Tuesday, October 22, 2013

World Cup Wrap-up

First order of business is my apology for failing to post daily updates--but by now y'all ought to be used to me not always posting what I intended to post. In my defense I was a little busy--and preoccupied. For the record that was 3 World Cup finals in a row. (Yeah, I know, Big Dave is way ahead of me and no, I ain't likely to catch up. It's okay.)
On the fantasy paintball front post your team name and score by this Friday either here or at VFTD--Facebook to enter the T-shirt giveaway--as long as your score is higher than 20975--(and whose wasn't?)--I'll announce the official winner next Monday.
I mentioned the air supply situation the other day. Turns out the league's experiment with doing it themselves was confined to the two pro fields (What?! Really?! Who thought that was a good idea?) and they only managed to keep up a consistent air flow the whole weekend with help from the the Paintball Central crew. (Thanks, Rob & Roy!) Guess the jury is still out on the league taking over that aspect of operations completely.
Remember the missing TonTons? Turns out not all of them were missing. Quelle surprise! Fabrice Columbo was playing for the D1 team Red Storm (Grad Moscow). So what's the deal with that? The PSP put the "TonTons" on probation but what does that mean? That the individual players that made up that roster don't matter? While I'm in favor of players playing it seems like the league needs to decide exactly what sort of probation they are enforcing particularly as league officials seemed unaware that Columbo was playing at all.
As we have come to expect the webcast was stellar. (Although I heard some folks were unable to access the HD version but I don't know if that was a delivery or reception issue.) What I do know--or at least have an opinion about--is that the booth needs a shake up. All 3 guys do the same thing, provide the same sort of commentary and stumble over each other at times along with more than a few awkward silences. It's one thing to replay an exciting rundown or a controversial penalty but how 'bout using the opportunity provided by the webcast to also help educate the audience? And I don't mean by just regurgitating PBA stats. More along the lines of explaining the nuts & bolts of the breakouts and player reactions, decisions, etc. in light of core principles of play. Just a thought.
Many of the big vendors are also major team sponsors and as such provide private areas for their teams to collect their gear, get out of the sun and relax between matches. Planet Eclipse went the extra mile and had air conditioning inside the big tent of their booth. Great way to relax and get ready for the finals on Sunday afternoon. A space we shared with Impact. Planet should've had a huge banner outside promoting their air conditioned space too. (If they did I didn't see it.) A great way to get everyone walking by to step inside and oh, yeah, check out all the latest gear.
While I'm not usually interested in the gear end of this game--if the gun shoots, the paint breaks, the goggles don't squeeze my head and the pads stay put I'm pretty easy to please--I did see some of the new stuff on the field and there was too much white going on. At what point is a stained yellow, formerly white, jersey illegal? And even if the leagues let that slide it's gonna look bad fast. Right?
It seemed like there were more substantive complaints about reffing standards this year compared to years past. (Oh sure, there's always complaints with a significant percentage falling into the sour grapes category but from my perspective that was less the case this time around.) Echos of last year's complaints put a little tarnish on the 10-man effort with a few teams and players unsatisfied with the lack of consistency and civility. And some element of the broader inconsistency was evident on Sunday when divisional teams suffered some brutally penalty ridden games. Clearly some of the teams were used to a different standard of officiating and that speaks to inconsistency. At the same time I think the lower divisions should be officiated a bit more leniently than the pros. There was also some background chatter among the refs that changes were coming and some thought those changes might include them. Since we're headed for silly season I guess we'll find out in the coming months.
Congrats are in order to the 'Shock crew for playing hard, aggressive and defiant paintball all weekend and sticking in the Champions. The recent return of Sosine to the roster has helped settle the team down--and it didn't hurt that Chris was a killing machine at Cup either. If you're a fan of competitive paintball you gotta like what 'Shock is bringing.
So how's this relegation thing gonna work at the end of the year? By season ranking Vicious & Upton 187 finish in 9th & 10th place but Shock retained a Champions spot in their relegation game and the Challengers results has Vicious and Texas Storm moving up. Of course ranking isn't the same as seed position and if all the pro teams start at zero for the first event of 2014 I suppose it doesn't matter.
Open 10-man saw 20 teams compete on a field larger than the Race To standard but a bit smaller than last gen 10-man fields from a decade ago. This year the field was made up of standard airball props with a traditional snake and dorito wire(s). It looked like an excellent layout. Past the 10-man field the UWL kids were humping the boonies in a soggy stand of trees by the lake that emitted occasional clouds of smoke that drifted through the trees and either toward the 10-man field or across the water depending on which way the breeze was blowing.
Sunday the forecast was for intermittent thunderstorms but the morning matches began with intense sunshine and stark shadows cast across the playing fields. Later and for much of the day clouds rolled in and threatened the forecast rain but it never came. Only the odd blustery breeze that helped keep the debilitating humidity at bay. We arrived around 9 am for a scheduled 11:20 am semi-final against Heat. The mood was low key but expectant. Relaxed at first but as the time ticked by the tension and intensity began to build. We stayed with our routines as we prepared to compete. In the tournament format the best teams usually prevail but largely on the basis of past success are teams considered the best. But every now and again a team will rise to the occasion. In many ways the season was a struggle, an effort to find a new balance, to find the path to success. It was punctuated by frustration at times but never despair. No matter what the team believed. Believed we could do better, that we were better than we had showed. On Sunday we (X-Factor) were the decided underdog, a team with talent and experience, yes, a team that earned a Champions spot long ago but not a favorite or a flashy team. Not an all-star team or a defending champion. In all sports intangibles nearly always play a significant role in the outcome of the biggest moments. Momentum. Chemistry. Heart. And in rare moments it all comes together in victory. X-Factor wins World Cup.


