Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Galveston D2, part 1

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 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.


Anonymous said...

Nice report. Good job.

Anonymous said...

Lastcall will play the cards they were dealt. Texas will not run us off only educate us. Our players have heart and know the changes we face. We will keep our guns up and keep pushing forward this season it's the only thing we know. We will make Sunday, we will be respected. See everyone in Phoniex

Anonymous said...

I think it's decent. Overall good without the redundant caution in the first paragraph. I'm no acclaimed writer but I know what I enjoy. Needs some wit next time to keep my attention. Otherwise I have nothing else to say other than I wish there was more. :)

Anonymous said...

Not a bad write-up, not sure what part 2 of the report holds so my comments may not be completely warrented but anyway..

I think the preseason rankings could have been much more thought out. It is easy to look at APPA and see what events a team has played. The "glaring surprise" of the Coalition victory may not have been so surprising had you looked at the team's performance in past events, especially in the WCPPL last year. Other than that teams that were expected to do well pretty much did. I agree with your comments regarding the jump from D3 to D2 and none of the teams seemed to be out of place one way or the other (terribly bad or extremely good). I think it is worth mentioning(you may touch on this in part 2) that the D2 teams were actually VERY VERY lucky to have the pro games cancelled. PSP made a great move to allow them to compete on center court and I hope the viewers enjoyed the games. Please continue to shed some light on D2 for the rest of the year. These guys train hard and put a lot into everything. Most of the costs for the team come from the players so these guys have a lot on the line when playing in the semis and quarters on Sunday. Get 5th and you get nothing, win an extra match or two and your pockets don't hurt so bad during the next event.

Anonymous said...

Awesome job. Prime is sick, Mikes a genious pretty cool hes writing for vftdb. Lastcall will do better its in thier blood.

MikeMfromPrime said...

Thanks everyone for your responses My first write-up so I was anxious to see what was good and where it could improve.
@Anon2 I wish Last Call the best of luck. My point is more that Xball teams, as a rule, need more players and require more resources and are used to the format. I'd say the same of any team that did well in 5man D3 and was bumped to D2X. They should not have to. I believe Last Call will improve as the year goes on. Those guys are very laid back but play real hard.
@Anon3 "without the redundant caution in the first paragraph" Please explain further, I'm not sure I understand. I suppose it is ironic that the TX write-up is so dry. (There's a little splash of wit for you... ; ) I will say it was already, what I felt, self-servingly long. Injecting more personality I thought would make it unbearably so.

@Anon4 "may not have been so surprising had you looked at the team's performance in past events" Thanks for critiquing. I looked at every team's APPA history and contemplated/rehashed the Rankings exhaustively. I'll admit, consistent winning is a characteristic of a solid team, and perhaps should have warranted a higher rank in the pre-season. I don't think the last D3 WCPPL scores were posted when I made the report in February. If they were, it was def. an oversight. I will also say that I placed a higher premium on performance in PSP (3rd and 8th D3X) and PSP experience (just those two). I'll also admit that I knew (know) very little about the WCPPL and how those teams compare to the PSP. Perhaps the weight of my formula got pushed in other directions. Esp. # of D2s on their roster. 15th sounds a bit misinformed, so "glaring" may be incorrect. Though even in hindsight, I don't think I could have used a piece of datum to legitimize placing Coalition in the top 5. Congrats to them. Any team with 2 D3X events in PSP that goes on to win a D2X PSP should be surprising. I'm happy to be surprised. They have home field advantage next time too.
ALSO, you are 100% correct. D2 was fortunate to get the opportunity to finish. Very smart decision on part of the PSP. Canceling an event or an entire Divisional level would be disastrous.
Lastly, because you and I appreciate all the time & money divisional players put in, I'm very grateful to Baca for granting Divisional coverage.
Thanks for your healthy response, thought I'd return in kind. Will be looking forward to learning more for Part 2.