NXL Classic Paintball
KAPP Factory nearly perfect in ICPL Old Bay Classic Win behind Forster and Squires
Article written in partnership with Iconic Paintball
The Old Bay Classic hosted by the ICPL in Chesapeake City, Maryland has concluded and the weekend brought good weather, great players, and even better matches. With a diverse mix of over 650 professional and amateur paintball athletes, it was one of the largest 10-man classic events of the 2022 season so far.
As expected, the venue at Outdoor Xtreme CC Paintball Park was immaculate, with well maintained grass and turf playing surfaces, thoughtfully designed field layouts, and exciting gameplay. Brian Barno continues to impress players from all over the country with his World Class parks and athletes were raving about the quality of the park all weekend long.
The Pro Field:
Throughout the preliminary rounds on Friday and Saturday, and the finals on Sunday, the professional division was as competitive as ever. Of course, the ICPL’s premiere pro franchises like KAPP, Infamous, Aftershock, and the All Americans all came to win, but some of the divisions newest members of the pro division like Image and the Golden State Chess Club had strong showings in their rookie season in the ICPL Pro Division.
From the start of the weekend, the uniquely created fields brought a different feel to the pro division. The smaller hyperball field at OXCC and the trench field both demand a creative approach from teams that are traditionally used to the larger and open 10-man fields at other venues. The hyperball field rewarded teams that were aggressive early and could put the pressure on by wrapping at the critical 50 bunkers, and the trench field saw methodically paced play and communication reign supreme.
Bracket One of the prelims had Image post a near perfect record at 7–0-1, with a stalemate against Kapp Factory being the only blemish on their first two days of play. KAPP was also a leader of the pack at 7-1 after dropping just one game to the Saints on a difficult Woodsball field. The other teams in the bracket all struggled and clawed their way to a coveted top 6 spot in the bracket in order to move on to the Sunday playoffs. Los Angeles Infamous and the All Americans, who were both favorites to win the event, posted three losses each but narrowly found their way into the Sunday field. The bracket was rounded out by the Saints, Adrenaline and the newly added Golden State Chess Club.
In Bracket two, Ground Zero Gold and the Misfits were dominant and solidly placed as the top two teams in the division. The Misfits posted a perfect 7-0 record, with a mutually accepted forfeit vs. Aftershock, as both teams had already clinched their playoff spot by their final game of the preliminaries. Chicago Aftershock and Northwest Rogue rounded out the top four of the bracket after both pushing their way to six wins and five wins total. The final two playoff spots in the bracket were tense with four teams all in contention for the two spots heading into the final games of prelims. However, the Annihilators and Fight Club were able to claw their way into Sunday in a bracket that was full of stalemates all weekend long.
The Pro Field Sunday Playoffs:
Photo of Team Image by PbScout Photography | NXL Media
After one of the longest weekends of any ICPL event yet, playing through the first heat wave of the 2022 season, 13 teams stood tall in the pro division all sitting on a fresh record and ready to win the event. Contrary to Xball style of Sunday playoffs, 10-man classic events compete in groups of three team, round robin style during the Sunday playoffs
With the top seven pro teams all receiving a first round bye, the first set of games in the quarter-finals pitted the 8th-13th seed teams against each other with just the top team in each round robin moving on. The first set of games were played by the Saints, Annihilators, and the Golden State Chess Club. The games were played on a stalemate heavy trench field, and with Sunday playoffs bringing a more cautious approach, the highly poised play by the Saints was enough to win both of their games to secure their spot; the experience of Sam Silberg and Kevin Fillers were both critical for the Saints in these two games.
On the other side of the quarter finals, it was a round of stalemates, with Adrenaline, Rogue, and Fight Club locked in an intense game of will, where the smallest mistakes and eliminations made the difference. Adrenaline hung on by a mere four points to win the round and move on to the semi-finals. Although they came up short, the Chris Cole Jr. led Rogue squad looked the part of a solid pro team all weekend long and should have a bright future in the division.
The Pro Semi Finals
While most ICPL events see the final games of Sunday’s playoffs take place on hyperball fields, the Old Bay Classic featured the final two rounds of the pro weekend played on the iconic woodsball field at OXCC. It would truly be a classic finish to a competitive weekend, and ultimately the veteran players with strong roots in the woods were dominant.
