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CSP Brazil 2008
Photos and Information Courtesy Mercenarios, Brasil
Circuito Sudamericano de Paintball has its largest event of the year in the world's second largest city – Sao Paulo Brazil. As the series' anchor event it drew 32 teams to compete, from Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and the United States. In addition to South American power-players, international superstars of the sport were present, including Yosh Rau and Alex Fraige of Dynasty, as well as Billy Wing, Devon and Xalo Almeida of the Ironmen.
Of the tournament, Fraige said, "Attending the CSP Sao Paulo was a fun and educational experience. This Brazilian tournament had an exceptional infrastructure with a great venue in the middle of a nice and populated city neighborhood at a modern sports complex with new astroturf that was perfect for playing paintball on. The complex had a snack bar, clean bathrooms and easy access to the field and bleachers. These are things most of the marquee American tournaments still don't consistently have. The scheduling of the tournament was very efficient and the downtime between games was minimal. The refs were hard working and fair. I was surprised to see such professionalism and organization. The teams were there to have fun displaying enthusiasm and sportsmanship. One of my favorite parts of the tournament was the conclusion and award ceremony. People stuck around to cheer on their fellow competitors as they received their trophies and sprayed the champagne. I had a great time playing and being a part of the CSP and I thank Tania and Tony for throwing a great tournament."
Thursday May 22nd, teams started walking the fields, while having their HPA systems inspected by compressed air professionals from the dive industry. The next day, DYE tech classes taught by Billy Wing and Devon gave South American players and airsmiths the opportunity to have hands-on training in DYE tech support direct from a factory rep.
Friday afternoon also saw the tournament's top gun competition. The Proto one-on-one pitted players head to head on the field, ending with Thiago of team Angers winning the tournament prize – a Proto SLG and one-on-one trophy. Following the top gun, an Ironmen players' clinic ran into the evening with players able to pick up tips and moves from the 2007 NXL champions.
Saturday, the 5-man X-Ball games kicked in at 8:00 in the morning with the Brazilian National Anthem played by a rock band. TV Radikaos reporters were on hand for the day, covering the tournament for their television show Band Esportes. “Fuscão,” lead the tournament's referees, all decked out in fresh ref jerseys supplied by Smart Parts. Adventured sponsored the tournament's flags, providing enough that each player who made a flag-pull was able to keep is as a souvenir.
The high turn-out of the event meant that some of the competing teams – like Rapinas Rookie from Brazil, and B.A.R from Argentina, were new to competing in tournaments, despite being established teams. In contrast was Team Absolute from Urugua, which already had two Argentine tournament victories under its belt this year.
The Dynasty players attending the tournament guested on South American teams, lending both their skills and leadership experience. Alex Fragie competed with the Mercenarios, while Yoush Rau played for the Bulldogs. Likewise the Ironment players teamed up with locals. Billy Wing and Xalo Almeida played for Jungle Boys while Devon played for Jungle Juice.
Not surprisingly, Mercenarios won each of their games, holding the lead at the end of the preliminary round, with Jungle Boyz also finishing undefeated.
GXS from Chile switched up their roster for the tournament, bringing in some of the stronger young players from their sister team GXS Jr. Although these players ranged from just 12 to 15 years in age, they started playing at the age of 8, giving them a surprising level of experience, that combined with their smaller target size to make them an effective boost to the team.
The Moonwalkers from Argentina left their regular players Cordobes and Diego at home, bringing in 3 strong new players, including Canário from Uruguay. Ice from the Moonwalkers once again came home with a CSP Animal Player trophy for a power play where he crossed the field and took out four opposing players for the win.
The top 6 amateur teams and top 8 open class teams moved on from the prelims into the semifinals. Unlike the mixed-class prelims, the teams were now divided by their skill levels into two divisions for each class.
Unlike older tournament formats that prohibit any coaching from spectators, in the 5-man X-Ball format, shouting, cheering, coaching and jeering from the spectators is not only allowed, it is encouraged, and the fans of the CSP made themselves heard as the games drew closer to the finals. Friends and family of the competitors got in on the action trying to help their favorite teams win, or just shout loud enough to drown their competitors. At several points, the tournament promoters had to step in, and calm things down for safety, as some of the fans tried to climb the chain link fence that supported the tournament's safety netting to get in a better position.
Team Mercenarios took a hard hit during the semis, with two losses, knocking them out of the competition. The Moonwalkers had it hard as well. In their third round, Guga of Rapinas was suspended for arguing with the head referee, leaving the team to play with only four players on the field for the remainder of the day.
The finish of the open class semis saw Ninjinhas and Jungle Boys poised to play in the finals for first and second, and Hitmen and Rapinas ready to compete for third and fourth. For the amateurs, it was Monkey and Ronin Black that would move on to compete for third and fourth, and Hell Boys that would battle for first.
The finals were played in a best two games out of three format, and the wild crowds again had to be coaxed down off the fences. Rapinas lost their first match against Hitmen, but won the next two for a third place finish. Jungle Boyz took down Juinjinhas Delta twice in a row for the tournament championship.
As with other CSP events, the teams voted to select the tournament's best referee, and that honor went again to Cleber. Traditional to the CSP, the awards ceremony was held at the field, with the tournament champions dousing each other with champagne.
The CSP is grateful to its sponsors, Smart Parts, Dye, Proto, JT, Kee Action, Spyder, Gen-X Global, Portal Paintball, Facefull, Sup’Air Ball, Tippmann, Adventure, Sculalab, Scubatech, Playball, Play Paintball and Mercenários Paintball Store. Their appreciation also extends to the players of Dynasty and Ironmen for taking the trip south of the equator add an extra luster to the tournament's shine as South America's largest tournament.
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