Adventures at NXL Amsterdam

For the past few years, since Christmas day 2013, the Malaysian paintball industry suffered greatly with the introduction of paintball marker controls which required Firearm permits or licenses to own and use. All paintball fields, centres, paintball events and tournaments collapsed and closed down together with all the paintball stores.

However to buck the trend, with careful negotiation with the Federal authorities and with the full hearted sponsorship, support, advise and encouragement from Ledz at Planet Eclipse, the Eclipse Paintball Series EPS - was born and began operation in early 2015. Adhering to strict SOP from the Federal authorities, paintball tournaments were brought back to life but not without its difficulties and hard work.

After 5 hard and long years, EPS paintball series successfully bore fruits with the recognition by Planet Eclipse, ProShar, Virtue and GOG Paintball and becoming ProShar EPS in 2019. The vision of EPS is to revive the local paintball industry and fields to its successful heyday when Malaysia was the hub of paintball in Asia. To rebuild paintball from the grassroots up, paintball centers, introduce new players and teams and to challenge the best in the region. The growing success and popularity of EPS series saw EPS teams being regularly invited to send its top teams to compete in international events like NXL Australia, first Perth 2017 and Melbourne 2018 where they gave a very good account of themselves. 

Going where no Malaysian teams has ever attempted before, next came the invitation to play the Semi Professional division at one of the largest and premier paintball tournament series in Europe – NXL Europe in Amsterdam. Taking this new challenge, where the highest level of paintball in any tournament in Asia is Division 1. This new team will face its greatest challenge, to challenge themselves and their abilities in the face of greater teams and in the next higher level of Semi Pro Division paintball tournament and on the European stage.

Careful selection of players from EPS series teams saw a squad of 12 players being selected from 7 top teams in Malaysia. A balance of experienced and young talents with the variety of athleticism and age range. More than 6 months of intensive training with facilities was supported by Sri Awana Paintball Club and sponsored by Raskal Sports. The first Malaysian Semi Professional paintball team, team Raskal Sports came into being. Included in this Team Raskal Sports is the 1st ever Malaysian Lady Semi Pro player, Ms Camun Yong. She gave as good as any player in the team.

Team Raskal Sports travelled 20 hours from Malaysia to get to Amsterdam, filled with tremendous enthusiasm, expectations and though extremely jetlagged managed to get onto the playing  field that very same day. With high spirits for training the following day, no rain, mud or cold was going to stop them. On the first tournament day, team Raskal Sports was the very first team to be on site before the crack of dawn. Their first game was at 8.00am with SL Benfica, 4th on the Overall SPL ranking after 3 legs of NXL Europe and finalist in Prague. Team Raskal Sports lost an exciting and respectable 4-1 to Benfica on its first ever Semi Pro game and in the following game beat Bulldogs Russia 6-3 (top 11th SPL ranking) in their adrenaline filled and brilliant game of the day.

On the 2nd day, with the blustery wind, rain and shivering ankle deep cold mud getting to them, it was whole different ball game. Unused to even low teens temperatures where 30*C was the norm, saw them lose 4-2 to Camp Pendelton Raiders and another further loss to Russian Roulette – (top 6th Overall SPL ranking), by a devastating 4-0. By now the boys were feeling it, frozen and wet but they kept theirs spirits up. They came, they saw and they challenge with their best abilities but success was not theirs. Team Raskal Sports, made many new friends, learnt many new playing styles and new methods and most of all respect. They had a steep, slippery and muddy learning curve and one which they promised to work harder, adapt and overcome. They will be back, stronger, better and more prepared.

Not satisfied and bellies still filled with fire, team Raskal Sports played the 3 Man Amateur Division in a cold rain soaked day and came away with a podium 4th place trophy out of 17 teams. A silver lining in the clouds but still extremely warm and satisfying. Putting Malaysian paintball on the world map and stepping up to the whole new level of Semi Pro paintball with the tagline “Malaysia Boleh” meaning Malaysian can do it.  Kasi jadi chai.

MVP for the event has to go to Safieq Awe. Awe had a great event winning gun battle after gun battle, winning a 2 on 1 and another 1 on 1 where he won both points fantastically. Safieq Awe might be portly and not so fast at moments, but he’s cool as a cucumber under fire, great accuracy and gun skills and his awareness is amazing. He has legendary status in Malaysian paintball and has shown his mettle and his skills when called upon. Truly, Malaysian finest paintballer and a legend in his own right, Mr Mohd Safieq Izzuddin Hussein aka Safieq Awe”.

Team Raskal Sports even brought their own personal Eclipse Tech, Isky for their markers and Isky also helped out at the Planet Eclipse Tech booth with Fish and Eddie. Thank you Fish and Eddie for having Isky with you at the Tech booth.

We would like to thank our sponsors without which this trip would not have happened. We thank you:

1.     Planet Eclipse for the Custom CS2 markers, Fantm pants and podpacks
2.     Pro-Shar paintballs for all the training and tournament paintballs
3.     Virtue paintball for the VIO II Goggles and Spire III loaders
4.     Exalt paintball for all the Goggle, Loader and Tank cases
5.     Kixture for the custom team Jersey, hoodie, t-shirt and headband
6.     Crank for the custom logo designs and posters
7.     Raskal Sports for its support, planning and coordination
8.     Our Pit Crew, families and friends for their support.

Thank you and World Cup Orlando 2020 anyone?