Russian LegionRanked 1st overall the Russian Legion has improved and refined their line up the past few years into the most feared starting five in pro paintball, mid-way through the 2019 season. But after dominating from the beginning until middle of the year in Europe and in the states, winning three events in row they ran into the gritty buzzsaw that was San Antonio X-Factor in the finals in Philadelphia and took 2nd place in a close one-point match. The Russians almost came back to win and took it into overtime.nBut the Russians can’t let that loss affect them moving forward as they’ve taken Top 4 at nine international events in row. There are no weak links at all in the Russian line up; their attack could come from any section of the field.nLeo Smotrov has started to become more consistent and calculated in his attack, but his top end speed, aggression, and timing make him an emerging super star, who already has one Top Gun Golden Barrel award this year and could stack them up in the years to come-- he’s only 21 years old.nBacking him up as the second attacker on the snake side is a legend in his own time, Alexander Berdnikov, also known by just one name “Malloy”. Malloy’s uncanny ability to read the field and make dynamic moves into almost any position at any time in close low-body points, makes him the perfect support player for Smotrov, as he’s able to play off the chaos caused, pick up the attack when Smotrov dies, or cause chaos of his own. They are the most potent combo on the snake side in the sport.nEyes and guns may turn towards the snake side, but opponents need to be very wary of Pavel Karsliev, who has become a brutal sledgehammer of an attacker on the Dside. arguably the most aggressive player on that side on any top team. Karsliev has become an efficient killer and proven to be an important part of the starting five.nBehind him, or beside him, depending on the layout or game plan are two veteran attackers who have only become better as the years have ticked by. Sergey Solynyshkov came over from Houston Heat this season and instantly made the Russian’s offense more potent and Kirill Prikhidni, a longtime leader on and off the field continues to impress with expert timing, he is a still a major asset, even though he’s fought through multiple injuries. The Russians also have a deep bench, with veterans Vasiliy Panteleev, and Denis Golev. Without a doubt, the Russians are one of the big favorites to take the win in Chicago.