Planet Eclipse will soon release their new season of The Roster, starring San Antonio X-Factor. Episode one will premier at the PSP World Cup October 19th, during Saturday’s webcast, just two weeks away.
PBA’s Matty Marshall checks in with one of X-Factor’s best players, Grayson Goff, to talk about the year and their mission to get back to the top of the game.
Heading into World Cup, could you reflect back on the year for us? How do you feel the team has done in living up to the goal of being one of the top teams again?
Little can be said from the outside looking in. We still are struggling to get past that prelims hump. It’s easy to blame it on penalties but we haven’t stepped up to the plate to prove we are one of the tops teams in the league. With that said, from the inside looking out, I feel very positive about the upcoming World Cup. We’ve always had production out of our core group but were looking for others to step up and fill roles where we’ve been weak.
We’ve found solid options on both the dorrito and snake side with Meter (Demetri Ninios) and Skemp (Scott Kemp). Despite the penalties, Meter showed to us this past event he belongs here and is a force to be reckoned with on the snake side. Skemp also stepped up big time in Riverside on the D-side and proved to us why he’s been at this level for so long. With this kind of production, we should be able to fill the gap in the depth of our roster comparative to the other successful pro teams.
Where do you think the team has excelled and where do you think you guys have fallen short? What is it going to take to get another win under your belts?
For a team to win at this level you need depth, and lots of it. Dynasty and Damage have proved that you can’t just rely on the same 5 guys to bail you out point after point. Fatigue sets in and teams adjust to take away your threats. Consistency from our top dog all the way down to our role players is what will bring us our next win. I know this because each tournament we’ve ever won, you could ask anyone on our team who was playing bad and we’d give you this puzzled look and just shrug.
Billy Bernacchia has played pretty good for you guys lately, but you went through a few other guys, and Demetri looks very polished at young age. You could argue the 1 on the snake side is the most important position on the field, talk to us about your struggles trying to find a consistent snake 1.
The whole “Roster” (a film series by Planet Eclipse) production last year was based on that one aspect of our team. We filled that role with Billy but lost it again when Mykel left for the Russians. This year we couldn’t expect Billy to fill the role entirely because of how demanding that position is. We first looked at Zach Wake to help compliment Billy but unfortunately it didn’t work out like we planned. We knew Meter was capable of playing anywhere on the field so he was next up in line. At Riverside, he showed us his willingness to adopt any role we throw at him and create kills out of it. He’ll only be better at Cup and hopefully (knock on wood) with fewer penalties!
Are you guys on the hunt for any additions to the roster for next season, any new talent coming up through the ranks or coming over from another team?
You’ll just have to watch the new season of The Roster to find out the answer to that question. We are always looking for new talent, we have to be, and it’s really interesting how it all shakes out behind the scenes. It’s not always pretty.
I don’t think your skills have peaked yet. How long are you personally going to keep playing?
How old was Todd Hugo when he quit? What’s Dave Baines or Mike Paxson answer to that question? As long as some kid isn’t better than me, then I’ll still be out there with the best of them. As much as I complain about this sport, I love it to death. It really is one of the few times in life where I feel like I belong. It’s silly to think a paint gun game can have that much control over you but we’ve all experienced it. How old were you when you hung up your cleats?
30, but it was hard to walk away from the competitive side of things. It’s a longer story for another interview (laughs)
Now you’re arguably THE voice and face of paintball. The day I quit playing, I’m sure I’ll still be knee deep in paintball spreading the joy and lessons I’ve learned along the way to the next generation.
You’re a really nice guy off the field, but on the field you seem to have a bit of chip on your shoulder, actually that could be said for a lot of guys on your team. Can you explain your metal approach to the game?
I’m one of those people that if you tell me I can’t do something, then I’ll spend the next 12 years of my life proving to you I can. Although no one came out directly and said that to me, I’ve carried that feeling with me a long way. Most people thought my obsession was a joke and wouldn’t amount to anything and I took that to heart. All of us on the team are very driven individuals. Almost anything we choose to do, we usually do very well.
You could probably also contribute it to the paintball environment us Texas kids grew up in. Dusty and Devin played with a guy that got pissed at a local tournament and stood on top of his fancy truck and proceeded to stomp on his hood with medal cleats and shoot himself in the chest with an Autococker. These were the guys who gave us our first welts, so you get the picture.
You guys took 3rd last year, and you had your best event of 2012 at Cup. What should the fans expect from X-Factor during World Cup?
I expect the exact same thing but even better. We all do on X-factor with all that Alex has sacrificed this year.
X-Factor, like a lot of the teams who have been around for a long time, is made up of core group who are the heart and soul of the team. How much longer do you see the core of the team sticking together and fighting to get back on top? Until you guys win another event, until the wheels fall off?
As much as we’d all love to live in this Peter Pan fantasy world, real life catches up with everyone at some point. I have no idea if we’ll lose any core members after this season but I like to think we’ll make the best of it while we are all still together.
Even though Houston Heat has a Texas name and has won 4 of the 9 PSP events they’ve entered, X-Factor is mostly Texas born and bred. Texas teams are having a great year in the Divisional ranks too, and the regional Italy leagues, the PSP affiliates, looks like Texas is coming up. How important is it to you to represent Texas at the pinnacle of the sport?
Texas has always been a hotbed for talent and we’re finally realizing that again as a state. It couldn’t make me happier to see local leagues flourishing and watching players and teams I’ve never heard of dominate the lower divisions. I think the big downturn in the economy really hit Texas hard and left a big gap in skill between guys like me who grew up in the heyday to where we are now.
You definitely have to give some credit to guys like Greg “Do Better” Pauley who came into Texas with GI Sportz and his AC minions. This kind of structure and leadership affects everyone and only increases the level of play across the whole state. With the AXBL and Avid leagues both pulling large amount of local teams, this scene will only get better faster, which is where we originally drew up the talent for X-factor.
Mark your calendars for the biggest tournament in the world, the 2013 PSP World Cup, which takes place at the Fantasy of Flight, in Orlando, Florida. Go to pspevents.com to sign up for the event. The best teams in the world will be fighting across multiple divisions of competition to determine who is the best. Paintball Access will be bringing all the action live, October 18th-20th. Don’t miss it!
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