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PSP Phoenix Open 2009
Professional X-Ball - Philadelphia Americans
Semi-Pro X-Ball - Sacramento XSV
D1 X-Ball - Aftermath II
D2 X-Ball - Free Train Rides
D3 X-Ball - Tombstone
D3 5 Man - Wiseguys
D4 5 Man - Coalition Black
The PSP returned to the Glendale Youth Soccer Complex at the University of Phoenix stadium in Glendale, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix on Thursday. With 143 teams scheduled to take to the field playing in the Professional NXL bracket, three levels of X-Ball and two divisions of 5 man, the action on the fields would be intense. The Paintball Sports Promotion line-up for the 2009 season took a dramatic turn in the scheduling with just four major events on the calendar, Arizona, South Carolina, Illinois and Florida hosting with a plan for 3 regional events to be announced later in the year.
The PSP had success with the use of a webcast during the 2008 World Cup and planned to continue the project at the Phoenix event with paintball videographer Patrick Spohrer taking the reins on that project once again. Matty Marshall, former professional player and now well known spokesman for the sport, would be working in conjunction with Spohrer on the webcast giving the play by plays and the interviews from the field. With 8 cameras dedicated to the game action, players pits, and commentary box, the free webcast would be sure to garner interest in fans who were unable to attend the event themselves.
Surprisingly the number of teams did not increase dramatically for the start of the PSP season over last year's numbers. With the loss of the NPPL, most industry watchers were wondering if the PSP would see a spike of cross-over teams, and while there was an increase over last year's Phoenix numbers, a jump of 21 teams, they are in the form X-Ball D3 teams, not the big names that the NPPL was holding onto for the past several seasons. The PSP continued their tradition of making it easier on the players to enjoy the venue with their ScoreBlast reporting method. A team need only sign up for the service with a text-ready mobile phone number to receive information at the end of the day alerting them to advancement and when their next scheduled match will be played, allowing the team to take advantage of the nightlife, the varied activities around the game site and not have to wait around the game field for last minute scores to be posted. The latest incarnation from the PSP for the player's convenience is the option of Bag Check through the APPA. The Bag Check gives players an option of checking their equipment bag for a moderate cost of $10 to be held in a secure location rather than in the trunk of a car or a hotel room.
The game formats for the Professionals playing in the NXL would host a roster size of just 8 players, a game time of 20 minutes or a race to 7 points. The PSP changed the maximum rate of fire for the series from 13.3 to 12 bps for the Pros and Semi-Pros and 10 bps for the D1-3 X-Ball and the 5 man divisions. Semi-Pro would have a roster size of 10, a twenty minute game clock with a race to 7 points, X-Ball D1-3 would host 12 members each, with D1 and D2 on a 15 minute game clock and a race to 5 points while X-Ball's D3 would have a 10 minute clock and a race to 4 points, and 5 Man would hold a roster of 8 players with D3 on a 5 minute clock and a race to 2 points.
The weather during the event could not have been better for paintball - sunny skies, the occasional cloud cover, highs in the 70's and a light breeze rolling in off of the desert. On Thursday the first Pro game of the day was Los Angeles Ironmen against Edmonton Impact with the game going 7-3 to the Men. Philly Americans took down X-Factor with a 7-2 score, then Boston Red Legion took down Tampa Bay Damage with a 7-6 game. Seattle Naughty Dogs fell to Dynasty with a 7-2 loss, then LA Infamous fell to Chicago Aftershock 7-1. Edmonton Impact took down newcomers to the Pro circuit, Bushwackers 7-1. Philly fell to Boston 3-7 for the last game of the day on Thursday.
Friday dawned with clear skies, temperatures in the 70's and the show started again. The Dogs lost their second match of the tournament, this time to Tampa Bay Damage 3-7. Dynasty fell 6-7 to X-Factor, Ironmen shut down Aftershock 7-0, Aftermath took down Infamous 7-2, Bushwackers got a point in against Boston, but Boston's continued winning streak on the X-Ball field showed a final score of 7-1 in favor of the Russians. Hurricanes were shut down by Philly 7-0, Tampa Bay Damage took down Edmonton Impact with a 6-4 score. Dynasty fell to the Men with a 5-7 score, Hurricanes were pounded by San Diego Aftermath for a 2-7 final score, then LA Infamous was shut down by the Russians as Boston Red Legion rolled them 7-0 for the final game of the day on Friday.
