Category Archives: Breaking News

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PSP Chicago 2013 – Brackets Released

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EVENT TIME! Take a look at the Divisional match-ups below and see all the brackets at this link via APPA: http://www.paintball-players.org/scores/l1/E2640/brackets.html

PROpb will be updated when Pro brackets are announced.. Stay locked into the site for ALL the Chicago coverage you could want this weekend. We’re doing it big! #PSPChicago #PROpb

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Official Press Release: Jacob Edwards Signs w/ Houston Heat

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A quick tidbit from the 2013 revolving door of Pro paintball rosters.. Long time Tampa Bay Damage player Jacob Edwards announced his exit from the team last week, moving on to bring his talents to a squad where they can be better utilized. PROpaintball.com has the official press release from heavy-hitters Houston Heat welcoming Jacob Edwards to the squad. Check it out below..

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Good pickup for HEAT? What kind of a role do you see Edwards taking on field? How do you think he will fit into their roster?

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AKA Media and PROpaintball.com Team Up for Video Coverage

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AKA Media brings divisional paintball into focus.They’ve built a solid following of viewers by churning out footage of PSP and NPPL divisional teams grinding for glory. PROpaintball.com and AKA are teaming up in 2013 to deliver quality content from national and regional events alike. Look for Alex Garcia shooting at MAO and let him know you want some face time!

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Team Destiny and Valken Join Forces for 2013

Team Destiny and Valken have hooked up for the 2013 season, and they’re excited about it. We’ve got the official press release below, filled with details on the sponsorship and information on both team and company. Check it out.

VALKEN IS TEAM DESTINY’S PLATINUM SPONSOR FOR 2013
February 15, 2013 – Swedesboro, NJ

Team Destiny, a highly acclaimed paintball team based in the U.S.A. will be wearing Valken for 2013.  The team will be sporting Valken’s Redemption line of Professional Tournament gear for their matches in the NPPL and PALS along with the V-Tac Zulu scenario equipment for their numerous UWL, Woodsball and tactical events throughout the US and abroad.  Not only will Team Destiny be head to toe in Valken, they have also chosen to shoot the best paintballs the sport has to offer – Valken Redemption Pro!

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“We are excited to be working with Valken who has the best of both worlds for us, the woods and the turf. 2013 is going to be a huge year for Destiny and we are proud to be supported by the best with Valken”, says Kat Secor of Team Destiny.

Andy Potter, National Sales Manager for Valken states, “Destiny Army is going to make a huge push in to the scenario market this year and we invite all players to come out and join them at these events and also join us in the Valken Corps! We are honored to have Team Destiny as part of the Valken family for 2013”.

Team Destiny started out as an all-female paintball team rostering players from all over North America.  Their goal is to not only compete and win in a male dominated sport, but to encourage more female players to consider playing paintball in both the tournament scene and in the scenario world of paintball.  They also have a mission to help charities in need and have supported events such as Christian Lon Charity event and the Jeffery Young’s charity event for The Veterans of Foreign Wars.

For more info on Team Destiny please visit destinypaintball.com and go to their Destiny Paintball Facebook page for current updates.

Valken Sports is a sales, service, manufacturer and distribution company dedicated to serving specific sports communities that has coupled exceptional service with competitive, quality sporting goods. Valken Sports was created to break the stranglehold that mainstream companies had on their dealers and is the manufacturer and exclusive distributor of Redemption, Crusade, Fate and V-TAC lines of high-quality gear. To join the expanding family of fields that have already made the switch to Valken, email Debbie@valken.com

What do you think about the expanding family of Valken teams? Are you Team Destiny’s #1 fan? Let it be heard.

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Interview: Raney Stanczak Discusses Move to Tampa Bay Damage

Pro Paintball caught up with Raney Stanczak for some insight on his recent move to Tampa Bay Damage.

