1v1’s were played, squads were broken down and 5v5 points began. Race to 3 matches were played with many of them being close games. And would go on through a long and fun day of super long slides, sticky mud, and great paintball. 

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LA Collision also made an appearance to play some points against the Ironmen as well as the Squads of tryouts.  Which added for a little extra flavor to the day. 

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At the end of the first day, mud everywhere, many of the players assembled at a local eatery for delicious foods and beverages, and with plenty of leftovers to take home. Some fun bonding over food, football, hockey, and drinks after a day of paintball is always an excellent way to end such a fun day. 

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Sunday would be a little cold, feeling bad for anyone who didn’t have clean or fresh gear to put on. This day would be one full of tough games and fierce competition. The Ironmen would be playing non stop points against 5 tryouts given game plans from Todd. Many great points were played.  The Ironmen are looking very strong with their new pickups and will definitely be a top contender this season. 

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Overall the weekend was incredibly enjoyable. The weather held up even though we were facing dismal conditions from the weather reports. The paint from Valken and APX shot straight and was great to use. The Dye guns worked great even in the wet and muddy conditions. And Camp Pendleton’s field was in a beyond perfect condition with what we could’ve been facing after this monsoon like downfall. It was completely and totally a fun weekend of paintball. Thanks Todd Martinez, Dave Youngblood, Dye, Raza, Valken, all of the Ironmen and their staff that made everything run smoothly, Camp Pendleton, and all of the Tryouts and friends who played their hearts out over the weekend. And thanks to Don for helping me get my car out of the ditch Saturday. 

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Arizona Seasons Ending

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By: Bubba Lara
 Here we are once again, and I am late with this as usual. It is the end of the season and we are going to take our breaks for the upcoming holidays. Get fat and happy on food while visiting family. But that is not why I am here right now. I am here to talk about how this season went for Arizona Paintball. And I must say that I think that we have had a good season bringing it back. Every team went out there gun slinging and taking back what’s ours.

 

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Phoenix Rising D4 took a first place and AZ Elite also brought home a first and a third. Also we had AZ Bandits take first place in WCPPL D5 Vegas, and 3rd in WCPPL D5 Oceanside, giving them 3rd overall for the 2016 D5 WCPPL Series. AZ Stormerz also took a Second place in UPL. I am wishing that I was there to watch these teams and their fights for the gold so I can give more in depth detail, since we all know how I love to ramble on by now. I think that will be my goal for next season is to follow all the AZ teams to more events and get this all jotted down fresh so I can make these segments a lot more interesting. Then we have AZ Goats. Fresh young talent that you guys might remember from an earlier interview with Brandon Hoelscher a couple months back. They kicked in the doors at Vegas NXL D500 bringing home the gold. Then taking 4th in Dallas. I wish I could have been there to watch these guys in action. 

 

 

 

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So on to Scottsdale Elevation. I have been anxiously waiting for this part, not because I play for them, but this was one hell of a season for us. Our D4 line played the UPL Series and the Semi Pro line played the NXL series. The Semi Pros brought back a 3rd place out of 19 in Nashville and everyone knows that it’s not an easy fight at that level. The D4 line brought home 5 trophies this season. “But Bubba, there is only 4 events in UPL…” Yeah, I know there is only 4. But there is also the huge 5ft. trophy for Season Champs. And we brought that home also. First two events in Las Vegas were 1st places. The third in Lake Elsinore we took 3rd, and the final event was back to Vegas and we took 2nd. And that was a tough battle.

 

 

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When we were playing for first and second place, we were down 3-1. Managed to come back and tie it up with an amazing close out game from Jared Gilgren snatching up that flag and running it in with 1.24 seconds to spare. Talk about nail biting. But he pulled it off and managed to tie it up taking us to overtime. In the end, we lost to Ghost Busters and brought home second place. Not complaining, that was another tough fight to the end. We were all bummed that we didn’t get the gold. But when Edwin Dolgopyat came over and told us that we won the Season Championship, that made everything a lot better. It was what we came for after all.

 

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So overall, I think AZ had a great season all around and we are making a good strong comeback. Putting ourselves back on the map and making teams fear us again. We definitely had a good year bringing back a good handful of hardware and making a lot of friends along the way. We even had one guy saw us and started telling his team “You guys want to see a good team, and see how a good team plays? These are the guys to watch!” Which is flattering. Another person from Cali helped me find my gear when it was stolen, and he and his team made a point to come up and say hello. And then my favorite has to be the Team Mayhem. During our finals this past event they were chanting “ELEVATION” the whole time. That is a good, warm feeling.

 

 

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Once again, there I go rambling on. But we all know how my mind works. So this is the end. Good job to AZ Goats, Scottsdale Elevation, AZ Elite, Stormez, Bandits and Phoenix Rising for bringing hardware. Let’s do it again next year again. I also hope to see Phoenix Epic, Tucson Souless, Lost Dutchman, and all the rest get out and bring back the goods.

 

 

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Until next time. Play safe and keep them guns rolling.

NXL World Cup: Professional Bracket Draw

By Nick Lemon

The National X-ball League is reaching the end of the 2016 season and the professional brackets have been made for the holy grail of paintball, World Cup. The event is set to take place November 3rd through the 6th in Kissimmee, Florida. Everyone who fights hard during the season, regardless of ranking amongst their divisions, are well aware that whoever can win the coveted Cup at the final event will be remembered until the following 2017 season kick off.
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Edmonton Impact, a Canadian team led by Coach and team owner Bart Yachimec, sit in the number one spot for the season standings with 772 points. They have made an impressive display at each event with two 1st place finishes and two 2nd place finishes thus far. Due to their 1st place finish at the NXL Great Lakes Open held in Ohio during the month of August they are set as the top team of the A bracket. During World cup their bracket will consist of L.A. Infamous, Chicago Aftershock, Seattle Uprising, and Houston Heat.
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San Diego Dynasty, long time perennial powerhouse of Southern California who is led by former player turned coach Rusty Glaze, currently sit at the 5th spot for the NXL 2016 season with 606 points. Due to Dynasty finishing in 2nd place at the NXL Great Lakes Open they are set to be the top team of the B bracket. Dynasty has had a disappointing showing for their sea of fans, missing the mark in two events with 2nd place finishes, a 7th place finish at the second event, and a 10th place finish at the third event. They are set to fight against Boom, Tampa Bay Damage, Seattle Thunder, and San Antonio X-Factor for the final event.
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San Antonio X-Factor, 2014 World Cup Champions all hailing from Texas and led by owner Alex Martinez and coach Ryan Brand, are still in the hunt for the 2016 NXL series title at 3rd place at 626 points. Due to their finish at the NXL Great Lakes open in 3rd place they sit at the top tier of the C bracket. Despite two early Sunday knockouts at the Las Vegas and Texas NXL events, which resulted respectively in a 7th and 5th place finish, the boys from Texas were able to stay in contention with two 3rd place finishes at the last two events. They are matching up against fellow Texas team AC: Dallas, Baltimore Revo, Los Angeles Ironmen, and San Diego Dynasty.
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Houston Heat, based out of Texas led by owner Randy Smith and coach Sam Monville, have had a less than desirable season but still remain in the 4th position by a single point over San Diego Dynasty for the series with 607 points. Heat is wrapping up tier 1 in the D bracket. They were able to make Sunday at three of the four events, but missed the mark at the Texas open placing 11th. The seasoner opener in Las Vegas resulted in a 5th place, the third stop in Nashville boasted a 1st place finish, and the fourth stop in Ohio yielded a 4th place. For their final prelim matches of the season in Florida they will be facing Upton 187 Crew, Moscow Russian Legion, TradeMyGun Outlaws, and Edmonton Impact.

