June 26, 2005
Chicago PSP, MN Style
highly anticipated Chicago event of the PSP proved to be a hot one. With
temperatures reaching into the high 90’s and the sun blazing down
Minnesota players took to the field. The event layout consisted of seven
Xball fields and one NXL field. The location of the event was adjacent
to a water park in the suburbs of Chicago, which caught the eyes of many
overheated onlookers. One of the downfalls of the event was parking.
Players were told that parking would be free, yet the park district
charged $5 per vehicle. While there may have been ample parking, water
was a hot commodity. With such high temperatures everyone needed water,
especially the participating athletes who should have been provided with
a free supply.
With the Chicago event so close to home many local teams ventured off to
try their luck at the PSP. In Division III 5man Team Magnum, God Squad,
and Superior Firepower all went to see how they would fair against the
other 5man teams. With so many teams competing, the cut was high.
Superior Fire came out with 318 points winning 3 games and placing 63rd
overall. Team Magnum lost their first 3 games but went on to win their
last 5 receiving an overall score of 488 points and 31st place. God
Squad faired the best out of the Minnesota teams winning 5 games, and
receiving 488 points and taking 30th place overall.
In Division II 5man the regulars, Team Splatball, and new comers, St.
Croix Paintball Supply. St. Croix Paintball Supply tried their best in
the competition but came up short winning only one game and receiving
144 points and 29th place. One of the better teams around Minnesota,
Team Splatball, won 5 games yet still fell short in advancing into
semis. In the end, Splatball came out with 488 points and took 14th
place, which is rather unusual for teams ranked 1st in the season’s
This year the PSP introduced the Young Gunz category for players younger
than 15 years of age. Led by Captain Jake “Hiphop” Engelen, the Love
Crew took it to the rest of the teams dropping only one game during
prelims. After prelims were over, Love Crew was sitting in first with
590 points going into finals. During finals Love Crew won their first
two games but dropped one to Explicit Content Kidz and were edged out of
1st and were forced took home the 2nd place prize.
Division III Xball was packed with new-coming teams testing themselves
to see at the National level. Included was Zero, formerly FSL factory
who brought along veteran Minnesota players Tim Schroepfer, Mike
Randall, and Matt Davidson to help them along the way. Zero was taking
it to the competition all event winning their first game over Team
Never, 7 - 5. They hit a road block against Ultimate Kidz loosing 6 – 8,
but bounced right back, tromping No Excuses 13-1. Friday showed Zero up
against an experienced Pinnacle Woods team, but this would not stop them
as they won decisively 8 – 5. Later that day Zero again took it to Team
Mutiny winning 8 – 2. It looked as if Zero was going to win the event;
however the heat and constant playing everyday took its toll as they
were outplayed by the Naughty Leprechauns, 12 – 5.
Division II Xball proved to be a tough one for our Minnesota teams. On
Thursday, Northside lost over a great division II team Rock-It-Kids 6 –
9. This was a hard fought battle, but the Rock-It-Kids had their stuff
together and pulled the win in the end. The ICU Rattlesnakes were also
in full effect at Chicago with several Minnesota locals including Nate
Boyer, Ian Selleck, Jason Calef, and Damian Ryan. They consequently won
their first two games on Thursday by good margins. Team Disaster also
showed signs on Minnesota pride as Aaron “Wuzzum” Bruss and Lance Lynard
guest starred for the team. However Thursday took a turn as the team
fell to Team Panic, 4 – 10. As Friday rolled around, Northside got
nasty, taking out their loss from Rock-It-Kids on team Aftermath winning
13 – 5. Disaster got their things together and edged out the Cincinnati
AllStars 8 -4. Northside’s third game was a face-off against New Jersey
Jesters. The game was a battle that went back and forth and finally to
the Jesters. The final score: Northside 5, New Jersey Jesters 6.
“Wuzzum” and the Lynard boys couldn’t help Team Disaster enough and they
lost in a close game to the Spent Allstars 8 – 9. Both Northside and
Disaster were out in three.
The only Divisional team to still be playing by Saturday was Division II
team ICU Rattlesnakes. ICU beat the favored PunishersPB.com team in a
close match after PunishersPB.com got a 5 minute penalty. ICU walked
away with the win 10 - 6. Later ICU faced Team Panic and edged them out
Sunday is the day every team hopes to make it to and ICU Rattlesnake
delivered. Early Sunday they matched up against the favored team to win
the event; Team LTZ. LTZ is a well-coached and funded team that has been
on a hot steak winning most of their divisional games and events.
Minnesota baller, Kaarin Schroepfer, made the team even more exciting to
watch. This was a hard fought battle, but it gave ICU their first loss
of the event 6 – 9 and put LTZ in the driver’s seat to see who they
would play for the final match. Meanwhile Team Xtreme faced off against
ICU to see who would play LTZ for the final match. This looked to be no
contest as ICU established their presence and beat Team Xtreme 10 – 4.
The final game came down to LTZ vs. ICU, from the get go it looked as if
ICU was worn out, rightfully so as this was their third game of the day.
They also lost Nate Boyer early on in the event due to a knee injury.
After the dusk settled ICU was given a lesson in how to ball on Sunday
loosing 9 – 1.
At the same time as divisional and 5man play 3 Minnesota players were
competing in the NXL league. Pat Roberts and Todd Hugo of the Philly
Americans and Aaron Tholey of Miami Effect were battling other elite
members of the NXL throughout the weekend. Thursday Philly lost to
Boston 3 – 16 and Miami lost to New York 5 – 13. Friday saw Philly face
off against Chicago in a close clash, but Shock came away with the
victory winning 8 – 7. Miami had lots of trouble with the Ironmen
loosing 16 – 4. Saturday saw Philly lose to Oakland 4 – 13 while Miami
went head-to-head with Boston. This was a royal beat down with Legion
winning 16 – 3. Finally, just before Sunday’s match up, Miami Effect
underwent a roster change as Aaron Tholey and Ryan Moorehead were traded
to the Philly Americans. Miami added previous Philly players J.T.
Bouchard, Caleb Adcock, Jason Green, B.J. Jolley and Tim Jenkins. A huge
trade, the Gardner brothers were obviously up to something. Immediately
following the trade Miami faced off against Oakland, but lost 4 – 9. On
the other side of the trade, Philly went on and beat on Legacy 8 – 6.
With this trade taking place, all of a sudden all of the Minnesota
Professional NXL players play for the same team (Philadelphia
Americans). This should give everyone back here in Lumberjack land a
team to love (or hate) in the NXL.
Overall the PSP Chicago Open was held on a great venue, had over 200
teams competing from all over the world & was a true test of athleticism
with the heat index nearly reaching 110 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have
not attended a national event I would highly recommend it not just to
see the best of the best competing but to also visit all the vendors
from every major paintball company.
Here is a link to the PSP website if you are looking for more
information on the PSP.
This is Aaron “ LumberJack” Tholey reporting on the PSP Chicago Open
2005 with nothing but hATe.
For more information on our contributing writer Aaron Tholey please
See pictures from
the 2005 PSP Chicago Open
from Aaron on MNpig.com