Archie Montemayor holding the World Cup trophy up high.

The 2023 NXL season has wrapped up, and with five events done and dusted, San Diego Dynasty had another phenomenal season. With five podium finishes, series championship AND their fourth straight World Cup win, Dynasty has shown time and time again that they're the best team to exist, and they're not going anywhere. So what happened with the 2023 NXL season? Let's go over it with some highlights from each event!

Sunshine State Major

The first event of the season, taking place in Florida where World Cup usually is, this event shows who is putting in the work during the off season. During prelims, Dynasty goes into Sunday with 3 wins and 1 loss. The loss was to X-Factor, who looked incredibly sharp, and was the only team to go undefeated in their bracket. One of the wins was against Infamous, but it was a grindy matchup, ending with a 2-1 score overall in Dynasty's favor.

For quarter finals, Dynasty had a rematch against X-Factor, and every point went Dynasty's way beating X-Factor 3-0.

For the semi-finals match, Dynasty would face off against a scrappy and hungry New York Xtreme. This match was another slow, grindy match, with only three points scored between both teams. After some long points and crucial kills, Dynasty took the win 2-1.

For the finals match, Dynasty would go up against Tampa Bay Damage, whose play style favors slow points. After some back and forth in the beginning of the match, Dynasty took control with key kills off the break, and locking the field down to prevent any kind of forward attack from Damage. After time ended, the score was 4-2 with Dynasty taking home the gold for the first event! 

Lone Star Major

The next stop in the NXL tour is Texas, and this event was wild from start to finish! Dynasty would go 3-1 again, losing to Infamous in their first match, but landed the wild card spot for Sunday.

For the wild card match, they would play against MLKings, and it was a very slow match, with the only two points scored going to Dynasty. For the quarter finals, Dynasty would go up against New Orleans Hurricanes, a team that likes slow points just like Damage does. After a few grindy points, the score at the end of regulation was 4-1 in favor of Dynasty, moving them up to semi-finals against X-Factor. This match would prove to be more difficult, as each point was extremely close, but Dynasty persevered with the score being 3-2.

With their second finals appearance in a row, Dynasty would face off against Houston Heat, who made some adjustments in the middle of the event to further dominate the field. This match would go back and forth for the first few points, with Heat taking a one point lead, but Dynasty answered back in dominant fashion to tie the match up at 2-2. Heat would then take the lead back with a fast point, making it 3-2 in their favor. With the sixth point, Dynasty got a crucial kill off the break, and managed to shoot Moorhead who was running up the dorito side with unmatched aggression. Dynasty would then pick off the last couple of Heat players and tie it back up at 3-3. The last point would prove to be a grinder, as both teams traded out bodies and went straight to an overtime point.

For the overtime point, Dynasty would risk their new pickup, Chris Schehr, on the Dorito side with a greedy breakout. Schehr would push the doritos fast, and managed to get a few kills leaving Heat in a 2 versus 4, ultimately losing the finals. Dynasty goes on to win their second event of the 2023 season!

Mid-Atlantic Major

Third destination: just outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania! This event would see Dynasty faltering a bit, but not in the prelim matches. Dynasty would go undefeated alongside the Hurricanes and NYX, with NYX taking the number one seed, Dynasty with the number two seed, and the Hurricanes with the third seed.

Going straight into the quarter finals against Impact, Dynasty would meet some adversity in this match, with Impact going up three points quickly. Dynasty would dig deep for this match, and started to close the gap out, and eventually tied the match at the end of regulation time. For the overtime point, Dynasty managed to get Harrison Frye into the snake, and up the snake 50 quickly. With Frye in that position, Impact's snake side presence would get stuck in the pocket, forcing them to try and make moves to get out wide. A kill on Axel Gaudin of Impact would happen shortly after Frye was putting pressure on him, and forced him to move into Archie Montemayor's gun, ultimately getting the kill. A quick trade as made after, eliminating Frye. Immediately after that, Archie crawls his way into the snake 50, and Schehr gets into Impact's dorito 4, applying a ton of pressure on Impact. Right after that, Schehr bumps up and sees a run through and takes out all of Impact clean, advancing Dynasty to the semi finals!

Dynasty would match up against X-Factor again for this match, and it was another close match. The first point would go to X-Factor, who took control of the snake very quickly. After a couple of kills on Dynasty, they would concede the point. The boys in blue would answer back with a quick second point, sending Mike Urena to the snake and getting key kills to answer back. For the third point, Dynasty would utilize Urena again with the same results, getting a quick concession from X-Factor. With Dynasty in the lead, X-Factor answered back with two kills off the break, and trading out with Urena in the snake. Quickly bring it to a 4v2, Dynasty was overrun fast and X-Factor tied it up at 2-2. The fifth point of this match was the longest point of the match, but quickly deteriorated with the loss of Marcello and Schehr on the Dorito side, forcing Dynasty to concede the point. Down a point, Dynasty answered with a calculated dismantling of X-Factor by using Urena in the snake again. With less than 3 minutes on the clock, regulation time would end and an overtime point would be played.

The overtime point had a lot of back and forth, with Dynasty shooting Billy Bernacchia off the break. Unfortunately, X-Factor would even it up with a couple of kills and win the point, knocking Dynasty out of the tournament and getting 3rd place.

