In this Category Laserleague interviews a player to learn more about his/her history, current status and future in the sports. Today we have Scorpion of the LQ Legends. A player that has seen every era of the scene.
Laser League: So, welcome, please tell us something about yourself and your history playing lasergames?
My name is Fulko Wiebenga, I am currently 37 years old, working as an Operations manager at City Skydive in Utrecht. I have a kid, Glenn, who is 16 months old, I am busy teaching him the glorious plays of LQ.. no i’m kidding, he can’t even talk yet 😊
I started playing LQ in 1995 at Laserquest Utrecht with my brothers and friends, we were immersed by this high-tech game from the start and wanted to play as much as possible, it didn’t take very long for us to start attending membernights and getting addicted to the game. The thing we loved the most is that it was such a cool experience, suspending our disbelief that we were in some kind of a Star-Wars space battle. We did this for a couple of years attending as many membersnights as we could, the level of skill at that time was still rather low, but it was a lot of fun nonetheless. Shout out for our dad to always bring us and picking us up, and for being so forgetfull that you had to remind us every time “that 23:30 was far too late for us young boys with a school day tomorrow”, but falling for it time after time.
After some time the membersnights dissapeared, mostly because of the LQ Utrecht staff that did not care much about the members or the game itself, which was a huge shame in my opinion. It took me until 1999 to start playing again. I started visiting LQ Utrecht again every now and then in the weekends with our friendsgroup.
In one occasion a crewmember, whom I just played against and invited me to the Dutch championships. At the time the NLQC, founded by Werner Domröse organised tournaments at all the LQ sites in Holland. The first year was not so great for me, there were so many good players hammering me in the arena time after time, but I loved it that the game I enjoyed so much now had a competitive scene. The organisation was done extremely well and was very popular, it had a lot more registrations than spots. It made a huge difference for me to take it seriously enough to invest in becoming better.
I started to play more with Lockheart, Archie and Machiaveli. They had been playing longer in this competition and I could definitely learn a lot from them, since I started working at LQ Utrecht I basically could train for free. After a while we decided to adopt Johnny 5 and Hellraiser and formed a team called “Fusion”.
We trained a couple of times a week, LQ was pretty much all I was busy with, on forums, chatting, we knew everything about every player and every center, it was all we talked about. We used every discussion and thinkable situation all in our training and it paid off. 2001 and 2002 we played, as Machiaveli arrogantly calls it, “magna cum laude” by not losing any game for two whole years. In 2003 we only lost one. So three years in a row we were Dutch champions. The competition became hungry for the Dutch title and trained hard to beat us…
So a new enemy came along, in the form of the Ruff Ryders….
Things tended to heat up during the 2003 European Laserquest Championships. Ruff Ryders and Fusion both had to take in extra players to gapfill the 9-player format at the time, this is where our arrogance got the best of us. At that time we did not invest enough time in the other teams and players, so we had to take in people that we did not train well enough for the high level that the E.L.C. demanded. So both the Dutch teams lost in packset games in the semi finals.
After this event we decided to team up with the Ruff Ryders;
We delivered 4 players of Fusion; Lockheart, Machiaveli, Hellraiser & Scorpion
We took 4 players of the Ruff Ryders; Grimreaper, Merf, PDMaster and Chubby
And added IDNT from the Wildcards to it, and the LQ Legends were born
Laserleague: How did you come up with your players name?
Haha, that is a silly story, in 1995 I was 13 years old, so I wanted a really “cool looking name”, I stumbled upon the movie “Red Scorpion” in the video store and thought it was extremely cool! Due the 10 character limit of the LQX system I was stuck with “Scorpion” and kept it ever since.
The movie sucked btw.
Laserleague: What inspired you to play as fanatic as you do?
The atmosphere, the escape from reality and the cool-ness of the game inspired me to keep on playing. I think my “I always wanna win” mentality made me push it to the top players. At first I had no real clue of what I was doing, just randomly walking through the arena, shooting a lot, just enough to beat my newbie friends. This proved not to be sufficient against the tournament scene in Holland.
