Archive for June, 2012

Billy Wing goes to Guatemala

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Billy Wing and DYE in Guatemala:

Last week I finally made my first trip to Guatemala. After being there I can’t believe it took me so long.  The country is called the land of eternal spring, and its name is every bit true. It is literally near perfect spring time weather, or perfect paintball weather year round.  Before my trip down I was cautioned that it is quite hot during the day with occasional light showers in the early evening. With this in mind I packed for California or Florida hot, you know 90deg+.  Well as it turns out real hot in Guatemala is about 72deg. But none of that mattered as the trip was amazing.

The first day was scheduled to be an afternoon meet and greet at Campo Gotcha with the players and do a little field walking clinic. But before that Cesar, the owner of Campo Gotcha insisted that we take the morning and learn some history and culture about Guatemala.  So the morning was a weekend worth of sightseeing packed into half a day museums, churches, ruins, traditional foods, local artisans displaying their crafts. Luckily all of this was found in the historical city of Antigua.  I may be getting old, but it was cool to see how much Guatemala respects their history, and is proud of their culture.  After lunch we headed for the Campo Gotcha, and I spent the afternoon hanging out with many of the local players and helping to get ready for the tournament. Everyone was super friendly, and the field was one of the nicest I have ever been to. You can see that Cesar has truly put his heart and sole into his field.

The tournament was first class, the games stayed on time, good reffing, and great action on the field.  I got lucky and was able to play with a more or less pick up team that needed one more player.  Team Fruit Snacks as we called ourselves, was mainly a bunch of kids back home for the summer that hadn’t played together in months.  As it turned out sometimes you don’t need practice just a little luck I guess. By Sunday afternoon we were in the finals against the local reigning champs, Armagedon. This made this even more fun because I have known several of the players on Armagedon for a while now.  The first match was a quick full field attack and win for the Fruit Snacks. The second point saw Armagedon systematically pick apart the snacks from the snake side. And the final point ended in a trade out between the last 2 players, and the need for a tie breaker.  So the match and the tournament were going to come down to a 1 on 1, me vs. my buddy Sebas.

Something to mention at this point, the field was surrounded by 15 foot concrete walls, barbwire, and guard towers for the reffs. The spectators watch from the top in skybox like seating.  On Saturday I thought this was awesome,  But now suddenly with the fans banging on the window from their skyboxes seats, and yelling in more Spanish then I can understand, I quickly started to feel like I am in some underground, no holds barred, pit fight to the death.  Who knows, maybe I was about to find out just how serious they take PB in Guatemala.  I started thinking about stories of soccer players being lynched after letting their  fans down.  If I win will they lynch my buddy Sebas for disgracing their country, or maybe me for being the evil American?  I actually thought for a second maybe it would be best to lose this one.  Before I could talk myself off the edge, and remember to turn my Rotor on the 1 on 1 started. In a quick back and forth gun fight (after I turned my hopper on) I was able to sneak a shot in on Sebas’s Rotor and claim the win. Luckily for me the fans apparently were happy with an exciting final and saw no need to lynch anyone.

I want to thank Cesar, his family, all the staff at Campo Gotcha, Armagedon Academy , my fellow champs the Fruit Snacks, and all the players I met that made this trip so much fun. I Hope to be back soon.

Billy Wing

 

London Nexus Captain Ash Chaplen recounts the season so far.

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Its a long season, and its not always an easy ride.

The weekend hadn’t started well. It was only Friday morning in fact, so the weekend hadn’t started at all. That evening we were heading to practise with Breakout Spa, at their field in Belgium, the weekend before the 3rd Millennium series event in London. Annoyingly Shaun had to work late, then we hit London’s famous rush hour traffic. This meant we missed not one, but two ferry crossings to France. Then when we finally made it onto a boat it took what seemed like an eternity to get across the Channel. Plus it was full of sea-sick children. We ended up arriving at our destination at 4am – 5hrs later than planned.

 

For those of you that don’t know, Nexus is a young team going through (another) rebuild. The average age is now just 19, and I’m the oldest at 26. Most of the guys have played no more than 5 pro tournaments. Despite our inexperience there is a lot of potential in our ranks, and a real hunger to win. We’ve already shown flashes of what is possible, but we’re still trying to find the consistency you need to deliver a ‘W’.

