A WORD FROM OUR CHAMPIONS
We're edging closer to the end of our premiere year in the world of dart blaster team competition, and we've loved every moment so far. As we prepare to crown a champion team at the Dart Zone Pro Tournament in Rochester, New York, we want to take a moment and get to know the competitors who've made us proud. To that end, we've singled out the burning questions our community wants to know. Read on for answers from the Pro Tournament finalists.
Answers from Jared Carpenter, Daniel Mateus, Dylan Coleman, Chris Oliveira, Conor O’Brien, Kekoa Oliveira, and Derek Tran
Q: How many years have you been playing this sport?
(ALL): 1-5 years
Q: How many years have you been with your team?
(ALL): 1 year
Q: How often do you practice?
(ALL): Roughly twice a month
Q: What excites you about the Blaster League?
JC: Being able to play against various teams of skill. You don’t know who you are up against and you have to adapt on the fly depending on the situation.
DM: Hobby legitimacy.
DC: Getting to compete against other teams.
COl: Spending quality time with my son who also plays.
COb: Playing with folks I don’t usually get the opportunity to play with in a format I enjoy playing.
DT: Playing at the competitive level.
Q: Where do you see this sport going in the future?
JC: I see it becoming a yearly tournament if there is good prize support for those who place and compete.
DM: Still small scale but larger.
DC: Staying smaller than Airsoft/ Paintball but becoming far more legitimate.
COl: More events with more players that push innovation in the hobby in both gear and strategy.
COb: I hope that this sport evolves into leagues to host tournaments more often.
DT: I see it expanding to more people and larger groups.
Q: If there was one thing you could communicate to skeptics about this emerging sport, what would it be?
JC: Just because it’s not paintball or airsoft, does not mean it can’t be competitive.
DM: It has a place alongside airsoft and paintball because of its accessibility and customizability.
COl: This sport is just as good as the competing sports like paintball or airsoft, but more inclusive and approachable.
COb: It’s a different thing from airsoft/paintball, and not trying to be another option alongside them.
KO: This sport is just as good as competing sports like paintball or airsoft.
DT: It’s way more exciting and innovative than it outwardly appears.
Q: What do you hope to do with the prize money if you win?
JC: Pay for my flight back/break even with the money spent getting to Rochester.
DM: Pay for my trip and add the rest to our club budget.
DC: Buy lots of model kits.
COl: Fix the AC in my Volvo 240.
COb: Buy a fursuit and more blasters.
KO: I would like to buy a Mazda MX-5 Miata.
DT: Probably build a robot or CNC.
Q: Please highlight any personal stories (ex. Your personal/team road to get to the final) below.
JC: I honestly did not expect myself to get so invested in this hobby when I first started out. It just became a naturally occurring thing in my life and I’m fortunate that I’ve developed good skills to be considered for a competitive team for Q3. I love this hobby a lot and it has so much to offer.
DM: I did a tournament back in 2019 and I felt like we’d gotten good enough over the pandemic that we could field a high-end team at all tournaments in the near future.
DC: I got into this hobby from the mod/integration side of it and to be able to compete on a ‘pro’ level is still just kind of mind-boggling to me.
COl & KO: The road to the qualifier sucked as it went through LA and there was no A/C in my car. It was also like an 8-hour drive. I presume the road to the finals should be very good as we are taking an airplane which usually does not go on normal bad roads.
COb: Making a lot of new friends (and even a relationship) through the hobby, especially since the pandemic killed off most of my social life after graduating high school.
DT: Our team had to juggle a lack of practice fields with our team being scattered across California. Other than some small games in the summer we only had 2 or so practices total together.
SEE YOU SOON!
The Dart Zone Blasters team is looking forward to seeing Pro Tournament finalists Red Tide again when they compete for the championship title at the Dart Zone Pro Tournament.