Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Pros: OG vs. New Skool

The first mailbag question of the off season comes from Kevin who wants to know how the OG pros would stack up against today's best of the New Skool. (Kevin was inspired by the Grayson Goff PBN post commented on in VFTD's last post.) Give everybody the same equipment--new or old or maybe both--to compete with and see who comes out on top. Do the OG's win with autocockers and the New Skool with DMs?

Despite the fact the question is unanswerable I will take a crack at it. After all every other sport does the same thing; who's better, Montana or Manning? Nicklaus or Woods? Jordan or James?
While direct personal comparisons are fun (and the source of endless disagreements) at its core is the meta-question about what makes a pro player and have paintball pros always been pro--by a single unifying set of criteria? 
The answer is, as you might have expected, yes and no. Yes because paintball pros are separated from the rest of the competitive player pool because they are deemed to be the best players and because the basic skills haven't changed dramatically. No because some important elements of the game have changed significantly due largely to technology and those changes have altered the importance of some elements of the basic skill set.
The technology matters. Today is volume over accuracy--even though accuracy still matters. CA has improved consistency and reliability.
Digging a little deeper we find enormous format changes as the game moved out of the woods, shrank the field dimensions and is currently played (under ideal conditions) on a flat open well manicured grass pitch. Much of the New Skool is about as well-equipped to play in the woods as an unsuspecting counselor at Camp Crystal Lake is to survive until dawn while the distances the game is played at today are brutally unforgiving of even the smallest errors. Game times have changed with the format changes. 25 minute games of 10-man on a non-symmetrical wooded playing field to routinely playing multiple points in half that time. 
Begin to put the pieces together and it's easy to see the disparity. High ROF fire guns on small relatively open fields with an accelerated pace of action is a substantially different game than the one played in the woods that demanded stealth accuracy and advanced planning and as a consequence the best players focused on the tools that would best advance their game. The upshot is that I believe it highly likely that each side would win their preferred format and game with the era appropriate gear. At least initially. But I'm also inclined to think the New Skool would eventually adapt to the game of the past and when they did they would win there too. The New Skool's superior technical skill base would ultimately prove to be the difference maker.


Ken said...

I'd have to disagree. I think training for today's skill base would be faster for the OG to pick up than the new skool's time spent on learning to walk a woods field and no use of sideline coaches.

Unknown said...

New Skool is used to super light, efficient and reliable gear. Put old gear in their hands and require them to time their own cockers/etc. I think that would change the calculus significantly.

Baca is right though, the basic skills are much further advanced now and could easily be adapted to changing conditions.

I'd like to see some of the smaller guys lug around a shoebox and still make the same moves.

Anonymous said...

The best call team to watch... Iron men with the old guard plus Oliver, Cranky, Adamson, Williams,Wing, etc

They weren't fast. They weren't new school. The won on straight up talent. It was an awesome year when they took first. Was that 2006 or 7?

Anonymous said...

Call team = xball team... Thanks autocorrect

Anonymous said...

Do you think Dye is struggling compared to maybe GI or Kee?

It seems like they don't represent as many sponsored teams and the Ton Ton's recently dropped their long time sponsorship. They also scaled back their paint production not too long ago. Are these signs that they may eventually go under? Does Dye put forward a lot of money for the webcast?

I'm just curious and concerned because I enjoy Dye.


Baca Loco said...

All the big industry players are reevaluating how they structure and conduct their business. The last couple of years have seen declining sales and steps need to be taken to deal with that reality.
Meanwhile rumors fly this way and that. I can't categorically tell you everything is fine but I wouldn't worry about it.

Anonymous said...

What should we worry about?

Anonymous said...


NewPro said...

Would it be safe to assume there are three gens of players OG (80's-95), New Skool (95-2005), and the 2005+ silver spoon era? Its funny, how does the game evolve, how did we go from serving tea to left handed shooting, from head down to running and gunning or double knee slides to the dynacat baseball slides. I watch those OG vids and I cringe, were they really that bad. Form was awful, shooting on the move was non-existent, yet the environment was awesome.

If you took 10 man for instance, warp aftershock fwd to 2014 on a 10 man field shooting 3.5's, would they beat a div 2 team. Same, teleport a Div 2 team to 1995, would they school shock on hyperball with cockers. Everything being the same exact skill-sets?

Thanks for posting this question coach, much appreciated

Baca Loco said...

Flip a coin. Many of the Shock players from the transitional era adapted and moved forward with the game.
Since you are splitting the difference and opting for a 10-man showdown I would give a slight edge to Shock although in a modern equipment game they would have to tighten up quickly or suffer the consequences. Shock's advantages would be the ability to adapt to the layout and a level of confidence as a team few if any D2 teams ever have

Baca Loco said...

1149 Anon