Well, one of my friends in grade school was having a birthday party. I didn't know him to well so when he called to invite me I thought it was a little strange. Turns out one of his other friends couldn't make because of a vacation so they invited me so teams would be even. I got introduced to paintball because I was this kid's 11th friend and I've pretty much been playing every weekend possible since.
3. What teams have you played for in the past?
ArchAngels, Smart Parts Factory, Vaqueros
This year would be J-Rab. He played out of his mind and was a big reason for the Russians success. The American line had always been the weak link and he changed that with gamebreaker after gamebreaker. I don't see him slowing down in 2010 either.
It may seem kinda strange with two wins under my belt, but our 2nd place finish against the Russians in MAO. To be more specific, It was our first finals appearance and that feeling you get before playing it is a hard one to describe. I personally enjoy the thrill of not yet knowing the outcome of things, guess it's why I love gambling too. All you can think about is all the hard work you've put in to get here and how it all finally paid off. We give up a lot to play a sport that one day will probably cripple me, I don't get paid anything, and I've sacrificed a lot of things to be where I am today.
I missed my high school graduation to tryout for a team. All my friends thought paintball was stupid back then. Look at them now, more than half of them are slaving away at life while I travel the world and live the dream.
The hardest thing to teach new players is the thinking aspect of the game. Paintball is like playing speed chess with someone shooting at you, people yelling in your ear the whole time, and your adrenaline is jacked. If you can't make good decisions in these circumstances then you'll never be a great paintball player. The best way I learned myself was watching games. And when I say watching games, I'm not talking about how people usually watch games. They just sit there and wait for the next cool move. When I was developing my knowledge, I'd watch a game and analyze every aspect of it as it unfolded. Soon I began to analyze games while I was on the field playing and it helped me start making better decisions.
I think Texas is a real unique place for paintball as of recently. When I grew up playing against guys like Archie, the Odells, the Cohen, and Dixon, we had two solid tournament series that everyone attended and I think that's a big part of why X-Factor has been so successful. For some reason, all the leagues collapsed here in Texas. The only thing left are rookie 3-man or random open tournaments leaving the whole state fractured by cities and regions. So when we went looking for talent this year I wasn't expecting what showed up at our front door.
Out here in Texas we've never had another pro team to model ourselves after. States like Florida and California have such rich paintball backgrounds and it's easy for kids to see what the pro paintball level is and try and obtain it. We didn't have that out here. All we saw of other pro teams was at tournaments so we had to figure things out for ourselves as we went. It also kept us somewhat immune from pro teams cherry-picking our players until recently...
I'd like to thank my sponsors for this year: Empire, Eclipse, Invert, RPS, Gen-X Global, and Alex Martinez. Also a special thanks to my Belgium team Breakout Spa!
Thanks Grayson, way to get the sponsors in there.