Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cherry Credits signs Red Sevens paintball team!

This is an historical milestone for Singapore paintball as Red Sevens paintball team becomes the first paintball team in Singapore to secure a corporate cash sponsorship from a top leading Asia micropayment company, Cherry Credits for the year 2012. We jumped on the opportunity to interview Ben Seow who is a founding member of the Red Sevens to find out more about this sponsorship and how this initiative can change paintball sports in Singapore.

1) Ok... go straight to the point, what's the deal with Cherry Credits?

A: Cherry Credits is a leading company in Asia which manages global micropayment solutions on online platform. As a top industry organization, Cherry Credits wanted to initiate its Corporate Social Responsibility initiative and paintball was selected due to its focus on teamwork and strategies which have similarities to the online gaming platform. Red Sevens as one of the top paintball teams in Singapore was chosen to represent its brand.

2) Let us know the specifics... what is in this sponsorship deal?

A: Let's just say that we have got a few paintball events covered for 2012 and the team will be adopting the name of "Cherry Credits Red Sevens" in 2012. But it doesn't mean that we will get to play for free... though we will be getting a new customized jersey in the promotion and marketing of our sponsor's brand.

The winning team from 2011.

3) Red Sevens which was the Overall Series Champion for Division 2 in Malaysia Paintball Official Circuit (MPOC) 2011 did not attend the first leg of MPOC 2012 in January... what actually happened?

A: After winning both overall championship titles in the Singapore Paintball Series(SPS) and MPOC Division 2 in 2011, the team is currently undergoing a complete restructure. In 2011, the team participated in all legs of MPOC, SPS and Paintball Asia League Series (PALS) and cost of participation and time of travel has taken a toll on everyone. As soon as the season was over, everyone went back to their daily routine. Work, studies, money and family were some of the main reasons why players left but I guess these are the norms in every team. In paintball, it is common for players to come and go, we'll just have to recruit more players into the team.

4) So...when will we be seeing the Red Sevens on the field again?

A: With the revamp, we will have a couple of new faces this year. The team was build in the direction where each and every player in the team has a good foundation in the fundamental basics of paintball. Our new players whom we have been working with in the past 1 - 2 months are acquiring these skill sets before they are picked for games. These progressions will be carefully monitored and critiqued upon. We hope to instill the newer players with more game experience before sending them to the real stage. We will most probably formed a mix team in the Division 3 ranks to initiate these new players and make an assessment of how far we will go from there. Following on, we will proceed to Division 2 which is where the team should be playing.

Zac Schick was newly recruited to Red Sevens and will be representing the team in 2012.

5) We were under the impression that Red Sevens was going Division 1 in 2012.

A: Yes, the MPOC organizers announce about our possible promotion to Division 1 in 2012. In fact, this request was put forth in 2010 for the 2011 season but we were not ready for the bigger stage. In the early 2011, we had some players who left the team which was the reason why we couldn't give Division 1 a go. The same thing happened again this year... and so we had to stay in Division 2. Hopefully, we will have a Division 1 team in 2013.

Training in progress for new players of the Red Sevens

6) How many players are there in the Red 7 roster?

A: In 2011, we had a roster of 20 players but as of now, perhaps about 10 players. Half of the Red Sevens team had to deal with life issues and couldn't compete as much as they would like to in 2012.

7) Back to the sponsorship with Cherry Credits. Tell us, why do you say that this is historical for Singapore?

A: Paintball is not a mainstream sports in Singapore. Mainstream sports in Singapore are widely recognized by corporate companies and governing organizations. Major sporting events held in Singapore are often supported by a big corporate brand such as the OCBC Cycling and the Standard Chartered Marathon. With this sponsorship and due recognition from Cherry Credits, we are taking the first step in getting the involvement of corporate companies to promote paintball. We have hopes to leverage on this sponsorship to create awareness for the sport so that more people are aware about paintball sports and clear doubts about paintball being a dangerous activity that can only be played in a forested environment. With greater awareness, we are hoping to garner the support of more corporate companies to support the local paintball scene so that more local paintball teams can follow our footsteps to gain recognition and support. This might also create an opportunity for governing authorities to review the current regulations that are binding the progression of this sport.

8) Cash sponsorship is never an easy feat. Tell us more about this.

A: I couldn't agree more. Getting cash sponsorship is never an easy task but it is not entirely impossible. The way to go about doing this is to manage your paintball team as professional as possible. Every team wants the best for themselves but not all are willing to do their best in getting these sponsorship. By that I mean drafting a good sponsorship proposal. A good proposal sets the tone right for everyone. All sponsors want to know how the team can best represent their brand whether they are on or off the paintball field. A team has to be playing enough tournaments to gain recognition and in order to do that, the team has to put in a considerably amount of time in training before competing. When competing, the team has to win. No sponsor would want to sponsor a non-winning team and in order to win, team has to train. It is a chicken and egg story but many fail to see that.

Red Sevens winning the Singapore Paintball Series 2011 as Overall Champion

9) What are the plans for Red Sevens in 2012?

A: Revamp, Restructure and Reconstruct. The team was formed in 2006 and 6 years on, we are going into a new phase. We are currently recruiting players to form a D2, D3 and D4 team in each of the category. And if we do well in 2012, we will try for a D1 spot in 2013. We do have some major plans lined up from now to end of the year and if all goes well, we will create many more historic milestones.

10) Tell us more about these milestones.

A: I prefer to keep mum and see what happens from here. It is going to be very interesting, I promised.

11) Any last words?

A: Anything is possible. Never say never. Keep the hopes high and continue doing what you think is right. There are ups and downs but the sun will still rise after every night. Stay positive.

