Wednesday, December 14, 2011

2011 ACES Closes Out At Mt. Doom

The Alabama Challenge Event Series (or ACES) is the longest running competitive paintball tournament series in the state. I believe I competed in my first ACES sometime around 1999 or 2000. That being said, I haven’t competed in an ACES event since 2009 when I was retired from paintball (yeah, yeah…. Shut it! I’ll really retire after next year). That changed yesterday when I was able to play with team Pr1me at the ACES 5 man Finale at Mount Doom Paintball Park in Hanceville, AL. Alabama's longest standing paintball park. Check them out online at or on their Mt. Doom Facebook

Team PR1ME. OTB.

As for the event on 12/4/11, save for the occasional gust of wind, the weather couldn’t have been better. Pr1me got involved in the ACES because many of us started our competitive career there and wanted to give back. In order to do so, the team hosted two events this season at our field, as well as, entered a team in the series. (If interested, you can see our other blog post of the tournament hosted by Prime here)

Before and after you fill every pod, you have to say, "Roll Tide"

Members coming in as far as "from the other side of Jackson, MS" Solid young talent on these squads.

Six teams showed up to see what was what. Two teams in particular were vying for the series title. Those two team were Warped Kidz from Brandon, MS and Pr1me. The field was rounded out by another the boys from AGPOB, Phantom Regiment (PR) Gambit, PR Outkast, and a throw-together of familiar faces.

Some pre-game planning.

The field was smaller than PSP regulation and sparse with bunkers. But had a cool mixture of 7man and Xball format obstacles, after all who doesn't love "Car Washes"? Apparently, very few, as the center was played quite a lot. But if this worries you in any way, get excited because Mt. Doom and members of Phantom Regiment have combined forces to bring a PSP field out there, along with plans to extend the field length for the next season! Awesome! The referees while apparently beginners were all very cordial and graciously explained any calls that were made. Thumbs Up!

Chris Roark tries out the car wash. Griff, Bianca, Cam on back up duty.

When the dust settled after the prelims, the final four teams standing would face off in a round robin to determine who would take the prize. The four were Pr1me, Warped Kids, APGOB, and PR Gambit. Pr1me finished the day with 5 straight wins in the prelims and 3 more wins in the finals taking the event and series title. They were rewarded with trophies and cash. Warped Kids took 2nd at the event and 2nd place in the series. Once the final trophy was received, the final photo was taken, the last hand shook, the 2011 ACES came to a close. Fun was had by all and it was good to see everyone again.

Pr1me making funny faces. But that ain't funny money. Gettin' a sum for gettin' some! Alright!

To view the action head over to YouTube and see "gordotide's" handiwork. All above pics are screen shots from the following videos. Check'em Out!

Prime Paintball: A look at some of team Prime's play Did not know this was going to be made THANKS!

Pre-Games Preparation, see if you recognize anyone.

What do you Love? Paintball. An edit of a series of breakouts.

ACES is that place for beginners to get their taste of competition paintball. The atmosphere has always been open to all-comers and to serve only the purpose of enjoying and promoting the game. While the tough times have not kept the most resilient ballers away, we hope to see some fresh faces in 2012. Alabama had some pretty amazing accomplishments both regionally and nationally this season: LA Swat, Gameheads, Avarice, Pr1me. I'd venture to say most started out in ACES. Let's keep the ball rolling into 2012.

Monday, December 5, 2011

World Cup Wrap Up Pt. 1

By Mike Bianca

“This is some next level ****” – That was a quote from Pr1me’s very own Steve “Griff” Griffin shortly after Pr1me landed in the semi’s at the PSP’s World Cup this past October at Fantasy of Flight in Polk City, FL.

It’s no secret that every team that plays paintball competitively at the National level dreams of winning the World Cup. It’s not often that teams are given the chance. Pr1me wasn’t given the chance, we weren’t lucky to get it and we certainly didn’t get it from a controversy or bad call. We earned every bit of it.

Heading into this event, we were feeling very confident as a team. We knew that if we played the way we were playing at practice/scrimmages and kept the work ethic and drive shown by every member of this motley crew, this was going to be a successful event. We knew we had the right personnel and the right attitude and fire to take it. Every team goes to WC to win… but not everyone truly believes they will. We believed. We were going to show everyone something they hadn’t seen from Pr1me, a new “intelligence” for the game. And it worked for the most part. No one knew what they were going to get when we stepped on the field.

