• contact@paintball-story.com

PEOPLE

PEOPLE

PAINTBALL TEAMS

ALL AMERICANS

The all Americans were one of the original big pro paintball teams. Back in the days in the woods, they were the most technical team in the world. When the All Americans were at the top of their game, there was only one team that could touch them and that was the Ironmen. The two teams brought out the best in each other when they competed. Year in, year out, from event to event, they battled for supremacy. The All Americas were very smart, very technical; they walked the fields and tweaked their guns so that they would always have the advantage in the games they played. There were often referred to as geeks with guns. You didn’t say that to their faces because they would blow you off the field but their style was in stark contrast with the other teams that played at the time. When other teams were learning to push and run and gun, the All Americans were focused on camouflage and high tech guns. The All Americans were one of the most successful teams that ever played.

They had their own style and it worked. They won events all over the world; they were one of the first American teams to play in Europe and were very successful, wining most of the events they played. The Gardner brothers, who had originally formed the All Americans, started the company “Smart Parts”. They were able to take their ideas onto the field, test them and make them work then sell those products to the public. They always had the best gear. They were doing it the right from the start because they actually played with the same gear they sold. They wanted every advantage on the field and you, as the player buying their gear, benefited from it.

When the Gardner brothers got too old to play they changed the team’s name and got younger players. The team became the Philly Americans. This new team won the very first season of the NXL, which was the X-ball league of the day. The Gardeners took great care of their team; they were the first owners who really valued their players. They paid their players and made sure that they had whatever they needed to win. They had their own training facility, almost unlimited resources and did really well for a long time. The problem with all the money coming into the team from the company was that when the company sank there was no one left to put money into the team and so the team disintegrated. The best of the players are still playing on great teams today. The All Americans were one of the first teams that designed high performance gear , used it to win events, and also took great care of their players. This team was one of the best but never played better than when they battled the Ironmen.

AFTERSHOCK

This was the second coming of Aftershock. They still had a few holdovers from the old days like Ryan Williams and Danny Love , but they also had some new talent, and some vets from other teams like Brian Bennie. There was a saying that everyone came to the World Cup to see Aftershock kick the crap out of all the other teams. It’s no surprise that they started the saying but it seemed to stick. They had a really good run for a few years, always doing well at the Cup, always pulling off big wins. The year that this photo was taken was one of those years. They had a terrible season not winning a single event, barely making it to Sunday on a few occasions, but then the World Cup rolled around. They were like an entirely new team; they couldn’t make a mistake if they tried. Their paint shot straighter, their guns shot faster and they seemed to always get the calls. This was very unusual; most teams build up their momentum and then peek at the Cup. Not these guys. They sucked all year and then caught everyone by surprise; they were unstoppable. It was a real make it or break it event for them.

Some of their players were tired of losing sponsorship, but a win at the World Cup makes that all go away. Aftershock was sponsored by Dye, and they wore their gear proudly.

Aftershock was one of a handfull of teams that successfully transitioned from the woods to the modern area of paintball. This was harder to do than you might imagine. Players in the woods didn’t have to be athletic; you could just be sneaky. In the woods, it was often one player that made a big move and won the game. In the arena, it was more about being a good team and winning and losing as a unit. Shock was so good in the woods that they were able to make the transition, and even excel. Because of this, Aftershock was, and still is, one of the best teams in the world; they have one of the longest histories of any team out there and have a huge fan base in the mid west. They keep going to the World Cup and doing well. The names and faces may change, but the team values, like winning and working hard, are still there today like they were back in the day.

AVALANCHE

Avalanche was the first ‘Rock star’ team in paintball. Its fame was largely due to its success on the field and its players’ flamboyance off the field. They were shooting angles that no one could compete with. They were partying all night long and winning the tournament the next day. They were the team that everyone wanted to beat, and, at the same time, hang out with.

Leading the team was Chris Lasoya, he made huge moves on the field and personified the image of a Rock star off the field. Rocky Cagnoni was another player that was larger than life. These guys were on the covers of magazines and in every video you watched. They were the first guys to be paid to travel the world and play paintball.

Many of them transitioned from ten-man in the woods to seven-man on the air ball fields. They went from being good players in the woods to the best in the world on the new fields. They shot more paint than two or three teams put together, and they weren’t afraid to make big moves. They had a very fast-paced aggressive style that was hard to play against. They came forward hard and fast, right off the break.