 

 

The World Cup always brings wild possibilities and we are all looking forward to the battles to start November 3rd. Live coverage of the Pro matches will be hosted on GoSports.com. Best of luck to all the teams battling for their name to be remembered.

Brandon Hoelscher

By Bubba Lara



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Ladies and Gentleman. I have decided to pick the brain of Brandon Hoelscher of the AZ Goats. He has pretty much taken a group of young dedicated players and turned them into killers. And to help the sport grow, he is hosting a 3 man M300 events in AZ. So you know I had to talk to this guy right here….

 

B: Brandon, you and I played together back on PB4MS for a short time, but I don’t even know much of your past. Do enlighten us on how you got started.

BH: I got started the same way most people did, birthday party when I was 10. From there it went all downhill. I saved up and bought my first gun, Spyder TL with Maroon accents, then “upgraded” to a Spyder XL because it had the rail, drop forward and the sweet silver and black striped bold. But this was almost 20 years ago now.

B: That’s how most of the people I talk to get started was at a birthday party. What about it got you hooked?

BH: Just the rush of it. And in my younger, nimbler years, diving all over in the woods, the mud and the different courses that were set up in St. Louis, MO. It helped that a lot of my friends played with me to start. There were about 6 of us that for a few years straight our birthday parties were always paintball outings. Then Of course I got into high school, there was a paintball club started my freshman year that I carried on until I graduated.

unnamed-2B: Wow, seems like you took to it like a duck to water huh? Sticking to it for a long time.

BH: Yeah. I mean, I played Baseball, Soccer and Volleyball growing up. They were fun and everything, but nothing matched the rush and fun that I got from Paintball. Not to mention later in life all of the different types of people I got to know that I probably never would have seen or met otherwise. It’s all part of the experience and paintball lifestyle I feel like.

unnamed-6B: I think you hit the nail on the head there. We definitely have many different people in the paintball world that make it interesting. Speaking of all these people you meet, tell me about the AZ Goats and the kids you have taken on there. How did it all get started?

BH: So it got started because with Contact going away, and then PB4MS shortly after. Ray Denogean and I started to just miss playing. And it was about 2 years ago, Wild West Field was hosting a 2 man 20 ball event. So we decided (with all the Blue Mountain State shows) to play as the Goats with the BMS Blue and Orange colors. We took 2nd in the 2 man event. Then we just went and played for fun here and there. Then one of our players Alec bugged us to start playing Airball more, which we did. Within about 2 months, it went from 3 of us to the first 8. They were all friends that just would invite another one or two that they knew wanted to play and compete more. And so we started working with them. Having some long days of practice, drills, and scrimmages against other Wild West Teams. They started making massive improvements and with the release of the D500 format, the boys were really eager to test out their skills. All the hard work ended up paying off with them getting 1st place in Vegas NXL, and then 4th in Dallas shortly after. It was amazing to see how far they all came in the 6 months or so of work before their first major event.

B: I remember watching the APPA anxiously at your guys standing threw out their first event. Must have been a good feeling as the coaches.

BH: It was amazing! One of my favorite points was watching our 2 youngest guys pulling off a 2 on 4 in prelims. They both just kept calm and did what we had taught them during all the practices and were able to hold out and win the game.

unnamed-3B: That’s what’s up! Making a pretty big name for yourselves right off the bat in the first event is an accomplishment. Seeing these kids come in from almost scratch, and being one of the coach that brought them to that level, do you have any advice for the new generation of players

BH: Be willing and open to feedback and advice. One of the biggest things that we have run into is wanting to be all stars on the field and not working as a team right away. What we are teaching them as coaches is to work on what we are teaching them. Being all newer kids they need to recognize that they might not be the best as snapping, gun battling, etc. So learning to communicate and work together pays off for them because then they are able to get their lanes down and pick on other players to make them have the numbers of the field. That combined with the newer players not being scared to make big moves. If they get shot it happens, but to keep trying and learning where and why they are getting shot, or listening to the coaches explaining what to look for while making those moves to help be more effective when doing so.

So the short answer, don’t be scared to get shot. Its paintball. And be open to criticism and critiques of their playing style.

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B: Some pretty good, in depth advice there. Brandon, we thank you for your time with us, and we look forward to watching the Goats grow and progress.

BH: Thanks for reaching out. And make sure to keep an eye out for our 3 man events later this year and possibly more to come afterwards.

 

East Coast Cup

By: Grant Hogge

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FAVA Photography

 

This weekend marked the first East Coast Cup held at Outdoor Extreme Chesapeake City in Maryland. This field has been used for countless tournament series such as GPL, 5 star series, MAPL and even PSP. OXCC has consistently been a mecca of paintballing in the mid-Atlantic area for many years. Chad Rotella, the owner of Eastern Paintball League rounded off the 9th year of this series. In 2007 he created this series from a single field in North Carolina, which has now grown to include 3 conferences. These conferences, framed after other professional sports, brings players from Connecticut all the way down to South Carolina. The most common format ran within EPL is the Race-to-2 format, which is a best 2 out of 3 matches. This man has truly incorporated “by the player, for the player” with his constant dedication to bring the best tournament on the east coast.

