April 7th 2014
VulcLAN 2014: Annual LAN party a great success!
Among them was Scott Wilson, from Lethbridge, who plays under the handle “broknecho.”
He first started attending the annual video gaming event six years ago after hearing about it from friend and fellow gamer Eldon “BoneRak” Kieper, who also comes every year.
“It’s really well run and organized,” said Wilson about the LAN party.
“Everyone’s fun and outgoing — it’s a good atmosphere.”
It’s also a good opportunity to socialize and, of course, play games, said Wilson, who said he’d “definitely” return.
“We book it in the calendar as soon as we hear about it,” he said.
This year, a first-timer at VulcLAN came all the way up from Texas.
“It was a blast,” said Patrick “iGamer” Taylor, who won an iPhone case and two headsets.
“I absolutely loved it.”
While he’d like to be able to return every year, the cost of the trip will be a restrictive factor. Taylor said he hopes to be able to come back every other year for the event.
Returning for the second time this year was Hayden “ShadowSlaughter” Lafreniere, from Nanton. He attended last year’s event after seeing it featured in the Advocate. At the time, he took part only in the console side of the tournament.
“I got inspired and built my own PC,” he said. “I like it a lot more than console.”
Originally under the impression LAN parties were too expensive for him to attend, Lafreniere said that wasn’t the case with VulcLAN. He hopes to return next year, and to perhaps make it an annual outing.
Although many gamers come from out of county for the event, there are several locals who also enjoy coming out.
It was only her second year out, but Brianna “MT_fan1” Lukow, from Champion, could well become one of the regulars.
She got into video gaming through her fiancé Stephan Losey, who also attended the event along with brother Rylan Losey.
“It’s something fun to do altogether,” said Lukow about the LAN party.
Making it all a reality are Ben “Zeus” Heide and his staff at BCCHardware — Regina McDougall and Jason Schneider — as well as a long list of sponsors who provided plenty of prizes including gaming mice, keyboards, headsets, a 32-inch television and this year’s coveted item, a 480-GB solid state harddrive.
This year, Wilson designed and covered the costs of printing the plastic player ID passes, and Trevor “RoNiN” Hughes set up the servers for the Call of Dutytournament.
“It was our best year ever,” said Heide.
Not only was it a record year for prizes, which wouldn’t be possible without all the sponsors, but everything went off without a hitch — no power or internet connection problems, he said.
“It was flawless, we never had any issues,” said Heide.
Looking to next year, he said VulcLAN would definitely be going ahead again.
League of Legends, which Heide said is a game growing in popularity, will likely remain on the docket for next year’s tournament, but the organizer is considering moving away from Call of Duty.
“We have to find a new big game,” said Heide, adding there’s such a variety of games it can be challenging to find one that the majority of those who attend VulcLAN plays.
He’s also thinking about dropping the console side of the tournament, which hasn’t been a big draw to the LAN party, but would still set one up just for fun.
As for the tournament’s location, so long as the costs to rent the Vulcan Lodge Hall remain affordable, Heide said VulcLAN would continue to be held there.
This year, the Town of Vulcan decided to waive the rental fee for the Lodge Hall’s basement, and the Vulcan and District Chamber of Commerce picked up the tab to rent upstairs, said Heide.
Without that kind of support, including sponsors, VulcLAN wouldn’t be possible, he said.