They also shot guns that were faster than anyone else’s. They had a huge advantage for the better part of two seasons. They were responsible for the arms race that followed. Once everyone had figured out that they were continuously winning, and that it had a lot to do with how fast their guns were, so everyone else wanted to get faster guns as well. The race was on but they were way in front. They had fast guns and they even knew how to modify them to make them even faster.
The problem with being a Rock Star is that you’re a Rock Star. As time goes by, it gets harder to party all night and then play and win the next day, while the other teams were at home sleeping or walking the fields. Eventually all good things come to an end and so it did. They lost sponsors, and when the money started to run out, so did the players. More and more new players came in, but they were never able to recapture their spot at the top of the pro circuit.
Avalanche was a lesson on how to get to the top, but it was also a lesson in what you have to do, if you want to stay there. But all in all, theyset the example for what superstar players and teams are all about. Avalanche made a huge impact in paintball.

DYNASTY

Dynasty is just that, a Dynasty. They have done what no others have done and then some. The core of the team has always been Alex, the brilliant artist off the field , the fast and aggressive guy on the field, and Ryan – a playboy off the field , jet-setting from one party to the next, but on the field, solid and always there to win the game. Another strong core member is Yoshio. In all things, he is cool, calm and collected; on and off the field, he is a master of life. Oliver is the Alpha among Alphas and, at times, has been bigger than the team, but always a part of it.

The Iron kids were one of the best up-and-coming teams. They had that perfect balance of swagger and humility. They started playing locally and won some events. People started to notice and, like it had happened a number of times, people wanted some of these kids to play with them. This usually means the end of a team, but they stayed together and , with help from Chuck Hendsch, they became Dynasty, the best team in the world.

They didn’t do it overnight, but little by little they started to win. At the time, Oliver was playing with the Ironmen, Yoshio played with them too for a while, but their hearts were always with their friends and they always came home. They played every national and European event for many years. They quickly became one of the big shots but never lost their boyish charms.

Soon Dynasty, the business, started. They had their own guns, videos, you name it. The fans were beating down the doors; the problem was no one was home. The kids were traveling the world, becoming men, having a blast. They didn’t want to sit in a warehouse and ship videos. Once again, they were doing what no one had done before in paintball. They built a pro team into a brand name. Dynasty was synonymous with winning and being cool. Everyone wanted Dynasty products, but they couldn’t always get them. The players had little passion for the business side of the team and soon the company fell by the wayside.
The current Dynasty has its original core intact; all of those who started it are there now. They are still one of the best teams in the world. Yet, they are nearing the end of their run unless they can reinvent themselves again. The kids aren’t kids anymore; they still live the life of paintball Gods, traveling, doing clinics, but their passion has waned over the years.

Last year, Dynasty won their 50th event, a feat that probably won’t be done again or, at least, not for a long tilme. They have done hundreds of clinics where they taught the Dynasty version of paintball. They have their own moves, theories and style and they seem to work. Through playing and winning events, making products and doing clinics, Dynasty has done more to shape the direction of paintball over the past decade than anyone or anything else. There may never be another team that accomplishes quite as much as Dynasty.

GROUND ZERO

GZ, as they were called, was one of the best of the old guard teams. They had been around for a long time, successfully making the transition from the woods to the stadiums. GZ was a top team in the States, but really seemed to play well in Europe as well. The team was from NY, their base of operations, and they had that special mix of new blood – like a very young Nicky Cuba, and veterans like Rosie. GZ had backing from their sponsors, but also had Jerry Braun backing them up. They were one of those teams that were always right on the cusp of really distancing themselves from the rest of the pack. They never really had their run but were always in the mix. They won lots of tournaments and played some of the best paintball at times, but, for whatever reasons, never had a season where they just completely dominated.

They decided that the respectful thing to do was to change their name after the September 11th attack on the twin towers; the remains of which were referred to as ‘ground zero’. The team name was changed to ‘NY Extreme’. They played for a few seasons under the new name, but they had lost more than just a name. The core team members had grown up, had families and were having a hard time committing to the team. They brought in new talent, who were really good, but the team just wasn’t the same. Eventually, the team disbanded and most of the older players retired. There are still a few players playing here and there, but the old GZ is gone forever I’m afraid. They had some of the coolest guys and great paintball players.

