And let’s not forget the refs and the players, both of whom adapted admirably under very difficult circumstances. The pro teams played only on Friday, agreeing to add the remainder of their Galveston games to an already difficult schedule in Phoenix. Nice job… remember, the lower divisional teams don’t all have the ability to travel to all five events, and many of them were not scheduled to play Phoenix. So it’s Galveston Island or bust for those teams—and the pros prevented this event from going “bust” for them. In the end all of the divisional teams did play out their complete schedule and even that took its toll. Just look at the photos and you’ll see what these guys had to go through to play a game. They “manned-up” and made it happen. And then there’s the referees. This group worked so far above their pay grade it’s not even measurable. So, kudos to everyone that made this event even possible. Great job by all of you.
Before we get into the game, how about some props to the PSP and their new media company for a great job with the webcast! The camera work was first class and Davey Williamson, Chris LaSoya and Todd Martinez were outstanding. I only caught bits and pieces but what I saw was excellent.
Let’s Talk Paintball
As I said a bit earlier, the pro division did not come close to finishing. Dynasty and the Ironmen each won their four preliminary round games. Houston Heat, everyone’s favorite new pro team, won their only two games, as did Tampa Damage. On the losing side Chicago Aftershock lost all four of their games, never scoring more than three points in any one game. Some thoughts on the pro division—Houston Heat in just their first event playing together, beat Vicious by three, then followed that up with a win in a thriller over Russian Legion 7-6. “All star” teams rarely play well in their first event, but the Heat was well on the way to having a great first one before the weather washed away their tournament. On another note, there were so many penalties on Friday in the pro bracket that it was almost laughable. Then again, it’s the first event of the year and many of the teams have a bunch of new players on their rosters.
Top Gun Jesters Union and the New Jersey Jesters started off their season with a bang—and four straight preliminary round wins in Division One (RaceTo 5). San Diego Pirates and Static were the only other two teams in the bracket with three wins in their four first round games. In the Division One quarterfinals the Pirates breezed by L.I.F.T. by a 5-1 score. Also in the quarters Static beat the RNT All Stars 4-2. San Diego Pirates drew Top Gun Union next, in what everyone thought would be a great game. While it was a decent game, it was the Pirates that took the game 3-1. The New Jersey Jesters beat Static in a very good 4-3 game, to set up a Jesters versus Pirates final round matchup. The Pirates were playing so well by the finals they just looked unbeatable—which they were. They sent the Jesters packing with a 5-1 blowout. Congrats to the Pirates for the impressive Division One win.
Only one team from Division Two (RaceTo 5) ran the table in the preliminary rounds and that team was Coalition. And not that I want to let the cat out of the bag yet (who came up with that expression?) but… Coalition didn’t lose a single game all tournament—and took home the first place prize. Revo, a team that moved up from Division Three for this season, lost to Coalition in the finals. Great showing for a team playing “up” a division.
In Division Three (RaceTo 4) Central Florida Paintball put on quite a show in the preliminary rounds, winning all four of their games. Keep in mind they moved up from Division Four and played this well against stiffer competition. Also winning all of their first round games were New Jersey Jesters Silver, Revo II and Chaos Company. New Jersey Jester Kids (where do they get all of these good players?), Palm Beach Venom, New England Invasion and Houston Elite each won three of four first round games.
Central Florida Paintball and Palm Beach Venom were clearly the hottest teams in the division, each speed-bumping their way into the finals. In the battle of Florida teams playing in Texas, it was Palm Beach Venom edging Central Florida Paintball 2-1 to win the event.
In Division Four (RaceTo 4) the “other” Central Florida P8tball (did you catch the “8”? Very clever:) went 4-0 in the preliminary rounds, not allowing any team to score more than one point against them. Imperial also went undefeated in the Division Four prelims. In the end it was TKO getting hot at the right time and running through their Saturday and Sunday games to take first place over North Texas Shockwave 4-1.
Again, I can’t say this enough—what a great job done by the PSP to pull this event off under the worst circumstances. Next up is Phoenix Arizona.
Go to PSPEvents.com for more information.