It’s Friday night near the Maryland/Delaware border, and the boys from Infamous crowd into a tired and worn-out looking Sleep Inn Motel room for a meeting. They play Houston Heat in the morning.
Potent, old hotel funk hangs in the air. The white walls aren’t really white.
Damien Ryan jumps on Nicky, they wrestle, the guys all give each other shit, and then it starts—their coach, and my co-host, Todd Martinez starts to break down their mission for the next day, and beyond.
I was there waiting for the meeting to finish so I could do a podcast with Nicky Cuba, Greg Siewers, and Kevin “Kali” Rudulph (which will be up next week, 8-29).
It’s late and I’m exhausted, mentally spent from 11 straight hours on-air for the webcast the first day. The early morning downpour made us run late. But as I sat there listening to the meeting, I realized Todd was saying things that every paintball player should hear. So I started recording audio of him, and the following transcript is what I got.
Everyone who wants to be successful in this game should read this and take notes.
I’ve sat through tons of team meetings over the years, but this one was different. Infamous was sitting, just listening to Todd break it down, part coach, part friend, part motivational speaker. They are letting the coach, coach. They didn’t win the event, but after watching this meeting, I think Infamous is doing what they need to do to be mentally prepared for success.
Todd did not know he was being recorded until after the fact, which makes this a pure moment.
- Matty Marshall
I still feel a lot of this comes down to us going as hard as we can, and I think that definitely showed today. So the way we played to today, with the same effort, focus and commitment was huge. You could see it in the way we controlled that Ironmen game, raining or not, to when you watch the Ironmen-Vicious game, and it was a completely different story, they killed Vicious.
The Ironmen definitely switched things up against Vicious, they shot a bit heaver on the dorito side. I want to take away the Dorito side a bit more, early against Heat because that’s where they’re sending all their strong players– Sergey, Mishca, Fedorov– to try and attack that side. I saw a lot of teams go heavy on the D-side early and get there, but not get any productivity out of it.
We need to remember we’re going to Attack the snake side, and then when guys look that way, we attack the Dorito side OK? Then we’re going to go to the Dorito side hard, and then when people turn those guns, we go into the snake.
That play we tried at the end of the day, when we had you (points at Damien Ryan) go up and run across, but you got shot? I saw teams doing that the whole afternoon session.
The Russians could have beat Aftershock into the fucking ground, but they decided to try shit all afternoon to see if it would work, and Aftershock ran through their lanes and got into those spots alive. So you can take that for what it’s worth, but I still feel we commit to protecting our guys and getting out to those spots.
You need to stay alive to give our guys on the opposite side of the field time to come through. And we haven’t even attacked the middle yet, but that’s because we’ve been murdering people off the break, getting guys off the sides and then moving up to get kills. OK?
If you didn’t watch the Russian’s games today, the Russians go to their spots and they sit there, just like usual. So if we end up in the finals with them expect it to be that type of game. But that doesn’t mean Heat’s gonna play us that way.
We beat Heat tomorrow, we get the fucking bye, ‘cause then we play CEP next. Now, no game is a given, but if you can’t beat CEP tomorrow you don’t deserve to win the event. So beat Heat tomorrow and we can almost guarantee ourselves a bye to the semifinals.
And when you get into those front spots, don’t freak out, don’t start gun battling all crazy, be smart, be patient, talk to your teammates. And control, we did it against Damage. We were down 5 on 3 to Damage plenty of times. And we still beat their ass.
Today Damage was out their just fucking crushing people, anyone who watched the tournament just today, is looking at Damage and talking about how they’re crushing teams. And we whooped Damage’s ass last weekend. And we didn’t have our whole team there.
We need to play the same way we’ve been playing. We beat the Ironmen, and Thunder today. So I still feel really comfortable doing all the stuff we’ve been doing, and it’s good having (Rich) Telford there, because he’s watching different stuff, and we get to talk about it between points.
We need to stick to the basic things, make sure your guns and your loaders are working, make sure the paint is taken care of, make sure we win the high body scenarios, make sure we give 100% effort all the time. Make sure we’re focused on what we came here to do, our objectives and our jobs.
