GFL Finals 2011
September 3rd, 2011 - Toronto, ON
Saturday September 3rd 2011 marked the final event of the GFL’s first season. Held at Defcon Paintball in Downsview Park, Toronto, this event couldn’t have been set at a more opportune time, gratefully complimented with backdrop music and live bands from the Concert for Japan. Now this is something you don’t see at every paintball tournament!
It was THE event of the Canadian paintball calendar! Even Mother Nature could not resist attending these finals. She brought with her a last summer scorcher day accompanied with a mid-day thundershower which I’m sure was welcomed by players and referees alike. Having had to combine a normally two-days tournament into one day meant that games were played back to back with little to no respite in between matches. Ah yes, the heat exhaustion and overheating combined with adrenaline even got the best of some, ending with a few breakfasts and lunches being left on the field...
We started the day with the Open teams’ finals. Cambridge Raiders, Toronto Lockdown, Kingston Criminal Factory, Montreal FX from the eastern division and with a twist of fate, Gatineau Altitude was brought in last minute to take Joyceville Juveniles’ spot since they could not attend. It was a round-robin between the teams battling for the most coveted Planet Eclipse sponsored prize: gear from head-to-toe and a custom designed GFL edition EGO11. You could feel the teams were ready to lay it all down. Each bringing their A-game and experienced players for this event but Raiders once again proved they were there to win it all. These guys have been dedicated to the league since day one and never took another team for granted. It had been a tight race between Toronto and Cambridge coming into this event, with only one point in plus/minus spread, not forgetting Kingston trailing close behind on their shoe laces. At the end of it all, Cambridge took the lead, and no one could step between them and first place. Congratulations Cambridge Raiders Army for a great season and a well-deserved win!
After a short referee lunch break, we started the Entry division brackets. The heat of the games was only matched by the heat of the day and the brief weather intermission, which made for an even more intense day of paintball in the mud. Teams from the Eastern and Central divisions met for a third time to battle it out in race to three games. From Ottawa to London, Ontario, the top five Entry teams traveled near and far to compete and hopefully claim their spot at the top. The commitment and dedication from these younger teams is what makes me believe this format is here to stay. They gave their all each and every single point.
Dirt Army made an appearance, and even with a no-show at the last event, they were still a contender, but they would have to fight hard against a more aggressive Kingston camp. The matches were fierce and explosive, with a layout allowing game breaking moves. Kingston Red Dragons and Ottawa Evolutions close on their tail were the teams to beat. Both teams came prepared, and their desire to win just couldn’t be matched. But, a winner had to be had and the Red Dragons were the winners of the sponsored Planet Eclipse custom designed GFL edition ETEK3s and head-to-toe Planet Eclipse gear. Congratulations Kingston Red Dragons for an intense season and also a well-deserved win!
The end of the day was the most anticipated moment for a lot of players. All teams and players who participated in the season were given tickets based on the amount of points they earned and events they had played. Thanks to GFL’s gracious sponsors, every player in attendance was given an opportunity to win and take home a prize; from cases of paint, hoppers, pod packs, t-shirts, hats, etc, from a random draw. Needless to say, I saw a lot of happy faces at the end of the day.
In conclusion, I would like to thank all of the gracious sponsors, without whom prizes would not have been possible. Thank you Planet Eclipse for the generous Ego11, Etek3, and soft goods prize packages, Planet Eclipse and Badlands for providing a tech booth at each and every event with impeccable service every time, INKA for the amazing paint which shot great all season, Flagswipe Paintball, NEXT Paintball, Ground Zero Paintball and Defcon Paintball for great venues throughout the season and last but not least, the players who traveled from all parts of Ontario and Quebec. Without you all, GFL wouldn’t have been this successful. I look forward to the next season and to seeing you all again.
Navy Kim, GFL Correspondent.
The GFL wants you! To sign your team up for the GFL 2012 season – Contact Badlands Team Representative, Matt Gregersen, at 416 245 3856.
About the author: Navy Kim is a well known & respected Ontario-based paintball player, with international experience playing for the Femmes Fatales. Navy currently plays for Gatineaux Altitude in the GFL.