Attending events has always been an interesting proposition for me, especially when the organizers are trying it for the first time. Friday, March 2nd was the kick off of WestLAN, an event to benefit the Computer Department at Westlane High School in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The LAN was a new style for me to see as it was a short, fast, stab at some Quake action that was planned to go from 7pm on the 2nd until 12 pm on the 3rd. Two tournaments were held during the time, and both ran fairly smooth.
After some minor setup issues with power distribution and networking, the players all managed to get together in the arenas for some fragging. The problems I mentioned were minor, and I've seen few events go off without a hitch, so hats off to Chris, the event organizer. People were playing as soon as they could see a server in their game, so 1v1, FFA, and team play action was joined as players setup and set their boxes to LAN settings.
Quake III wasn't the only thing going on, and people came and went all of Friday night for the music of DJ-Paw and the console gaming setup in the big open area where I got my second taste of the Dreamcast and my fighting game addiction, Soul Calibur. Man I just love that game and haven't touched it since my visit to the GameSpy offices in California where everyone took turns pounding me into a stain. The Quake action was the center of attention though, and even those that came just to see what a LAN was, jumped on a friend's comp to run and gun in the arenas we all know and love.
The tournaments that were held got players going in Quake III 1v1 and 2v2 with some random FFA action for scattered prizes. Winning the 1v1 for 50 bucks and the 50 dollar bonus for an undefeated streak through the tourney was [5am]soulja. I remember when this guy was a stark newbie in Quake 2, and he's come a long way in his play style and skill. Taking second with some very strong games was UglY-AsS who chose the life-size Regis Philbin cardboard cut out as his trophy. The 2v2's offered some very intense action with [5am]soulja and [5am]drpd taking the last game narrowly from aR|timebomb and HughJ-AsS. Prizes for the 2v2 were a copy of Team Arena for each of the winners and GameSpy swag packs for second place. It was aR|timebomb who took the largest of the FFA games as well during the event, smashing whoever came into view. What people won't do for a GameSpy mug and shot glass. Just thought I should mention that GiNouRM-AsS (Chris, the event organizer) and myself did manage to snag third in the 2v2 tournament where we snagged glory and a ton of fun.
Before I show you a few shots I got at the event, I'll give you the verdict on how it came out and if I'd go to another if invited by the WestLAN crew. The event was fun, and the attitude behind it was exactly what it should be, to offer gaming action to the attendees. Plain and simple, that's what these things are for. I would indeed go again, and the only thing that I could suggest here is to have a longer event. This would increase the amount in attendance as well, since short LAN's just aren't worth too much travel time. Good job over all!
Next: Some photos from the event.