The PSP West Coast Open is two short weeks away, August 16th – 18th at the AB Brown Sports Complex in Riverside, California. On the run up to the event PBA will be spotlighting a few of the most dramatic match ups you’ll be able to watch on the Webcast during the preliminary games. This event is very important, because the bottom two teams from the Champions Division will be playing in the Challengers Division for the World Cup, which starts Oct 17th – 20th (sign your team up early at pspevents.com). That is a fate no professional team wants to face, so it’s going to be a crazy event you won’t want to miss.
Here are the first spotlighted games:
Houston Heat vs. Moscow Red Legion
Friday 9:45am – PDT
Moscow Red Legion blazed through the competition in the Challengers Division last event in Chicago. The only team who put up any sort of fight against them was San Jose Royalty, but Legion still took them down in the semi finals and made their way back into the Champions division. Welcoming them back for their first game will be the defending 2012 World Champs, Houston Heat.
Heat looked amazing during their win at the Chicago Open just a month and half ago. Phenomenal work was done on the snake side of the field by Konstantin Fedorov and Sergei Solnyshkov to help them win the event, though the whole team played well. Even though Heat lost Ronnie Dizon and Chad George to injury, players who had been getting the bulk of the playing time as the first attackers in the snake, Heat was still able to win the event. Dizon and George should be back this event, and will be weapons if they play like they did before they got injured.
2012 Rookie of the Year Jason Wheeler, from Red Legion, had said during an interview during the Chicago webcast, that the team getting relegated to the Challengers Division was the best thing to happen to them, because it caused them to refocus. But even though it did help get their squad together, there is no way Red Legion wants to head back there; they want to playing for the win on Sunday, and they most definitely do not want to be in the Challengers division for World Cup.
Making this match even more interesting is the fact that Heat’s core killers, Fedorov, Solnyshkov, and Mikhail Knyazev all came over from Moscow in the beginning of 2012. So don’t kid yourselves, anytime these two teams play each other it will be a grudge match.
On paper, and on the field so far this year, Heat is a much better team, but Moscow has the best record of any team that’s ever played in the PSP; they’ve won ten events, and three PSP World Cup titles. So it’s a battle between the best team historically and the best team currently, and it should be a good one.
San Diego Dynasty vs. Los Angeles Ironmen
Friday -12:45 PDT
Since you’re only as good as your last event, San Diego Dynasty is the second best team in the world right now, as Houston Heat ruined their plans to win three events in a row, but the argument over who’s the best team in paintball rages, as Dynasty is still ranked first, on the back of the two 1st place finishes early in the year.
They’re taking on the Los Angeles Ironmen for their second game of the prelims, and the Ironmen are going through a bit of rough stretch on and off the field. Early in the month, they cut long time pro Justin Schwarz. Then the #1 ranked player in paintball, Marcello Margott broke his hand, and Corey Bornstein quit. They are looking at picking up some younger talent though, and Margott has said he will play through the injury.
The Ironmen have underperformed on the field, at least to their own sky-high standards. They took 6th in Dallas, 4th in Maryland, and 6th again in Chicago. This game against Dynasty is going to be a big test for them. Dynasty has sent them home in the semi finals all year, and they will be very hyped for this match. Can Marcello really play through a broken right hand? Will the new pickups contribute? Can Alex Goldman and Danny Park beat Alex Fraige and 2nd ranked Kyle Spicka on the snake side? Kyle Spicka played with the Ironmen the past few years, and will want to continue to show this new team, and his old team, he’s now one of the best attackers in the game.
Even though the players always say, “It’s just 5 guys with guns at the other end of the field”, the reality of the situation is this is not the case. Not when Dynasty is playing the Ironmen. These two teams have over a decade long, convoluted relationship; they practice each other often, they have the same home field, their players have gone back and forth over the years, they know each others tendencies and weaknesses, and they’re the two best teams ever to come out of California, the Mecca of paintball. Every time they play, they play for a secret title: the best team from California, and they will be playing in front of a lot of friends, family, and local teams. Yes, every game is important at this event, but make no mistake, there’s a lot at stake during this match up.
Mark your calendars for the 4th event of the 2013 PSP season, the PSP West Coast Open, brought to you live from the AB Brown Sports Complex in Riverside, CA, August 16th – 18th, by Paintball Access.
Can Upton 187 Crew and the Ton Tons fight out of the Challengers Division? Will Houston Heat win their second tournament of the year? Can Dynasty make it to the finals 4 events in row? Find out the answers as the best paintball players in the world fight it out at the PSP West Coast Open!