Ah, yes – the ‘Murica Open – the tournament that reminds you that bacon and beer is a complete breakfast. The tournament where “overshooting” is a crybaby word and there’s no such thing as a rate of fire cap. This time the tournament was played on an airball field next to the hyperball field, but with a custom layout sized for 3-man play. Inspired by the JT pyramid bunker of yesteryear, the ‘Murica Open spun the NXL “W” bunker sideways and added the mini “W’s” to the side. Despite being nearly Fall, Georgia weather has stayed firmly in the 90’s with partly cloudy skies. This is normal tournament weather for the area, but with a game start time of 10:30 it meant the heat had already arrived by the time the whistle blew for the first game.
The purists might argue that it is a step backwards to move from hyperball to using airball bunkers in terms of aiming to be a more old school style of tournament. I certainly agree that there’s a certain nostalgia to hearing 15+ paintballs a second hitting the corrugated tubes, but there are other concerns when running a small tournament. Hyperball fields aren’t known for being mobile. A layout that might make for plenty of fun for the recreational players that use a field most weekends won’t necessarily translate well to the faster pace of a ‘Murican tournament. Using airball bunkers allows for setting up a field tailored for 3-man play that both provides adequate cover off the break as well as encourages movement up the field. This event saw a significant increase in players’ ability to move up the field alive and made those sweet looking run-throughs possible, so I’d consider this change a good idea.
What didn’t change was the array of gear that made it to the field. From brand new markers that have barely broken in to an early Ego and even an Evolution “Egg” hopper. Side note – it’s funny going through old forum posts and reviews of paintball gear that considered things like the Egg to be a pricy hopper at $80 or that you had to be sure it would fit your Ion’s feedneck. As I said, the play did change a bit at this tournament. There were more people shot off break, more moves up the field, and plenty of people went home with more welts than they’re used to.
Once again, I thought the ‘Murica Open did a good job of sticking to the important parts of paintball. Players had fun shooting their buddies, several people came out of retirement for the day, and the winners took home a slightly bigger trophy than last time. Plus, first place got barbeque sauce for their celebration grilling. What’s more ‘Murican than that?
Full results: 1st Place - Danger Zone
2nd Place - Boot Scoot N' Boogie
3rd Place - Polar Bears
4th Place - Black Widow Death Squad
If you’re looking for your chance to play at the next ‘Murica Open, I’m told it will likely be after the NXL World Cup with goals of 7-man on a hyperball field.