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PSP Chicago Open 2009
Bolingbrook, IL - June 24-28, 2009
Professional First Place - Boston Red Legion
Semi Pro First Place - Aftermath II
X-Ball D1 - DBS Kidz
X-Ball D2 - DSSP8ntball
X-Ball D3 - Cross Eyed Paintball Black
X-Ball D4 - Wreckless Intentions
5 Man D3 - New Jack City
5 Man D4 - DBSPaintball
Young Guns - Demolition
The middle of the season tournament for the PSP has been held in Illinois for time immemorial and more specifically at the Bolingbrook Recreation and Aquatic Center for the past four years running. Located outside of Chicago, the facility located in Bolingbrook is about an hour from the infamous Badlandz field where the Chicago event originated.
Hitting the fields first thing on Wednesday morning were the D2, D3, and D4 X-Ball teams who would play throughout the week. Joining them on Wednesday were the Semi-Pro teams. Thursday morning the Professionals would take to the field in the NXL matches. Friday morning would see D1 X-Ball and 5 Man play begin. Young Guns would take part in the weekend play as well with 16 teams participating. Five man teams saw 113 teams signed up with X-Ball teams showing 95 teams in total.
High temperatures in the 90's have marked this Chicago Open as a scorcher. Coupled with high humidity, the teams and refs who live an train in more temperate zones were feeling the crunch. Thursday saw the start of the NXL matchups with half of the games ending in shutouts. Starting off the morning after the Semi-Pros left the field were the Seattle Naughty Dogs and the Hurricanes who faced off with a close 6-5 game. NXL matches cap at 7 points, ending the game for whichever team makes the magic number first. Chicago Aftershock put that cap to use after a shutout of the Bushwackers 7-0. Boston Red Legion took out LA Infamous 7-4. Los Angeles Ironmen's first game of the event ended in a 7-5 win over X-Factor. Tampa Bay Damage continued the streak with a 7-0 defeat of Edmonton Impact. Dynasty took down the Hurricanes for their second loss 7-0, San Diego Aftermath beat out the Dogs 7-2, and the final game of the day saw the Philly Americans with the fourth max of the day over Bushwackers.
Typically the 3rd event of the season for the PSP is the second largest of the year, shadowed only by the World Cup event at the end of the season. This year proved no different. The normal contingent of teams attented to play X-Ball, but like all Chicago Open's in the past, the five man competition is where the players came, quite literally, out of the woods to play. In comparison to the previous events of the year, Arizona and South Carolina, the Illinois event was a testament to the fact that five man lives on strong in the midwest. With a small but dedicated bracket of D2 teams playing, only four teams would compete over the weekend, but were the first showing of D2 five man for the year. The D3 division had 35 teams, a jump of 12 more than SC and 15 more than AZ. The D4 bracket is where the huge numbers pulled ahead though. With 74 teams hitting the fields starting on Friday, fifteen more teams than the two events combined.
Friday games ended with five man teams having plowed thru masses of games, the X-Ball fields riddled with paint and the Pros taking on 8 more games throughout the day. LA Infamous took down the Los Angeles Ironmen with a 7-4 win. Boston Red Legion continued their winning streak with a 7-3 game over X-Factor, Dynasty took down Edmonton with a 7-2 match and Aftershock scraped a win with a 5-4 game against Tampa Bay Damage. Philly Americans took down the Dogs 7-2, Bushwackers received their third zero with a 7-0 game going to San Diego Aftermath. LA Infamous went 6-5 against the Hurricanes and X-Factor took down Edmonton for their third loss 5-4. The final game of the day was a tight race to 7 with Dynasty taking it 7-6 over Aftershock.
Saturday saw the amateur teams continuing on the fields with the ever present heat wave and the promised webcast being postponed while the Pros continued their matches with grandstands full of screaming fans. Philly Americans dropped their first game to the Russians, Boston Red Legion taking the game by a point 7-6. Aftermath took down the Ironmen 7-3, Tampa Bay took down Hurricanes 7-5 and X-Factor delivered the Bushwackers a 7-3 game. Infamous went 6-4 against Impact and Chicago took down Seattle 7-3. Red Legion won out against Aftermath 7-4, Ironmen came back from their loss to beat Dynasty 7-3 and Philly recovered with a 7-1 victory over Damage.
New to the season was the advent of the Young Guns competition, an event put on by the PSTA. It was a free to enter competition for teams made up of players aged 12-18 who had not competed in open amateur tournaments prior to Chicago. The event was a success with 16 teams who had to merely show up, the limited round paint was covered as well as entry fees by the PSTA and their sponsors.
