The catalyst for my recent trip to Indiana was to compete in the Battle For The Fort Tournament at Ultrazone of Fort Wayne and it was a fantastic time from start to finish with two nights of overnight competition between Friday night and Sunday morning. This was a really interesting tournament in a lot of ways (some amazingly close results in a few cases) with some excellent competition.
For me it began with an early start on Friday morning, flying from New York to Indianapolis where I played at several arenas prior to making the drive two and a half hours north to Fort Wayne and arriving about 15 minutes before the first team events began at 1:00 am. However, for most of the players the event had started much earlier in the night with LOR competition going on both evenings during the public AYCP hours. This was a draft tournament, so by the time I arrived the teams had been chosen and Skywalker let me know that I was going to be playing with Team BoB made up of BoB, Leggs, Phoenix and C.K.
I met all these guys just moments before beginning the test games and felt really lucky to have been chosen for this team because they were all really cool and welcoming right from the get-go. I also learned that I was going to be one of only three female players in the whole event and the only player traveling in from another site, as this Ultrazone was the home site for everyone else competing. So, considering all that it was nice to be accepted into the group so quickly.
The rest of the team rosters stacked up like this…
It had been about three years since I last played at this site (with Team Ascendance during BFTF 2016) so I took the first game to refamiliarize myself with the arena, which I must say has always been one of my favorites. On the whole I find that Ultrazone arenas are generally among the most impressive I’ve played as they are usually very distinctive with elaborate design elements. This one is no exception.
The night started with five games of Domination. These were four-man games, so with our five-man teams one player would have to sit out each game. I volunteered to sit first, which gave me a good chance to watch the first round from the center tower. This is a nice place for observing during games that are only played on the ground level. Here’s a bit of what the first games were like…
Then I was in for the rest of the games playing a format that up until this point I had (ironically) played on almost every other system EXCEPT for Zone. We don’t often get to play the specialty games at my home Zone site in Albany. So this was a lot of fun. It was also interesting to see how individual scores balanced things out in such a way that the team Domination results were pretty close in a couple of areas.
We wouldn’t actually know the placement results until the next day. Even though I was taking screen caps of the monitors after every game, after 27 hours straight of travel and tag I didn’t have it in me at the end of night one to do the math! At least one placement was changed as the result of a tick (and really it could have been more as there seemed to be quite a few ticks throughout the tournament, so kudos to attentive refs). Rank points are what determined the placements, the fewer the better in terms of placement, but here’s one place where things were VERY close…
Skywalker’s team took first place with only 5 rank points. Second place went to Cambo’s team with 10 rank points compared with BoB’s team in third place with 11 rank points. Follow me now…Bob’s team and Cambo’s team had tied for score at 749 (not a factor in the ranking, but interesting), however Bob’s Team and Stryker’s team had tied for rank points at 11, so they then look at score to break the tie and Stryker’s team came in fourth because they were one score point less than Bob’s team at 748! That’s remarkably close between those placements! Then the Dot/Juggalo team came in fifth with 13 rank points.
The rest of night one was team competition, the main event. Standard rules, but no stuns, just one shot to deactivate. This is actually how I enjoy Zone the most!
On the first night we played through as many team games as possible, ending around 5:00 am. I felt really good about how these games were going (although as I mentioned, no shortage of ticks). The next night we finished out as many games as possible, ending with Stryker’s team leading in first and getting the buy straight into finals. The rest of us would play out the semi-finals later in the night, but that would wait until after the next side event, doubles.
Doubles is different. In my opinion it’s quite difficult to play with nearly thirty players competing as two-man teams all in the arena at the same time. That’s a LOT of people moving around the space! I was partnered up with Zach (aka Hellfire).
Personally I felt ok about my own first game performance, but the two player combo scores from two games determined who moved on to finals. After a second round of games to thin out the top two tiers we did not go on. However, congrats to those who advanced. The doubles results played out like this…
After that we moved back to the main event, team comp, where all but Stryker’s team would compete in semi-finals with the score monitor turned off for blind results. This was interesting. Because I didn’t now at the time where our scores placed us I just had to rely on my gut feeling about those games. It felt like everything was going well for our team and I was optimistic. We were all consistently taking our bases and communicating.
At the end of the four semi-final games it was time to find out which two teams would also be going into finals. This got VERY interesting and here’s why…
So as I said, it’s rank points that determine your order of placement/advancement. But check out the rank points…all of the teams tied in semis with 6 rank points each! So from there the next tie breaker goes to the actual position of those placements…again, a four-way tie! Every team had taken first place, second place and third place one time each in the round robin of games played. Pretty remarkable, isn’t it? That almost NEVER happens! Although of course team communication and other factors do come into play, I personally think this result speaks well to the effectiveness of a draft format leveling the playing field for more even teams when you see that this could happen.
From there the tie was broken by deferring to the actual scores. Skywalker’s team and Bob’s team had the highest points and would be moving on to finals.
I was thrilled to be playing this tournament all the way to the end. The three finals games went well and were all hard fought. All the teams played solidly and I really didn’t know which way the results would land.
When it was time for the presentation of awards Skywalker started by announcing the Domination results. As I listed before, they were:
1st – Team Skywalker
2nd – Team Cambo
3rd – Team BoB
4th – Team Stryker
5th – Team Dot/Juggalo
The LOR awards were next. Since I did not compete in this side event myself all I can share about it are the results.
Top LOR placements went to:
1st place – Skywalker with 62 deacs and 9 stuns
2nd place – BoB with 70 deacs and 7 stuns
3rd place – Attila with 84 deacs and 12 stuns
Doubles awards were next and the top placements there were as follows:
1st place – Hannah and Skywalker
2nd place – Metallicaman and Red Beard
3rd place – Stryker and BiggSexxxy
Then it was time for the main event awards for team comp. You can watch the announcement here…
Amazing! I was absolutely thrilled to see that our team had pulled first place. It was a real collaborative effort with everyone communicating well and solid guidance from our team captain, BoB. And as you can see at the end of the video BoB generously let me be the one to take home the trophy.
1st place – Team BoB
2nd place – Team Skywalker
3rd place – Team Stryker
When all was said and done our team took a moment to celebrate the accomplishment with a team photo.
And again, my congratulations to all the other teams playing for bringing such fierce competition. It was an honor to tag with you.
Thank you to Skywalker and all who helped to put this event together. Also big thanks to Ultrazone of Fort Wayne for hosting the event as the support of a local arena is what allows us to have these experiences.
Battle For The Fort was a very well run, enjoyable tournament with great people playing one of my favorite laser tag systems. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience and I thank all who made it such a memorable weekend!
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