Saturday saw Chicago Aftershock and X-Factor face off first thing with a 5-7 game going to X-Factor. Newcoming team Bushwackers scored their first win against the Seattle Naughty Dogs with a 7-4 win, Hurricanes dropped 2-5 to Tampa Bay Damage, San Diego Aftermath and Los Angeles Ironmen with the Men continuing their domination with a 7-4 win over Aftermath. LA Infamous and Edmonton Impact with the lads from Canada winning 7-6. Chicago Aftershock took on the Bushwackers with the Bushwackers dropping their third game 5-7. Seattle Naugty Dogs and Philly Americans showed the Philly boys with a 7-4 win, Dynasty shut down Hurricanes 7-1. X-Factor and San Diego Aftermath saw X-Factor with a 2-7 loss.
The Semi-Pro division of X-Ball saw just 5 teams hitting the fields in Arizona, the smallest number of teams for any of the divisions by far, with Vicious, Sacramento XSV, Palm Beach Vipers, RNT Allstarz and New York PowerSurge competing. D1 X-Ball had 12 competing teams, D2 saw 24 teams and D3 had 38 that played the preliminaries. The 5 man teams were well represented with 20 D3 teams and 31 D4 teams.
The Quarterfinals for the Professionals saw Philly Americans and Tampa Bay Damage face off for a single elimination game with Philly winning 7-5. Dynasty likewise joined the Quarters against San Diego Aftermath with a 6-5 win, moving them on into the semi-finals. This would pit Dynasty against Ironmen in the semi-finals and Boston against Philly to determine who would play for the top spot in the finals match. D1 quarters saw TBD Fierce in a 5-0 game against Houston Hate. Cross Eyed Paintball beat LA Hitmen 4-3. D2 X-Ball moved 12 teams on as well as D3. D3 five man competition moved 8 teams into the quarter finals as well as the D4 bracket.
Professional semi-final matches had Philly against Boston, delivering up Boston's first loss of the event with a 7-2 win for the Americans. LA Ironmen pulled off a 7-5 win over Dynasty sending the boys in blue to the loser's bracket to fight with the Russians while Ironmen would face off against Philly for first or second place. The Semi-Pros hit the field again in the semi-final round with Palm Beach Vipers dropping to Sacramento XSV 7-5. X-Ball D1 had Cross Eyed Paintball up against Seattle CDR with a 4-3 win over Seattle while Aftermath II had the same score over TBD Fierce. D2 had well known team DSSP8ntball over Shogun 5-1 with Free Train Rides over Total Karnage with the same score. D3 Tombstone scored 3-2 over No Limit. ByF8th Nation went 4-3 over Boom. 5 Man D3 saw four teams on the field with WiseGuys over the group, with Axis, Biting Rabbits and BioHazard Amh. D4 five man had Black Ice on top, Coalition Black in second, Ranjerz in third and West Coast Dyenamix in fourth.
The finals matches had Dynasty and Boston Red Legion in contention for third and fourth place with Dynasty taking the game. First place was taken by the Philly Americans over the Los Angeles Ironmen. Semi-Pro final had Sacramento XSV over Vicious in an intense game with a ton of crowd participation 6-5. D1 X-Ball had TBD Fierce over Seattle CDR for third place with Aftermath II taking down Cross Eyed Paintball 5-1 for first place. D2 third place went to Shogun after a 5-2 game with Total Karnage. Free Train Rides took first over DSSP8ntball after a 5-2 game. D3's Boom went 3-0 over No Limit for their third place finish. Tombstone took first after a 4-1 game with By58th Nation. 5 Man D3 Wiseguys continued their winning streak with a first place win, Axis in second, Biohazard Amh in third and Biting Rabbits in fourth. D4 five man Coalition Black secured their first place win over Black Ice, Rangerz and West Cost Dyenamix.