Taking the 2016 NXL Pro Series title, the 2016 Millennium Series Pro title AND both the NXL and Millennium Series World Cups it's easy to see why other teams look at them with awe and jealousy. Edmonton Impact are a vision of what a professional paintball team should be. Loaded with talent, brimming with confidence and unified through hard work and determination, Impact have always done their absolute best to achieve their goals. So it shouldn't be any surprise when they actually achieve them.
Impact are busy boys, especially with the start of the season creeping up and all the titles to defend, but they still managed some time for a 5 from 5.
FYI: JC (Justin Cornell) / KB (Keith Brown)
PE: 2016. WOW! So…what can be done better in 2017? Seems pretty hard to improve on the double right? That aside, how good does it feel to finally be NXL World Cup Winners and what are your goals for this year?
JC: I think we are going into this year the same as last year. Not looking at the series or how many wins. Just going into each event prepared and ready the best we can be and making sure we stay hungry, as individual players and as a team.
KB: For me, 2016 was an unbelievable year. With that said, looking forward to the 2017 season, those past achievements don’t mean anything. It will be very challenging to improve on a double crown victory, but that’s what pushes us to be better. Some goals that I have set personally this 2017 season are to continue doing my part to help grow the sport and build strong relationships along the way.
PE: You guys are probably the most professional unit in pro paintball right now which really showed when you schooled Legion in the World Cup final. What do you think the key ingredient is for a complete, professional outfit? Or is it many, many things?
JC: It's many things. Every little thing adds up to make the big picture. We work very hard to make sure we perfect as many of the little things as we can.
KB: Our preparation going into the tournaments is the perfect amount of rest as well as practice and training. This helped us to go into the finals with fresh legs and a more well rounded feeling of focus. The other key component is our Head Coach and Owner, Bart. It is safe to say that no one in the league is more motivational than that guy.
PE: Which pro teams do you love to play against and hate to play against. And why.
JC: I would say some of lower ranked teams for both (love and hate). Sometimes it's nice to get in a groove against a weaker team but sometimes those teams play with nothing to lose and play unconventional paintball, which is tough to play against. Also, having a close game or a loss to a weaker team is hard on the mental aspect of each player, and the team as a whole.
KB: I love playing against X-Factor. I feel they have the best balance of aggression and gun skills which pushes us to play our best game. Next choice would obviously be Heat. Those guys are machines and always show their best under pressure. As far as least favorite team to play, I don’t think there is any team at the professional level that doesn’t bring something to the field that we enjoy competing against.
PE: Who were your old school paintball heroes growing through the game? And why?
JC: I actually didn't know a ton of players, since I was from Canada and didn't follow Pro paintball as much. I knew of the teams but not a ton of the individuals. I looked up to a lot of Canadian players and people that helped me get better. Guys from Total Eclipse/Personal Vendetta especially.
KB: Brian Smith was my favorite player ever to watch. He possessed a mental edge that surpassed most of the players in the league at that time and undoubtedly had the best shot in paintball. Nicky Cuba, Alex Fraige and Jason Edwards were huge mentors to me as a kid and inspired me to be kind and giving to my fans.
PE: What’s your message to all the other pro teams in the NXL this year?
JC: We're coming. I hope you're ready.
KB: To all the other teams in the NXL...let’s continue to grow the sport!
We cannot wait to see how Impact takes on the flood of teams trying to take what's theirs.