Laser League: So, welcome, please tell us something about yourself and your history playing lasergames?
My name is Lucy (though many know me as Uprising or Slayer) and I’ve been playing Laser Quest for 7 years and have now played 85 tournaments – yes, I kept count, though I do now require a spreadsheet to do so! I work full time at Laser Quest Woking which is the perfect job for someone who wants to share the love of Laser Quest.
It all started on 24th October 2011 when I was bored in the school half term. It was just a couple of public games with my family and about 20 other people and I only scored around 250 points each time, but it was just so much fun chasing enemies around in the dark, sneaking up on people and blasting them. It was sheer luck that the day we picked to play, a couple of members were in our game, and they convinced us to go to a Manic 45 on a Thursday night, which I did a couple of weeks later on my 16th Birthday.
Of course, my sister and I then begged to start playing every week like the members did. We were 15 and 12 with no real money of our own, so getting our parents on board was vital. Luckily one of the marshals working at the time who was also a player under the codename Rock Smurf was really helpful in convincing my Dad to bring us to play. In the end we compromised and he agreed we could play every other week, which of course quickly became every week and then some.
I didn’t actually become a member until 19th January 2012 (It took a couple of months of nagging to convince our folks it was worth it!) but by that time I was well and truly hooked. I would look at the trophy cabinet in the reception area and dream about playing the European Championships (ELC) one day and I swore I was going to do it, even though at the time I was still getting beaten by the public sometimes!
We went to our first members night on 1st February, and this was my first experience of playing all sorts of game types – some with limited lives and shots, and of playing a game where there were no easy targets because everyone played regularly. A player called Seph was the best player out of those who frequented the members events. He taught me to fire with my thumb (the way most good players fire) which I found really hard to get used to, so of course 16 year old me had the bright idea of firing with my thumb whenever he was watching and playing like an oversized birthday child as soon as he was out of sight!
On 13th May 2012, after a six weeks of impatiently counting down the days on my calendar, I played my first ever tournament, the Woking 2-man. I didn’t expect it to be easy playing against pairs like Trixxy and Ellis-D and Lil’D and Charlotte but I also didn’t expect this to be my highest score of the night and to average -24! Nevertheless it was still an enjoyable experience.
When I found out about the Bournemouth 3-man Mixer tournament, being held a couple of months later, I’m a little ashamed to admit that I nearly didn’t participate because everyone was so much better at it than me. In the end, Trixxy convinced me to give it a go. I got lucky with the random draw and ended up on a team that made the semi-finals. From that moment I never looked back and decided to play every tournament I physically could.
And from there, things just got bigger and better!
Laser League: How did you come up with your players name?
I originally played under the name Slayer (Trixxy still calls me that at work, old habits die hard!) and I changed it about a year later when I realised there was another player at our site who already had that name. So I changed it to Uprising. Both times the reason for my choice is it sounded cool at the time.
Laser League: What inspired you to play as fanatic as you do?
Since I was a young child playing at birthday parties and on holiday, I always loved the feeling of being in the game. It’s like being in another world where nothing else matters but zapping the enemy and getting the high score. I’ve always been competitive so of course I wanted first place. Soon enough though, it gets too easy playing against members of the public, or even at the members night, and then you’re always looking for your next challenge.
It was through meeting Trixxy that I realised Laser Quest is a ‘thing’, that there are literally people who travel around the country and even across the world to compete and my reaction was pretty much ‘That’s what I’m going to do. Watch me!’ He was also the person who told me to go and play in the USA, because I would love it. There’s very few UK players at the moment who are in a position to travel that far, so I’ve ended up travelling on my own to play on US teams which can be a little intimidating at times (the first time I ever flew was a 10 hour flight to Denver, Colorado on my own!) but completely worth it!
Finally, the amazing experiences I have playing tournaments just makes me want to continue – I have never once regretted going to a Laser Quest tournament, so when something pops up it’s pretty much an automatic yes.
Laser League: Could you tell us something about the tournaments you have played, in what teams did you play them and what were the results?
I’ve played 85 tournaments (at the time of writing this) so I can’t write about them all, so I’ve just picked some of the best ones!
The first year I played the ELC was in 2013 with Thunder Crash from France. The reason for this being that a player whose name will remain anonymous decided to kick me off the Woking team after telling me I was on the team, for reasons still unknown! However it really seems sometimes that everything happens for a reason because I ended up playing with a much better team!