 

Before I get into the results of the East Coast Cup, I wanted to take the time to thank OXCC for hosting what could be one of the best tournaments I have ever attended. I wanted to thank the referees for the season of dedication and a final thanks to EPL for bringing this tournament series together. One of the takeaways which I wanted to highlight was something Chad said. He stated, “The one thing that I will take away from the event was the level of comradery among all of the teams from the different conferences. It never ceases to amaze me, when I see teams from the EPL North helping one another when they are about to face off against a team from the EPL South or Mid-Atlantic. I saw EPL south teams sharing paint/gear in the playoffs, so that they could compete against the other two conferences. You guys are normally at each other’s throats during conference events, but at ECC you seem to come together at just the right time.”

 

At the beginning of the day there was an open challenge to anyone who wanted to accept. Let someone who has not played EPL series all year, come into the East Coast Cup and beat the best teams in each conference. East Coast cup hosted 37 five-man teams from 3 separate conferences; North, South and Mid-Atlantic. But before he was done issuing a challenge; he mentioned one of the top teams who could win the event, the East Coast Regulators, painting a target on their backs. Winning EPL East Coast Cup wins free entry into NXL World Cup next month. Many teams use this tournament as training before the national showdown, regardless of winning entry or not.

 

Before we move into the results of East Coast cup I wanted to touch on the series champs for each conference. In order to be eligible, the team must play at least 4 same conference tournaments and have the highest win percentage in form of points. The divisional winners are as follows:

 

  • EPL North:
  • Division 4 Five-Man: East Coast Regulators
  • Division 5 Five-Man: Apocalypse Rising Black
  • Division 4/5 Three-Man: Sofa Kingdom
  • Division 6 Three-Man: HB Army Grey
  • EPL South:
  • Division 4 Five-Man: NRG Alpha
  • Division 5 Five-Man: VA Hustle
  • Division 4/5 Three-Man: Pops Crew 3man
  • Division 6 Three-Man: Fox Brothers Battalion 3
  • EPL Mid-Atlantic:
  • Division 4 Five-Man: Black Flag
  • Division 5 Five-Man: Driven II
  • Division 4/5 Three-Man: Barnos Bombers
  • Division 6 Three-Man: Potomac Predators Beta

 

All of these teams have grinded it out for the entire season and stuck together as a team, which is why becoming series champions proves so difficult. Being conference champs is only part of the prestige, the real champions prove their worth to take home the gold at East Coast Cup.

 

Saturdays are typically reserved for three-man teams in the Eastern Paintball League to prove their worth. The three-man divisions are split into Division 6 for beginners and Division 4/5 for the more experienced. Infamy Extreme Red brought home the gold in division 6 three-man, followed by Montclair State University with silver and Fox Brothers Battalion 3 with bronze.  Division 4/5 produced Revenants in 1st place, Aftermath with 2nd place and Pops Crew 3man with 3rd place. Each of these teams has proved their grit and made podium at the hardest EPL tournament of the year.

 

As the sun rose over the fields in Maryland, the weather proved to be perfect for paintball. A mild day in the 70’s with limited humidity, which is what player’s dream of. The D5 field had 19 teams grinding it out for a chance at winning the series championship. After 8 hours of prelims and playoff rounds, the top 3 teams showed their grit and appeared on the podium. Apocalypse Rising Black, coming off of an EPL North conference title placed 3rd. Driven II pushed past their limits and came out at ECC with a silver medal. Finally, the best D5 team to come out on top this last weekend was New York Tyrants.  

 

With the best of the best in each conference showed up to battle. The D4 field had over 17 teams from 3 conferences wanting not just a piece of the pie but the whole thing. Just to recap, the winners from ECC win not only the prizes for the tournament but also entrance paid into NXL’s World Cup in Florida. Revenants came out swinging and finished the day with a 3rd place. Sofa Kingdom Purple made it into the finals, but fell short and took home 2nd place. The East Coast Regulators, proving predictions right, came out on top of Eastern Paintball leagues East Coast Cup with first place medals, 2 trophies, and more importantly, free entry to NXL World Cup. A big shout out to all of the teams who came out this weekend to grind it out with the best on the east coast.

 

My hat gets tipped to all the players of the EPL series, the fields that host, the referees, the photographers for making us look so good and the Eastern Paintball League staff for putting it all together. Many teams will be looking to continue the grind next year in hopes to win the series and Cup. Until next season, don’t feed the hater nation, get some West Coast Meditation.

 

Podium Photos by: Scrub Media

LVL UP is officially open for business in Columbus, Ohio.

By Thomas Votaw

 

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This weekend, I had a chance to sit down with Dave Pando, owner of LVL UP Paintball in Columbus, Ohio. Dave definitely has the resume to open a paintball field. He fills the role of player and a businessman. As a player Dave and the Ohio University bobcats made it to the finals in 2009 at the NCPA College Paintball Nationals in Class A X-Ball where they finished 2nd against Purdue. As a businessman, Dave has worked for SC Village, a world famous field in Southern California. He also worked for Dye Paintball, also located in California. If you have been to a national event in the last few years and shopped at the Dye truck you probably talked with Dave.

 

LVL UP Sports is pronounced “Level Up Sports”. It refers to the video game culture with the idea the more time spent at the field, the better you will become as a player, just  like leveling up your character in a video game by playing frequently. LVL UP had their grand opening a month ago on Sunday, August 21st. They opened with six fields; three  recreational fields, one, six acre woods field, and two full X-Ball fields, one has a perfectly graded artificial grass turf. With a perfect X-Ball field and Dave being a collegiate paintball alumni, it’s no surprise that LVL UP has already become the main sponsor of The Ohio State Buckeyes and Ohio University college paintball teams.

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I asked Dave that if this was Stage One, what was his plan for Stage Two and also his goals to make this the premier field in Ohio. Dave said that his first goal was to get the six acre woods field ready for UWL next year. He then went on to say that the woods are playable, but they are only using 30 percent of the six acres. He also mentioned that he wanted to enhance the trailer park field and the cube field. Dave then pointed to a giant empty space behind where we were sitting and explained that they will be building a nuke town esque field. He explained that he would not be doing nuke town exactly, but a field to that quality and something you could only play at LVL UP.

 

Since Dave mentioned UWL, I wanted to pry a little bit and asked about the tournament side. “I have already been approached by the MSXL series and they definitely want us to host one next year” said Dave. This would be a big relief to a lot of Ohio players who are used to driving six hours or more to play in a regional series. MSXL requires four fields, so it sounds like Dave is on his way to be a hub for tournament action. He let me know that LVL UP already has the ability to run three fields, so adding a fourth won’t be a problem by next Spring.unnamed-3

I felt like I should push my luck and ask about the chance to have a national event at LVL UP. Dave smiled and said “Our goal is to host NXLs here in the future. The guy who helped build this park is the operations manager for the NXL. When we designed this park, there are three fields then there is a gap and room for another three fields directly next to the current fields. To have a NXL event, you need six fields and a pro field, which would be located in the center of the park. Then the parking lot would have the room for a full trade show.” This is wonderful seeing as NXLs first event was in Cleveland in 2015 and this gives them a chance to relocate if necessary and still keep an event in the Midwest.

