EuroLAN got off to a flying start in Brighton this weekend with a
75 player LAN party, featuring Quake 3 CTF, duel, and two-on-two
competitions, and live DJs to drown out the screams of the dying...
The first of the Quake 3
competitions to be completed was the four-on-four CTF
tournament, with clan Eat Electric Death (including pro-gamer
Billox and our very own Mat "The Lurker" Bettinson)
predictably cruising through their first match.
Team "0wn" had been formed at the event specially for the
competition, and had never played together before. Some of them had
never even played the tourney map, Q3CTF3, before. It was hardly
surprising then that EED ran home with a comfortable 27 : 0 victory
against them after just 20 minutes. Ouch.
The final would be rather more challenging though, as although
their opponents Team DM had also just been formed at the event, it
included some of the top duellers from around the country, all of
whom had taken part in the recent UK Razer-CPL qualifier. Kalliath
had been knocked out in the third round and Dekkard in the quarter
finals, Silent had made it to the finals of the losers bracket, and
Blokey had been the event winner.
Could EED triumph? Or could the high powered deathmatch collective
take them down? The arena was Q3CTF3 - The Stronghold - and there
were scores to be settled...
DM got off to a
good start, picking up a few frags in the central area of the
level as they locked it down, while EED's Billox hung back to
defend their own base.
EED's team experience soon paid dividends though, with Pod breaking
through enemy lines to grab their flag. DM couldn't respond rapidly
enough, and although EED's star defender Billox took a tumble into
the mist, DM couldn't stop Pod from completing the capture.
DM were fighting back hard though, and were particularly strong in
the vital midfield. With Blokey's faultless rail aim backed up by
support from his team-mates, EED's members were being cut down as
soon as they entered the region. Eventually Pod broke through again
though, and found DM's base completely abandoned! Seeing his
opportunity he made a grab for the flag.
Meanwhile the missing DM members had put in an appearance in EED's
base and taken their flag. EED intercepted it though, and Billox
(just) managed to return the flag after it was dropped, cut down by
DM's gunfire just seconds after reaching it. Pod made it back to
the EED base intact, and completed their second capture with just
five minutes gone.
Blokey made it into EED's base and made a grab for their flag after
exchanging rails with the defenders. He didn't get far though, and
the flag was soon back where it belonged. DM weren't to be put off
though, and launched a massive co-ordinated attack on EED's base,
sending Billox spiralling into the mist again as they grabbed the
flag and scarpered.
EED couldn't respond, and seemed to be caught off guard as DM
picked up a second capture soon afterwards, taking the score to 2 :
2 after nine minutes of play. DM almost made it three in a row, but
this time a rocket launcher toting Billox chased down their flag
carrier and then picked up another pair of frags in quick
succession in the central arena before finally being killed.
For the next five minutes there was a stalemate, with neither team
able to reach their opponents' flag. Finally, with just five
minutes left to play, a pair of DM players blasted their way into
the EED base, took out Billox, and swiped the flag. It wasn't a
clean get-away though, and EED struck back to prevent them
Two minutes from the end it was still 2 : 2, and it looked as if
the game might go into extra time. DM had other plans though, and
EED's play seemed to be getting rather scrappy. A pair of DM
players grabbed their flag and made off with it, and although EED
managed to take out the flag carrier, the other attacker picked it
up before EED could reach their fallen flag to return it.
With just a minute to go the score was 3 : 2 to DM, and EED seemed
to have lost the will to live. Despite goading from loud-mouthed
Australian Lurker, EED couldn't put together a counter-attack in
time to save the game.
After being 2 : 0 down at half time, DM had come back to take the
game 3 : 2 in an exciting climax. An impressive display.
Quake 3 2 vs 2
Next up was the two-on-two team play competition. The quarter
finals had seen all the usual suspects getting through without
too much difficulty, with Blokey and Kalliath from UNR, Billox
and Pod from EED, and Silent and Dekkard all making it to the
semi-finals, as well as Strudles and Jekub.
The big semi-final then was Kalliath and Blokey against Billox and
Pod, with two of the top duellers in the country and two of the top
clans in the country facing off on Q3DM6...
Billox got off to a flying
start, catching an unarmed Blokey with his shotgun and then
picking up a second almost immediately as Blokey respawned
close by. Eventually Kalliath brought down the rampaging
Billox with a stream of plasma to take the score to 2 : 1.
Billox soon got his revenge, catching Kalliath in the quad
area, but before long he was down again.
The two sides continued to match each other frag for frag, and
after a frantic first minute the scores were 5 : 3 to Billox and
Pod. Things were quiet for a couple of minutes after that as both
teams became more wary, with each team picking up just two frags,
taking it to 7 : 5 after three minutes of play.
A couple of frags for Blokey levelled the scores, with Pod's
remains being scattered far and wide by Blokey's rocket launcher.
Billox managed to pull one back, but the scores were soon even
again on 8 : 8.
