The Book Closes on Seattle Thunder
More than a decade ago, Corey Field first set out on the PSP professional division field with his newly minted team, Seattle Thunder. Featuring a diverse roster of the Pacific Northwest's best players, Corey took over the mantle as the owner of the premiere professional team from the region, with the ghosts of the Portland Naughty Dogs still looming.
The team was a diverse mix of young and hungry upstarts and league veterans all looking to make their mark when they entered the first event of the 2012 PSP season in Galveston. They did something quite unexpected of rookie xball teams, and they made Sunday their first event as an official PSP pro team. However, they would have to wait nearly a month to play that Sunday match, as a freak storm pushed the Galveston playoffs into event two of the season where teams would play an entire Sunday playoff the Thursday before event 2 started. They may not have won the event, but they set the stage that paintball is still strong in one of the most forgotten regions of the country.
Thunder would spend the next few seasons fighting to keep their pro status in the final days of the PSP tournament series and did enough to earn an invite into the NXL, what would be the newest premiere tournament xball league in the country. Thunder would retain their position in the NXL pro division for the next seven seasons, never being in serious threat of relegation. Across their final two seasons of professional play, Thunder was able to make some serious noise, placing in the top six a total of six events and pushing some of the best teams in the sport to their breaking point.
Corey Field unintentionally became the patron saint of paintball in the Northwest in the process. Known for his generosity and support of growing the game, hundreds and thousands of players would come through his field, watching his team, and the dream of paintball would be ignited in many because of his dedication to the growth and sustainability of Northwestern paintball.
As of the start of the 2023 season, the Seattle Thunder Franchise final sale would be completed and the team will now move forward as a Northeast team from Brooklyn, known as the Bears. It brings the end of an era to the PNW's favorite professional team but not without the fingerprints of Thunder all over the pro division and the sports popularity in the region.
From Iconic Paintball and the rest of the sport, we just want to thank Seattle Thunder and Corey Field for all the growth they helped to create for the sport, and for all those they inspired to get out and play the game. We loved watching you play on the field as both fans and analysts of the game the last decade. We wish you the best as you move forward in your paintball endeavors.