Interview conducted by Jane Koh

All photos belong to rightful owner. Photos from

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The art of pressing the buzzer

Photo from

4 Singapore based teams will be travelling to My-NPL next weekend for the 1st leg of the Malaysia tournament. These 4 teams are Raving Lunatics, Team Karma, SKIN and Team Enraged and they will be participating in the Division 3 category which is newly revamped in 2012 from a M5 format to a Race-2 game format. This is indeed good news for Singapore based teams as they challenge themselves to playing the Race-2 format. The Race-2 game format is widely used in the USA and European countries and is very popular with paintballers where game strategies are involved. Gone are the days where you have one single game plan for the entire tournament. With the Race-2 format, there are a couple of things that teams will need to be aware of in order for them to shine before the rest. In view of this new Race-2 adventure for these 4 teams, I have listed a few things which might be useful for everyone's reference:

1) Buzzer is KING
It is not about shooting all your opponents on the field but who is faster in pressing the buzzer. Don't get disillusion with shooting everyone out of the game. The faster hand to press the buzzer is the winner.

2) Make sure you have 2 of everything
With back to back games, it is important for the team to have enough paintball equipment. Make sure you have 2 paintball markers, 2 paintball tanks... well... basically 2 of everything. Teams with limited budget can use a common pool of equipment by sharing. Do remember to have a squeege if you are returning to the field for the next point.

3) Air vs paintballs
If you have no more air in your tank, you cannot shoot anymore paintballs. Therefore, it is important to fill your air first before looking around to fill your harness with pods of paintballs. You can bring in loads of paintballs but without air in your tank, you are nothing.

4) Watch out for statues
"Statues" are players who won the game but choose not to press the buzzer to declare the win. Often then not, the losing teams are busy podding and filling air that they fail to take note that "statues" are just standing in a freezing position next to the buzzer. What comes next is just seconds for you to win another point. Don't let them lose your precious time.

5) Understand the 30 seconds rule
The rule is simple. Get a penalty in the last 30 seconds of the game and the game is forfeited. Teams that are hungry to draw the game would usually do crazy things on the field. Crazy enough but keep the penalties to yourself.

6) The other buzzer
The coach buzzer is not for the faint hearted. We have seen teams losing precious points when the buzzer was wrongly pressed. Throwing the towel at the right time can be effective and surely time saving. Pressing the buzzer for the wrong reason can only see you regretting your decision in choosing a smart coach.

7) Crew
Call them whatever names you want but without them, you are screwed! Crew members are the most essential in any Race-2 game. They get you drinks, fill your pods, collect your empty pods, pump your guns and wipe your hits off.... all in the space of 2 mins (MPOC) and 1 min (MY-NPL). So make sure you treat them humanely and reward them whenever necessary.

8) Money, money, money
Don't plan for just enough, plan for the future... If you have no paintballs in the Finals, don't come crying for help because most of the teams would have already took off after a long day. And don't think your opponents are going to help you. 3 boxes per player budget is a MUST!

9) War map
Unlike M5 where you only play one game and rest of the next half an hour. In the Race-2 format, you will need to have multiple game plans. Plans for offensive and defensive strategies can bring the team a long way. With only 1 game plan and your snake will be wondering what wrong did he do to get shot out so easily... you have been warned. Hint: Don't waste time resting in the players area... take notes and watch some games will allow you to have a head start.

10) Coach
A coach coaches... he will provide the necessary instructions for the team. He plans the game and take his own notes so that he can always derive a counter measure plans for his team. A coach is not a reporter... A reporter tells you where your opponents are. "Snake 1, snake 1, snake 1... are things of the past. Be a coach not a reporter.

There you have it... 10 tips for the Singapore teams! Good luck to all participating in MY-NPL. Bring back the glory and lift your head high!

All good things must come to an end. A new beginning awaits...

This team was formed in 2006. The purpose of forming Singapore's first competitive paintball team was mooted with a sole objective of "representation". It was not long when a few strangers with a common interest came together and talk paintball all day long. There was no benchmark to follow, there was no pressure to perform and members of the team were just happy coming together every weekend satisfying their hunger for paintball games. Fast forward 6 years and this team has become a household name in the regional paintball scene. Having won the Singapore Paintball Series Open Division Overall Champion in 2011 and the Malaysia Paintball Official Circuit Division 2 Overall Champion in 2011, the team was on fire. Great battles were not won overnight neither were Champions. Members of the team took pride in donning their team jersey every time they step onto the field. Soon it was not just about being able to represent... it was about winning. It was about getting that difficult win every time we step into the field, it was about standing on the podium every time we represent, and it was about all the pride, glory and honour that make us a name to be reckoned with. But nevertheless, all good things must come to an end. Great teams fall after winning championships, great leaders pass after great battles... we knew that it was only a matter of time that all the good will start to fall apart. Like they say, all good things must come to an end. It takes great pain and suffering to see this fall. Once we were playing more than 12 paintball events a year and the next, we became strangers. Emails were sent with no reply. Dinners were arranged with no turn up. Trainings were scheduled with no players. Things just change. Life commitments start to hit the team hard... we had plans to move to Division 1 in 2012 but it never materialized. Players were going back to school, some had bills to pay, some chose to focus on work, some never really knew what's happening, some were out of jobs and lastly, some ended up being in a team without team mates. It is sad to see how things actually turn out for everyone. Well... life goes on. The world doesn't stop spinning. The sun continues to rise. The heart still continues pumping. It will be a matter of time that things will get back on track again. Until this day, we are ready to revamp the team like how a few strangers first got together. Perhaps, it is easier keeping things simple and gets everybody back to basics.