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paintball World Cup

2008 PSP World Cup

October 22-26, 2008 - Disney's Wide World of Sports, Kissimmee, Florida

NXL - Los Angeles Ironmen

D1 X-Ball - Vicious
D2 X-Ball - Fierce
D3 X-Ball - Fierce Army

5 Man D2 - Miami Rage/Str8killas
5 Man D3 - Overhead
5 Man D4 - Cash Money Killers

Masters - Draxxus Allstars

College - Purdue University Boilermakers

paintballSeventeen years ago, the first Paintball World Cup, part of a newly formed professional paintball league, was held in New York. Shortly thereafter the annual tournament found its way to Kissimmee, Florida, a part of the greater Orlando area. The World Cup has seen venue changes from the Paintball World paintball field, to cattle grazing land, to its current home for the past 7 seasons, Disney's Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World.

paintballThe move to Disney, which coincided with the split between NPPL, Inc. and Paintball Sports Promotions, as well as the start of national X-Ball competition and launch of the NXL professional league, has proven effective for the tournament. The area's abundant hotels and eateries complement the site's ample paved parking and well cared for natural turf fields. Theme parks ranging from Disney World to Universal Studios, Sea World and more also make the World Cup an opportunity for players to bring along their families to combine vacation with cheering them on to victory. Each October, the Wide World of Sports blossoms into a town with one focus – paintball – whether it is the competition going on between the pro and amateur teams on the field, or the industry's largest trade show along side.

paintballWith the demise of the annual Paintball Industry Conference that was once a part of the International Amateur Open, the Paintball World Cup has become the traditional launching point for major new products in the game, as companies show their product lines for the coming year.

For the amateur teams in DIII and up, as well as the 5-man teams, World Cup represents not only the chance to win a tournament, but also the last chance to earn ranking points toward the annual series championship. For the pro teams of the NXL, on the other hand, things are different. Their tournament wins from the Phoenix Open, Mid-Atlantic Open, Chicago Open and Northeast Open don't contribute directly to their shot at the championship, and there is no NXL World Cup trophy seperate from the championship. Instead, the teams are seeded into the NXL World Cup schedule based on their rankings, and then it's winner take all. The winner of the World Cup is crowned the 2008 NXL Champion. That doesn't mean ranking should be overlooked. In the NXL World Cup schedule, the strongest teams get to sit out the first round while the lower ranked teams knock each other out – so ranking good coming in, means being fresh into the game in a later round, which increases the chances of making it to the top.

paintballAfter the season's first four tournaments, it was Dynasty that was on the top of the heap for the NXL after coming in first at both the Northeast Open and the Mid-Atlantic Open. At the same time the team is losing their stranglehold on NPPL Super 7 (they have been crowned champions there every year since it was founded in 2003, but only rank 4th this year with one tournament to go) they have become a dominant force in the NXL. Ranked second are last year's champions (and current leaders in the NPPL Super 7) the Los Angeles Ironmen, followed by Boston Red Legion, X-Factor, Philly Americans, Oakland Infamous, Tampa Bay Damage, Seattle Naughty Dogs, San Diego Aftermath, Edmonton Impact, Chicago Aftershock, and St. Louis Avalanche, which after finishing last at the first two events, and second to last at the third, was a no-show for the Northeast Open. Ninth ranked Aftermath, similarly did not attend World Cup.

paintballWhile the NXL champion would be anyone's guess, the same could not be said for Division 1 X-Ball. The RNT All-Stars from Rough-N-Tough paintball in South Florida took first place at the four prior tournaments, and geared up for a sweep at World Cup. Even if they did not win, their 63 point lead over second ranked Damage D1, would make anything but a championship highly unlikely.

In D2 the race was too close to call, Raiden was the leading team, but was only ahead of Fierce by 1.12 points, with TPA Revolution and New Jersey Jesters close enough for a shot at the title. Neither Raiden or Fierce had come in first place yet during the season, but instead had consistently high-ranked finishes. Ironically, Cross-Eyed Paintbal ranked 8th out of the division's 46 teams despite winning both the Chicago Open and Northeast Open, because a weak finish in Phoenix crippled their total score.

paintballIn Division 3, Velocity Wrecking crew came to World Cup as the series leader. Their wins in Chicago and the NEO combined with reffing points put them on it. Second place prior to the Cup was DSSP8ntball who has scored high all throughout the season, giving them just a 15.76 drag. Also in contention was Total Karnage the winners of the Phoenix Open.

