E2 XD Wrap UP / Better late than never.
The X-Division wrap up for E2 is here!! Take a trip back in time and experience one of the most exciting events the CPPL has ever held. Huge comebacks, close games, overtime, and yes even blowouts.
The CPPL reinvesting back into the league once again, added an all new bunker set, to the happy cheers of all players.
There was however, no snow…this disappointed no one….
The 2nd event of the season gave us our first D3 team vs D3 team prelim game ever. D3 is the newest version of the CPPL X-division offered. So far just two teams have jumped into the future and tried paintball’s most exciting format. These teams are getting to play D2 teams in the prelims, before moving on to their own finals. The level of play that they exhibit is getting better and better each time they attend.
Extracting some revenge from the first event of the season Hinton Chaos would defeat The Regina Regulators. These teams would meet again with much more on the line. In another case of a team extracting revenge, CKA would down Ragnarok by a score of 4-2. Again, likely not the last meeting of these two top D2 teams.
The D1 X-division has been extremely competitive, every point, every match, every inch has been a struggle. The first D1 set of E2 would be no different. E1 Champions The Black Hammers would edge the ever improving Toxic by just one point. Toxic, a long standing CPPL team, former D3, and D2 multiple event and series winner had made the jump to D1 X-division. They are unique in the fact that they are made up members of all the top Canadian paintball companies. Members of PBL, Badlands Paintball, and MR Paintball make up the roster. Toxic gets better every time they play , it would seem ultimate success is only a matter of time and chance.
An early favourite for match of the event would have to be Vengence VS Inquisition. Back and forth they went, each holding a lead, and each squandering chances to win. It would take overtime to decide the best team on this occasion, that team would be Vengence, by the most narrow of margins.
The event rolls on and so does Saskatoon Savage. Runner up at CPPL E1 they started off E2 with a strong win VS LSD Kittens, just in time to see Ragnarok bounce back from early disappointment, posting a very valuable 7 point victory.
The hard earned early wins seem to propel the Black Hammers and Vengence into their 2nd matches. As close as the first matches were, the next ones were exactly the opposite. The Hammers shut out INQ 5-0, Vengence fell just short of putting the MAX of 7 on Toxic.
Teams all now moved on the 2nd games of their schedule. CKA was unable to continue the stong play from game one, they dropped their 2nd game to the LSD crew. CKA would need a return to form to be among the D2 playoff teams. Saskatoon Savage, already D2 5Man Champions would be moving on to the playoff rounds. Another dominating performance had them looking forward to the knockout stage.
The last D1 round of matches would feature much at stake. The winner of the Vengence / Black Hammers game would receive a bye into the championship game. The victor of the Toxic / Inquisition
game would own the last playoff spot. Vengence dominated the Hammers in the final prelim game, defeating them 6-1. The other winner take all game proved to be very different. In a game marked by numerous leads and comebacks, Toxic would prove to be one point better than Inquisition, outlasting them to move on VS. The Black Hammers in the semi-final.
The D2 playoffs would take shape with CKA getting the victory that they needed to qualify for the semi-finals. Ragnarok and 1st place qualifier Saskatoon Savage would complete the top 3 teams moving on.
The semi-final matches would seem to follow a similar path as the previous matches. One of the matches would be very close, the other nearly a blowout. Ragnarok defeats CKA by a 4-1 margin, while The Black Hammers would come back from 4 points down, to overcome toxic, and earn another crack at Vengence, more importantly another chance to win their second event of the season.
The D3 championship would see a return match of game #1. The only team that has won a D3 X-Division Championship is the Regina Regulators.. They would erase the result of the first match and defeat Hinton Chaos by a convincing 5-1 score.
The average X-Division match usually sees around 6-8 points scored. The D2 tittle game only saw 3! Both teams played very cautious, showing a great deal of respect for each other, Ragnarok won CPPL E1 , they used this experience to Win CPPL E2, edging Saskatoon Savage by a score 2-1.
Both rosters of the two top D1 teams in the CPPL have undergone a great deal of change. The Black hammers have seen many of their players from 2013 move on, or join other teams. CPPL E1 showed that they had filled the voids these players left. Picking up players that previously played for Powerhouse team HIGH OCTANE has ensured that The Black Hammers would be a favourite to win any event they play. Duncan and Arely have assumed the leadership role on this team, constantly supported by all-level play from Nick. The current all-star standings read like a black hammers starting line up. The rich have gotten richer!
Vengence would have similar positions to address. With less than 4 members returning from the last CPPL event in 2013, the new additions would determine the results they would earn. Annual all star David A would be joined by former WC Grizzles Max, and Mark. They joined ex-toxic players John, and Adrian. The balance of the team would consist of graduating members of the LSD Kitten Factory, Alex and Josh, Blake an eastern Import, and Emma the last remaining original Vengence player, would complete the team
CPPL E1 showed that both teams were ready to challenge and pouch each other for the top prize.
The extra game, and the toll that the 4 point comeback required seem to have the Black Hammers in a vulnerable positions. This however was not the case, they jumped out to a 2 point lead, and appeared to be on the way to a second consecutive championship. Having a coach or team member keeping tacking of what’s working and what is no longer effective is a huge asset to any team, even more so in the X-Division.
The adjustments that The Hammers made VS. Toxic in the semi finals worked, they fought their way back, could vengence adjust now? The next four points while extremely competitive would tell the story.
Vengence would regain a strong “X” presence, and ride this adjustment to 4 straight points, and the CPPL E2 D1 Championships. This is the first CPPL tittle for Vengence in over 2 years. Have they found the right formula to compete with the Hammers every event?The next task for both top D1 teams is to keep the ever improving Toxic out of the final game, and to keep Inquisition looking for ways to break through.
CPPL E2 is over, the wrap up FINALLY done! Many questions have be answered, yet many more will be asked, in just a short period of time. E3 is very close, in fact it has already happened. WRAP UP will be done in the next few days.
Series standings to be posted this weekend!