IRONMEN

The Ironmen are easily the most prolific name in paintball. There have been many Ironmen teams, players and captains, but their spirit has always been focused on one thing – winning. Over the years, the Ironmen teams have had more battles and victories than any other team in paintball and that says a lot. They have had their trials and tribulations, but the team’s name and values have always been so strong that nothing could keep it from enduring. Its first incarnation brought it its fame and popularity. Players like Shane Pestana, Marty Bush and Dave Youngblood made names for themselves and created the Ironmen legend. They did this by being better than everyone else. Not just a little better, a lot better; so much so that in a sport full of superstars, they were the best of the best. With Bobby Long as their captain, the Ironmen became the team to beat and the team to emulate. They won titles in the USA and in Europe, but that wasn’t enough for them, they wanted more. However, they didn’t want to be told what to do and how to do it any longer, so the team split. Bob Long went one way, and the rest of the team went another.

Was it the right thing for them to do? Only the team knows that. In the following years, there were two Ironmen teams, one lead by Bob Long and one regrouping the other players. In the first year, Bob Long’s team won the championship, but the others didn’t fare so well. Time went by and the tide turned, Bobby’s team started struggling and the Ironmen team rebuilt and won their world championship. This was a whole new team lead by former players Shane Pestana and Dave Youngblood, who captained this team to win after win.

The new team became the new Ironmen and Bobby settled on the name Blast. The new Ironmen team was playing well, winning events, but then X-ball was invented. At the end of the season, the Ironmen management decided to retool the team and build them back smaller and faster. It took time, but, little by little, the Ironmen got back into winning shape and won two world championships. The team is still going strong with players like Billy Wing, and Mike Paxton. The one thing that I know is that there will always be an Ironmen team and they will always climb back on top of the sport.

JOY DIVISION

Joy is without a doubt the coolest team in paintball. They have in their captain and co-founder one of, if not the, coolest guys in the world. Magued is The Man in Sweden, which maybe doesn’t mean all that much, but he is The Man wherever he goes; so I guess it does mean something. Joy is just one of those teams. They have their own style, their own way of doing things. They are very competitive on the field, but, unlike most of us, they are really nice guys off the field. This instantly makes them likeable. No matter whether they are playing for first and second or sitting on the hillside drinking beer and singing, they are a Joy to be around. The team has been around for a long time mostly because of Magued and his passion for the game. They have had some great players over the years, and each of them was great on the field and off. Joy is a loyal team; they were the only team to stick with Angel when everyone else jumped ship. There was Joy proud to help a friend out and shoot their gun.

Joy is one of the best teams that Europe has to offer in my opinion. They are more than just a team; they are a propaganda machine for all of Europe. When playing these guys on the field, you develop a lot of respect for them and when hanging out with them, you become friends. I have never met a Joy player that I didn’t like and respect. That can’t be said for many teams; actually I can’t say that for any other team. Unfortunately, Joy can’t get across the pond to play on the United State side any more. They influence people in a positive way more than any other team. You want to go play with and against these guys, and you want to hang out with them and have fun. They somehow have figured out what so few us have: how to compete at the highest-level then step off the field and let it go. They always know why they are playing. They are playing to win and to have fun. Most of us can’t do one without the other, but they can and that is why they are special.

RUSSIAN LEGION

The Russians are the first and only team that have been built from the ground up as a professional paintball team. Unlike most teams, it wasn’t a bunch of buddies saying: “hey, lets have some fun and play paintball”. This team was built like a pro sports team. They had a backer, one of the best, in Sergei. They had coaches, and then they worked on the players. This was one of the first true pro teams, in the sense that all of them got paid to play – that was the positive aspect. The negative aspect was that you had to perform. You couldn’t keep guys around because you liked them. They have a staff of coaches and actually use them. They run the practice, select the players and make the game plans. The players are actually just athletes, they show up and do as they are told, and it works. The Russians have done it right, they play well, they are very focused and have been successful since their inception.

