In the midlde of 2009 Patrick Tan of ProPaintball spoke to to me about his plans of staging an International paintball tournament in Thailand and asked my opinion about it. I told him that it was a great idea and I would be happy to support the project. I definitely will be keen to go up to Thailand to play paintball.
It was really good to see the progress of the marketing and the response for the inaugural Pattaya International Paintball Championship. The popularity of the tournament is evident where we the Red Sevens have requests from paintballers all the way from Korea, Japan and Europe to guest on our team. Paintballers want to come all the way to sunny Pattaya to experience Thailand and get play paintball at the same time. I for one think that its great that Patrick has organised this event and I also hope we will see the revival of the PALS Series. It is great to see another Malaysian again leading the way for Paintball in Asia.
I have the pleasure of asking Patrick a couple of questions about the Pattaya International Paintball.
Hi Patrick - I am happy for you that the response for the tournament has been good so far. Can you tell us how and when did the idea to stage a tournament in Pattaya come about?
Hi Arthur, Thank you for the intro. As you know, the last international event (PALS) there was back in 2006 and since then, Thailand was bogged down with a string of internal problems that made it impossible to host such an event there.
In the meantime Pro Paintball has been actively involved in the distribution and infrastructure assistance to the Thai National league for the past one and a half year. We felt that the time was right and we had the confidence to push ahead to finally make a comeback for Thailand this year. Pattaya was a venue that was sponsored to us from the Government and the local council of Patttaya.
How has the response been like so far from teams outside of Thailand and Malaysia? How many more teams are you hoping for with the extention of the registration deadline?
The response has honestly been good, a big thank you to companies like DYE PRECISION, PLANET ECLISPE and MAXS INTERNATIONAL (JT) for all the assistance in marketing this event internationally either thru their Websites, Blogs and FB pages. A major deterrent from allowing teams out of the Asian region to participate was actually due to the high travelling costs. With the extension on the dateline, we are sincerely hoping for teams that has been considering this and that are still in correspondence with us to actually push thru and take up this opportunity to be part of this event.
What can the traveling teams expect to see in Pattaya that will be unique to Thailand?
Pattaya has traditionally been a beach resort town – they have much to offer aside from water sports to shopping and cultural shows. In general it would be pretty much of a vacation cum paintball tournament for those who have never been before. The official hotel is a stone's throw away from the beach. The standard of living there is generally low so do expect good food and bargains for a very reasonable price.
Tell us a bit about the venue and infrastructure planned. Is the playing field on the beach or near the official hotel?
Pattaya being a beach resort town - there are some people guessing that we'll be playing on the beach ala Huntington Beach style, can you comment on that? The venue is unfortunately on a playing field in a sports complex area and not as per the rumours and gossip ala HB style. LOL, sorry if there are disappointed parties out there. The playing field however is a great grass field and at this time of the year – please expect it to be slightly hot. There will be a clinic from Oliver Lang (Thank you Dye Precision inc), a opening dinner cum captains meeting (which includes all team members and crew) and a good players party.
Pattaya is trying to clean up its sleazy image- and bringing this international paintball tournament would be a good positive image for them. Amazing Thailand must have been really supportive of the project?
The government is pretty supportive towards the idea of ‘sports tourism’ which is generally great for the whole sporting community. The Government and local council has been really supportive even though many still don’t understand what the sport of PB for which also without their support would have not made this event possible.
Can you tell us about about the Paintball Scene in Thailand? I know you are active in promoting paintball in Thailand - you brought Davey Williamson and Yosh Rau from Dynasty up there for a clinic in 2008 and we tried to get XSV over too. How has the response been like since you started working in Thailand.
The Thais have every year, their own local league (3 Legs) and some stand alone tournaments which has a pretty decent number of team following.
Yes I brought Davey and Yosh there awhile ago to promote and increase the participation of paintball players. I have definitely seen a growth since then but unfortunately not in the numbers I wanted it to be.
You see in comparison to Malaysia (as the hub), There is more difficulty in promoting paintball in Thailand as airsoft or bb guns are the more common playing option. Though we cannot compare apple for apple – Many seek playing the other primarily because of cost.
You have recently set up a ProPaintball in Thailand? Can you tell us about it? Where is it in Bangkok?
Yes, it is actually located in Bangkok. I hope you don’t mind me writing the address: 11/401 Kaset – Navamintr Rd, Kwang Lad Prow; Khet Lad Prow; Bangkok 10230. I wanted to give the Thai players a wider selection of products, a one stop centre – coupled together with tech support and parts; as many still were buying over the internet and some falling victims to scam sites.
You have scored a big coup getting Ollie Lang to come over to Pattaya for the tournament his presence would certainly add prestige to the tournament. Can you tell is what Ollie will be doing in Pattaya?
The credit should go entirely to DYE PRECISION for their support on this event; I cannot disclose what Ollie will be sharing with you in Pattaya for now.
Thank you for your time Patrick all the best to you and your team at ProPaintball and I'll see you in Pattaya.
Thank you for yours too.
PS apart from Ollie Lang coming to Pattaya - our friends from the World Cup Asia
Eric Prum from Virtue/DC Arsenal and Phillip José Steinfatt of TANKED/Instinct will also be making an appearence.
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