PPB: So the parameters have been made clear, the fine print has been read, and the ink has dried.. Is it a relief to have your plans for 2013 locked down and “in the books”? What kind of a timespan are we talking from proposition to payday? Paint a picture of the process for all the ballers out in internet land who aren’t familiar with working out Pro contracts.

Raney: It’s definitely stressful transitioning from one team to another. Considering and weighing all of your options takes time. It’s a trying process. It’s not a decision you make overnight, so I’m relieved to have everything settled to be locked in with Damage for ’13. I was talking with Mouse during this whole ordeal, getting advice and what not, working towards making my mind up. In the end, I just feel that Tampa Bay is a better fit for me.

PPB: Anybody with an interest in pro sports knows that the golden dollar is the only incentive needed to pull a franchise athlete away from his beloved organization. Unfortunately, Pro paintball players have more to consider than just the size of the check. How big of an influence was your time playing with TBD at NPPL Vegas ’12 in your decision to flip? Did the hiring of Skinny K away from Ironmen seal the deal?

Raney: I actually played two NPPL events with Tampa Bay Damage last season (DC and Vegas), which played a huge part in my decision. I didn’t have to worry about how it would be playing with this group of guys; I knew exactly what I was getting myself into. I feel like those two events went well, even though we didn’t win either of them. I felt like it was easy to play with them and everything just flowed smoothly. I did hurt my knee in Vegas and didn’t play most of the event, but I still felt things went well on a camaraderie level. The hiring of Kevin Bredthauer “SK” was definitely a positive factor influencing my decision to go to Tampa Bay Damage. SK is an extremely intelligent person and a very good coach. SK has a great paintball mind, and has won many tournaments himself as a player. This was just another aspect that made my decision that much easier about jumping to Damage; there were no unknowns I had to worry about.

PPB: As a veteran presence in and recognized face of the SoCal paintball scene, I think a lot of people were shocked to see you walk away from the infamous “Aftermath” line of Ironmen, especially with Mike Hinman as the latest addition to the vintage “equation”. Any trials or tribulations with this aspect of the trade you want to air out?

Raney: Mike Hinman is another great coach that I’ve had the opportunity to play for. I’ve had the pleasure of playing for many great paintball minds and Mike is one of the tops. Mike has helped me a lot in my paintball career and I’m extremely grateful for everything he has done for me. For everyone who knows me, this isn’t my first time leaving the Aftermath “camp”. When I made my first run with Ironmen in 2007, I came from Aftermath along with several other teammates, then shortly after that I quit and went back to Aftermath. These types of things happen; it’s just part of the game.

PPB: Tampa Bay Damage finished 2nd overall in both the PSP and the NPPL in 2012, with plenty of podium finishes between the two leagues. In a recent offseason sound-bite, TBD manager Joey Blute was quoted as saying, “After what we consider a bad season […]” when discussing the 2012 campaign. What kind of pressure to perform do you feel after seeing expectations set at this height? How do you plan to prepare for the remainder of the offseason to meet this challenge for perfection?

Raney: I know Joey holds this team at such high regards, which makes playing for this team that much better. It’s almost like how the Yankee’s expect to win the World Series every year; Tampa Bay Damage expects to win every event. I feel that same way every time I step onto the paintball field.  Pressure can draw the best or the worst out of someone, and I feel like I get the best out of me in these moments. I am super excited and motivated about playing this season. I’ve been doing my part on a personal level to get ready, whether it’s doing drills at Camp Pendleton Paintball Park or riding my cross country bike. I am also flying out to Florida for 2 weekends before the event to practice with the team.

PPB: With all of the recent trade activity around the league, and the implementation of an event-by-event promotion relegation system for the Pro division, there have been rumblings about a potential locked roster regulation being put into effect to prevent mid-season “jumps” by star players who get demoted after a poor team performance. What opinion do you have on this issue as a whole? What kind of new functional responsibilities do you think the [Pro] players would expect from the PSP before submitting to this sort of ruling?

