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Chicago preparation is upon us. A look back at MAO. Here are some passing observations and commentary from the event. Think of it as a series of tweets with no hashtags. Each one of these paragraphs/tangents could be deserving of it’s own article. So I fully entreat you to get your blog on.

*Challengers vs Champions is one of the best paintball ideas EVER. Made me think of the other best PB ideas in recent memory: Xball, Ramping, Taking Away D-side coaching, Webcast, Pro Relegation/Promotion System. I wonder if this system should be employed in ALL Divisions?

*Northerners sure do curse a whole lot more. When a redheaded chick is throwing out some choice words at a ref like “F-ing Clown” I knew I was in a different place.

D2 Prelims AC402 vs Carolina Collision, Collision wins 2-0 in a tight match

-Rob Staudinger dropping in with Collision. Tossing bullets with one of the new LV1s. Paintball people don’t seem to have an opinion on these markers so far. I suppose mostly because they’re not willing to drop a couple months rent on it just yet. Probably hoping someone will do a 2 for 1 trade on their Axe and part-swapped Ion for it. “500 Shipped?”

*Don’t bitch about teams playing the layout slow. Cuz it is slow. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t though.

Crabcake sandwich at a paintball tournament? YES PLEASE.

*Any team that goes 3-1 in any division, in any league for that matter, should get a playoff the following day against the lowest qualifying team.


Vicious vs Royalty

-I believe this game ran tighter than predicted. A friend commented “Vicious is taking this very seriously. They’re playing controlled, even conservative, and they’re not going to let one of these get away from them.” Tok Hamil demonstrated on a point or two his Pro experience as a Mean front man.

*The match showed the positive effect of Todd Martinez holding the reins. The team was on the same page. Royalty while led by experience in Shane Pestana doesn’t possess it team-wide as Vicious does. Yet they played controlled mistake-free paintball. Martinez’s role will become more evident in the Champions Division when midgame adjustments become more critical.

The natural grass that just grows in the Maryland frontier is quite sumptuous.

Vicious vs DMG

-Vicious asserted themselves this match. Shooting better lanes off the break and proving more disciplined. Big Hooker riding up to the X gun up mid-game. Does he ever stop shooting his gun? I think he’s shooting his gun right now actually.

-Someone please get a sample of Shane Howe’s blood. We may have found the source for everlasting youth. He’s like a real life Wolverine or Captain America.

+Futuristic Handgun: Some very entertaining one handed gatting going on. NJJ v Thunder & Vicious v DMG (Borromeo) Guys were loading when opponent did a run-thru and they gogged them for a trade. One-handed. Is that in the post-D1 player’s manual?

Counter-coaching is scummery.

Thunder v Jesters

-This game ended in a draw so obviously it was tight but the Jesters had a lead with Thunder then conceding another point on top of it. Thunder could have very easily (should have?) lost this match.

*As a team, if you’re in Thunder’s position in the Northwest what do you do? You’re isolated from other pro teams, even D1 teams. Your area is not teeming with talent like say SoCal or Florida. Drill baby drill? Like the Russians?

Day 2 – Saturday

-Vicious v Jesters – this was clearly not close. Vicous backman Matt Sossoman throwing down against his former teammates in this one.

Sac XSV – Yikes.

-A friend of mine said it best in Dallas, “DUDE, don’t NOBODY like XSV.” Why are you so cruel PB world?

Florida Gulf Coast University NCPA champs Luis Munoz and London Lewis dropped in with D1 Vipers.

Lots of draws happening out there. Curious what people think. The days of prelim matches were ending at 6:30pm, so there seems to be good practical reasons for this “no OT” modification to the rulebook. Might be a “sack up and go for the win” rationale as well.

Like Dallas, Divisional teams were using the middle a lot more than the Pros. Especially the center mini-race on the MAO layout. Most would attribute this trend to inferior run and gun skills at the Div. level.

D2 Finals: DC Dev vs Hustle, first webcast Sudden Death OT

-Hustle I believe are better instinctual paintball players than a lot of teams in D2. I get the sense they might be more “old school.” They’re a movement first team. Not a beat you with skills n drills team. This gave them a distinct disadvantage in double OT 1on1 shootout when it basically turned into snap drills. Not having the “Rabackoff” clan and entourage in support was also a disadvantage for them.

*There are some conflicting thoughts on strategy for the 1on1 Shootout. You only have a minute, do you go on the attack immediately? When do you put in your best players, right off the bat or to come back if necessary? Do you immediately go to the snake/coaching-side to know exactly where your opponent is? Or do you go to the Dorito side with larger and more numerous props to play out of? Is ‘more numerous’ a double-positive?

*Also, was shocked at how few teams knew in Dallas that there were no OTs and there’d be 1 on 1 shootouts in sudden death OT on Sunday. Does anyone read the rulebook?