Billox caught Kalliath with his plasma gun in one of the top
passages near the rocket launcher, and then dropped down from the
bridge to grab some health near the top of the grand staircase.
Just as he fell though Blokey appeared, and the top players almost
collided as Billox dropped to the ground right in front of him.
Blokey was momentarily taken by surprise, and Billox managed to
rail him and grab the health.
Blokey and Kalliath fought back to re-take the lead though, 10 : 9
after five minutes. Their lead was soon extended, as Kalliath's
rocket caught Billox by the double staircase, and Pod was having a
hard time of it as well, with Blokey taking him down with a
well-placed rocket in the quad room and then a second time. On
respawning Pod managed to grab the quad, but couldn't make it
count. After seven minutes the score was 18 : 12.
Billox was fighting hard though. Spotting Kalliath heading up the
stairs towards the rocket launcher, he rocket jumped up on to the
bridge to head him off and caught him perfectly with a snap rocket
shot as he emerged from the top of the stairs. Pod was getting into
the action as well, hitting Blokey near the jump pad up to the
railgun ledge. The shot didn't quite kill Blokey, but the fall to
the ground did.
After nine minutes of play Billox and Pod had come back to lead 19
: 17, but Kalliath and Blokey weren't down yet, clawing back the
deficit. As Blokey juggled Billox with his rocket launcher near the
plasma gun the scores were dead even, 21 a piece.
Blokey was on another rampage now, taking the lead as he caught Pod
with his rail and then watched as he plumetted earthwards to
crater. In the final seconds of the twelve minute game Blokey and
Kalliath pulled out a small lead, and although Billox and Pod
managed to pull two back the final score was 27 : 22.
Quake 3 duel
last competition to be completed was the big Quake 3 duel
contest. Over thirty people had entered the event at the start
of the weekend, but by the semi-finals the l337 had been
seperated from the chaff, and Silent, Dekkard, Requiem and
Kajun were left standing.
The semi-finals saw Dekkard and Silent battling it out in a close
match that ended with Dekkard taking his slot in the final by just
a single frag, while Requiem cruised to an 18 : 7 victory over
Kajun. And so it was that Requiem and Dekkard came together to
fight for first prize - an Athlon 800 processor, and the chance to
face the UK's official representative at the forthcoming Razer-CPL
Final - Game One
The first match between Requiem and Dekkard took place on
Q3Tourney2, every shaft lover's favourite duel map.
Dekkard grabbed the early lead, rocketing Requiem by the bridge
within the first minute. Requiem managed to stay out of trouble for
a minute, but their paths soon crossed again by the bridge.
Dekkard's shaft found its target, while Requiem ran out of
ammunition and had to whip out his gauntlet. He was already dead
before he could get near Dekkard.
On respawning though Requiem managed to grab a rocket launcher, and
chased down Dekkard, killing him twice in quick succession in the
top pillar room. The scores were even again, and both players
managed to escape a rocket duel down by the lightning gun.
Eventually Dekkard regained the lead though, shafting Requiem in
the pillar room.
Another rocket battle by the lightning gun left Dekkard on 15
health, but again both players escaped intact. Before he could
fully recover though he ran into Requiem in one of the corner rooms
at the bottom of the map, and was blown to pieces to make the score
3 : 3 at half time.
Dekkard wasn't impressed though, and came back with three quick
rocket kills, starting his reign of terror at the bottom of the map
and then following through in the pillar room. He was wounded now
though, and on respawning Requiem chased him back through the
teleporter to the bridge, and Dekkard took a dive into the red
He was soon back though, catching Requiem with his rocket launcher
as he came back through the teleporter. Shortly thereafter mutual
gibbage ensued, as Requiem and Dekkard blew each other up with
their rocket launchers to get a frag a piece, making the score 9 :
A rocket battle near the lightning gun ended in disaster for
Requiem, as a glancing blow from Dekkard sent him flying into the
red mist under the bridge. Shaken but not stirred, Requiem came
back to shaft Dekkard and then caught him again with his machinegun
as he respawned. With just a minute left the score was 9 : 6, and
things got even closer as Requiem caught Dekkard with his rocket
launcher near the bridge again.
The final seconds saw Dekkard re-establish his lead though as
Requiem desperately tried to make up his frag shortfall. A series
of rocket kills took the final score to 12 : 7 for Dekkard.
As it was best of three, Requiem would now have to beat Dekkard
twice to win the competition...
Final - Game Two
The second game was on Q3Tourney4. Requiem grabbed the plasma
gun but couldn't find his mark at first, but Dekkard's rail aim was
failing him as well. Switching to the rocket launcher, Requiem made
his first kill, and soon followed it up with two rail frags in the
first minute of the game.
Dekkard managed to pull back though, catching Requiem on the ledge
outside with his shotgun, and then railing him in the central room.
