Undoubtedly, this became a day to remember for the laser tag enthusiasts as LazerXtreme, Philippines held the first-ever laser tag tournament in the country recently. Where else would this momentous event be held but in the battleground where the Philippine laser tag all first began – LazerXtreme, Market! Market!
After weeks of anticipation, three teams successfully made it to the first national laser tag competition: UAAP, a group of friends who have been laser tag enthusiasts since the opening of the LazerXtreme branch in Market! Market!; Ninjas, a team composed of the youngest players who were more than excited to play laser tag and have lots of fun; and Iced Tea, a team of players representing the new LazerXtreme branch at Alabang Town Center.
Terrence Sumat, game captain and official referee for the tournament, explained and strictly implemented tournament rules to insure fair play and a smooth flow of games. A round robin set of games was held for the elimination stage of the tournament. Each team had the opportunity to face one another in a fierce laser tag battle. Then, the top two teams advanced to the finals to square off in a best of three series.
UAAP and Iced Tea were the first two teams to square off during the eliminations– an intense match-up to kick off the tournament, as one could clearly see how passionate both teams were about laser tag. Inside the arena, both teams were continuously being heard shouting unique strategies to their members. At the end of the first match and with much huffing and puffing, team UAAP decisively won against team Iced Tea with a 10,000 point difference in score.
Next was the battle of the Ninjas against Iced Tea. When Hero TV interviewed the kids of team Ninjas before the match started, most, if not all of them, said they were nervous for their match-up. However, this feeling didn’t show when they were inside the arena. The small but terrible Ninjas simply moved around agilely, feeling no pressure at all from having to follow a strategy whatsoever, and kept tagging their counterparts with much delight. However, this was the match that got team Iced Tea its first win. When UAAP faced the Ninjas for the following match of the elimination round, the Ninjas had to call it a day.
Team Ninjas got 3rd place in the competition and took home LazerXtreme and Spin goodies as their awards. Everyone applauded this group of feisty, courageous kids who never thought twice about battling bigger and stronger opponents than them. The brave youngsters took home individual gift certificates of SPIN worth 1,000 Php each, and a LazerXtreme T-Shirt. With the Ninjas out, the stage was set for the grand finale between teams Iced Tea and UAAP.
The clash between these two teams was the most exciting match-up of the night as UAAP and Iced Tea fought for the best-of-three championship rounds of the tournament. Both LazerXtreme branches were represented, and no one had imagined the finals to be as exciting as they turned out to be. During the first match, both teams took turns taking the lead until one of the players of the UAAP team was disqualified for “trailing”, a loss which ultimately led to a 100-point win for team Iced Tea. To the disappointment of some and delight of others, the second match resulted in a suspenseful draw. This tie meant that team Iced Tea only needed one more win to be crowned champions while team UAAP still needed two consecutive wins to bag it – and this was exactly what the team representing Market! Market! did! UAAP finally dominated the third and fourth matches of the finals, and they go down in history as the Philippines’ first laser tag tournament champions.
When asked how they felt about winning the championship, they all felt the same thing – happy and proud. They also said it wasn’t an easy battle as team Iced Tea had put up a really good fight. One of the members of UAAP mentioned that they had to constantly adapt their strategies according to how the other team moved in order to be able to beat them. Another member also affirmed that tag really is a game of strategy and that each player is just as important to the victory as the other.
By the end of the night, 2nd placer, Iced Tea from Alabang, was awarded sunglasses courtesy of Executive Optical, as well as LazerXtreme T-shirts. The champions, UAAP, on the other hand, got the same plus gift certificates from Sofitel’s sumptuous Spiral Restaurant worth Php 3,000.00 each. Wow!
The events that transpired during the first-ever LazerXtreme laser tag competition just go to show that there are very passionate players of this leisure activity in the country, and that it carries the promise of becoming a major sport in the coming years. Which leads us to another reason to be excited for LazerXtreme – the company will be coordinating with international laser tag centers, mainly in Australia, New Zealand and the USA, to get a first Philippine national team to participate in the international laser tag championship in 2011. Any takers?