The event started off with us facing a team that, last year at World Cup, knocked us out of the finals in the semis. The boys from England (and an old friend from Nexus coaching them – shout out to Twizz) London Relentless. It was a long drawn out game with Pr1me pulling a victory 2-1. What was this? A patient, slow grind from Pr1me? No way!

Not so, as with our next game against Monosalvaje. A bit more aggressive, Pr1me won 3-1. The next game proved to be our most difficult match of the Prelims. We faced off against Playground Legends, a team with a following, aggressive to the snake, and a good head for the game. We capitalized on their mistakes and were able to put them away 3-2. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Pr1me had been scouting these teams in our down time, learning them.

We knew someone upstairs loved us because our final match of the prelims was against LSD, the team that put us out early in Chicago… well, THEY didn’t put us out… one ref in particular did in overtime. Just the same, we felt this was redemption time and payback is a pooch. 3-1 Pr1me.

Now, at this point, we knew we were in good shape, however, we also knew a team in our bracket who we didn’t play also went 4-0 but with a better point margin. That team was the West Coast’s very own Royalty led by former Ironman Shane Pestana. Royalty won the buy and we wouldn’t have had it any other way. We wanted the grind! We came here to play. We were fired up and were plotting all sorts of evil things to do to whoever the PSP put in front of us. At this point, Pr1me was in full stride and ready to mow down anyone who stepped on the other side of the field. Unfortunately, Colorado Ascent 2 ended up being the team that would feel that aggression. Pr1me wins 4-0… (Interestingly enough, our first 4-0 since Galveston).

Next were the ochos which meant no more soft games (not that any games were soft). Now you are getting into the portion of remaining teams that deserve to be there and have shown they have what it takes. The next team we were to face has been around since 2003 and has established itself as a force in the New England paintball circuit. Oh, and they had just won the PSP’s New Jersey Open. It was time to play smart and play smart we did using the clock and solid lanes to beat Team No Name 2-1.

Next we would face a team that placed 5th overall at Galveston (we placed 3rd there) and 3rd in New Jersey. The NCPA All Stars are a staple in the D3 X-ball division and up until this point had won games 4-0 and 4-1 in their matches to this point. So, here we were in the Quarter Finals. There was a calm over the team for this match as if the guys knew how this was going to play out. And we did know. We knew this was some next level s**t. We took the field and beat the All-Stars 4-2.

Our match in the Semi- finals was another difficult team but one we were all too familiar with. But we were too close now. That familiar calm came over the team but it wasn’t the type of calm you might think it was. It was the calm of knowing. Oh sure, there was excitement, anticipation, fire… but there was a calmness in knowing what needed to be done. We went out and played a smart, slow game against Atlanta Breakout, our brothers from the east in the Dirty South and beat them 2-0.

And there we were… the finals at World Cup! About to play on the pro-field in front of a packed spectator side with camera’s from the PSP’s webcast as well as numerous photographers against arguably the best team in the D3 Division. A class act group of guys named Revo. Revo had won Galveston, placed 5th at Chicago, 2nd in New Jersey and now were in our way to take the Cup.

We played hard. Hind sight being 20/20, we could have played harder. Better. They were the better team that day plain and simple. Given another match, who knows? But I will certainly not take anything away from them! Twice, we had them on the ropes and we didn’t capitalize. (see the match HERE – PSP WEBCAST PR1ME vs. REVO)

So there you have it. Pr1me had a blast and I would like to personally thank my brothers in arms – Michael McGowan, Daniel Jones, Chris Roark, Evan Manners, Cameron McDonald, Steve Griffin, Vincent Martinez and Jeff Wise. You guys are the best. Big shout out to our good friend and coach for this event Matt Sossoman who really put us in the right frame of mind for the event and whose team (New Jersey Jesters) took 4th in Division 1. Another big shout out to Big Mike Paxson from the Ironmen who has been with us for two years now beating us into shape. To the McDonald family, you guys are the best! Oh, to my wife for proving she could be an asset to the team as a co-pit mom. Love you.

Pr1me would like to thank our sponsors, Exalt! The best bar none paintball products and coolest Canadians we know. To The Rice family at Alien Paintball. To Animal Customs for the coolest Jersey I’ve every worn. And GI Sports for the paint that broke on the bad guys!

