(Quinn Nadu, Iconic Paintball)
As we look ahead to the NXL Windy City Major in Chicago on September 17th-19th, our new power rankings feature an in-depth look at all 20 professional paintball teams in the NXL and rank them based on their performance thus far, as well as how we think they will perform on the layout. However, we are also looking ahead to the end of the year, and speculating on if these teams have the firepower to either continue their dominance going into the World Cup, or if they can hang on and avoid relegation from the professional league.
All rankings are based on how the team has placed and performed in the first two events of the season, the level of talent on their roster, and how we believe the layout for Chicago will either help or harm their chances to move up the list. The layout looks to be playing fast, but for the first time this season, teams should be able to play a pocketed style of paintball and lock down the field when needed. The snake is very easy to get lost in and surprise the opposing team, and the ease of movement down the dorito side should provide some huge moves on the inside routes.
Player to watch: Justin Rabackoff
Even after losing at the Mid Atlantic Major in Philadelphia, it's really hard to rank Impact anywhere else on this board. They truly have the most elite roster in the league from top to bottom. They have depth at every position, something that is rare in the pro league. Their dominant performance at the Golden State Open event shows why they are ranked so high. Alex Goldman just may be the best player in the league, I honestly don’t know how you shut him down on the field. He is just relentless and so methodical, he never makes the wrong move. I can see Impact going 4-0 on this layout and cruising all the way to finals once again. Justin Rabackoff should be near the top of the elimination board on the aggressive and fast dorito side of this layout.
Player to watch: Tyler Harmon
Houston Heat is coming off an event win where they looked nothing short of dominant. The chemistry on this team is unmatched in the NXL and Todd Martinez has done the impossible, he made the Heat roster even better. Tyler Harmon was playing at another level in Philly and with Chad George in front of him, I can imagine this is probably the best 1-2 punch on the snake side we will see this season. The return of Fedorov was notable and a layout featuring another strong dorito side means we will likely see him make yet another run at the CRBN Golden Barrel award.