Carl Hill said...

Carl Hill 22,775

Jason said...


Joe said...

Congrats x-factor
Leytonstone Fancy Pants Ranked 373# 28,201 points

Ethan said...

Such an awesome event. I am so stoked that the underdogs won. I can't believe the resilience and fight xfactor showed. The icing on the cake is that Ryan Brand won fantasy as well.

Here's my team
Kravin Moorhead


Sully said...

Christopher Sullivan, 30242

This comment has been removed by the author.
Roger said...

24717 http://www.paintballaccess.com/fantasy/myballot/xodpftpe9trqi5bt

ChuckF said...

Mine was worse, 20,250. Even my fantasies suck. :P

Anonymous said...

FiresofSirius - 24,284


Ino van den Berg said...

Congratz to you coach and to the toughest team.
I bet impact is regretting the decision to take the damage game lightly.
But although the advance to sunday was awith luck, you showed yourself true champions.

team bruisin squad: 24309 points

Fullbore said...


Why spend money on Texans when you can waste it on Russians, Doh!

Douglas Grider said...

Team "Bad To The Bone" Ranked #273, Score 28,800


Mike said...

Heartbreaking watching Impact lose in the finals (again, for the 238428392th time).... but if I wanted anyone to beat them, I'm glad it was X-Factor.


Also my final score - 21,142.

Anonymous said...

Final score: 22,625
Rank: 2780
Team: Stingers


Rich from Guam

raehl said...

Final Score: 37,276
Rank: 3


Really wishing I had done some research and not picked a player who didn't even show up...

Anonymous said...

So what's the point of fantasy paintball if all we have to do is pick all the players on the winning team* and we win?

Might as well just play a game where we cast votes on who will win?

*actually, I wonder if there is some fuzziness at the margins. Would some combination of all Impact players beat out Xfactor? But either way, guess one of the two teams to make the finals and win isn't very exciting.

Hopefully the you'll rectify this so it actually becomes interesting on a player level. No more than 2-3 players from each team perhaps?

Baca Loco said...

506 Anon
It wasn't possible to pick all the players from any of the top ranked teams--they cost too much.

Ryan won and Grayson and Billy were close because they all picked mostly their teammates. Apparently Raehl was largely X-Factor as well for whatever reason but what would make for an interesting comparison is what was the make-up of some of the other top rated fantasy teams? What did the other teams that were close to winning look like?

raehl said...

I would say the point is to have fun picking players you think are going to do well and then comparing the results with your friends as the event progresses.

I was looking for a group of mid-expense players that could do well at Cup. Ironmen and X-Factor seemed to have rosters of players that fit the bill, and I thought the prelim bracket for X-Factor looked a bit better for them, so went with X-Factor players.

Turns out they played very well and the corresponding fantasy team did great - which is far more a testament to X-Factor's play than anything else.

Regardless, just guessing the winning team is not a generally successful strategy. For example, had a few points gone differently and Impact won the finals, the winning fantasy team would not have been a ballot of all Impact players since they were overall more expensive.

Anyway, made some picks that worked out, but strongly suspect my next fantasy team will end up much closer to 5,000th place. Big ups to X-Factor for the win!