The dust from the first event has finally cleared, the layout has been released and paintball teams across the nation are gearing up for the second event of the season, the 2014 Mid-Atlantic Open. But before we get too close to the event, there are a few questions we’d like to ask (of everyone), in the hope that they get answered at the event.
Can Omaha Vicious do it again? The team has started 2014 with a second place victory in what was – unequivocally – the best event they’ve ever had on the professional level. Many pundits are saying that the team is on a high point as they’re beginning to flourish under head coach Todd Martinez, and that the current set of layouts play to their strengths. The team played marvelously in Texas and finished with an average player ranking of 49.75. However, they greatly benefited from the play of back player Matthew Sossoman who had the best event of his professional career, finishing 2nd over all in the league. The question remains though: can the team put together another complete event?
How will Art Chaos perform? Art Chaos Moscow was completely uncontested the first event as they laid waste to the Challengers Division. The good news for the teams still in the Challengers Division is that they don’t have to deal with Art Chaos, for at least this coming event. Of course, depending on how you look at it, this spells bad news for the rest of the league. That said, this is still Moscow’s second PSP event and there may be a few cracks in the armor that need to get sorted out logistically. Either way, it will be interesting to see how they perform in the Champions Division.
Will Los Angeles Infamous be able to repeat? The success found by Los Angeles Infamous is due in large part to unrelenting aggression and brilliantly opportunistic play by several key members of the team. This past layout seemed to be tuned directly to their strengths, but the question remains: can they keep up the attack? Also, what happens if the opportunities dry up? Will players such as Zack Wake – who played out of his mind in Texas – be able to keep a cool head, or will Infamous prove to be a ticking time bomb?
How will this layout perform? The Texas layout treated us to some spectacular paintball. It encouraged moves up the field, had a few key bunkers that everybody was gunning for, allowed for some excellent snake battles, and pushed teams off the back line. After talking to several sources last night, the general consensus was that the MAO field would play similarly. Of course, that may all change as teams become more familiar with the field and craft strategies that limit movement by their opponents.
Will Houston Heat continue to stumble? Nobody anticipated Houston heat being relegated, let alone that relegation match would be between them and Tampa Bay Damage. We had a few exciting relegation matches last year, but none packed the intensity and power of this one. The question going into the Mid-Atlantic Open is obvious: will anybody be able to contest Houston Heat in the Challengers Division, or will the team be able to return to their winning ways? The clock is ticking for Houston who will only have three more events after MAO to win a Champions Division title – if they can make it out of the Challengers Division first.
So what is your take on these questions? Sound off in the comments!