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The Pro DNA Open Event Recap, First ICPL Affiliate Event finds success in Tennessee!

Updated: Apr 13, 2023

The Pro DNA Open Event Recap, First ICPL Affiliate Event finds success in Tennessee behind strong event management team!

Photo courtesy of @blu_pbsports, Brandon Blu

Article written in partnership with Iconic Paintball, Quinn Nadu

The first affiliate event in ICPL history is over, and after three long days of paintball, Los Angeles Infamous has been crowned the event champion. The Pro DNA Open marked the first multi-division open event since the ICPL’s inception and featured 28 10v10 teams from both the pro and the amateur division of the ICPL. The East Coast also had a major showing with the All Americans and Ground Zero both joining Infamous in the finals to finish 2nd and 3rd overall.

In addition to the 10v10 event, the Pro DNA Open also had a 5v5 format played on Friday. Typically the Open 5v5 Division is used as a warmup to the main event, but the competition was fierce throughout the first day of the event. Among the group of teams, Ground Zero was able to come out on top and win on Friday in the 5v5 Division.

The fields located at The Farm Sports Paintball Park in Shelbyville, Tennessee were purpose-built around the event and played in a unique and exciting way throughout the weekend. Multiple amateur teams were able to emerge from prelims and performed well against professional ranked teams, showing that competition is incredibly healthy across all divisions of the highly contested ICPL ranks.

Jason Hanson from Paintball Events, News, Interviews, and Stories helped to provide some additional insight on the fields at The Farm and how they played out over the weekend at the ICPL’s first affiliate event;

“The Mounds Field may be my favorite mounds layout that I have ever played; it rivals or even surpasses the iconic mounds field at Pittsburgh in my opinion because it's just so big. I absolutely love the size of the field and how it can be won from all levels, center, show-tape, or non-show tape.

The Hyperball Field played well; the gaps and small cracks in the bunkers added another element to consider during games, and eliminations occurred while in the bunkers because of it. Prior to the event, it appeared that the field may have been too minimalistic, but the way it was played was wonderful. It was challenging to make it out to the corners against good break shooters, but all Sunday teams found a way to get out wide.

The Woods Field was a more nuanced field and played to stalemates often. I feel that if it was a little wider and had some more brush it may make it a bit more conventional of a woods field. However, if a team goes in with the attitude and goal to stalemate against a similar skilled team, they’re normally successful regardless. It creates a great canvas for improvement in the future”.

Open 5v5 kicks off the event with fierce competition

Photo courtesy of @blu_pbsports, Brandon Blu

The 5v5 portion of the Pro DNA Open commenced on Friday, and although the field of teams was a bit smaller, the competition was still fierce. Typically, each Classic event in the ICPL utilizes the first day of each event for Open 5v5 with the entire division being completed in one day.

The preliminaries featured seven total teams braving through the edge of a major storm that moved through the area, but the division didn’t lack talent, with some of the leagues premiere pro teams competing.

In a year where Northwest Rogue has so far been the breakout team of the year, they continued their hot start to 2023 with a dominant 6-2 record and sat nearly 100 points above the second place prelims team. The Farm also posted five wins and Ground Zero notched six wins of their own to both secure a spot in the finals alongside Rogue.

The five-man finals would be played on the Hyperball field, and due to the smaller field of teams, the event took the top three teams from the preliminaries and placed them in a three-team round robin with the top scoring team being crowned the event winner.

The first match of finals placed Rogue against GZ; the game started out slow with Ground Zero slowly chipping away at Rogue and pushing the game time to the brink. GZ was able to register a flag pull after eliminating all five Rogue players but ran out of time to hang it, however it was enough to win the game 46-8.

This win would place GZ in control of their own fate heading into the second game against The Farm; if they could simply win the game they would guarantee the event win regardless of the result of The Farm vs. Rogue final game. GZ played a strong game against The Farm, who were playing on their own turf trying to defend their house, however they couldn’t overcome the pro trio of Stephen Omara, Henry Sentz, and Shon Saucedo and lost the game 98-4.

Ground Zero would secure the event win and the last game of the finals between Rogue and The Farm would see Rogue drop the game to the Farm to end up in third place. GZ was happy for the win, but the ICPL Classic events are about more than just the competition, team owner Will Arroyo commented on the friendships behind the series and his teams mantra;

“The GZ Logic is simple; surround the team with like minded killers that are on a mission to win. Then we hit as many events as possible and enjoy the journey to winning, we are all friends, all on a mission, and having fun together on the journey until we win.”

Photo courtesy of @blu_pbsports, Brandon Blu

10v10 event Prelims led by Infamous and GZ in undefeated round

Photo courtesy of @blu_pbsports, Brandon Blu

The 10v10 preliminaries for the event started early on Saturday morning for a field of 28 teams split into two brackets of 14. The top seven scoring teams from each bracket plus one wildcard team would move on to Sunday to play for the event crown.

After winning the 5v5 event on Friday, bracket one was all Ground Zero as only one of two teams to go undefeated in prelims behind a perfect 7-0 record, even scoring a max win to open the event against Veteran Militia. Arguably the tougher of the two brackets in prelims, convincing wins over Rogue and the Saberwolves made GZ look like the team to beat coming out of the opening round. Rogue and KAPP Factory both posted six wins, while the All Americans and Saberwolves earned five wins and enough to make the playoffs. Smoke and Fraction rounded out the rest of the bracket one Sunday class with Fraction sporting a huge upset win over event favorite KAPP Factory.

