BETWEEN FRIDAY, JULY 9TH and Sunday, July 11th, 660 registered participants from all over the country hauled their PC rigs and consoles to the TelstraClear Pacifi c Events Centre in Manukau to take part in xLAN. It’s Australasia’s largest gaming LAN event, which allows the hundreds of gamers in attendance to easily set up local, lag-free matches of their favourite games. Of course, it also brings New Zealand’s gaming community together and allows gamers to socialise while engaging in their beloved hobby.
There are plenty of restaurants in the area and food and drink stalls in the stadium itself; there’s even a designated sleeping area so gamers don’t have to leave the stadium during the three-day event.
Of course, xLAN also plays host to the New Zealand qualifi ers of the World Cyber Games. Teams of well-trained gamers participate in tournament play in a range of titles (and game modes) for their chance to represent New Zealand at the world fi nals (see overleaf for a full list of games and results).
On day one Game Console managed a quick chat with a very busy fi rst-time xLAN organiser Craig Nimmo, general manager of the On3 Network. Nimmo was surprised at how well the event ran, given that it relied on a rather complicated network infrastructure. “There’s always the teething issues, but it’s going smoother than I thought it would. Counter-Strike 1.6 having updates last minute doesn’t help,” he laughed. There were also reports of problems with the Steam platform on Friday, where access to Steam via the internet is required in order to play some games.
Those interested in attending next year’s xLAN should keep a close eye on www.xlan.co.nz for registration details as soon as they’re announced.