My second ELC was possibly my favourite one – this time playing for my own country on Han Shot First which was myself, Lolgirl, C’tri, Spoony, Khaleesi and Funsized. We were ecstatic to place 8th of 15 teams in the prelims, which meant we made it into the quarter finals. I hadn’t expected top 8 considering it was most of our team’s first or second ELC. Of course, placing 8th we had to face the 1st place Phoenix in the quarter finals, who unsurprisingly beat us very convincingly, though we did our best to at least not make it too easy for them.
In the end the finals came down to Phoenix vs Sorry Team, with the Sorry Team winning.
It wasn’t until early 2016 when Gutty started playing in Woking again after taking a break and decided to form a Woking team (Voodoo People) for the WLC 2017 that I would actually play for my home site for the first time. I was actually super surprised as well as very happy to be picked for the team. The WLC was announced more than a year in advance and was held in our home site which gave us a lot of time to practice and to decide who would play in which positions.
In the WLC 2017 we won the plate finals against the LQ Legends from Holland (Who accidentally stole our plate and took it back to Eindhoven!) and were 9th overall.
Both ourselves and the LQ Legends had thought that only one of our teams would make the top 8 and play for the cup so we were rivals for the whole tournament keeping a close eye on each other, but then in the final game of prelims one of the French teams beat both of our teams, putting them in 8th. This meant that neither we nor the LQ Legends made the top 8, but we did get the chance to play each other head to head (and beat them!)
Last year I had the chance to play in the USA for the first time, flying to Colorado for the Denver 8-man. There was a mixer tournament on the Friday night, for which the randomly picked teams were named after fruits. I was on team Banana, with Blueflame, Lance, Showtime, Dar and Redbrum. We placed third in the prelims, but then won our extremely close 3-way knockouts to make the finals and then win the tournament!
For the 8-man, I was on Make Quest Great Again (Doghunter, Gengar, Roaddog, Humanwizard, Tenletters, Swiz and myself). Keeping with the theme, we all had shirts with Donald Trump cupping the laser! We finished the tournament in 6th place, getting knocked out by the Western Has-Beens.
^^ Mount Evans on my Colorado trip – photographic proof that Laser Quest players can indeed survive in natural daylight!
Which brings me onto this year, the two main Laser Quest tournaments being UK Vs NL and the ELC.
^^Voodoo People won the plate at the UK vs NL tournament (the plate being a cup this time because we all know IDNT, Scorpion and co. cannot be trusted near plates…)
At the ELC just a week later, the LQ Legends finally got their revenge for the 2017 WLC. We were joint 6th in prelims, but we were just ahead on total score. In the end that didn’t matter, since losing the quarter finals to Roxxage and the LQ Legends losing to TCQ put us both head to head once again, this time in the plate knockouts. Unfortunately for us, this time they had a plan to beat us and it worked.
^^The rivalry between Voodoo People and the LQ Legends is a very friendly one
Aside from the major international tournaments, which have always been the biggest and best, there have been many other amazing events I’ve had the pleasure of attending.
- I once witnessed two teams tie during the finals – at the Bournemouth 3-man Mixer in 2012, once the scores from both legs were added together, Trixxy’s team were tied with Charlotte’s team. They ended up re-running the finals!
- The Crawley 2-man and Solo in 2014 was one of my favourite tournaments ever – Out of 20 teams, Lolgirl and I placed 9th which was enough to make the semi-finals. I actually screamed when I found out we’d got through because I was so happy. We then played against Didou and Vamp and Kam and Bob and we were blown away by how good they all were! The first two rounds of the solo were played 1v1 in the reception area in front of everyone which was such a cool unique format and I loved being able to watch everyone when it wasn’t my turn.
Another favourite was the Wokingham 2-man last year. Due to there being an odd number of players, leaving somebody in need of a teammate, Trixxy asked if I would play on two teams, to which I gave an enthusiastic yes! The teams were split into two groups, so one group played while the other rested.
- each playing eight games – except me, who played sixteen games back to back. Both my teams qualified for the semi-finals, and then with my original teammate Floppy I made the finals. There were four teams in the finals, one being Trixxy and Munky – I had always wanted to play against Trixxy in the finals of a tournament, so this was the day I got to tick that one off my list (Though I think ‘beat Trixxy in finals’ is going to stay on the list forever!)
