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PSP Galveston Island
March 11-13, 2011 - Galveston Island, TX
5D1 First Place - Total Karnage Orlando
Texas is no stranger to tournament paintball. Its strong history with leagues like the TCC and GTS, and the Dallas Open and Texas Open tournaments make the Lone Star State a natural place to kick of the 2011 PSP pro/am paintball season. This year PSP Events kicked off their annual series in an all new location, Galveston Island. A beachfront tourism oriented community, Galveston Island welcomed paintballers with open arms.
Consisting with the dwindling tournament paintball scene, the Galveston Island tournament was a 3 day event, not 4 days as in years past. PSP introduced a number of minor format changes for the new season, changing to keep pace with the needs of those determined to keep the spirit of competition alive by competing in top level events. Preliminary games started Friday morning and played on into the weekend.
The starting level in PSP, is Race to 2, akin to traditional 5-man paintball, with teams playing each other for the best 2 out of 3 games, racking up points for every win. Thirty-five teams faced off in groups of 5 in the preliminary round, playing up to 12 games each (match ups with the four other teams from their group). An ocho-final knock-out round took the top 16 teams (ranked by their victories with various tie-breakers including how quickly they won) and cut them in half to the quarter finals that did the same thing in a very simple win-or-go-home elimination format. The top four teams played a semi-final round where they were ranked for the finals win which Avid Extreme Sports Militia - a the top ranked team which lost only one game in the preliminary round - came in first place.
Race to 2 was also played by Division III ranked teams, with 17 teams competing. This division took its top 8 teams from the prelims straight to quarterfinals, with the quarterfinal winners playing in the semis and finals where LA SWAT came out on top.
Moving up the ladder, the Race to 4 competition with Division IV teams breaks teams into the tougher endurance of X-Ball style play, with both teams on the field until one has earned four points, or the clock has run out. This division drew 9 teams that played four games each in their preliminary round. The top four teams moved on to the semifinals, ranked strongest against weakest, and then all four advanced to the finals where the semifinal winners played each other for first and second place, and the losers played for third and fourth. MOmentum beat OUTBREAK TX for third place, and Richmond United bested Central Florida Paintball for second.
Division 3's Race to 4 competition was a little more heated, with 28 teams taking to the field for four games each in the preliminary round. While the top four got to move straight to the quarterfinal round, the next 8 teams played a single game each in the ocho-finals, the winners of which moved up into the single game quarterfinals, where the winning teams moved on to the semis and finals. In the end, PR1ME finished third place by defeating Detroit Action 4 to 3, and Revo finished first be beating LA Heat 4 to 0.
Division 2 played a Race to 5, angling for 5 points to win a game. D2 drew out 15 teams, which split neatly into 3 groups of 5 for their preliminary round, playing 4 games each. The top two teams went straight to the semifinals, while the next four teams played a quarter-final knock-out game to see who would face them. The semifinals ranked the final four for the finals where Distortion fell to DC Monstars 3 to 4 and Grad ran down the clock, defeating Static 3 to 2.
Division 1, the highest level in PSP before going pro, drew out 12 teams to play RaceTo 5. Like D2, the D1 teams sent their top two from the preliminary round straight to the semifinals, guaranteeing them a final four finish. The third through 6th ranked teams played one game each, with the winners moving on to joining the top 2 in the semis. In the finals T1 Topgun Union shut down HuSTLe 5 to 0 for third place, while Total Karnage Orlando beat upTon 187 cRew 5 to 1 for first place.
Despite the shrinking paintball industry and tournament scene, the PSP series still boasts a compliment of 10 professional teams to play in the Race To 7 format. These teams played only 4 games each in their preliminary round, in two groups. The top four were advanced straight to semifinals. In the finals, it was a power-house red versus blue match-up between Boston Red Legion and Dynasty. The game went to Dynasty 7 to 2, crowning them as the first pro victors in the US for 2011.
While the PSP series has contracted from once having as many as 6 events in a season, and usually 5, this year's line-up of 5 tournaments is still up in the air, only the World Cup season finale being scheduled so far. Tentatively the next PSP tournament will be held in early June at a yet to be determined location.
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