by Mike Bianca
Josephus Daniels, the Secretary of the Navy during World War I (forget about his political beliefs) once said, “Defeat only comes to a man when he admits it.” This quote resounded in my mind during the very long drive back from the first PSP event of the 2012 Season, held at Galveston Island Paintball in Galveston, TX.
Danny, Bianca, Mikey keeping the GI paint flying.
Team Pr1me ended up 6th overall for our first D2 event. I have seen a number of teams blame the weather, the scheduling, the mud, the tilt of the earth's axis and the moon's tidal forces. Pr1me has no one to blame but themselves. We recognize that. We also recognize that we can most certainly hang in this division and still anticipate an event win.
As mentioned above, the weather was terrible for this event. Severe storms hammered the location for 4 days straight creating significant delays and logistical nightmares for the PSP Event Staff. I, myself, was highly impressed with the way the PSP handled these challenges and commend them for finishing out the event in the fashion that was used. The fields were decimated with netting and pits collapsing beyond repair in some cases. The ground itself was saturated with rain and mud.
In some cases, players had to traverse 6 inch deep "lakes" to make their position. As any paintball player knows, water and mud mixed with water soluble projectiles makes for a somewhat difficult time.
Daniel Jones, flag-in-hand bunkers out the remaining Breakout player. Only 2 seconds shy of tying the game up 4-4.
Pr1me started this event off against a team we are all too familiar with, Carolina Breakout (formerly Atlanta Breakout). Pr1me needed a wakeup call and Breakout obliged by handing us a 4-3 loss. I don't know how to describe this match other than to say Pr1me just seemed to shut down. Though it seemed that slap across the face was just what we needed for our next match.
Cameron exchanging some pleasantries with a Bears player at the Snake 50.
For our second match Friday morning Pr1me drew Da Bears, essentially the former Wolfpack team mixed with members of LIFT. We had a chance to scope them out earlier in the day and felt we had a good understanding of their game. We could tell they were experienced but there wasn't team cohesion there. We knew if we could bloody their nose, they would get riled and self-destruct. We beat them 5-3.
Evan Manners breaks through the middle to finish off Mike Ditka.
So, at the end of the day , Pr1me was 1-1. This was not exactly where we wanted to be, especially since we had our hardest day of paintball ahead of us against two of the division's favored teams.
We started Saturday off against Boom, a tough team who had members go on to play with Chicago Aftershock. They get to practice against teams like Shock on a regular basis and had the advantage of playing this division before. We had scouted them but they were difficult to nail down as they mix it up a lot. However, we saw some chinks in the armor and would ultimately exploit them to win our match against them 4-1.
Look forward to more battles against Boom. They also proudly fly under the Exalt banner.
Now, before I go on, I want to say something about this team. These guys are a class act and I have become a big fan of them and will do what I can to help them in the future should they need it. The weather had caused the scoreboards to go down and the record keepers had to do everything manually. They turned out a score sheet in with us winning 3-2. Boom stepped up and corrected this with the PSP staff saying that, no; Pr1me had won 4-1. It was a showing of integrity that is not often seen at this level in our sport, and I commend those guys for it. Thank you.
Jeff Wise and Danny Jones gunned up on the Dorito side.
Our final match of the day was against Scottsdale Elevation. This team, like Boom, had experience on their side as well as the advantage of playing at an even higher level than D2. Some had played on the Semi-Pro and D1 level. However, like Boom, we had scoped them out and felt we had game plans that could counter their style of play. It turns out we were right. We beat Elevation 4-2.
Mike McGowan. One hand gattin'.
As is normally the case, the paintball gods have a good sense of humor. We entered the semi- finals the head of our bracket and seeded 4th overall. Interestingly enough, Boom would get another shot at us as they were seeded 5th. They took full advantage of this opportunity but with a little help from us. Pr1me was able to draw four penalties four points in a row and Boom, being the experienced team they are, took full advantage of them finishing off the remaining Pr1me players with precision. The final score was 5-2 leaving Pr1me in 6th place overall and allowing Boom to go on to place 3rd overall for the event.
An interesting statistic to take away from this event is Pr1me won the first two points of EVERY match. Not a bad statistic to build upon. We recognize what we need to work on. We discussed it over and over again and kept coming to the same conclusions. Now we need to build upon them and make the team even stronger. The evolution of Pr1me continues...
Oh, before I forget, we want to welcome back former Pr1me player Jake “JP” James to the fold. JP was one of the original Pr1me members from the 2010 season.
A big welcome, as well to Wes Ward, former member and founder of team Divinity from Georgia. We look forward to a great season with him on board.
Wes Ward, at left. His run and gun is among the best in the squad.
More announcements to come. See everyone in Phoenix.
*All photos courtesy of 1904 Photography aka Philip "Stretch" Baker. Book at your next West Coast or PSP event. www.1904photography.com