Monday, November 17th, 2014
I want to start this blog backwards by giving the biggest thanks to all of our supporters. It is truly humbling. From our closest supporters who we consider family — the Ogdens (children included) and Michelle — who’ve travelled for years at their own expense to be there for all of the highs and lows, to our great friends who seem to love us just for being a scraggly bunch of paintballers from Perth, helping us tirelessly in the pits and with shouting their lungs out from the sidelines. And those who give us praise and look up to us back home… Thank you. It makes paintball so much more worthwhile and so much bigger than the game itself, and that is what I love about it. And our sponsor, Dye — like I said when they took us onboard and rewarded us with more and more support over the years — it is again truly humbling for something we started as friends when we were kids, to be taken seriously by a big company like Dye. Last but not least, WASP Paintball who has seen the team grow over from first time players to the STK players we all are today.
This WCA was a rollercoaster, with us getting off to a slow start on friday, winning only 1 of our 3 games, ALMOST guaranteeing we would not be able to progress into the top 4. We lost to Datis and Nemesis, and won against the Xtioneers. With things looking dire, we knew our only chance was to win all of our remaining games and leave it to “the paintball gods” that another team would have a misstep worse than ours.
We went into saturday with a new approach, scrapping the idea the the field layout relied on overpowering the opponents with aggression and racing to the 50′s. We based everything around the idea that we were going to be a wall of paint, sit in our bunkers, shoot 10 pods each and slow-play it out. We executed our game as a team and were able to win all 4 of our matches on Saturday against Raw, Hellbourne, Lost Boys and Beezwaxers.
I’d almost resided myself to the fact that WCA was done for another year, but in the 2nd last preliminary game between Hellbourne and Nemesis (who was playing rediculously good and pushing us into 5th seed) — I couldn’t help but get excited as Hellbourne put up point after point against a Nemesis that showed up to win world cup. The match ended with Hellbourne beating Nemesis 4-0, sending Nemesis home and scraping us through into the top 4 in last position. This moved us on to play the so far undefeated Raskal in the Sunday club.
We’d watched them play all event, we said in our team meeting the night before “better the devil you know” given we’ve have several scrap-outs with the powerful Raskal since they revamped their team and nearly won WCA last year. We didn’t change anything going into our game against them, we just loaded up on pods and went out there and hid in our bunkers and shot our guns. They’re great at doing exactly that too, so it made for an intense and close game. It almost slipped away too with all 5 of us being shot out and Raskal sprinting in for the buzzer but unable to make it before time expired. We went to overtime against them, were able to draw a penalty on them and take the win sending us into our second world cup finals appearance against Aisawan, who had just beaten Datis with guests Bear Degidio and Maximus Lunquist.
I can’t speak highly enough of Aisawan and how the play the game. They’re agressive and disciplined, have great gun skills and won Thailand at the start of the year. We went into the match and won the first long, long point, with all of us just sitting in our bunkers dumping paint and not wanting to be the first one to make a mistake. We were communicating and working as a team. The second point was another long one, but this time going to Aisawan. As we came out for the 3rd point with less than 3 minutes on the clock, I said to the team “this is probably going to be the last point.” Sure enough, the game whittled down to about 20 seconds of game time remaining, we had all the 50′s, we started launching, some of us getting taken out and some trading, leaving Rambo and Farran to sprint the buzzer in with about 3 seconds left with no Aisawan players still alive. Farran slammed into the buzzer, on the replay it looks as if he touched it in time, but I think the game timer and the web-cast timer are slightly out — I hope so anyway… It was a null-point, meaning we’d go in for 3 minutes overtime.
Again, we went onto the field and played another long point and dinked out Aisawan players until at about 15 second mark, they had 3 left — 1 in the snake, shooting at me in the dorito’s, a back centre and one at the small A on the dorito side. Again we started launching, and after all the madness just Stevie was left sprinting the buzzer in. I thought he got it and started jumping up and down, felt some elation that oh my god, we’d won world cup, then the refs signalled null point again.
We were fired up, we felt like we knew how to beat them, we started getting ready to come out for a second over time point. We lined up on the start gate, 10 minutes went by with both teams waiting at the start gate. We finally went inside and learnt that there’s only 1 overtime point, if there’s still no outcome from the overtime point, then the winner is decided by who went into the finals with a higher seed from the prelims. Aisawan was that team and the win was awarded to them.
Aisawan didn’t jump up and down or break into wild celebrations, instead they said “sorry” to us and shook our hands. It was great sportsmanship, and also, I feel like STK did some great sportsmanship too taking the loss so well. The ref who informed us that the winner was decided by prelim score was apologising profusely to us in tears. It was nice that he cared. We don’t feel any bitterness about the outcome, we had a great time partying with Aisawan at the players party and exchanging jerseys — they are cool guys — and we hope this can be the start of a friendly and respectful rivalry between our two great teams. They knocked us out of the finals in Thailand at the start of the year in overtime, so I feel like we always matchup for an exciting game.
Again, thanks to our paintball family and everyone that has helped STK in the past, present and future.
- Dan Woods