Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Death of the Snapshot

Okay, maybe the snapshot isn't quite dead yet (it's called hyperbole) as it still has a few uses in the competitive environment but it doesn't hold the exalted place it once did. The brutality and efficacy of gunfighting has made the snapshot largely obsolete. As has the evolution of the sport. When a critical component of the modern competitive game is edge control the snapshot fails to deliver. Focused almost exclusively on eliminating an opponent with the least possible risk of being eliminated in return the snapshot, and more importantly, its practitioners ignore other crucial elements of the game. The game in microcosm that the snapshot represents is a dual of survival. Ideally a battle of man against man. (Or boys or girls, etc.) Sometimes a mismatched battle but always a battle to elimination. (And for those unwilling to engage on those terms the tendency is to simply turn away from that confrontation in order to look and shoot somewhere else.) All of which might be more relevant if the game wasn't being played on tiny fields where the ability to move quickly and work the angles came at a premium. (Yes, angles have always mattered as have wires but when the field was 300 feet long and there were ten players to a side the risk/reward equation didn't balance on a knife's edge either.)
Today the gunfighter wishes to control his edge in order to do more than attempt to eliminate a particular opponent. The larger purpose is to control the field and contain your opponent while your teammates move into superior killing positions. (Which also dictates how one should play a particular position.)
Even so learning the snapshot isn't a waste of time. There are elements of the snapshot that will improve your gunfighting. Practice to deliver an accurate first shot. Present the least profile possible. And in those situations where you're outnumbered and about to get run down a skilled snapshot (and a calm mind) may help you take an opponent or two down first. (And if I'm being completely honest there are a few close quarter situations where an effective snapshot is relevant.) but the larger point remains that the snapshot is no longer the centerpiece of a player's individual skill set.

Next time, Gunfighting: Positions of Advantage/Disadvantage


Anonymous said...

It's certainly true that the snapshot is less important than it once was, based on the fields and style of play these days.

However, I think to be a great player you'll have to be a good snapshot. Prove me wrong by naming names. Which leaders on the top teams (Damage, Impact, Dynasty) are bad at snap shooting?

Baca Loco said...

Two things. I wasn't defining "great players" and I did point out the virtues of learning to snapshoot--despite the post title. But nice try.

sdawg said...

Can you please expound upon the alternative shooting techniques?

It seems the alternative to snapshooting is a kind of game of chicken where you stay out shooting as long as possible vs. snapshooting being to expose yourself during the shot for as short as time as possible.

Baca Loco said...

In the next paintball post, sdawg