LAN Of The Damned – The Aftermath

It’s been 17 years in the making, but our 40th event has ticked over and I think it was a great success.
Although attendance was lower than usual, the LAN ran pretty smoothly and everyone enjoyed themselves. We had some new people at the event who’d never attended a LAN before, and the return of some familiar faces we hadn’t seen in years. We even had a surprise visit by a journalist from The Standard.
Kasheem made a moving speech thanking me for the work I’ve done over the many years the event has been running….and Donkey told everyone i’d turned 54, which at least one guy believed cause he wished me a happy birthday. I suppose it’s the thought that counts lol.
Since this event fell on May the fourth (be with you) it seemed fitting to give it a bit of a Star Wars spin. There were several Star Wars themed tournaments and a heap of Star Wars prizes up for grabs. Although the admins were resplendent in their Star Wars outfits, disappointingly none of the LANers took us up on our invitation to attend in costume 

The first novelty competition finally gave the admins a chance to get their own back. After years of being hit with water balloons, tennis balls & soccer balls, and almost dying of dehydration in inflatable T-Rex suits, it was our turn. Entrants had to run a gauntlet as several Jedi and a Wookie hurled dodge balls at them. Anyone hit was knocked out….of the competition anyway. The field was slowly whittled down amidst a barrage of vindictively hurled dodge balls until only our fleet footed winner remained. He was rewarded for his dexterity with a Republic of Gamers pack that included a mouse mat, baseball cap, cushion, tool kit, and a Limited Edition ROG Horseman figurine.
The second novelty competition was a bit more even handed. Everyone got to hurl balls at each other in one big game of dodge ball. SomeBreedOfDonkey and Clawcity joined in to represent the admin team, and although Donkey got knocked out fairly early, Clawcity managed to make it most of the way through. I’d like to say it’s due to amazing feats of agility and cat like reflexes…but it would be more accurate to say that standing still was the best way not to get hit lol. We had quite a few players who got into the spirit of the game and were slinging balls for all they were worth, while others took the “discretion is the better part of valour” approach and hid as far up the back of the court as they could. In fact 2 out of the 3 last players fell into the latter category, which might be a good way to avoid being knocked out, but makes for a pretty slow end game. Eventually a victor emerged as one of the few girls in attendance, which I suppose suggests that charging headlong at the enemy with testosterone fuelled enthusiasm has it’s drawbacks. Unfortunately we realised she wasn’t actually a paying event attendee so the prize of a Republic of Gamers pack had to go to our runner-up, Prometheus7.

Our team comp for the event was the SteelSeries Team Fortress 2 tournament, but to mix things up a bit it was a 4v4 tourney. Given that there are 4 event admins you’d think this would be our time to shine…unfortunately that’s not really how things played out. The tournament was double elimination and had plenty of teams signed up with a range of skill levels, which simply meant we got our butts kicked twice instead of once lol. There were some close matches that came down to the last seconds, and some matches that were mostly just waiting for the win timer to run out. At the end of a close final it was Smegma Swindlers who came out on top. They received Arctis Pro + GameDAC Hi-Res headsets and Rival 600 mice thanks to SteelSeries.
For our free-for-all comp we had the PLE Computers Unreal Tournament tournament using the alpha of UT4. Despite being a bit rough around the edges it was a fun game to play with plenty of the fast paced mayhem we’ve come to expect from the UT series. After a couple of chaotic rounds of flak blasting and rocket gibbing Axol climbed to the top of the pile of bodies to take the win. He received a $100 voucher from PLE Computers and a Rival 600 gaming mouse.
In keeping with our Star Wars theme, the old school comp for the event was the PLE Computers Jedi Academy tournament. The game may be old, but it’s still as much fun as ever. In a classic light sabers only battle the room was filled with the wailing of people being hacked down or force pushed off cliffs. Kasheem and SomeBreedOfDonkey seemed to take particular joy in force choking people then tossing them into a chasm. In the end Nut was the clear winner by a convincing margin. He took home a $100 PLE Computers voucher and an Ultimate FX light saber.
As an unannounced surprise competition, in keeping with the Star Wars theme, we had Beat Saber running on some HP virtual reality gear that was generously supplied to us by Jarrod Mast. Good on ya buddy! It’s a great game which most of us had a go at and can be surprisingly difficult, but definitely addictive. Plus as an added bonus it’s funny as hell watching people trying to play it. For those unfamiliar with the game, you’re equipped with 2 light sabers and must hit a series of colour coded blocks in specific directions to music in a fashion reminiscent of guitar hero. The blocks get faster and more difficult as you progress through the song including obstacles you have to avoid. We’ve got to give a shout out to Ben Hooker for giving up about 4 hours of his gaming time to guide people on their Beat Saber journey. Although we all had a great time playing it, one player clearly outclassed us all. Congratulations to Kaleb for winning the competition and taking home a $250 gift card supplied by Harvey Norman.

As is always the case, the raffle attracted a huge amount of attention. We had a great range of prizes including a variety of Star Wars items. Prizes included some Steam vouchers from Multicomm IT, some Warhammer 40k Wraithguard miniatures and a collectors tin for the Pokemon Detective Pikachu trading card game from Toyworld Warrnambool, a Limited Edition ROG Horseman figurine from Republic of Gamers, Star Wars Monopoly, a Deathstar 3D lamp, a 500 GB SSD, a “Welcome To The Dark Side” welcome mat, a talking Chewbacca mask, a 27″ AOC LED monitor, a Hasbro Millennium Falcon, a box of Cards Against Star Wars, a Tusken Raider Pop Vinyl, and a $100 voucher and one of the highly sought after BattleBull gaming chairs from PLE Computers. One of our attendees has dropped about $500 on raffle tickets over recent events in an effort to secure one of these chairs and it was great to see he finally managed to get his hands on one. He was pretty chuffed with his win, though ironically it would have been cheaper if he’d just bought one lol.

In addition to the sponsors we’ve already mentioned we’d also like to thank Pinkys Pizza Warrnambool for providing discounted pizza with free delivery for the event, and South West TAFE who’s financial aid enabled us to ensure we had such a great prize pool for the event.

Thanks everyone for coming to our 40th event, we hope you had a great time and look forward to seeing you at the next one.