 

I asked Dave why he chose Columbus as the place for his field especially when he has spent the last few years in beautiful Southern California. His response was simple, “If I was going to build a field, I wanted to do it the right way… a perfect X-Ball field, larger than life rec fields…. the paintball park of my dreams.” He also said that there are great fields in Southern California, but were scarce in the Midwest. Dave first looked in the Cleveland area to build his field and decided that it didn’t really fit. The lake effect snow and the fact that there are a few fields around it didn’t seem right. So Dave thought about it and realized the only true field in the Columbus area was Splatter Park (a long standing rec field) and they were almost a hour north of the City. Columbus has just under 1 million people, so he figured there was a need for a field for any kind of player.unnamed-1

 

Dave also has some plans for the immediate future. Starting in October, he will have a zombie shoot. This is a very popular and wildly fun event where people can come to the park and have some fun shooting at zombies and targets. October will also mark the first beginner and intermediate tournaments at LVL UP. Then late Fall, Dave will be running a big game on his woods ball field. He plans on keeping the field open year round as long as the snow isn’t deep. The turf will wick away the moisture and be playable year round. If it is too deep for X-Ball,  throw on your snow pants as there will be some epic woods battles all winter long. He will also be expanding the pro-shop during the winter and will be carrying a full line of products from all your favorite companies.

 

My absolute favorite part of our conversation was when Dave explained his weekend laying the turf. “Man laying turf is annoying, I had to hire an army from Craigslist. There are 40 sections of 10’x60’ pieces and each piece weighs 3,000 pounds. You use machines to kinda get in it place, but we did it right. As a tournament player myself, if I was going to build a tournament field, I wasn’t going to make it a place I was used to playing at, I wanted to do it right. Basically once you get it all kind of in place, you have to scoot them perfectly in place so you can seem them all with sod staples. This is where a lot of fields take the easy way out and that’s where you get those gaps and divots were all used to playing on. So to scoot them in place you have to move them by hand, 3000 pounds by hand. So, if you have ten super strong dudes that doesn’t help, you need 30 kind of strong dudes. It came to a point where I couldn’t get enough volunteers or even employees, so I put an ad on Craigslist. I then proceeded to get crack heads and a wave of random people show up to help, but in the long run it was what was needed to install the turf.”unnamed

 

In my opinion, Dave is taking every step to change the level of dedication shown by a field owner. Not only are his ideas well thought out, but he is building with no expenses spared, something that has only been done at a handful of fields across the nation. Dave is in touch with what the players want, both recreationally and competitively. I can’t wait to get the chance to try out his fields and compete. Possibly in a MSXL or UWL in 2017. If you are interested in learning more about LVL UP, please visit their website at www.lvlupsports.com and check them out. They also have a Facebook page. I have provided the link here https://www.facebook.com/LVLUPSPORTS/?fref=ts .

 

Dave teased that although his 36 acre park is massive, there is the option to add another 50 acres in the future.  If Dave continues with his goals, with the possibility of owning 80 acres of playable land, he will not only be the premier field in Ohio, but LVL UP will compete with the best fields in the world.

Akron University Wins SEEDS Event 4

 

By Thomas Votaw Mid-West Correspondent

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On September 11th, 2001 at 8:45 am, I sat in my 10th grade wood-shop class and watched on a small tube television as a plane crashed into the first of the Twin Towers. 15 years later, almost to the minute, I am listening to a recording of the late Whitney Houston sing the National Anthem as we are about to start the last paintball event of the season at Dimension Paintball in Youngstown, Ohio. Just like our country, Paintball has changed many times in the last 15 years. There was a large growth to the sport in the late 90’s all the way up until the late 2000’s. We then saw a bottoming out near 2008 when the economy dropped, and now we have seen a small resurgence as of late. The SEEDs Series has grown from that resurgence to the league it is today.

 

The SEEDs Series has been running since 2010 and every year owner Chris Kudler invests thousands of dollars so local players have a fair and fun event to play. The SEEDS Series has been a APPA qualified event since their 2011 season when they only had 3 and 5 man. Now the series has 4 divisions. They have a 3 and 5 man, xball and a 50cal young guns event. They have also made many improvements to the field itself including full set of NXL bunkers, scoreboards, and team pits.

 

dsc_5602There are 3 teams teams here today for division 4 Xball. 2 NCPA College teams and a local team from the Pittsburgh area. Dimension Paintball runs their xball matches the same way Chris used to play them in the 2000’s. Each match is two 6 minute halves, no overtime.

 

The first match of the day was between Akron University and The Reapers. Akron came out quick and scored a long first point with captain Ben Todd and Matthew Berger pulling out a 4 on 2. Followed by a long point stalemate that ran out the clock and took them to the half. After the break, The Reapers came right back while pushing down the field to tie the game 1-1. The match would end in a tie with both teams knowing they would have to win their next match to move on to the finals in a tournament with only 3 teams.

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The second match was between West Virginia University WVU and Akron University. In the first half of this match Akron put up two quick points,  but made a mistake when the clock ticked down and only had one player at the start box. WVU quickly took advantage and went into the half down 1-2. During the second half Akron solidified their lead securing the win 4-2.

 

Match three was between WVU and The Reapers. The Reapers controlled the first half by taking 3 points in a row and not letting WVU dictate the tempo. After the break, WVU came out swinging, unfortunately it was just a little bit too late. The Reapers ended up winning the match 4-2, sending themselves and Akron University to the finals.

 

dsc_4777The finals started with another slow first point with The Reapers ending up hanging the flag. Akron decided to take a timeout to talk about their plans going into a crucial point before the half. After their timeout, Akron marched down the field to tie it up going into halftime. After the half, Akron again played smart defense and won a long point to go up 2-1 where The Reapers just couldn’t come back. The last point, The Reapers knew they had to score quickly, so they played with very good aggression, but it’s hard to move against a team Anchored by Ben Todd and Thomas Hoster in the center of the field locking it down.

 

Akron University would win their first tournament of the season. The Reapers ended up taking second place and the coveted series champion trophy. Overall, it was a wonderful local tournament on a beautiful day. Competition was fierce and friendships even more so.

 

dsc_5341While teams were packing up I had a chance to speak with the captains of each team. I wanted to ask them the basics; what tournaments they were playing, sponsors, and if there was anyone they wanted to thank.

