Life is all about the little things, right? What about the little guys? The ones that don't have their names on event posters, without the huge YouTube followings, without the brand endorsement deals.
We spend all of this time focussing on a select few, and while what they do is exemplary, and a great result of their hard work, we sometimes forget about the guys we see at the field every single weekend. Once you dive deeper into the story of some of these people, you start to learn some amazing things.
For me, someone who has always piqued my interest is Blake Thompson. Blake has been a supporter, and customer of mine since very early in my adventure in this industry.
What has intrigued me the most is that while I know Blake lives on the east coast of Canada, he seems to appear at a lot of our games in Ontario. When I say a lot, I mean most of them. Even random pickup games. This is because Blake has magical control over low-cost airline flights, which has given him the opportunity to open up and explore North American paintball at it's finest.
Last week, Blake was kind enough to give me a bit of his time to ask a few questions about what paintball and the experience mean to him.
When did you start playing?
started when I was 12 and played like crazy for 5 years, took 10-year break and started up again 3-4 years ago pure magfed
Was the idea of MagFed what brought you back into Paintball?
MagFed was what I always hoped paintball would be when I was a kid. I went to a bachelor party 3-4 years ago loved it and honestly found slims videos online and discovered you guys had made my dream a reality.
What is it about MagFed that you're hooked on?
First, the community treated everyone like family, and that includes giving each other shit on occasion. But mostly its the gameplay it allows. Instead of people shooting ropes and lanes, you can move about the field instead of just snap battling
You've had the unique opportunity to travel to play on a regular basis, can you tell me a little more about that, and what you’ve experienced on your travels?
I wish I could downplay it a bit but honestly its been fantastic. I've had the unique experience of playing almost every type of game out there, from strict Milsim at Platoon Leader, huge MFOGs at dominion, and Competition MagFed with the MML. Not to mention weekly walk on at the home field.
Its taught me that MagFed community that shows up to games is completely different than the community that shows up online. I've traveled to these events mostly by myself, and at every field, I meet players that wanna play hard, talk MagFed, and chill when the games over.
Where is your home field, and what makes it that?
My home field is Seabreeze Paintball just outside of Halifax in NS. It's not a huge field and may not even have the best bunkers or layout, but again its the quality of players that go there that makes it home.
The field doesn't advertise, so it's mostly regulars vs. a field with lots renters. The owners and ref are awesome, and its easy for them because the crew that shows up are all solid players on and off the field.
It's also the unofficial home to MagFed on the east coast. Most of the larger MagFed teams play here, and we make up about 30-50% of the players at most games, so even when it's not an MFOG it kinda is
Has paintball affected your life off of the field, and if so, how?
If my wife ever saw I answered no to that question her eyes would roll so hard they probably fall out.
Paintball has affected my life off the field. I am one of those guys that tends to go all in on things. Not that I buy 100 markers but that I get pretty passionate it pretty fast. I love to talk magfed, and paintball to anyone who will listen, it's why joined the Maritime Milsim Podcast when they offered me a spot.
On top of that, I try to film games when I can, although I don't do much uploading these days. So between the MML, obsessing over which games to attend and the newest go pros, drones, markers, and gear. Magfed has taken over my life.
If you could offer one piece of advice to a new MagFed player that would improve their experience while playing, what would it be?
That's a good question, I wanna say something simple like just play and have fun or stick with a good crew of players, which are both entirely true, but I think to enjoy magfed you have to have the right expectations going in.
Just because your marker looks like what an assault rifle doesn't mean you're suddenly going to play like Rambo. MagFed is a genuine challenge, everything from the limited paint reloads, the weight and size of the marker, right down to the fact paintballs were never designed to be in spring-loaded mags.