Videogame Volumes: first LAN experience


Vaughn Perez

In this weekly column, staff reporter Vaughn Perez writes about the gaming and esports community.

Vaughn Perez, Staff Reporter

Over the weekend, I went and experienced my first ever LAN tournament for VALORANT and it’s easily one of my favorite events of the year. At the GG EZ Gaming Cafe, they held a two day event where 16 teams played in a double elimination bracket. 

So at a local area network (LAN) event, everyone is on an even playing field and it really comes down to the coordination of the team and individual skill and quick-thinking. At this one, there was a range of skill levels present, with teams who were there to play for fun, teams who were decently skilled like my team, and even professional players from organizations like TSM, Complexity, and Knights made an appearance. 

On the first day, we played a total of three matches, winning the first one 2-0, losing the second 0-2, and then finally winning the third 2-0. Playing these matches was sort of a dream come true for me because I’ve always wanted to participate in an in-person event. Although it wasn’t the biggest tournament in the world, there was something so amazing about playing in an environment where you could physically see and hear the people you were playing with and against compared to when I would play in online tournaments.

I mean the very first round of our first match included such a hype and intense moment, it really set the tone for the rest of the event. We weren’t even disappointed when we lost the second match because it was against actual professionals and just having the chance to play against people who professionally play and see how we stack up against them was surreal in itself. 

We made it to day two easily after winning the third match, but now our backs were against the wall and we had to win every match moving forward. Our first match was at 10:30 a.m., a close back and forth but we ended with a 2-1 win. However that’s how far our run would go, we were matched up against another team of pros and lost 0-2. With that loss, we ended fourth overall, but even though we lost, it still felt like a win overall. 

The experience was so much to take in but I enjoyed every second of it. I got to play against players who I usually watched and analyzed their gameplay to incorporate into mine. I even got some pictures with players that I really respected and were some of my favorites to watch. All while playing a game that I hope to find a route in, but this experience has definitely shown where I need to grow in terms of my decision making and skill. I can’t wait for another opportunity like this to show up, I’ll be the first in line for it.