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!)