September 2022 Issue of Paintball Media MagazineVIEW FULL ARTICLE
Mechanical paintball tournaments, classic paintball as it is known now, have made their annual return to Pittsburgh’s Urban Assault Paintball, actually located in McDonald, PA and right next to the Pittsburgh Airport. The much anticipated Pittsburgh Open Classic had finally arrived, and it brought 54 tenman teams and 19 five-man teams ready to dominate the competition and be crowned the champions.
This particular mechanical tournament is a rebirth of a rebirth of sorts. This is the tourney that a few years back revived the classic mechanical style with new age equipment. This year it is under a new name, and new management that did not miss a beat.
They took all the lessons learned from the previous experiences and implemented changes that enhanced the players experience. This event brings the “old school” heavy hitters head-to-head with the “new school” superstars. When you add in some amatuer mechanical enthusiasts and four formidable fields, it is a recipe for fierce and exciting paintball.
Urban Assault Paintball has all the amenities a veteran paintball player or the occasional weekend warrior could want. They have ample amounts of parking and staging areas, as well as plenty of room for food and merchandise vendors. They set aside extra parking and staging areas to allow for the 1000+ people in attendance for this annual event.
The vendor row includes such favorites as AC Empire/ EVILpb, Infamous, Hydra fit, Inception Designs, Powerhouse Air, 724 Customs, and Gatormaille ready to provide all your needs for the latest and greatest in equipment, upgrades and soft goods.
Planet Eclipse and Inception Designs was also available for upgrades and fixes on any equipment issues a player might have. For those battle worn warriors or the peckish spectators Dilly Dilly Donuts (buckets of sweet, delicious treats), Pizza Capri, Melloveo, PK Winery and Urban Assault’s own outdoor kitchen was supplying tantalizing treats to quench your hunger and thirst.
Urban Assault is no stranger to a big population on the weekend, they house a stout air system ready to meet the challenges of this tournament and all of its participants. The incredible amenities aside, the contestants showed up for some retro paintball action, and some retro paintball fields! Classic paintball is played on fields such as hyper, hybrid, mounds and woods. The hyperball field is a similar layout of speedball fields with standup and lay down bunkers made of corrugated plastic pipe.
The mounds field is a labyrinth of grass/ weed covered dirt mounds that players navigate, cautiously or rather hostile. The woods ball field is exactly as it sounds. Bunkers of wood, trees and bushes make up this tumultuous battlefield. Lastly, the teams will compete on the hybrid field. Composed of structures, dirt mounds, and woods, the hybrid field truly is the amalgamation of classic paintball.
The teams will have to come together, walk through and strategize to try to face every conceivable possibility that may cross their path on the way to glory. Teams started to arrive Wednesday into Thursday, early enough to settle in and explore the different fields that Urban Assault was going to throw at them. For some, they had a few days to become acclimated but for 19 teams they only had until Friday morning.
These teams entered into the Friday Five-Man competition. The concept is the same, but the time and team size is considerably shorter.