Playing video games is generally considered a hobby someone does in their own home, but events like LAN War plan to change that. “They (the creators) wanted to put a spin on an anti-social hobby and host an event at UOIT” Says Sarah Wagg, the president of LAN War.
LAN War is an event held once a semester, where students who attend or have attended UOIT or Durham College spend a weekend playing games. These game vary from card games to board games to video games. The first semester LAN War has an annual attendance of more than 2000 people, from different schools.
The second semester LAN War is smaller, and is restricted to UOIT and Durham college students and graduates.
The difference between LAN War and more recognised eSport tournaments is the casual atmosphere.
Michael Comlekci, a member of the Durham College UOIT eSports team said LAN War is more of a local community event than the larger tournaments with millions of dollars put behind them.
At LAN War, no one is required to take part in a tournament. It can serve as a place to just play games and hang out.
At LAN War X there was also a raffle with rewards such as a mechanical keyboard, an optic mouse, and other gaming supplies and souvenirs.
LAN War started five years ago when two UOIT students decided to add a social aspect to gaming. “LAN War used to be more of a local community event. And as the club has grown the event has become more broad. And you even see people coming from all over Canada and some parts of the United States to compete in LAN War,” said Comlekci.
The money LAN War raised earned originally went to charities, such as Simcoe Hall Settlement House in downtown Oshawa. But, since the event grew in size, the money goes to sustaining LAN War.
At LAN War, anyone can play anything. Some people bring desktop computers, console gaming systems, board games, and decks of cards. Anything that can be played is welcomed.
The tenth LAN War, happened in March. With more than 200 attendees, the building was packed. People flooded in with their computers and consoles. LAN War went for 24 hours during the weekend. It is common for people to bring pillows to take a quick nap. Or, more commonly, drinking untold amounts of caffeine.
At LAN War X, there were 16 official tournaments. These tournaments were for games such as League of Legends, Hearthstone, and Super Smash Bros. The tournaments ran through the night to make sure there was always something going on.
The final tournament was known as “The King of Games.” In this tournament, the participants were not told which game they were going to play until their turn was up. The participants were then given a special set of rules independent of the game by the staff. In Kirby Air Ride for example, the players were not able to use their special abilities mid-race.
Now wait for next year, where schools from all over can come to find out who is the king of games.