Raney: I know back in the days of the NXL they had rules in place about players leaving and joining other teams. I remember the lower ranked teams would get the first opportunity to pick up these players. Pretty similar to how the NFL has its waiver system . I’m not sure how well this worked, but they [NXL] did have it. I think it is too difficult for paintball to lock rosters. I understand teams don’t want their high profile players jumping ship if they drop down to the Challengers division, or to just leave after a few events because they are struggling. However, in baseball we see this happen all the time. Teams not in contention of making the playoffs will typically trade a talented player to a team in contention, but they do have a trade deadline to abide by. For the league [PSP] to implement a rule of such, I think it would end up causing more headaches and would just hinder the ability of players to play paintball. I could see our young sport eventually making this rule sometime in the future, but right now it just wouldn’t work. Take what happend at World Cup ’12 with Scott Kemp as an example. If a rule of such sort would have been in effect, he would not have been able to even play the event in the Pro Division. Ironmen staff designated him as the 11th guy on the team, basically making him an inactive player. Infamous had a hole in their roster due to the injury of Brad McCurley, so it just made sense for Infamous to fill that gap with another talented player [Skemp].

PPB: Let’s end it with some fun. With such an expansive list of “alumni”, who do you think is the most iconic player to ever pass through the Ironmen program? Who are you most amped to play alongside with on the TBD roster?

Raney: Shane Pestana is a pretty iconic Ironman. Though I didn’t get to watch Shane play in his glory days, I did have the pleasure of being coached by him for a short period of time. When I think of legendary Ironmen, two names come to mind immediately: Billy Wing and Brandon Short. For as long as I can remember, Billy Wing has been on the Ironmen holding it down for them and rocking his famous [mask] visor. Brandon Short is a classic face of the franchise. I know he is on Dynasty now, but I still feel he is iconic Ironmen player.

I’m really looking forward to playing with everyone on Tampa Bay Damage again. Everyone is super talented and extremely good at paintball. They make playing the game really easy and a lot of fun, which is the most important thing for me.

[END]

 

Respect due to Raney for giving ProPaintball the official scoop on the trade. Lots of anticipation to see the final “Damage” product gel on the field and make a run at the season title. What’s everybody thinking? Sound-off and be heard!

Tampa Bay Times Features Alex Spence

Tampa Bay Times Features Alex Spence

The paintball world has proudly stood behind Alex is his fight against Leukemia. The Tampa Bay Times recently featured Spence in this human interest piece and with good reason. Alex has been fighting Leukemia while staying true to the competitive spirit we’ve seen him showcase on the field. Follow his story as the Tampa Bay Times’ Joe Smith highlights and recalls the personal fight Spence had been going through.

This is an article you don’t want to miss- We wish Alex the best this year and look forward to his unshakable spirit and presence on the field as he returns to professional paintball.

http://www.tampabay.com/sports/humaninterest/article1218586.ece

BELLEAIR — The moment Alex Spence got a paintball gun for his 12th birthday, he was hooked.

An “adrenaline junkie,” the Clearwater native has wakeboarded and raced dirt bikes, but paintball became his passion. He played every weekend he could, and, with some buddies, helped start the Tampa Bay Damage, a professional team coming off a world cup victory last season.

Spence, 24, has traveled around the country, as well as overseas, to compete in tournaments. His picture is in trade magazines, and a showcase in his Belleair home is filled with medals and trophies.

Paintball is his life.

“It’s his driving force,” his father, Bob Spence, said. “It’s what keeps him going.”

And paintball is partly what drove Spence to stay alive last year during a recovery from acute myeloid leukemia, a very aggressive form of cancer with a bleak mortality rate. Even with a successful bone marrow transplant in May, Spence had two infections that forced him to learn to walk again.

“Three different times, they gave me less than 10 percent chance of survival,” Spence said. “It was a wild ride. Everything that could go wrong, went wrong.”

But thanks to the support of doctors, family and girlfriend Alexandra Fuller, Spence is back doing what he loves.

