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Major Losses for Houston Heat: Edwards, Fedorov, Kniazev, Solnishkov

Major Losses for Houston Heat: Edwards, Fedorov, Kniazev, Solnishkov

houston heat

Just a few moments ago Houston Heat issued a press release stating that the three Russian members of the team are planning on playing with Art Chaos Moscow in 2014. Also, Jacob Edwards is returning to Tampa Bay Damage for the season.

Social Paintball reported that these moves were imminent earlier in the season, but what exactly does this mean?

You can read about them here: http://socialpaintball.com/2013/11/01/the-prodigal-son-returns-jacob-edwards-to-tampa-bay-damage and http://socialpaintball.com/2013/08/18/art-chaos-moscow-to-join-psp-in-2014-houston-heat-out.

It means that Houston Heat is losing some of the best players in the world, and makes scaling the 2014 mountain a very, very difficult task. Just to give you an idea of how effective these four players have been, one only needs to look at the stats. Behind these four players and Chad George and Nicholas Slowiak, the highest rated player, Ronnie Dizon sits at a putrid 48th and the drop off only gets worse. Sam Monville at 52nd, Jon Woodley at 70 and Chad Bouchez and Ryan Smith sitting in the high 90s. Essentially, the all-star laden team is losing their all-stars, which leaves them as a huge question mark for the 2014 season. Of course, if the team’s management is willing to open the pocketbooks this offseason things could get interesting, but for now it’s not looking good.

Here is the official release from Houston Heat:

Houston Heat Says Goodbye to the Russian Trio

HOUSTON, TX – Friday, November 1, 2013 – Houston Heat is putting the rumor mill to rest and confirming that Konstantin Fedorov, Mishka Kniazev and Sergei Solnishkov will not be playing with Heat during the 2014 PSP season. The three will be joining their Russian family, Art Chaos, full time next year.

“We’ve had two great years with the original Houston Heat roster,” said Randy “Sarge” Smith, owner of Houston Heat. “We completely understand the decisions of Konstantin, Mishka and Sergei to play full time with Art Chaos in 2014, as it allows them to stay closer to home and set themselves up for success in their lives after paintball. We still very much consider them part of our family, are thankful of the time we spent together and wish them all the best in the next chapter of their journeys.”

“I have made an agreement with Art Chaos to play paintball and work with the owner next year,” said Konstantin Fedorov. “I am excited to practice in Russia with my personal coach and have my personal schedule for a full season. I want to say thank you to everyone on Houston Heat for big two seasons in my life. To be a winner is always great feeling. I would like to say personal thanks to Sarge for giving me this greatest experience in my life, to be part of his family, learn some lessons and pretty much have fun every moment with the team.”

“Playing for Art Chaos next year was “hard to make” decision because I’m looking on my future,” said Sergei Solnishkov. “I was playing on awesome team for two years! And I met wonderful people that become my family. We reach very high results because of our serious way of our altogether working. And that’s all because I was together with awesome people!!! I never saw a team like Houston Heat, when people acting like a family and working like a SWAT making their job!!! That was amazing surprise for me that it’s possible!!!! I really think that HH IS MY FAMILY.“

“Next year I will be playing for the home team, Art Chaos,” said Mishka Kniazev. “I want to thank the Smith family because these two years of my career very best. I will miss the Houston Heat family.”

Houston Heat will compete as a team in PSP in the champions division in 2014. “We have a great core group of players that will continue to step up to make Houston Heat one of the best teams in the world,” said Smith. “I’m extremely proud of our accomplishments this season and I have faith that the team will continue to make me proud next year though their talent and determination. We may be saying goodbye to three members, but we’re still one team, one family, playing to win one point at a time.”

Photo: Stretch Baker, 1904Photography.com

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.

  • Not a moron
    November 1, 2013

    so you’re saying that Ronnie being in the TOP 50 PLAYERS IN THE WORLD is putrid? Seriously? And Monville being right there at #52? Losing the Russians will hurt yes, but you’re trying to write off players that still have some definite skill.

    • Bob
      November 1, 2013

      Agreed. Losing the Russians will hurt them but judging the other player’s playing ability based on arbitrary statistics that are taken by four pot heads in lawn chairs isn’t exactly the best idea I’ve ever heard.

      The stats are definitely a step forward but there’s still a lot of holes in the system so to say X player is better than X player based on their ranking is stupid.

      No offense to the top 3 players but anyone that knows anything could pick at least 10 players they’d rather have than them on their team.

      • Not a moron
        November 1, 2013

        Absolutely correct Sir. Attempting to say that the other players on Heat that are still currently with their program are terrible because the arbitrary stats that are compiled give them a worthless ranking lower than some of the other players is ridiculous. Anyone who has watch Heat over the years will know that it wasn’t just the 3 Russians doing all the work all the time.

  • tufshot
    November 1, 2013

    hehehehehe yes….yes…. let the butthurt begin!

  • Class A Rando
    November 2, 2013

    The writing in this article is poor in the sense that the author was likely attempting to make a relative comparison between the skill of players. It is apparent that, in comparison to the Russian players, the next highest-ranked Heat player is a noticeable distance away in the standings. But if he is actually willing to back his evaluation of a pro player (PSP pro player*) as “putrid”, I’d say a glance at his national tournament track record would help in bringing these comments down to scale.

    As convenient as it would be to judge Heat’s future success by deferring to the PBAccess player rankings, it’s the wrong metric to use. I get what you’re trying to say about the skill of the remaining players on Heat, but I would keep in mind that the current rankings give us insight into the success of players given a team’s roster. Just as a superstar team of the top 10 ranked players now would likely be very successful, we of course can’t objectively see it as the best team next year. Cohesion among players trumps simply choosing the five best guys. The stats that you are pulling off of are contextual, because paintball is a team sport. When the big three leave, people will be playing out of position. When it counted, they were often on the field point after point, whereas other players were given a more specialized role (Such as Ronnie making very aggressive moves OTB).

    Provided that Smith gets 4 guys that he plans on replacing the exact positions they dropped, the only alternative is to move existing players into unfamiliar roles (or at least more demanding roles). A couple of things which Heat had going for them was the rare degree of unity/shared success between the 3 Russians and the unmistakable fact that they are the best players in the world…And that’s looking at features that aren’t encapsulated within the stats–level of field awareness, level of teamwork, and arguably the best endurance. Best of luck to Sarge in finding comparable alternates. Guess Todd and Matty won’t have the Freudian slip of calling Heat the “Russians” anymore.

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