NOMINEES FOR Innovator of the Year
Ben Silverstein, PaintballDNA.
When it comes to innovation in the paintball industry, no one is quite as willing as Ben to experiment with new concepts and ideas in order to try and provide the best products possible. Ben has been spearheading the 3D printed product movement in the sport for years. His designs like the JOLO hopper, PocketStand, and Freak insert cases have become more and more popular among players for their solid build and the simple yet elegant solutions they provide. Ben continues to test and prototype new concepts and is rapidly help change the landscape of paintball design.
Jack Wood, Planet Eclipse.
A true innovator pushes the limits of design constantly, and no one has done that better in the sport of paintball than Jack Wood of Planet Eclipse. Over the years, his work on markers like the Ego, LV1, Geo, and CS platforms have revolutionized marker technology. His Gamma Core bolt system has gone on to become one of the most popular engines for a marker of all-time, and his Emek design has changed the face of the sport both competitively and recreationally by providing a high performance platform at a low cost. In 2021, he has continued to refine the EMF100 magfed platform and products that have helped rapidly grow the magfed sector of the sport.
Gio Degidio, SC Village/Hollywood Sports.
The sport of paintball is nothing without paintball fields to play at; field owners are what drive the games growth. The most innovative field owner in the games history, Gio Degidio has constantly pushed and transformed what a paintball field can be over his 30+ years in the game with his popular parks SC Village, Hollywood Sports, and Giant Sports Park. He has always pursued new ways to market the game and grow the sport of paintball, and in 2021, Gio built one of the best facilities in the world in Texas and is again exceeding what an elite paintball park can be. And, he did it all in just a few months with his efficient system of park design and building.
Mark Kressin, HK Army.
Mark Kressin has been at the forefront of viral marketing in the sport of paintball for nearly 20 years. From his humble start with a small team in Southern California, he been one of the architects of the rapid and consistent growth of HK Army into a worldwide company. His innovative use of social media to market the brand on platforms like TikTok, Youtube, and Instagram have garnered hundreds of millions of views and helped put paintball in front of a larger audience. His focus on always creating new and interesting content has made him one of the most innovative individuals in the sport.
Jason Trosen, NAtional Xball League.
Innovation comes in many ways, and for the National XBall League, it comes in the form of Jason Trosen and his innovative field layouts. Jason has been the lead designer of every national tournament layout for almost a decade, and in an ever changing league, he has been able to consistently provide exciting layouts that are strategically driven. With some of the most exciting paintball we have ever seen this season, his layouts were critical in the ever changing style of play in the pro division. Jason continues to help grow the game and lead innovation in tournament paintball as the Commissioner of the NXL.