T1 Top Gun Union: Almost There

Heading into the PSP World Cup, T1 Top Gun Union sits at the top of the Division 1 rankings, though they have never won an event. Top Gun’s Matthew Renschler breaks down an event-by-event history of the team for Paintball Access as they are about to start training for World Cup. Maybe this will finally be their event…

Over the past two seasons we have become widely known and respected by the Division 1 teams and even most of the pro teams (pro teams keep asking us when we are bumping up).

Let me recap the past two seasons for those of you who are unfamiliar with our team.

In 2011 we bumped up from D3 to D1 and picked up two pro players as we were allowed by the rules, Ryan Martin (ex-SD Dynasty, current LA Ironmen) and Steven Lasher (ex-Infamous). We started off the first day of our Division 1 journey in Texas going 0-2, which wasn’t the confidence builder we were looking for.

We turned it around though, and won both matches on Saturday. We moved on into the quarterfinals and won that match to go to the final four. We wound up losing to 187 Crew (current PSP pro team) and took 3rd in our first D1 tournament.

Chicago came around and we went 3-1 in the prelims with our only loss to 187 Crew by one point, 5-4. We lost in the quarterfinals to the Hurricanes in an unbelievable 40-minute overtime.

Then the New Jersey Open came around and it was on our home turf (literally). We picked up Hamen Chapman and grinded it out everyday of the week for the two weeks before the event. We dominated the prelims going 4-0, only losing 2 points. We then won the semifinals match and went on to the finals against 187 Crew.

We lost 3-2 in the down-pouring rain (after dominating them in practice all week).

Then came World Cup. Again, we practiced our ass off to get ready. We dominated the prelims and semis to again meet 187 crew in the finals. Who ever won the match won the event and the series.

The score was 3-2 187 with one minute left. We shot everyone and we were 1 second away from hanging the flag. So overall, 2011 was a successful season, but rife with disappointments and one point losses.

For 2012 we were full of confidence going into the season, being ranked number one, with 187 Crew moving into the Pro ranks (even losing Ryan Martin to the Ironmen).

In Texas, we had a disappointing loss in the final four, as the rain poured down, to the Pirates who wound up winning the event. We then beat Static, 5-0, in the consolation game to take 3rd.

For Phoenix, we were full of excitement, our new players were finally fitting in, and we didn’t have to worry about rain. Like normal, we dominated the prelims then lost to Static in the quarter-finals.

For Chicago, we made some roster adjustments, dropping Alex Young and G-no Benedicto, who we picked up in the beginning of the year, and picked up Alfred De Los Santos and Cyril Akita from Lift (both local to TopGun).

For the first time in a while we lost 2 prelim matches. We then won our quarterfinals match against Fuzion. After that we lost the Final Four match to Grad Moscow, who wound up winning the event. The only good thing from the event is we beat Texas Storm in the third place match, who beat us 5-0 in the prelims.

At the Mid Atlantic Open, against what most people think, we were happy to see it go from Top Gun to OXCC. Now instead of worrying about helping with the event, we only had to drive an hour south with no worries. The day before the tournament we grinded it out with Dynasty, who if you were to ask Ryan Greenspan or Alex Fraige, couldn’t believe we still haven’t won an event (and they were 100% confident that we would win that one).

Again, as it has become standard, we dominated the prelims. But unfortunately, we came up short and lost to Sacramento Damage in the semis, who wound up winning the event. We then took third with Avalanche forfeiting the 3rd place match.

Noticing a pattern?

Going into the PSP World Cup, we are ranked first, even without ever winning an event. There have been a lot of close losses in big games and heartbreak over the past two years, and we’re hoping we can end it at the biggest event.

Over the years we have received a lot of hate, as our players are not all from the same area and did not know each other when we started. But over these two seasons we have become very close and wouldn’t change our way of doing things.

Here’s our 2012 World Cup roster:
Matt Renschler
Nick Hunt
Alvin Johnson
Bryson Smith
Jamie Ezell
Alfred de los Santos
Cyril Akita
Hamen Chapman
Chris Schehr
Steven Lasher
Lance Hardwick

How do you think T1 Top Gun Union will finish at World Cup?

Make sure to mark your calendars and tell your friends about the biggest event of the year, as the 2012 PSP World Cup is brought to you free and live by Paintball Access on Oct 25th -28th.

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  • trinca

    what happened to lance?

    • John

      Lance left the team to play with Indianapolis Mutiny for MAO, he play’s with them on the NPPL Pro squad. He is currently back on T1’s roster for World Cup as per APPA.

  • Tim-njj

    Good article, real classy team. Very consistent which is the ardent thing in sports.

  • carlo gambino

    they need to play bryson more he has been hitting on all cylinders all season and i feel he doesnt get enough reps but hey t1 is good group of guys even if they are from dirty jersey lol good luck at cup T1

  • gogo

    There owner is a dick, and they are gonna get crushed if they go pro. Its a team full of pre-madonnas and kids who think they are entitled to the pro division. Only a third of the team has what it takes to play pro and do well as team players, them being Ezell, Santos, and Chapman. They are essentially a worse version of RNT, who is carried by a few key players.

  • Sgt. York

    little cocky about the pros saying all that stuff blah blah, the rain for an excuse vs. 187. and ya i am noticing a pattern, you havent won an event yet say you should be pro? i liked this team but honestly this article hurts that for me a bit, i dont like when people cant say “they beat us”. always an excuse, just take the losses and move on. good to see them sticking together tho. good luck t1

  • JPJr

    So now that we know T1 Topgun won World Cup and the D1 Series. Did you guys get a chance to catch up with Matt again to fill us all in on the giant gaps of questions. For example, are they going Pro for 2013?