This weekend, in Galveston, Texas, he will participate in his first paintball tournament since being declared cancer-free.

“It’s unbelievable,” Bob Spence said. “He had two close brushes with death, and to see him get out, and reach the level he’s reached and dedication he’s shown, it’s inspirational.”

• • •

The warning signs showed up in November 2010. Spence always seemed fatigued and sore but thought it was because of paintball season and his classes at St. Petersburg College.

But when an infection led Spence to get his wisdom teeth taken out in December, and he continued to feel worse, he got checked out at Mease Dunedin Hospital. Lab results revealed he had 96 percent cancer cells.

“We didn’t know anything about (acute myeloid leukemia) at the time, I didn’t know a single person who had cancer or anything,” Spence said. “I had no idea what it was. I was like, ‘Okay, well I’ll stay in the hospital for a few days, get rid of this and get back to life.’ We were in for a shock.”

Dr. Ernesto Ayala, from Tampa’s H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, said Spence’s leukemia was more aggressive because of a chromosome abnormality. “It’s a very poor prognosis,” he said. “The chance of long-term survival is very low, probably 15-20 percent.”

Spence went through two rounds of chemotherapy in the hospital, and his cancer cells decreased to 7 percent. His body took care of the rest, as he was cancer free by February 2011. Fuller, Spence’s girlfriend of four years, never left his side, compiling a book of medical records and pill schedules, communicating with doctors, and often sleeping in his hospital bed.

“Out of the entire ordeal, she probably wasn’t there maybe four nights,” Spence said. “She definitely saved my life.”

• • •

In early March 2011, Spence woke up with a 103-degree fever due to an infection, which temporarily paralyzed him from the waist down. Fuller called Moffitt, which had no beds available, so she drove him to Mease Dunedin Hospital. By the time he got there, Spence’s temperature was 106.1.

Doctors told Fuller that if she had driven the extra 30 miles to Moffitt, he would have died.

“Everything happens for a reason,” she said.

Spence wasn’t out of the woods. Nurses and doctors told Fuller to prepare for the worst, start making arrangements.

All around after Spence moved back to Moffitt, there were reminders of tragedy. Several other patients on his floor — his new friends — had died.

“It was very scary,” Spence said.

Doctors told Fuller one of five things would happen. He could be paralyzed from the neck down. He would have organ failure. He’d suffer brain damage. He could die. Or, as it was put, a miracle could happen.

“Thankfully, it was the miracle,” Fuller said.

Spence was hospitalized for a month, slowly learning how to walk. When he was released, he cleared his mind by taking strolls with his dog, a playful 90-pound Doberman called Dozer, his “pride and joy.”

“He wouldn’t let me die,” Spence said. “Because who else would pet him?”

With no family members a bone marrow match, an out-of-state donor was found for a transplant May 17 at Moffitt. It succeeded — but 20 days later, Spence suffered veno-occlusive disease, a blockage in some small veins in the liver. His liver was failing.

But through weeks of treatment, Spence got better, with Ayala sensing a fighting spirit.

“He has a will,” Ayala said. “He really is a persistent type of person. He would do everything I told him to do. And he has something else, a wonderful person by his side, his girlfriend, she would always be by his side. She is a very special person, and was critical for his recovery.”

• • •

Spence had to spend 100 days in an adjacent hotel after the transplant before going home. The day doctors said Dozer could visit, Fuller rushed home to bathe the brown, boyish Doberman, and brought him back.

When they were five minutes away, Dozer began to bark, and bounced in the backseat. Spence, wearing a surgical mask and hat, was immediately recognized by Dozer, who jumped on him.

“It was the most amazing thing ever,” Fuller said.

In August, Spence was allowed to come home. The leukemia could return, but after being in remission for 14 months there’s a good chance it’s gone, Ayala said.

When Spence was cleared to practice paintball again a couple months ago, he was so happy, he couldn’t sleep the night before. “He had the biggest smile on his face,” Fuller said.