The remaining 9 teams in the pro field playoffs were broken up into three round robin groups; the entire field being a who’s who of legendary paintball athletes with some of the games best players over the last 30 years all in attendance.
The first set of games could have been mistaken for a classic battle of the 1990’s with Aftershock, Image, and the All Americans facing off. The games were a tense struggle of some of the games most brilliant strategic minds, scanning for any weakness in their opponents guard. One of the ICPL’s newest pro teams, but no stranger to pro paintball, Image, was able to win both of their games, with a solid win against Aftershock and a narrow stalemate win against the All Americans. The Maliszewski’s continue to lead Image nearly 30 years after the teams formation and their poise on the pro field and strong communication was the key element of success.
In the second set of games, Infamous held off a surging Ground Zero Gold team and simply outmatched the Saints roster with a star-studded lineup led by Travis Lemanski and Ryan Brand. Ground Zero was no easy game, as Baltimore Revo NXL star athletes Henry Sentz and Chris Schehr made every effort to keep the GZ playoff hopes alive after a win against the Saints. GZ Gold’s Shon Saucedo was playing at an MVP level all weekend and would have been our pick had they made the finals. But, their last second push against Infamous wasn’t enough to break the ultra-experienced backline of LA, and they dropped a stalemate game in the woods to be eliminated from the event.
The third bracket of the semi-finals would generate the last of three teams of the finals and it was a no-contest bracket in a dominant round from KAPP Factory. While most teams struggled to find wins on the woodsball field, KAPP posted two wins against the Misfits and Adrenaline behind a strategic masterpiece planned by Rodney Squires and Glenn Forster. After the last few seasons, the argument can be made that the pairing may be the most dominant duo in all of classic paintball.
Photo of KAPP Factory by PbScout Photography | NXL Media
Photo of Los Angeles Infamous by PbScout Photography | NXL Media
The finals matchup with Image, KAPP Factory, and Infamous produced a generational level battle, with some of history’s dominant teams from the 1990s, the 2000s, and the 2010s all matching up to fight for the ICPL Old Bay Classic Crown on the woodsball field. Game one saw Infamous and Image pushed to an even 10-10 stalemate match, which would mean if either team could score a solid win in their second game, the event was theirs. A game two tie between KAPP and Image at 19-19 effectively ended Image's chance to win the event, with the final game between KAPP and Infamous being the deciding matchup of the event; whoever won the last game would go home as the event champion.
The game started out with both teams quickly taking ground on the high side tape, but soon devolved into a dug-in battle of wills.; both sides looked for openings, ready to strike at any mistake. However, with so much on the line and the event crown weighing heavy over the slowly darkening woods, neither team was willing to take big risks. After a slow game at the edge of a fading sun, KAPP was able to eliminate one more player than Infamous, giving them a slight scoring advantage and securing the event victory.
Quinn @ IconicPaintball.com Pick for Event MVP:
Glenn Forster and Rodney Squires, Co-MVP.
For KAPP Factory at the ICPL Old Bay Classic, they were near perfect throughout three days of play and much of that was thanks to the brilliance both on and off the field from Forster and Squires. Both players were critical in breaking down the field and formulating winning strategies at OXCC and their on field contributions for a roster that had a bit of instability leading into the event was key. The trench field especially at OX can be a hard layout to crack and KAPP was one of the few teams to win all of their games on the unique field behind Glenn and Rodney.
Amateur Division Winner: FRACTION
Photos of Fraction by PbScout Photography | NXL Media
In the amateur division over the last season, Fraction has been on the cusp of winning an event, seeing the Sunday finals field at the past three events and placing in the Top 6 each time. In a division that is filled with talented players, some even current NXL pro’s, it is no easy task to win the amateur crown, and Fraction was able to do so with a balanced offense based around their years of familiarity playing with each other, and a little help from NXL Pro Zak Frese.
Coming in second place in the amateur division was Hydra.Fit out of Paintball Fit in Texas, and the finals field was rounded out with Valhalla in third place.
To view all of the event scores and more: CLICK HERE
Next Stop, London!
The next event of the 2022 ICPL circuit will see players travel to London, England to compete in the expanded international event season that is new for 2022. The tournament stretching outside of the USA is one of the first of its kind for classic paintball, and will make the ICPL a true international competition of the best teams in the World.
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