D3 5 man competition showed No Limit, Boom and JFK as the only contenders in the race points. While the D4 5 man teams were a bit tighter with Total Karnage Kids in the top spot after a win in Chicago, but just behind them were RNT Kidz with a MAO and a NEO win under their belt.

paintballWhile the World Cup site buzzed with energy for the whole week, it was not until Wednesday morning that the games began. The day began with blue skies, light breezes and temperatures in the low 80's with a rare low humidity day for central Florida. The NXL games started off with the bottom ranked teams battling for the chance to take on the top 5 teams, Dynasty, LA, Boston, Philly and X-Factor later on in the week. Oakland Infamous came out against Chicago Aftershock with a 6-3 win, Tampa Bay took down Edmonton Impact with an 8-3 victory, Seattle Naughty Dogs lost their first game to Oakland 9-5, Tampa Bay continued their wins over Chicago 9-3, then the Dogs lost their second match against Impact 8-6. Also hitting the fields on Wednesday were D2, 3, 4 and the Masters Divisions, battling towards a prelim high score to continue play into the weekend.

paintballThursday games ran under cloudy skies with temps in the 80's and higher winds than Wednesday saw, but games were not impacted by the weather, and saw continuous point turn overs with the D2, D3 and Masters Divisions alongside the big guns on the NXL field. In the first game of the day for the NXL, Seattle Naughty Dogs came back from a hard first day to win 8-3 over Chicago Aftershock. Oakland Infamous took down Edmonton Impact 7-4, Tampa Bay shook up the Dogs 7-6, Impact came back from their loss to beat Chicago 9-4 and the last game of the day saw Oakland continuing their wins over Tampa Bay 9-6. The line up of wins and losses showed clear victors in the play-off round for the NXL with Oakland 4 for 4, Tampa Bay with only 1 loss and Impact 2 for 4. In the losers bracket were the Naughty Dogs who would not play again this season with a single win and Chicago Aftershock who finished out 0 for 4.

Friday showed cloudy skies with spitting rain throughout the region and the D1 teams taking to the field along with the 5 man divisions. The NXL teams pitted the play-off winners against the top 5 teams in the overall ranking of the competitors for the season. First up in the best out of three games was Dynasty against Impact with a 6-5 for the Canadian team. LA took on Tampa Bay with a 6-4 win, then Boston Red Legion took down Oakland 9-2. Philly played a 9-5 game over X-Factor to finish out the first round. Dynasty's second shot at Impact was lost, knocking them out of the running with a 7-6 score going to Impact. Tampa Bay, likewise, was sent home after a 6-3 win to the Ironmen. Also scoring their second win was Boston with a 9-3 win over Oakland. Philly and X-Factor faced off for their second game, X-Factor taking the game 7-6 which pitted them against each other an hour later to decide who would play on Saturday. The game ended with an 8-6 win in favor of Philly, giving them a shot at the title for the season.

paintballSaturday would show busy fields for staff and refs, the NXL not least of them with the games slated for the day to start at 10 o'clock pitting LA against Impact, then Boston against Philly, for a best two out of three matches to see who would move into Sunday's final match. The first game of the day saw LA taking down Impact 5-4, then Philly took down Boston 6-5. Their second round of games saw the teams trading wins, LA dropping to Impact 7-6 in an overtime game and Boston trumping Philly 9-3. The last games of the day saw LA beat out Impact 9-0 for a chance to play on Sunday and joining them, after an overtime finish would be Philly who beat Boston 8-7.

The 15 D1 X-Ball teams played through their preliminary games on Friday and Saturday, cutting down to 6 teams, the top two were guaranteed a shot in the semi-final round. Both Damage D1 and Vicious made the cut. Heading into the quarter final round were the third through sixth place finishers, Red NRG, Cross-Eyed Paintball, Palm Beach Vipers and RNT Allstars. The top and bottom teams were paired against each other for a do or go home game to determine who would move on to the semi-finals, while the fourth and fifth place teams matched up against each other in the same way. RNT Allstars were victorious over Red NRG with a 4-3 game and Palm Beach Vipers took down Cross-Eyed Paintball 3-2 to move on. Facing off in the semi-final round Vicious continued their winning streak with a 7-1 win over RNT Allstars and Palm Beach Vipers had a red letter day after taking down the leading team Damage D1 with a score of 4-3. X-Ball teams who come in third and fourth place in the semi-final round are relegated to the loser's bracket, aiming for third and fourth place for the tournament after a single game. Damage D1 beat RNT Allstars 4-2 for third, giving the Allstars a 4th place finish, which was certainly not the sweep they'd been hoping for after winning each event throughout the season, but enough of a win to secure them the series title for the 2008 season. Vicious took down the Palm Beach Vipers 7 to 4, planting themselves in first place D1 for World Cup.

