Esports event organiser and tournament provider epic.LAN has revealed its next event will include a mix of online elements plus a physical venue.
Epic33 will take place from July 1st to 4th 2021 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Coventry, with online tickets costing £15.
The hybrid event will start with online activities, including the esports tournaments and game servers, with attendees able to stay up to date on the epic.LAN Discord server.
Then a limited number of people can upgrade their tickets for a to-be-confirmed fee, to join a scaled-back physical LAN at its temporary new home in Coventry.
There will be between 80 and 160 LAN tickets available depending on whether both the May and June steps of UK Government guidelines proceed. Tickets to the physical event will be released in waves, with previous ticket holders being prioritised.
The past few epic.LAN events during the pandemic have been online-only events known as epic.WAN.
epic.LAN MD Jon Winkle said on the epic.LAN website: “Unfortunately our usual venue is not available for Epic33 this July. That left us with a dilemma for the event, which was already challenging with the global pandemic and the roadmap in England.
“Technically, events should be okay from June 21st, but the situation is constantly evolving and we’re watching Government and industry guidelines really carefully. So we’ve come up with a plan that will allow us to host Epic33 in a safe way for a small number of people who want to try attending events again, while retaining the online event format that has been popular for us over the past 12 months.”
Epic.LAN says it chose a hotel-based venue this time around to avoid communal sleeping arrangements – there won’t be any camping or indoor sleeping at Epic33.
Hotel bookings cost £50 per room per night, for two people, or £45 per room per night for an individual, including breakfast.
Esports tournament admins will not be on site, so communications there will be done purely on Discord. And servers/gameplay will be online on a shared connection.
The pub quiz will still take place online, and there won’t be any shared consoles or VR units at the venue either.
Epic.LAN did say that it has less control over connectivity at the new venue, and while bandwidth isn’t an issue, there may be certain ports blocked which could cause difficulties with some inbound services or games, and that’s why it’s focusing on the physical event being social-focused first.
Earlier this year, epic.LAN esports tournament prize pools were boosted following a trio of sponsor announcements, including Intel as headline partner for 2021, with the Epic32 esports winners announced in early March. The company also recently unveiled a new logo (pictured, top).
In other UK esports physical events news, the British Esports Association announced that its British Esports Championships student finals will take place at a live venue in July.
There’s more info on the Epic33 hybrid event in this Q&A on the epic.LAN Twitch channel.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.