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PSP Mid Atlantic Open
May 3-6, 2007, Rock Hill, SC
Boston Red Legion - First Place NXL
Paintball Sports Promotions brought its second tournament of 2007 to a location that proved successful the previous year. The Mid Atlantic Open wass held at PBC Sports Park in Rock Hill, SC.
Located a stone's throw from Charlotte, North Carolina, PBC Sports Park was the vision of Paintball Central and Baltimore Trauma owner Rob Staudinger. As a professional tournament player, Staudinger focused on building paintball field with tournament play in mind. The on-site pro-shop and PSP regulation netted fields on mowed grass have fit the bill not only for Trauma's practice grounds but for PSP and CFOA tournaments as well.
Games for the event started on Thursday with NXL and Divisional X-Ball competition – 5-man slated to roll into action on the weekend.
X-Ball prelims played out their first rounds over Thursday and Friday amidst some challenging weather and paint conditions. Mid-week temperatures in the 80s took a dive into the 50s, and paint distributors who had been worried about keeping their semi-trailers full of paintballs cool enough, had to make sure their paint didn't get too cold. Serious rainstorms brought humid air and mud.
The NXL pro games stared off with the Los Angeles Ironmen beating Baltimore Trauma 9 to 8, followed by Boston Red Legion taking down Ultimate 12 to 5. Dynasty defeated the Seattle Naughty Dogs 9 to 7, and XSV fell to the New York Hurricanes 8 to 9. X-Factor beat San Diego Legacy 12 to 7. The Jacksonville Raiders brought home a 9 to 8 win over the Philly Americans before Las Vegas LTZ fell to Chicago Aftershock 3 to 9. The Oakland Assassins fell to Detroit Strange by a single point, the final score at 6 to 7. Boston Red Legion played the first of Friday's games against the Philly Americans and defeated them 11 to 5. Dynasty faced Chicago Aftershock and took them down 9 to 6. Sacramento XSV defeated Detroit Strange 8 to 7. X-Factor took on Baltimore Trauma mid-day and was defeated 7 to 9. The Jacksonville Raiders continued their winning streak, defeating Ultimate 9 to 7. Seattle Naughty Dogs edged out Las Vegas LTZ by a point, finishing up at 9 to 8. The Oakland Assassins rolled over the New York Hurricanes 12 to 4 and the LA Ironment took down San Diego Dynasty 12 to 6.
Meanwhile Divisions II and III got through their four prelim games each – D3's “race to 5” format keeping games going at a rapid pace. Gridlock Black finished the prelims as the leading team – only giving up 3 points to RipTide Kidz and a point to ByF8th. They played shut-out games against Sin City Paintball and Detroit Storm. TX Justice league finished the prelims as the Division II leader with a 6 to 5 game against Team Nasty, 7-2 win over Epik Evil, and 7-0 shut-outs over Montreal NRG and STK.
The Open division (D1 and pro/semipro teams working to win their way to be able to compete in the NXL) only played the first half of their prelims, the remainder to be played out on Saturday. There, San Diego Aftermath was looking strong as a leader with a 9 to win over the Bushwackers and 8 to 1 defeat of the Palm Beach Vipers.
Along with 5-man games, Saturday brought even more harsh weather, and action for the NXL. XSV fell to Oakland 6 to 11, and Strange bested the Hurricanes 8 to 7. Dynasty toppled LTZ 9 to 6 before Aftershock beat the Naughty Dogs 9 to 8. Boston Red Legion finished against Jacksonville raiders with the same score – 9 to 8. Philly took down Ultimate 13 to 6. LA Open winner's LA Ironmmen had their only loss of the prelims against X-Factor, who beat them 8 to 7. Trauma fell to Legacy 8 to 12. As the day progressed, so did the severity of the weather.
Sunday was where it all came together. The top teams, based on their prelim ranks were narrowed down to find the tournament winners. In the 5-man competition, this started with the Ochofinals Division 4 had 35 teams in the prelims, playing in groups of 5 teams each, at the end of the round, the top 16 went to the ochofinals and played three games each in four groups of four. From here the top eight played in two groups of 4 for thbe quarterfinal round. Each round knocking out half the remaining teams winnowed the field down to DPS Paintball.com, Warbirds, Looseballs and Undecided Kids. Paired up in the semis, these teams played three games each in a best two out of three format – the winners going on to play each other for first and second in the finals. In the finals round Warbirds won their first game against Undecided Kids, but lost the second. They won the third game, finishing the tournament in third place. LooseBalls faced off against DBS Paintball.com in the battle for first and second. That pairing went similarly – a win for Looseballs, a win for DBS then a win and the trophy for Looseballs.
Division 3 5-man was less populated with 24 teams in total. They had played in four groups of 6 in the prelims, and didn't need an ochofinal round. Instead the top eight went straight to the quarterfinals where 3 games each eliminated half the teams, leaving four semifinalists, who played for their order in the finals. In the finals round Reball Madness lost their first game against No Limit, but won the next two, finishing in third place. Team Encounter performed the same against Stinger Factory – a loss followed by a pair of wins gave them the first place trophy.
Division III had X-Ball teams, with 32 teams playing in 6 divisions for its prelims. The top 12 teams from the prelims went on to the quarterfinals for 2 games per team in 4 divisions. The top team from each division became one of the four semifinalists who played for their position in the finals. In the finals Hershey Heat took down Queen City Killaz 5 to 1 for the third place finish. The battle for first and second was a closer match. Sin City Paintball grabbed first place by a single point, beating Gridlock Black 5 to 4.
Division 2 X-Ball brought out the lion's share of the competition – a total of 41 teams played 4 X-Ball matches each, one division that had more time on the field and more paint in the air than most local tournaments. While the top eight teams from the prelims had a free ride straight to the quarterfinals, the next eight had to play in the ochofinal round. Each team played a single game. The winners moved on and the losers went home. In the quarterfinals D-II played in four groups of three, giving each team two games. The lowest 8 teams were eliminated, and the top four went onto the semis, which ranked them for the finals. In the finals, TX Justice League bested IRP SkullHunters 7 to 2, finishing in third place. Denver Altitude defeated Vicious 6 to 5 for the first place trophy.
The Open Division has been growing in numbers, and at Rock Hill saw 13 teams, which were eventually pared down to four finalists. In the finals, Team Speed took down PunishersPB.com 7 to 4, for third place. Avalanche X fell to San Diego Aftermath 6 to 5. That gave the 2006 D-I champions their first Open Class win, and the lead in the series standings.
For the pro teams in the NXL, the top eight teams went on to the quarterfinals. There, games were much more decisive than the near finishes of the prelims. Boston Red Legion pummeled the Jacksonville Raiders 16 to 4, and Dynasty beat Aftershock 10 to 6. Detroit Strange fell to the Los Angeles Ironmen 4 to 11, and in the one close game, X-Factor beat the Oakland Assassins 8 to 7. The semifinals started with a tight match between the 2006 series champions Boston Red Legion, and the 2007 LA Open winners, the Lost Angeles Ironmen. That game went to Boston 9 to 8. Dynasty fell to X-Factor 7 to 10. In the finals match, it was Boston Red Legion that came out in first place, beating X-Factor 9 to 4.
With the storms of the southeast out of the way, the next stop for Paintball Sports Promotions will be in the midwest – Chicago Illinois, for the Chicago Open at the Bolingbrook Recreation and Aquatic Center on June 20th through the 24th