Behind the scenes at the Red Bull Mind Gamers competition in Budapest – Part One

Remember how the Red Bull Escape Room competition was taking a second wildcard team to Budapest?

“For four lucky players there’s still one more way to get into the Red Bull Escape Room World Finals. … A second Wildcard team will be chosen via the DxM Wildcard competition on the Red Bull Mind Gamers website.” – Intervirals

I entered the DxM Wildcard competition and decided to try my luck. For the next week I thought of the competition most days – on the train to work, at work and even before I fell asleep.

And then one day there was an email from the Red Bull team.

There was a spot on the DxM Wildcard team for me.

Fast forward to a week later and our Red Bull contact Martin introduced the Wildcard team to each other.

Our team included –
– Nick from the US, who has been the captain of Team USA at the World Puzzle Championships and an International Puzzle Party organiser.
– Megan from Canada, one of the owners of an escape room in Hamilton, Ontario called The ? Adventure. Plus according to her, has a great personality.
– Valentin from France, a student studying coding at a developer school
– And me!

Our team communicated a few times over Skype before the competition to build some rapport and finding the right time to chat across four time zones was a challenge we had to face. The only time we ever messed up a Skype conversation was because of daylight savings.

 

Flying to Budapest
Getting to Budapest required two flights, a layover in Qatar and 20+ hours of flying time – compared to most of the European teams who only had to deal with a few hours of flying. But it was all worth it to attend the competition!

Above: CSOPA Science Center

Day One
Red Bull decided to split up the competition based on proximity to Budapest and since our team was made up of different countries we got the day off. Teams playing on semi-final day two headed to CSOPA Science Center to explore some scientific exhibitions (while messing with a statue of Isaac Newton) and played one of the four escape rooms at the location.

In the afternoon, teams headed to another location to play three rounds of laser tag but after two sweaty rounds, a few people then headed to MacDonald’s.

And to finish off the day, teams then got a chance to watch the movie that brought all of us to Budapest – Mind Gamers. The DxM team was asked to stay behind after the movie and from one of the movie’s producers we got some free swag, a tshirt with the DxM logo on it.

Day Two and Day Three coverage will be posted soon.

Essa

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