With their aggressive attack on both sides of the field, 187 Crew, out of Upton, Massachusetts, is quickly winning fans and earning respect among their peers in the PSP Pro Division.
The greatest attribute 187 has going for them right now is they seem to have no fear. Their attack has been relentless. It happens on the snake side, the D-side, and up the center. So far, with only two pro events under their belt, 187 looks to be talented and hungry, willing to pay the toll to win points. They are taking their lumps and dishing it right back.
The issue they’ve been having is a typical issue for every struggling team, and new teams in particular — problems staying alive in their bunkers. It’s hard out there in the moment of a gunfight. These are the best players in the world. Think about it for a second, when you play Dynasty’s Yosh Rau (ranked 5th overall), you’re gun-fighting a guy who has played more days of paintball than he spent in school.
But a student can beat a master in a one-on-one, or a snap shooting battle. Ask anyone who’s been to a pro clinic, or jumped in on some high level streetball. The true skill lies in choosing your battle, within the chaotic context of a match, it’s about thinking through and mastering Gunfight Logic. This is where 187 needs improvement. When do you shoot your gun? When do you engage? Simple questions, yes, but the answers can take years to come at full game speed, if at all.
Upton 187 Crew has already been turning some heads. They beat a solid Omaha Vicious at the Phoenix Open for their first win, and took Moscow Russian Legion into sudden death overtime, after going up 5-1 in their first game of the year. They have talent at every position.
Eddie Painter is 187’s highest ranked player, current sitting 16th in the overall player ranking (OPR). As their most solid mid-player, he must hold it down, fill spots, stay alive and punch holes, while Front Players like Max Traylor (ranked 31nd), Brian Finberg (35th), Brian Jenkel (64th), and Dan Zaleski (ranked 85th) get into the crucial front bunkers. Zaleski is actually listed as a Mid Player but has seen time up in the trenches.
With a roster of players who are relatively unknown outside the Northeast, The Crew is attempting to go the same route as Vicious and CEP, trying to build a winning team over time, using local talent and a strong teamwork mentality. This has shown to work, as long as the players have the stamina to stick around through the trials and the talent to adapt to the speed and mental toughness needed at this level.