 

I started by talking to Drew Irvin of WVU. Drew said they had been a school club since 2013 and that their goals included solidifying their roster and win a local event with just school players. The WVU team would like to thank West Virginia University, Pittsburgh Paintball Park, and Dimension Paintball for the wonderful places to practice and the help on and off the field.

 

dsc_6855I then had the chance to speak with Derik ( Midge) Dolgos, captain of The Reapers. Derik told me they have been a team in the Pittsburgh area since 2013 and are self sponsored.  Their goal is to play a MSXL or NXL next season.

 

dsc_6849 Finally,  I had the chance to speak with Matthew Berger of Akron University. Matthew informed me that they’re planning on playing 3 to 4 NCPA regional events this year in the MWGL region and then will head to nationals in April of 2017. Their only Goal is 1st place since last year they took 4th, which left them wanting more. Matthew said they wanted to thank Akron University, Smith & Richardson Manufacturing, Dropzone LTD, and last but not least they wanted to thank Chris Painter their adviser at the University of Akron.

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If you want to find out more about the SEEDs series, please head to www.DimensionPaintball.com where you can get info on tournament dates, link to their social media, or take the survey and help Chris shape the local tournament scene in Northeast Ohio.

 

FAVA Photography releases “NXL Paintball – Great Lakes Open-FAVAphoto”

George Fava of Fava Photography and Pbnation have just released their NXL Great Lakes Open video. Make sure to check out the action packed video. It comes with great music that really sets a tone that has been missing lately in many modern paintball films. The toughness, has returned. Make sure to check out his facebook page and give him a like so you can follow his latest projects and work.

WPBO Releases New Chin Strap Guidelines

In case you missed some of the background, several weekends ago on the NXL pro field, Trevor Resar of Infamous collided with a Baltimore Revo player Chris Lloyd who had his goggles knocked loose during a point and received minor injuries to the face. Hopefully Lloyd is well recovered by now and ready for World Cup which lies around the corner.trevor-resar-infamous-paintball This incident has brought the attention of the WPBO to a long time non issue, and will be making last minute rule changes that will most likely effect every player looking to participate in World Cup. In a press release the WPBO wanted to clarify “Clarification on the EC & ASTM Goggle standards

 

Point 5.2.1. of the WPBO Rules says that the goggle systems used by people entering a paintball field, including but not limited to paintball players, staff and referees, must be manufactured for paintball use, in good repair and with undamaged lenses.

These goggles must meet or exceed EC & ASTM Standards. Among other things, the EC & ASTM Standards outline the mandatory use of the chin strap for safety reasons: In order to make this part of the Rules clear for everyone, we remind all the players that using EC & ASTM approved goggles fitted with the manufacturer’s chin strap is mandatory. The photo below is provided by WPBO for clarification of what they mean.
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Some feel this might be just an untimely grab for extra cash for companies going into the end of the year. While others who disagree with that notion feel this is justified do to Trevor’s incident.

 

Nick Schaedal gave us a response and that we should note that these are his personal opinions and do not reflect the views or opinions of any organization he may be associated with.,

“This release can be attributed to two different factors: the recent injury sustained on the pro field due to an impact causing the dislodging of a player’s goggles, and the upcoming and recent releases of new goggle systems by major manufacturers with big stakes in the leagues.

Personally, I believe it’s nonsensical and a typical knee-jerk reaction to a high profile instance of equipment-related injury.

The higher-ups of the leagues are well-aware that the vast majority of players remove their chin straps shortly after purchase, never to be seen again. If they’re not aware, they’re either being willfully ignorant, or blatantly ignore the entirety of the player base.

So in an attempt to either cover their own asses, or squeeze even more money out of the players, they’re making a last-minute rule change that will force players to either buy a new mask, find a means of locating a chin strap that will fit onto their current mask (no easy task for most), or simply not play. Assuming this applies for referees and media as well, this rule change is going to result in lost staff and media coverage and is overall a very poor reactionary decision on behalf of the leagues.”

Chris Henk also shared his opinion, “If this does become Rule of the Tournaments, it would be helpful of the mask manufacturers to sell the chin straps like they sell lenses. By the way, if companies start selling the chin straps at $15 or more, that company deserves to die.

 

Arizona Paintball, the UPL, and the Generosity of the Paintball Community

10945474_938737462806127_4295958020230622787_oby: Bubba Lara South West Correspondent #00 Scottsdale Elevation

 

 

Yes, believe it or not, paintball is still alive in Arizona. Sadly, it is slowly dying off. Those few of us that remain are the ones keeping it alive. We see it all the time when people come out to play and end up deciding that they would like to come and play with us that are competing in tournaments. I am sure that every single one of us tell those people the exact same thing. “Well come out more often and don’t be scared to ask for help or advice.” We are all there to help one another and would love to see the sport grow back into what it once was. We only have a hand full of teams here that go out and compete in the leagues. We have Scottsdale Elevation, AZ Outlaws, Phoenix Rising, and Elite just to name a few. On the field at practice, it’s a war. No mercy for one another, we play to win. But once we all get off, its back to being friends and helping the guy next to you correct their mistakes. I can’t even tell you how many times I have gotten off the field and went straight to the person I shot and told them “Hey man, your arm was sticking way out.” Or “You had the right idea to put me in, but you set a rhythm when you would shoot and wrap…”

 

The point here is that even though we are all on different teams, divisions, and leagues we are all willing to help one another. We give up time on our UPL field to play with Rising for WCPPL. Our D2 line gives up there NXL field to help us out UPL. I would be willing to say that we are a small Paintball Family. I play for Elevation, and we are playing in the UPL this season. Our first 2 events were in Las Vegas. Who did we see there with us from Arizona? The Saints, Phoenix Rising D5, and The Gun Slingers. What did we do in between matches? Watched them and give tips and advice. They would do the same to us. Yes, they are our Competition and we are all there to win right? But we are also there representing our home state. California is known for putting out some of the best players out there. And there are A LOT more of them in CA than there are of us in AZ.

