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Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Flagswipe House League 2013

Looking for a fun and cheap way to play tournament style paintball in 2013?  Flagswipe has you covered!

The 2013 Flagswipe House League is series of 5 events at the indoor field.  It is a 3 man speedball format, with a twist: players can only use basic gravity fed hoppers and loaders.  This helps even the playing field in many ways by limiting firepower, which keeps the players paint costs low and the attitude friendly.  Flagswipe provides a great atmosphere for both new players getting into the sport and learning to play speedball, and also experienced players who want to play in a more relaxed setting than serious competitive tournaments.  The FHL is also a great way for young guns players to prepare for the ESPL league.

Sportsmanship Bonus!

As a fun bonus, the Head Referee will be giving out poker chip rewards for game wins, ties and sportsmanship!  These chips can be used to win free prizes at the final event auction.

Five Event, Low Cost Paintball League:

Costs are cheap, with the team's league fee being $100 for the 5 events, $10 per person per event entry, and cases of paintballs for as little as $55 for whitebox or $65 for Premium grade paintballs.  Players with Flagswipe memberships will also save $10 off of their team's league entry free.

The five events will take place on January 20, February 10, March 3, March 24, and April 14.
For more detailed information, visit the FHL Facebook event page.

Teams can register for the FHL at the BuyPaintball.ca website, or by calling the shop at Flagswipe Paintball.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Saturday Rec Ball at Windsor Rush

I stopped by Windsor Rush Paintball, the local indoor field on Saturday. I was having quite a busy day, but I did get the chance to stop by to hang out for a couple of hours and played two games of recreational paintball.

Since I've only played tournament-style speedball all season, it was refreshing to play some relaxed paintball. Rather than using my Axe and electronic gear, I played low-tech using my trusty old plastic Tippmann Triumph marker and a gravity feed hopper. Rush's field setup is a large field with a mix of wooden walls and huts, as well as a bunch of air bunkers. Since I've been playing on air bunkers all season, I decided to blow right past all of the wooden bunkers and head straight for the airball bunkers that I know how to play properly. I focused on movement during the games and getting good angles to pick players off, and I shot a couple of players before getting shot out in each game. In total I shot about 100 balls in the two games I had the time to play.

Tippmann Triumph Marker with Dynasty Ion front grip
My Tippmann Triumph marker, complete with a custom Dynasty Ion body as front grip.

The mix of players was great, with a few renters, a few couples, a few employees, a bunch of members and field regulars. It was definitely cool to have a chance to reconnect with local recreational players, and see that paintball is thriving in Windsor, since my team practices are out of town in London and I rarely have the chance to play locally because of my busy work and school schedule. From the large player base that Rush has, there is definitely the potential for these players to become successful tournament players. I would really enjoy seeing a Young Guns team of local players from Rush playing in the ESPL next season, and it would be a great compliment to their successful Rookie division team.

I also had the chance to speak with the field owner, who told me that they are planning to order a brand new air field setup to cater to tournament players, and they are planning on hosting a tournament in the coming months.  When details are finalized, I'll be sure to share and help make this a successful event.  I would really love to see Windsor host a speedball tournament, as it has been years since there have been any local tournaments in the area.

All in all, Windsor Rush Paintball is a great indoor field environment that is great for paintball players of all skill levels.

A video from Windsor Rush Paintball's summer paintball drill camp, which helped teach newer players the basics and finer points of playing paintball.

For more information on Windsor Rush paintball, check out their website, and their YouTube channel for fun videos and a look at the field setup.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Evil Empire Art - Rage Against the Machine

So I remember listening to this Rage Against the Machine album a few years ago and though of the idea.  Since then, KEE came around and brought Evil (PMI) and Empire (NPS) together under one brand and gave me a real reason to photoshop this.  Since I had some time to kill at school, I quickly photoshopped the album art to include the Empire and Evil paintball logos, replacing the "e" in the center of the shirt with the Evil "e" logo.  I also threw in the Flagswipe Paintball logo, since it's my home field that hooks up paintball dealers in Ontario with these great brands.  It was just a fun little project I couldn't resist throwing together.

