After smashing their way through prelims in DC, pro paintball team Chicago Legend (official website) powered their way into a nail-biting 1 on 1 final with DC Arsenal to determine the 2011 NPPL DC event champions. With Damian Ryan getting the drop on JRab, Legend earned their first win in the NPPL pro paintball division since joining the league in 2009. I caught up with Dennis Olson in between flights for a quick interview that will give our readers some history and insight into this team that has quietly worked their way into 2nd place overall in the series.
JJ @ PPB: Who is Chicago Legend? Give us a brief history of how your team came to be?
Dennis @ Chicago Legend: Legend was formed back in 2003, we’re actually from Eastern Iowa. Josh, Cliff, Damian, & I have been playing together forever (not to mention Towlie & a bunch of other local friends). The team has been competing in the NPPL from day 1, starting with D-3 and since have worked our way up. Over the years we became very good friends with Ian, Brad, Jerry, & AJ so it was natural that we all would come together eventually. This is a very tight crew.
JJ @ PPB: What do you see as being your team’s strengths that have led to your success this season?
Dennis @ Chicago Legend: I feel like we’re still students of the game, we’re like sponges at events. We all HATE losing with a passion and want to win more than anything. One of the great things about this team is that there is absolutely zero drama, and that enables us to focus on making adjustments & corrections when needed. We’re getting better at doing just that, and it’s showing.
JJ @ PPB: I would like your opinion on the format that the NPPL tested out in the 2011 pro paintball all-star game. Are you in favor of the center flag? Sideline coaching? Race-to format?
Dennis @ Chicago Legend: We tried it with Impact & Mutiny the week prior to the event. Honestly it didn’t do anything for me, but I was open minded about it. After listening to the players the NPPL has realized that we need to go back to the drawing board, and we will. The pro paintball all-star game was just a test, and people’s panties are getting all bunched up. I’m not a fan of center flag myself, this game is not football, soccer, etc. where the ball or flag is the focal point. We have 9 million balls in the air at all times, I like seeing players get their heads blown off. I hate coaching, always have & always will. I feel it takes away the big moves that are the most exciting to watch. Race-to or something like that is interesting, we are toying with it.
JJ @ PPB: What’s the future have in store for Legend? Will we see you guys in 2012?
Dennis @ Chicago Legend: You bet you’re going to see Legend in 2012! We have worked our tails off to get to this level and to have this opportunity, we truly appreciate the chance. I have to say though, we love being off the radar and being the team that no one knows anything about. We have quietly moved into 2nd place in the series points race, and we’re not about to take our foot off the gas pedal now. One thing people should know about Legend is when you line up against us, we’re coming to get you. Make no mistake about it, we are here to win.
JJ @ PPB: A hot topic of discussion is this rumored pro paintball league ‘merger’. What are your thoughts? Is a one league system the future of pro paintball?
Dennis @ Chicago Legend: Hmmm, tough question. I see Pro’s & Con’s. Pro’s being it would be great for sponsors to get behind one league and be able to attend all events. Another would be for field owners to just have one bunker system & format, none of the 50/50 stuff that goes on now. One more would be for the teams to have one format that they can practice and take to any event anytime. I feel these points are truly valid. Con’s being that I do not believe that there will be one format that will truly make every single tournament paintball player happy. For this to happen, all players & teams will have to compromise something. What will that format be? I honestly don’t know at this point, everyone likes so many different things. I like the fact that I can pick & choose what I play or don’t play. In essence, one format would take that away. I’m also not sure that I like the idea of one monster having all the control over players and field owners, that alone could hinder future growth. I’m all about free enterprise. I could be very bias in my answer since I am an owner of the NPPL, but this is much larger than my opinion or any other individual opinion for that matter. We need to have the sport in mind, so there’s lots to think about. Either way, paintball will go on. One thing I do know for sure is that Haters will always Hate no mater what.
JJ @ PPB: Give your sponsors a shout out. Who supports Chicago Legend?
Dennis @ Chicago Legend: Empire Paintball of course!! They’ve been with us from the very beginning, we would not be where we are today without their support. Thank You!! CPX Sports in Joliet IL, our amazing home field. Paul, Mike, & Big Papa are the best!! They’ve always been willing to do whatever it takes to help us succeed, we appreciate their help so much. Thank You!! Check out TAY Products, their new supplement line is second to none in regard to body repair after a workout or a day of paintball. Amazing stuff!! Thanks Pro Paintball, see you at NPPL Las Vegas!!
ProPaintball says: Special thanks to Dennis Olson of Chicago Legend for taking the time to sit down with JJ Roth from Pro Paintball. Chicago Legend is currently ranked #2 in the NPPL Series Championship and we wish the team the best of luck at the Las Vegas season finale. For more information on Chicago Legend, be sure to visit the teams official website at TeamLegend.com.