Pulling a simple trigger instead of wildly pumping before making a shot. Determining a clear winner of each match instead of ending up with two equally soaked opponents.
Until yesterday, it was all only theory. And then our friends proved that the water gun can, indeed, be so much more than a simple squirting toy.
Setting the scene for the water battles
We announced the date of the tournament to be the 9th of September, and challenged everyone who had ever heard of us to grab a friend and sign up for the Spyra World Cup.
Age, gender, and water fight experience? Didn’t matter. The only requirement was a creative team name and the will to give everything under the extreme pressure of an epic event.
After disqualifying some teams who failed to fulfill the first requirement, we rallied 16 teams that were eager to compete in the first ever Spyra World Cup.
The matches took place in the Spyra-Arena outside Spyra Headquarters: a battleground specifically designed for the occasion, resembling a mix of a laser tag arena and a Nerf war battleground.
We programmed each water gun prototype to give off a maximum of 25 shots, which the contestants could monitor on the integrated display during the match. There was no opportunity to recharge.
Whoever was hit, was out. The matches ended when all contestants of the respective team were taken out by the opposite team.
The day of the tournament
We ourselves had tested the Spyra One prototypes about a million times during the summer. But we had no idea how the inexperienced contestants would react to the new type of water gun.
Indeed, during the briefing before the first battles, the contestants were visibly nervous. Would the 25 shots be enough for an entire match? Would it hurt to be hit? Who would determine the outcome if the shots were not precise enough to identify a winner?
It turned out that our worries were entirely unfounded. It took the teams exactly one match to get the hang of the game. After the group phase, they were set loose. We were hardly done with recharging each water gun before the next team tore them out of our hands, eager to start their match.
Who won (and what we learned)
In assessing the actual level of fun, we had to be cautious: as water gun enthusiasts, we are maximally biased, after all. But it couldn’t have been the valuable prizes (although those 3D-printed medals were quite neat). And it could definitely not have been the less-than-beachy 14°C (57°F) weather that day.
But with all due neutrality, I think it is safe to say that the teams were having what the Doktor scientifically termed “a blast”.
After about two hours and an exciting final, we had found the winners of the first ever Spyra World Cup. Congratulations to the proud and honorable winner teams: Team Squirtle (Gold), Team Loco (Silver), and Team Hydronauts (Bronze).
Our sincerest thanks to all the water fight enthusiasts in the tournament who made our summer in the stuffy lab worthwhile. Can’t wait to see you all again for the Spyra World Cup 2018!
(And yeah, we will put that darned switch-off button in some other place. Promise.)