Ask The Russians

rl2The Russian Legion took the paintball world by storm in 2009, winning the 2009 and 2010 PSP World Championship and recently won a nail biter at the PSP Chicago Open against Dynasty.

Formed in 1996, the team's commitment to a strict training regime, their professional management and coaching staff and their individual skills as players has made them legendary.

PaintballNews.Asia in conjunction with Werdna Hol Sportz and Sly gave readers the chance to ask the Russian Legion any question about paintball. We choose the 5 best questions to include in our exclusive interview with the Russian Legion.

Kirill Prihidni of Russian Legion took time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. Enjoy!

Readers Questions:

Iskandar Dzulkhazar Yahya
Q. Rumour has it, you guys are trained by ex-KGB agents. Any comments on that one?
NO, but our fitness coach is a former USSR champion in Army sports. So he has some very good knowledge that he shares with us.

Marijn Janssen
Q. What job would you have if you weren't a pro-paintball player?
UP to me, personally (Kirill Prihidni) my University speciality Criminal Lawyer… So I might be working in Moscow by investigating those cases.


Mervyn Leong
Q. How does it feel to get paid to play paintball 5 days a week?
It feels really good at one hand, because you receive early a good chance of getting money and doing what you really love to do, especially when you’re young. On another hand you don’t know how to get a job in real live and how it works in general.

Azahari Bakar
Q. Of all the players in Dynasty which players do you hate most and like most?

At such of the level you can’t hate people, because we are all different. We just pay our respect to all good players and teams.

Benjamin Tan
Q. What is the commitment level of a pro player?

In my club it must be very HIGH. Because you need to follow a strict practice routine. So you can’t just get waisted every weekend. And also during the events we can’t just have fun by having some alcohol before the event, because it can harm a teams result.

Paintball News Asia Interview Questions:

Q. Sergei Leontiev has been funding the Russian Legion since the team began. He obviously loves paintball. Does he still have time to be involved in the team or does he just help pay the bills?
Right now he is kinda away from that since the economical crisis has started. But he still loves it, giving some advices to coaches and talk to players before events.

Q. How many Russian based players do you have in the squad in 2011?
We have 6 players of the 1st squad +5 more players of 2nd squad, overall 11 Russian based players.

Q. Who is in the 2011 Boston Red Legion squad?
Berdnikov, Panteleev, Solnishkov, Kniazev, Fedorov, Golev, Zakharov, Blonski, Rabackoff, Prihidni.

Q. How many of the team are playing for Art Chaos Moscow at Millennium/Grand Tour?
It’s Kniazev, Fedorov, Panteleev, Ianushevski (second squad guy), Prihidni.

Q. Russian Legion is well known for your intensive pre-tournament training, like learning how best to play field layouts. How much has the 2011 PSP rules (like no pit-side coaching/late field releases) changed the way RL prepare for PSP tournaments?
It has hurt us a lot. Because now during Moscow practices we just have to train basic skills and practice smart particularly at the right field and learn it the way we learned fields in 2009-2010. Now we have to understand the field and tactics for only four days, so it is very hard and unusual for RL.

Q. How many coaches and team managers do RL currently have, and how important have they all been to the success of the team?
The success starts from organisation, as it has well known. We have a general team manager, financing manager and PR/sponsor relation’s manager. We have fitness coach, technical coach, breakout coach and head coach.

Q. RL made it to the PSP finals at Galveston against the Dynasty but lost 7-2. Was this a hard loss for the team?

Very hard one. Because there is nothing worse then the second place ever! But Dynasty has given us a very good lesson of 7 men paintball.

Q. Did the team sit down with the coaches after Galveston to review the losses to try and improve on how you play?

Yes, after each event we have a huge team meeting where we analyse what we did wrong what’s good and how should we act in a future.

Q. Besides Dynasty, are there any other PSP teams that are going to be tough to beat this season?
Basically, in our division there are no easy teams to beat. But DAMAGE is the most dangerous.

Q. Does the team still have time to spend in Moscow helping with player development?

Yes, this is very important part of team’s selection and team’s future. Because we need new blood to enter the team.

Q. Do you think the success of RL has helped increase the number of teams playing paintball in Moscow?
Not only in Moscow area! It is also all around Russia. I personally know a lot of young kids from different Russian cities that are very inspired by results of RL and it drives them into sports.

Q. Do your families support you all playing professional paintball or would they rather you all have normal jobs?

My family has always been supporting me because the sport has made me the person I am and everyone in my family understood this before. But anyways everyone plus myself understand that sooner or later there will be the time for stop playing and start real live. In which sphere it would happen I don’t know. I would be pleased if some of the PB big producers would invite me for working with them.

Q. So far what has been the greatest event victory for RL?

The best victory is always the HARDEST one. So up to my mind the EPIC WC Final match of 2009 RL/Philly.

Q. MacDev has been your gun sponsor for 2 years now. Is a trip to Australia by RL being planned this year?

Yes they are and it is because RL is very satisfied by the reliability of those guns plus professionalism of MacDev company. Unfortunately NO, I guess because we are to far from each other.

Q. There were rumours that RL would play NPPL this year. Is it something the team would consider in 2012?
I don’t think so, because RL likes to promote PB as a real athletic sport. 7 men is not like that.

Q. What’s more important to RL this year, winning PSP World Cup 2011 or the PSP 2011 Series Championship?
CUP is always the most important thing.

Kirill thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. We wish Russian Legion the best of luck this season.

Special thanks to Andrew Loh from Wernahol Sportz for helping to arrange this interview.

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