THE TONTONS FLINGUEURS

The Tontons are one of, if not the, best teams to come out of Europe and certainly the most famous French team. They have a long history of winning major events and playing big games. Laurent Hamet, as one of the former players, has always been one of the Tonton’s benefactors. He has great love and energy for the game and has stayed involved by helping the team. The Tontons have a very aggressive style and although the team is constantly changing with players coming and going, the aggressive style has stayed a hallmark of the team. They have been playing at top level for as long as any other European team. Or maybe longer…

TRAUMA

Trauma was an experiment in building a successful paintball team from the ground up. The experiment‘s mastermind was Rob Staudinger. On a personal level, he had had a very successful career in playing tournaments. He had a successful paintball playing field and gear store, and decided he wanted to help some local kids get good at the game and play tournament paintball.
They started by playing locally and, as they got better, they moved up to the national circuit. Rob wanted to try and use a little of everything he had learnt from traveling and playing with other teams. He bought the team a house and made them a private field to practice on and that’s what they did. They practiced and played and competed, and went from being one of the best amateur teams to being one of the best pro teams in the world. Rob pushed and pushed and they got better and better, until finally they won a world championship.

The downside of their victory was that they had worked so hard to get there that when they did, they didn’t have much left for anything else. They had a goal and they accomplished it but after that they didn’t have a plan. Little by little, the team fell apart and the players scattered. This was a lesson on the importance of having a plan to keep a team going strong once it had got to the top. These players had a lot to offer and teach future players but sadly that input was lost when the players went back to their lives outside paintball.

XSV

XSV was started with the intent of hitting the ground running. They didn’t pick up a bunch of kids, they picked up a bunch of vets who had been there and done it before. The team started with the core disenfranchised players from the Ironmen . They added to this roster the best players that weren’t under contract and jumped head first into the pro division. It took an event or two but XSV was soon the number two team in the world. There was a battle over the next seasons, but eventually they became the number one team in the world- if only for a season. When the money ran out so did the players. The team that was built for winning would have a long road back to the winners’ circle. The team’s new core picked up some up-and-coming kids, worked hard and kept the dream alive. Their battle to get a good roster, to keep those players and to be able to afford to play continued.

XSV has always been ahead of the other teams off the field. It’s probably the one thing that had kept them going as an independent team. Some rich guy or a company doesn’t own them, they own themselves. They can go where they want and play who they want. In the past, the team played all three leagues: Millennium, PSP, and NPPL. Recently, they have chosen to focus on seven-man and really try to do well in one league. They are hoping that if that works well, next season they will be able to afford to play all the series again. It’s a gamble. We will see if it pays off for them. If not, they will come up with a new strategy.

The team has been reinvented many times, but is presently ranked third best team and looking to improve on that. The current roster has a good blend of new talent and old blood, and they all seem to be pushing in the same direction. Will this be the team that gets XSV back to where they should be- in the number one spot- or will they go back to the drawing boards and start again? Only time will tell, but one thing is certain, this team has not quit, and they are once again hunting Dynasty and the number one position.

FAT LADY’S CHARMS

Fat Lady’s Charms was one of the first all-woman teams. There were from the Scandinavia and they were tired of sitting around while their boyfriends played paintball so they picked up guns and started to play themselves. Their boyfriends helped them learn the game’s basics but when the tournaments came around they were all on their own. Their boyfriends didn’t have time to help them at the events so the girls figured it out on their own. They played really well, and not for girls, they just played good paintball. There beat other men’s teams all the time and they smashed some of them. It was a good situation all around: they played well, they won and they were attractive, so everyone loved them. There got good sponsorship and played all over Europe, winning games and charming everyone they came in contact with.

PAINTBALL PLAYERS

MARTY BUSH

Marty Bush was the first of the iconic players of paintball. This guy was a sneaky bastard out in the woods with his pump. In fact, he was so good that long after everyone shot semi-automatics, he was still out there with his pump, winning games for the Ironmen. He was a true competitor; he worked really hard and played even harder. He is from Northern California and cut his teeth on teams from that area, but it was the Ironmen who gave him the chance to become a legend. I met him when I first started playing paintball and he was really good. Unlike a lot of other good players, he wasn’t cocky; he was a down-to-earth guy that liked being around paintball players.

He was more than happy to work with players after practice, helping them get better.

Marty was also a practical joker, he likes to mess with people and have a good time. He was actually responsible for handcuffing one of the younger guys on the team to a stop sign, naked. This was just another day in the life of Marty Bush. You got the feeling that he was one of those guys who could be good at anything. He just happened to choose paintball – paintball and hunting, which was his other passion. A lot of the old Ironmen shared that love and would always talk about it.

