Once again Trio Mojo of Crazy Bill’s Paintball took home the gold for the Young Guns Division of the ESPL this past weekend. As before the boys this time with new addition Jacob Tucker-lata ( guesting with the team) fought valiantly for the first place finish. Die Hard Factory were once again hot on the heels of the Mojo team attempting to seize victory for themselves but rounded out the day with a respectable second place finish. If it is understood correctly, the boys now have enough accumulated points to take the series title without needing to actually compete in the final event of the season. Congrats Trio Mojo!
As a photographer taking the field in the ESPL …. filming the Rookie Division is no easy task. “The layout has lots of grey areas. There are no clear lanes as with other tournament layouts, that is why you get shot so much on the field Tomcat” mentioned tournament administrator Shawn Jean. Yes this would be one tournament series that sees photographers and referees alike pelted with a LOT of paint. Eat paint we did, in one amusing circumstance this photographer started getting hit so much that an onlooker finally hollered, “Tomcats out!” The end result however was well worth it as The Catshack witnessed some solid matches throughout the day (not to mention capturing some fantastic photos including two shown here with paintballs exploding on players, never before done by our cameras!)
As the semi finals came around it was Alliance, Windsor Rush, Mississauga Hate and London Vanquish that took the field looking for the big finish. Hats off to London Vanquish, it is the Catshack’s understanding that this would be a first for the team showing that dedication, practice and hard work pays off with the team finally making it to the podium for the first time.
It was also our understanding that if the Alliance team were to have finished first they would have enough accumulated points for the series title. Unfortunately the boys were having an off day and that was not in the cards. “There were about 13 teams, a little less than normal but the competition was better than ever. Awesome reffing and other features including a mist booth and seating areas made the tournament a bit more luxurious for the players. A really good and well run event by great people. Alliance had a rough day, Hate knocked us out of the finals and we lost 3 in the pre lims which is uncharacteristic of us. Last event we went undefeated. I still believe we will get the series title 100% by placing in the top four in the next event, we will be fine” said Ben Kanester of the Alliance crew.
As the pre lims wore on it was soon clear it would be Mississauga Hate facing off on the London Vanquish team for first and second. Based on the old NPPL format, the top two teams took the field for a best two out of three to determine the winner.
Out of the gate in the very first round, Hate got a minor, I believe it was on account of a mis start off the break resulting in a player removed. “One of the Hate players were sliding into the Dorito corner, on one hip and with one hand shot out one of the Vanquish players, pretty cool. Yet another interesting play was one of the first pre lim games, Vanquish versus Alliance I believe, with some interesting cat and mouse maneuvers going on at the 50.” mentioned game official Brecken Spence.
As the dust settled it was Mississauga Hate with Nelson Fonseca in the pits that took the victory for Rookie Division at E4. The team forged ahead to win the first two matches to shut Vanquish down for the win. “We had 6 players on the roster for this one and all of them were playing well” stated Nelson with respect to the victory. “It was really difficult to decide who was going to sit out for each point as all six played great today” he added. Connor Smith, Cole Symon, Jacob and Tyler Burden, Tanner Leonhardt and Derek Baldwin are all well known faces in the regional speedball circuit. The boys meshed well and did all the work on the field, I am sure having Nelson helping to develop strategy each round certainly helped.
Young Guns Finals1 Trio Mojo 2 DH Factory 3 Petrolia Pirates 4 London Blitz 5 Barrie Epic Red 6 Dirty Kids 7 PBA Boys 8 Windsor Rampage 9 Virus 10 Toronto Annihilators
Rookie Finals1. Mississauga Hate 2. London Vanquish 3. Windsor Rush 4. Alliance 5. DMZ Badgers 6. Windsor Reckless 7. OPC 8. Chatham Progression 9. PBA Boys 10. The Saints 11. Woodstock Redline 12. Splashdown Rogue 13. Equanimity
Overall Flagswipe officials and reffing staff did an awesome job with this tournament running like clockwork! On to the next one and we’ll see you all on the field!As always feel free to help yourself to the Catshack photos however please do not tamper, alter or remove the watermark.