Scouting Reports: Seattle Thunder
Seattle Thunder showed signs of life early on in the 2012 season when they made it into Sunday’s quarterfinals and finished 6th at the Galveston Open. They looked particularly good in a come-from-behind win against a revamped San Antonio X-Factor, with veteran Corey Field (ranked 56th) pulling off last minute heroics.
But as other teams in the league have gained steam, they’ve since fallen flat, taking 10th at the last two events. Field, a long time vet, and torchbearer for Pacific Northwest paintball, is still holding it down inside and outside the netting, and is one of big reasons Thunder exists. He’s Thunder’s highest ranked player, and could have a big event, as the Mid Atlantic Open field layout has some solid bunkers for the back players to work with. Field is great at shooting opponents who push sloppy trying to close out points. But Thunder is going to need more than back player kills to progress.
Blake Bearham (ranked 58th) takes over as Seattle’s second ranked player, a spot belonging to Jack Crimain (ranked 73rd) heading into the last event. Both Bearham and Crimian are producing for Thunder, but not on a regular basis. They both look to have a high talent level, but the team as a whole is going to need to get more consistent and use more teamwork to move up the ranks.
Andrew Stoddard (ranked 90th), Scott Knight (ranked 98th), Matt Olsvik (ranked 117th), all have the tools needed to be killers in the pro ranks. Knight and Olsvik have another aggressive gear, which they display at times, and the experience they’re gaining in 2012 will be invaluable for Thunder in the future, but they need to dig deeper, and bring up their level of play now, if they want their team to see the deeper rounds at the MAO.
Nico Perry (ranked 114th), the youngest player in the league at 16, looks fluid and has the skill set to be a solid pro player but needs to work on his mental toughness. Thunder must get multiple players hitting their stride at the same time to put enough points on the board to complete with the top teams consistently.