 

This past weekend was the 3rd UPL event is Lake Elsinore, CA. Man was that a blast. And a fight to the very end. I don’t know how many of you follow the UPL league standings. But in the D4 division, Scottsdale Elevation took first place in the first two events of the 2016 series. What a way to start out, right? We went into this third event down 3 of our starting players. But we still had our heads held high. Knowing that everyone was going to be gunning for us. We were still confident. Sending 2 lines in, one for Saturdays Race to 2, and Sundays Race to 4. Saturdays line was our newer guys that had just been picked up. Sadly, being together for only about a 2 months and one FRESH guy to the team (and me filling in a new position) We didn’t do too well. But the main mission, was to get these boys rolling as a team. But man what a group of talent we have there. Derek Acosta and Justin Rankin coming out of retirement. Picking up Mike Galaios who is a dominate snake player from Greece. And my personal favorite, little Trevor Nicholas. He is only 13, came in from our D5 kids line wanting more and started playing with us. And now he is rocking just as hard as the rest of us who have been playing for a LONG time. The heart that little guy puts out in one practice is more than most people put out in a whole season. Never scared to ask for help, and we have created a beast on the field. He never gave up, even when he was sitting so we can prepare for the next event, he was still there every weekend ready to roll at any moment.

 

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Then we have our Sunday line. Man o’ man was that a fight to stay on top. Again, we are down 3 starting players. One of them moving up to our Semi-Pro line. That has to be the most intense Sunday that I have ever played. Usually we would walk in, roll our guns, hang the flag yelling “Buy Felicia!!!” and walk off. Oh no, not this time. With the competition rising we went toe to toe with everyone. Mayhem out of Southern California’s SC Village, who we have made great friends with along the way, put up one heck of a fight. With players like Gabriel Day, and Kyle Brady, they didn’t give up easy. Then with the Broke Ballers, an intense 1 on 1 happened. Thankfully to quick thinking and amazing skills, Leon Noel pulled it off for us.

 

And then we have LA Collision. We ended up playing them for 3rd and 4th. That right there was the “Game of The Day” as so much happened. Penalties to the point that we had to take a break so that the amazing refs out there could figure out what exactly happened. I have to give it to them boys. Even during the “break”, we were all able to talk and B.S. about anything and everything. Even Luna was giving me advice for how to play that snake better. Again, on the field is a battle. Anything in between, we are all buddies.  Which is great to have because in the end we ended up beating them and taking 3rd. I will admit that I wasn’t too happy with it at first. But after thinking about it. I am not upset that we ended up there. Because that was the hardest we had ever fought to stay on that podium.

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But that was not the only CRAZY part of the weekend. Saturday night a couple of our cars were broken into and things were stolen. And the worst of it all, my CS1, my Tank, and my Freak Kit were all stolen from my car. Man was that rough to cope with when playing Sunday. But this isn’t about poor little oh me. No no no, this is about how all ballers around come together, and help one another. I had people tell me that they are sorry for my loss, and they are going to send me a free tank. A FREE TANK!!! I don’t even know this guy and he is reaching out like that. Another person hit me up and said that they have an extra Rotor and freak barrel that I can have. That is amazing. And along with that I started a GoFundMe account to try and replace what I lost. By the next morning I had over $300. A few of those people I didn’t even know. I even had one person, across the country that I made a trade with before, offer to send me his whole set up while he was out and unable to play. That right there is more than anyone can ask for. So many people are lending me guns and tanks just so that I can finish this season out with my team. That right there, is what I mean when I said Paintball Family. Most of these people are from my home field, and on my team. But for people that I don’t know to reach out and be willing to hand everything over to me is truly a great thing.

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Now that we have covered, helping the younger, newer players, to helping one another across the country, all the way to the sweat, the tears, and the battles on the field. We can all see that we are one big family. Even though it’s a fight to the top on the field. Off the field. we can all shake hands, talk about that last point, give one another advice, and just be one big happy family.

 

 

 

Five-Star Series: Northeast Masters at O.X.C.C.

 

By: Grant Hogge- East Coast Content Staff Writer

 

The Northeast Masters, a venerable East Coast showdown between two regional leagues. The Eastern Paintball league and the Global Paintball League teamed up to bring you the 5 Star Series. By blending 2 leagues, 4 conferences and teams from 8 states. This tournament is used as preparation by many for EPL East Coast Cup and eventually NXL World Cup.

 

This tournament, held over the course of two days pits the 3-man teams from d6 to d4 against each other on the first day, and reserves 5-man format for Sunday. Over 20 Five-Man teams showed up and 16 three-man teams, many of which play both formats.

 

Coming out of the prelims, the top 2 teams in the D4 three-man division were “Gam Gams Hit Squad” and the “Bamos Bombers” with a perfect bracket. The top two seeds seemed content on continuing their battle for first. “Bamos Bombers” took first, “Gam Gams Hit Squad” took second and “Elite 3M” took third place.

 

D5 five-man was a bit closer compared to the three-man brackets. “Driven II” held off its competition as top seed into semi-finals followed very closely by “New York Tyrants”, “Apocalypse Rising Black”, and finally “Delusion” who were all tied at 6 points. The finals resulted in “Driven II” taking gold, “New York Tyrants” with silver and “Delusion” with Bronze.

 

The D6 three-man prelims resulted in a clear front-runner of “HBArmy GREY” followed by “Sofa Kingdom GREEN”. After clearing the semi-finals these two teams continued the search for gold. In the finals, a resilient “Sofa Kingdom GREEN” held off the perfect “HBArmy GREY” to secure first place. “Black Lotus” took third place.

 

The real stars of each leagues were battling in this division 4 five-man to find out who will be the multi-conference champion. The prelims ended with a very fluid looking “East Coast Regulators”, followed by the ever dominant “Black Flag” nipping at the heels. The third and fourth seed placed “Leverage” and “TopGun Carls Commandos Red”. All four of these teams hailed from the Eastern Paintball League and were constant contenders for finals this season. Unlike the other brackets, this bracket resulted in Ocho-Finals to further test the grit of these teams. After some grinding, the finals placed “Apocalypse Rising White” who was a 7th seed against “Black Flag”, and “East Coast Regulators” against “Hood”.  The “East Coast Regulators” ended with Third-Place, “Black Flag” took 2nd and that placed “Apocalypse Rising White” at the top with a 1st place at the Northeast Masters.

 

In less than a month teams from all over the East Coast will battle it out in hopes to gain free entry into NXL World Cup. The tournament takes place on 9/24-9/25 and will host teams from South Carolina to New York at Outdoor Extreme Chesapeake City in Maryland. Stay tuned for more recaps and features. As always help solve the hate equation, spread some West Coast Meditation.

 

 

USA Wins Nations Cup and Toulouse Ton Tons Beat Edmonton Impact 7-6 to win the Campaign Cup in Basildon, United Kingdom

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After a long weekend in Basildon, UK the dust has settled as teams from all over the world traveled far and wide to compete in the Millennium Series’ Campaign Cup. Teams representing Russia, France, United States, Czech Republic, Great Britain, Poland, Sweden, Argentina, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Gabon, Norway, Italy, and Spain would compete in the Nations Cup which would be held on location during the event. Millennium Series features 124 Teams competeing across 6 Divisions, at the top is CPL then SPL, Division 1, Division 2, Division 3, and Division 4. Fierce competition unraveled over the weekend with great triumphs, and huge upsets.