Windy City Major

For the fourth event, we head to Chicago and Dynasty is fired up from the 3rd place finish in the previous event. Dynasty would breeze through the prelim matches, going 4-0 with landslide victories and moved on directly to quarter finals.

Playing against Red Legion, Dynasty would get the first point in the match. With rain pouring down, and playing on a wet and muddy field, the second point would show some of the players over sliding their spots and getting shot out. This went both ways, with Montemayor over sliding the snake cornered getting eliminated. As the point progressed, Yosh Ram would close it out on the d-side, going up 2-0 in the match. The next point would provide a favor for Red Legion, with Dynasty getting a minor penalty and eliminating the entire d-side. After a little bit of time, Legion would work Dynasty out of their spots and put up a point. On the fourth point, Chris Schehr would make an amazing move down the d-side. With the right timing, and a perfect read, Schehr would shoot out three of the Red Legion players clean, forcing them to concede the point. The next point, Legion would slowly work Dynasty out of their spots, and put another point on the board making it 3-2. The next point, Dynasty would eliminate all of Legion's snake side, and they conceded shortly after. With only 2:20 left, Dynasty would hold off Red Legion and win 4-2.

Moving onto their semi-finals match against Houston Heat, Dynasty would have a tough time against them. The first point would go back and forth in the beginning of the first point, but Dynasty would close it out shortly after. The second point would go to Heat as they got early game kills and closed out the game right after. The third point would go to Dynasty, with three kills within the first ten seconds of this game, and then Heat would concede shortly after. With it tied up at 3 each, Heat would get two more points in a row, putting themselves at 5-3, and Dynasty would get one more point to end the match at 5-4 in favor of Heat. Dynasty takes another 3rd place finish.

World Cup

The last event of the NXL season, the biggest venue in the world, with a record breaking number of teams signing up, World Cup makes its way back to Kissimmee Florida in traditional paintball fashion. With Dynasty as the number one seed, they automatically make it to Sunday in the quarter finals against Red Legion, who would have to fight their way to get in the top 8.

During the first point, Dynasty would take this one easily, as Legion wound up getting a major penalty to seal the deal. The second point would draw out for a few minutes, but Dynasty would prevail and secure the point, and then win another short point right after to secure a 3-0 lead. Off the break for point 4, Dynasty would get a minor penalty right away, gifting Red Legion a 3v5 immediately. Dynasty did bring it down to a 2v2, but Alexander Berdnikov made a great move into the snake and got the last two kills to put up Legion's first point. Dynasty held onto their lead and proved to be too tough for the Red Legion to overcome, with the end result being 5-2.

For the semi-final match, Dynasty would play against Toulouse TonTons, and they were looking exceptional all event. The first few points would go back and forth with insane moves being made by Ryan Greenspan, Chris Schehr, and Axel Gaudin. There was a lot of counter-punch paintball being played, but the match ended in regulation with a tie at 3-3. The overtime point would start with a massive bang, with Arturo Andrade being shot off the break, but in turn, the TonTons would lose two players giving Dynasty the advantage. Eventually both teams would get out wide to try and contain the other, but moves were being constantly matched. Marcello Margott and Archie Montemayor both got into the snake, but Axel Gaudin shout out Archie, and Marcello quickly traded that kill and closed the point out. Dynasty would move onto the finals!

 The last match of the NXL 2023 season between two of the greatest teams ever. Impact vs Dynasty. The first point would start with a clean 5v5 breakout from both teams, with no one really risking any bodies out wide. Impact would strike first by getting a kill on Dynasty's snake side, and then locked down the field to prevent anyone from Dynasty getting out wide. With Impact getting the advantage in a 4v2, it was up to Schehr and Margott to stem the bleeding. They managed to get an elimination on Impact, but ultimately lost the first point. The second point would start with both teams getting a kill off break. Greenspan would make another move up the center, this time trading out with one of the players from Impact leaving the game in a 3v3. With two more quick kills on Impact, Dynasty would close the point out easily. Tied up at 1-1, the third point would go to Dynasty because of Chris Schehr again. Making fast moves up the d-side again, Impact didn't know until it was too late. Dynasty goes up 2-1. The next point would go blow for blow, with both teams losing two bodies in the beginning. The 3v3 would last for a couple of minutes until Impact gets a kill and makes a 2v3 in their favor. With Margott and Schehr still alive, they make a push on the d-side. Matt Jackson on Impact makes a great move up the center, and eliminates both Dynasty players to tie up the game. With only 1:50 left on game clock, Dynasty gets the upper hand at the start with a kill off break. In the last 45 seconds, absolute chaos ensues. Moves are made, players get eliminated, and the remaining players begin to scramble to try and make sense of it all. Amidst all of this happening, Margott is still alive and retreats to the back center bunker, and shoots the last three Impact players with only 16 seconds left on the clock. Dynasty holds off the attack in the next point and wins World Cup!

Five Events. Five Podium Finishes.

What an incredible season for the Blue Dragon. Three event wins, two more third place finishes, and a series title. Dynasty has truly embedded themselves in the annals of history with their 4th consecutive World Cup win. I don't think there will be a team as great as them, but who knows? Here's to the 2024 season!

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