My photoshopped version of the Evil Empire album art.

The original Rage Against the Machine Evil Empire album art.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

JT Splatmaster 5 on 5 Match - Getting Kids into Paintball

The JT Splatmaster line is a great new product that has been introduced to help encourage children to get into the sport of paintball.  These spring-fed, pump-action markers markers shoot .50 caliber paintballs (smaller than the standard .68 caliber), are low-impact and fire at a velocity of around 140FPS (as opposed to the standard >300FPS of standard markers) so there's no pain from getting shot by these.    This match was a great way to gain exposure for the new product line by piggybacking off of the live webcast produces by Paintball Access, which was viewed by thousands of paintball enthusiasts.

At the recent 2012 PSP World Cup, JT held a special event on the center court field which featured two 5-man teams of children with Splatmasters going head to head.  The teams were led by professional players Nicky Cuba from Los Angeles Infamous and Thomas Taylor from Sacramento XSV.  This was perfect to show the product in action, on a level playing field where all players were young and equipped with the same gear.  Parents and kids who see these videos can really see the value in letting kids have fun with safe paintball markers, whether it be played at home with other kids or with the whole family.

Video from Paintball Access's live World Cup Coverage

Great execution from JT Paintball using their industry connections to promote their kid-friendly entry level paintball game.  They are available all over to help make paintball accessible to all people, you can even pick up a Splatmaster at Walmart for under $40, making it a very affordable choice for people interested in getting into the sport.

JT Splatmaster Experience

XSV's Rich Telford demonstrates the new JT Splatmaster Experience at PSP's MAO event.

JT's Splatmaster Experience has been traveling to major paintball events all over North America this year to promote the fun new product line.  Accompanied by the inflatable Megarena and target setup, this gives interested players a hands-on look at the Splatmaster, and gives them a chance to try it out, shoot at targets, or even do quick matches with friends, all in the safe environment.
The promotions that have gone along with the Splatmaster launch have been great at raising awareness, and there have been cries of support from paintball players everywhere who love the idea of getting new players into the sport.

Splatmasters are tons of fun, I've been shot by one point-blank and barely felt it, and I can't wait to pick one up myself.  I hope to see these take off and become popular, and usher in a whole new generation of paintball players by giving them safe, low cost options at getting started.

Fun For the Whole Family

Niteshadow Productions playing paintball with his daughter at Soldier of Fortune Paintball in Mount Hope, Ontario with their Splatmasters.

These are perfect for families, as they are safe, low-impact and short-range.  Perfect for backyard play at home for the whole family.  Easy to clean up and tons of fun.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Getting into Tournament Paintball - Living the Dream

So I've noticed a lot of new players out at the local airball fields that have the potential to compete in tournament series, but may not have the means or connections to play.  Although it seems complicated from the outside, playing local series is as simple as going out to the local field for a regular walkon day, with slightly more planning.  These events are usually 3-man, 4-man or 5-man, and do not require teams to commit to a whole season of events.  
You really only need a couple of friends with paintball gear to easily throw a team together to play at these local paintball events!

There's nothing holding you back from playing tournaments but you.  Just DO it!

Ontario: The ESPL Series

The ESPL Series is hosted by Flagswipe Paintball and Canadian Express in London, Ontario.  We offer two divisions of tournament play:
  • D3 Young Guns, 16 & under: 3 man format
  • D2 Rookie, all ages: 5 man format
 Events are held on Sundays, with the Young Guns division playing in the morning and the Rookie division playing in the afternoon.
Prices are very reasonable too:
  • Young Guns Entry: $100 per team
  • Rookie Entry: $300 per team

Blizzard Ball

A separate event from the rest of the ESPL Series following the same rules, Blizzard Ball is a yearly indoor tournament at the end of the outdoor season that has been a favourite for years.  Same rules, prize structure and great reffing as the ESPL series, but at the nice indoor field!

