For the third event of the 2014 Paintball Sports Promotions season, a new pro team will be entering the ranks of the Challengers division. That team is Baltimore Revo. These guys started as a divisional team back in 2007, and in 2009 played their first national event in Division 4. They placed 2nd in that event, and ever since have been making the climb to pro.
With the void left in the Challengers division by Texas Storm, the announcement of Baltimore Revo was the buzz leading up to Chicago. Everyone is wondering what to expect from them, so I caught up with Henry Sentz of Baltimore Revo to find out what the team thinks about the big move.
Charles: Did PSP offer the spot to Revo, or did you inquire once you learned of Texas Storm leaving the pro division?
Henry: We’ve been trying to get into the PSP Challengers Division since it started, and they (the PSP) took the Jesters over us. Revo was next in line as the next D1 team to move into the pro ranks, and once we learned about Texas Storm disbanding, we called PSP. We don’t like what happened to Texas Storm and we would have rather started fresh at the beginning of the season. But we won’t turn down this opportunity.
C: Are you bringing any new players onto the team when you move up to pro?
H: No, we’re a homegrown team. We’ve tried to bring in ringers in the past and it hasn’t gone well. We play best as a team.
C: What does this mean for the Revo organization?
H: It’s a huge milestone, we’ve always wanted to take the team pro. It’s a huge accomplishment. So far we’re taking the same sponsors with us, but we are hoping the sponsorship gets better. This just means we’ll work even harder to make sure we keep our pro spot.
C: Are you going to prepare for events differently?
H: Yes, a lot more drills. Now we’ll be playing race to 7 and have a penalty box. We’ll have to do more situational drills to prepare for that. We already practice hard as a team, and usually go through about 50 cases 2 days a weekend. The most important thing is preparing ourselves mentally.
C: What other changes are you expecting from the team moving up into the pro ranks from D1? How are they different?
H: As I mentioned, the mental prep will be different and how we drill. Gun skills are better. It’s was a big change from D2 to D1, and we expect to see a big change stepping into pro. It’s a different style of play…a slower style. All of the teams are good at that level. We’re looking forward to the possibility of playing Art Chaos and Infamous in Chicago to see where we stand against Champions teams.
C: Do you currently practice any pro teams?
H: Not this year, last year they we practiced with Upton 187 and Trenton Top Gun. We’re expecting to line up some pro practices in the days before Chicago. DC Devastation, Philly Energy, and Avalanche are teams close to us that we practice with regularly as well as other divisional teams in the area.
C: What do you thing the biggest challenge in regards to changes will be for Revo?
H: Going to 10.2 balls per second from 12.5 will be a big change. There will be a lot of trial and error for us. We shoot a lot of bodies off the break, and it remains to be seen if we can still get those kills on the break shooting a slower rate of fire.
C: Do you expect the team to do really well and make it into Champions this season? Or do you feel like you will spend this season in the Challengers bracket building experience for 2015?
H: We’re looking to bump up into the Champions bracket and we are capable of it. It’s just a matter of how fast we pick up on the style of the play and making the necessary mental adjustments. It will be a learning year as well, but we’ll be pushing the limits to make the move into Champions.
C: Would you like to thank anyone in particular for helping you guys get to where you are today?
H: I’d like to thank our sponsors, Rick Hartman, Paintball Adventure Park, GI Sportz, Planet Eclipse, IM2 Studios, Murdertron, Exalt, VForce, Raza, GB20 Designs, and Social Paintball.