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Campaign Cup 2000
Avalanche & Rushers take first place

The Millenium series is proving to be something special this year and continued in fine form at the Campaign Cup. The mud bath that resulted after Mayhem led the Campaign Cup’s organiser Niall Squires to find a new venue, and wow what a venue. This years Cup was hosted at the rugby fields of London’s metropolitan police, this meant that showers, decent toilets and changing facilities were available to the teams. There were six impressive fields, two fields in a large arena with covered seating and four fields on the outer playing pitches. The whole event was set in beautiful countryside and along the side of a river. The layout of the trade stands being along the side of the river and at the edge of the main arena fields. The whole layout made for a very festival like atmosphere and players and spectators could get round almost all sides of the fields to watch the play or sit on the grass and enjoy the weather. What would Campaign be without a thunderstorm? Sunshine on Saturday morning for the first set of prelims gave way to some thunderstorms for the afternoons prelim sessions. But after the gray clouds moved on fantastic sunshine (for the UK anyway) broke out for the rest of the event.

The Campaign Cup is crowded into just two days. So on the first day everyone plays five prelim games before a re-seeding takes place and then some teams play the more of their prelim games that day. The Sunday then hosts the rest of the prelims and the semi finals and the finals. This makes a very compact schedule and thus the requirement for 6 fields to be in operation. Air had been a worry as the French Blockade at the ports had meant the intended air System could not make it over in time from Paris, but Douggie Setters stepped in to save the day and ran the air system faultlessly ensuring the smooth operation of the tournament.

Reffing, conducted by Hellwood, Banzai Bandits, Pornstars Daltons and other European teams (sorry to any I forgot!), was very impressive this year and I got to see both sides having been invited to play for Team Bravo as well as taking pictures and reporting. Bravo TV a European satellite/cable channel had put a presenter onto a team in the novice division and was covering it for a soon to be scheduled TV program. This meant their gallant presenter, Jason Bradbury was followed on field by a camera man and sound man, who not only gave his position away nicely to the opposition but whom also got shot to pieces in the process. The rest of the team also had the opportunities to wear helmet and gun cams to add to the action sequences. The resulting footage should help to promote paintball in a positive light around Europe, where often paintball isn’t as accepted as it could be. And I will keep you posted as to when it will be airing (not least because I was one of the team Bravo players and everyone wants their 15mins of fame ? 

Many Companies were evident at the trade stands, WDP was showing the Angel air. JJ Brookshire was over guesting for Bad Company and using the E-mag. AGD Europe had the E-mag and warpfeed on show and in use by Storm. Smart Parts were showing off their impulse and new ‘freak’ barrel that looks very promising and was in use by the Rushers. Also Pro Concept Paintball was showing their Tribal paintball markers as well as a new budget electro and a fantastic looking new electronic grip frame for spyders, piranhas, mags and RT’s etc that looks set to be priced extremely competitively and get everybody upgrading their ‘old faithful’ markers to electro performance.

Two teams, Lockout and Avalanche, who had an uncharacteristic slow start, made it over from the USA and all of Europe’s Top teams were in attendance. Russian Legion made it over from Moscow and amazed everyone with their paintball. These guys have apparently been training three times a week and it showed, they were on form! Russian legion made first Pro in the prelims and wowed the crowds with some fantastic displays of skill, most noticeably when on field two their snake crawler worked it brilliantly to take two players with just two paintballs, great skill that was cheered by all in the crowd. The language barrier aside these guys are becoming a great success story of the Millennium series and many feel that if (when?) they make it over to the USA they will wake up quite a few teams with their aggressive, thinking style of play.

It was a real addition to this years tournament that there was a novice division included, this allowed many teams that would normally just expect the event to be a major learning exercise to actually have something to shoot for. 6E chicks, an all girl team, came down from Newcastle and in what was only their third tournament proved to be quite a team, they even caused top UK pro team Shockwave to falter by taking out four of Shockwave before their eventually succumbed to the pro’s. The novice bracket meant that just by winning their two games against the other novices in their divisions the teams were in with a chance of making the novice finals, much to the surprise of some of the teams that did make the semi’s. Escaramouche from Ireland and Bravo both made it to their surprise and enjoyment. It was eventually won by Metralhas from Portugal, closely followed by Adrenaline then Dark Angels and Thunder.

The amateur series has been very closely contended so far this year, and the Rushers who have always looked good but never quite grabbed a first place (narrowly missing out in Sweden) came of age and played good technoball to take the first place title. Estratego who have also been playing well this year were pushed into third place by Endurance who have always played hard and deserved their second place. Ignition the new boys from Sweden certainly have some flair but this time had to contend with a fourth place in the finals.

The pro bracket was made up of Avalanche, Russian legion, Ugly Ducklings and Camp Tigers. A tough bracket made for some great games. Chris Lasoya was making some excellent breaks down the centre of field two taking one team after another by surprise and cracking the games open. Avalanche won the first two final games and looked set to win all their finals and run home with yet another trophy. They needed to eliminate six players in their last game against Russian legion and only just pulled it off as one of the most exciting and tough games played out. Avalanche moved up the field and looked to be in a commanding position, but then as the dust settled on some frenzied play it was down to two Avalanche players on One Russian Legion player. Unfortunately for Avalanche, Travis Lemanski’s gun had been down for several minutes and the Russian player snap shot the other ‘lanche player out. It took several moments for the Final Russian to realise that Travis wasn’t shooting paint before a chase around Travis’s bunker ensued which could only go one way. The sole Russian player left on the field then took the flag home for the win to rapturous applause from the crowds. But as it was a sole Russian left Avalanche had their six players and had done enough to take the Campaign Cup and their fifth tournament victory in a row, an outstanding feat by any standards. Ugly ducklings took second and Russian Legion a third place that I believe is just the start of things to come. Camp Tigers had a hard time in the finals but still got the useful fourth place points.

A fantastic tournament atmosphere made this Campaign Cup one to remember and is a great credit to the Millenium series and Niall Squires the promoter. It certainly shows how this series is looking to the future and bringing paintball into the new Millenium.

Simon ‘manike’ Stevens
 


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