Players like Lockheart kept handing my ass to me, game after game, so I trained with them, a lot.
We discussed all the ins and outs and played as much as we could until I beat Lockheart in a 1vs1 with packsets. From that moment on I knew I was able to do anything in the game as long as I trained for it properly.
After that it was ofcourse the teamplay, we needed to defend our title time after time until the Ruff Ryders took it away from us in 2004 and 2005.
Laserleague: So what tournaments did you actually win?
From 2001 to 2006 we played all the Dutch championships as Fusion.
2001 – Dutch champions
2002 – Dutch champions
2003 – Dutch champions
2004 – Second behind Ruff Ryders
2005 – Second behind Ruff Ryders
2006 – Dutch Champions
2017 – Dutch Champions (Battle Company system)
2018 – Dutch Champions (Battle Company system)
2001 – Fusion – Lost in quarterfinal
2003 – Fusion – Lost in semifinal
2004 – LQ Legends – European champions
2005 – LQ Legends – Lost in semifinal
2006 – LQ Legends – European champions
2007 – LQ Legends – Platecup winners
2008 – LQ Legends – Lost in semifinal
2012 – LQ Legends – Platecup winners
2014 – LQ Legends – Platecup winners
2015 – LQ Legends – Platecup winners
2019 – LQ Legends – Platecup winners
2004 – LQ Legends – 3rd prize
2017 – LQ Legends – Runner up in Platecup
Laserleague What is makes the difference between a top and a sub-top player?
I think to become a top player, you have to be fast, smart, being able to communicatie properly and have a good self reflection. Too many players blame the packs or other equipment time after time while they can improve so much.
All the above helps, but in the end common sense is most important. A true top player can always adjust his gameplay and tactics to keep high efficiency in the game. Let’s say tactic-wise I get a high profile spot, but my iR is weak and my shoulders die by only looking at them, I would be batshit crazy to not adjust tactics and communicate them with my team.
either hide in the arena, or adjust properly, have good knowledge of the game
and know what I am doing to still be able to disrupt enemy lines in a matter
where I don’t give away too many points.
Almost needless to say you really need to trust your team 100%. Many teams have fallen, because one player just fucks up. In many arena’s it is extremely hard to know for certain that no one is messing up.
Simply said, a top player will always have a good overview in the game, adjust accordingly and does not blindly follow original tactics if it doesn’t work out. The whole team can dominate their zone, and have a good feeling but still lose because one player got hammered in a mental blackout somewhere else in the arena. This can never happen to a top player without everybody knowing about it.
Laserleague: What was the most fun tournament you have played?
ELC 2001 in Guildford, because it was our first time abroad. We are amazed by this Arena, it was nothing like we had seen before.
ELC 2003 in Swindon because we were stunned by the level of play and the beautiful arena.
ELC 2004 in Groningen, because we trained really hard for this one and won the E.L.C. for the first time.
But I must say almost every tournament has had its charm in its own way.
Laserleague: What does LQ mean to you?
I think its just part of my life. We have been playing together for almost twenty years now. Twenty years ago I was still in high school. A lot has happened ever since, I attended a couple of schools, started my own company, worked in E-learning, worked in gamedev, worked as a teacher, worked in an indoor skydive company. In those years I had multiple football teams, indoor and outdoor. However in the end everything changes and fades away..
But Laserquest has been thesame from the start, ofcourse there is always new talent, oldies quitting etc. But in the LQ Legends not much has changed. We still play with Grimreaper, IDNT, PDmaster, Unsold and even Lockheart and Merf are still connected. We still have thesame jokes, thesame stunts we pull “Nog een jaartje merf?”.
So basically it is just part of my life, hanging out with these guys for all this time, we went through a lot of blood, sweat, tears but have also tasted victory. In the end the fun of it all is most important, but we try to kick some ass while we’re at it! 🙂
I find it really cool that although we started this 20 years ago, we are more determined and fanatic than ever, still thinking up strategies and training methods.
