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March 15, 2003
Operation Paintball, Graham, WA
Submitted by Jeff Daniel
The third stop in this year's Northwest Tournament Series (nwts.org) was again held at Operation Paintball in Graham, Washington. Teams traveled from Canada, Idaho, Oregon and Washington to compete in the oldest and largest paintball tournament series in the Northwest.
Operation Paintball (operationpaintball8m.com) puts on and hosts nearly a dozen tournaments each year. The field and proshop is located about 35 minutes east of Tacoma and features spectacular views of Mount Rainier. Their facility is great for tournaments and is the home field for such Northwest teams as the Cartel, Cartel Empire, Landslide, Organized Kaos and Twisted Fate.
Once again, three of the six fields at Operation Paintball were used for this event: The Urban Field features a two-story pink house, a satellite dish and numerous cars and trucks. The Urban field is netted off and is great for watching the action. The Airball/Hyperball field proved again to be the most popular field. It too is also great for spectators and teams alike to watch the games. The field setup was brand new for the Airball/Hyperball field and no one was allowed to play the field before the event. The last field used was the small wooded hyperball field.
The NWTS's ref staff (featuring a few Cartel players from the Amateur 10-Man team) and Cartel Empire’s 10-man team made up the reffing crew for this and all NWTS events. The head refs for the three fields were Matt Schultz from the Cartel, Jason Strand from the Cartel and Thomas Guinasso (field captain) from Cartel Empire.
The NWTS is a Diablo / National Paintball Supplies series. Only Diablo Paintballs are used at all NWTS events, as they have been the official paint sponsor for the past three seasons now. Hellfire, Inferno, Blaze and Midnight Paintballs are the paintballs of choice for all teams playing in the NWTS.
As always, the first games began at 9 a.m. sharp. Nearly thirty teams turned out and the competition was stiff as ever. For the first time this season, two Amateur teams showed up to play. The teams are considered Amateur using the Panam Tournament Series classification system. Reign and Redz Factory NW (both Amateur) would play in the novice division as exhibition teams. Their points would count, but they would not pay an entry fee and they would not play for prizes. Hopefully in the future, more amateur teams will play in the NWTS and then the event promoters can offer a prize package for the fledgling division.
Landslide (fresh off their NWTS victory last month) would return to this event with two new players-JP from BK Factory and Beau Starr from the GOG Kids. Twisted Kidz made their first appearance at an NWTS event this year in the rookie division. The young gun division grew to a total of nine teams as three new teams came out for the first tournaments of the year. The are War Paint Quake from Salem, OR, Pokemon from Puyallup, WA and Splat Attack Kidz from Federal Way, WA.
Also always, the competition in the NWTS features the best up-and-coming teams in the Northwest. The teams that play the NWTS are by far the best young gun, rookie and novice paintball teams in the Northwest. Scores were close and the cutoff was tight at the end of the preliminary round. When all was said and done, only a few could go to the finals. In the young gun division, it would be all new teams with Splat Attack Kidz, Pokemon and War Paint Quake moving on. The rookie finals division would feature Tilt, Organized Kaos, Ascension, Freakshow, The Paintball Store Factory Team and Nurv. The Novice division would again send Landslide, STP and Turtle Headz (the played as Ground Hogs at last months event) to the finals.
During the finals, the competition got heated and always and the teams were bustling around to the various fields to get all the games done before dark. The young gun division came down to the game between War Paintball Quake and Pokemon. Going in, Quake had a three-point lead. All Pokemon had to do was get one elimination, hold on and they would win the tournament. In the end, however, It was War Paint Quake who got one elimination and played for the stalemate giving them the win. Pokemon took second and Spat Attack Kidz finished third. The rookie teams had to play five games in the finals. When the dust settled, it was Ascension (winners of the first NWTS event back in January) in first, Freakshow in second, Portland's Nurv in third, The Paintball Store Factory Team in fourth, Tilt in fifth and Organized Kaos in sixth place. The novice division was a clean sweep by Landslide who won both of their games with scores of 100 and 96. Coming in second was the Turtle Headz followed by STP in third.
The award ceremony took place in front of Operation Paintball's pro shop. Landslide took home five CCM J2 Cockers (the same guns used by the 10-Man PSP team-BK Factory. In the rookie division, Ascension took home one LCD Matrix, five Empire barrel sets, five Empire Loaders, five Sire Hoodies and five cases of Draxxus Midnight Paintballs. War Paint Quake excitedly took home a DYE sponsorship for their young team. After the awards ceremony, event promoters threw pods into the mob crowd and held a raffle for a free CCM J2 cocker, which a player from rookie team Nurv won..
The Northwest Tournament Series is sponsored by National Paintball Supplies, Empire, Diablo Paintballs, Generation E Sports, CCM/Works, Smart Parts, DYE, Richochet Development, Sire, The Paintball Store, Portland Paintball and Facefull.
The remainder of the NWTS
season schedule can be found online on their website-www.nwts.org.