Prizes for these local events are great, cash or gear which will help players get more into the sport.  

If you're looking at getting into paintball tournaments in Ontario, Blizzard Ball on the 18th is a great place to start!

The first paintball tournament I ever played was a local 3man tournament at DieHard Paintball back when I was in grade 8, and my teammates were two classmates.  We lost every single game against the more experienced locals, but the event was a blast.  We were undergeared and outgunned compared to the regulars, but everyone was friendly.  Our team won the sportsmanship prize, and got some free gear for coming in last place.  On top of that, other players were quite friendly, and one older player even let me borrow his A-Bomb Intimidator for a few games when we had some marker problems throughout the day.  Sure we lost, but it was definitely worth the experience and rush to get into the sport!

A few months later, we put another team together and played a PETS event at Flagswipe, and our new team came in fourth place in Young Guns, winning some free Halo loaders.  These local tournaments are a great way to get started in competitive paintball as there is literally nothing to lose, and only great experiences to be gained!

Friday, 9 November 2012

DieHard Paintball supports the community and Essex Food Bank

Fight hunger by playing paintball!  Donate just 5 canned goods to receive a free pass to bring your own paint for a day of paintball near Windsor!

Paintball is a community sport with friendly players from all walks of life who are always willing to help out and support a cause. Every so often, a field will take initiative to help their local communities, and DieHard Paintball is stepping up this month to give back to the Essex community.

For the month of November, DieHard paintball will be collecting canned goods to support the Essex Food Bank and give back to the local community.  As a deal and incentive for players to donate, they can donate 5 canned food items and get a free BYOP paint pass for the day.  This is usually a $15 value, so this does a great job in helping players play paintball for cheaper by allowing them to bring their own paint purchased from other stores or fields and use it at a field that is generally field paint only.

"For the month of November: instead of a buying a paint pass, bring in at least 5 can goods. This won't be mandatory this Sunday but for the rest of November it will be. And again this is for own equipment only. Fill MUST break white or yellow ONLY! Let's help out the local food bank."

Join DieHard's Facebook group to keep up to date on all of their latest promotions and find the best day to come out and have some fun playing paintball!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Paintball in Russia: Not Just For Men

Russia's Hotball III Tournament

Paintball is a sport that is played worldwide, and sometimes you're surprised to discover just how large the game is in other countries.  The Hotball III event happened earlier this year at Moscow Paintball Palace and Paintball Club Arena and drew quite a large crowd of teams from all across Europe to compete.  The diversity between paintball players around the world really makes me want to be able to travel and attend these events in the future.  Here's a video supplied by Russia's Headshot Magazine which captured the day's intense action.  

Video found from PBNation's YouTube page.

Ladies Only! Arena Moscow Girls Cup

The Arena Moscow Girls Cup, a girls-only paintball tournament was also held at Arena Moscow earlier this year.  This event brought in ten all female teams to compete for an exciting day of paintball.  At some fields in Canada, it's rare to ever see any girls out playing paintball, this is a really refreshing video and event to show that there is nothing stopping girls from fully competing in the sport.  There is a full writeup of the event's coverage at PaintballX3's website.

Girls Cup video provided by http://bagira-yar.ru/ 

Day of the Dead 11 Big Scenario Game at Flagswipe

The dead are coming back to life, and they've invaded the forests on Flagswipe Paintball's outdoor field.  The living control the towns and populated areas, holding back the invading zombie forces.  Over 900 players attended this massive Canadian scenario paintball game just outside of London, Ontario on September 30, 2012.  The event kicked off as a helicopter flew into the field transporting the Living's general and the Hero For a Day winner, and the action did not stop.  Missions and objectives were set to be completed through the day, and players would stop at nothing to accomplish them.  The action saw tanks, rockets, smoke grenades, crazy costumes and epic firefights with thousands of paintballs in the air at once, battles through all terrain and all areas. A custom batch of RPS All-Star paint was made for the event with a blood red coloured fill to add to the gruesome and urgent atmosphere of the battles.