Nations Cup Results:

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1st Place: United States
2nd Place: Norway
3rd Place: France
4th Place: Poland

CPL Campaign Cup Results:

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1st Place: Toulouse Ton Tons
2nd Place: Edmonton Impact
3rd Place: GI Houston Heat
4th Place: Breakout Spa

SPL Campaign Cup Results:

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1st Place: Russian Legion
2nd Place: Lucky 15 Staffordshire
3rd Place: Amsterdam Heat
4th Place: Red Storm Moscow

Division 1 Campaign Cup Results:

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1st Place: RMG Symphony Bratislava
2nd Place:  Brussels Heat
3rd Place: West Connection Rouen
4th Place: United Strasbourg

Division 2 Campaign Cup Results:

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1st Place: Falkoeping MASH0313
2nd Place: Diaspora Vilnius
3rd Place: FiveStar Lleida 3
4th Place: Ultra Moscow

Division 3 Campaign Cup Results:

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1st Place: Harbour Crew Hamburg
2nd Place: Izmir Angelpark
3rd Place: Dartford DOA
4th Place: London Nexus 2

Division 4 Campaign Cup Results:

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1st Place: RabbitZ Toulouse
2nd Place: Liverpool Showtime
3rd Place: Consilium Dei Zurich 3
4th Place: Saar Fanatics Lebach 2

 

 

 

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Stanislas Polyakov of Russian Legion was crowned 1v1 Champion after defeating Brandon Cornell of Edmonton Impact.

Team USA 2-0 after day one of Nations Cup Competition.

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After defeating Russia and Great Britain in the first day of play at Nations Cup in Basildon, UK. Team USA sits in a nice position to repeat last years victory. Team USA has some of the Unites States best athletes representing their country, each one hungry to bring home gold. They are set to play Czech Republic soon. We wish them luck.

East Coast Regulators, Tempo, Sofa Kingdom, and Penn Dragons win the EPL’s Butler Cup (WESTPOYNT Highlight Video)

The 2nd event of the Eastern Paintball League’s highlight video was just released a few days ago by WestPoynt. Produced by Jackson West and Jesse Brunk, it is a must see and you have to check it out. The Butler Cup was held in New Jersey a few weeks ago and saw an array of East Coast Teams compete in Division 4 and 5 (5 man) and Division 4/5 and 6 (3man). https://www.facebook.com/easternpaintballleague/

Butler Memorial Cup 2016
Winners Circle

Division 4
1st- East Coast Regulators
2nd – Leverage
3rd – Eminent Paintball Factory

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Division 5
1st – Tempo
2nd – Practice Squad
3rd – Apocalypse Rising

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Division 4/5
1st – Sofa Kingdom
2nd – Philly Xtreme Kids
3rd – Top Gun Carl’s Commands LDS

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Division 6
1st – PennDragons
2nd – Bone Crushers
3rd – Apocalypse Rising

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Los Angeles Collision Wins WCPPL’s Beach City Classic

Beats Los Angeles Platinum 5-0 in Finals.

A fortnight ago, the season for many West Coast teams commenced with the WCPPL’s (West Coast Paintball Players League’s) Beach City Classic. The tournament was held on the Marine Base in Camp Pendleton, California. After a long off season and without further adieu the long awaited event kicked off with spectacular fashion.  66 teams competed over the weekend for glory, fame, and cash prizes of $23,000 dollars between 4 divisions.

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There were many solid teams in Division 2, the top and premier division of the WCPPL. San Jose Royalty, Shooting Blanks, 406’s Finest, Los Angeles Platinum, Northside Empire, and Los Angeles Collision. Northside Empire definitely a strong team seemed to struggle to get a win but did have a close one against 406’s Finest with a final score of 3-5. No team would make it out of prelims unscathed, Los Angeles Platinum would drop their only match to 406’s Finest as well a 2-2 tie. The Classic’s Champions Los Angeles Collision would also end up dropping a preliminary match to Los Angeles Platinum 2-5. San Jose Royalty and Shooting Blanks both with a win and a tie would not make it our of prelims. Los Angeles Platinum would secure a buy into Finals with their 3 wins and 1 tie record. Los Angles Collision and 406’s Finest faced off is an incredibly close semi finals match that would end with a Collision win 5-4. With momentum coming off the hard fought semi finals win and the bitter sweet loss suffered by Collision in the preliminary rounds. Los Angeles Platinum just did not have an answer to what Collision was putting together and put that tournament in the books with a 5-0 win by Los Angles Collision.

12792182_1763482693871972_9117129405356623931_oDivision 3 was cut throat with 16 teams rocking out to claim the prize. With lots of powerhouse teams heading to Camp Pendleton from top level organizations Sacramento DMG, San Diego Pirates, LA Platinum, AZ Elite, and San Jose Royalty. After a grueling preliminary round, only a few would make it through to Quarter finals. Cartel Kids would defeat LA Boom 4-2. NBK would come through with a win against Raw Material 3-2. SD Pirates would move on as well, finishing LA Defiance’s run 4-1. Classic would take on Capital Edge DMG Black 4-3. In the end it would be NBK vs Classic which would end with a very close score of 4-3.

Division 4 saw 31 teams fighting out for supremacy of the west. This division was also gifted with plenty of strong 10712446_10153746726287025_6600027399542888169_oteams from all over. The lucky and hard pressed few who made it out of this division’s prelims and the first round of final eliminations were: San Diego Techno Kitty, Northmen, SA Notorious FSU Crew, Los Angeles Platinum Grey, Nor Cal Kings, Nor Cal Hustle, Nor Cal Disruption, and AZ Elite. These teams would play each other to see who would move onto the semi finals. Of these teams it would be Nor Cal Hustle who would move on to the finals defeating San Diego Techno Kitty 3-2, and Nor Cal Kings beating SA Notorious FSU Crew 3-1. At the end of the day the Nor Cal Kings would outwork Nor Cal Hustle to seal the victory 3-2.

