Paintball Journey of Hard2Overcome Australia
to US NXL World Cup 2016
-Written by Nathan McDonnell “Maca” -
Photos by 1904 Photography
29th of October, 2016
I began my journey to Florida to compete in the US NXL World Cup. After 22hrs of travel I arrived at Orlando airport where I was greeted but my team mates Flash and Bancroft.
We headed back to the accommodation where I unpacked and prepared for the crazy week that was about to follow.
Would see us head to Central Florida Paintball (CFP) to train. We got the chance to play against a lot of teams and start to work out our combos and get a feel for how the field would play.
While we were there DAMAGE and LA Infamous were both there which was great as we got to see how they broke down the field and then we got the chance to hang out with them once they had finished practice.
The team decided to do some sightseeing. Flash and myself went to Daytona to check out the racetrack while the others went to shoot some guns and go shopping.
Flash and everyone went sightseeing again, but Bancroft and myself wanted to train. So we headed off to a local field. Once we arrived we found out that teams had booked field time as they wanted as much practice as possible before cup.
Luckily our buddy Ryan Greenspan was running a clinic so we jumped in with him for a while. Later that afternoon we met Steve Craft who was a local player so we teamed up to play some games and train as fields were now becoming available.
We headed back to CFP for one last training session before cup. We met a German team and a New Jersey Team so we thought it a great idea to go against each other and hit it out all day working on our game plays. After we had finished Flash, Bancroft and myself headed to the field to check out the layout and also register for the event.
Thursday WORLD CUP.
Today is the big day. We got there and headed over to the DYE Booth to see Devon and the rest of the DYE crew and get our gear set up for the day. Once we were prepared we went for a wander around the event to experience the event and soak up the atmosphere.
1.30pm rolled across and it was now time to switch into game mode as this is what we were here for.
After loading our paint and double checking our gear we gathered for one final team huddle before we took on the Stingray Allstars.
We didn’t get the start we wanted but after losing the 1st 2 points we clawed our way back and won the game 3/2.
Our 2nd match of the day was against the New Jersey Jesters. This game we did the same thing and gave them a 3 point head start but again the team dug deep and we finished up taking the game to time with a 3-3 draw.
We again played in the afternoon bracket. We faced off against Second Solution and they were good.
Lost the 1st 2 points but brought it back to win the match 4-3 with time running out. We lost our final match of the day to Augusta. This gave us 2 wins, 1 draw and a loss - everyone was down as we thought we had just bowed out. We waited around to watch the match after us to see if we were still in.
With great elation, we found out we were and had made it to the semis on Saturday.
The semis was a sudden death scenario. We had to play Wrecking Crew to progress further and things did not go well.
They came out guns blazing and got early kills off the break. We lost the match 4-0. Our dream was now over.
I was proud of the boys as they gave it their best but it just wasn’t to be our weekend.
After packing up everyone went back to the house to clean up. Flash Nick and myself stayed behind as we went to the Dye booth to help out in the sales and tech stand. That was a lot of fun and it was a great experience to actually see what goes on behind the scenes.
Sunday morning, Nick and myself went to sign in for the 2v2 comp only to be informed that our registration had been lost and that we weren’t able to play. We were both pretty devastated, and when I say devastated I mean TOTALLY DEVO as we had been looking forward to playing and showing the US what us Aussies are made of.
So instead we went off and picked up some beers and Krispy Kreme doughnuts and headed back to the field.
Once back at the field we headed to the grandstand and started to watch all of the finals, and DAMM was it awesome, sitting there on the 50 with my cousin and buddy soaking up the atmosphere watching the games live rather than on the webcast, the marching band and being part of the crowd was UNREAL. We sat there all day in the hot sun and watched some of the best paintball I have ever seen, the emotion and sportsmanship I saw from all the players was nothing short of awesome. After the finals were all done and dusted we got the chance to hang out and celebrate with the guys from Edmonton Impact as they had just won the event and series, they are some funny guys. Monday had finally come around and it was time for me to start my long journey back home to my family who I was missing.
After saying my good byes to my team who were leaving the following day I headed to the airport and caught my flight home.
This trip was a awesome experience for me and its one I will never forget. I would like to thank my Team mates and everyone else who helped make this possible. I big shout out to my sponsors Craig McIver & Paintball Addiction, Tactical Operation Paintball and Devon Stutz & Dye Precision.
"I hope you all have a happy and safe New Year and I can’t wait to see what 2017 brings."
- Nathan McDonnell “Maca” -