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The Most Successful Paintball Teams In The World
Paintball is an incredibly popular international sport. The paintball gun might have been invented as a way to mark trees and livestock from a distance, and it's unrecognizable from current tournament hardware like the Empire Axe. The game itself may have started with a wager between three New Hampshire friends about who would cope best with the rigors of the wilderness: the city kid or the country boy. It may have become a staple to the point of cliché at team-bonding management weekends, but it is now a global sport with professional players and prestigious tournaments all over the world.
It’s true that the league tables are heavily weighted towards the United States, but there are also major contenders from Canada, Argentina, South Africa, Russia, and Europe. The sport’s popularity is growing all the time and spreading to the Far East and Australia. Which ones are the giants, the champions, and the world-beaters? We all have our opinions, but here are some of the greats.
This San Diego team is arguably the most successful paintball team in the world today. Founded in 2001 by a group of friends who had risen rapidly through the divisions from amateur to professional, by the end of their first year, they had won their first professional World Cup. World title followed world title as they won series and tournaments to notch up over 55 first-place finishes in major events. The team’s four longest-serving members hold between them over 235 professional victories. On the world stage, Dynasty are the guys to beat.
Moscow Red Legion
One of the oldest professional paintball teams in the world, founded in 1995, these champions truly set the standard for European Paintball before crossing the Atlantic to show us how it’s done. They quickly became the first team from Russia or Europe to achieve dominance in the U.S. Their fast and aggressive game style sees them triumph with shattering 7:0 scores in PRO finals. The Red Legion club also runs the WAVE school, the only all-around paintball school in the world.
This team, founded by husband and wife Randy and Danette in 2012 around their son Ryan, has always been guided by its motto: "One team, one family, one point at a time." Coached from day one by Randy, who remains the coach today, Houston Heat quickly started winning trophies, including three PSP tournaments and the overall series championship title, a feat that had never before been achieved by a professional team in its very first season. Every year since, they have made podium finishes across the United States and Europe.
From promising beginnings in the early years of the 21st century with unspectacular but respectable placings in the Paintball World Cup, Canada’s premier team rapidly rose up the Pro X-Ball league rankings and a few years later was regularly finishing in the top three, in fierce competition with Dynasty and Houston Heat. In recent years, they have enjoyed a string of series and tournament wins, including a World Cup victory in 2017. It’s only a matter of time before their consistently powerful performances deliver them a repeat of that glory.
Taking their name from a comedy crime film, the Flingueurs from Toulouse and Marseilles in France formed in 1992. Their record is unmatched in Europe, with 71 first-places wins and 59 second and third places in 252 tournaments. French, European and world champions several times, they are the true giants of Europe and have long held their place among the world-beaters of the sport.
From the Czech Republic in Europe, the MLKings have taken to the world stage like true winners and now play in the professional division of the NXL Paintball League in both Europe and the U.S. Major tournament success has so far eluded them, but they get a nod from us for the distance they’ve come and we know that great things lie ahead.
Of course, there are hundreds of great teams all over the world, and through the decades, giants have risen and fallen with iconic names like Moscow’s Art Chaos, Avalanche from British Columbia, and Stockholm’s Joy Division. We’ve picked out just a handful to celebrate here, but what matters more than the stories of these top-flight teams is the inspiration they give to new players, who might begin playing with a basic starter pack, such as this Cronus Paintball Gun Package, but will quickly want to graduate to more sophisticated levels. Paintball is one of the youngest team sports in the world, and it is here to stay.