By: Grant Hogge
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