701914_10153748279927025_8846358412150843472_oDivision 5 which had 11 teams testing the waters of the highest level of west coast tournament paintball. Finding what they are made of as they took on each other at the Beach City Classic. Arizona Bandits had a strong showing getting two team out of the preliminaries and into the quarter finals. Los Angeles Platinum White and San Diego  Renegades would also move onto the quarter finals. Both Arizona teams would move on however, to play Maui Mixed Plate and the Immortals who had also made the cut out of prelims and earned a buy going straight into semi finals. Well rested both Mixed Plate and Immortals would both deliver AZ Bandits each their loss and would move on to play each other in the finals. The Division 5 finals match would see Maui Mixed Plate tower victorious over the Immortals 3-0.

 

 

Arturo Andrade and the MXL

 

 

12184306_10153289804412972_2591263997351389907_oHey Arturo, how’s everything?
Everything is really great, I couldn’t ask for anything else.

How long have you been playing paintball?
I think it will be 13 years now.

What teams have you played for?
My first 2 teams when I started were Contra and then Quimera. After that I played for a team called kidz. Then we started the TJ Allstarz to play in Mexico. As well as NAUGHTY BY NATURE in the NPPL. Then I played a couple of events with BAD COMPANY in 2008 in the NPPL as well. Later we started competing as TJ Allstarz in the PSP. And now in the NXL we are the most successful team from Latin America.

12717326_10156544841440323_6823052255135317685_nCan you tell us a little bit about the MXL?
Of course, the MXL is a league that tries to give you the best experience in competitive paintball. Bringing the most professional refs, rules, and staff. It is ran by players for the players. Being a partner league with the WPBO and NXL it will assure that everyone will have a standardized and universal format everywhere they look. So they can compete everywhere in the world with the same ID system and rules.

We are really excited to start off this year, we are working with a lot of motivation and have invested a lot to grow and bring the best events to Mexico.

How long has the league been around?
I started the MPL (Mexican Paintball League) back in 2008 but we have been reborn this year and have become the MXL (Mexican Xball league)

What is the main focus of the league?
Our main focus is the growth of the sport here in Mexico, and the world. By making events as professional as possible. It will only help make teams better in every way possibles and helping teams compete in the NXL and making our paintball grow internationally.12779243_10207528452921851_2292175055141616585_o

How was last year for the MPL?
The MPL was a great year with 4 events, booked full every time.

Where will the league be heading to this year?

We are going to Guadalajara, Monterrey, Mexico City, and Playa del Carmen in the Caribbean.

What event do you look forward to the most?
Playa del Carmen definitely, we will have the Latin American World Cup there and it is in an all inclusive resort with the Caribbean as your background.

12806032_919764558141211_1785501508690562970_nWho are some of the teams in the league that you enjoy watching?
Scorpion Legacy for the heart they put in, and Black Water for their young talent.

What’s your favorite thing about paintball?
That it have given me so much, and that I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. I look back and I realize how much experiences and stories I have to tell; and its all for paintball and this crazy life not everybody is lucky enough to understand. Plus it has given me so many brothers from another mother. You cannot ask for more.

Who is your favorite player?
Max Lundquist, he has taught me so much.

WPBO releases new bunkers.

 

WPBO Bunkers Dave Bains

Yesterday the World Paintball Organization (WPBO) released their new bunker additions for the 2016 NXL, PALS and Millennium seasons. The surprise shocked the world as Facebook and Instagram feeds began blowing up with photos of Dave Bains (6’4) at his field Capital Edge Paintball Park in Sacramento, California with something never seen before.  The W or “WIN”  bunkers as referred to by the WPBO in an official press release, which would be release later after the photos emerged and an intense discussion across Pbnation and social media sites erupted as players and fans expressed their opinions.WPBO new bunker memo

“WPBO introducing WIN and Mini Win bunker.
The WIN Bunker will now replace the Race to, Millennium and PALS “A” bunkers in order to play the same field all over the world.

This new bunker will bring a lot of improvements to the game: Fewer players will be eliminated on breakout, Players will have more position options on breakout, The center will become more crucial to game play.

Overall, the game will be more interesting to play, thanks to increasing tactical options, as well as more exciting to watch.

Ecperienced players who have the ability to “feel” the game will be ablto to express their skill resulting in more exciting “crazy” moves.

With all of these improvements, the WPBO is expecting an incredible 2016 season.”

 

There is definitely a good mix of opinions on the new bunkers. It would seem that you either hate it or like it.

Tyler Harmon of San Diego Dynasty commented, “The new bunker set is very intense. The ‘Wu-Tang’ bunker, as I like to call it, should make for some fun and interesting plays up the middle and add a whole new dynamic to the field!”

While Archie Montemayor, seemed a little less than thrilled taking to Nation to voice his dissatisfaction.Archie Pbnation Bunker Post

 

Ronnie Dizon of Chicago Aftershock thought, “The new bunkers are going to be interesting to see play out. Just like every new bunker, players will have to adapt to the shape and how it affects the overall field. The small “W” seems like it will play like the small “M” bunkers in the millennium. Similar to a mini-race bunker but with it not being as angled. The big “W” however will be quite different. Depending on the height of the player it seems you’ll be able to play the sides as well as the the two dipped down parts of it making it that many more spots a player has to check off if opposing the bunker in play. I’m almost positive off the break shooting will be able to shoot over the big “W” and with those gaps will only open more lanes.”

 

Corey Field of Seattle Thunder, “I think they were in a hurry to make the bunkers. I was expecting something like the M in the Millennium series. I like the fact no one can see your feet in the middle. I believe there will be more explosive moves up the middle, but it also has given the laners a way to shoot them off the break judging from the pictures.”

 

Ryan Greenspan was a little less than thrilled taking to Facebook to express his opinions on the matter.
Ryan Greenspan Dynasty

“What a joke! We are now playing behind a giant evil mustache bunkers courtesy of the new governing body of our league. I just imagine a room filled with a bunch of Terrance and Howard characters bobbling around drawing squiigly lines with pencils and one person shout in excitement, “I’VE FIGURED IT OUT!! WE’VE REVOLUTIONIZED PAINTBALL”

Just when I thought our sport was moving in the right direction they attempt to be clever and create a new monstrosity to represent the WPBO. Good thing Dynasty has been around long enough to know how to deal/put up with the shit”

 

We also caught up with Michael Hinman, “If the heads of the WPBO feel that these upgrade pieces are what we as tournament paintball players need to do to make tournament paintball more exciting then I’m glad they are doing it. As for the WCPPL we won’t be adopting new pieces for our 2016 season. Jerry, Huey and myself believe that if we were to come up with new pieces, it should be launched at World Cup and not at the beginning of the season when people are scrambling to get themselves a set to play. We also believe that player feedback is crucial to any decisions that we as a league make. I think that step might have been missed by the other leagues. But paintball will still be paintball! I’m sure this will calm down and people will go about having fun playing in 2016.”