After our successful adventure in Greece we decided that we wanted to play part two of the Mediterranean League as well. This event was in Bulgaria and it was called the Bansko Mountain Cup.
We flew down on Wednesday with an even split of Slagen Bandits Gold and Silver players. After being picked up at the airport by Ivo, the event organizer, we drove for 3 hours up to Bansko in the mountains. Spectacular view many places, as the hotel was surrounded by majestic mountain tops. The field was right next to the hotel. You could walk 10 paces from the net and jump into the pool if you wanted to. That would come in handy for us northerners as the weather was perfect, and during daytime really hot. If you were not careful this could affect your performance during a tournament as we would find out later.
We got some practice in on Thursday and on Friday we went over the border to Greece and the island of Thassos for a diving trip. After a hot and eventful day in the sea we arrived back at the hotel around midnight.
Saturday was 3 man xball race to 2, and after that the Nations all-star game. We would, as last time, represent Norway. The games progressed quickly despite the heat.
We put in two teams for the 3 man, and had a good start. We kept it going all the way to the semis. Brussels Crossfire had made the trip once more and this time they brought reinforcements in the form of a couple of CPL players. That just bolstered an already impressive lineup. Bandits Silver got beat in the semis by Crossfire and then the same thing happened to Bandits Gold in the finals.
In the end we took 2nd and 3rd place in the 3 man tournament.
After a much needed break from the heat, four teams geared up for the xball Nations Cup: Norway, Bulgaria, Greece and Belgium. We played round-robin so that every team would get three matches. We beat both Bulgaria and Greece, but Belgium was simply a better team. We had them against the ropes in some crucial points, but we did not press our advantage and in the end Belgium won the nations cup with us taking 2nd place.
We hit the showers and got some well-deserved rest before Sundays competition started.
Another hot day containing great paintball, with seven teams playing round-robin xball race to 3.
Before we started we thought our key games were against Titans and Crossfire. We needed to beat them if we wanted to win the event. With an early 3-0 win against Titans things were looking good. Our match against Crossfire just before the break was a repeat of the Nations cup game. Once again we could not win those crucial points and lost 3-2.
When the games stopped for lunch we had two wins and one loss. It is hard to say what happened to the team during the break. Maybe we underestimated the remaining teams, thinking that our hardest matches were behind us, or the heat just really got to us. We started out with two really bad losses after the break. We had lots of penalties and just could not get anything going.
After a short team meeting before our last game we managed to rally, even though we made hard work of it. But at least we ended the tournament with a win.
We ended up in fourth place, with Crossfire winning all their matches and the event.
It was time to hit the pool to wash away some of the disappointment and get ready for dinner with our host Ivo and the great guys from Anthrax.
We went to a local Bulgarian restaurant with a really nice waiter and entertainment to our food. The entertainment was a gang of locals singing and playing guitar, I guess they didn’t see us as the best crowd since the food was the only thing getting our attention at that moment. We had some laughs and a great meal; it was the perfect ending to our trip. Full of memories, new experiences and some new trophy’s we headed home.
In the end Bulgaria turned out to just as fun as Greece and we are really looking forward to next year’s Mediterranean League as this year was just a trial run.
Event 2 - Mountain Cup-Bansko 2012
1. Crossfire Brussels/BEL/
3. Balkan Brothers Sofia/BUL/
4. Slagen Bandits Norway/NOR/
5. Androids Thessaloniki/GRE/
7. Sofia Wolves Sofia/BUL/
1. Crossfire Brussels /BEL/
2. Slagen Bandits Gold /NOR/
3. Slagen Bandits Silver /NOR/
4. Sofia Wolves Gold /BUL/
5. Old Bulgarians /BUL/
6. Barbarians /BUL/
7. Balkan Brothers Silver /BUL/
9. Balkan Brothers Gold /BUL/
10.Sofia Wolves Silver/BUL/
Nations ALL STAR Game