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Is There A Professional Paintball League?
Paintball is a hugely popular sport worldwide, and like all sports, many leagues have formed to allow players to compete against each other for glory and prizes. After all, what is the point of being at the peak of your paintball game at your local field if you can’t test yourself against the best in your city, your region, your country and then the world?
There’s not a single unified world tournament just yet, but some of the big leagues are attracting players from around the world to events across the globe and can truly call themselves worldwide. Let's take a look at some of the biggest paintball leagues and tournaments from the U.S. and beyond.
Europe - Belgium
Despite the country itself being smaller than most individual U.S. states, Belgium has a really active paintball scene and its own league, the United Belgium Paintball League (UBPL). With regular tournaments predominantly focused on speedball using elimination rounds and point system rankings, this league has events for children, plus leagues for amateurs and professionals, and is active on social media promoting the sport of paintball.
Australasia - Australia
Super 7’s Tournament Paintball league in Australia holds regional and national events, some of which are open to international players, too. Sponsored by big paintball industry names such as HK Army and Eclipse, their events attract many players from across South East Asia, Australasia and beyond. With large cash prizes and multiple divisions, such as Semi-pro and Novice, they really do capture the full range of paintball enthusiasts and serious players. The most committed players are probably investing in some HK Army bodywear to protect themselves and look good on the field, just like this HSTL Line Paintball Jersey
South America - Argentina
La Asociación Argentina de Paintball (AAP) is now into its 16th year and continues to grow. With a governing council and elected president, this league takes its paintball very seriously and works tirelessly to raise paintball’s profile as a legitimate sport, promote the safety of paintball marker guns and train match referees. Their ‘Torneo Argentino de Paintball’ event crowns one outright National Champion each year and is hotly contested.
Africa - South Africa
The South African Regional Paintball League (SARPL) has been going for over a decade, and their focus is on playing to learn, improve and enjoy paintball together rather than prizes or glory in the spirit of shared knowledge and raising the level of paintball in South Africa. Their focus is on speedball in three and five-man teams but they also have a one-on-one tournament, and with sponsorship from DYE, we bet every player is packing a few pods tucked away in an Attack Pack Pro Harness hoping they’ve got a few more paintballs than the next guy.
North America - Multiple states
As the birthplace of paintball and with a population spread across all four compass points, there are many paintball leagues in the U.S. The Eastern Paintball League (EPL) organizes the East Coast Cup and covers New York plus North Carolina and South Carolina. On the opposite shore, you have the West Coast Paintball Players League (WCPPL) that has been running for 11 years. Players compete for $20,000+ prizes in their events. Between them, there are dozens of other U.S. leagues covering college-level paintball right through to professional. Wherever you want to play paintball, there will be a league for you to compete in.
However, the paintball league that truly stands out as multinational with events across the U.S., Europe, Singapore, South America and Australia is the National Xball League (NXL), which now also incorporates the International Classic Paintball League.
Their event map reads like a geography lesson, including Paris, Barcelona, Las Vegas, Guadalajara, Rio De Janeiro, Victoria and Penang to name just a few. This league has used the fields, networks and regional knowledge of existing local leagues, bringing them into one team under the NXL banner, and it is going from strength to strength. The variety of events covered by this league is monumental, too. 3V3 and 5V5 events run alongside Junior RaceTo-2 and Ultimate Champions ones. NXL is focused on short, fast-paced speedball games and only the best of each bracket will make it through to the next round.
With the cash prizes building the higher up the leagues you get, competition is intense. Are you ready to compete in a league? Be sure to check out the 5 most prestigious Paintball Tournaments