Marty was one of the last of the old Ironmen to hold out and keep playing after the rest had retired. It was hard to come out of the woods, where they were the kings, and compete with a bunch of kids, who didn’t even know who they were. Marty had a bad knee and it would swell up to two or three times the normal size, but he never complained about it, he just grabbed some ice, hobbled over and took a load off.
When walking the field with Bob and Shane, Marty would come up with a game plan, which inevitably involved him winning the game and the rest of the guys supporting him.

We made fun of him for it, but we were all the same. His famous quote was ‘who could shoot me if I stood right here?’ This alluded to the fact that he had discovered a spot, which covered all angles and from which he could win the game.

DAVE YOUGBLOOD

Dave Dehan was the first paintball player to be more than just a paintball player. Until Dave, the only way players got any recognition was through their play. Dave, who was very young for his level of play, quickly got the nick name YoungBlood. He was from the newer and better generation of paintball. YoungBlood brought his personality onto the field with him. He was a really good player from the beginning; but what really got him noticed was his personality. He started wearing black suits on the field. When everyone else was trying to hide in the woods in their camos, he was wearing a black suit and using a silver gun with silver pods. The last thing he was doing was hiding. When he started playing for the Ironmen,YB – or YoungBlood- became the first real superstar in paintball. This eventually led him to being a sales guy for ‘JT’ the biggest and best brand in paintball at the time.

This was about the time when he had the crazy idea that he was going to make barrels that were better than everyone else’s. He improved the barrels by spending a lot more to make them. Barrels at the time cost 50 dollars on average for a really good one. If you wanted a DYE (Dave Youngblood Enterprises) barrel, you were going to pay at least twice that much. Dave had worked in a famous machine shop called ‘Carters’ where he had learned enough about the industry to make the barrels. YB started off with five thousand dollars worth of overpriced barrels that most thought he would never sell. I’m guessing those same people are kicking themselves now for not jumping on the DYE ship when it was leaving the station. DYE quickly grew to be the premier brand in paintball manufacturing.

#daveyoungblood

Dave could have taken his millions and sailed away. Instead, he got more involved in paintball. He immersed himself into what he thought was going to be the best way to promote paintball, through Painball Sports Promotion. Dave stepped up time and time again to help steer and, in many cases, fund the PSP and for this we all owe him a debt of gratitude.

BOB LONG

Bob Long is, and always will be, a hunter, which might be what made him such a great paintball player. I don’t know what made him such a good captain, but he is. Bobby gained popularity and made a name for himself as the captain of the Ironmen, arguably one of the most successful teams to ever play. Bob led them to win after win, and championship after championship.

Bob Long, the player, was as good, or better, than most. If you take into consideration the fact that he was at least ten years older than his opponents and that he wasn’t as athletic, you might come up with the conclusion that he was a better player. He got some of his skills from hunting, others he learned along the way. He was a great gun fighter, one of the best, able to make the split second decisions and then execute them to perfection. You could hear his booming voice from anywhere across the field. He was really the first general in the ‘paintball war’. He would sit back, coordinating and directing his team, like a chess master moving pawns and knights into battle.

Bob Long, the captain, was a force to be reckoned with. You did what Bobby wanted you to do both on and off the field. He was a born leader; he didn’t have to work at it. He had confidence and that gave you confidence. He wasn’t afraid to get down and dirty either. He could crawl through the bushes and roll down the hills with the best of them. He was always in the game, he never got shot out early and he was the first to go when it was time to push.

Bob Long, the gunsmith, is what he is best known for now. He made some of the best markers in the word. It all started back in the day when he began making custom cockers. He then invented the ‘Intimidator’. It took a year of fine-tuning, but when he finally got it right, that gun was the best the industry had to offer at the time. His latest gun is the ‘Victor’ and it’s one of the best guns in the world, fast, light and still accurate. Bobby really is one of, if not the, best at making guns, being a player and leading a team. There are many people out there, including myself, who owe him gratitude and reverence. He has given more to this sport than almost anyone else in the industry.

PETER ROBINSON

Peter Robinson- better known as Robo- wasn’t the first big name player to come from England but his popularity quickly eclipsed those before him. Pete was so good that the best teams in America had to have him. This had never happened before, no one from overseas was playing on any of the top US teams. Robo was good enough to play for the All Americans and Aftershock. He played better than he had ever done in the past on those teams. Pete, in essence, was a great paintball player, but, like all of us, he aged, and it became harder for him to compete at the top. At about the same time, paintball was blowing up and there was a new brand of paintball called x-ball. Robo, being the nationalist that he is, put together the best of the best of England and built a team to compete. They came over to America and competed in the first X-ball match called the Nations’ Cup. There were teams from all over the world playing and England, thanks to Pete’s leadership, did very well. When the team went back home most stayed together, and, under Pete’s tutelage, formed Nexus, the premier paintball team in England. Pete excelled as a coach and mentor. He took a handful of young players and turned them into one of the best teams in the world. This was no easy feat, but Nexus received sponsorship and training support from Dave Youngblood.

The nickname Robo is largely to do with Pete’s online persona. He was the man behind one of the best paintball publications of all times, PGI. This lead to him starting his own forum. There is no one out there that has spent more time and energy making paintball what it is today. This guy has been in paintball for as long as most of us can remember. He is an ambassador for the sport, which had become his life and no one has done it better or more completely.

CHRIS LASOYA

Chris was, and still is, in many ways, the bad boy of paintball but don’t feel bad for him, he wouldn’t have it any other way. Some players are so good that they transcend just being a player. Chris is one of those guys that is just as big a presence off the field as on it. Chris first gained attention out in the woods running people down. It might not sound like much but pulling off a two or three stop bunker in the woods was tough.

Not only were the bunkers a lot further apart; they also had stuff between them. There wasn’t any symmetry to the field so you couldn’t just find a line and go; you had to make it up on the run. Chris quickly became the most popular, or if not, at least the best – bar none, paintball player in the industry. He is a nice guy off the field and a great player on the field. He was the backbone of the original Avalanche team that won so many tournaments and traveled the world amassing victories.

Chris has the ability to play up the gut better than most. He can run and shot off the break, hold a lane, catch someone, and then go run another player or two down. He might be a little slower now, but he is still playing amazingly. He is back home with Infamous, where I can see him playing out his career. Chris has a lot to offer a team and young players; he has a wealth of knowledge and is one of the world’s best players. Chris is one of those guys who truly helped carry us out of the woods and into the stadiums. He has done a lot for our sport and deserves recognition for it.

ROCKY CAGNONY

Rocky wasn’t like a lot of the other iconic players that grace the covers of magazines and videos. Rocky was just as good a player and just as much of a character but he never got caught up with himself like so many others did. As players start to get a reputation for being a great player, they seem to change; they believe that they are better than everyone else and should be treated as such. This was not the case for Rocky, who is a good down-to-earth guy. No matter how much sponsorship money was coming in, how many tournaments he won, he was just the same guy. Rocky always has a smile on his face, and is always happy and easy-going, at least off the field. He has the same intensity on the field as everyone else, but it seems to switch off once the goggles come off.

Rocky was one of those players who were always there to make the big move, or to go get the key guy off the field. He was on a team with a super-star roster, Avalanche, and he could well have been overlooked because of his relaxed demeanor. Fortunately, his play on the field more than made up for his relaxed attitude off the field. Rocky was one of the reasons that Angel became as big as they did as fast as they did. Rocky really did some good work on the guns and became a tech for Angel. Not only could you get your gun worked on, but one of the best players in the world was doing it. Sometimes people would bring their guns in just to meet and talk to Rocky. The lines got long but Rocky, being Rocky, just stayed there and did what he had to.

Rocky is truly one of the best guys that paintball has produced. He is a great player on the field and the best of the best off the field. If there were one guy to pick as an ambassador for our sport, it would have to be Rocky.

ALEX FRAIGE

Alex Fraige is the glue that binds the best team in paintball. He is the grounding force and the cool head that has kept all the egos in check in Dynasty. Ever since Alex was a kid, he has been a little smarter and a little more mature then everyone else. He is a ‘big picture’ kind of guy and doesn’t get caught up in the day–to-day grind because he looking to the future. Alex is a standout player on a team of standout players. One of the other things that people don’t know about Alex is that, unlike most of the best players in the world, Alex has money. His family is well off, which means that Alex could have done anything or been anyone. He chose paintball the way that paintball chose all the other top guys. Alex, Oliver and Ryan grew up together and started the Ironkids when they were in their teens. Ironkids was one of the more successful youth teams, the core of which formed Dynasty, and Alex was at the centre of all of it.

Off the field, Alex is calm, cool and collected. As a captain, he is the hardest guy to try to argue the call against because he is so smart. On the field, he is a beast with only one speed, which is fast, and he goes forward all the time. There are lots of players that you see trying to play with finesse out there, and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Alex doesn’t play that way; he is hardnosed and will get you, and anyone else he can, off the field and it works every time. Alex is far more complex than the average paintball player, who is probably a good athlete, super competitive, and probably hasn’t fully grown up – and never might. Alex is an artist, a student, a mentor and so much more. For whatever reasons, Alex is Alex and there is no one ever close to being like him in paintball or for that matter anywhere else.
Above all else, Alex is a good guy, he always has a smile on his face. He always has something good to say about you or your team. As competitive as he is on the field, he is just as gracious off the field. In a sport with tons of standout players and even more insane characters, Alex has always been just a little ahead of the curve. He has always been a little faster, a little smarter and a little bit cooler. We need more guys like Alex in paintball.

RYAN GREENSPAN

Ryan Greenspan came up just like Oliver and Alex. He was almost destined to be one of the best paintball players in the world. Despite his popularity and success, he is, in my opinion, an underrated player. He has probably won more games for Dynasty then Alex and Oliver put together. He has a more methodical yet less visible style. Once Oliver and Alex do the damage, or get shot early trying to do it, Ryan is there. He is smart and precise, almost never making a mistake. The reason he hasn’t gotten as much credit as some of the other guys is because he doesn’t go up early and clean people out. He doesn’t take the snake on the break and shoot five guys, but he is the anchor of that team and always has been. A ship with no anchor is in big trouble and Ryan is the best anchor that there is. He can play any position on the field better than anyone on the team. His versatility is one of the things that make him so hard to beat. He can go anywhere and do anything; so predicting his next move is next to impossible.

Ryan is the quintessential professional paintball player. This is what he does for a living and he gets paid well for it. Ryan has done a great job promoting himself and the team. When he isn’t winning paintball tournaments, he is doing clinics, which further promote him and the team, as well as earning Ryan more money. He is one of the few pro players who doesn’t work for anyone but makes a really good living just by being himself and playing ball.

Ryan is a little cocky and arrogant on the field, rightfully so it seems, since he and his team have won more events than any other ten teams. Off the field, Ryan is a Californian surfer with an easy-going attitude. He is always doing something cool or going somewhere trendy, that’s what he does. He is the cool, funny guy at the party, who can also step on a paintball field and blow your head off. Remember not to underestimate him because he does most of his work in the clean up position. Ryan takes care of business on the field and is one of the biggest reason Dynasty are who they are and why they have won so much.

OLIVER LANG

Ollie is paintball’s Golden Boy and it’s well deserved. He is the total package, smart, athletic, good at all aspects of paintball. He is young, good-looking, and easy to market – he’s what paintball needs more of.
Oliver has changed over the years, since he started playing with the Iron Kids. What got him noticed was his personality more than his abilities; he was a good player but there were lots of good players. He was a really nice kid, smart, funny and cool to hang out with. So he got noticed and picked up by the Ironmen. He played well in practice, made big moves, got up in the mix a lot and really proved he was a great player. He really came into his own at an event in New Orleans. It was Mardi Gras and it was his first big event with the team. He didn’t play particularly well during the prelims or semis and was a little down on himself. No one on the team expected him to do well. The finals rolled around and Ollie shot three or four guys a game. After that, all anyone asked about who was that new kid on the Ironmen. I think one of the reasons he got so good was that he never stopped working at it. A lot of guys get some fame or notoriety and stop being hungry. Not Ollie, he worked as hard, or even harder, to become better and better. This was only the beginning of Ollie’s career. He then went on to leave the Ironmen and join Dynasty where they won many tournaments.

Oliver was the big name on Dynasty, even though they had one of, if not the, best rosters in all of paintball at the time. They were young, had grown up together and were traveling the world winning tournaments. Oliver was huge in the world of paintball but Dynasty wasn’t really promoting him and neither were their sponsors. Someone else did, and that someone else was Dave Youngblood. Dave offered Oliver what no one else had, money and a marketing campaign. He deserved that rewards as he did his job with Ironmen during a couple of years.

Today Oliver isn’t a kid anymore but he does still have a childlike love for the game. He travels all year long doing clinics. He is still one of, if not the, best players in the world, he came back with dynasty for the best. Since Oliver, there hasn’t been another player that has impacted the game, in fact the whole sport, in the same way.

BEFORE AFTER

PAINTBALL PEOPLE

error: Content is protected !!