It’s been a tough couple of weeks for Nexus. This is our 10th straight weekend of paintball, the 17th weekend since we held tryouts at the end of January. Combine that with a full-time job (or school for some of the kids on the team) and you have a pretty demanding schedule. No matter what anyone says, that takes its toll on you and you need to know how to handle it, both physically and mentally.

 

Our practise for The 2nd event in Bitburg, Germany, had been near-perfect and we were feeling very confident going into the event despite a potentially tricky group. Only for the team to miss the cut on point spread – basically if we had dropped one less point when we beat Dynasty we would have gone through in their place, instead they went through and won the event. That is how fine the margins are in the CPL (Pro Division) this year.

 

Still, no time to stop and feel sorry for ourselves. A week later we were all at the tryouts for the UK nations cup team, with myself and Jay Ford being picked to represent Team UK along side a few former Nexus players. In the same week we also parted ways with Liam Holmes; he was one of the new kids we picked up in January, Liam had been the best player at tryouts by far, but things just weren’t working out for him and we let him go. I really hope he comes back next year a stronger player and proves us wrong, but again, no time to stop and dwell on it, our home event is coming up and that is our focus now.

The next two practises were frustratingly flat. We made the long trip ‘up north’ to Birmingham Disruptions home field, only to be told after half a days play we had to stop. The site wasn’t allowed to be open that weekend due to a village show nearby. With no alternative venues available, we had to pack up and head home. The next week we finally got to play 2 full days, but the team struggled to get going. We ran drills and break outs with Relentless – a solid D2 team that we practise with a lot at our home field; BricketWood Paintball. Overall it wasn’t our best weekend, but you just need to push through those hard days and not let it get the better of you.

So, back in Belgium. Going off of 3hrs sleep, we arrived at Breakouts field for what turned into a really productive weekend. We were joined by German DYE team Comin At Ya, a Semi-Pro team who are looking strong heading into this event. Over 2 days, playing lots of points we figured out a few kinks in our approach to this layout and moved a few players around to get the right guys in the right spots. Its hard to come by good teams to practise with, but both teams were great to work with and we all got a lot out of the weekend. Thankfully the ride home was far less traumatic too.

 

 

Going into a major event its all about building momentum. You dont want to peak early, just keep maintaining that upward curve. The disappointment of Germany was a tough pill to swallow, we have to use that to drive us forward. I dont want to feel like that again and I know the guys feel the same. We will have a home crowd behind us and we will have to dig deep and find that extra quality in our performance if we are to succeed.

Mid-South’s MSXL: Test your skills against the Nations top D3/4 teams.

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Mid-South’s MSXL: Test your skills against the Nations top D3/4 teams.

We have extended the early registration discount deadline to Monday June 25th. With the 2012 Race to World Cup season reaching the halfway point things are heating up. You won’t want to miss this Amazing event. Proving Grounds PG Rise has taken the D3 lead with their 1st D3 MSXL Victory @ Plex with Asylum a very close 2nd Place. Wiseguys and TMG Ratpack are seperated by 1 point in D4 RaceTo 4 with several teams within striking distance while Clarksville Defiance lead D4 RaceTo 2. With over $20,000 in prizes and 300 MAXIMUM points up for grabs it’s still anybody’s series. The Indy open promises to be a very exciting event with the infusion of several new quality teams already signed up.

Click Here for APPA Registration

Test your skills against the Nations top D3/4 teams. Combine the amazing quality of GI Sportz amazing quality paint at crazy cheap prices with our affordable entry and you have the Nations #1 and most affordable RaceTo Series. The upgrades for the 2012 season have been a huge success with more coming. Also a huge thanks to DYE and PSP for the new scoreboards and support.

Click Here to Watch The Louisville Open Video

Reviews: “That was like playing a national event in one day, one more match and it would have been the same matches as they do in four days.”

Profile on South African Team Reaper

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Reaper have been a dominant force in South African paintball for many years and have proved themselves on the international stage by winning events in both the Millennium and PALS series. 2012 will prove to be a challenging year for the team as they start the process of rebuilding the team after losing some key players in the off season. Paul Grobler from the SARPL caught up with Nick Birch from Reaper to find out more about the team’s history and some insight into the team’s plans for the future.

Photo’s courtesy of Gaston Roulstone – Switch Media

 

Reaper has been around for years and is slowly creeping onto a decade in the sport. What’s the history behind Reaper and the connection to the old Team Evil?

