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The 5 Most Prestigious Paintball Tournaments In The World
Paintball continues to go from strength to strength, with big-name sponsorships, great champions and even greater tournaments! We think that these five are the most prestigious in the world.
#1: The NXL World Cup
As perhaps the largest paintball league in the world (with a remit that covers both America and Europe), the NXL is one of the most important organizations within professional paintball. Its influence is unmatched, and the NXL World Cup is the tournament that any paintball team covets above all the rest. Success here not only brings huge amounts of prestige but also sponsorship deals and a place in the pantheon alongside the greats of the sport.
The field is large. Twenty invite-only professional teams represent the biggest draw and some of the most competitive matches, but that’s far from all that the World Cup has to offer. A further 20 semi-professional teams are joined by 80 5-Man teams and 36 10-man amateur teams, not to mention an assortment of D2, D3 and D4 Xball squads.
#2: EPBF European Championship
The EPBF is the governing body of paintball across Europe, so it makes sense that their tournament is one of the most prestigious around! It consists of just national teams, which means that you’ll be watching only the best athletes in Europe competing at the highest level. That equates to high-octane, tactically astute matches that are always compelling to watch. The international element gives this tournament a particularly competitive feel, and you’ll see teams fighting hard for their respective countries.
The Championship uses the Race to 4 and M500 formats, which ensure fast-paced matches. M500 guarantees a level playing field where it’s impossible to simply bombard the opposition with a higher rate of fire, upping the competitive ante still further. Athletes are kitted out in their national colors, usually sporting customized versions of high-quality kit like the Maddog Tactical Coverall featuring their respective flags.
#3: SARPL Super Cup
The Super Cup is the culmination of the renowned South African Regional Paintball League. It pits the best teams against one another in a season-ending clash for supremacy. Big-name teams like Critical Force, Apocalypse and Wolverines make for a packed field. Speedball is the preferred form here, so expect to see competitors touting high-end tournament guns like the Empire Axe.
Since this is the last date on SARPL’s competitive calendar, matches are always fiercely contested as teams look to end the year on a high. It’s visceral and thrilling, and because only the best teams make it to the Super Cup, matches are never short on quality.
#4: Star Series Frostbite Open
The Frostbite Open is the highlight of the Star Series professional league, which has its home in Texas. The league itself attracts some of the best teams and players from around the world and reaches a crescendo with the Frostbite Open. It has some pretty bi- name sponsors including GI Sports, VForce and Exalt. It’s hosted at Cousins Paintball, which was the venue of choice for the gone (but never forgotten!) PSP Dallas Open.
The Frostbite Open isn’t on quite the same scale as the tournaments preceding it on this list, but matches tend to be fast-paced and seriously aggressive, and it takes place in one of the best venues in the world. Cousins Paintball has a lot of history, and you get the sense that teams truly respect the prestige of the venue.
#5: Nordic Paintball Championship
It might not be the biggest tournament on the list (owing to it being in its infancy), but the Nordic Paintball Championship deserves its place in part due to a big-name sponsor, and also because of its impressive mission statement. The tournament was founded with the help of Anthrax Paintball, who are one of the biggest paintball brands in the world. Their aim was to increase paintball's popularity across Scandinavia and encourage the development of more teams.
Matches use the popular Speedball format, which ensures that they’re fast-paced and full of excitement. The NPC is one of the few tournaments that doesn’t use divisions, so lower and higher-ranked teams can meet at any stage of the competition. This leads to upsets and high drama as an underdog suddenly comes through to topple an established team! Given its rising popularity, we expect this tournament to grow and grow. It’s already the most popular Nordic championship, and it won’t be long before it’s considered one of the most prestigious in the world.