Somewhere over the past several years, our sport has lost something. Now not entirely, as every once in a while we see a glimmer of it on Saturday afternoons during a struggle to make it to Sunday. There are sparks of it usually seen in the D2/D1 levels, shown with teams who have had to overcome financial burdens, school/work/family/relationship obstacles – all to keep their team together. They live like brothers, fight like brothers, and work together like brothers. An event will come along, where everything they have is put on the line and they trust each other, they go for it, they win…. Or they don’t. But you see it then – a glimpse of it. It’s called “heart”. And somewhere along the bright shiny lights of over hyped venues, television pipe dreams, out-of-industry investments, hefty sponsorships and hired guns – we lost it.
This summer, the PSP is bringing the league back to where it all started. Back to it’s roots where teams like Image, the Ironmen and Aftershock showed unbelievable levels of commitment, pride, endurance, spirit and yes, heart. June 24 – 27, 2010 the PSP will be holding the Chicago Open not outside of a large NFL Stadium, not in a tourist-trap or along the beach, but at the original Chicago tournament paintball venue: The Chicago Badlandz.
The event will run in conjunction with Tom Cole’s Ultimate Woodsball League. Tom, legendary for his days with Bad Company, has been bringing camo back and running the UWL at paintball parks – in the woods – for two seasons now. While the PSP event will be held in the open space on RaceTo fields, the UWL portion will take place inside the wooded fields on Saturday and Sunday. When was the last time you witnessed or participated in a woodsball event? You may be surprised at how many of your teammates and peers are playing over there. During down time between your games, be sure to make your way into the woods to either revitalize your days of old or experience woodsball for the first time – either way, you’re sure to be impressed.
In the past couple of years we’ve seen companies disappear, we’ve seen teams fall apart, we’ve seen leagues fail. But we’ve also seen players humbly return to their “family” teams after enjoying a paid ride of being a hired gun by the highest bidder. We’ve seen industry gurus come back to the sport after selling off everything they worked so hard to build, only to start over again fresh and new. We’ve seen this sport suffer along with every other industry due to the current economic conditions, and yet we’ve seen survival. We’ve been reminded of what it is we love about paintball – and it’s pretty simple. We love coming together against the toughest teams in the world and battling it out. With the sport’s #1 reffing crew, the industry’s most seasoned tournament operators and the full support of all the top manufacturers. We love having the paintball magazines and websites document our stories, capture our moments of glory and yes, even our moments of pain.
So this June, lets see who has heart. Who will come purely for the sake of competing against the best teams in the world? Who is dedicated enough to start the weekend full-throttle and see it through to the end? Join Dye, Empire, DXS, Planet Eclipse, RPS, Proto, PbNation, Sup’AirBall, VForce and Virtue in supporting the 2010 PSP Chicago Open at Badlandz Paintball Park. Registration Opens soon at www.PSPevents.com. To become a vendor at this event, email Camille@pspevents.com. For more information on the Ultimate Woodsball League, visit www.playuwl.com. To learn more about the Badlandz Paintball Field, visit www.thebadlandz.com.