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2010 Chicago Open
LA Infamous - First Place Pro
The Chicago Open... Back at the Badlandz, where many say it belongs. Back before there was a PSP, before the current NPPL, or the one before that, in the days of the original NPPL, Renick Miller's Badlandz was the field for the original Chicago Open, produced by Miller and his staff. As the home field of Aftershock, traditionally they were the team reffing the games deep in the woods. With a central location, Chicago is accessible to teams from both the East and West coasts, so it is no surprise that the Chicago Open ranked as the most attended tournament in its annual series, aside from the season finale World Cup. As tournament paintball evolved, so did the Badlandz, with multiple pipe fields, and land cleared for inflatable bunker fields. Although the Chicago Open moved to new locations in recent years, it came back home for 2010. Jointly scheduled at the Badlandz with an Ultimate Woodsball League tournament, this year's Chicago Open was poised to draw a larger crowd for its trade show than would have been possible with concept field players alone - an important factor for tournament sponsors and vendors in a tight economy.
Games starting Thursday Morning, the Chicago Open held five divisions of X-Ball teams, complimented by two divisions of 5-man teams. As usual, the eyes were in the pro X-Ball division, where 12 teams battled it out to see who was the best of the best. The pro teams played in a race to 7 format, where either the clock, or earning 7 points ends the game. In the opening round LA Infamous took down Dynasty 7 to 3, and Edmonton Impact defeated Sacramento XSV 6 to 7. The Los Angeles Ironmen were victorious over San Diego Aftermath 7 to 5, and Vicious took down Entourage 7 to 6. Tampa Bay Damage had a 5 to 4 victory over X-Factor, and Chicago Aftershock's home field advantage helped them defeat Boston Red Legion 5 to 7. Infamous surged ahead, maintaining a division leading margin by beating XSV 7 to 1 while Impact brought home a 6 to 4 win against the Ironmen. San Diego Aftermath also had a strong game, beating Dynasty 7 to 2. Shock was on their game again as they faced off against X-Factor, winning the game 7 to 3, and Red Legion defeated Entourage 7 to 4.Tampa Bay Damage ended up taking down Vicious 7 to 1. This was followed by Impact defeating Dynasty 7 to 4, Aftermath posting a 7 to 0 win against Infamous and the Ironmen defeating XSV 5 to 7. Boston Red Legion took out Tampa Bay Damage 7 to 3 which was the same as the finishing score when Aftershock defeated Entourage. Vicious fell to X-Factor 1 to 7. Next Edmonton Impact beat Infamous 7 to 4, Aftermath took down XSV 7-zip and Dynasty earned their single win of the tournament against the Los Angeles Ironmen, beating them 7 to 2. Boston Red Legion took down Vicious 7 to 3, Tampa Bay Damage defeated Chicago Aftershock 7 to 3, while X-Factor ran to the clock against Entourage, winning by a single point at 6 to 5. When the dist settled at the end of the prelims Edmonton Impact and Boston Red Legion were the clear leaders, both having won all four of their games, while Sacramento XSV and Entourage ranked in the bottom, defeated every game.
Division 1 X-Ball had teams racing to 5 points, or the clock, and 10 teams were competing. Playing their preliminary rounds, Hustle and LIFT both topped their divisions, undefeated.
Division II teams raced also to 5 points, but had more competitors, with 12 teams in the tournament. These teams played in four divisions of 3 teams each, so they only got to play two preliminary round games per team. Here it was UpTon 187 Crew, and Grad ranked top not only because of their 2 wins each, but because Grad edged out GSE from the number 2 slot by averaging a 3 point lead per game instead of 2.5.
Compared to Divisions I and II, Division III had a serious field of competitors, with 41 teams. D3 played in 6 groups, each team playing 4 games within their group. At the end of the round, Total Karnage Kidz and Boom II were the leaders, the only two teams in the division to make it through the round undefeated.
Division IV, the entry level drew 14 teams which also played a 4 game each preliminary round. AAF and Team Betrayal led this group at the end of the round. Despite Betrayal suffering a single loss, showing that the teams within the division were well matched on skill.
