by: Aaron McAulay – Sydney Explicit
In 2014, we finished out the season with a 3rd place finish at the Australian Super 7’s Paintball Masters, the final event of the year, and a 4th place finish for the series overall.
Nearing the end of the 2014, most of us were uncertain as to whether or not the team would be continuing into the 2015 season. We came away with a massive high after Masters and a desire to continue into 2015. A few weeks later, the high emotion from Masters faded and real life started to hit some of our family hard.
Some returned home overseas, others wanted to spend the next few years travelling and moving abroad, and some decided to focus more on their careers.
This was a devastating blow to the family after coming off such a high and amazing end to the season.
Sydney Explicit officially announced that the team had disbanded as of the end of the 2014 season.
2015 came. Mick ‘Plucka’ Jones and myself were talking with each other, and we both had offers to join the rosters of a couple of other teams. But we decided enough was enough, and 2015 was going to be the year that we rebuilt together a team. Not a team to play... But a team to win!
We contacted Mitch ‘Ginja Ninja’ Hackett. Mitch was an absolutely phenomenal player, but had been out of the game for over a year due to an injury, and was therefore in self retirement from paintball.
Steve Brown, the Captain of the newly disbanded Shenanigans was next on our list to contact. Steve was border lining on retiring, to spend some more time with his beautiful 4 year old daughter Kenzie, who has been diagnosed with Rett Syndrome, a terrible disorder that affects the neurodevelopment of girls almost exclusively.
We spoke to both Mitch and Steve and after much discussion and decision making, we were able to pull both onto our roster.
Josh Bailey was next on our snatch list. Josh resides in New Zealand, and plays with the newly sponsored Dye team NZ Clown Monkeys. The Monkeys had played the last 2 years of the Super 7’s Series, and Josh was an absolute killer on the field. The Clown Monkeys had decided that for 2015 onwards, they were going to focus solely on the NZ scene. Naturally he was a perfect fit, and we snatched him up and onto our roster.
The last player on our contact list was the almighty Marcello Margott of the L.A. Ironmen. Marcello came to guest for us at Masters 2014. So we contacted Marcello once again, and asked if he would be happy to make the distant trek to the “Land Down Unda” as he would say it, and play with us for the 2015 season.
We had rebuilt our family, and announced to the world a new and reborn Sydney Explicit.
"When I saw those 5 first names on that roster for Round 1, I didn't see bunch of players coming together to play. I saw a team and I said to myself, this is a team that is going to win this year." - Souse Khoury.
We came into 2015 with a new line up, a new mindset, and a new mentality. We came into this new season confident in this new family of ours.
We had kept in touch with Devon Stutz from Dye Asia. Devon has been a part of the Explicit family for the last 2 years, so naturally we had been keeping him updated with had been happening. We resigned with Dye Paintball, and Devon was an absolute trooper for the amount of time we had remaining until Round 1 of the 2015 Super 7’s Paintball Series.
4 out of 6 of us practiced together the week before the event, and we were gelling and performing very well at practice. And then came round 1.
I picked Marcello up from Sydney Airport early on the Friday morning, and we headed out to Action Paintball Games where the Super 7’s Series is hosted, and met up with Browny and Josh who also had just flown in that morning. We collected our new gear sent to us by Dye Paintball, walked the field, and talked about some ideas on how we were going to play it out. It was an amazing layout.
Saturday morning started, and we were the very first match of the day. We took our first few matches of the weekend with ease. Some 4-0 and 4-1 games, but these were just matches that we were winning off of individual talent, and we were still finding our core footing together as a team.
This certainly was highlighted when we came up against the new Pro team Vicious Circle, where we narrowly edged off the win 3-2 after a tough fight.
Sydney S.W.A.T. our 4th match of Saturday. They had brought over Justin Cornell of Edmonton Impact to guest for them. It was a hard out grind, but they took out the win against us 3-4. These 2 matches were a huge wakeup call for us, which caused us to get into a group meeting and pull ourselves together.
HK Reaper Crew was our final match on Saturday. We had pulled our heads in and stomped out the Reapers 4-0 after they threw away a 3-0 lead against nVs.
Sunday came, and there was a newfound spark in us. The trust in our team was beginning to form and show in our games. We came into Sunday with 4-0 games again, and finally decimating our fellow Dye sponsored team nVs 3-2 after an amazingly hard grind.
By the end of the prelims, this put us tied for 1st place with Sydney S.W.A.T. for wins, but 2nd place because we had 12 less body points than S.W.A.T. This meant we were playing nVs who were currently in 3rd place, in the semi-finals. This match did not go our way. We had another massive grind out against them, but they came out as the stronger team that game taking it out 1-3.
We played in the finals against the HK Reaper Crew. This was a match we were not going to make easy for them whatsoever. We had already taken them out 4-0 in the prelims, and we finished out the event with a 3-1 finish against them in the final.
We finished out our first event for 2015 with a 3rd place finish, and $1000 richer. We had so much fun for the 1st Round of the Super 7’s Series, the field was amazing, the paint shot absolutely brilliant, and the organisation of the event was spot on.
With only dropping 2 out of 10 matches that we played all weekend, we know we have what it takes to be the best in Australia, with the full confidence that all of our amazing Dye Paintball gear will help take us all the way to 1st place.
A big thank you to Michael Whybrew, John Caruana and Pete Russell at Action Paintball Games for hosting the Australian Super 7’s Series and for all the amazingly hard effort you guys put into organising and running the Super 7’s Series, and also a huge thank you to Devon Stutz and Dye Precision for the amazing gear you guys have provided us with.
See you on the field at Round 2 for the Dye Asia Cup.
Aaron McAulay – Sydney Explicit