“I felt like I was a kid going to Disney World,” Spence said. “Getting back to paintball is a huge milestone for me. It gives me something to look forward to.”

Spence is thinking about going back to school, possibly studying accounting, like his dad. He’s looking forward to May, when he can find out the identity of the marrow donor. All they know is it’s a woman, and she sent a letter to Spence at the hospital.

“It says, not only did she save his life, he also saved hers in a way,” Fuller said.

But first comes paintball, with Spence joining the Damage’s semipro team for a while until he gets his strength and skills back. Sponsors pay for his team’s equipment and travel, and Spence supplemented his income by running a T-shirt printing business out of his house. Winning teams split cash prizes at tournaments like October’s Paintball Sports Promotion world cup. Back then, Spence could only coach. Now he can play.

“I have to earn my spot back,” he said. “But I think I’ll be okay.”

After what Spence has been through, it’s hard to doubt him.

Joe Smith can be reached at joesmith@tampabay.com.

New Pro paintball team: Houston Heat

Houston Heat announced their entry in the 2012 professional paintball division. The team will be run by Distortion team owner Randy “Sarge” Smith. The team will be sponsored by G.I. Sportz, DLX and Style Supply. The team will be competing in the 2012 PSP Professional division.

According to a news release we received, the official roster is as follows;

  • Konstantin Fedorov
  • Chad “Yaya” Bouchez
  • Ronnie Dizon
  • Mishka Kniazev
  • Sam Monville
  • Nick Slowiak
  • Ryan Smith
  • Sergei Solnishkov
  • Jon “LJ” Woodley

The roster is rock solid and confirms many of our earlier rumors and news articles. Three of the players on this team are being pulled up from Distortion, a division 1 psp team. Congrats to Ryan Smith, Jon “LJ” Woodley, and Ronnie Dizon. The one big question this team raises is the home town; Houston. How does a half Russian, half Chicago team call Texas home? Odd, but stranger things have happened.

 

What are your thoughts on this new paintball team? Are they in the running for the 2012 series championship? Or, will it take several events for them to learn to play together? Share your thoughts!

Pro Paintball welcomes Tippmann Sports

Pro Paintball is proud to welcome Tippmann Sports as a partner for 2012. In addition to developing and manufacturing great paintball gear, Tippmann supports the growth and development of our game via outreach efforts (TryPaintballNow.com) and partnerships (ProPaintball!). Did you know that Tippmann has been involved in the paintball industry for over 25 years? Impressive right?

Support from Tippmann and our other loyal partners helps keep ProPaintball.com running free of charge and funds our continued development. We urge you to visit Tippmann.com, check out their advertisements and keep their products and brands in mind when making your next purchase.

Tippmann Paintball

Tippmann Paintball, 25 years of excellence.

About Tippmann Sports:

As a paintball leader for more than 25 years, Tippmann Sports is dedicated to quality manufacturing as well as advancing paintball technology and design. The company serves the global paintball industry from its headquarters and manufacturing facility in Fort Wayne, Indiana as well as its warehouse in Brussels, Belgium. Tippmann Sports’ complete line of paintball markers and related accessories can be found at paintball stores and fields as well as mass retail and sporting goods outlets throughout the world.

Jeff Stein retires from NE Hurricanes Paintball team

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ProPaintball insiders have been hearing rumors that a transition was in progress for the Hurricanes. Not clear on the details, we called Jeff Stein, Owner/Coach of the Hurricanes for the inside scoop. Stein confirmed the rumors, adding that he was retiring from the Hurricanes, and the Hurricanes name would not be used going forward.

Early this morning Jeff Stein told Pro Paintball,

Effective immediately I have stepped down from owning and operating the Hurricanes paintball team. We have enjoyed a great run and tons of good memories. This change has opened me up to several new opportunities, both in and outside of paintball. I am excited about the future and plan to take my time before committing to anything new.