And after that, stay committed to playing as hard as we can, all the time, and we’ll be just fine. We have a talent level equal to any team out here; it depends on how we show up, how hard we play, and how much we want to win this thing.
That’s the committed part.
All these guys are trying to come at us, we’re at the top. We need to work twice as hard as everyone else to be able to stay there. This field is good for us, really good for us. We can shoot guys off the break, we can make smart moves, we can pull shit out if we lose bodies. But we need to communicate, there were definitely points today where things got stagnate and we stopped talking to one another.
And everything little fucking thing matters and that’s why we won Chicago, because we paid attention to all the small things. Alright? When it comes down to those low body scenarios, you need to be saying, “Back right is on me, back left is looking inside. I’m looking at the snake and they’re two guys on me, two guys on me, two guys on me, I’m looking snake side. Help me, shoot these guys” Talk it up.
No stupid gun-battles, trust your teammates, no penalties. Can you guys remember the last time we got a penalty other than wack shit over here today? (Todd gestures at one of the guys)
(Nicky Cuba chimes in) “Brad, and Siewers.”
(A bunch of guys echo the answer) “Yeah, Siewers.”
We have to continue to believe we are better than everyone else out here. And that’s a fucking valid belief. But we have to stay committed to doing the things we need to do in order to maintain that level. Getting penalties isn’t one of them. And come with attitude man, don’t get cocky, be smart, but play confident. Trust in your teammates and trust in the shit you guys do. Stay confident in what we’re doing here.
I want to go out there tomorrow and see a few shots, before I decided what I want us to do in the first point. Heat would alternate sides, they would push hard down the D-side and then down the snake. They weren’t afraid to use those little pins in the center, they weren’t afraid to run to the snake off the break, and the D1 on the break. I want teams to think they can run to D1 off the break and we’ll set up to destroy that guy.
Do not force your way into guns, talk to your teammates, figure out where that gun is, and find the openings.
Don’t. Fucking. Force. Shit.
It’s my job to get people out to their spots alive. It’s your guy’s job to make smart moves, shoot people, talk to each other and win high body scenarios. If we got problems let’s talk about it right away and we’ll sort it out.
Don’t be scared to play a long game against Heat, they haven’t had that yet either, right? They had a little bit against Thunder and Thunder blew it a few times, they were up bodies but didn’t capitalize. We’re smarter than that.
It’s a 100% team effort here, tomorrow’s we have to win, stick together and help your teammates out in the pits. Don’t come up to me and ask, “Can I play? Am I playing? Let me play?” All I want is you looking at me with eyes that say, “I’m ready to go”. You don’t have to say shit, just look at me alright? And then you’ll know.
And be patient….Zack Patient. (the whole team chuckles, as Zach sits on the bed and smiles. He’s playing well after getting the start over Drew Templeton, who did not make practice before MAO and lost his starting spot)
The only team that’s as committed to the zones as hard as we are, is Tampa Bay. And what did we do against Tampa? We watched their streams, we waited, we picked smart gun-battles, we shot a guy out, and then we went.
Same deal here against Heat. But let’s shut down their D-side, so they want to come to the snake side. I feel like we can go heads up with them on the snake side, match them up, and then it’s off to the races on the Dorito side.
A lot of teams blew it today when they would get a guy up far and no one would protect them. Look for your move and go, don’t get penalties, but make the moves. And when you make the moves, you and you and you and fucking you (slowly points to the mid/back guys), you go with them. When they go down the middle, you go down the outside.
And press the snake man, press that snake. It’s possible, we watched Wozny for ‘Shock get all way down to Snake 7 almost every point, but not shoot anybody from there ‘cause he didn’t know what to do.
Don’t let that be you; know what to do when you get up the field.
Now, bring it in here.
(They all rise, and crowd around the center of the small room, hands in the circle.)
Effort, Focus, and Commitment. EFC on three. One, two, three.
Infamous went on to beat Heat in the prelims the next morning, 4 to 3, but lose to Heat in the finals.