Both players raced for the megahealth as it respawned, and although
Requiem got there first, Dekkard blew him up before he could grab
it. And with a quarter of the game gone, Dekkard took the lead, his
rail taking down Requiem round the side of the map to make it 4 :
While Requiem was respawning and making a bee-line for the plasma
gun, Dekkard got back to the top of the level and swiped the red
armour, and after a short skirmish Dekkard's trusty rocket launcher
triumphed. With almost half the game now gone, Dekkard picked up
the next megahealth and railed Requiem twice in quick succession to
extend his lead to 7 : 3.
Requiem soon got one back, but Dekkard came at him with a shotgun
to get his revenge. Picking up the railgun he caught Requiem again
coming into the slime room, and then got a third frag with the
rocket launcher. Requiem couldn't respond, and Dekkard continued to
dominate the game, picking up three more frags to make the score 13
: 3 after seven minutes.
A nice long range rail shot earned Dekkard another frag, but
Requiem managed to get one back, and was soon gunning for more as
his rocket launcher took Dekkard down. But with less than two
minutes left it was now 15 : 5, and too late for Requiem to
Dekkard took it further out of his hands, catching him in mid-air
with a shotgun blast after his railgun failed him, and then getting
another kill with his rocket launcher. Requiem managed to pull back
another, but Dekkard held the lead and ended the game 19 : 6 up.
Dekkard took home a shiny new 800MHz Athlon processor and
motherboard, and Requiem got the runners-up prize of a Sirocco
Crossfire speaker set from Videologic.
Blokey vs Dekkard
As the party wound down, there was just one match left to
play. Quake 3 duel winner Dekkard would take on the all-conquering
Blokey on Q3Tourney2.
Blokey had picked up an early 4 : 0 lead in the first ninety
seconds of the game, and made it five with a shaft kill in one of
the corner rooms. He almost got a sixth, but Dekkard managed to
escape him with just 7 health left! He managed to grab a 25 health
power-up, but Blokey ran into him again soon afterwards and a
single well-placed rocket finished him off.
Blokey's shaft caught him again in a corner room to make it seven,
his eight came in the pillar room, and with three minutes gone the
score went to 9 : 0. It was obvious that Blokey was in dominant
form, and after a running rocket and shaft skirmish in the pillar
room, Blokey had taken it to 11 : 0 at half time.
As Blokey picked up another frag Dekkard suddenly realised he had
his headphones on back to front, and took advantage of the respawn
delay to correct his audio. Sadly it didn't help him much though,
as Blokey got several more frags in quick succession to take the
score to 16 : 0 with four minutes to go.
Dekkard was fighting to regain some dignity now, and finally
managed to pick up his first frag of the match eight minnutes in,
shafting Blokey in the pillar room. Blokey took him down with a
shotgun to make it 20 : 1, but Dekkard managed to grab a rocket
launcher and came back at him. His enthusiasm got the better of him
though, as his rocket blew up both Blokey and himself. Nil points.
Then disaster struck for Dekkard as Blokey's rocket blast knocked
him into the red mist, wiping out his sole frag to make it 20 : 0
with just a minute left to play. Down but not out, Dekkard managed
to pull a couple back in the dying seconds of the game, rocketing
Blokey in the pillar room and then taking him down with his
machinegun soon afterwards.
Blokey apparently wasn't impressed though, whipping out his
gauntlet to finish Dekkard off after respawning. "Humiliation!" The
final score was 23 : 2, after an impressive demonstration of just
why Blokey is going to be the UK's official representative at the
EuroLAN went remarkably smoothly, with no major problems. The
network took a little longer to get running than we had
expected, but by the time I arrived on Saturday lunchtime
everything was working fine.
Amazingly there wasn't a single network out-age or power cut during
the entire weekend, which has to be a first for a major LAN party.
Certainly this is the first "bring your own PC" LAN party I've been
to where nothing broke, and it's a credit to the admins that
everything went so well.
Sadly some of the extra-curricular activities we had hoped to run
during the weekend didn't happen in the end, such as the real life
CTF we had been planning. But it was still fairly lively as British
LAN parties go, with plenty of alcohol, a variety of bizarre music
pumping out through a pair of floor-standing speakers, and live DJs
on the wheels of steel at times.
The fragging went on well into the early hours of Sunday morning on
the first day, and due to competitors and admins alike waking up
late on the Sunday morning the remaining tournaments fell behind
schedule a little, ending an hour later than planned. Hardly a
major disaster though...
Thanks to sponsorship from PC Gaming World, GameSpot UK, AMD and
Videologic, the prizes included Athlon processors, motherboards,
and a massive set of Sirocco speakers, as well as some rather funky
AMD watches and a bundle of GameSpot t-shirts.
There was even a special deal with Domino's pizzas to get half
price food, and a steady stream of delivery men kept the gamers
supplied with pizzas, chicken strippers (get your mind out of the
gutter!) and Haagen Dazs ice cream throughout the weekend. Mmm...
The Brighton event was just the first of a series of LAN parties
though, so don't worry if you missed out - there should be an even
bigger and better EuroLAN coming to a town near you soon!