The biggest and most extravagant paintball event in Asia, the World Cup Asia (WCA) 2008 was held from 13 Nov – 16 Nov 2008 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This year’s event saw an excellent participation of about 66 paintball teams from the around the Asia Pacific region, including the guest appearance of Joy Division from Sweden led by Magued Idris.
The event begin with a loud bang with what the organizers promised as the biggest paintball merchandise display in Asia since WCA's intervention. Players, dealers and supporters from across the regional countries were treated with a full day of paintball tech classes and product launches by the big boys from the different paintball brands. Bill Ceranski from Kee Action Sports was the first in line to introduce the latest range of Empire products for the year 2009. Planet Eclipse’s tech class was held in Xtionpaintball and attended by Ego dealers with the introduction of its new Ego9 and Geo markers which were launched during the PSP World Cup in Orlando. Australia brand Macdev which has a strong stake in the Asia region put up a colourful display of the new Cyborg RX with CEO Diane King introducing the new improve feature of the closed bolt maker. Fans alike were captivated by the different multiple colour combination of the marker accessories. Investing in the loader market is Dye’s new Rotor loader which feeds up to 50 paintballs per second!!! The introduction of the new I4 goggles in the Asia region was a big WOW for Dye fans. All it takes is 10 seconds to replace lense. The slick profile new I4 is what many call a hybrid combination of the Empire E-vents and V Force Profiler. With the new products on shelves, one could not wait for the WCA to start while shopping in the tournament village.
As the saying goes, "if there is no rain, it is not the WCA". If I am not wrong, for the last 3 years of the WCA, it was never played on dry land. And because of this, teams came well prepared for wet weather. The competition started at 8 am sharp... after 2 games into the schedule, there was a technical fault where games has to be ceased and delayed. Participants of the WCA took no chance at all when it comes to checking out the paintball booths, in fact, they were spoilt for choice. Surely the organizers kept to their promise when it comes to the biggest paintball display. There were JT and Luxe models (I mean girls in JT T shirts) going around promoting their products. Day 2 games were played only by Division 2 and Division 3 teams. For Division 2, it was a tough and gruelling task, to play more than 8 qualifying games is definitely serious business, players feeling the toll of rain and wet feet (hmmm....). At the end of the day, Philippine team, the Real Pinoys emerged as the top position team with a record of 10 wins and 1 lost (I think...thats what Kiko told me). While in Division 3, it was the Johor Pirates and Team Romeoz who topped the chart.
Day 3 is another usual day of paintballing. Teams tried to earn their final spot into the next round. All Division 1 teams played on Day 3. It was good to see and experience a different side of the game where is much faster (with ramping of course). Joy Division made heads turned with their "no word communication". Where communication is all that we emphasized on the field, it was actually pretty interesting to witness that these "bigger" boys do not interact very much and yet still able to pull off wonderful wins. And yes, by this time you would have imagined how muddy and soggy the field would have been, not mentioning the familar stench of mud and paints. There were no Division 2 games on Day 3 and it was also an early knock off for teams in Division 3 as the top 16 teams emerged.
The final day! It was not before long that all the WCA event T shirts were all sold out! Players and supports alike made mad rushes to loot merchandise from the stores. It was simply sales, sales and more sales! Dye sold more than 200 boardshorts in 3 days! JT sold its new Proflex Revolution! and on the other side of the village, people were storming to catch a last glimpse of the JT girls. Hehehehe...And the results:
Div 1: 1st - Infernal (THA) 2nd - Macdev Ronin (MAS) 3rd - Xtioneer (MAS) 4th - SWAT (AUS)
Div 2: 1st - Real Pinoy (PHI) 2nd - WASP Black (AUS) 3rd - KL Killer Beez(MAS) 4th - Iron Sea (MAS)
Div 3: 1st - Johor Pirates (MAS) 2nd - Romeoz (MAS) 3rd - Undeath(MAS) 4th - D'Mercy Kids (MAS)
Drinks, drinks and more drinks concluded WCA 2008.
With a "relaxing" 2 days qualifying for Division 3 was heaven. We had to play 11 straight games last year. This year though tiring with all that travelling made it good for us to visit the tournament village and with that, we buy more things and spend a little bit more money. Air was good, sometimes filling up to 4500!!! That little glitch in Day 1 was okay...can be better but that was fine, more shopping time for us anyway! Refeering was excellent, good calls and very responsive refs. Merchandising? 101% Thumbs up! Should do that more often... good for the industry, good for vendor support, good for public awareness. Accompany? Nothing can describe that...4 days sleeping, eating and playing together, is no joke! You get to see the inside out of your team mates and of course to bear the snoring at night. But it was good. I concussed immediately every time my head touches the pillow.
Things can be better in these areas: 1) "No rain no WCA" get ready for rain...plastic pallets on the way into the field, that's a genius idea so why not get more of those in the players area? We could do with lesser fresh socks, washing of mud, yucky shoes, wet feet. 2) Produce more APPBF T shirts! I was so sad to go home without one...(okay its personal, I know) 3) No make up opening ceremony? Of course the rain spoils it all but a make up opening would make people remember the camaderie ceremony, flags flying high...remember last year's golf promotional speech? Play golf instead of paintball? Visit golf courses? That's classic. 4) No stars this time? Yes, Joy was there...but certainly not joyful enough, we used to have Dynasty guys in here, signatures and photo opportunities, no more (if its saving more money, thats fine). 5) Passes for visitors. We have a friend who came all the way from Singapore to show his support but only to be denied entry due to....no more visitor pass. 6 hours of bus ride...comes to nothing. He even offer to pay more if he has too but still had to watch from outside. So that's quite sad... No worries Shah..."I will make it up to you, I always will" 6) Entry fee to tournament village....hmmm...pay to enter village and go shopping? Wouldnt that kill public awareness? Scream out loud vendors!!!
But again...its an excellent event not to be missed. 2009...get ready, we are into full throttle. Thank you organizers, you made paintball more interesting in this part of the world. You will get our support for the WCA!