5 man D4 ran through a second set of games after the prelims wrapped up to cull down the massive team size to a more manageable number. Thirty-two teams played in the Round 2 Division, culling half of them to move on to the Ocho round. Also playing 16 teams was the D3 five man division. Top of the pack after the best two of three matches were D3 teams Inertia, Worthless, Distortion and PG Style. D4 teams saw WC Redemption, AAF, Absolute, and DBSpaintball.com on top. Moving into the Quarter round, the sixteen teams were halved once again and 8 teams moved on. D3's Inertia continued their domination, Air Assault Factory finished quarters in 2nd place, New Jack City in third and PG Style held their own for a shot at the next round. D4's quarter finals saw WC Redemption remaining on top, AAF, Coalition and DBSpaintball.com joining them. PSP's semi final rounds pit two teams against each other and whichever is victorious earns the right to move into the 'winner's bracket' and a chance at first or second place in the final round. The losing teams in the semi-final round battle for third or fourth place. D3 five man semi finals saw New Jack City against Air Assault Factory with a win, a loss and a win going to NJC. Inertia beat out PG Style after dropping their first game. The D4 team were AAF against Coalition with AAF losing the first match but coming back strongly for the following two. They would face off against DBSpaintball.com who beat out WC Redemption with two wins in a row, crushing Redemption's hopes of a first place win after remaining on top of the boards after the prelim rounds. Five man finals got underway with New Jack City and Inertia fighting with a win going to Inertia, but NJC taking it the following two games, securing their win and first place. Air Assault Factory took third after their double win over PG Style. The D4 finals saw DBSpaintball.com over AAF with two incredibly short matches. Coalition took home third with WC Redemption in fourth after Coalition took the first two games.
The only division of X-Ball to take part in the Ocho round was the D3 division, sending the 9th thru the 16th ranked teams after prelims on to determine the top four of the Ocho teams to join the top 8 of the prelim teams in the Quarter final matches. Top of the pack out of the Ocho round was Colorado Blitz, AK, CFP Factory D3 and Wired. Just missing the mark were VcK, Palm Beach Venom Kids, Misfit Toys Killaz and 703 Haze. The Quarter finals saw D2 and D3 teams hitting the fields with 8 teams in D2 and 12 in D3. D2 teams raced to five points with one game deciding if they'd continue on or not while the D3 teams raced to 4 with two games to play. The semi final rounds are where the action got even hotter and faced the same delights and defeats as the five man competition with teams getting a single shot at moving on to the winner's bracket or being content with third or fourth place.. The Semi-Pro slots saw XSV over Vicious with a 7-0 max while Aftermath II battled with RNT Allstarz with a 6-3 win going to Aftermath. D1 had DBS Kidz, series favorites, over Cross Eyed Paintball 5-2, while Palm Beach Venom beat Raiden 4-3. D2 went from their eight teams to just four for semi-finals pitting DSSP8ntball against LIFT, Lift dropping 2-5. Velocity Wrecking Crew would move on to the winner's bracket after their 5-2 win over Team Unlimited. D3 teams culled down from their twelve teams to four with Boom taking down Total Karnage Kids 4-1, while Cross Eyed Paintball Black joined their older brothers in the semi-finals against CV aka Borracho Bullfighters. Cross Eyed won the match 2-1 to advance. The finals rounds saw D4 teams returning to the field for a game against Wreckless Intentions against Untouchables, the game going 4-1 to Wreckless Intentions. D3 third place was CV aka Borracho Bullfighters after their 4-2 win over Total Karnage Kids. Cross Eyed Paintball took down Boom for a first place win with a 4-0 max. D2 third place was LIFT after they won the game with a single point, the game against Team Unlimited finishing 5-4. First place was taken by DSSp8ntball after their 5-3 game over Velocity Wrecking Crew. D1 third place was Raiden after they too went 5-4 over Cross Eyed Paintball. DBS Kidz took down Palm Beach Venom 5-4 for first place. Semi Pro teams Vicious and RNT Allstarz battled for third place with Vicious taking it 7-5. Sacramento XSV after a tournament of being in the top spots dropped to Aftermath II 7-2 in an excellent match under the watchful eyes of the spectators in the grandstand bleachers, Aftermath II taking home the first place trophy and the bragging rights of the day. On the Professional front in the NXL division, Chicago Aftershock faced off against Dynasty with the boys in blue taking it 7-3. Infamous dropped to Aftermath 7-5 in the second match of the day. Boston Red Legion won against Dynasty, sending them to the loser's bracket after a 7-6 game. Then San Diego Aftermath proved themselves against the Philly Americans for a shot at first place with a 7-6 win. The final games of the day saw Philly and Dynasty facing off for third and fourth place, the game running 7-3 to Philly. The first place Professional team of the event was owned by Boston after an intense match where the Russian based team dominated the field, securing their win 7-1 over Aftermath.
Stepping outside of tradition, the PSP this year would move from the Chicago event straight to World Cup to be held in October in Florida.