paintballThe D2 X-Ball teams saw 36 hitting the fields for prelims through the days on Wednesday and Thursday. Of the 36 teams, just 16 would advance with the highest scores. The top 8 teams out of the prelims, Palm Beach Venom, New Jersey Jesters, Shock, Fierce, DBS Kidz, Raiden, Part-Time Ninjas and Infectious, would have a spot in the quarter finals while the 9th through 16th placed teams, Shockwave Canada, North Beast, Palm Beach Vipers Gold, Zero Tolerance, Grind, Upton Crew, Mia OutKast and East Coast Killers, would move into the Ocho round. During the Ocho round, Grind dropped to Zero Tolerance 7-1, Upton Crew lost 3-6 to Palm Beach Vipers Gold, North Beast continued on with a 7-2 win over Mia OutKast and Shockwave Canada took down East Coast Killers 4-2. This pitted three teams against each other in the quarter final round, giving the top team out of each grouping of three the chance at the semi-final round. Fierce beat out DBS Kidz and Zero Tolerance, Raiden took down Shock and Palm Beach Vipers Gold. New Jersey Jesters beat both North Beast and Part-Time Ninjas and finally Shockwave Canada took Palm Beach Venom and Infectious to round out the 4th spot in the semi-finals. As the PSP does, the top finishing team plays the lowest ranked team, putting Fierce against Shockwave Canada, the game ended with a 4-3 score in favor of Fierce while New Jersey Jesters took down Raiden 6-5 for a spot at the finals. In the finals round Raiden defeated Shockwave Canada 6 to 5 for a third place finish, while second place went to New Jersey Jesters, who fell to first placed Fierce 2 to 6.

paintballThe D3 teams were out in force at the World Cup with 68 signed up to play the preliminary games. They'd be cut down in half for the next round of matches, making the points all the more important, as no team was safe from the Ocho round. After 4 games Velocity Wrecking Crew stood out in the lead with three 5-0 games and one 5-1 match. Raiden performed equally well for a second place spot. DSSP8ntball, CFP Factory, Team Unlimited, STK, Total Karnage, Palm Beach Viper Kids made up the third through eight spots after prelims. Joining them on the field during the Ocho round would be Chicago-Wiseguys, Fierce Army, LIFT, Ghetto Smurfs, 703 Haze, Fierce Heat, Cowboy de Tremblant, NJ Jesters Silver, Shameless, AK, CS Union, Reaper south africa, WF Fat City, Team Betrayal, Misfit Toys Killaz, VNS United, Helsinki Cyclone, Cerebral Void, Motor City Madmen, Miami Devious, Red NRG Black, and 187pb. Moving from the Ocho round to the Quarters, the top 30 teams were again culled down from 10 divisions of 3 teams to 12 teams. Team Unlimited topped the pack with two 5-0 games. Joining them in the quarters would be Velocity Wrecking Crew, Total Karnage, Fierce Army, Palm Beach Viper Kids, Ghetto Smurfs, DSSP8ntball, Raiden Black, CFP Factory, STK, Chicago-Wiseguys and CS Union. The quarters were held with four divisions of three, giving each team a shot at two games to move on to the semi-final round. Team Unlimited, Velocity Wrecking Crew, Fierce Army and Chicago-Wiseguys beat down the competition for a chance at the limelight. In the semi-final round Team Unlimited took down 4th ranked Chicago-Wiseguys with a 5-2 win while Fierce Army beat Velocity Wrecking Crew with the same score. This pitted Chicago-Wiseguys against Velocity Wrecking Crew in the finals. The Wiseguys won, for a third place finish, with a score of 5 to 2. Fierce Army took down Team Unlimited 4-2, finishing in first.

A World Cup favorite event has become the Masters Division, an X-Ball option for those players who have reached the not-so-advanced age of 40 and above. This year 9 teams competed through the preliminaries. EGO Maniacs came out ahead of the pack with the high scores. Joining them were Wild Bunch, Draxxus All Stars, Wicked, Fluffy Bunnies, Masters of the Empire, Maelstrom, MLC and DEP Disturbed Elderly Paintballers. Moving straight from preliminaries to the semi-final round, the Masters Division took the top 4 of the 9 preliminary teams to move on. Getting one shot at the semi-final's match, EGO Maniacs took down Wicked 5-0 while Draxxus All Stars brought down the Wild Bunch team 5-3. That put Wild Bunch in the finals battle for third against Wicked. The Wild Bunch won 5 to 3. Draxxus All Stars brought home the first place trophy by beating EGO Maniacs 5 to 3.

