Extoling my Ego

This year has been a bit of a banner year for my paintball habits.  While a devoted player (it’s my main exercise and stress relief), I’m a bit of a cheapskate.  Through hours of play I’ve often proven that you dont’ have to have the best equipment or dump the most paint in order to do well.

As part of Team DesertEdge though, I’ve been forced into times that I have to “put out” a little more than your average player.  When people are depending on you, in a tournament situation, you need to really do your part.  That dedication from all of our team has led to a good progression in equipment, and play quality.  This year, we reaped some of our first material rewards, a sponsorship from Planet Eclipse.  PE is a quite respected manufacturer of higher end paintball equipment, based in the UK.  For the last several years, their flagship marker has been the ‘Ego’ line, which was originally based on an autococker style pneumatic system.  A couple of years ago PE decided to branch out with a newer style of marker, and quickly grew a fanbase with the ’05 and ’06 models.

Starting with the 2007 model, PE re-engineered this system once again, creating a lighter, faster, more compact marker than ever before.  So when we were approached with the opportunity to use this new marker, we were quick to sign on.  Heck, high end electronics, that shoot, who wouldn’t?

Ego as it arrives is an amazingly designed gun, here you can see one in
the custom DesertEdge colors, dusted brown and silver (click in it to
see larger).  Out of the box, the gun is amazing.  It weighs far less
than any other marker I’ve had, is extra narrow, making sighting
easier, and has excellent customizability.

Part of the reason we received our sponsorship is the fact that we are
a well ranked hybrid play team.  That is, we as players rank well in
the existing speedball tournaments, but also rank very well in the
growing Scenario and Woodsball tournaments.  Often times Speedball
class guns are not well received by woodsball players, since they are
not deemed as utilitarian enough.  Often speedball guns cannot handle
the rigors of full scenario games, unable to blend in, using far too
much power, having abhorrent height profiles (tuned for bunker play),
as well as only being able to fire fast for quick engagements.  Planet
Eclipse wanted to see how well their new marker could manage in the
rigors of long term scenario games, in the hands of hybrid players.

Using a speedball marker has definitely required some modifications to
my play style.  I’m no longer using my beloved Apex barrel (still on my
A5), and am using the stock barrel.  Several team members have upgraded
to the Sly Kit and are loving that barrel set.  I’m one of the only
members who plugs a remote into this gun (often gaining me strange
looks from speedballers).  What can I say, with such a light gun, why
tack on the excess of a tank?  I can now plug into my back tank, and
with the Ego’s excellent air efficiency, I can play much longer without
air refills.

While most of us received the team’s custom colors, a few purchased a special all black version.  I took the time
to trade the accent kits with one of these people, and now have a sweet
brown/black model, while a team member has a nice black/silver, as
pictured here:

Since receiving my marker, I’ve played several forms of scenario and
woodsball game, and I must say I’m incredibly impressed.  This gun is
quiet, efficient, amazingly fast, and light.  While the pricetag for a base
model comes in at $1,250, that’s not unheard of in the higher end
markers, and actually a decent price.  Getting one can be tough, as the
limited supply has been selling out nearly on delivery (think Wii
stocking problems).

A high end speedball gun always has certain caveats though, and for the Ego, the learning curve is it’s problem.  There is an amazing amount of bits you can twiddle, enhancing any aspect from air efficency, to shooting speed.  This is what you want, of course, in this type of marker, but it is still a daunting task to become an expert in all the options.  In another post I should review the complete menu set, along with the amazing board set inside.

The Ego is a gun that has already earned my respect, and the respect of many of the people it’s targeted recently.  If you are in the market for a quality higher end paintball gun, this is definitely one to be on the watch for!