Laserleague: Could you reveal anything tactics-wise? The way the LQ Legends play?
We started off with not much tactics, everybody knew what to do and covering eachother was part of a natural process. Some arena’s like Utrecht or Doetinchem this would still be a solid tactic. But over time the level of play changed. People started to get better and better. Also with the newer equipment the gun and shoulders are more sensitive to hit than in the old days, so we had to adept aswell, instead of all “freelancing” in the arena we thought up and trained for different scenario’s.
For instance, last ELC, in Woking we played the complete opposite of what we used to do.
The arena in Woking has a lot of ramps and has a bridge area elevated above the main floor. We would take the highest point of the arena and try to control that zone. In our tactics there are three main roles.
1: Pointguard, like in basketball, this is the role in which you need support. It’s the most high profile spot, having a lot of targets but also be under constant fire, there are more people from enemy teams wanting this spot, so this is where the zone control comes into play.
2: Zone control, if you have this role you have to assist and support the pointguard, keeping a zone “safe” main priority is that the pointguard gets “free” of any close combat fire. There are usually more players with this role trained to play with good synergy. There are many players that are better than us in 1vs1 close combat, so we thought up tactics to counter this by, for example, simply switching targets, so you hit eachothers close combat target instead of trying to duke it out toe to toe.
3: Disruptors, enemy teams might also be doing something similar. Or there are spots that are extremely annoying for the pointguard to counter. This is where the disruptors come to play, they basically freelance through the map with the assignment to disrupt enemy tactics, to followquest weak players and other stuff. They have to constantly prioritize their tasks to the teams needs and adjust accordingly.
In the end every role is equally important, it just has different priorities.
We can even decide mid-game that we change roles if their is need for it.
Except for IDNT trying to take my beautiful spot, thats not done, sorry.
Laserleague: So what happened to LQ in Holland? It seemed like there was a lot going on, how did it all end?
That is a good question and shows the flaws in LQ and ourselves. I think the answer to this has three layers.
1: The LQ Centres
The managers and LQ centres usually did not care too much for members, which is kind of logic since they would not bring in the major cashflow and they were high maintenance guests. A normal customer that plays with a pack that has a little less iR probably won’t notice it. But members will notice it and start complaining about it.
I think at LQ Utrecht we had a decent symbiosis going on between 2000 and 2008. The centre focussed on the non-members so there was enough money coming in. While some crewmembers organised member events outside of opening hours, in this case everybody was happy. But this was not the case everywhere. Not many LQ centres wanted to work on their community, so in the end it will bleed out.
In my opinion Laserquest anticipated way too late on developing new software and technology.
If my 50 euro lavalamp can have 10 different colors, why is LQ after 15 years still stuck with red, green and red/green mixed. Also, the reparation costs of the packs was insanely priced. So other companies like Lasermaxx did really well, having an on-site delivery and a cheap pay-off-your-equipment deal while you started the center.
In my opinion LQ is still the best and leading system for a pro scene like this. But for people interested in opening a lasergame arena Lasermaxx was a far more logical choice. So Lasermaxx grew, while Laserquest went from 9 to 3 centers in Holand.
We f#cked up the scene ourselves aswell, being arrogant and just hammering newer players the “fun” in the game became less and less for the lesser experienced players. We should have done this differently, an ELC should stay an ELC, so no mercy there. But we should have done more with a leaguesystem in our tournaments, or just organising tournaments only for beginners or intermediate players.
We could have also played some more mixer tournaments, in which you get teamed up randomly. Or set up proper trainings with people who want to learn more.
Laserleague: What will the future bring?
I hope Laserleague can bring back the energy and scene like it was 15 years ago. Starting beginner tournaments is a good step in the right direction.
For the Legends, we are still planning on playing the 2020 ELC. The next year we will be training hard again to make it all work!