Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Show me where the woods are at!

Got a 10 man tournament coming up in February. They only allow one battery per set up (meaning either the loader or gun are battery operated). Buying an SFL from Kid Arch so this should round off the set up...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Don't like our APPA rankings....

...Well then show me yours!

I love how people like to talk trash behind names on the internet. If you had any sack you'd post your name with all the shit you're saying and then we may actually respect what you are saying.

Instead, I'll quickly file you as someone who failed at paintball (and most likely life) and you're jealous of the opportunity these individuals have. I honestly hope you're playing semi-pro so we know who to walk off the field. You say they'll be X-Factor's punching bag? You must be able to relate to that or you'd have no reason to say anything :-)

Please don't let our APPA fool you. Each one of these players was picked up for a reason and they will each prove it throughout this year.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Tryouts are DONE!

Finally it's done. Probably the longest two weekends for me as a player seeing as how I didn't get to all. Not to mention I had to crush some dreams of fellow paintballers, which is no fun to do either. On the other hand, a set of players have now been given the chance I was given about 4 years ago. When I made the team (with my good friend Ryan Brand), we were the 15th and 16th guys on the team. With no chance at a starting spot, our only option that year was to work our ass off and wait for that one opportunity. Mine came in Chicago of that year. I can't even remember why I was put in but I knew I had that one chance to play well or I'd continue to ride the pine. If I made a single mistake that one game, I'd have to wait again til the stars aligned for another chance. I can't remember the exact details but I believe me and Dixon had to pull off a big 2 on 4 against Aftermath. We would go on to win the match and I continued to play for the rest of that tournament and the rest of the year.


Enough of that, now back to the tryouts. We mainly just played games these past two days. The wind really picked up today so we weren't able to play as much as I hoped but we accomplished what we set out to do. Find a group of players I thought would be capable of one day playing pro. I don't look at our semi-pro team as just a semi-pro team, but a group of players that have the potential and the drive to one day play pro. The amount of raw talent on this team is unreal. It's now up to us veteran X-factor guys to groom them into a well oiled machine. So here's the names of ballplayers that have been added to our roster (some have already been in the system but we'll make it official)...

Arnold Haffner
Kevin Lam
Mark Johnson
Shon Saucedo
Derek Knight
Ashton Johnson
Ryan Perez
Trevor Resar
Ross Saunders
Demetri Ninios
Adam Hitchcock
Taylor Kurtz
Jeremy Zimmerman
Jamie Ezell
Mitchell (from Austin)

Congrats guys and see you in two weeks!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

One of the many crazy adventures on the road

Ron the Banana man was confused by the plates of food me and Oliver know what I am saying?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


By far the greatest paintball movie ever and one of my favorite comedies. You can't get a cast like this anymore.

"Let's do some killing, let's get the killing done!"

Monday, January 18, 2010

Which League are you loyal to?

If you follow the ProPaintball chatbox at all, you can see a drastic distinction between PSP followers and NPPL followers. Let us know what you'll be playing this year by voting in the poll above!

You can make mutliple choices too if you're playing more than one!!

Work smart, not hard!

Practice vids I dug up on Youtube

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

About my Blog

As you can see I've already made two recent posts. The three that follow it are from 2007 I believe but we're published on LP back then. They're still good reads though.

As for the most current post and those that will follow. I'll be keeping fans and haters up to date on X-Factor as well as my take on the industry and any late breaking news. I got a flip video camera for X-mas so I should be supplementing articles with videos and pictures too!!

Thanks, and I hope you enjoy!

PSP PHX Layout

I was beginning to wonder how productive our first mandatory (and tryout) would be without an official layout from the PSP but low and behold they get it out right on time.

The first thing I noticed is the seemly new shape of the brick. It looks to me like a lay-down door we use to see in the old NPPL. It also looks like they'll be going with a smaller can this year as well as a larger cake. I'm glad they stuck with the tall mayans though. I guess this many changes is expected as how can we expect Sup'Air to make any money if they don't change the field :-)

With that long snake and the dorritos lined up, this should play really fast. I'm curious though to see how the breakout will work on the dorrito side with just pillars to play for the first few feet. I'm sure the Russians will have all the bounce shots worked out within hours of posting this.

