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Year of the Dragon?

Year of the Dragon?


Although the 2012 year was the start of the official “Year of the Dragon”, according to the Chinese Zodiac Calendar, and we are well into the “Year of the Snake,” it seems that San Diego Dynasty got the memo twelve months too late. The 2012 season was abysmal by all standards for the legendary team, which prompted major offseason changes in both the roster and staff. Now with a new coach, Rusty Glaze, and added firepower in Blake Yarber, Kyle Spicka, and Tyler Harmon the team is off to an incredible start, winning the first event of the PSP season.

The 2013 PSP Dallas event may go down as one of the most legendary performances in Dynasty’s history, not due to their dominance, but in the style they played at the adversity they faced. A popular mantra in sports is that, sometimes, “It’s better to be lucky than good” and not once, but twice, was San Diego able to bottle lightning. In the semi-final game against Los Angeles Infamous the team was able to overcome the deficit, winning (5-4) with literally zero time remaining on the lock. Again, nothing new for Dynasty, but it was the manner in which this was accomplished that will go down in history. Infamous did not establish a lead then lay over, but instead Dynasty willed their way to victory on the back of several players, such as the electric Tyler Harmon, and clawed their way out of the hole. Going into the final point you could feel the emotion and passion, radiating off of the boys in blue. Everybody watching, from home or in the stands, could feel the electricity in the air with the knowledge that, while unlikely, Dynasty could once again prove that they are still capable of creating magic.

Los Angeles Infamous vs. San Diego Dynasty – 2013 PSP Dallas Open Semi-Finals

Normally, after a game like this, you would expect a team to be physically and emotionally beaten. Tournaments are a marathon, not a sprint, and expelling that much energy into one match can easily be the climax for the weekend; whereas you hope to peak during the middle of the finals. To ask Dynasty to summit the mountain one last time, against the best team in the tournament – Tampa Bay Damage – was a very tall order.

The final score of their match against Damage was 5-2, however the points really do not indicate just how close this match was. Only a fool would say that Damage got thrashed, or that Dynasty dominated. Instead, this match was – again – a battle of the wills between two of the best teams in paintball, and at this meeting, Dynasty was able to get a foothold and hold their edge. We could talk all day about how key players let Damage down on both sides of the field, but you really have to give it to San Diego as they were able to consistently eliminate players off the break, and not get blown over by the sheer force that is Tampa Bay Damage. This match was a “tempest in a teapot” that tested the paintball ability of both teams, but also the mental tenacity and physical prowess. In another article we equated the 2012 San Diego squad as a flailing Tiger Woods, and now we can easily say that Dynasty displayed such incredible focus over a two game stretch that even they could sink a 20 foot putt on hole 18 of Augusta National.

You may assert that this article doesn’t really cover anything worth reading, but I just can’t get over how incredible of a performance Dynasty displayed. If you do not do anything else this week, watch the replay below (yes, they’re already up) of the finals. Dynasty is back, and the rest of the PSP needs to watch out – if they can continue to display this alchemy they could be heading for another banner year.

So, will 2013 be the Year of the Dragon? Stay tuned.

San Diego Dynasty vs. Tampa Bay Damage – 2013 PSP Dallas Open Finals

Lawrence Abernathy

I have been involved in paintball since 2003 and writing for Social since 2012. My passion in the sport lies in the analysis of the game and how we talk about it. You can read more of my writing on Sbnation.com's Garnet and Black Attack.

  • Trevor The great
    March 18, 2013

    hmmmm. if i recall, a few months ago you guys wrote an article on why dynasty should retire.

  • Issat-Erke Trosten
    March 18, 2013

    Just a quick notice on your comment about only fools saying Dyansty dominated TBD.
    In a way they actually did, with the back to back major penalty and the general body language of the TBD players you could definitly see that they were feeling pressured, and in some fashion dominated by the dynasty guys.
    OFC! it was a close match, with 4-2 and 2 mins on the clock i was tripping on my toes as i had seen dynasty score to points, both under 23 seconds, the match before. But Dynasty held out. Super close, Super tense, and super exciting match. And that goes to the whole tournament!

    • Bruce A
      March 19, 2013

      Shooting Brian otb for that first point was huge (even though that point went to Damage). He wasn’t able to ever get into the game as he had been playing solid all tournament.

      Keith just didn’t look like he wanted to push up the D side and just wasn’t able to produce. The frustration he displayed after losing the gunfight with Yosh was very telling.

      Damage kept doubling up the tall can in the back and limiting their penetration up the field. I recall they had talked about pushing up the middle more during the off-season but just didn’t see it in their game plan this tournament.

  • crPaliza
    March 26, 2013

    Just for the record and to be clear I’m not saying this is 100% accurate for everyone.

    In Chinese Philosophy,
    It is said that the year of your Chinese sign is actually bad luck. So if you’re a Dragon then last year was supposed to be a bad year for you.

    Now obviously Dynasty is a team not a person. =P

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