Young blood.

Round 1 of the Millennium Series has been and gone, with Puget-Sur-Argens proving to be a great event for all who entered. The event was especially great for our boys at Edmonton Impact who won the CPL, after a 2013 season of impressive performances.

But there was another story happening that also captured our attention. One that involved a 1 on 1 sideshow, a selection of ballers of all skill levels and a 14 year old called Ruben Van Maasacker. This event was ultimately won by Oliver Lang but the story here is how 14 year old Ruben played Ollie in the semi-final AND shot him in their best-of-3 match up. Thousands of webcast viewers and fellow ballers alike were rooting for Ruben as he shot his way to the semis, and at Planet Eclipse we like an underdog story.

So we caught up with Ruben and asked him a few questions.

So, Ruben, how are things? Which team do you play with and what leagues?
I'm great. I play for team Badboys Oss, we play in two competitions this summer season: SPL1 on the millennium and Pro division at the Nederlandse Paintball League (NPL).

What marker do you use?
Planet Eclipse GEO3.1 with Custom Badboys colours.

How did you get started playing paintball?
My dad built his own paintball company, from there on I was addicted to paintball.

How does a guy of your age get on a team that competes in the Millennium Series?
3 years ago me and my big brother were asked to play for team Badboys Oss. He is also still in the team at this moment as our team captain. From that moment on we stayed together with a few more players from young age. Each year we got a bit further until last year when we promoted from division one (SPL2 now) to SPL (SPL1 now). So actually we did it by ourselves and fought for our own spot.

We presume your other team buddies are a lot older than you. Do you have to work harder to get their respect?
Actually yes they are older then me but there are only 2 players in our team that played paintball longer then me. So I don’t really have to work hard for their respect because they already have the respect that I already play paintball for so long, and of course the results we have make us have respect for each other.

Let’s talk about Puget. You impressed a whole bunch of people with your performance in the 1 on 1 competition, especially making the semis and shooting Ollie Lang in the best of 3. How did it feel playing against arguably the World’s greatest paintballer. And shooting him!

It was a honour to play against arguably the best all time pro Oliver Lang. It was really exciting to play against him. What got me the most was all the people who (even when I didn’t know them) where cheering for me. I could hear almost the whole tribune shouting my name and clapping for me. That was probably the best feeling I ever had. At last I would like to say that Oliver is a really nice person, and that I am glad to meet / play against him!

Have you any advice for other guys out there of the same age who want to play big tournaments, but don’t quite know how to get noticed?
Like my dad always told me: Train hard and play hard! Go to your local fields to train hard. Once you start playing often it will automatically get you noticed.

And finally, you’re playing the 1 on 1 at Bitburg right?
Yes I definitely am!!

Anyone you’d like to thank or say hi to?
I would like to thank my father and my family for supporting and sponsoring me so I could join the 1 on 1 tournament. And I would like to thank my team for helping me during the 1 on 1 tournament. And at last I would like to thank Ollie and the Millennium series for making it possible for me to play this amazing tournament.

Thanks for your time Ruben, appreciate it. Good luck for the rest of the year and keep us up to date with your career, it would be awesome to see you make your way up the food chain and we'll be watching you at Bitburg that's for sure.


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