There is no harder paintball test than the professional division of the PSP. The five players who are nominated for Rookie of the Year each deserve praise and recognition for their stellar standout efforts during the 2012 season.
But only one will be awarded the honor, and this is where you come in– you, the fans, will decide who will be the first ever PSP/PBA Rookie of the Year. We will open up the voting November 21st.
Each of the 5 players PBA has nominated could make a claim for this distinction, but it is up you to decided who made the biggest rookie splash in the PSP Pro Division in 2012. Each has a different story, but they all made big impacts with their squads and were huge contributors.
Be a part of paintball history and vote for your favorite player.
Axel Gaudin- Moscow Red Legion
For the past few years, the word coming back from the events in Europe was the Ton Tons, France’s best team, had a new killer in the snake.
His name is Axel Gaudin, and he is indeed, a killer between the nets. Like his teammate Jason Wheeler, the time he spent cultivating his skill at the highest level of play in Europe ended up paying dividends when he took his game to the hardest, most unforgiving division in the world, the PSP professional league.
In his PSP rookie year, Red Legion put Axel to work, as he played 152 points this season, or 58.91% of Red Legion’s total points played.
And he was very successful playing alongside Wheeler, where they did a great job tag- teaming opposing snake players all year long, mostly because Axel has no qualms about pushing forward into guns. In the Russian coaching system he flourished, and is poised to have another great year in 2013.
Axel is a very intense player, who plays with a high level of emotions on the field. This is a double-edge sword for Gaudin; it’s takes a certain level of intensity to do what he does out there, but sometimes his emotions get the best of him and it affects his on-field performance, which was the case at the World Cup. The more he gets his emotions in check, the better he will be, but only to an extent, because you want fire in your front players. To put it bluntly, you have to be slightly crazy to play the 1 Spot (the first player to attack) and play it well. It’s a high risk/high reward position.
Penalties were a slight problem for Gaudin, as he drew six of them this year, which hurt his overall ranking. Though 18th overall isn’t a bad showing in a field this stacked. Take away those penalties, and he would be ranked in the Top Ten. Yes, his teammate, and fellow Rookie of the Year nominee Jason Wheeler, is ranked higher, but it’s because of Axel’s solid play up front that Wheeler was able to have the year he did.
It was tough year for the front players on the snake side of the field, but Gaudin looked like a vet most points. It’s always a tough position to play. The snake is, more often than not, the most important bunker on the field; teams must win the snake battle to win the tournament. Axel excelled even with the technical layouts, and unique bunker configurations.
Check out the stats here and watch all the Moscow Red Legion games On Demand here, then decide for yourself if Axel Gaudin did enough damage to win 2012 Rookie of the Year.
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