But the months leading up to the World Cup are not just intense for teams and players, dozens of paintball companies spend the second half of the season (or more) gearing up for new product releases at the ‘Cup. The PSP World Cup has become the place to introduce new products to players across the globe. And let’s not forget the PSP and its many employees, refs, organizers, and promoters. While the league runs five events each year, it’s the World Cup that is the event that takes all year to produce.
So when October 25th finally came the months of preparation would be put to the test, in every possible way.
More than 350 teams and thousands of players and spectators from 38 countries descended into Polk City, Florida for this monster paintball event. Amazingly there were 16 different divisions for this year’s World Cup including the Pro RaceTo 7, a Master’s Division, Pump Division, College Division and the usual array of RaceTo 2, 4, and 5 in Divisions 1, 2 3, and 4. Got all that? If not, don’t sweat it—just know there was a lot of paintball being played at this year’s PSP World Cup. In fact, this was the largest World Cup turnout since we thought our computers systems and life as we knew it would crash in Y2K.
The Professional RaceTo 7 preliminary rounds not a single team made it through unscathed. Every team took at least one loss. Off the bat Houston Heat looked great with 7-0 and 7-1 wins—and they would go on to win three of their four first round games. Tampa Bay Damage, San Antonio X-Factor, LA Ironmen, LA Infamous, Moscow Red Legion, Omaha Vicious and Dynasty would each also win three of their four preliminary round games.
In the quarterfinals X-Factor surprised many by taking out Moscow Red Legion 3-2. And the Ironmen sent Infamous packing early by the same 3-2 score. Two tough games played by four very strong teams. The semifinal games were not as close. Houston Heat beat the Ironmen 4-1 and Tampa Bay Damage ended X-Factor’s chances of advancing by a score of 6-2.
In the finals Houston Heat showed why they would end up winning the 2012 Season Series Pro title taking it to Tampa Bay Damage 3-1 in front of a very large crowd. Damage won the first point of the game but it was all downhill from there as Houston Heat would score the next three points. Amazingly this was the eighth straight year Konstantin Fedorov would play in the pro finals of the PSP World Cup. And this would be Houston Heat’s third event win in five tries with fifth place being their lowest finish all season. Congrats to the champs!
Much like the Pros, the Division One preliminary rounds were tough. The only team to win their four preliminary round games was Texas Storm—a team that also had hopes of claiming the Division One season title. The NJ Jesters, Topgun union, Sacramento Damage, Florida King$, RNT All Stars, VcK, Wolfpack and Toronto Force would each win three preliminary round games. Moving ahead to the semifinals Topgun Union easily beat Grad Moscow 5-1 and Florida Kings squeezed past Texas Storm 2-1. In the finals Topgun Union was just too much for the Florida King$, who had a great first PSP event for 2012. The final score was Topgun Union 5, Florida King$ 2.
Twenty one teams entered the PSP World Cup’s Division Two. Playing in their first PSP event Canada’s Scrub Life was perfect out of the gate with four preliminary round wins in four attempts. Revo and Boom also went 4-0 in the prelims. Coalition made it out of the preliminary rounds with just two wins and all the way to the semifinals where they lost to Boom 5-2. Boom beat ac402.com in the semis as well. In the finals Revo played a nearly flawless game beating Boom 3-1, propelling them to win the season Division Two title. In the consolation game ac402.com beat Coalition 4-1 to claim third place.
Division Three RaceTo had a whopping 59 teams entered. Palm Beach Venom, a favorite to win the Cup and claim the season title came out strong with four straight wins. Albany Power Surge, DC Devastation, DSSP8ntball, Fuzion 916, LIFT, TPA Effect, Hulk (Ukraine), and Rangers Vnz all easily cruised through the preliminary rounds with nothing but wins. Jumping ahead to the semifinals Palm Beach Venom beat Hulk in a very hard-fought game 2-1 to advance to the finals. Coalition got past Carolina Breakout with a 2-1 victory as well. In the finals Palm Beach Venom showed why they are the 2012 Division Three champs as they handled Coalition easily 4-1. Hulk won the consolation game beating Carolina Breakout 3-2.
Division Four RaceTo 4 saw five teams go unbeaten in the preliminary rounds: Hulk XO, Liberty Unleashed, Project Mayhem, Galveston Island Paintball and Atlanta Breakout. Wiseguys weren’t perfect in the preliminaries but they played well enough to get into the Ochos and eventually all the way to the semifinals where they lost a tough game to Galveston Island Paintball 2-1. Project Mayhem ended Hulk XO’s weekend early in the semifinals as well. In the finals Galveston Island Paintball continued their total domination beating Project Mayhem 2-1 to win the event while going unbeaten in every round. Hulk XO took care of Wiseguys in the consolation game 4-0.
