Constantin Duge

The Past and the Future of LAN Parties

ISPO Open Innovation Presents "LAN of the Future

After the successful premiere of the Electronic Sports Competition (ES_COM) by ISPO Digitize 2019, the development of the "LAN of the future" was the next project within the eSports activities of ISPO Digitize. Together with the ISPO Open Innovation Community, the ideas, schedule and wishes for a new LAN event in Munich were discussed in four project phases since October 2019. At ISPO Munich 2020, the concept was further advanced ahead of the event planned for the summer.

What does the "LAN of the future" look like?

What Is a LAN Party Anyway?

LAN parties are gaming parties within local networks. The computers are thus connected locally and directly via a network. This makes it possible to play against each other in one place with your own computers. The first LAN party took place in 1972. The first LAN with more than 1000 participants was in Duisburg in 1999.

Since these rather small beginnings, LAN parties have developed considerably. The world record for the biggest LAN party is currently held by the DreamHack Winter-2013 Party with more than 22,810 participants. So while the first parties were still more of a fun meeting of the community, LAN parties developed more and more into competitive events.

ISPO Open Innovation "LAN of the Future

Within the framework of the ISPO Open Innovation project "LAN of the future", Campus M21 and ISPO, together with the gaming community, which was involved via social networks and websites, for example, developed the concept of the LAN of the future, which will take place in summer 2020 as part of the second edition of the ES_COM (Electronic Sports Competition) by ISPO Digitize 2020. So the aim was to design one of the biggest LAN events in the DACH region together with the eSports Community.

Marcus Meyer, managing director of the Force of Disruption GmbH who is responsible for the organisation team of ES_COM 2020, explains:

"Together with the gaming and eSports community as well as stakeholders from politics, publishers, hardware manufacturers and all those who want to get involved in the eSports and gaming ecosystem, we want to develop and implement an eSports and gaming event in Munich. We believe in the power of the many to create a sustainable and authentic event for the coming years. The integrative basic idea of eSports is also familiar in this project with Messe München under the umbrella of ISPO Digitize and we are pleased to be part of this development".

Ergebnispräsentation des ISPO Open Innovation Projekts
Johannes Neuschmid (left) and Lars Suhrmann (right) discussing the results of the ISPO Open Innovation Project "LAN of the Future".

The Results

Different ideas on the concept of the "LAN of the future" were discussed and debated in the Discord Channel of the ISPO Open Innovation Project and during the ISPO Munich 2020. The community discussed the games to be played, how to best arrange accommodation, what equipment can be rented on site, whether there should be cosplay on site, how and which tournaments should take place and how the prizes should be designed.

"Of course, this input from the community is extremely valuable and clearly shows that we have hit a nerve with this project. The survey results help us to plan and organise the event and show us what the gaming community's expectations of such an event are," explains Lars Suhrmann from the gaming company Tentelian.

"The perfect LAN party does not exist"

Johannes Neuschmid, Founder & Chairman of XGS Esports e.V., sees the results of the ISPO Open Innovation Project very positive and is happy about the extensive input from such a large gaming community. Nevertheless it is difficult to organize a perfect LAN party.

The ISPO Open Innovation Project is a big step in the right direction, because LAN parties should remain what they have been from the beginning: A meeting of the gaming community and people with a shared enthusiasm for gaming, eSports and all forms of digital sports.

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Constantin Duge
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