Oswald Rant: EverLAN Summer 2003

Another weekend has ended, another LAN has come to a close. Those full pallets of caffeinated drinks are now empty and strewn in disarray. Garbage thrown across the floor of the hall, as the stench of body odor and pizza is still hanging heavy, tired eyes continue to stare, bloodshot at the monitor, with the same intensity of he first day.

This is the second time I have been invited to attend EverLAN, a local event in Colorado Springs, Colorado (that’s in the US, Euros). In an event that continues to grow in popularity, EverLAN was sponsored by ATI, Ubi Soft, AMD, Plantronics, Belkin, GeekwearZ, Geeks on Call, High Plains Internet and Mountain Dew Live Wire. Unlike the last event I attended, there would be no 2 v 2 Urban Terror to watch. Not to worry though, there was some great LAN action spread across eight games including, Half-Life’s Counter-Strike, Quake 3 Rocket Arena, Rainbow Six: Raven Shield, Battlefield 1942, Starcraft, and Unreal Tournament 2003.

GBC Sports was on hand to provide their services to emcee the event and shout cast some of the action from Counter-Strike, Unreal Tournament 2003 and others. While Gunslinger was usually the GBC caster we heard, Kessler, Hogan, Ghozr and stickgod we keeping the action real with some great shout cast coverage in support of EverLAN. Some of these casters were not new to EverLAN, as they had participated in the Winter 2002 event on behalf of Cyberkast Radio.

My presence there was somewhat two-fold. First, I was there in support of Urban Terror, which was played during the Winter 2002 event, but also to help out Tommy of Geekwearz. For those who do not know, Geekwearz is the vendor who prints and presses a multitude of shirts, sweatshirts, stickers and other Urban Terror swag for the geeks who support the community. His product is second to none when it comes to quality! So during the event, Sard (another Urban Terror faithful) and I would man the table for Tommy, as he had a few other events to attend to during the weekend. We sold quite a bit of merchandise, as Tommy does not want any gamer to go home empty handed.

Andrew, also known as Everman is the organizer and host of the event. Along with his dedicated staff, they bust their asses to make this a great, fun filled event for everyone in attendance. I had arrived Friday, a day before the LAN began, so I was able to reacquaint myself with some of the people I met last year, as I tried to lend my assistance in setup.

With many big money prizes on the line, such as a collect of ATI Radeon 9800s, tournaments were a top priority, as each staff member was in charge of a specific game. From what I followed of the tournaments, the EverLAN staff was right on schedule. As expected, the top drawing tournament was Counter-Strike, under the watchful eye of Baker, from the CAL League. Cheers of jubilation could be heard as another individual beat down his opponent to take home a new 9800.

There were some “odd” contests lined up, such as the peppercini eating contest, the ATI body tattoo contest and the Mountain Dew Line Wire Guzzlefest. Not really sure how else to describe it. Last year’s champion, Mt Dew was back. Now, Mt Dew is not a small fellow, but the dude can pound soda. The qualifying round pitted about 20 contestants of varying drinking skills to chug two bottles of Live Wire, with the top five moving into the finals. You have heard of two fisting it, right? Well those with mouths large enough to support two bottles attempted to pour all the Live Wire in at once. Some ended up wearing it, as opposed to chugging it. Back to the returning champion, Mt Dew. It only took this boy, 10.4 seconds to down two, 12 ounce bottles of Live Wire to retain his title.

Saturday began early, as gamers started showing up very early for registration and to get that prime LAN spot, whatever that is. There were assorted servers up and running, as gamers played CS, Unreal Tournament 2003, Starcraft and of course Urban Terror. A quick side story, there was a group of gamers from Clan {AD}, Warlord Aetyr, Evil and a few others set up right in front of Geekwearz. So they set up a few local servers and we “got our frag on.” More on that later.

As for me, I was one of the judges for the modded case competition. With the exception of one returning case from the Winter 2002 event, all those who participated did a fine job modding their cases to varying degrees. The winning mod was a computer inside a small remote control car created by Dementia, quite unique!

Everman had approached me on Friday about holding a mod roundtable to talk about Urban Terror and modding in general. Seeing as I cut out early at the Winter 2002 event, and was not able to fulfill my roundtable duties, I looked forward to sharing some of the details and experiences of modding. The roundtable was hosted by Gunslinger and Ghozr of GBC Sports (and I can’t say enough good things about these guys!). The show aired live on the Internet, with the discussion being recorded on video. I had made a news post on the Urban Terror web site, which filtered to a few other game related sites, along with spamming the headliner for the event in IRC. TO be honest, I am not sure of the turn out, but rest assured there were some who did tune in and get something out of the discussion.

Events like EverLAN are not always about what happens on the gaming floor, but the enjoyment when the day has wound down (figuratively speaking) and you can sit down, relax and shoot the shit with some of the staffers. We took advantage of this on Saturday night (feeling the effects of Saturday night on Sunday morning), as a group of staffers, GBC Sports, Tommy, myself and a few others made our way to Maxi’s, the overpriced, hotel lounge. With music blaring, we decided to take our adult beverages out to the “Quiet Bar” located just outside in the reception area of the hotel. For the next few hours, we drank, laughed, shared stories and basically just had a great time in each others company. We were also fortunate enough to be joined by Hornet and Wycked, who drove in from Denver to hang out.

Speaking of Wycked…guys, let me just say that all the pictures you see of her are REALLY her. She also put the smack down on the {AD} guys on Saturday night. Cannot say much for her partner (don’t look at me) who was two sheets to the wind and could not seem to keep a positive score. Hahaha. We played some 2 v 2 and free for all throughout the night. Speaking of good Urban Terror gamers, Sard, a roommate of Tommy’s who was also working the Geekwearz booth really tore it up in both FFA and 2v2. Nice gaming, Sard! As for me, well I’m in for the fun and enjoyment, that is what I had, but I did hold my own for some time on a few of the FFA rounds.

Sunday morning, as I said above you feel like your head is still in Saturday. The drunk ass I was, I stumbled back to my room about 2:30am and instead of setting my alarm, I moved the time ahead one hour, then set the alarm and passed out. Needless to say, I was up way too early on Sunday morning, as I find Sard still manning the Geekwearz booth, downloading files from the network and watching movies. I did not last, as I went back to the room and showererd, trying to wake up.

And that my friends, was EverLAN Summer 2003. I feel very fortunate to have been invited by Andrew. Let me just say, you guys put on a great event and I am proud to be a small part of it. I enjoy hanging out with Tommy and helping sell swag to the geeks…er…gamers at the event. The things people do for free stuff still amazes me. I am already looking forward to the Winter 2003 event in November. Thanks to the entire staff at EverLAN for another successful event!

For more information check out, EverLAN.net for upcoming events and dates.