Video from Thisispaintball.ca

Paintball Industry Trade Show

To match the large-scale paintball action, there was a massive industry trade show on site.  Representatives from both local and major brands included event sponsors Tippmann, Ntensity Customs, Underground Productz, Aztek, Jaz Stands, Empire, Original SWAT Footwear, Recon, Valken, Dye, Rockstar and more.  The JT Splatmaster Experience was also on-site at the event to give visitors a hands-on look at the new low-impact .50cal Splatmaster line,which is marketed as a fun and safe way to help usher new players into the sport of paintball.  In my season of traveling to national US events, I have yet to see a paintball trade show as impressive as the one held at Day of the Dead.

Event T-Shirts printed by Ntensity Customs

Hero For A Day

The event included a Hero for a Day contest for players who pre-registered.  They were entered into a draw to win a VIP experience for the day: flight to the field in a helicopter, a free BT TM-15 marker hydrodipped by Ntensity Customs and a Shadow Squad practice jersey.  

Video from Keith and Liam from Flagswipe going on an adventure to discover the winner of the Hero for a Day contest.

Player Created Videos

Many players brought along cameras to record footage of the event, with barrelcams and mask mounted cameras a common sight for the day.  One player from THEMODASTUDIO strapped two GoPros to his barrel so he could capture both the action happening in front of him, as well as a view of himself, and put together this neat video from his first life as a zombie.  O.P.E.L. Army also captured some great footage from the human side, with lots of gunfighting action.  More videos continue to pop up on YouTube from other players who attended the event, and there is endless action to be watched.

From THEMODASTUDIO on the Undead team

From O.P.E.L. Army on the Living team

From Skarpz , featuring custom armor from Aztek Future Soldiers

Prize Toss

To top it all off, the day ended off with a massive prize toss.  Flagswipe brought out an entire skid of paintball products from event sponsors that were tossed into the crowd, and nearly everyone involved got to leave with something for free.  Prizes from the toss included all types of gear, masks, tanks and even a few paintball markers.  Dozens of pods were also tossed into the crowd, each stuffed full of useful products, tools and stickers.  To make sure the younger players got in on the free product toss fun without getting moshed by adults, they got their own section of the crowd for a special young guns prize toss.
Crowd at the prize toss with Human General Kaz from Visual Reviews tossing out freebies to the crowd, Shawn from Flagswipe tossing out a Tippmann Crossover marker, and tons of pods filled with prizes.

Video and images from thisispaintball.ca

This is one of the biggest and greatest Canadian Scenario paintball events.  Be sure to attend next year to make sure you don't miss out on any of the excitement at Day of the Dead 12!

Friday, 2 November 2012

Social Media Promotions in Paintball: Guerrilla Air, Social Paintball, Dynasty & Destiny

Here's a great viral video produced by Social Paintball for Guerrilla Air.  The video, part of a massive social media campaign from Guerrilla Air features pro team Dynasty facing off in a match against one lone man who happens to be a parkour master.  Our lone ninja warrior takes off running, jumping, diving and climbing around the field, and uses his skills to take out the entire professional squad.  It is introduced as a breaking news story, and is obviously staged, but there are a lot of cool action shots of paintball play and parkour tricks, and the video is very well put together.  It takes the fast dives and slides that paintball players make during games, and takes it to the extreme by showing free running which is seen more in mainstream media, used to dominate the game play.

Social Paintball, who have been doing paintball media coverage and video content since 2009, also released a detailed "making of" video, which shows footage from the day, the planning and setup, as well as how the crew set up their cameras.  The video was produced by Guerrilla Air and the stunt crew was from the Tempest Free Runners, who's members have been involved in many other commercial productions, television shows and movies that have extreme stunts and motion. 

