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Thursday, 11 October 2012

NPPL Las Vegas Recap

Well, I'm back in Canada and it feels good to be home in Windsor. There's no place I would have rather been last weekend than where I was: Playing paintball in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Event Setup 

I've attended the last three of the NPPL Super 7 Series this year, and I must say that Vegas was the most impressive event that reminded me of why we travel across the continent to play paintball. There is a massive amount of work that goes into preparing a field from an empty parking lot.  The event ran smoothly, with three fields being built within the course of a couple of days: rolls of turf laid out in the Riviera's parking lot, posts and netting being setup around the fields for safety, and the air bunkers and posts being staked directly through the pavement. 

  Paintball Industry and Sponsor Trade Show 

The trade show at the Vegas event this year was interesting, but no more impressive than any other event this season, with the usual vendors attending. As usual, Valken was there as the main paint sponsor for the league providing their Redemption and Redemption Pro paint for divisional teams. In the league, all divisional teams must shoot Valken paint as they are the league's paint sponsor, with the only exception being teams in the Pro division who can shoot their respective sponsors' paint. 
 Other vendors included MacDev at the Aggressive Sports trailer; HK Army selling headbands, pod packs, and their Shredder cleats; KM Straps; Bob Long brought their show trailer out selling soft gear and their new G6R line of markers; Custom Products with their show truck full of aftermarket parts and dealing the DLX Luxe; Valken had two huge tents selling gear of all kinds. Raza Paintball was there as well, offering a slick looking line of clothing and jerseys designed by top paintball players.
 In addition to the companies selling gear, Empire and Planet Eclipse were at the event to provide tech support for all of their markers and gear, providing fast and helpful service for all players.

  Canadian Express 

 As a team, Canadian Express had a great time in the tournament although we were plagued with small problems during our Friday games that led to our demise. Penalties took our bodies off of the field, combined with the heat affecting our paint so that none of our shots were breaking on target, leading to frustration and lost games. We regrouped after our games to fix our plans for the next day, and worked out a couple of strategies to improve on the rest of our games Saturday. The Saturday went better for Express, with an early start and 7am games, we were ready to roll. Although our tough luck continued in the morning, we had strong performance against the top team in the division, until a major penalty on the snake side dropped half of our team and lost the game for us. Knowing we now had no chance of making Sunday, the mood turned from serious business and game plans to tons of jokes between games. As we put it: "Wins are down, jokes are up!", and the rest of the trip was a great time. We rallied back for our last game and won it with five players alive, and everything was well with the team. Running the flag in for the win on our final game was what made the entire weekend worth it for me.

Canadian Express player Shawn Henderson reloading during a match at NPPL Vegas.