Big changes are happening with the LASERTRON World Championships (LTWC). The owner and of LASERTRON Corporate Jim Kessler, the company the manufactures the LASERTRON equipment, and operates a 4-acre entertainment center in Amherst NY, has announced the following changes:
- Participating teams must have 16 players per team. *(previously it was 8)
- All players must be at least 18 years old to participate. *(there was no restriction before)
- LASERTRON will decide which game formats will be played at the tournament (based on 16 players per team, which means 4 team game format will not be used).
- LASERTRON Buffalo will be developing it’s own in house Pro sponsored team (similar to M.A.R.C.’s Pro team, but younger). We will begin tryouts in March. Only the best athletes will be allowed to remain on the LASERTRON Pro team. When our next location opens, it will have two Pro sponsored teams and our Buffalo location will add a second Pro sponsored team. Each new location we open will have two pro sponsored teams.
- Any LASERTRON operator who has the LASERTRON LT-12 PRO game system will have the opportunity to join the LASERTRON Pro League. That doesn’t mean teams from other LASERTRON systems or competitive systems can’t enter a regional tournament, but it does mean they won’t have as good a chance to be competitive plus they will have to qualify by beating a regional LASERTRON Pro team before they would be allowed to compete at the annual LTWC.
*Clarifications I have added for those unfamiliar with the scene.
Additional Long-term changes
- Running will be allowed in Pro sanctioned tournaments and playoffs.
- Trained basketball and/or football referees will be used for all tournaments and playoff games (may happen this year).
- Penalty boxes will be used for players who commit fouls (i.e. running into an opposing player, etc.)
- LASERTRON’s software will be modified and tweaked to increase the offensive capabilities of both teams (i.e. expect continuous changes going forward)
- Official LASERTRON tournaments and playoffs will only be held at LASERTRON Pro certified arenas and will be managed by LASERTRON league officials.
- Prize money will be awarded to the top Pro Teams.
The current players who participate in the Facebook group have not taken well to these changes. For his part, Mr Kessler has continued to communicate with the players and done his best to explain why these changes are being made, and what his vision is for the future. The players have also participated in the conversation well, by explaining their frustrations, and trying to form some compromise. In the end, there doesn’t appear to be room for compromise, as Mr Kessler sees the current form of competitive play to be a financial failure, and wants to bring in these changes to make it into a success. To that end, that point was made clear:
If you don’t like LASERTRON’s new tournament system, then don’t attend the LTWC and just as importantly (after you are done venting), please leave the LASERTRON facebook page and never return.
Only time will tell if these changes that are being made will grow the scene in the way Mr Kessler envisions. The only thing for certain now is that the LTWC will be very different this year.