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Just a year ago I moved to Italy to start paintball business and develop the sport paintball. I built new fields, arranged pro-schools, organized tournaments, taught our young players and took care of our team, Empire Venice. After a successful year, when we decided to enter into the SPL in Millennium Series the new question popped up… how to get a team ready for the semi professional league?  We urgently needed the tournament experience and learn how to play under that pressure. At the same time I heard that the Grand Tour wouldn’t exist anymore. So after some short conversations with one of GT organizers – Wolfgang, a new European series was formed!  All of my life I have been waiting to become a champion or to help prepare others to reach that level of success.

So the name of the new series was crystal clear and so we started. We found a young talented designer, which created the most stylish website on the market (www.championspaintballseries.com). We started talking with the teams and just after two months we had around 40 teams that expressed an interest in playing the CPS.

Scandinavian paintball doesn’t start until mid to late May due to the cold weather conditions, so for this event headed south to warmer climates and HOT paintball.

This time we found ourselves on our yearly season kick-off trip with Slagen Bandits, heading to Thessaloniki, Greece and the newly formed Med League.  When we left early on the 18th of April it was -5 c in both Norway and Sweden and as it would be in Scandinavia – snow.  We arrived in the early afternoon in warm (+21c) Greece.  We were met by our host, Konstantinos Papapanagiotou,owner ofAnthrax Custom Paintball Jerseys.  He drove us to our hotel, which was a wonderful place and only fifty meters from the beautiful Greek beach and warm waters!

Once settled in we checked out our environment and the Greek food!  Situated across from our hotel was a wonderful “fast food” restaurant that served authentic Greek Gyros!  I was in heaven!  The hotel that Kostantinos suggested was very nice and very reasonably priced.  We would be joined by the marshaling crew as well as Brussels Crossfire in our hotel the following day. 

Moscow Paintball Summer!

As I hope you know Moscow is not always covered with snow and ice. Yes, we have summer too! And we have summer outdoor tournaments as well. The summer series HotBall started in May and continues through until the end of September. The series is aimed at all levels of professionalism – from Division Four, 5-man paintball to Division One Race2 Four X-Ball along with Russian teams that you often see playing in Europe.

Every event gathers more than 45 teams from different cities of Russia and the Ukraine. It is a good practice for those who play in Europe and good time for those who play for fun or have just started in paintball. The organizers do their best to turn every tournament into paintball festive occasion! Cheerleading girls, non-stop music, swimming pool, Red Bull giveaways, contents and prizes – that is just the beginning of what paintballers get for coming to HotBall!

Winter indoor paintball series. Headshot paintball & life Magazine

Once more the end of the normal paintball season has ended in Russia.  But never fear as just around the corner its time for IceBall.  IceBall is a indoor series in Russia that is held in one of Europes BEST indoor facilities, Arena Paintball Moscow and Arena Paintball Palace Moscow.  The series organizers offer visa support for players from outside Russia.  The prices for entry for the event is very affordable. Some of the ammenties offered by Arena year around are a built in hostel on site that is 500rubles per night per pers in a 6 man room, showers, café, live webcast of the event, excellent media coverage from Russian and international photographers and videographers.  The field itself is a truly modernized Millennium field with lots of sideline room, current Millennium Series layouts, 3 meter high hockey glass around the entire field in addition to full netting.  They have room for lots of spectators and lets not forget CHEERLEADERS!  This series is one not to miss.  So this winter instead of sitting around watching old paintball videos, get off the couch and get to Russia and play in a comfortable climate controlled arena.  Contact pr.headshot@gmail.com for any questions and visa support.

How were you first introduced to paintball?
JB - Just like most people, when I was 15ish my father took me to a local field as a rental group through his work. It was called Skirmish Paintball Games in Nottingham.  Like so many others, I was instantly hooked and luckily my father was very supportive and worked it out for me to get a job reffing at the field and it became my second home. The owner of the field allowed me to work off my first electronic gun; an Angel and he helped me get into tournament paintball. He helped me in so many ways, I really owe a lot to him.

What made you want to play tournament paintball?
JB - I think like anyone, when I was young I was buying the all the paintball magazines and looking at players like Rocky Cagnoli, Chris Lasoya and players like that and it portrayed them as having so much fun and almost living a rockstar lifestyle and I really wanted that to be me someday.
Now, it's a sad thing that there’s not any magazine to inspire kids and show how hard the pros play and work and help give the younger generation heroes.  There seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel though with paintballaccess.com. They’re doing a great job working to expose the pros more and provide an avenue for younger future generations to get introduced to the world of pro paintball.

So now that you're at the pro level, do you feel like you're living the rockstar life that you thought it was as a kid?
JB - (after laughing uncontrollably). No I don't feel it's a rockstar lifestyle, but I am very lucky to be where paintball has taken me, the people I've met the places I've seen and none of it would have been possible without paintball. But don't get me wrong it does have its rock star moments.

How long have you been in paintball and how were you introduced to it?

BB - I have been playing paintball since 2001; I first got a paintball gun as a gift from my father and played behind my house in the woods with the neighborhood kids.

What was the path that led you to pro (i.e. teams and detailed history)?

BB - I played my first national tournament in 2003. While playing with Hogan’s Alley in Division 1, we had a few NE Hurricanes playing with us.  I became good friends with them and they invited me to a practice where I was picked up to play NPPL Tampa in 2005.  After back an forth battles in D1 against Doc’s Raiders, Doc approached me about playing with him and making a pro team call the Miami Raiders.  I accepted and played for Doc until 2008, and then I went back to the Hurricanes with 4 top 4 finishes.  After the `Canes dropped out of 7-man and made the change to Xball, I joined Avalanche to continue playing in the NPPL.  I stayed with them through the 2011 season.

The ‘Canes left Pro in 2011 and I played for San Diego Dynasty, a team I had been looking up to for my whole career, it was an amazing experience and learning opportunity.

What is the history of Shadow Squad? How did the team form? How long ago? etc.....
Shadow Squad was formed in the fall of 2007 and Flagswipe Paintball has always been our home field. We have always played in all the Flagswipe big games each year, traditionally anywhere from 4four to five games annually.

William, what is the history of the Four horseman?
We formed in Bloomington, Illinois in 2005 as a group of like-minded scenario players interested in participating in regional events and playing at their local field. The team was named after the four riders in the book of Revelation, who are unleashed as harbingers of the end of the world and lead the greatest army ever assembled in the final battle of good versus evil.

What is the history of The Glen Morris Mercenaries? When did the team form? Who started the team?
The Glen Morris Mercenaries have a rich history of giving back to the sport and the community. Over the years we have organized "young guns" programs teaching young children the basics of paintball as well as many charity events for our main charity's that we have supported over the years, some of which include Cystic Fibrosis Canada, Children's Wish Foundation, Human society, and United way. The team formed in 2002 and was started by Tom "Tomcat" Cunningham.





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