HHHHHH!!! HK Army brought Street Ball Chicago to Paintball Explosion on August 18-19, 2012. It was a trip to the wild side of paintball! This was more than a typical two-day event with a special guest. It was an amped up, free styling party that included pro-players from HK Army, Los Angeles Infamous, Houston Heat, and Chicago Aftershock as well as many other hardcore teams and paintballers.
Typically a game starts early on Saturday with special orientations, regulations, and speeches. Not here, all the participants knew just what to do and were ready to do it. This game started at 5:00 PM and ran until no one could take anymore.
The owners of Paintball Explosion, Romeo Kapudija and TJ Andres, topped off the group of players and gave those attending the most personable run of the grounds using and/or combining fields at will. We ran many of the outside fields, from big to small, wooded to inflated bunkers, and when that whirlwind ended the indoor games began.
The mix of players and pros made for intense play. Sometimes the pros took on the players and at other times a random count off determined the sides which changed continually to keep it fresh. Most attendees had a good grasp of the nuances of paintball and enjoyed watching the game play even after being tagged out. The light hearted atmosphere really opened the door for people to approach many of the biggest names in paintball including Drew Templeton, Zack Patient, Jon LJ Woodley, Ronnie Dizon, Kirk Wozny, Damien Ryan, Mark Kressin, Steve Nabi, Chris Cheech Kim, Josh Myers, Jason Pineda, and Josh Howe to name a few. It was like going to a pro bowl but being able to play in it yourself!
Sunday was a slightly more relaxed day with a lot of interaction between the players and the pros. Drew Templeton of Los Angeles Infamous said, â€œAll skill levels are welcome. Itâ€™s a chance to play with the pros, maybe learn something, but really itâ€™s just about having fun!â€ And indeed, the joking around and good-natured teasing was high on the list of activities. The days were filled with giveaways and raffles. HK Army threw clothing and gear into the crowd whenever there were a few minutes between games and they provided multiple prizes for the various raffles.
Mark Kressin of HK Army, also known as Mr. H, said, this was an awesome event! We had a blast and we are planning on making it an annual event.â€ Cassidy Sanders was at the event filming the whole weekend. Cassidy makes some of the best paintball videos I have ever seen and everyone cannot wait to see his incredible footage from the Street Ball Chicago event. Check out Cassidyâ€™s videos on HK Army’s YouTube Channel.
I have personally thought about this weekend for days and was left with the feeling that this is the type of event one should not take for granted. I got caught up in the fun of it all but also really appreciated the time I spent with the pro players who dedicate their lives to paintball and help legitimize our sport. Paintball Explosion has a level of professionalism and respect for the industry that is not only groundbreaking but explores all different types of events. I enjoy trying to keep up with their next event, and the next, and the nextâ€¦Â Woooh!
To see my video coverage of the event, check out my YouTube Channel!