Finally, last but nowhere near least, to the McGowan family for which none of this would be possible. Thank you Gerrin and John!

Photos Coutesty of Michael Day, and the PhotoMob (Special shout out to Stretch and Skip!)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Prepping for the Big Show Pt 2

As part of our ongoing quest for improvement, team PR1ME headed 3 hours northeast to Chattanooga. Because of the cancellation of the D3 Division of the MiLP, members of Pro team Chattanooga CEP and most of their newly formed D2 team members invited us to an Open scrimmage. We were excited for the opportunity.

Our day started with a 5:45am wakeup, time change, and by 11:00am EST the gates were fully opened, and the players set up the field, the New Jersey Layout. After that the day proceeded quickly. Game after game up to around 20 points.

Many of CEP's Pros were there, some for only the first few points but most stayed throughout: Zuppa, Fyfe, Goldsmith, Williams, Nicola. The Southeast in general is sparse with talent, so the D2 faces were recognizable. Some harking to days way before this scrimmage. (Shout out to the boys from NC and GA!) Given that the D2 team had only been formed mere two or three weeks earlier (with only one practice I believe), I thought they did well. Given that there were also some seasoned D1 and now almost a full season Pros against us, I thought we did well.

The real clash came with styles. CEP liked to use the middle of the field, allow us to make mistakes, and finish when the outcome became nearly certain. (I remember their D3 team that won the CFOA series back in '08 having a similar style.) PR1ME likes to be more aggressive, looking for a quick finishing blow. One strategy is not, and was not in this instance necessarily superior to the other. Though, I would say a more patient style is something that higher level teams are more versed in.

In the end I thought the day was very productive. While we usually have to travel 6 to 7 hours to find higher level teams, we were given the opportunity to play a little closer to home. A few weaknesses were exposed. Many strengths were reaffirmed. I hope the fellas at CEP can say the same. In the end it's the thirst to find better and better competition that will keep us moving around the country, until we don't have to travel anywhere to find the best. We hope it will be us.

Thanks to CEP for having us and best of luck to them in Pro and D2. All the members of team PR1mE want to play at the highest level. We hope we can get the opportunity to face them again some time.

Some highlights courtesy of Michael Day:

Are you for real?!Is this guy for real?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Prepping for the Big Show Pt1

It’s no secret that team Pr1me started the season off with a bang but has since faltered the last two PSP’s (well, in my opinion, Chicago was not our fault… but New Jersey certainly was). The last and most important event of the season is just around the corner and Team Pr1me has every intention of showing up.
Pr1me is no longer in the running for the season championship but that doesn’t matter at this point. We started on a high note and plan to end on one. Besides, no one remembers the series champions… but they remember who won World Cup.
What Could've Been, Shaking Up After a Tough 3-2 Loss in New Jersey

In an effort to continue to put ourselves under strain and challenging ourselves to play a more intellectual game, Pr1me decided to attend a regional 5 man event that was close to home. The GFOA (Georgia Field Owner’s Association – check’em out at supplied just the venue. Our hope was to put ourselves in do or die situations, which is the case in the 5 man format as each game counts. You don’t have the luxury of correcting mistakes like x-ball. (On a side note, I am convinced now more than ever that the X-ball format truly does show who the better team is but that is for a different discussion.)

The weather was perfect for paintball. Overcast and cool but no rain. By the end of the day, the sun broke through and the temperature rose to a comfortable level in the 80's. Reffing was supplied by Last Call, a well respected 5man team out of Georgia. They have been to our field twice to scrimmage us and have always showed they are standup guys. Great refs too.

The D5 and D4 divisions had 10 and 7 team respectively. However, only 5 teams besides ourselves showed to see what was what. All were familiar faces with the GFOA. They were Augusta Rage, Boys Town, Divinity, Shokwave, and SANDU (Nitro did not show).

Cameron McDonald, run-thru in NJ

We started the day off slow with a loss. We were in x-ball mode and had position and then dropped the ball. We got together and discussed what needed to be changed, made the adjustment and went out and won the next three games decisively. Once we realized we were in the finals, we decided we needed to give the other teams a different look on our last game. We thought we would try something really aggressive and crazy. It worked… sorta. It came down to a 3 on 1 but we were able to hold until the clock ran down. The team did not get the hang much less the pull.

