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Friday, June 10, 2011

HCU Interview 68Caliber.com

Playing X-Ball in the Woods? YES!
originally posted on 68Caliber.com June 10,2011

  Bruce ‘Charon’ Johnston interviews Canadian X-Ball Team Halifax City United and their commitment to step back into the woods at the ATWL. (And don’t forget to check out the image gallery after the interview!)

Interview by Bruce Johnston

Halifax City United (HCU), one of the best xball teams in Canada, is heading back to their roots by playing in the Atlantic Tactical Woodsball League (ATWL). Bruce ‘Charon’ Johnston from 68Caliber.com sat down with Gilbert Rossingol from HCU to find out why the CXBL is invading the ATWL.

Bruce ‘Charon’ Johnston (68Caliber): Why is a team playing in Canada’s professional xball league, the Canadian Xtreme Paintball League (CXBL), playing in a regional woodsball league?

Halifax City United (HCU): We’re a strong believer that to be really good at paintball, you need to be good at all aspects of the sport. Playing woodsball will help us improve some skills that you can’t get on the speedball field. We also like to mix things up a little bit, doing the same breakout time and time again can get repetitive and boring, what better way to mix it up, then be in the woods.

68Caliber: I see a few Halifax City United players at different woodsball, and scenario events. Will this be the first time your entire xball team has played woodsball together?

HCU: Together, yes. Five HCU players played together in the ATWL last year, and every event, we would bring out different speedball players to play with us. Each player had the same reaction, this is AWESOME. A few of us also like to attend the annual Risk event hosted by the Tippinators at Mersey Road. However we attend them with a different intent then most players. I try to get the guys to command a squad or group of players, reinforcing their teamwork and communication skills.

68Caliber: I know that you have a few US based pro players who play with you in the CXBL. Is there any chance we might see a big name US player on your ATWL team?

HCU: You can never really be too sure about what the future holds. We have some friends that play for just about every pro team out there. This year, we have players from VICIOUS playing with us, VICIOUS is also playing UWL. They actually won their first pro UWL event in Mesquite, NV.

68Caliber: All players are asked to wear matching jerseys to play ATWL. Your CXBL jerseys are not exactly tactical. Can we expect to see you running in red and white this season or will you get something a little woodsier?

HCU: You can expect to see us in matching CXBL uniforms at the first event. We’ll see how that works out for us. If, for whatever reason, we can’t blend in to our surroundings we will make the necessary changes before event two.

68Caliber: Most people don’t want to bang a $1300 Ego 11 around in the woods. Will your guys be changing any of your equipment to play competitive woodsball?

HCU: Absolutely not. The whole idea of playing ATWL is for our players to get used to playing in different positions, different bunkers, player swill learn nothing if we are using different gear. There’s a reason we all shoot Planet Eclipse markers, we require reliability, accuracy and efficiency, so we shoot what we consider the best in all three.

68Caliber: In xball the playing area is rather confined, and you know approximately where the other team might be. How will you change your tactics to overcome the larger playing area?

HCU: Tactics are something I don’t want to get too much into, but the principles won’t be much different. In xball a back center controls your mid and front players, we will use the same idea in the woods, except that we may have two or three back centers.

68Caliber: The ATWL is a ten man league. Most xball teams have two, five man lines. Will your entire CXBL roster be playing woodsball?

HCU: Everyone on our CXBL roster, minus the players from VICIOUS, will be in attendance at the first ATWL event. As I mentioned above, it is important to expand on your skills list, and we require everyone to be playing.

68Caliber: Halifax City United players have considerable skill and experience playing xball / speedball. Do you think individual skills will translate into woodsball?

HCU: Of course, but like everyone else we’re still learning, progressing, and woodsball is another aspect we need to work on.

68Caliber: What most woodsball players don’t know is penalties in xball can determine the outcome of a game. The CXBL has very strict rules and even fines for playing infractions. How do you plan to dispel the belief that all speedballers are wipers and whiners?

HCU: When you play with the HCU shield on your chest, you must play with honesty and integrity. We take our showing on and off the field very seriously. You don’t only represent yourself, but you represent your teammates, your city, and most importantly your sponsors. I can’t comment on other teams, but you shouldn’t see any HCU penalties.

68Caliber: More than once I have heard players talking in the staging area talking about how they can’t wait to “light up” the speedballers. How does it feel to know players are gunning specifically for you, and your team?

HCU: Well, I would hope they are. We are the ten players on the other side of the field. I think it adds a bit of fuel to the fire and makes us want to play better.

68Caliber: Come on now, tell the truth. You guys are really out to prove speedballers are better than woodsballers aren’t you?

HCU: Absolutely, our entire goal is to remove woodsballers from the paintball equation. Our hope is to beat them down so badly they won’t ever want to come back. [breaks into laughter] I’m just kidding. We are playing ATWL to have fun and work on some team skills.

68Caliber: Is there anything that you would like people to know that I might have missed?

HCU: First of all, thanks Bruce for the opportunity, we look forward to seeing you on the field. I’d like to say thanks to all of our sponsors, DSSP8NTBALL.com, KEE, EMPIRE, Planet Eclipse, ProPaintball.com, and GR Paintball. Thanks for your continued support. If you want to read about how we are doing in the CXBL, make sure you check our xball.com or propaintball.com.