- I’ve always loved playing IEG tournaments, mainly because of the vast quantities of Laser Quest involved! You play six 30 minute games with practically no break in between, and each game the bottom scoring players are secretly eliminated until at the end the results are announced. The top six players go into a 99 life final where the last player alive wins. I once made the final two, only to be killed out by Floppy who had only two lives remaining!
Laser League: Rumour has that you the best active female player in Europe, what do you think about that rumour?
I definitely think that it is between my sister Emily (Lolgirl) and myself out of the female players who are still active. Which one of us is the better player has been an ongoing debate for years. In the beginning she was obviously much better than me and you’d have had to be blind to think otherwise, but I’ve caught up with her over the past few years.
It’s hard to compare us because we both play very differently, and I think a lot of people underestimate her because it’s harder to notice someone like her who has a favourite spot in the arena and likes to snipe, than it is to notice someone like me who likes to duel and to run around.
It’s not easy to admit because we’re both pretty competitive, but statistically speaking, she scored more points than me when it mattered the most (ELC), so in all honesty I’m probably no. 2 – for now…
Laser League: What was the most fun tournament you have played?
Don’t make me choose! There’s been so many tournaments that have been amazing fun for so many different reasons.
UK Vs NL 2019 stands out – most people would say because of the parties, I will say one word: ASCENSION. The way the tournament was run was genius. It was amazing to be near the bottom but to still have the chance to win, and to go in there and beat the team above us in the rankings. Also it was a lot of fun being able to play the Dutch teams at their home site, even if they did catch me out many times by shooting me through holes I thought were mirrors and vice versa! Playing the Denver 8-man and Mixer was definitely one of the best decisions I ever made.
Everything was so different from what I’m used to in the UK, from the arena itself, to the way people play, to not having music in games (I still think it’s not knockouts without Field of Dreams!), and running four-team games. It was such an adventure! The Mixer was the first tournament I won, and to make things even better I was playing on a team with Blueflame, who is undoubtedly the best female LQ player in the world and I’d wanted to play on a team with her for a long time.
Also the ELC in 2014 in Eindhoven, this year’s ELC in Woking and the WLC in 2017 are definitely up there!
Laser League: There has been some commotion about your family disagree-ing on you being as fanatic as you are and working at the LQ? Can you explain what is going on, how you deal with it and your opinion?
So I’d like to set the record straight – my family are and always have been extremely supportive of me playing Laser Quest. Between them my Dad and brother have driven a ridiculous number of miles around the country (and to the Netherlands a couple of times!) oftentimes at horrible times of day/night so that I can play tournaments.
My Dad in particular isn’t too keen on me working at Laser Quest – I guess when you have a child who always had good grades in school, you expect them to do certain things with their life and Laser Quest isn’t the sort of thing most people have in mind. I think underneath he just wants me to be happy but there isn’t a recipe for happiness. Some people are happy when they’re making a lot of money, but for others it’s much more important to jump out of bed looking forward to your workday.
I try to be understanding because everyone is entitled to their opinion, but at the end of the day it’s my life and it’s not anyone else’s decision to make.
Laserleague: What does LQ mean to you?
In a word, everything.
At the time I first discovered Laser Quest, I was having a terrible time at school. I felt depressed and playing Laser Quest was how I escaped and looking forward to playing was how I got through each week. As a teenager I was in a pretty bad place (Thankfully all that is behind me now) and often wished I could just stop existing.
One day out of the blue when I was about eighteen, Trixxy said he thought in five years’ time I’d be the best female LQ player in Europe, and my first thought was that I guess I’d just have to stick around to see whether he was right. Five years later, I’m happy and I feel at home in the world, because home for me is the arena, any arena, and I can always rely on the people I’ve met playing LQ to be there for me.
Laser League: Could you reveal anything tactics-wise? The way VOODOO PEOPLE plays?
If I told you, I’d have to kill you! 😉
Laser League: What will the future bring for you and your team?
In the very near future (tomorrow!) I’ll be heading to San Jose, California to play the World Laser Quest Championship, which I’m extremely excited for.
As for Voodoo People, we will be back to the Netherlands next year for UK vs NL and the ELC – and revenge on the LQ Legends!