A week ago at the time of this writing, we were within hours of LanOC v14.0 coming to end, though things certainly showed no signs of winding down. We were right in the middle of two tournaments with plenty of spectators watching over shoulders, attendees and staff alike roaming the floor to take a final look at the case show-off entries, and our network gear receiving no reprieve from the remainder of over 130 gamers in their title of choice. Before we revisit the final wrap-up of the event, let’s start back at the beginning of LanOC v14.0, which truly started the day before.
Written by: Adam
Photos by: Chad
I personally was not able to make it to the venue until early Friday evening. By that time the rest of the LanOC crew, as well as a few dedicated volunteers, had already clocked hours into the setup effort. The amount of effort our setup takes really speaks to the magnitude of the event, despite having seven years of experience we’ve grown each year, and there are always new things to consider. There is no shortage of help, however, which is something we appreciate greatly. To put it into perspective, it has become tradition for those involved in setup to take a dinner break at Fricker’s just down the road from our building. We had such a large group that they were unable to seat us, even as it was approaching ten o’clock. Luckily we were able to find several tables at a Mexican establish across from the main LanOC office.
We had quite a crowd at the early bird raffle that Saturday morning. Many of us were still a bit sleepy, and we lacked our resident shouting ice-breaker, CrazyBillyBob. Several others paid him appropriate justice when Wes pulled a hard drive from the prize table, a resounding STORAGE cry cutting the proverbial ribbon of v14.
Worms: Reloaded was our first tournament, which is a title that is as much fun to watch as it is to play. Due to some network issues, the tournament was conducted in a hot-seat format, which may have inadvertently made it funner to watch. Competitors and onlookers alike stood behind the chair of the active player and were able to watch, and loath, his or her next move live.
Our staple Old School tournament was next on the agenda, and we had an amazing turnout of competitors. Administering this tournament was much less stressful this year, as Retro-Bit provided us two of their RetroDuo systems to play on, as well as a third system awarded to the winner. This year featured the Super Nintendo title Uniracers, a head-to-head racing game with a stunt mechanic that competitors ultimately had to master to progress in the bracket.
Later that evening, the BYOT Team Fortress 2 as well as the random team League of Legends tournaments would take place. Thanks to the tireless effort of our network staff member Sideout, the network had stabilized and TF2 went on without issue, but Riot Games had filled our afternoon with tail-chasing trying to troubleshoot high ping times for participants that were in Summoner’s Rift, practicing for the upcoming tournaments. In the end, the majority of issues were caused by server problems at Riot’s datacenters. Not long before the random League of Legends tournament was slated to begin, the entire North American platform was taken offline for emergency maintenance.
In almost three years of playing League of Legends, I’ve never seen the servers go down in such a way. We met with those signed up for the tournament to discuss alternate options, and despite Kyler’s best efforts to convince everyone to play Counter-Strike in its place, Dota 2 was decided on by popular vote. Fortunately, the servers recovered just in time, and thanks to some quick optimization of the network gear from Sideout, the tournament went on with playable latency.
The only thing that remained for the day was the midnight raffle, which for many marked the end of the first day. Some departed to a bed at a hotel, friend’s or family’s , while others camped near their computers at the building. A few of the more seasoned LAN attendees brought inflatable mattresses or cots to doze in. Another portion of attendees laughed in the face of exhaustion as they continued to game into the night, behind the glow of their monitor or under the light of the poker table. The round tables we use for poker also served as the surface for several table-top gamers.
I was among those who left for the night. The smell of pancakes and sausage was like a welcome message as I entered Sunday morning, and undoubtedly it serves as an alarm clock for many who stay at the building. Twodavez helped us all start the day off right, with what has become known as LANcakes and sausage. After a raffle for dessert, we began preparation for the BYOT League of Legends and random teams Team Fortress 2 mentioned previously. Tear down eventually came as it always does, a process which goes extremely quick thanks to the help of everyone in attendance. It always seems like it goes by fast, and before I knew it we were unpacking the last of the equipment back at the LanOC office, talking about the event and already discussing ideas for the next event.
I’ve chosen a few pictures throughout this article, but a full gallery can be found in the menu bar, Gallery option as well as our album on the LanOC Review Facebook page. We encourage everyone to tag themselves and anyone you know, as well as post up your favorites here on our forums.
If there is a theme amongst my ramblings on the previous page, it is that the LAN is a success due to the time, effort, and generosity of many, many individuals and companies. We have managed to grow every year since we moved to our new venue several events ago, and yet each time every gamer that attends has gone home with something in hand from our raffle. For this, we owe a HUGE thank you to all of the great companies that work with us for sponsoring our event. Please take the time to help us thank them as well, and show them your appreciation of supporting events like ours by considering them during your next build.
We’d also like to thank those who volunteer to help us setup, and especially those who go beyond their table space to help us tear down. There are several jobs that are taken without hesitation by individuals that help us tremendously. They are taken so eagerly, in fact, that I don’t believe we have a good record of who they are each time. Thanks to those who stepped up for this event.
I’d like to thank the staff here as well. We hear it a lot throughout the event from Wes, but it can’t be said enough. Each member puts a tremendous amount of effort into planning and executing the event, and it literally could not exist without them. Chad masterfully avoided a picture this event, since he was taking all the pictures...
Finally, and most importantly, a big thank you to all the attendees. Without you, we wouldn’t have a reason to conduct a LAN, anyone to make breakfast for, or anyone to give prizes to. You all make the event such an enjoyable experience that it is never a question of whether it is worth the effort. Again, thanks to everyone that came out for v14.0, it was a fantastic time. We are looking forward to v15.0 and hope to see you there!
In addition to our raffle, several gamers went home with prizes earned from our tournaments. Good game to all those who won, and thanks to our sponsors who provided prizes for LanOC v14.0!
Old School, Uniraces
1st: Dave_yo (pictured)
1st: TownFunk (pictured)
Team Fortress 2, Random teams
1st: team 1 (pictured)
2nd: team 2
3rd: team 5
4th: team 3
Team Fortress 2, BYOT
1st: Bonk! (pictured)
3rd: Polish Hammers
4th: Fancy Lads
League of Legends, Random teams
1st: team 5 (pictured)
2nd: team 2
3rd: team 4
4th: team 2
League of Legends, BYOT
2nd: Forward Fierce
3rd: Shadow Wolves
4th: Highwayshark Gaming