Paintball continues to be a source great enjoyment for me. I have the field and will enjoy continuing to run it, and have begun playing woodsball at the field – i had forgotten how much fun that was and i’m looking forward to gearing up and getting back into the fun side of this game. Paintball is in my blood and I have no intention of going cold turkey. But after 13 years of running NEH, it was time for a change and time to put more focus on myself, my life and what I need.

Jeff posted a closing statement in his New England Hurricanes forum on PbNation.

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end
Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
I’ll never look into your eyes…again

OK, so it’s a bit melodramatic. Especially that last line. But they were the only song lyrics that seemed to fit.

As I expect everyone (who cares) knows, I have stepped down as the head of the Hurricanes. And as it turns out, the Hurricane name will retire with me.

The Hurricane forum will be closing and moving into the Former Pro Team area.

Remnants of the Hurricanes plan to merge with Avalanche and go forward under that name.

And with that, the end.

To all the people who came to this forum to read and contribute to our conversations – thank you. I have enjoyed having my own little soapbox, and I hope people enjoyed reading it. I always took pride in the level of intelligence displayed in our forum – I often bragged it was the smartest place on PbNation. I don’t know if it had any positive impact on the sport in NE or anywhere else. I used to think so, I’m not so sure anymore. But at least it was fun while it lasted.

To all our fans over the years, all our sponsors, the fields who hosted us, the teams who practiced us and especially the players who represented the team – thank you.

The Hurricanes have been both a successful and long running pro paintball program. While we are sad to see the name retired, it is refreshing to see that the players have found a new home.

From the article it appears as if Stein has a few new paintball related opportunities up his sleeve. Any ideas as to what those are?

 

NPPL Las Vegas Free Paintball Webcast – 2011

Want to watch the webcast? Scroll down – Non-US viewers, click here to view. Looking for scores? Click here.

The NPPL and Youtube / Google have partnered up to broadcast the 2011 NPPL Las Vegas Paintball event. The webcast will be part of Youtube’s new Live! streaming service and available for free viewing.

The NPPL is pleased to announce a new partnership with Youtube and Google. This new partnership will be promoted by Youtube right alongside the NBA and NHL. The NPPL Las Vegas World Paintball Championship will feature the Pros playing live, beginning Friday November 11th at 10:30 am.

Catch all the action Friday, Saturday and Sunday and find out who will take the Pro Championship Cup! The NPPL will be providing top-tier on-field coverage for all the Pro games throughout the weekend. Go to our Youtube Channel or to nppl.com to watch. You don’t want to miss this!

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The 2011 NPPL World Paintball Championships! – November 11th 12th and 13th.

Viva Las Vegas, what better place to host the last event of the NPPL Super 7 World Series. The NPPL welcomes you back to the strip for the third year in a row. The City of Vegas and the Riviera Hotel are excited and ready to have Paintball invade the most famous Strip in the world. Last year Pro Team Tampa Bay Damage dominated the circuit and won the series and the event. This year we have new teams in the hunt such as the DC Champions Chicago Legend and new Pro Team Portland Uprising. It’s anyone’s Series Championship at this point.

The NPPL will be moving the venue closer to the Rivera entrance so players will not have to take the long walk anymore. We will have early registration Wednesday evening inside the Rivera for those who want to get the jump on getting ID cards and wristbands. Make sure to book your rooms at the Host hotel Riviera.

With an anticipated 145 teams there will be three play fields and with each field an experienced NPPL Referee crew headed up by Commissioner Tom Cole. Center court will be filmed for a live YOUTUBE web cast and footage will be used for future TV Programs. There will also be lots of festivities including the third annual NPPL Poker Charity Tournament where the first 32 places will win an official signed East / West All Star Jersey. Remember the players party at the Top of the Riv. The trade show will be packed with sponsors giving year-end deals and showing off 2012 designs. If you are a Paintball Player or fan you do not want to miss out on this years NPPL Las Vegas Super 7 World Series.