Nine teams entered the Masters RaceTo 4 Division where you had to be over 40 years of age to play. After an opening game loss Kosmos Veterans bounced back with three preliminary round wins, a semifinal win and a final round victory over Capital Edge hitters to win the division. ICU Mafia beat Wild Bunch Wheelchair Warriors to place third.
The ten-man games were a blast to watch at this year’s World Cup. Played on the “wooded” airball bunker field twelve teams battled it our old school style. Team Zone and Team Voodoo went a perfect 4-0 in round one. And Team Zone stayed perfect winning the event with a final round victory over Fat City 96-8. Team Voodoo beat Wellsville Express FSU 94-12 to claim third place.
In the Open RaceTo 2 Pump Division Tennessee TrueBallers beat the Rockin Cocks to take first place. TPG AllStarz beat Blitz to take third.
The Ultimate Woodsball League held a five-man woodsball event in conjunction with the PSP World Cup. The event attracted some of the old school teams of the past—teams like the Florida Annihilators, Master Blasters, Aftershock, Lords of Discipline, as well as newer teams like PB Nation Mob Squad, Sandbaggers and Demon Knights. In the Open Division the Black Diamonds beat Bob Long’s team and Psychotic Six beat Aftershock in the Pro class. How great it was to see guys like Mike Bruno, Rocky Cagnoni, Billy Ceranski, Bob Long, Simon Stevens, John Dresser, Ledz and Jacko out there battling it out like to old days!
As the 2012 PSP World Cup wrapped up I couldn’t help but think that maybe tournament paintball is making a sort of comeback. With 350 teams in attendance this year we’re got reason to be optimistic.
1st Houston Heat
2nd Tampa Bay Damage
3rd San Antonio X-Factor
4th Los Angeles Ironmen
Division 1 RaceTo-5
1st T1 Topgun Union
2nd Florida King$
3rd Texas Storm
4th Grad Moscow
Division 2 RaceTo-5
Division 3 RaceTo-4
1st Palm Beach Venom
4th Carolina Breakout
Division 4 RaceTo-4
1st Galveston Island Paintball
2nd Project Mayhem
3rd HULK XO
1st Kosmos Veterans
2nd Capital Edge Hitters
3rd ICU Mafia
4th Wild Bunch Wheelchair Warriors
1st Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles
2nd Florida Atlantic University Owls
3rd Ohio State University Buckeyes
1st Team Zone
2nd Fat City
3rd Team Voodoo
4th Wellsville Express FSU
1st Tennessee TrueBallers
2nd Rockin Cocks
3rd TPG AllStarz
Division 2 RaceTo-2
1st TJ Allstarzz
2nd Wayout 120
3rd PR Crew
4th Die Hard
Division 3 RaceTo-2
1st Slaughterhouse Krew
2nd ac DFW
3rd Manchester Firm
4th DC Dev II
Division 4 RaceTo-2
2nd Miami Devious
4th Pound Town
Division 5 RaceTo-2
1st Atlanta Rising
3rd Bomb Squad Black
4th Miami Splat Attack D5
1st Psychotic Six
1st Black Diamond
2nd Bob Long
1st PbNation Mob Squad
2nd Master Blasters
The following teams worked hard all season long at both PSP and PSP Affiliate events to earn these prestigious titles. Congratulations to the PSP World Series Champions!
2012 Professional World Series Champions: Houston Heat
2012 Division 1 World Series Champions: T1 Topgun Union
2012 Division 2 World Series Champions: Revo
2012 Division 3 RaceTo-4 World Series Champions: Palm Beach Venom
2012 Division 4 RaceTo-4 World Series Champions: Imperial
2012 Division 5 RaceTo-4 World Series Champions: Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles
2012 Division 3 RaceTo-2 World Series Champions: Gainesville Gridiron
2012 Division 4 RaceTo-2 World Series Champions: Phenomenon
2012 Division 5 RaceTo-2 World Series Champions: Running Riot
2012 Pump RaceTo-2 World Series Champions: Tennessee TrueBallers
To view the World Rankings, click here: http://www.paintball-players.org/scores/world/2012.html
To view all the scores from World Cup, click here: http://paintball-players.org/scores/L1