Another popular division often seen at the Cup was the College division, this year represented by just 4 teams, Purdue University Boilermakers, Army Black Knights, University of Florida Gators and Auburn University Tigers. The clear leaders were Purdue and Army after the prelims which sent them straight to the finals round, Purdue continuing their dominance with an 11-6 win for the Cup.

The 5 Man competition at the Cup started later in the week for most teams. D2 saw just 13 teams hitting the field which allowed them to move straight from prelims onto the quarter final matches. Of the 13, 8 teams moved into the quarter finals. Miami Rage/Str8killas came out on top after 2 maxes and a 98. They were joined by Team Braves, Bronx Hate and Rogue for the top 4 spots for the semi-finals round. Playing for the best two out of three games, the top ranked team played against the bottom ranked, while the middle teams played each other. Miami Rage/Str8killas won after dropping their first game, but came back strong to take down Rogue, sending Miami to the winner's bracket. Joining them would be Team Braves after their wins over Bronx Hate. The finals game saw Miami against Team Braves with the first two games going to Miami for first place. Braves took home second, Rogue took third and Bronx Hate went home with fourth place.

D3 five man saw 50 teams taking on the prelim games, with half of them able to move on. The prelims wrapped up with Distortion in first with 784 points out of 900. Inertia was second, Boom in third, Overhead in fourth, TPA Redemption in fifth, PointBlank in sixth, Team Overkill Factory in 7th, and JFK in 8th. The top 8 teams would be assured of a spot in the Ocho final rounds, but the 9th through the 24th teams, TR Uncensored, Fierce Allstars, Midwest Arson, No Limit, Demize, Kryptonite, Reign of Chaos, Influence, Titus, Storm, Miami Elite, Pinokio Factory Team, Jax Intensity, Fierce, TU Infusion, and RC Family Canada, would need to play off in Round 3 to make the cut. Round 3 took the remaining 16 teams into 4 divisions of four, giving each team three games to try to make the grade. At the end of the Round 3, Fierce Allstars were top of the pack with 290, Midwest Arson would join them with 284, Titus in third and Pinokio Factory in fourth with 210. The Ocho finals put the final four from Round 3 in with the top 8 out of the prelims for another grouping of 12 in four divisions of four in an effort to cull down to the top two teams from each division. Boom, Storm, Distortion, Team Overkill Factory, Midwest Arson, Pinokio Factory Team, Overhead and Miami Elite would move on to the quarter finals. The Quarters saw Overhead, Boom, Storm and Midwest Arson on top heading into the semi-finals. Pitting the top team against the bottom ranked team, Overhead dropped their first match against Storm, but came back with a vengeance to head into the winner's bracket to play against Boom while Midwest Arson and Storm fought over third and fourth place. The finals game saw Overhead in the winner's circle after two wins and a loss to Boom. Midwest Arson came back to take third after their two wins over Storm.

paintballThe D4 bracket of 5 man had 131 teams competing and one team who didn't make the trip, but made it into the schedule, giving the teams in their bracket a bye for the prelims. Out of the 132 spots, just 64 were available to move on to Round 2 of the D4 prelims, those 64 to be culled down again to 32 in Round 3 and then halved again to 16 in the Ocho final matches. Air Assault Factory who finished the prelims in 13th place with 754 points to their credit swept the Ocho finals with 286 points. With the same score LIFT Kids would be joining them in the quarter-final round. Texas Select, RNT Kidz, Cash Money Killers, Seattle CDR, Arson and Das BOOOOOT also made the grade, being the top two teams from each of the four divisions. In the quarter-finals Cash Money Killers were on top after three solid games, tying them with Seattle CDR with 292 points. Texas Select was in third place with 202 points and Air Assault Factory took fourth in the quarters with 196. Semi-finals saw Cash Money Killers pitted against Air Assault Factory, the Killers moving into the winner's bracket after a drop and two wins. Seattle CDR would join them in the fight for first after two wins over Texas Select. The finals for D4 five man ended with Cash Money Killers on top after a 98 game and a 92 game over Seattle CDR. Third place was taken by Texas Select over fourth place Air Assault Factory.

The big show for the Cup was, as always, the NXL match-up. Pitting the Los Angeles Ironmen against the Philly Americans, the show down began with LA beating Philly 9-2. The second game had LA down for a win of 8-7 for Philly. The third game put LA in the winner's circle for the second time with a 9-4 win. Wrapping up the season, LA secured their second championship win, Philly in second, Boston Red Legion in third, Edmonton Impact in fourth, Dynasty in fifth, X-Factor in sixth, Oakland Infamous in seventh, Tampa Bay Damage in eighth, Seattle Naughty Dogs in ninth and Chicago Aftershock in tenth.

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