Gamers unite at LANWAR X

Photo by Dean Daley

Tyler Messenger–Lehmann, a second year UOIT student in the Computer Science program, an organizer and ticket seller, selling tickets for the event. /caption>

Posters of all kinds can be found in the hallways of UOIT and Durham College.

But of all the posters, one stands out to any gamer: LANWAR X.  The poster has pictures of all sorts of characters from games such as: Super Mario, World of Warcraft, Hearthstone and more. LANWAR X takes place Nov. 25-27, but the question remains: What exactly, is it?

UOIT’s Local Area Network (LAN) WAR X is a gaming event that has occurred biannually since 2011. It’s where students and alumni can get together and play all sorts of games for fun, or competitively.  Hundreds of fans come to watch and play in several tournaments starting Friday night around midnight steadily until Sunday afternoon at 5 p.m. The event is held in the UA Science building at UOIT.

According to Tyler Messenger–Lehmann, a second year UOIT student in the Computer Science program, an organizer and ticket seller for the event, LANWAR started after Tony Tran, dubbed as one of the founders of LANWAR and some friends wanted to play games and hang out after mid-terms.

This will be fifth time Kyle Beckmann, an UOIT mechatronics engineering student, is attending the LANWAR event. He says the event has a board game area, vendors to visit, plenty of people to play with, and raffles to be won throughout the weekend.

“I keep going to LANWAR events because it’s a great way to socialize with other gamers and have a fun, de-stressing weekend in time for exams,” Beckmann says.

This will be the twelfth LANWAR event UOIT is hosting and will offer six major gaming events, six side tournaments and one tournament held by Duelist one of the sponsors of the event. The six major tournaments are from iconic games such as Counter Strike Global Offensive (CS GO), StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty and Super Smash Brothers for Wii U.

Prizes for the major tournaments range from $500 to $1,500. The prize money comes from a mixture of sponsors, ticket sales and the Student Association.

Messenger–Lehmann is not only an organizer and ticket seller for LANWAR X, but has also been a competitor. Messenger-Lehmann says last year he competed in Hearthstone and Magic The Gathering. He says he made it to the semifinal round of Hearthstone before becoming too sick to play.

Messenger–Lehmann calls himself a hardcore gamer with more than 4,000 hours in League of Legends and 1,000 hours in CS GO. However, even with that many hours under his belt he says he still wouldn’t compete in those games.

According to Messenger–Lehmann, professional players, who regularly compete for money, attend LANWAR X to play games like CS GO and League of Legends. Messenger–Lehmann said he thought he would have more of a chance with Hearthstone.

Beckmann says he usually only plays in the smaller tournaments, in games such as Mario Kart, League of Legends and King of Games. King of Games is a round-by-round tournament where each round has different games such as Super Smash Brothers, Donkey Kong and even indie games such as Nidhogg.

According to Beckmann, within the few weeks leading up to LANWAR he starts playing a few rounds in the games he competes in “for the purpose of regaining memory of the controls and the game mechanics.”

Messenger–Lehmann takes a different approach. Last year when competing for Hearthstone, he did a lot of research into the game. He found out about the meta, the current strongest strategies used in the game and researched ways to challenge and defeat it.

Although Beckmann doesn’t compete in the major tournaments, he says he enjoys being a spectator.

“A lot of games are fun to spectate. Especially when the players involved are invested in the game and are well matched against each other,” Beckmann says. “I can see things getting pretty tense and it’ll definitely be entertaining to watch.”

This year Beckmann is most interested in watching Overwatch, as it’s the game he’s most actively playing. Meantime, Messenger-Lehmann is the organizer for the tournament for Hearthstone and is most excited for the King of Games tournament.

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Dean Daley is a second year student journalism student at Durham College. He is also a digital editor for The Chronicle. He enjoys writing about campus, community, technology news and video games news. His hobbies include writing creative short stories and poetry, reading, playing video games and learning about the newest mobile technology.