Guerrilla Air's Social Media Campaign

This was a part Guerrilla Air's social media campaign that centered around their Facebook page, YouTube channel, and their wordpress blog.  They have been doing a lot of social media advertising, viral videos and Facebook contests, and even have a Facebook App.

Their most notable contest also involved team Dynasty, and gave one lucky winner a trip to Hollywood Sports Park in California to join the professional team in a usual day of practice.  The winner of the contest was Hailey Froese, a girl from Canada who was flown to California and brought to the field for the day while  cameras captured the day's action.

Hailey is also a paintball writer for Grip Paintball and a blogger, running girlpaintballer.com, as well as a YouTube channel where she does many video blogs with interviews and advice that is helpful to newer players.  She was also  a member of Team Destiny, and is now the spokesmodel for Empire Paintball.  She is travelling around the world playing paintball, living the dream.

Destiny is heading to Malaysia to compete in World Cup Asia, and is currently working on raising funds for the trip.  They have sold team jerseys, and also have a team fund setup on ChipIn to help cover their costs and are asking for help from fans to contribute.  Good luck to them in their journey to Malaysia and in the event next weekend!

It's really amazing how connected everything in the paintball media industry is, and how so many contributors  and projects cross over.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

The Paintball Offseason Begins..

World Cup is over, Halloween has passed, and I haven't played paintball in about two weeks.  Yup, it's that time of year again: the offseason.

All across North America as the weather changes, outdoor airball fields are being taken down.  Our local air field at DieHard went down two weeks ago, and the airball field at Flagswipe's outdoor has been down since Day of the Dead last month.  This means it's now harder to play speedball and get team practices in, all teams are going to have to fight to schedule practice time on indoor fields.

"Coming home feels like surrender, feels like we're giving in.
When the shows are over, is there any other reason to live?"


Sure it was written about a touring rock band, but this really captures the feeling at the end of the tournament paintball season.  Players go from grinding practices and events nearly every weekend, down to playing once a month if they can find field time.  As paintballer players, it feels like we're living two completely different lives, flipping back and forth between being surrounded by paintball where everyone knows each other, to the real working world, where your paintball knowledge is nearly useless and normal things seem to feel alien.  We want to be out on the road, at the field, at tournaments, hanging out in hotel rooms with our teammates.  The offseason brings this drastic difference, as we go from being completely busy and our of town on weekends, to suddenly have free time to have a normal social life.  This weekend coming up will be the first full weekend I've been home in Windsor in months, and it's almost overwhelming to have this freedom again.  This is the time when the paintball players return to the real world, without paintball.  We head back to school, jobs, careers, families and friends, and for some of us, no matter how good life on the outside is, we just want to be back at the paintball field, grinding out points with our teammates.

At the same time as this freedom comes, there's also a brand new rush to play paintball.  Although the season just ended, teams across the country are already starting tryouts and building team camps to prepare for next season.  As soon as we get time off from the season, we get a whole new schedule pushed on us with tryout dates and everything for the next season.  It seems almost crazy to start rebuilding so early, almost before players have even had a break, but it's what teams need to do now because everyone's doing it.  Paintball players want to play every weekend, and if they can't play with their team, they'll go wherever they can.

The offseason is the time of year that makes players question everything: whether they'll be coming back again for next season, if they want to stick with the same team, who they want to be at this time next year.  There's also the hard questions: can I afford to play a full tournament season next year?  Am I wasting my money or should I just play rec ball?  They're the hard decisions that every paintball player needs to make, and everyone needs to make for themselves.

Here's a cool video from DQ Films back in 2009 from the Palm Beach Vipers' offseason. 

It's a little different down there in Florida since they have nice outdoor weather, while us Canadians are heading back indoors, but it's the same focus: playing all offseason to be a better team for next year.

The first PSP event for next season is coming up in March.  That gives us five months to be get prepared for the biggest competitive paintball season of our lives.  We'll be grinding at Flagswipe all winter, and we will be ready to bring it.