The Med Cup - Re-Visited !!!

The alarm clock starts at 04:00 in the morning. You just want to curl up in your bed, bury your head in the pillow. Never mind this paintball stuff.. Sound familiar?

After dragging my body out of bed, ears still ringing after last nights Metallica concert, it was time to get some much needed coffee into my system. Note to self: two hours of sleep just isn't enough.. 

Our trusty driver Per Gunnar rolls up with the car minutes later. Even when I am dead tired the same thing always happens. I think its the sound the wheels my Planet Eclipse kit bag makes as it is dragged across the asphalt to the car. This sound always wake me up, its the sound of a new adventure starting! I will probably associate this sound with paintball for as long as I`ll live.  

After some time off from paintball for our team due to real life issues, everybody was starting to feel that itch again. For some, "time off" just means not practicing paintball  2 times every week like we used to, but still watching paintball videos and the different webcasts to keep up to date on current events. Others have been stationed on the russian/norwegian border on army duty far to the north in the wilderness without a chance to shoot a single paintball.

Anyhow, as spring approached it was time to get the band back together to see if we still got what it takes to compete. As before we decided to go to the friendliest tournament on earth: the Med Cup. Joining us this time was fellow Norwegian team Stavanger Mayhem. We operated under the name of Anthrax Norway/ Fight Back design this time around. No changes in the crew, same old friends :-)  Fight Back Design is my new-born company selling Anthrax jerseys and apparel so I was a bit proud being able to name the team after it. :-)

This time we decided to spend the whole week to get to enjoy as much of Greece as possible before going home. We flew down to Thessaloniki on Monday with 5 players, and we were picked up by our great host Kostantinos from Anthrax paintball at the airport. Running with a skeleton crew we just had to pray we didn't suffer any injuries.  

We spent the first days as tourists enjoying the beaches and sun, the Mayhem guys found the casino, everybody just having a good time. Friday was practice day, some of our guys had not fired a paintball in over a year so it was sorely needed. My Geo 3 still had some sand in it from last years Med Cup in Cyprus but still performed without a hitch.

We took some beatings in the beginning of the practice, but after getting bunkered a few times people woke up and slowly but surely we started to look like a team again. Nothing like a few balls to the back of your head to get things going :) At the end of practice we felt better. Our gun skills still needed some work but what better way to fix that than the 3 man tournament Saturday?

Friday night Konstantinos took all of us to a nice local restaurant,and when I say all I mean – all! Almost all the players from the tournament were there early (probably so they wouldn’t miss anything) , we basicly took over the whole restaurant. They served amazing Greek-food and a locally brewed wine,the interior was old-greek and they played the local music- it was really a remarkable experience.  

As Saturday rolled around for once the weather was on our side. We northerners don't take to kindly to scorching heat and after working on our tan for a few days (or a delicate sunburnt pink if you forgot the sunblock :). "No, I will get the sunblock later. Just let me finish this beachvollyball match..") overcast with a slight breeze was very welcome.

We took a couple of early losses in the 3 man before racking up some wins. Its was a fun day, not to serious, in the end we ended in 4th place out of nine teams. Our friends Stavanger Mayhem took the win.

After a quick break we prepared for the mini nations cup. Its a fun way to end the day and good practice for the xball tournament. We merged with Mayhem to represent Norway. After sorting out the team calls we just mixed it up and got to it. In the end we defeated Greece in the final! Feeling good everybody hurried to pack up their stuff, because up next was the Med Cup beach party! Words can’t really do it justice, we had a whole section of the beach and the beach bar to ourselves. The weather was great and so was the beer!

We had to get up early to get ready for the xball tournament. Our first match was against Mayhem and it was a close fought match which ended in a draw 2-2 an it set the tone for the rest of the day. Most of the teams where evenly matched and every game was a fight. We ended the prelims with 2 wins, one draw and a loss. We battled through the quarter finals and semis in some though matches to face Fivestar Leida in the finals. The first point ended in a one on one which they won, after that they played a smart controlled game and secured their win.

After the disappointment wore of we realized that with our lack of expectations before the event we really had to be quite happy with how things turned out. After all we finished with two new trophies! 
Playing seven xball matches in a day will take its toll on your body so it was five tired players who packed away their Geos and headed for the showers.

Monday was spent relaxing and shopping before packing our bags and saying goodbye to our great hosts in the evening. Once again we had a great trip and and made some new friends!

Big thanks to Kostantinos , Nil and all the rest of the Anthrax crew and Stavanger Mayhem and finally Planet Eclipse. Once again our markers proved that they can handle three days of playing without a hitch :) Also thanks to all the players from Greece, Norway, Singapore, Netherlands, New Zeland, Germany, Spain, England and Turkey for making this a memorable event!