When the ten second count down starts the whole world begins to slow down. You can feel the blood pumping through your veins, you feel the adrenaline spiking. Your breath echoes through your ears. Three. Two. One. Then for that split second, the world comes to a complete stop. You feel the strength pushing through your muscles, your mind blank from any emotion. You feel invincible. You feel free, a calm before the storm, and then… and then all hell breaks loose.

I think this is what draws me to the sport of paintball. It’s a feeling like no other, it’s a way to break away from all life’s troubles. An escape route from all the stress and pressure that life brings to us every day. I mean for those few seconds or minutes, nothing outside those nets matter, all you have to worry about is shooting those players on the other side and not getting blasted yourself.

I’ve been playing Paintball for about six years now. I started in 2013 when I was going through a rough time in my life. My friend invited me to go play a game and after that, the bug bit me and it bit me hard. I bought all the gear I could afford. I went to the field every chance I got, even after school. It was a way to escape everything. No worries, no troubles, no stress.

I started playing competitively in 2014. My friends and I started our own team, we played together till the beginning of 2015. Unfortunately, life happened, and the team fell apart. I was left without a team for the rest of the year. Fortunately, I had enough skill for people to notice me. I was able to play the 2015 season with multiple teams. It wasn’t ideal, but I got the chance to play. At the end of the 2015 season I stopped playing due to studies, in this time I started playing airsoft just to keep myself busy on weekends. But Airsoft lacked what I was used to when I played paintball. By the end of May 2016, I had enough. I sold my airsoft gear and bought some paintball gear again. I got back on the field and it felt like I was home again. I was rusty at first, but I still had enough talent to be noticed. Team Saber picked me up and I finished the 2016 season under their banner. They are a bunch of nice guys and they are dedicated to the game.  I have a lot of respect for them.

In 2017 I had the chance to try out for Brutal Affliction 2, a sister team of the legendary Brutal Affliction team. I tried out and to my amazement I actually made it. It was like a dream come true. We started out rough, but as the team played together more and more, we became a formidable team to play against in the SARPL Challengers division. We played together till the end of 2018 before life happened and Brutal 2 ended. But with one chapter ending another chapter started. I was fortunate enough to be offered a spot on the main Brutal Affliction team! A dream come true! From when I met the team way back in 2014, my dream was to play for them one day and this year it actually happened!

2019 has proven to be a hard season thus far. The team has been remolded after losing some key players at the beginning of the year. But we are still pushing, still rising and still playing our hearts out every time we step foot on a field. Brutal Affliction has a long way to go and I still have a lot to prove that I deserve to wear their emblem on my chest.

Three. Two. One.

                                                                                                  By Dewald van Eeden

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