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Is There A Draft In Here?

Over the course of my travels, I have noticed that there are a few questions that come up fairly regularly. In particular, one frequent question I get asked usually comes from an enthusiastic staff member or top player at whatever arena I am visiting. The question is “how do I get involved with laser tag tournaments?”

Sometimes this player is a big fish in a small pond who just doesn’t have any idea what kind of competitive laser tag scene exists outside of their own arena. I relate because it was not so long ago that I was that player myself, so I try to direct them as best I can based on my own experiences.

My tournament journey has taken me from little local events (with the word “local” being relative as I have played in smaller scale tournaments everywhere from California to South Dakota, Oklahoma to New Hampshire and more) to larger scale tournaments, getting to compete with some of the top players in their respective scenes. Tournaments have become a big part of my laser tag journey and have afforded me the chance to develop friendships literally all across America.

However, everyone has the same questions when they are starting out. Where do you go? How do you begin? If you aren’t already part of the scene how do you find your way onto a team?

Well, a draft style tournament can provide an opportunity to enter the tournament scene as a new player or even serve as a unique opportunity to team up with players with whom you might not ordinarily get a chance to play.

The U.S. Armageddon has annually provided a multi-system laser tag tournament event, taking place over the course of several days and traveling to several arenas along a designated route. For over 20 years it has offered a chance to challenge players, not only at their “home system”, but to test their skills across several laser tag systems. In the early years teams were often formed with players representing a particular system. In recent years system experience has been a bit of a mixed bag among the teams. However, there is an effort to try to do the 2024 U.S. Armageddon as a draft event, so if you are an interested laser tag player without a current team, this could be a great opportunity to break into the competitive laser tag scene and play with some amazingly talented players.

In a perfect scenario, you might begin with local tournaments and gradually branch out into a larger competitive scene. However, for me, I just jumped right into the deep end! Armageddon 2015 was my very first real tournament experience. As such, this event holds a special place in my heart and if you are looking to get involved, the 2024 Armageddon could be a great place to start. Especially if the draft format moves forward because you do not need to worry about finding a team…a team will find you! Find out more about it here…

I like the idea of a draft tournament because my past draft experiences have been incredibly valuable. As a player often coming from outside the area, I am typically “adopted” onto a homegrown team when I travel to play at events anyway. However, with a draft, everyone is in that same boat and the pool of experience and knowledge base among the players is shared. The first draft event I ever played was a side event at Philly Invites 2015. More recently I played the draft tournament at the 2019 Battle For The Fort and found a wealth of benefit to playing with players who are enthusiastic and willing to share their insight and experience on the systems where they have spent so much time developing their skills. I think there is a lot to be gained through playing in a draft event. So, if you are that player who has asked me (or even just wondered) how to get involved in tournaments, please consider this an opportunity to step into the Armageddon laser tag tournament scene and see how far it might take you on your own journey!

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