For some, there may appear to be too many people/businesses/groups operating LANs in South Africa, but the truth of the matter is that to grow gaming in this promising land of ours requires more people/businesses/groups doing what they can to bring the community together.
Darryl – or dAZ – from dAZLAN is one such person. Having started almost one year ago this month, the events have grown from their humble beginnings to a much larger beast. Based in Centurion and focusing on PC, it is the sort of “old school” LAN you used to host with your closest friends – only now you have your friend’s friends joining you for a weekend of virtual mayhem.
Tell us a little about dAZLAN.
Our first LAN was 13 May 2011. Our preparations started a year before that. dAZLAN is held in Wierdapark, Centurion on a monthly basis. We play COD4 MW (5v5), Counter Strike Source (5v5) & DotA (5v5).
Who are the main braaaaaaiiiiiiiinnnnnssss behind dAZLAN?
That would be myself (dAZ), as the name refers (dAZLAN) and there is a silent partner.
What did you hope to achieve when you first started?
We are creating a place for like minded people to get together and have fun. Online gaming is very impersonal and the gamer does not interact or meet the person/s that they are competing against.
How many attendees were at your first event, and where did you hold it?
We had nine attendees at our first event and it was held at our current location in Wierdapark.
Have you seen a growth in subsequent events?
Yes we are growing at a steady rate, this is due to the great atmosphere and service at our events. We had 61 attendees at our last event and 91 at the event before that.
In an ideal situation, how big would you like your events to get and how do you think that can be achieved?
At our current location, we can host a maximum of 150 seats. We are planning to expand to more than one venue in the near future.
How regularly do you host events?
Our current event is held on a monthly basis.
You offer services other than organising and hosting LANs – what are they?
We rent out our equipment and services to schools that wish to host LAN’s. We rent out our equipment and services to businesses that need a temporary network.
Do you ever feel a little like doing all this is a thankless task at times? Surely there’s a cost implication in hosting the events that leaves you at risk of not breaking even?
Not many people know what it takes to run a LAN. We have invested in the excess of R100-000, so that our customers can experience the best that a LAN can offer. We are in it for the long run, and see it as a long term investment.
What’s your game(s) and platform of choice?
First person would be my choice of platform. My favourite game is CSS (Old School).
Thanks for your time – is there anything else you would like to add?
We invite all gamers & geeks to come check us out. Our events are open to all. We are fully sponsored by Computer house, PC Partner & Inter Computers in Centurion.
You can find more about dAZLAN and their events on their official website, or via their Facebook Page and their Twitter account. Or you can email them [email@example.com] if you want to ask something specific.
If you are keen to feature in this column in the future, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll think about – after you’ve sent us a sample of your braaaaaaiiiiinnnnsss.