16 December 2012

WCA 2012 with Destiny Army USA - Paintball in Malaysia

by Sonny Lopez

I was asked to be the coach of the 2012 Destiny Army USA team by Bea Youngs because she would be ready to have  her second child around the time of the event and there was no way Bea and Mike could make the trip. I accepted and started to research the WCA events and teams of the past. I also thought about our roster knowing that the girls never really get to practice together being they were spread out all over North America. This was going to be a challenge but a fun one at the same time. 

The entire Destiny team had never been to Malaysia before and we didn't know what to expect. Our plane ride on China Southern was great and we had zero problems. When we ordered water "with no ice" we got orange juice instead so there was a slight language barrier but not a problem at all. The mini TV's were like Jet Blue's so the 16 hour flight went by quick! Great job China Southern!

Needless to say this was was going to be a trip never to be forgotten. Much thanks goes out to Allan Phang and the entire PALS and WCA crew for doing such a great job. Many thanks goes out to all the other staff and companies who did their part to making it happen.

Our flight to Malaysia had us stop in China for a 4 hour layover. Our first time in China was quick and only resulted in inhaling indoor cigarette smoke for about 4 hours. We tried to use the free wifi in the airport but it seemed like our laptops were catching some internet STD while trying to connect so we opted out of that option. Below is a pic of the security camera in the airport watching our every move. It was really funny being Kat repeatedly picked her butt to keep them wondering what we were doing.

Once we got to Kuala Lumpur Malaysia it became a non stop adventure.

When got to the airport in Malaysia and had a warm reception. Allan's armed police escort was a nice touch. We met up with Victoria and Kimi at the airport and now the Destiny team was finally complete. Kimi is the daughter of Ebert Kan who is a LA Hitmen OAKLAND member!

Once we got out of the airport Allan and his crew took us to a mall for a special reception and meal. Allan Phang is standing to the left of me in this picture. He is passionate and professional at the same time. Malaysian paintball is lucky to have him working so hard.

At the meal we saw a video on the WCA and got to meet several important people. We also got to see Gary Baum of paintballphotography.com  We all got WCA shirts and "laid".

The meal was really good food and we all could not stop smiling. There was no time to think about sleeping or resting. We were on an adventure and were living up every second of it. After the meal a press conference was held and Kat Secor got to speak on Malaysian TV for the first time.

Next stop was the ZON hotel in KL. We had so many gear bags!

The next day we were picked up and taken to 89 Arena for some indoor practice. We stopped and ate at a Subway on the way in the pouring rain.

We have to thank Team Duckside and Team Lost Boys for the great practice at 89 Arena Klang. That made a big difference in our plans for the event. If you are ever in the KL area you must go play some games there!

We found out the bathrooms were a bit different and the use of a hose cannon was in favor over toilet paper. Sometimes you just don't know what your going to experience until it is staring right in front of you!

Destiny Army USA also got to visit the downtown market and Chinatown in KL. We went on a shopping spree and had a great time negotiating with the locals on prices. Be sure to start at 50% on the retail price when negotiating. ;)

The train ride there was so much fun. Everyone was staring at us. Maybe because Katie Kelly was showing us a magic trick she has perfected. If you ever get to meet her you have to ask her to show you the David Copperfield trick. She has it down pat.

Prior to the event many people asked about our very own Linh Truong. "Did she leave Hitmen?" "Was she cut from Hitmen and she went to Destiny?" Many questions and rumors but the only one being true: she is LA Hitmen for life and now also part of the Destiny family. She focuses on pump with Hitmen and semi with Destiny. I gave her the green light to try out for Destiny this past summer and she had never used a semi auto prior to the practice and try out. She did so well she was asked to play in NPPL Vegas and WCA Malaysia soon after with Destiny's starting squad. I have been coaching Linh since 2008 so there was two LA Hitmen killers on this Destiny WCA 2012 team (the coach and the snake)!

The Destiny jersey was a hot seller prior to the event. Over 65 people signed up to help get the team to the event. You can see the LA Hitmen logo on the jersey as one of the supporters of the team.  Some other major supporters of the team going to WCA was Paintball Kitty, Extreme Pros, Forgotton Muse Media, HK, R7 Greg Hastings cameras, PBFashion, Social Paintball, Exotic Tan in Cerritos, CA, Paintballphotography.com, DYE, Carmatech Engineering, Guerrilla Air, Napshot, PALS, and the Malaysian Tourism Board.

Once at the ZON hotel in KL the gym and dinner area was a popular spot for the Destiny team. Here is Kathy and Linh having some workout fun. Their food was amazing and the backdoor locks to the rooms were not. We made the best of it!

The first week we were in Malaysia we spent in KL and were busy having fun and also doing some media appearances for the WCA. Kat is pictured below with Amber of the WCA staff. Amber was so nice and helpful it really makes a difference having high quality staff on hand!

The PALS/WCA really know how to market an event over there. The use of a professional marketing staff and PR companies really pays off! Check out their Facebook page at this link: Facebook page. Once we got to the event there was something to do every day!

The ONE Helang hotel in Langkawi was amazing and everywhere you turned paintball posters were up. This is where you want to play some paintball! 

It was almost game time! The captains meeting was very professional and we got to see some old friends and make new ones at the same time. I liked the "pick your number out of the hat" format and think all they got to do to make it perfect is list teams in alphabeltical order instead of how they are listed right now. Great job everyone!

Once the event got started think I was the busiest person at the event. I was coaching Destiny, playing with SAAS (D1 and ICC/Pro) talking to some distributors about LA Hitmen products and Carmatech Engineering's SAR12 and I also got to coach Poison Ivy for two games!

These girls are so much fun and I hope to be able to work with them in the future. It took me a second to learn their codes but once I got them it was all good. "Pudding1 now at Pudding2" I will never forget. You can check them out here.

I got to play some points with SAAS (South American All Stars) led by Tony Perez. Yes the same Tony Perez who also plays for LA Hitmen. This was a great group of talented players that Tony put together from all over his countries of interest. We are going to play some more events with this group hopefully sometime in the future! You can check out Tony's international distribution company here.

This picture on PbNation's page of me playing with SAAS got over 780 likes! Click on that link and give us some more! In the picture I am playing the dorito for SAAS. The picture was taken by some of the beautiful ladies pictured below and posted on Katies Facebook page, PbNation saw it and reposted. Pretty lucky I had some fans to cheer me on! Hats off to the WCA for helping us meet new friends!

Here are some pictures of Tony Perez and myself playing in the Pro and D1 divisions with SAAS. Tony is in the dorito killing some bad guys for the SAAS.

One of my favorite games I got to run down the snake and help finish the game. Good times at WCA!

It wasn't just all paintball at the WCA, there was some tourism fun to be had as well.

The girls played great and made Sunday! They took 14th out of over 40 teams with a throw together squad from all over the USA. Congrats girls!!

On our way home we decided to get some much needed down time and found an amazing hotel right at the airport! The Spa was simply awesome.

Please check out the links in this story and be sure to check out RSH Media, Social Paintball's highlight reel, and Gary Baum's website for more images and video. Of course Linh Truong got to be on the cover of RSH Medias DVD rocking a DYE Reflex!