This past weekend, Utah saw it’s first of what I hope will be many of a new type of major paintball event. SpecOps hosted their first “Elite Weekend”. This event brought in players from all over the country who attended for special access to clinics taught by the top names in paintball, as well as sneak peeks into new at upcoming equipment.
Regular attendees received customized equipment packages, featuring the new Tippman X7, custom camo, vests, masks and more. They attended classes based on playing positions, and were given a chance to practice in various scenarios.
So, what did I do with it? Well, since SpecOps is a one of our sponsors, and it was home, Team DesertEdge invited to help Ref, as well as provide specialized OpFor (Opposing Forces) during the various events.
On Friday night, after reffing the SPPL format game, I helped defend a small fixed position with a couple teammates against squads who would attack with superior numbers, as well as night vision. While setup largely to provide a somewhat easy-to-overcome experience for the players, they didn’t count on the accuracy difference of our team. Between good communications, and accurate snap-shooting (as well as a willingness to unload some paint) we were constantly able to thrash on the attacking groups.
Saturday morning I ran the “Downed Pilot” scenario, in which teams would arrive on special atv trailers with GPS coordinates of the last KNOWN position of a downed pilot. Their mission was the retrieve said pilot, or at least a disc that he was carrying. Problem was there was a squad of OpFor also looking for the pilot. I had a lot of fun with the groups involved, especially when the pilot involved a guy who played in a Kilt (krazy8).
For the afternoon, I switched to play mode again, and assisted in the “Assault” mission. This was basically the same mission as the previous night, except we had less people, and were constrained to not leave the fortifications. With 2-1 odds, as well as several tactical helps such as fortified bunkers, and attacking from the high ground, you would expect that we would get overrun. However only a few managed to do that during the day. Nothing is as scary to an opposing force as putting my team in a bunker, and telling them the magic words “Free Paint”. Do note, in the picture the large amount of white ‘mist’ around the player (foolybear). He is raising his hands and calling himself out not because of a direct hit (too much coverage), but because I had so much paint hitting the defenses that the mist around him layered on, and made it so he couldn’t see. So he did the proper thing, as any good player would, and called himself out by attrition :) He’s a great player, and we had fun chatting about the experience afterwards.
There were a large number of other events, being run by big names in paintball such as Tiberius, Greg Hastings, and many more.
I skipped out on the amazing final battle on Sunday, but everybody is talking about how amazing it was. Large trained forces, many mini-missions and objectives. Tanks, Helicoptors (with door gunner!) , Prizes, and lots of fun. People are already talking about how much they want to attend the next one.
Keep that in mind for next year, and if this has raised interest, there are many other fun events still to happen this summer, stay tuned. At least one gallery is available at pbjunke.com.