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NPPL - Boston
July 13-15 ,20077

First Place Pro - Dynasty
First Place Semi-Pro - SA X-Factor
First Place D-I - Rock-It Kids
First Place D-II - SCP Epic
First Place D-III - FYT

While early to mid summer has traditionally seen some of the NPPL's largest tournaments – historically in Chicago, turnout in Massachusets hasn't always been as big.

This year's NPPL Super 7 Boston tournament drew out 152 teams. While that number was only half of the 2007 Huntington Beach attendance, it shows tremendous growth when one considers that the first NPPL Boston tournament, held in 1999 consisted of a mere 38 ten-man teams, only eight of which were pro.

Eight years later, pro level tournament paintball came back to Boston with the NPPL Super 7, and it returned again this summer with the pro division in full effect, all 18 teams vying for the series title.

Division III through Semi-Pro teams started their games early Friday morning, while the pros would not begin until the weekend.

Division III through Semi-Pro teams started their games early Friday morning, while the pros would not begin until the weekend. And that's when the battle would commence. Oakland Blast took first place at Huntington Beach, and Dynasty grabbed the trophy in Tampa, putting themselves in the series lead. Their finish in Boston could cement or destroy that step forward in the path toward their fifth consecutive super 7 championship.

Announced the month before the tournament, a new deal meant that professional paintball competitions would once again be returning to national television, but with a twist. Rather than being a tournament sports show, a new show will be produced as a docu-drama, following key paintball players through their lives, and showcasing parts of the industry and world-wide expansion of the sport. Scheduled to air on Fox Sports Net starting in October 2007, the show also meant that Fox Sports Net would also be sharing video access of the Boston center-court with the nppllive.com webcast only. DVD and webcast producers who were previously able to purchase field access video passes for about $1,500 per camera would now find the pro action on center court to be a “closed set.”

Friday and Saturday, the eight games each team played in the preliminary round determined who would play on Sunday and who would go home. In Division III, the modern equivalent of Rookie, 54 team we culled down to the 16 that would play the sweet sixteen knock-out round. NYC Revolution led the pack, though no teams played the round without tasting at least one defeat. Riptide Kidz took the 16th slot, edging out Noobies with a narrow 4-point lead.

Splat Kids was the top ranked Division II team, and the only one to make it through the prelims undefeated. There, Method-X went to the bottom slot in the Sweet 16, bumping Proving Grounds Factory by 4 points. Division I, with only 20 teams, only advanced 8 teams out of the prelims – TCP Machine, Stones Assassins, Miamy Devious, Rock-It Kids, HK by pbfashion, Tombstone, Dynasty Entourage, and Naughty by Nature.

The twenty-one teams in the Semi-Pro division were, competing to be the top ranked at the end of the season and advance to the pros. Only 8 teams survived the prelims, to go straight to quarterfinals. A-Team finished in the first position, losing one game, followed by SD Aftermath, Evolution, OC Bushwackers, Boston Paintball, SA X-Factor, Tx Justice League and Redz Infamy.

The pro teams, who didn't start playing until Saturday ran in two groups of 9, allowing for eight games each, but no play between the two groups. The top four teams in each group advanced as Sunday's quarterfinalists. In Group one, these teams were the Portland Naughty Dogs, Los Angeles Infamous, Stockholm Joy Division, and San Diego Dynasty. Advancing from group 2 were Edmonton Impact, Pittsburgh All-Americans, Ironmen and the Jacksonville Raiders.

The pro teams, who didn't start playing until Saturday ran in two groups of 9, allowing for eight games each, but no play between the two groups. The top four teams in each group advanced as Sunday's quarterfinalists. In Group one, these teams were the Portland Naughty Dogs, Los Angeles Infamous, Stockholm Joy Division, and San Diego Dynasty. Advancing from group 2 were Edmonton Impact, Pittsburgh All-Americans, Ironmen and the Jacksonville Raiders.


In the sweet sixteen round played by D-III and D-II teams, the teams were paired, weakest against the strongest, to play best two out of three, loser go home. This round eliminated half of the teams, and had some surprises, like D-II 16th ranked Riptide Kidz knocking out first ranked NYC Revolution.