The Chicago Open has also been a traditional home of 5-man competition. Long ago, it and World Cup were the only two events in the annual series to include a place for 5 man teams, likely a factor contributing to their size compared to the other stops the league made through the season.
Division III five man drew out 16 teams who played a 12-game prelim round consisting of 4 best-of-three matches. Here it was Worthless that finished on top, followed by Detroit Action. D3-5 progressed to quarterfinal rounds where the top 8 teams each played a best of three round, weakest ranked team facing the strongest. This narrowed the field to four semifinalists who again played best of three, weakest against the strongest. The losers from the semifinals played in the finals best two of three, where 495 Kids defeated Detroit Action two games in a row for a third place finish. Golden State Pirates beat Worthless in their first finals game, but lost the second. By winning the third game the Pirates finished the competition in first place, with Worthless in second.
Division IV 5-man saw 45 teams competing - a sure sign that when economic times are tough, it's the more affordable tournament format that thrives by comparison. All 45 teams played a preliminary round of four best-of-three matches. Then teams ranked 16-24 played a knock-out round, the weakest teams paired against the strongest, best two out of three, winners advancing, losers going home. The winners of that round then played in a paired up best of three round against the teams that ranked 1-8 in the prelims. The 8 winners of this ocho final knock-out round then were paired strongest against weakest to play in the quarter-final round, again best of three games knocking out the losers. Finally, with the teams narrowed down to the final four, the strongest were paired against the weakest and the semi-final round ranked the four teams for the finals where Malicious Intent defeated Joyride in their first game, tied the second and lost the third. Savage Red posted back to back decisive wins over Atlanta Breakout, the achieving the first in only 2 minutes and 35 seconds. Savage Red finished in first for the division, with Breakout in second.
In DIV X-Ball, the top two teams from the prelims went straight to the finals, assured positions in the final four, while the second through 6th ranked teams went to the quarter-final knock-out round, playing a single match, strongest against weakest. These two winners advanced to the semis, where the two losing teams went on to the finals, Team Betrayal defeating AAF 4 to 3 for third place. The two winning teams from the semis also faced off, Cincinnati Paintball falling to the division winner Tampa Bay Vengeance 4 to 3.
Division III X-Ball was large enough to justify an ocho-final knock-out round with 8 teams battling to select four that would join the top 8 in the quarter finals. With 12 teams in the quarters, two games each sent the top four teams on to the semis and then the finals where Total Carnage Kids decimated DC Monstars 4 to 0 for third place, and Assault finished first by besting Boom II 4 to 1.
Division II X-Ball sent its top 12 preliminary round teams into the quarter finals where 2 games each ranked the top four for the semis and finals. This division ended with GSE defeating Boom 5 to 2 for third place, and upTon 187 cRew grabbing the trophy with a 5 to 1 victory over Grad.
In the smaller division I X-Ball competition, the top four teams from the prelims went straight to the semis and finals where Hustle defeated Total Karnage Orlando 5 to 4 for third place and New Jersey Jesters won their division with a 5 to 4 defeat of LIFT.
The pros sent their top 2 teams to the semis and finals and the third through 6th ranked teams to a single-game quarter-final knock-out round. Here LA Infamous sent San Diego Aftermath home with a 7 to 3 score and Tampa Bay Damage knocked out Chicago Aftershock with a 7 to 4 victory. In the semifinals Damage took down Boston Red Legion 7 to 4, and LA Infamous posted a 7 to 6 win over Edmonton Impact. This re-ranked the four teams for the finals. In the final round, Edmonton Impact beat Boston Red Legion 7 to 3 for a third place finish. LA Infamous finished their game against Tampa Bay Damage 7 to 5 to take home the top trophy of the Chicago Open - First Place Pro.
With the Chicago Open wrapped up, PSP is next heading to one of its favorite locations, PBC Paintball Park in Charlotte, Rock Hill South Carolina for the Mid-Atlantic Open. On a venue purpose built for paintball tournaments and tournament training, the MAO is now a staple in the PSP season.