In the other bracket of the opening round, Los Angeles Infamous earned the only other undefeated record of the Prelims to join GZ as the other top seed. The remainder of bracket two saw a back and forth onslaught between 7 teams all fighting for the other six spots guaranteeing Sunday Playoffs. Farside stalemated just a single game, their only blemish on an otherwise stout five win performance, and the Misfits were close behind with five wins of their own. Surprisingly, pro NXL Team New York Xtreme struggled a bit, dropping three games to limp into Sunday and they were joined by Enemy, Tribe Savages, and the Maple Leaf Chiefs to round out the Sunday class. The Farm squeezed in by just a few points to take the wild card spot, and the final 15 teams would head into the Quarter-Finals in three brackets of three, with the top 6 teams securing a bye into the Semi-Finals round.

Photo courtesy of No Film Productions, Spencer Sunday

Sunday Playoffs Sees Pro and Amateur ICPL Teams Collide

Photo courtesy of @blu_pbsports, Brandon Blu

The Sunday field featured both pro and amateur teams in the quarter-finals all playing their own unique style on the Hyperball field used for the first round. The first bracket would see the Saberwolves go 2-0 to move on behind their ultra-aggressive offensive barrage. Bracket two produced NYX as its winner, just barely squeezing past the Maple Leaf Chiefs to make it in. The final bracket of the Quarter-Finals round was the most contested, with both KAPP and Enemy pulling out convincing wins. However KAPP Factory was able to stalemate their game against The Farm to move on to the Semi-Finals.

In the Semi-Final round on the Mounds field, Ground Zero and the All Americans both went 2-0 to secure their spots in the finals and give the East Coast a strong representation at the Pro DNA Open. Infamous had a tougher road however, facing off against NYX and Rogue in their bracket. After both Infamous and Rogue beat NYX handedly, the third spot in the Finals round would come down to a head-to-head game against Rogue and Los Angeles. The matchup resulted in a dead even 16-16 tie which meant that Infamous would move on due to their higher scoring win against NYX by a mere single point.

Photo courtesy of @blu_pbsports, Brandon Blu

The Finals

With just three teams left standing, the All Americans, Ground Zero, and Los Angeles Infamous, the finals featured three of the best 10v10 teams in the world. In a rare occurrence, all three teams posted a 1-1 record and the winner of the event would come down to the smallest of happenings to crown the champion.

Game one of the finals had the two undefeated teams, Ground Zero and Los Angeles Infamous going head to head with some of the strongest rosters of the tournament. Featuring pro players from multiple NXL teams and some of the games best players, the first game was a back-and-forth match of inches, pushing the game all the way to a stalemate. However, Ground Zero would have the advantage on bodies to take a slight 18-15 lead over Infamous in the opening game.

With the tournament still in anyone's hands to win, Infamous would play their final game against the All Americans in the second match of the finals. Los Angeles knew this was a must win game to keep their hopes alive and they came out with authority, notching a 94-12 win over the All Americans. This would be enough to move Infamous into the first place spot in scoring with just one game left to play in the tournament.

The last match of the finals gave both the All Americans and Ground Zero a chance to win it all. If Ground Zero could earn a win with 92 points or more, or the AA’s with 98 points or more, they could steal the event. Both teams came out postured more defensively, knowing any mistake would mean the end of their hopes to win. With neither team willing to risk a body and the time winding down, the All Americans made a push and nearly took the advantage, but the game was moved to a 21-12 stalemate.

Los Angeles Infamous had done enough to stay ahead and they were named the champion of the Pro DNA Open!

To rewatch 👀 all of the games that were live-streamed 🎥📱 throughout the weekend, please visit the

Sponsor Spotlight: G.I. SPORTZ

The most successful paintballs over the last five years have come from the G.I. Sportz factory; dozens of first place wins and multiple event sweeps has led their 5-Star and Empire Evil brand paint to become the preferred choice of champions across the Major League of Paintball. John Dresser of GI Sportz gave insight to the popularity of their paint;

“There's a reason why most teams choose to shoot G.I. Sportz paint at woodsball events like the ICPL. Part of the fun of mechanical events is shooting super bright paint - like G.I.'s nuclear pink that you can see from space. G.I. Sportz had both pink Evil and orange on-site for the ICPL, so teams got to choose what color they repainted both The Farm's fields and the other teams with.”

At ICPL Classic events, Evil brand of paintballs have been the best selling product since the league's inception, with five seasons of proven track record and first place finishes to back it up. Players around the world can find G.I. Sportz paintballs and other product offerings like their popular Proflex mask line at hundreds of dealers and fields across the country through paintball’s largest distribution network in the World.

Next Stop: Maryland for the ICPL Old Bay Classic (May 19th - 21st)

Photo courtesy of PbScout Photography, Christopher Shenton

With just a short break until the next ICPL event, teams have already begun plans and preparations for the Old Bay Classic hosted by OXCC in Chesapeake City, Maryland. The next stop on the ICPL circuit will take place on May 19th-21st, the third of eight events planned throughout the 2023 year in the classic paintball format. One of the original locations for the ICPL and a field that has been used since the leagues inception, OXCC features a fast playing hyperball field, a unique and iconic trench field, and a looming, large woodsball field. Check back with the @ICPLPaintball social media pages to get all the latest updates heading into event three of the season.

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