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.
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.
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.
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.
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.