Given the length of the submission I am dividing it into 2 parts with minimal editing. I hope to see some robust comments rating, praising and even critiquing the report so that Mike (and others, myself included) have a better idea next time what y'all would like to read about in divisional coverage. Both the pre-season D2 rankings and this report are by Michael McGowan of Prime.
We all knew the weather was coming. It rained and gusts blew. No surprise. From the looks of the things the weather was actually better than predicted. Many believe the paintball gods are simply merciless, or powerless, when it comes to controlling the weather. Others have waxed and waned on the PSP's inability to select solid venues. Already talks have begun to change the venue for next season. Historically, March is by far one of Galveston's driest months, close behind February or April. It rained zero to negligible amounts in the same dates in years prior. Last season saw no rain. However, according to the Almanac, scattered thunderstorms and high winds (the most recent being abnormally high) are almost always predicted.
Improvements were made from last season. The parking situation was rationalized. Fields leveled, especially the Pro field. The ant situation much more taken care of. Though, after the rain, fire ants were finding their way into my Exalt pants. Sub-aquatic fire ants were lighting fire to my calf with their teeth under water. I couldn't believe it. But let's not forget why this venue was also chosen for paintball reasons. Texas has numerous teams in the PSP and would be next in line for paintball population density with the other venues. Most teams are from the east coast. Not the west. Which makes the results at Galveston all the more interesting.
The D2 Division in Galveston unfolded rather similar to the VFTD pre-season rankings. Save for some glaring surprises of the undefeated Coalition victory and the letdown of Greg Pauley's ac402.com. GP admitted via ProPB Smackbox to enjoying the event, having fun playing again, and looking positively on the future of the team's less experienced players. Many presumed Boom would struggle more than they did with their team being gutted by Aftershock. I can tell you from playing opposite them that this was not the case. I will say however that I did not experience a big jump from D3 to D2. Well, there aren't any "bad" teams. Essentially, with 18 teams you go to where the Ocho cuts were last season in D3. There are no "trap" games. Everyone is pretty solid and there to win. Teams hold their lanes better. You have to create your gaps more than simply wait for them. If you don't hold your gaps, people will inevitably take advantage. So the margin for error goes down. But I don't believe anyone saw another team on the field and said, "Whoa, these guys are on a D1 level."
The D2 division was made up of eighteen teams split into three brackets. I'd argue the first bracket, made of Boom, PR1ME, Elevation, was the most competitive. Three teams making it to the Quarterfinals with lower margins of victory. The "soldiers" award certainly goes to the third bracket. They played all 4 of their prelim games on Saturday. At night. From 7:30PM to well past 11:00PM. Lights were brought in. Conventional wisdom is that at night, difficulties (or even unethical play) increases. Laning goes down. Nighttime with mud? Those lanes simply disappear. I'm not convinced it mattered. The teams that attacked won the day in the third bracket. Both Revo and Vipers were flooding the snake side. Vipers being a younger team, this is no surprise. With youth and less experience, they played to their strengths of speed and relentless attack. Getting up the field quickly. CEP, notorious as a program for their patience, may have gotten hurt from the elements. But I saw some wicked fast players on their squad as well. They would go on to garner the uncoveted "first place in the cut" award with 9th place. Last Call may have struggled regardless, but perhaps the elements furthered them to a dismal 4-20 point performance for dead last. They should be given the opportunity to play D3 Race-To if they so request.