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2010 Mid Atlantic Open
First Place Pro - Boston Red Legion
For 2010, the Mid Atlantic Open returned to its more established timeframe - end of summer, in contrast to its April scheduling in 2009. Following the Chicago Open, the MAO is the third PSP tournament of the year. Like the NPPL which has followed its lead, Paintball Sports Promotions has dealt in part with the decline in national tournament attendance by reducing the number of tournaments held each year from 5 to 4. The Mid Atlantic Open will be followed by the PSP Finale, the Paintball World Cup in October. The PSP also worked to bring more people out to the event by matching the usually free parking and trade show access with free admission to their grandstands to watch professional games.
For five years running the Mid Atlantic Open has been held at Paintball Central in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Easily accessible from both the southeast and the northeast, Paintball Central is a field guided into being by professional paintball player Rob Staudinger. Although it has wooded fields, it was designed with top level tournament play in mid. Fully netted X-Ball fields are laid out on level grass, right on a main highway.
The entry level for the tournament was Division IV 5-man competition, a step below what used to be known as rookie, with the added twist that teams played for the best two out of three games, not just a single 5-man game, giving the format a bit more of an X-Ball feel. 18 teams turned out for D-IV. Through the preliminary rounds they played a total of 12 games each (4 pairings of best two out of three), and then were ranked by their total scores, the top 8 teams advancing to the quarterfinals. In the quarters each team had a single-match - win or go home. This narrowed the field to the four semifinalists who played highest rank against lowest, winners moving on to the first place finals and losers competing for third. In the finals Richmond Rage beat XCAVATORS back to back for third place, while Atlanta Breakout was victorious over Wreckage Krew for first place.
Division III 5-man was a smaller crew, with 10 teams competing. They also played 12 games with a tougher cut. With the smaller division there were no quarter finals, so the top four teams went straight to the semis and then the finals where MLP grabbed third place over Last Call and Golden State Pirates defeated Detroit Action for first place.
Division IV X-Ball was a sign of how the world of tournament paintball has slowed. Seven teams made it out to the MAO, fighting for four slots in the semis and finals with just four games in their preliminary round. Divisions 3 and 4 played a race-to-4 format X-Ball game, with the game ending when a team achieves their fourth flag hang, or the time runs out, giving victory to the team with the highest score. In the finals NJ Jesters took third place with a 4 to 3 victory over Goon Squad and Avarice fell to first place Annihilators EDGE 4 to 0.
Division III had a larger field of competitors with 24 teams playing in four groups of 6. Each team played 4 game and was ranked for advancement into the quarterfinal knock-out round. Twelve teams played the quarterfinals, two games each and the top four moved up to the semifinals and finals. After re-ranking in the semis, the NCPA All-Stars gave it the old college try, besting the underdogs 4-2 for third place. D.C. Monstars grabbed the first place trophy from Boom II with a 1-0 game.
In Division II, the stakes were higher and the wins harder, as the format stepped up to a race to 5 points. Here 18 teams played a 4-game preliminary round shooting for 6 positions in the quarterfinals. Two games for each team found and eliminated the two lowest ranked teams while the victors went on to the semifinals and finals. After re-ranking in the semis, Mirabel Impact edged out Senate by a single point to grab third place while upTon 187 cRew did the same to Arsenal Predators for first.
Division I has always been an oddly small niche in X-Ball. Most teams fight it out in the lower levels expecting easier competition, but D-I has the toughest amateur teams, typically those bucking for a chance to plan in the ironically larger pro division. Eight D-I teams made it out to Paintball Central, playing four games in their preliminary round. LIFT, X-Factor II, Wolfpack and Adrenalin Army ended the round in the bottom half, ending their journey toward the MAO podium. After the semis, the Hurricanes took down New Jersey Jesters 5 to 1 for third place, and Chattanooga CEP defeated Total Karnage Orlando 3 to 1 when the clock wound down, securing the first place trophy.
Twelve pro teams took to the fields in the prelims, playing four games each in their race to 7 points. Boston Red Legion was the leader from the get-go. They came out of the gates taking down Aftershock 7 to 3, Vicious 7 to 2, Edmonton Impact 7 to 1, and Entourage 7 to 3. Legion was the only team to make it through the round without losing a single game. Tampa Bay Damage was next in line with a single loss, followed by Entourage which also had a loss, but not as high of a point total. Los Angeles Ironmen were the only other team to get through with a single loss. This was in contrast to bottom ranked X-Factor, which did not manage to win a game at the tournament, or Sacramento XSV, LA Infamous and Chicago Aftershock, which each won just one game. The pro quarterfinals consisted of four teams playing one game each. Legion and Damage had secured their spot in the semis and finals, but Impact, Damage, Aftermath and Entourage had to duke it out to see who would join them. The wins went to San Diego Aftermath, 7 to 5 over Entourage and Edmonton Impact, 7 to 3 over Tampa Bay Damage.
In the semifinals Boston Red Legion took down San Diego Aftermath 7 to 4, and Edmonton Impact was victorious over the Los Angeles Ironmen 7 to 6. These losing teams were then paired in the finals, where Aftermath grabbed third place with a 7 to 2 victory over the Ironmen - SKW! The game for the title saw Boston Red Legion beating Edmonton Impact 7 to 2.
Completing the entire tournament without losing a single game, Legion is back on form. Their next stop to defend their position will be at the 2010 Paintball World Cup in October at the Fantasy of Flight in Polk City, Florida. World Cup is double the contest, as teams will be battling for the honor of winning what is arguably the world's most famous paintball tournament, as well as making their last chance for ranking points in the season long fight for the PSP series championships.
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