VFTD: Thanks once again are due Mike McGowan of Prime for putting in the time and effort to rep the division.
In general, teams were using the snake corner much more than in Galveston. Teams broke the dorito-side tower far less than before with teams opting to step off the box in space behind the center can to shoot him off the break. Far more teams loved that center aztec to lock down the dorito-side. Hardly anyone utilized the center A from what I saw. Teams also used the cross-shot from the insert baby-cake. Most teams, doubled the back center and filled out from there. If teams were up bodies and controlled the snake, the game was in their favor. The dorito-side just didn't have the explosiveness it had in Texas. I also did hear tales of odd officiating calls echoing through the ranks. Par for the course. But some of them implied disturbing accounts of referee favoritism. Like wiping off friendly-fire hits or making bold decisions in typical simultaneous exchange situations. I know I heard stories about the two separate fields, thus different crews. So maybe I was relayed a biased message. Hope such rumors are unfounded. These refs stuck it out the entire day, the entire weekend in these elements. Props to them.
The quarterfinals were nearly identical to Galveston with three blowouts and a one point game. PR1ME, ac402.com, and Collision were crushed 5-1, while Boom edged out TNN 5-4. AC402 did see improvement this event. They had 5-0'd Elevation in the prelims. Elevation returned in kind in their rematch. Revo, Fury, Elevation, and Boom the advancing parties. The semi-finals games appear to have been the most interesting/competitive of the event score-wise. I heard the Boom vs. Revo match was tight. Boom putting the pressure on Revo unlike anyone the whole weekend. But Revo came out the victor 4-3. Scottsdale Elevation thrived on home field turf throughout the event but were beaten 5-4 by Fury. Finally trading places with Boom this go around for 3rd place after beating them 5-2.
There must have been either a mechanical or editing issue with the webcast for the D2 Finals game as the video starts midmatch with Revo already winning 3-2. By what I could gather, Fury kept pushing for their center cross play and Revo denied them by chopping one of them out off break. Namely the center aztec player. While the commentators attributed Revo's win to their "technical" play. They also seemed to disparage their approach as inferior to more aggression on the field. If it were say, Tampa Bay Damage, they probably would have been lauded for their grinding down of opponents. You don't watch college football and talk about how their strategy wouldn't translate into the Pros. Or how the Kentucky basketball team is good but none of them shoot like Kobe.
As former Pros themselves the commentaters contrast the divisional level to what they know and aim to demonstrate to the viewer where their game falls short of the professional. Which to their credit, is the most filmed and viewed. But there are serial moments of unwarranted criticism. For example, I do agree that without aggression you can't win paintball. But being aggressive is a decision. When Revo is up 4-2 with a minute left, saying, in reference to their entire performance "Unless you're, like, Alex Fraige, [counterpunch paintball] is definitely not the way to go." That just sounded absurd to me. It encapsulated the unnecessary level of harsh treatment these teams receive. I'm not saying, "Go easy. We're sensitive and gonna cry on the airplane." Far from it. But Revo had just won every single match of the tournament. The webcasters' experience has entitled them to render judgement. But perhaps also talk about the consistency the Revo program and their organizer, Carlos Beltran, have brought about as well. Give credit where credit is due. Maybe they need a divisional correspondent for these games with some inside info. Someone that's aware of the dynamic to chime in every now and again for these specific games. Greg Pauley or Shane Pestana or Steve Nicola. Anyone with current experience at D2, but also in the Pro ranks.
These divisional teams are learning from the Legions and the Damages of the world. More technical play has become systemic. Signs of further advancement are becoming apparent. Houston Heat has seemed to coalesce, with the bonding agent of cash-money, the technical and the creative with their roster make-up. There's several ways to skin a paintball team, but these divisional teams are learning. Their approaches may be on the Darwinian path to defeating future Pro teams. Just look at what 187 is already doing. Granted, they swept the D2 division in the three tournaments they played in 2010, so they may just be on another level. I'm not saying they shouldn't seek advice, or they don't deserve a sound thrashing now and again to know they need great improvement to get to the professional level. Like what Lasoya often says, "Sometimes you can learn something from these divisional teams. Their approach might be different."
Divisional teams more so than any other could be at the bar, with their kids, at the frat house, Xbox console, or just home in the AC (reading Tolstoy or Marcus Aurelius no doubt). We could be putting our money in a mutual fund like the savvy investors we are or paying off student loans. But we're not. We're in 102.9 degree heat. Dropping $400 on a luxurious Caravan. Spinning four points in a row. Playing out games with dislocated shoulders. Watching our teammates play freshly on crutches jeopardizing our workman's comp. Old salty Pros taking licks just to keep bringing the next generation to bear. Playing on even when our teammates, our best friends, have achieved their dreams by making Pro rosters. You know why?
Because. We. Love. This. Job.