EMU students from accross the community came out to the intramural laser tag tournament last Friday. This intramural event has been a hit for the past three years with 20-plus teams playing in this one-night, single elimination bracket. Yoder Arena was set up with obstacles and covered with blue and red teams beginning on opposite sides. The parameters of the game are adjusted slightly each year. In the past, players each had 100 hit points and could be eliminated individually. This fall semester tournament had no player elimination. Instead they played 15 minute games in which getting shot resulted in a five second delay, after which a player could continue playing.
Accuracy was key in the tournament. The guns themselves were the only hit receivers and were not very large targets. Some tried spray and pray while others shot straight down the barrel. Sophomore Emerson Brubaker, a player on the team “Guys it’s Jared,” went with the tactical method and scored a lot of hits while playing against “[Insert Name Here].” “My friends and I had a great time. We were pretty good but got destroyed by the second team. Wished it was darker and a bit bigger but we’ll do it again for sure,” he said. Brubaker especially enjoyed the interesting way in which his last game began. Both teams agreed to line up in 18th-century rifle columns, like something you would see in a Civil War reenactment, and gave everyone a first fair shot.
Many teams play year after year solely for the unique experience with friends. “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” undoubtedly had a blast. Junior Madalynn Payne said, “I really enjoyed it! As a team, we were super inexperienced. We hoped our excitement would outweigh our lack of experience. We agreed to just have fun. Ultimately, we shot, ran, laughed, and tried to hold our own.”
The games lasted until near midnight when the final two teams played for the championship. Both teams — “[Insert Name Here]” led by junior Ethan Herman and “Is There a Slaughter Sophomore Seth Weaver competes in Intramural Laser Tag. Rule” led by Senior Colton Frey — were very competitive. Herman’s team overcame by a slight majority of points, closing out a hardfought match. Both teams had accurate shooters and used flanking techniques. Roughly the same group has made it to the championship under Herman’s leaderhip for three years, winning two of three. Herman credits the victory to having a diversity of playing styles. Junior Paul Johnson and senior Gabe Raber hang back sniping players and covering more mobile teammates like junior Kieran O’Leary and jenior Abe Hartzler who worked to flank behind the opposition. Their team won every game but the championship by more than 200 points. O’Leary said that his experience in airsoft and paintball helped his performance.