The man behind LANcouver 2012 – the LAN party taking over the Richmond Oval next weekend – has high hopes for developing competitive e-sports in the city.
“We’re trying to build LANcouver into an event people see as a spectacle,” Mr. Whitney told Hardware Canucks. “We want people to come out and spectate.”
And come out and spectate they will. LANcouver is set to be something of a five ring event of e-sports: StarCraft 2, League of Legends, and Counter Strike: Global Offensive are all on the schedule with cash and hardware prizes being awarded to top players. In addition, the event is considered a regional qualifier for the StarCraft World Championship Series meaning the winner of LANcouver’s StarCraft tournament gets a spot at the Canadian finals in Toronto (with a free trip to the city).
LANcouver 2012 is Mr. Whitney’s eighth go at a LAN party (he’s been doing LANcouver since 2004). LANcouver last year was hit with a myriad of woes: logistical issues and problems with internet connectivity at the venue caused the event to be less than enjoyable for some.
“Considering last year’s event, the support for this year has been overwhelming,” said Mr. Whitney.
The team behind LANcouver 2012 (who are all volunteers) has identified what went wrong with last year’s event and knows exactly what to improve upon. In order to provide seamless Internet connectivity, and avoid a repeat of last year, Shaw is leasing 4 250mb/s lines to the venue and will have support staff on site.
Mr. Whitney says that his goal for Lancouver 2012 is to capture the atmosphere of NVIDIA’s most recent GeForce LAN – part festival, part trade show, part LAN party – held aboard a retired aircraft carrier last October. Of all the LAN parties he’s been to in the past year, Mr. Whitney thinks the GeForce LAN was the best.
ASUS, the event’s presenting sponsor, will have booths as well as displays at LANcouver and may be making a launch announcement during the event. Retail sponsor NCIX (Memory Express filled this role until they recently dropped out) will have a sizable presence on site as well.
As LAN party culture grows, Mr. Whitney thinks one day LANcouver could be a major tourist event and economic developer. October’s GeForce LAN had registrants from across the United States, and the same is already happening in Vancouver as this year’s LANcouver has participants registered from across the province as well as the United States.
LANcouver 2012 kicks off at 5:00 pm on Friday June 29 at the Richmond Oval.