Photos by 88 Teeth Photography
Top Gun Productions’ Rick “Rico” Fernandez is now in the second year of promoting General’s Cup, a throwdown between North and South Florida paintball players. This year’s event was hosted by Gator Paintball Extreme in Hudson, Florida.
I have to admit that for several years ‘Gatorball’, as it’s known to locals was my home field when I lived in Florida. With that being said, it’d been about 5 years since I’d been to Gatorball, so when news broke that South Beach Team Captain John Navarro would be leading the South Side, I was excited for several reasons.
One of the biggest reasons I was excited about playing this event is that Rico had contracted 88 Teeth Photography to cover the event, which meant that I could play the entire event, rather than playing and working the camera!
Gator Paintball Extreme is owned and operated by Tim (‘TIIIIMMMMMMAAAAHHHH!!!) Altman and features 27 acres of land with 5000 psi air fills, 2 concept fields during normal weekend operation, a big hyperball field and a large woodsball course featuring a mobile village using mobile homes as structures, a 2 story wood castle, and several vehicles to make for a fun and challenging course. Over 300 players were crammed onto Gatorball’s field for the 2012 General’s Cup.
Jose Mortilla of team Genesis led the North Side, and South Beach Pimp John Navarro lead the South Side. Prior to the event, both Generals promoted and recruited heavily for this event, which include promotional videos put out by Top Gun, a huge Facebook campaign, and extensive use of various paintball forums.
On Saturday morning everyone gathered at Gatorball, and we were welcomed by a large sound system playing martial sounding music interspersed with pre-recorded announcements regarding paint sales, registration, and when specific events were coming up, a periodic announcement would come across stating how long players had to complete specific tasks or when a meeting was to take place. I liked how the sound system kept everyone in the loop with regards to what was going on, but several players commented that the music got ‘old’ after awhile.
KEE Action Sports provided the paint for this event, with two grades being made available to players. RP Premium was the higher grade paint available, priced at a reasonable $50 a case, and X.O. Industries Spectrum was being sold for $39 a case for the more budget conscious player. Despite the current economic condition, which has hit everyone hard, the more expensive RP Premium sold out during the course of the event. L&M Sports was on site for this event making sure players had gear and goodies to keep them on the field, and DYE sent along legendary player and master technician Rocky Cagnoni to make sure DYE users were up and running.
During the player’s briefing, it was discovered that the sides were uneven in numbers, so players were asked to voluntarily swap sides to make the sides numerically even. Around 20 players stepped up to make the swap. There was one tank at this event, which was given to Mortilla’s side, and to compensate Rico gave a generous number of LAW rocket cards for Navarro to disperse on his side.
At game on, both sides rushed onto the field and immediately a massive firefight blew up around Gatorball’s Mobile Village. The mobile homes and the surrounding structures provided good cover for both sides, and the field was relatively narrow at that point, so flanking around wasn’t really an easy possibility. During the course of the day the North’s tank made several incursions into the South side of the field, only to be taken out by LAW rockets.
Play on the field raged non-stop during the course of the day, and at 6PM play was suspended for the day. There was no night play at this event (much to my relief!) so everyone started cooking and relaxing for the evening at the field. Top Gun Productions arranged for a scavenger hunt for the children at this event, and a live band provided by Team Genesis started a concert, while team ThrillKill had an on field Rave during the evening.
On Sunday morning the teams once again met up to get a head count and make sure the sides were numerically even, and the announcement was made that the North Side tank would not be in play, making Sunday a straight up gun fight. LAW rockets were still permitted to be used by both sides to take out structures.
As Sunday play began, the South Side again rushed to the mid-point of the field, and unlike Saturday’s play, when the North Side Tank would stop progress at the mid point, the South Side continued pushing through the Mobile Village and eventually shut down a majority of the field. The North Side was able to defend their base and continue running missions, but with the heavy South Side presence on their side of the field, those missions became much more exciting and difficult for North Side to complete.
Late in the morning, play was again suspended and the PA system informed players to get painted up, aired up, and hydrated for the upcoming final battle. The final battle was to last 30 minutes, and the objective was to take and control (by having a live player in it) a structure situated at the middle point of the final battle area, which was just past the Mobile Village and ended with the North Side base.
Once the final battle started, both sides made huge pushes to take over the 4-sided structure that was their objective. Both sides put players in the objective, but both sides soon figured out that sending single players into the structure wasn’t the way to go. Instead groups of players would push on the structure, get at least one player into it, and then players would dog pile onto the live player.
This strategy worked well for both sides until the South Side brought in L&M Sports Mike Pearlman and his ‘Juggernaught’, a body mounted, 6 gun crank operated paint spewing beast. Mike’s run essentially cleared the area around the structure while the South Side built a massive dog pile of players in the structure, but he paid the price for his incursion by being mercilessly lit up.
Once the final battle was over, everyone geared down and got ready for the announcement to see who won this year’s General’s Cup. The North Side’s dominance during Saturday barely outweighed the South Side’s overwhelming show of force on Sunday. The point spread between the winning and losing side was 185 points, meaning that the North Side’s Jose Mortilla won this year’s General’s Cup.
After the Generals made their speeches and recognized teams and players who made their efforts for the win as strong as possible, LCP’s Billy Smith got on stage to assist with the prize giveaway and entertain the crowd as Rico got the prize package rounded up for the prize raffle.
There’s already been talk of a rematch between Mortilla and Navarro for the 2013 General’s Cup, but at this time we don’t know if that will happen. To keep up with the developing 2013 General’s Cup and to get a link to see the pictures from this year’s event, check out http://www.topgunproductions.info