The divisional Elite 8 round, which replaces the quarterfinal system, and forms the next tier of the single elimination finals structure, saw 8 teams paired weakest against the strongest – win or go home in the best two out of three games. In contrast, the Pro Elite 8 offered much more opportunity to watch professional paintball. The eight teams were scheduled in a round robin format, just like the prelims, each team playing all the remaining teams in the division, for a total of seven games.

Ranked by total score at the end of the round, the top four pro teams moved on to the semifinals. These were San Diego Dynasty, Los Angeles Infamous, Stockholm Joy Division, and the Pittsburgh All Americans. Knocked out by the round were Edmonton Impact, Portland Naughty Dogs, Ironmen and Jacksonville Raiders.

Like the Sweet 16 and Elite 8, the semifinals pited two teams together in the best two out of three games. While the winners went on to fight for first and second in the finals, the losing teams weren't completely knocked out – they were able to play each other in the finals as a second-chance round, to compete for third and fourth place.

In Division III FYT took down Storm Riders two games in a row, and Air Assault Factory tied with Team RNT, then won a game, then lost a game. RNT won the tie breaker, and went on to play FYT for first and second. FYT came out the victor there with back to back wins. In the second chance match-up, Air Assault Factory won twice in a row for third place.

Division II saw Splat Kidz drop their first game to NeX, win the next, then lose the third, while SCP Epic beat STD Factory in two straight games. In the battle for third match, the Kidz beat STD twice in a row securing third place. Fighting for first, SCP Epic beat NeX two games running and took the trophy.

In D-I Miami Devious won their first game, but Naughty by Nature turned it around, taking the next two. Rock-It Kids took down Dynasty Entourage in their first game, but dropped the next. They won the third to move on. Entourage took out Devious twice in a row for third place before Rock-It Kids finished first place with double wins over Naughty by Nature.

Moving up to Semi-Pro, SD Aftermath took out Redz Infamy with back to back wins, and Boston Paintball lost their first game to SA X-Factor, had a draw for the second, but lost the third. Boston finished third with a win, loss, win against Infamy. In the final round, SD Aftermath dropped their first game against SA X-Factor, and the second game was a draw. The third went to SA X-Factor, along with a first place finish.

Both in the stands, and with thousands of viewers watching via the league's live webcast, the big show was in the pro semifinals and finals. Dynasty defeated the All Americans with a win, draw and a win. Joy Division, the only European team to have a Super-7 tournament win to their credit, beat Infamous in their first game, but fell the next two. In the battle for third, Stockholm Joy Division posted double wins over the Pittsburgh All Americans. The big focus was on the finals. In the first game, San Diego Dynasty tied with Los Angeles Infamous. The second game went to Dynasty. A win in the third game would give Dynasty first place – so would a draw. Infamous' only hope at this point was a win, which would send the two teams into a tie-breaker round with a series of one-on-one games. Both teams started out conservatively, getting all of their players safely into their bunkers and going for nearly a minute with no losses, and little secondary movement. Because of their single win, Dynasty was in a position to play more conservatively, they didn't need to win, they just had to not lose. Infamous put a player in the far side snake first, matched moments later by Todd Martinez moving safely into the other end. Infamous' John Richardson moved to a near by stand-up spike, in a position to fire on the far end of the snake, but was kept in check by fire from Dynasty's Brian Cole in a diagonal position. Dynasty dug in and camped like they were in Yosemite. It wasn't long before Inamous, in serious need of the opposing flag ramped up their offense, and started losing players to Dynasty's defensive positions. Before the clock ran out, Infamous' players were in the dead box, and Dynasty had hung the flag.

For Dynasty, the win was an important part of their fight to remain the only team to ever win an NPPL Super-7 series championship, a feat they have achieved every year since the series began in 2003. With a rough start to the year, finishing third place in Huntington Beach, Dynasty's Tampa win put them on top towards the title – but just barely. Only one point behind them was Edmonton Impact, which had finished in second place at both tournaments. As Dynasty's 2006 record could attest, consistently finishing in the finals can be more important than just winning a tournament when it comes to the series. In Boston, neither Impact, or third Ranked Ironmen made the finals. Fourth ranked Infamous' second place finish would bump them up to a total of 55 series points, but that was a far cry from Dynasty's new total of 73 – a lead that would let them sleep more easily at night, getting ready for the two remaining NPPL tournaments – Kansas City and the Commander's Cup.



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