Big S**t Poppin'

Infamous and Aftermath merge? Dynasty shooting eclipse? I thought the world was gonna end in 2012, not 2010. I guess that's how's gonna be from now on never know what to expect.

Regarding Mike Hinman's decision.

Although I'm really surprised he was willing to give up the (pro) aftermath name, this is a real smart move for him. We all know the paint companies are hurting and to merge with a team that will always have a deal helps him out a ton. This wasn't a one side deal at all though. Infamous has been hurting for local players that are young and hungry so this ended up being a perfect match for both of them. Infamous cuts the dead weight while aftermath picks up one of the few big sponsorships left out there. Now with all that backing and a core with a tons of talent, we may see another powerhouse team coming from SoCal.

It will be interesting to see what guns they shoot though. Hinman and Infamous have had a history with eclipse but rumors point to Bob Long picking them up. We'll have to wait to see what the big man says before anything is finalized.

Now that brings us to Dynasty shooting PE. Damn, these guys are about to make the complete circle involving gear and gun sponsorship. Look for them to go for whoever pays the most as they are still flying in guys for practice.

As we get closer to PHX, I'm sure things will really start to unfold. As for us Texans in the X-Factor camp...

We recently held tryouts and have the 2nd run coming up. My first impression was pretty stunned. Texas itself has become so divided as a state paintball wise. If you didn't play paintball in Austin, I really didn't know about you til now. Kids came from all over the state that could play ball that I had never seen before. With this new set of players, we plan on filling our pro ranks and creating a semi-pro X-Factor farm team. We will be making final cuts this weekend, so I should have a list as early as Sunday night or monday so stay tuned!!

The Battle of Rock Hill

X-Factor vs. the World

I feel like ever since we entered this league we’ve taken shit for stepping up from a select group of individuals. A few have given us the respect we deserve considering this team has accomplished what most will never do in an entire lifetime. From D3 to Pro in less than 3 years is almost unheard of. This tournament hopefully showed people we belong at this level and we’re not going anywhere.

X-Factor vs. Legacy

Yet again we found ourselves in what I felt to be another stacked bracket. With recent pick-ups and one of the best coaches behind them, Legacy is always a contender in any tournament. Not to mention they would be coming hot off their win in Huntington Beach. The match would go back and forth for the most part. Lucian was doing serious work in the snake but in the 2nd half we were able to slow him down and capitalize on it. Score 12-7.

X-Factor vs. Baltimore Trauma

Going into MAO, Trauma was ranked 16th seed and in no way is this a 16th place team. Even after suffering some losses of Hamen (before world cup) and Lucian, this team is filled with talent that is hungry to win. With the seasoned players like Tyler Humphrey, Chris Lasoya, and Dave Fason mixed in with a bunch of hungry Gridlock kids; this turns into a dangerous combination especially when you’re playing in their neck of the woods, literally. The match would go back and forth with penalties haunting us the whole way. Trauma would remain in control most of the match and we had trouble mounting any offense especially with the crowd behind them. Score 7-9.

X-Factor vs. LA Ironmen

Coming fresh off their win over the Russians in the LA open, this was the team to beat. Going into Saturday they were undefeated and after losing to Trauma this put us into a must win situation to move on to Sunday. The match would again go point for point with no one really stepping out and taking the lead. With about 8 minutes to go, we received a 5-minute major for an illegal gun. Not only would we have to play 4 on 5, but one of our strongest snake players (Cody Bayless) would also receive an ejection. Down a point at 5-6, we were able to put two more points up on the board and only allow the Ironmen to score once while burning the penalty off. With less than 2 minutes to go and we were able to put one more point up on the board, take the lead, and hold them off for the remaining time. Score 8-7.

On a less serious note, Sean MacDonald head’s was not in the game due to the fact he received the wristwatch from X-Factor’s own Devin O’Dell before the match.

With us winning the match this put the #1 ranked Ironmen in a position where they could miss the Sunday cut if Trauma beat Legacy. With almost the whole Ironmen roster coaching Legacy and some penalty trouble, Trauma would have a hard time gaining any momentum. You could see a visible sigh of relief on all the Ironmen’s faces when it was certain Legacy had the match.


