Imagine this: you’re walking through the mall and you hear shouting coming from a store. It’s not an angry customer, it is Alex “Agent A2” Tu casting League of Legends. This is what occurred last Friday and Saturday (6/23/17 - 6/24/17) at the Microsoft Store in the Penn Square Mall. A total of twenty players were chosen to play in a free, Microsoft sponsored tournament, but even more signed up. This was the first event of its kind in Oklahoma. Players ranging from Gold 5 to high Diamond competed in a single round robin tournament spanning over two days.
The initial community reaction to this concept was one of uncertainty. Playing with 4 other people you have never played with before, isn’t that just Soloq? The difference between this draft event and Soloq became clear once the event began: community. An atmosphere of competition, yet friendliness was created. The fact that there were no pre-existing expectations or records for the teams gave an air of anticipation and excitement to entire tournament. Anything could happen.
The strength of this tournament, besides being free, was meeting new people. Players who never would have met without this tournament became close allies. Friendships were created, friendly rivalries were born, and above all of this, a hunger for victory drove the players. Teams were forced to quickly develop a system of communication with four strangers, which is not an easy task. By determining the strongest player on each team and how the weaker players could enable them, teams learned to work together. Agent A2’s team consisting of xRyker, Trodelor, Smooths, Nightsnipe, and iiSilverhammer adapted the quickest. They did not lose a single game over the two day event, going 3-0. A2’s team earned a $20 gift card each. Nightsnipe, the adc for the team, was given the honor of MVP and was given a free mouse pad. On top of the prizes, the Microsoft store provided free pizza to every player.
The tournament attracted a lot of attention to the store. With twenty crowded people congregating in the back and a man screaming in excitement, every mall goer stopped to find out for themselves what was so exciting. There were even spectators in the store that had never seen League of Legends, but were drawn in by the camaraderie. The Microsoft staff fell in love with the GetRect crew, their efficiency and charm. The possibility of hosting future GetRect events at the store was discussed. OKLCS finals maybe?
I attended the event as a player and it was one of the most enjoyable LAN events I have been to. The issues, lag, and delays were kept to a minimum. The Tournament Organizers were nice and approachable. My team was a pleasure to play with as well. My support, ArmoredBunny, was attending his first LAN event and enjoyed his time. His drive to win inspired me. Our jungler was one I have played with on many occasions, and enjoy every second I spend with him, the one and only King Mowgli. Playerjohn, a player I never imagined myself playing with at a LAN event, turned out to be a joy to play with. Finally my ADC, Thien Sama, is a legend and carried us in every game.
If I were to give any criticism about the event, it would be about the prizing. Many players, including myself, were under the impression that everyone would be receiving some kind of prize. On the Facebook event page, “door prizes” was listed. A TO on Friday told me, “I am pretty sure everyone will be getting something” when I asked about the prizing. Ultimately, it was a free event and I enjoyed my time, as did other players, thus the prizing is not a big deal.
I look forward to future events similar to this one and hope the Microsoft store does as well. Hopefully next time more players can attend and more games can be played. It was a pleasure seeing everyone and see y’all at Tokyo in Tulsa.
Brandon “Leeroy” Williams