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Photos by Matt Dawson
HK - Amateur First
The 2005 Proto XPSL paintball tournament series made its fourth stop of the year in at Outlaw Paintball in Redlands, California. After kicking off in Corona, playing in Santa Clara, and again in Corona, the stop in Redlands would be the last before the season ender at Bellflower in early July.
In addition to the 5 major tournaments for the year, the XPSL circuit included 13 affiliated tournaments scheduled for 2005. The affiliated tournaments are produced independently of Extreme Events, but under the sanction of the XPSL, allowing teams to earn additional series points. With 17 tournaments under the XPSL’s umbrella, it has become one of the larger tournament series in the world.
Games started on Friday with the preliminary rounds for the Amateur and Novice teams. For the Ams, out of the gate TKO and Bad Karma were the strong early leaders, though by the end of the day, each had lost a single game. Out of thirteen teams competing, the top eight, based on their total scores would be advanced into the quarterfinals on Sunday.
For the 27 Novice teams, 16 would move on. Here there was a stronger division between the teams. By the end of games Friday Excessive Force, Team RIP, and Vengeance had all completed five undefeated games. This Misfits, also having only wins, were only three points behind.
The am and nov prelim games were completed on Saturday. TKO held their top ranked amateur position, suffering their second loss. Wicked, HK and Anarchy Factory all pulled ahead of the previously second ranked Bad Karma. The number 8 slot, the last to make Sunday’s quarterfinals was filled by Street Hustlers. They pushed Breakout out of the running with a 73 point lead.
Vengeance moved up in the Novice ranks from being one of the top teams to holding the top slot. The top two teams were close, but lead with a healthy Margin. Vengeance was ahead of Team RIP by 5 points, and Total Chaos by 77. Team CPS finished in the 16th slot with 358, edging 17th ranked Brotherhood out of the quarters at 338 points.
Rookie teams played the first half of their preliminary games on Saturday. By keeping all of their games on the weekend, the XPSL scheduling is designed to make travel arrangements easier for newer teams. The rookie division, with 32 teams competing was the largest of the tournament, but had the fiercest cut with 16, only half of the teams going into Sunday’s quarterfinals. At the end of their first 5 games Lit was at the top of the leader board with 489 points. At 485, Mixed Company was hot on their heels. Kolohe Boys and Turbulence Rookie found themselves tied with 302 points, but for these two teams the tie breaker placement didn’t matter, they both made it in, leading ahead of the 17th place Overkill’s 236.
Holding with the same scheduling concept as the rookies, the young guns teams played all of their games – from the prelims to the finals on Saturday. Not only did this make their travel easier, but they were also open to watch the experienced teams play their finals on Sunday. Fifteen teams competed in the 7 game preliminary rounds. SCP Kids – Vegas completed these undefeated. Contraband and Ballistic were close behind with only one loss each. Misled Youth came into the 8th slot, moving on to the quarterfinals, knocking out Bad Rat Kids with a 20 point difference.
The eight young gun quarterfinalists were split into two divisions of four, playing each of the other teams in their division, and the top two from each advancing to the semifinals based on total scores. Contraband was the top finisher of the group, followed by Ballistic in their same division, and Mixed Kids and Karnage Factory Kids. In the semifinals Mixed Kids defeated Ballistic and Karnage Factory Kids came out over Contraband. The finishes in the semifinals ranked the teams for their spots in the finals where Ballistic beat Contraband, finishing in third place. Mixed Kids fell to Karnage Factory Kids, finishing second with the Kids in first.
The amateur quarterfinals picked HK, Wicked, Street Hustlers and TKO as the top four. In the semifinals, HK beat TKO and Wicked came out over Street Hustlers. This created a finals lineup where HK beat Wicked for first place, and TKO beat Street Hustlers for third.
The novice quarterfinals, with 16 teams were broken into four divisions of four, the top team from each division went to the semifinals. These were Epic, Misfits, Vengeance and Just Paintball Factory. In the semifinals, Epic beat Just Paintball Factory and Vengeance defeated Misfits. In the finals Misfits beat Just Paintball Factory, for third place, and Epic finished first by beating second place Vengeance.
The rookie teams finished their preliminary games on Sunday morning, with Lit and Epidemic leading the pack. Like the novices, the rookies had 16 semifinalists. Centermass Reno Grey was the last to make the cut, edging out Overkill by 32 points. While Lit was the top ranked team going into the quarterfinals, they were the bottom ranked team to make the semis. Mixed Company led the group followed by Thunderkids and Epic SCP. Mixed Company took down Lit in the semifinals, and Epic SCP defeated Thunderkids. This re-paired the teams for the finals where Lit defeated Thunderkids for first place, and Mixed Company triumphed over Epic SCP for first.
With only one major tournament, and one affiliated tournament remaining in the Proto XPSL 2005 Schedule, teams are preparing for their final opportunity to place and earn series ranking points for the 2005 titles, in Bellflower, California on October 7th through the 9th.