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May 11th was a day anticipated by many in the paintball world as we waited on pins and needles for the opening Nuketown at Paintball Explosion in East Dundee, Illinois. Hailed as an exact replica of the Call of Duty: Black Ops video game; gamers and ballers alike were excited to play Nuketown. Once you were there, you could tell that owners Romeo Kapudija and TJ Andres had gone all out to make this an excellent replica and a great addition to their other 10 other theme based fields.


The opening event, which had been advertised across the web on various social networks, drew in players with the hopes of playing not only on the field, but alongside YouTube paintball sensations Akimbo Assassin, A-Train, Mr H (Mark Kressin), Ms Sarah, Skel Etor, Steve Necro Kaltenbach, and Wolf. Along with MadFrog of Crooked Conceptz and John Dresser of PbNation fame, these “celebrities” along with field manager Journey Kerchner-Pirrone and owners Kapudija and Andres were flown in by helicopter, signaling the launch of Nuketown. Followed by introductions of each celebrity, various rule announcements and exercises in hyping up the players – the group divided and prepared for the inaugural game on the Nuketown field. To decide who would play on which side, straws were drawn, players divided, and each team chose a few extra players join them. Teams were divided as such:

Team 1 (Blue House): TJ Andres, Ms Sarah, MadFrog, Skel Etor, Akimbo Assassin, Necro, and Dresser
Team 2 (Yellow House): Romeo Kapudija, A-Train, Journey, Mr. H, and Wolf


The thirty minute game was intense with many memorable moments. Standing out to me were Akimbo Assassin ruling the small openings under the truck to take out Wolf and Kapudija; Mr H saying he was sorry for the neck shot (thanks H); player Justin Crook dominating the left side of the yellow house; Necro’s pistol action around the bus, and Dresser’s push up the right side. After the game, player hype referred to window to window shots, hiding behind mailboxes, how the transformer was a great place to shoot from because it offered so many angles, and of course how many times the mannequins were shot.

Not only was it fun for the by-standers to watch these guys go after each other, it also allowed the field owners to get an idea where changes could be made. They were very open to ideas on how to make the field better, safer, and more playable for future games. Ideas from lights to allow for night play (since the field is open until 10pm) to something on the blacktop to make it less slippery were suggested by players. Owners Kapudija and Andres honestly thanked the players for giving these suggestions and you could see they were truly thinking about how they could implement the suggestions given; a trait of good field owners!


Tippmann was the presenting sponsor of Nuketown 2013 and donated thousands of dollars in prizes. Ron Goldblatt, of Tippmann, did show up at the event for a bit; however I was unable to find him later to speak to him about the event. Valken’s Greg Muller was on hand with a huge portable showroom to display goods as well as show their support for the event and the field, which is a proud supporter of Valken. Of the event Muller stated, “We want to congratulate Romeo, TJ and their fantastic staff on an outstanding job of Nuketown exceeding all of the hype and expectations. The attention to detail, hard work and long hours paid off, ten-fold.”

Paintball Explosion has been in operation for over 10 years and offers players two locations – one in East Dundee, IL and a second in Skokie, IL. You can find more information about the field including pricing, upcoming events, and pictures of the various fields at or you can visit their Facebook page at

Feel free to check out my event pictures at: