Malaysia – World Cup Asia 2012, Langkawi

This event is huge, and its an understatement to say that the PALS (Paintball Asia League Series) has come a long, long way since its inception in 2005 with the APPC. The format is PALS format, which is a modified millenium format (using 12.5bps ramping in either Millenium or PSP modes, different “A” style race and Centre bunkers for Asia, and the player classification system used by the NCPA, PSP and Super 7s).The event is split into 4 divisions, with Div 1 (race to 4) being the approximate equivalent of Div1/SPL in Millenium, Div 2 (Race to 3) being Div 2/3 in Millenium, Div 3 (race to 2) being Div 3/4 in Millenium and Div 4 (race to 1) being a restricted “mechanical class” which is popular in Malaysia due to firearms ownership regulations.  I’d say that most NZ teams would fit into either Div 2 or Div 3 in Malaysia.

The World Cup Asia is the biggest paintball tournament in the Asia Pacific Region, and is the biggest indoor paintball tournament in the world.  I was lucky enough to have a guest spot on team Phoenix Authority Tahiti – team members included:

  • Ralph Tsing (Captian) – Tahiti
  • Christian Veroux – Tahiti
  • Moana Le Foc – Tahiti
  • Tim Matthee – Australia
  • Ku Zambree – Malaysia
  • Badman Bud – Malaysia
  • Myself – New Zealand
  • Wendy + Laurent (Pit Crew) – Tahiti

Massive thanks to our sponsors Planet Eclipse, Skirmish Paintball Asia, Furious Paintball, Paintball Photography.com and Teva Import Tahiti + special thanks to Michael Nguyen and Amanda Andrews for helping coach and loan of markers!
Prior to the event was a trade show that ran for the entire weekend including booths from Napshot (Dye, HK Army, Kee Action Sports, Luxe and Sup Air), PB Rack, Pro Paintball (Style Supply, Virtue, GI Milsim, Bob Long), PBH Paintball Heaven and Skirmish Paintball (Planet Eclipse). I’ve never seen as much paintball gear for sale in one place (I think there was even more than at Millenium Disney!)

We were also lucky enough to be invited to the opening dinner, hosted by the Princess of Kedah – WCA Patron, as well as the closing ceremony, hosted by the former Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Prelims:

Day 1:

GAME 1 – Phoenix Authority Tahiti 3 vs Thundercats Australia 0 – WIN
GAME 2 – Phoenix Authority Tahiti 0 vs Grammaton Clerics Malaysia – LOSS
GAME 3 – Phoenix Authority Tahiti 3 vs Sirens Malaysia 1 – WIN
During the 3rd point of this game they threw in the towel preventing me from scoring the point – we still got it, but I would have liked to have hit the invisible buzzer! 
During the 4th point of this game that I was told that after bunkering the centre back player and diving into the start box/place where buzzer would have been that my point did not count due to it being a dive rather than “on the full” – except it was in broken english, and the ref couldn’t explain what the problem was, wouldn’t paint check me, and didn’t call me eliminated.. a strange few seconds until Tim ran in and hit the non existant buzzer. 

Day 2:

GAME 4 – Phoenix Authority Tahiti: 1 vs Wrecking Crew Australia: 3 – LOSS
Its worth noting that this was our first “run in” with the head ref on the field. He warned both us and wrecking crew for overshooting, even though neither team complained about it.  Part of the warning was that if it happens again we would have been ejected from the tournament – end result more cautious play, even if the head refs perception of so called “overshooting” was fairly dubious.  A poor call that shouldn’t have happened. And yes, I know reffing is hard, and by and large it was excellent, especially considering the long hours the refs were putting in and the numerous language barriers with teams from around Asia and the world.
GAME 5 – Phoenix Authority Tahiti: 0 vs Republic CMX Malaysia: 3 – LOSS
GAME 6 – Phoenix Authority Tahiti: 2 vs EJPC Cyberjaya Malaysia: 2 – DRAW
Had we have pushed for the win in the last game rather than a draw (a tactical error on our part we decided to hold for the draw rather than risk a penalty in the last 60 seconds) we would have either definitely been in the top 16, or been out of it and not need to play off.

Our points at the end of Day 2 (which we found out at about 11pm, after I’d given up on a position in “Sunday Club”) were 16/17/18 equal, where all teams had the same points, the same wins, the same losses, and the same seeding based on previous events.

The first time in PALS history a 3 way tiebreaker was required to start at 8am the next morning, delaying the quarter finals for the other teams by about 1.5 hours and meaning we needed to wake up at 5:30 am to try our best to get into the top 16.

Playoffs:

PLAYOFF 1 – Phoenix Authority Tahiti: 3 vs Thorne Thailand 0 – WIN
PLAYOFF 2 – Phoenix Authority Tahiti: 0 vs Hoodlums Malaysia 3 – LOSS
PLAYOFF 3 – Hoodlums Malaysia: 3 vs Throne Thailand: 2
Unfortunately due to a disputed penalty we had to take to the field with just 3 players in the deciding point against Hoodlums. I can’t say whether it would have made a difference to our overall positioning, but it definitely cost us the 3rd point! All up we played 27 Points, against 9 different teams, and shot 18 cases between 7 players, making it a very cheap tournament for actual cost of paint.  I’m guessing if we had made it to the quarter finals we’d probably be shooting approximately 25-30 cases.

If I was to change anything I’d bring the rules directly in line with Millenium series for greater international consistency and remove the option of both PSP and Millenium Ramping (just go with Millennium at 10.5 bps).  I’d also move the D2 field possibly to where the D4 Field was, and have the chrono station facing the other way, so that we could actually hear the PA system rather than paintballs hitting corrogated iron.  The only other niggle was the Intercontinental cup having its BPS caps changed the day before the event, and the 3rd and 4th position teams (I was pit crewing for Infamous) missing their semi final games due to a scheduling change caused by the arrival of a VIP.  Its unfair for teams to travel so far, be set up for a game at 5pm, have it delayed until 8pm and then find its not happening.
Of course, by the time the players party had rolled around, we all got to drinking (and I got to DJing) and everyone forgot about whatever bad calls had happend, with some partying untill 5am! I have to say that the WCA players party hands down beats the Millennium players party! Will I be back – of course.  This is still my favorite event to participate in, as its much, much more than just paintball. Its an awesome holiday (which I’ll cover in another post), its a trade show, its a networking event, and it has paintball too!

If you are thinking about attending in 2013, I say do it, start saving it you’ll have an amazing time!

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