X-Factor vs. LA Infamous

We knew going into Sunday that from here on out it would be a bloodbath. Infamous wouldn’t let us down at all. We practiced these guys a few weeks before the event so both team knew what the other was capable of. After receiving a major in the 4th point we would be fighting an uphill battle of the rest of the way. Keeping the match close, we tied it up with 51 seconds left on the clock. We knew going into the last point we could win it right here or just lock it up if we lost bodies early on. With a few key eliminations off the snake side early in the point, and a big run-thru down the dorito side, we were able to draw a major penalty in the closing seconds and take the match right there with no need to go into overtime. Score 8-7.

X-Factor vs. Dynasty

Our goal as a team coming into MAO was to finish top four, so that allowed us to play this match with nothing to lose. Dynasty was playing well up to this point. I’ve seen them play better considering they were struggling to close out matches against weaker teams, but they were one of the few to win all three prelim games and they convincingly beat a strong Aftershock in the quarterfinals. Despite all that, we all know that Dynasty shows up Sunday to play ball and I’m truly surprised we had such a good showing against them this early in the season. We would have a real rough start going into halftime down 0-5. What worked for us the best was taking the dorito can and locking up snake side. This would help slow down Ryan and Angel on the snake side and allow us to mount our own offense. Our backline would go on to pull off a few big points when we were down on bodies, and it gave us enough momentum through the 2nd half to take the lead and hold it. Score 10-7.

X-Factor vs. Russian Legion

What can I say? Even after losing LA to the Ironmen I knew these guys wouldn’t settle for 2nd place again. They are the strongest team in the league with virtually no weakness. And when one shows up, you better capitalize on it. These guys are in no way invincible, but the fact that most American X-ball organizations have to concentrate on 7-man half the year are really letting the Russians run away with X-ball. I thought we played all right, but a few big mistakes would cost us critical swing points. With only 3 NXL events under our belt leading into MAO, we’re still making D1 mistakes but with time and maturity, we should be able to fill those holes. They would dominate us through the 2nd half and finished us off. Some people thought we gave up and didn’t play the last 1:30 because we didn’t care. Honestly our whole S.A. crew started taking gear off right there so they could make their flight. Trust me, we wanted to play every minute of that match. Score 4-9.


After upsetting Dynasty and the Ironmen the day before, I can truly say I was living a dream. Or even something more. For the past 5 years I’ve been following these teams and the players and looking up to them as my own heroes. When I was given the chance to play on the same field as them, it was a dream come true. When we beat them, well words can’t even explain. I always knew we had the talent and the heart to make it this far but I didn’t think it would happen this early. To play in the finals of an NXL tournament is what any professional paintball player’s life is about. Those 40 minutes is what we all strive to play for. What we all practice for. What we all waste our lives for. And to get to play those 40 minutes means everything. I can say that in the past 2 years, only a select few teams have gotten that chance and I’m proud of my boys for being one of those teams. Can we do it again? I fucking hope so. We’ll be practicing harder than ever so we don’t fall short should we find ourselves there again.

Never bring sand to a beach

So I figured this time I’d go about things a little different. As much as I hate to admit it, X-factor did send two teams. The one everyone got to hear about (S.E. X-factor) was obviously not the one I played on but I was there for all there games so I’ll do my best to cover there story.

S.A. X-factor
Let’s get the embarrassing part out of the way first. S.A. X-factor was last year’s semi-pro team. Although we usually played well through most of the weekend, we usually fell short on Sunday and missed most semi-finals cuts. Despite a rough practice the weekend before the event, we looked forward to this season and our chance to earn a pro spot. The bad practice would end up haunting us on the field. Three games into the prelims, one of our players gets a 6-game suspension for throwing his gun. From then on, walking up with 6 guys, the refs would look at us like we were crazy and then I’d go on the explain that we enjoy X-ball so much we’re playing down a guy. As much as I’d love to blame our poor performance on the fact that we played a man down the whole event, we never played like a unit during any of our games. With everyone playing individually and no team cohesion, you have no chance at performing well in a 7-man event.

With no gap between MAO and the Tampa event, getting in a solid 7-man practice will be tough but I don’t doubt the fact we’ll rebound from this and have a good showing in Tampa if we can work through the kinks in our teamwork.

