First of all, it’s been such a long time since Helsinki Cyclone has won a big tournament abroad that we still can’t quite believe it. With a new team it always takes time before the team is ready start winning. It’s something that happens in your head and it can’t be forced or hurried. After two big wins in two weeks we can say we’re finally there (we just won a Finnish Championships league tournament as well, but that’s another story). Now we’ll see what this team is really capable of…
The site and the surroundings
From this team I was the only one who had visited Belgium for paintball earlier and that trip was the notorious Charleroi Millennium of 2007. It was just awful and so I tried to keep my hopes up and remain as quiet as possible. We were all happily surprised by the place. Sprimont is a little town 20 km:ish from Liege in an area where you drive winding little roads through the mountains, town after another. In a word, the area is gorgeous. We stayed in a 2 story cottage in a place called Bomal. Full kitchen and plenty of space for all of us. The tournament site in Sprimont had two indoor arenas and an outdoor field. We didn’t play indoors so I really can’t say much about that but the outdoor field was very decent turf field surrounded by nice little tournament venue with some tradeshow stands and a burger/beer bar. Nothing fancy but completely adequate for a good tournament.
We won the tournament, but it really was far from being easy. We had only one game where we won big and it was against Black Legion Nimes. We lost against them in Rome but this time our read on their game succeeded perfectly and we managed to mix their game completely. Sometimes strategy is the best weapon in this sport. Another game which deserves a special mention is out third game against Warsaw United. The Polish boys had really poisonous lines against our fronts and they got us in big trouble. By changing tactics we managed to change our game enough to fight a tie from the match. After the preliminaries we were neck and neck with Phoenix from Russia and they won the preliminaries by only a couple of ED points. The semifinal was a nail biter for us against the Bandits from Austria. You could see our tension miles away and we missed a couple of sure closes which almost cost us the game. So there we were in the final, with Phoenix. We had actually joked earlier that we’d meet them in the final because didn’t have a mutual game in the preliminaries. The game was just awesome, it had everything a final needs to have. We were leading for a while, they caught up and took the lead only to be caught up again by us. There was drama on the field with Miro Rainio injuring himself by getting a hit where no man should ever get hit (he’s fine now, by the way) and finally the time ticking out ending the game 3-3. We finally won it in overtime with a good break and a risk in pushing hard from the snake side at the start of the point, catching the Phoenix guys by surprise. These are the games that remind me why I love this sport so much.
You can see the games from: http://new.livestream.com/epbn1/ArenaParty… at least until you can’t anymore. Check them out, all the games are worth a watch.
Greetings and salutations
As we’ve been doing the last 11 years we played yet again with Dye markers, DM14s to be precise, and yet again they performed awesomely along with Rotors and other Dye gear. There was only one paint brand available in the tournament, Valken. Their tournament grade Redemption Pro was just perfect and the training grade Crusade was easily good enough to play with. We also had our friend Nuno Trokka to make sure we didn’t have to worry ourselves on the paint issue. Big thanks also go out to our Finnish sponsor Sissos Paintball for all their support. Also we’d like to thank Toni Stegars for helping us out during the tournament and taking cool pictures like the one you see above. Last but not least greets go out to the Bandits paintball team.
Will also be releasing all kinds of media stuff at www.facebook.com/HelsinkiCyclone so remember to stay tuned!
We now have a tight grip on second position in the CPS and we’re going to hold on to it with all we got. See you all again in Paris!