So here we are in the finals about to play the team that beat us in our first match of the day. We had watched them play throughout the day and knew how to beat them. So we did. We then took it to the next team (a great group of stand up, humble guys by the way - quick shout out to Shokwave). Turns out, Divinity had done the same thing to both teams meaning that, whoever won the match between us and the reigning GFOA Open 5 man Champions, would take home the gold for this event. Divinity had a lot of experience going for it with one Pro, a Division 1 player and 3 highly touted Division 3 players. We had put any doubt to rest we were there to win when we played them in the prelims and beat them within about 45 seconds. But that wouldn’t be the case during this match.

A Disappointing 2nd Place, left to right: Cameron McDonald, Evan Manners, Daniel "5 Case" Jones, Mike Bianca, Mikey, Griff

Divinity came out with intent and made it happen. Once again, Pr1me drops the ball at an integral moment. But we took something away from that match. We know what’s what. We plan to put ourselves in the same situation again at Insane Paintball. Then, it’s on…

Pictures Courtesy of VIM Media

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

First Tournament Hosted At Prime!!!

Prime Tournament 1.0 Beta Test Complete!

Players walking the field. Some say it's an extinct art form, but it's still a common necessity in local tournaments.

Team Pr1me hosted the 4th event of the ACES (Alabama Challenge Event Series) on August 21st. This was the first event ever held at the Farm and proved that it would not be the last. Players were greeted with beautiful blue skies, mild heat compared to days prior and a cool summer breeze. The paintball gods shined on the Farm by holding off any potential threat of rain that had drenched the field just a day before.

Staging and a surprising amount of spectators showing support.

All logistics were put into place to make this a fine event. Nets added, the famous turf prepped thoroughly, picnic tables, sun shades, paint ordered, refs briefed, and team PR1ME's sponsors came up HUGE allowing players to battle for cash and gear including Alien gun bags and Exalt apparel!

Some Mississippi ballers prior to play

11 teams, 3 of which came over from our sister state of Mississippi, vied for the first place spot. The event was reffed by members of Team Pr1me. Special thanks to our old friend Tyler Jasper from the Red NRG days for jumping in and helping officiate. Photography was once again supplied by our good friend Michael Day ( Several players even tried out the 2011 Alien Independence and many were surprised by the performance!

Justin trying out the 2011 Independence fitted with the new Exalt Reg Grip! Below: Others trying out the Indy!

The day started off to a bit of a slow start, but once games started, the action was steady and fierce. After the dust of the prelims settled, 6 teams were left standing ready to face off for the first place prize. Hide Yo Kids made the cut to face Phantom Regiment Gambit. One Asian Crew drew a tough Mississippi team in Warped Kidz and rounding out the semi-finals were Anacondas vs. Chris Isn’t Paying For This.

Anacondas, a mix of young talent

A couple members of team Avarice made it out.

Boys from the "Action Pursuit Games of Brandon" Mississippi field

Alabama's future. Two 14 year olds laying their foundation of tournament experience.

Hide Yo Kids took 6th placing Phantom Regiment Gambit in 5th. One Asian Crew took the Warped Kidz making the Kidz 4th and the Crew 3rd. The first place prize came down to a battle between the Anacondas and Chris Isn’t Paying For This. In the end, The Anacondas squeezed out Chris Isn’t Paying For This to take home the first place prize. Special Thanks to Exalt and Alien for sweetening the prize packages. Two companies that are truly on the rise!

First Place: Anacondas

Second Place: Chris Isn't Paying For This

Third Place: One Asian Crew

Fourth Place: Warped Kidz out of MS

All in all, it was a great day of paintball. PR1ME would like to thank all the teams for participating in our first event and making it a success.

Hope we see everyone at the final stage of the ACES series October 2nd @ Advantage Paintball in Cullman, AL to decide series winners! We’d like everyone to join the Pr1me crew out at the Farm for the final installment of the 3man series Nov. 6th. Might be the last opportunity to play competitive ball in Alabama!

Refs: Mike McGowan, Cam & Darrell McDonald, Mike Bianca, Griff the Ultimate, Jeff Wise, and Tyler Jasper. VERY SPECIAL THANKS TO: Stacy McDonald and Mr. & Mrs. McGowan.

*All photos courtesy of Michael Day Photography