S.E. X-factor
This team is basically comprised of last year’s D1 team that was unable to finish out the season due to the fact that we bumped up to NXL, and at the same time bumping our status up as well. I was able to captain these guys from Huntington Beach all the way to our win in Boston before we weren’t allowed to play D1 anymore. At that point we were tied for 1st place in series points and after that win in Boston, I believe we would’ve gone on to win the series championship.

Although these guys would have a rough time through the prelims, when it came time to step up and win big games, they did it time and time again on Sunday. What really stood out to me was there ability to win games with there back against the wall. In the quarterfinals, Ryan Brand and Cody Bayless would go to win a huge 2 on 5 and despite not getting the pull or hang, the points from the 7 eliminations would end up giving them the extra edge to beat out Bushwackers who also had two wins. Once they secured there spot in the top four they never let off the gas. They drew Arsenal A-team, one of the most dominating teams in semi-pro last year. Ryan Cohen who had a good weekend so far would go on to single-handily destroy A-team in two games. With Aftermath beating out Elite, old D1 rivals would face off for 1st place and the 10 g’s. Although no one really stood out in there series with aftermath, solid execution and teamwork would let them win two straight and take home the win.

Although a good 7-man team needs to function as one unit to play well, some players step up and will take control of games on there own hand. S.E. X-factor’s success this past weekend was derived from the perfect blend of superstar plays and teamwork to back it up. Congrats to my boys, oh and one more thing: “Big Mike Hinman ain’t nothing to f**k with!”

Live and Die in LA

We fly in late afternoon because most of us flying out of Austin have school or work. This whole “miss 4 school days” every event is killing me. I‘ve been able to keep my grades right above passing but this semester looks likes it’s going to break me. Good thing college professors don’t cross-reference dead relatives because I’m beginning to lose track of how many times my grandparents have died so I could skip out on test and not get in too much trouble. It’s good to see all the guys again, but for the most part, I see them every goddamn weekend when they all come and trash my apartment. Oh and thanks Hamen, my mattress still smells like piss.

Well this is our 3rd NXL event but not much has changed in terms of our first match. We wake up way too early and have to play arguably the best team in the league. With the new merger, this was the first time we didn’t have any paint problems. The match was point for point until we began to pull away making it 7 – 4. Like usual, the Russians made a late 2nd half push and led by one point with less than a minute left. K-Fed made a run-through up the middle and played on with obvious hits, this gave us the point and tied it. With penalties across the board, we pulled out the overtime point and joined the few select teams that have beaten the Russians in the past year.

Our midday game against Detroit Strange was scheduled for today. We started off real hot and built a 4 – 0 lead real quick. Too bad we let strange score 6 unanswered points in the 2nd half. We had a chance to tie it in the last few seconds but ran out of time to hang the flag. This was a tough loss coming off our win against the Russians but Detroit is definitely one of those teams you never want to underestimate or you’ll pay for it. Somebody who really surprised me this event was Dimples. He pulled off a lot of big games for Strange on that dorrito side.

Going into the last day of prelims with one win and one loss always means the same thing, win or go home early. Our division was wide open, whichever two teams won today would advance to the quarters. This schedule is getting all too familiar since we had to play a live or die match against the dogs in LA only a few months ago. This time we came a little more prepared and controlled the match for the most part. Colt was able to do some damage from the dorrito side but the dogs couldn’t mount much offense against us and we held them 9 – 5.

I don’t what our problem is but we can’t seem to draw any other team than the Russians. In the 3 tournaments we’ve played, we’ve faced off against them 5 separate times. At this point, I know each of them individually, I know their favorite color, and I know how they like their Russian coffee. Soon enough I’ll know how to affectively invest in a Russian bank if we play them again. The 1st half of the match started off like our first match with them. The score was 3 – 4 and we we’re ready to start making a 2nd half push. At one point they had a major penalty but we continued to get minors keeping it 4 on 4 for the most part. They would go on to dominate us off the break while going on an 8 – 1 run making final score 4 -12. I got a lot of respect for these guys. They really have turned this into a profession and it shows. They rarely make mistakes and when they do you have to take advantage of it if you plan on winning. After losing, we did the usual. Watch games and gamble away any money we have on us. Thank God I don’t live in Las Vegas.