And when we spoke to them about the up-and-coming 2017 NXL season they fired back with gold. Lots and lots of gold. From each player.
Are you sitting comfortably? Good. So, kick back, relax and take it all in.
FYI: TT (Thomas Taylor) / KR (Kevin 'Kali' Rudulph) / CM (Cody Mickowski) / TL (Travis Lemanski) / PS (Phil Shredder) / DR (Damian Ryan)
PE: We’re super excited to have you back with the Eclipse family, but how do YOU feel to be back with us?
TT: Coming back to eclipse is like coming home to my family after a long trip, you're excited, filled with joy and content knowing you're in good hands. Eclipse to me is more than a paintball company. They were there for me when my career really started, even before the company flourished. I remember playing with prototype Egos and helping with feedback before the first Ego was ever released to the public and now, WOW, the guns continue to set the standard of quality.
KR: It has been a very long time since I have had the privilege of using a Planet Eclipse Marker. I loved my Johnny Cash Ego then, and l love my new CS1 now! I could tell immediately out of the box I was going to love shooting a Planet Eclipse Marker.
CM: I am stoked to be back shooting Eclipse. For over 7 seasons I have been able to shoot Eclipse guns and not only have they shot fantastic, but the tech service and support is always working to make the gun shoot perfectly.
TL: Yes the Geo was just released last time we shot eclipse....these guns have come a long way, I love the ergonomics.
PS: I'm super excited to be back with Eclipse. I've been shooting Egos and Geos since I started playing paintball. My first legit tournament gun was an 05 Ego. I've also used Geos for multiple years with the Outlaws. We earned our pro spot shooting Geos. The CS1 shoots amazing out of box and feels great in your hands. It shoots like a Geo but better. On top of that these things are work horses. Easy to clean and lube up. I couldn't be more happy with our Gun sponsor this season. Guns for champions!
DR: Words can't describe how excited I am to be shooting Planet Eclipse markers again. After using the vanquish for many years I can't wait to be using a CS1.
PE: You guys are kinda like the anti-hero team. The ones everyone loves and hates. The upstarts. But, like Aftershock, you guys have a ton of history. Does the team every feel the pressure of the history or are you looking to create your own?
TT: Infamous will always be the team everyone loves to hate but something special happened last year with the shrinking of the skeleton squad and the focus of being a consistent threat at every event. We aim to keep all of the vets that have played, and retired, proud of Infamous. We are here in the now for each other.
KR: Its crazy to say this but I have been on infamous for 8 seasons. I’m the longest active player on the roster, crazy I know. I have played with the OG infamous guys and if I wasn’t playing with them, I was getting demolished on the field trying to learn from them as a young pup. I don’t feel any pressure from the team's history, but I think its only natural to try and want to improve from the previous season… and if that isn’t your goal, then you aren’t on this team and never will be.
CM: Winning. That's the reason we are here and that's what we want to accomplish. The infamous name has a lot of wins under its belt, but our team for 2017 has one goal and that's to win the series title. The only pressure we feel is the high expectations we put on ourselves to win every point and every match.
TL: We just know that the only people truly looking out for us is us. No pressure. We just go out and execute.
PS: I feel like this team has been a force in the pro league since the start. I feel every team knows when they play us they need to bring it. They know we're here to bang heads and bring the heat. But I feel like with this new skeleton squad we are just as savage as the last infamous teams, if not more. This team has fire and everyone wants to punish the people on the other side. We don't just want to win, we want to make a statement every time we play. With the new team last season, with new pick ups, we jelled together real well and got along on and off the field. I feel like that's super important in winning tournaments. I'm excited to see what we do together for the second season. We came up short with a 2nd place over all so I'm ready for any new challenges ahead of us.
DR: I think it comes from both sides. Infamous is a legendary name and has been home to many movers and shakers. The history behind the name can't be touched. It's an honor to be a core part of such a legendary team. I don't think I've ever felt pressure to create own history as I feel like infamous has grown to be a part of me and every one of my teammates.
PE: Which pro teams do you love to play against and hate to play against. And why.
TT: We love to play any teams that run mouths 'cause we feed off their insecurities. Honestly no one we hate to play besides teams that we got complacent with.
KR: I love playing against teams that think they are hot shit and under estimate us. There isn’t one team I hate to play against in tournaments. There are teams I hate to practice against however and that's mostly because you end up walking away with more questions than answers.
CM: The pro teams I love playing against would be X-Factor and Aftershock. They are teams we know pretty well, and that the games often have several exchanges at the wall. Both teams play aggressive and want to battle. Teams I dislike playing would be Uprising and Boom, they both play conservative styles and depending on the field layout the points could be long and drawn out.
TL: We like playing everyone. Each Pro team is unique so you have to prepare differently.
PS: I honestly love playing against Impact, Heat, and Dynasty especially more than any team. I grew up watching Dynasty and have always been a fan. But now that I'm at the top I want nothing more than to be the best I can be against the top teams on the planet. I feel like we play the best when we play hard, talented teams. The higher their bar the higher you set your bar for victory. Teams I hate to play are The Russians and X Factor. I feel like the Russians are always a tuff team, with talented gun skills, snap shooting and their shots off the break are solid. X Factor is another team that can beat you up if you let them get ahead of you. They always have solid guns off the break and great legendary gun fighters and players like Archie, Grayson, and Colt Roberts. So I feel these teams all challenge our will and game plans.
DR: Dynasty. Love and hate. I can't explain why but it seems like over the last 4-5 years no matter what happens at an event we always seem to match up with Dynasty when it's do or die time. Some of the most intense matches of my life have developed from this rivalry. I think the fans will agree.
PE: If you could have any old school Infamous player on the team, who would that be? And why?
TT: That's easy, suit up Travis and let's get them g’s off the break!
KR: Wow, there are so many to choose from. I think having JR back on the squad would be awesome. He was a very versatile player that could be used anywhere especially with a giant W in the middle of the field.
CM: Rusty Glaze. I have gotten to play against him in years past as a player and over the years have formed a lot of respect for him as a player and now a coach. It would be cool to play along side of him and see what he was like as a teammate.
TL: Thats a long list haha, actually Jon Richardson almost made a comeback last year. True Story! But it would be great to have any of the old cast, LaSoya, JR, LB, AJ and so on…
PS: If I could bring back any Infamous player it would probably be Jon Richardson. Only because I watched him a lot coming up in the sport. His ability to see openings in the field to make big moves was unreal. He always was a great snap shot and very intelligent player. His gun skills remind me of myself. That's who I would choose! And I have mad respect for Chris LaSoya and Rusty Glaze too.
DR: The glorious male tail himself. Chris LaSoya. Why? I think the shorter list would be why not, and I can't think of one good reason not to.
PE: What’s your message to all the other pro teams in the NXL this year?
TT: Keep talking trash. Keep doubting us. Keep counting us out and we'll see what happens.
KR: Get ready to rumble.
CM: Meet us at the wall.
TL: See ya at the wall.
PS: My message to all the teams in the NXL is that I don't care who the opponent on the other side is, we're gonna bring it every point. It's a fight against yourself and a fight with the brothers next to you! It doesn't matter who's in front of us, if we work hard and be consistent we will be at the top. I feel if we are vibing and play INFAMOUS paintball we're gonna destroy teams. I want you all to bring your A-game so we bring our A-game and make each game super exciting! We're ready for any obstacles that come in the near future for the 2017 NXL season !
Aaaaaand breathe. Awesome stuff boys. We cannot wait to see how Vegas goes down.
Photo: SeeUs Films