Dynasty WIN in Moscow !
Russian has always been a mystery to both myself and Dynasty. As travelers, we have always been interested in what the country has to offer and what the culture is really like. As paintball players, we have wondered exactly what makes a Russian paintball player so effective. When the team decided, at the end of last season, to pull out of the Millennium Series, we opted for a new type of international presence. We spoke with our sponsors and we all came to agreement that the team would be just as valuable, promotional wise, if we attended four international events of our choosing, rather than the four Millenniums that we have been going to for almost a decade. We saw this as a way to reach out to the more remote demographics of paintball and just play for fun in countries that haven't ever had a Dynasty team come out. Russia was our first stop in our International tour.
We had a week planned out here to see some sights, take in the lay of the land, teach a few clinics and play in the Russian Xball league. The city of Moscow is massive and with such a large city we weren't able to see everything, but we got the gist of it. The Red Square with the St. Basil's Cathedral and the Kremlin was unreal! That would be the picturesque post card that most people associate with the country of Russia. The rest of the city was more of an art deco time warp. Buildings reminded me of a Ghost Busters movie mixed with the influence the movie, The Rocketeer.
The Russian Legion training facility was what we were most interested in though. We had always thought of the place as a state of the art training place where Russian Pro players were pumped out on an assembly line. For years, this was the spot to train if you wanted to become the top dog in Russian paintball. However, the years had taken its toll on the field and some things had become a bit disheveled. Not to say that it was a bad looking place though. The facility itself had some amenities that I wish we had here in the states. The team's had their own locker rooms with hot running water and a place to keep all their gear safe. There was a restaurant at the field with a chef who could have rivaled any top chef from Eastern Europe. The only thing that was out of place were the bunkers. They were a bit oddly sized and misshaped.
The clinic was a bit smaller than what we were used to, but that was credited to the fact there was a large Russian holiday that weekend and everyone was partying on the coast or some other tropical destination, not playing paintball!! But, we made the best of it and had an awesome time teaching the guys who were there. The level of play in Russia is higher than normal. The guys were able to pick up our skills very quickly and implement them into game situations faster than normal. That is always very impressive to see!!
The actual event was help over the weekend, and I have to say it was run so much smoother than any tournament I think I have ever been to! I never saw one outburst of players screaming or yelling at each other. No one was a problem on the sidelines. everyone was much more better behaved than most other places we have been to! the format was PSP Race to Five. There were 16 teams entered in the event. We had to call in reinforcements in the form of two Russian players, Sergey from Houston Heat and Victor from a local SPL team in the area. We figured playing an Xball match in a foreign country would be tough with only five players. Also, having local talent on the team helps when or if there is controversy seeing as none of us speak the language. Both players were great and assimilated into our program very quickly and easily. That is another Russian trait that these players posses, its amazing!
We played six games, with the final game against Russian Legion. We beat them in a very tough game 5-3 and took home a HUGE cash prize of $10,000 USD!!! They paid us with a fat stack of 100s! Like I said earlier, this event was run without a hitch. The scheduling was never off, the refs were fair and really good, and all of the players were very respectful and great sportsman. The Event coordinators from the facility were also very nice. I would like to extend my gratitude on behalf of the team to all of the Russian players, the RXL, Vitaley for organizing our trip, Larissa and Tania for being our translators, Sergey and Victor for helping us win, Jeff Trainer for keeping the team comfortable and ready to win, and of course our sponsors from HK ARMY and PLANET ECLIPSE, guerrilla air, paintball tickets, CP, for giving everything we need to WIN!!!
I can't wait for our next ADVENTURE!!!
Another Win for the Emortal Army :-)