The Millennium Series concluded its final event, the Paris World Cup, with a big bang and even bigger moves from the militant killers on the Art Chaos Moscow roster. Chaos displayed their talent with acrobatic moves and incredible improvisation to take a 3-2 victory over GI Heat in overtime. With former Heat players Konstantin Fedorov and Sergey Solnyshkov taking the reins for Art Chaos in the final event of the year, it was quite apparent that Heat was not going to let the cup go without a fight. Much like any other time that an overtime point comes into play, this match had everyone in the stands on the edge of their seat, and Art Chaos welcomed the supportive cheers from their European fans. I’m sure this was much more comforting than the “USA” chants they usually have to shuttle out of their minds in order to think clearly while competing in the PSP events.
Art Chaos has had an overtly inconsistent year in the PSP events, which came as a huge shock to the followers and players of the league. It seemed as if everybody was quick to jump on the Chaos bandwagon when word broke of the all new Russian super team, and as the team competed in the Pro-Challengers division in PSP Dallas, it showed that they were just as strong as the hype made them out to be by winning the event undefeated. The following event in Maryland proved otherwise for the new team as they struggled to find success in the Champions bracket. Chaos lost every single match they played in that event, but turned it around to win the Challengers bracket in Chicago a few months later. Last month we finally saw what we had originally expected from the team: a professional win. Art Chaos defeated Edmonton Impact in the Champions finals in Riverside at the West Coast open and claimed their well-earned title.
With the inconsistencies shown in the Champions bracket, this win put a mental spin in many people’s heads shortly after the hype wore down. We’ve come to realize that Chaos deserves to be in the top level bracket, and they are fully capable of winning events; however, the transition from last place to first place is quite a turnaround for a team to accomplish in such a short time. This team is simply too new to accurately judge if they are going to continue on as a dominant force in the PSP, especially if history fatefully repeats itself. Although the win in Riverside spawned more questions than answers, this recent win at the Paris world cup thinned the line of uncertainty.
Art Chaos is undoubtedly talented with a roster packed full of intuitive veterans and hungry rookies, and these wins should not come as a shock, but consistently putting on a successful showing will most certainly drop some jaws. As we have seen through the short life of tournament paintball, professional teams are rather static, or at least they have been for the last ten years. The top teams typically stayed the top teams, and the bottom feeders fought for dignity rather than pride. Until Heat (ironically) formed and immediately took control of the professional circuit, the top names in paintball were the show-stealers and the podium kings. We seem to be embracing a new era of paintball where newly constructed teams are taking the crowns and the most prestigious of teams like San Diego Dynasty are left to deal with the change with two options: fight or die. With roster changes being made as often as new marker releases, it’s going to be extremely interesting to see if this Art Chaos roster will find chemistry and stand the test of time or lose some important foundation and crumble altogether.
It’s difficult to tell where Art Chaos stands in this gray area, but as time goes on, we are surely putting the pieces together one event at a time. As incredible as it is to see a newly formed team take wins over seasoned professional teams in two separate leagues, it’s going to be just as exciting to see how the rest of the professional paintball teams will attempt to discredit the Russians and send them home early at the PSP World Cup in just under a week. Art Chaos has just as much of an opportunity to run away with the top spot as they do of ending the event in an untimely fashion, but if anything is guaranteed, it’s that Chaos will put on a show regardless of the final score.