Toulouse TonTon’s Jason Wheeler talks about the London Masters
TonTon arrived in London for the 3rd leg of the Millennium series just 3 days after the PSP event in Chicago. Most of the team is playing in the PSP this year for various teams, and this has impacted our practise schedule somewhat. Fighting the jet-lag and living out of a suitcase for the last 2 weeks the team headed to Bricket Wood Training Center, home ground of fellow DYE team London Nexus, to get some extra time on the field with them prior to playing the event. We actually only managed 2 days practise with the whole team together for this event, so it was important we got the best out of what we had before our first game on Friday morning.
After practice we headed to Basildon and checked into our hotel for the weekend. Thankfully there was a decent steak house just over the road, but with the rest of the team being French, they were instantly checking their GPS to find all the best restaurants in the area. The following morning was full with the usual event chores: registering and walking the field. We had a couple of hours checking over angles and shots before we had a final hours practice at 5pm against Outrage; another French team who were coming off a strong finish at their last event. We knew they would be a good test for us, and they were giving us some problems pushing out on the diorito side, but other then that we managed to win the majority of points. So with our plans set down headed into the event feeling good.
We woke up early on the Friday ready to play our first game against Camp Carnage. Our main focus was to take the second can on the dorito side and lock down that side of the field. Then put pressure on the inside shooter to help Axel move out wide. We seemed to do this well and we only dropped one point making it a 5-1 win to TonTon. It’s always nice to leave the field on a Friday night with 2 wins in the bag and that is exactly what we wanted to achieve. Two wins is normally enough to go through to the knock-out stages of Sunday so it can take some of the pressure off the third match. We had Ducks for our 2nd match and they’ve recently they bolstered their squad with 2 former Joy Division players. This helped them in Germany to achieve a better result so we didn’t take them for granted and concentrated on our game plans to try and get a good lead, we didn’t change much from the last game and it seemed to work again and ended in a win for TonTon of 5-1.
After Friday games ended we headed back to the hotel and then on for some food in TGI Fridays. We discussed why the French hate our classic ‘Fish & Chips’ and of course I fought my British corner, although they were still unconvinced! We went through a few more ideas and suggestions for finals as we like to keep a few things back in the early stages which would possibly give us an edge in the knock-out rounds.
Another early start on Saturday; we headed to the field to face up against Ranger Warsaw. These guys have had a rocky first couple of events but had managed to win their first 2 prelim matches and going into this match the winner would top the group. We wanted to be first seed of the group going through into Sunday and keep the winning momentum going. Sticking to a very similar plan, with only some small variations, we closed the game out to win 5-0.
It was a long day on Saturday due to the Nations Cup Games being played and we had players in both the British and French national teams. I was playing on the British team and we actually beat the French team which featured 4 of my TonTon teammates on our way to 2nd place in the European Cup. Despite finishing late (again) I still managed to get to the steakhouse that the guys had been drooling over for the last few days, so it wasn’t that bad in the end.
Sunday morning my alarm went off and the sun was barely creeping over the trees of the car park outside my hotel room window. We had a French battle going into the Quarter-Finals against Marseille Icon who where playing very well in their prelim matches. We knew we had to make some adjustments to counter their insert snake move and aggressive play on the dorito side. We focused on using two shooters on each of their widest guys and this seemed to pay off for us time after time, a lot of games ended up 2v2, 3v3 and even a 2v1 which I was fortunate enough to pull off and we closed the match out 5-1 to move into the Semi-Finals.
In the Semi-Finals we had to play the team we practiced against 2 days ago – Outrage. Their shooting on the dorito side was very good all event, but we made some adjustments to get our front guys in the game which seemed to work. Combined with some excellent communication and field awareness from our players and coaches, we closed this match 5-2 and advanced to the finals for the first time this year. We watched in the stands as Dynasty took on Art Chaos Moscow in the other semi-finals. Dynasty won this match with a tactical 4-1 victory and set up a TonTon v Dynasty finals game.
The stands were filling up and getting very loud. The intensity started to increase as the 5 minute countdown started. As we walked onto the field, in my mind I felt my team was playing some of the best paintball that weekend but equally knew it would be a bloodbath match as this Dynasty team know how to win and they are no strangers to these final match-ups. Dynasty played very narrow with a double back center and double cross combination, with only one wide player on the dorito side. They were playing it slow and didn’t seem to push the second can on the dorito side so we pushed that can, locked down the dorito side and worked up the dorito side to try and break their double-cross in the center. After a few points we noticed that their snake player was running high into his insert spot on the snake side, so we decided to use the blind spot on the dorito side to shoot through the M and eliminate him, leaving the back center player to fight 2v1 on that side of the field. It forced the Dynasty player to run and dive into his bunker making it easier for Axel to make it wide on the dorito side. We continued our dominant performance and things kept working in our favour, Dynasty were getting penalties and we were making them count. The match ended 5-2 – a win for TonTon! The first CPL win for the team and most of the players too. Going from such a terrible Germany event to a win in London is a big jump in performance and we are already focussed on giving another good showing in Paris now the team knows how to win.
We would like to thank DYE Precision for being such a dedicated and supportive brand and we could have not done it without the awesome DM12, I4 Goggles, Rotor, CF Barrels and C12 playing gear!