Nick Birch
Team Evil was formed in 2000 by Steve Da Magalhaes, my brother Chris Birch and myself. Along with a couple of other players we won every major event except SweetSpot, where we took second place against London Nexus, who played alongside a few local players from Port Elizabeth. Team Reaper was founded in 2004 by Keith Morris as a B division 3man team. But by the end of 2004, Team Evil was taking strain financially, so some of our players were asked to guest on Team Reaper to make up a 5man squad. At the first event of 2005 at the Pink Open, Team Reaper took 1st place in two of the three divisions and a 2nd place in the third division, almost making it a hat trick.

With such a young and solid squad, team owner Keith Morris put a sponsorship offer on the table that the sport had never seen before in South Africa. This saw the merger of Team Evil with Team Reaper, forming Reaper Evil Legionnaires. We continued to dominate the sport locally and internationally, becoming the only Team in SA to win events overseas and every major local league in South Africa. Later the name Evil Legionnaires fell away and now we are just known as Team Reaper.

You guys lost some of your players coming into 2012 season. Who are the new faces on the team and who is on your guy’s roster for 2012?

Nick Birch
Yes, we lost a couple players at then end of 2011 and with the team on the brink of falling apart we decided to bring in some younger players who we hope will carry the Reaper name for many years to come. Tristan Birch (15) who was practically born into paintball, Conner Closs (16) and Dominique Da Costa (18) all showing massive potential, a lot of heart and the right attitude for the game.

You guys have clearly played many different events and formats in the past years, what events and formats are you guys playing this year.

Nick Birch
This year we are supporting two leagues SARPL (South African Regional Paintball League) and GPPL  (Gauteng Professional Paintball League) with our favourite being the SARPL.

You guys have had a long-standing relationship with DYE and Proto, how has 2012 been so far with them behind you guys again?

Nick Birch
It’s a great feeling having the support of one of the biggest and best paintball companies in the industry behind us, and we owe a huge portion of our success over the last six years to DYE. As without their equipment and support we would have never achieved what we have today.

You guys have had a rich history of winning events, and are still the most successful South African team ever. What are some of the most memorable moments that you guys have had as a team?

Nick Birch
That’s a tough question as we have had so many. Ones that stand out, would have to be our overseas victories, World Cup Asia (Div 1) and the Millennium World Cup (Div 2) in France.

With so much success in the past, how often do you guys train and what does a typical practice consist of?

Nick Birch
Some of our players train almost every Sunday but we have at least one scheduled practice the week before every event. Practice consists of a 30 min stretching session followed by some one-on-one warm up games, a couple drills consisting of snap shooting and running and gunning drills. We usually end off our practices by playing a couple of games against other 5 man teams.

You guys had an amazing year overseas in 2007, competing in the PALS and taking 2nd overall in the series and have played numerous Millennium events and a PSP World Cup. How have all those events changed the way that you guys view the game locally and do you guys have any plans to attend any overseas events this year?

Nick Birch
After playing overseas a couple times we actually realize that Paintball In South Africa is not too far behind with regards to skills and teams, but as far as hosting events we could play a little “catch up”.

It is also not as easy for us in South Africa, as there is no funding or government support like most other countries have. We also do not have any manufacturers of paintball equipment backing up the leagues so it is not easy. We take our hats off to the guys that run leagues in South Africa, as they do a damn good job considering the position they are in. As for playing overseas this year we have no plans but next year you will see us in Asia for sure.

You guys have gained a lot of respect from local and international players, but also a lot of negative feelings from local players and teams about your success, how do you guys deal with situations like these?

Nick Birch
It’s not always easy, but everyone is entitled to support their favourite team. As long as they are supporting a paintball team that’s great for all of us. As for Team Reaper, we are going to keep doing what we do best and we thank the people that do and have supported us.

Any last words for new and upcoming players and teams who want to learn from the Reaper machine?

Don’t give up and you get what you give. Reaper train almost every Sunday at Paintball City, so if you have any questions or need help with training, then don’t hesitate to ask.

CPX Sports Specials During the PSP Chicago Open

Monday, June 18th, 2012

CPX Sports, where the Chicago PSP is hosted will be having specials all week long for their customers

For more info visit CPXsports.com

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