Off the back of a successful NXLE outing the team were hoping to follow suit at Round 4 of the CPPS. With a condensed practice schedule and an all-round tricky field, the team knew it was going to be an absolute grind of a day.
We opened our day against our very own Mustangs who, hungry to show they’re not just the little brother, came into the game with focus and determination. After we dominated the first point, storming down the field in under 30 seconds, the Mustangs answered strong. Mustangs were successfully able to slow down the pace of the game and taking advantage of critical moments to put up a 5 – 1 win, handing us our first mercy loss of the season. What a statement, and what a wakeup call for us.
The day didn’t get any easier for us. We immediately took a 3 – 3 draw to Firm and then another loss to Sandbaggers 1 – 4.
With two losses and a draw to on the day we needed a win, and a big one, to get through to the quarters. We found this win against a solid Wolverhampton Warped squad, applying all the lessons from the previous games to take the game 5 – 1.
With a win finally secured, this put us into the playoffs by the skin of our teeth. While this was not the ideal start to the tournament, our Mustangs team had been absolutely crushing it, bringing in another win against SAD and bringing in solid draws against strong London Tigers and Sandbaggers teams. On a layout that had largely seen chaos in the results this was even enough to secure them a bye straight to the semi-finals, and to make it even more juicy they were on our side of the bracket.
Before we could worry about the semi-finals & the Mustangs, we first needed to get past Firm. With the prelim matchup ending in a dead heat, we knew we had to dial in on everything to take this one. The game started much like the prelim game as the first two points were traded. However, after putting up a strong second point we were able to pull away and put up a third with just 40 seconds to go. Digging in for the final point we took the game 3-1. Onto the Mustangs game, and on to payback!
We are no stranger to the Mustangs putting up tournament wins. They are, after all, the reigning season title holders. This wasn’t a big brother vs little brother prelim, but a semi-final against a team that had already put us in the dirt earlier in the day. We were ready to beat them at their own slower game that the layout seemed to favour and after the first 2 points we found ourselves up 2 – 0 with just 1:23 left to play. Mustangs did their best to push and bring it back, but the field was too slow for big breaks, and we took the game 3 – 0. On to the finals.
If you’d have told us we’d have made the finals after our start to the day a lot of teams would have taken that. But we were here to win, and a rematch against Sandbaggers was waiting for us. We’d met Baggers in the finals twice already this year, pipping them to the post on both occasions. We knew they wanted a win, and we wanted payback for earlier.
The final was again a bit of a grind as points slowed down and were traded back and forth. At 1 – 1 there was a bit of confusion. After taking a rare hard hit one of our players went down. Seeing this, the last Baggers player stopped play to help; while our players ahead of the play and unaware of the situation continued down the field to take a 2 – 1 lead. However, after better understanding the situation, we agreed in the pits as a team to concede the next point in a show of sportsmanship and an effort to win the right way. This put the game tied at 2 – 2 with 3:06 on the clock, the final point of regulation then ending in a stalemate. Overtime – were no strangers to overtimes in the finals, we had already played one against Baggers this year. This time things went a little bit differently. Baggers dug in and were able to dink us out of key spots to hand us our first CPPS event loss of the season.
We’d like to say a massive congratulations to Baggers on their win, it was well deserved. We’d also like to say a massive congratulations to our Mustangs, who while we were playing the finals managed to put away London Tigers in a tight 3rd/4th that came down to one on ones where the cool head of Guy Wakefield prevailed. The Mustangs was a fully rebuilt squad this year, taking on players from as low as division 5. With a lot of hard work, they’ve transformed themselves into a solid Elite team that’s not to be underestimated. They work hard in training and are a credit to the Luckys program. This podium proves that with dedication and the right mind set, it’s not long before it starts paying off.
Finally, we’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who makes these events possible for us; Our fans for all the support, everyone who helped us in the pits – literally couldn’t have done it without you, and our sponsors – Gi Sports, Planet Eclipse, Jersey Clinic, JT Paintball, Carbon Paintball, Paintball DE & Beyond. Without the support we would not be able to compete at the level we do and we’re so grateful for everyone who’s bought into our journey.
Next up, NXLE Paris.