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The Laserforce players East Coast Tournament (ECT) took place this week at The Fun Warehouse in Syracuse, NY.

This event was happening right on the heels of my return from taking several days off to travel for Armageddon. Life requires a certain amount of balance and I realize that I do have to balance my tag time with little things like, you know, my actual job (lol), so I did not step up to participate in this event, but I did keep an eye on the three days of competition via the Twitch stream.

I have not been a huge follower of these gaming streams in the past, but I was a bit more attentive to this one and enjoyed following the activity over the course of the three days that the SM5 matches took place.

By the end of round 1 on Monday I suspected the writing was already on the wall.

I wrote that prediction on Monday. While it’s true that anything can happen, of the four teams competing, three were made up of Syracuse players, so I felt pretty comfortable with going out on this particular limb.

However, it’s not all about the win-loss ratio. There were moments of individual growth and achievement reported back, like one member of the Syracuse C team being happy just to get a couple of missiles off against the A team and another pleased that they could avoid getting eliminated in those games. StayPuft commented that by not being eliminated early, they exceeded expectations and sometimes it’s those little victories that should really be appreciated. Rumor has it the alleged “10-10-9” lost a couple of nukes to this team as well, but I won’t get in the middle of that one!

What I will say is that this event had a lot of heart and players were wearing it on their sleeve, not just at the ECT event, but across the laser tag community as we united in a gesture of remembrance to honor the memory of our friend, Katt “Harlequin” Savoca.

Throughout the week people who tuned in to the Twitch channel saw the screen relay of the games, but they also saw an active fundraising effort to support the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline with donations dedicated in Katt’s memory.

In this way, ECT took on a bigger purpose than just the competition itself. And over the course of the tournament we were astounded to see how the laser tag community rallied together and helped to contribute towards the $1870 in total donations (as of Wednesday morning) raised in Katt’s name by her family and friends.

But of course, the tournament was the thing that brought everyone together and, while this was a smaller event, players were devoted. In fact, while the majority of players were local, these players traveled not just from across the country, but several traveled internationally just to be a part of ECT.

The traveling taggers include:

Wolfman from Detroit, MI

Markus from Germany

Smally McSmalls from the UK

Hewey from the UK

Poison Ivy from the UK

Kodama from San Diego, CA

Originally their team name was “Get in T’ Van” (which is an awesome name), but they changed it to “Get in T’National” to better reflect the diverse locations represented by the players.

David “Hewey” Hewitson explained that the coming together of this group stemmed from a few deliberate decisions to break off from pre-existing teams and join together at this event with one main focus…having fun together while playing laser tag.

This was also an opportunity for new international friendships to be forged.

Having spent the first two days of the tournament checking in via the Twitch stream, I left straight from my work day to get out to Syracuse in just enough time to watch the final match first-hand. When I arrived, I saw that the bracket aligned exactly with my prediction from Monday.

I watched as the final match took place to determine whether the first place trophies would go to Syracuse A or Syracuse B.

Players headed into the arena, ready for the first game of that final match.

Three minutes into game one it was looking pretty likely that the A team was going to take it. By the time they were four minutes in they had more than doubled the B team’s score. B team lost their resupply early and their team was completely eliminated before the clock had even gotten 2/3 of the way through. But it’s not over until it’s over. It was down to the second game of the match.

I’ve got to say, B team really put up a fight! But in the first five minutes of the game, it looked like the writing was once again on the wall…or was it? By the halfway mark the B team had significantly narrowed the gap and made this an interesting game to watch! Losing their medic at 7:30 and their heavy seconds later was a blow, but they still fought incredibly hard, which I respect.

Jackal as scout was the last player remaining in the game and he held on. I thought to myself as I watched, “if he survives this entire game, I’m dropping the Jackal video here in the blog as his shout out.” He hung in there until the 3:53 mark where the game ended.

Well Jackal, as the last man standing on a team that put up a good fight I promised you’d get something special here. Ladies and gentlemen…The Jackal!

Now all that was left was to recognize the individual and team awards.

Individual awards went to the following:

Golden Gun for accuracy - Beanz

Medic Killer - Evol

Sportsmanship - Hewey

All Star Commander - Cody

All Star Scout - Evol

All Star Scout - Fox

All Star Ammo - Beanz

All Star Heavy - Hammer

All Star Medic and MVP - Schmorg

And team placements (complete with ceremonial paper plates) went to the following:

4th Place - Syracuse C

3rd place - Get In T’National Van

2nd place - Syracuse B

1st place - Syracuse A

Congratulations to all who played in the ECT. I can’t help think that “East Coast Tournament” may not be the best description for this particular event since the only thing truly “east coast” about it was the location, so indulge me for a moment while I contemplate what else the ECT abbreviation could represent. Perhaps…

Extraterrestrial Crazy Teapots

Especially Cold Turkeys

Even Cody Tags

Lol, just kidding.

I would like to thank all the members of our laser tag community who donated to the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline this week in memory of Katt. While this was not the official Tag 4 A Cause for this quarter, it will be for next quarter. However, this week the sole purpose for encouraging donations was to do something positive to remember our friend Katt. I like to think she may be looking out upon her friends in the laser tag community and the players at this event and that she would appreciate what I think this ECT really stands for…

Everyone Comes Together.

Comments or Questions?


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