Hello Cloth5 fans – Today we have an interview with Bryan Mc Namara, the Community and Events Director from Gaming Leagues of Ireland, and he is here to tell you a little about the organization and how you guys both in and around Ireland can get involved!
How Did This Begin?
The Gaming Leagues of Ireland was set up by myself and Theo Goyvaerts at the beginning of 2014. Theo had contacted me through Geek Ireland in relation to our efforts to promote the eSport scene in Ireland by setting up online leagues for players and teams to compete against each other for ‘Honour and Glory!’
After chatting for a while, we decided that we should tackle the offline, or LAN scene, in Ireland for eSports, as it had yet to be done on any kind of large scale. With that, Gaming Leagues of Ireland (GLOI) was born and we set our goal of holding the first LAN in March of 2014.
In order to let people know what it was that we were trying to do, we set up a Facebook group, “Irish eSport & Gaming Community“ (you’ll need to be approved by the admins to view the group) where we discussed our plans with our members and took on board what they had to say on how we should try and achieve what we set out to do.
The First LANs
After a short online qualifying series with twelve teams, we then held our first LAN of League of Legends in Dublin, which received great support from the community and Riot Games. It was very evident that there was a genuine thirst for more of these LAN’s, and of course, on a bigger scale.
After the success of our first LAN, we brought Kevin Lynch on board from DubLAN as a director on the GLOI team. Kevin had a lot of experience and success in hosting Call of Duty tournaments in Ireland and it was important for us to be able to expand our event so that as many people as possible could be included in the fun!
We immediately got to work with planning the next iteration of G-LAN, which would take place in Dublin on July 19/20 and would feature League of Legends, Call of Duty, TCG/VGCs and console gaming. We saw a jump in team sign-ups from an initial twelve in March to 21 for July, in terms of League of Legends.
The weekend saw the quarter-finalists of the online bracket come to compete at the live finals – This was a major success which saw more than 400 people come along to check out what it was all about. Call of Duty was also majorly successful, with thanks to DBGaming coming over from the UK, as well as several teams that traveled from the UK and NI.
The Future of G-LAN
It’s only a few short days since out last LAN and we’re already working on the next one. The hunger in the community for “more, bigger, and better,” is intoxicating and we’re working hard to deliver just that. We’ve already confirmed that we’ll be bringing back League of Legends with an invitational tournament; we’ll be hosting the first LAN of the new Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and we’re going to be bringing StarCraft 2 into the fold.
We’re still ironing out the finer details, but we’ve got our dates for the next G-LAN (15th-16th November), which is already popularly known as WinterLAN.
Going forward from this, we’re going to continue to develop the games/tournaments that we already offer, while doing our best to keep it competitive and meaningful. Our plan is to host G-LAN three times a year – In March, July, and November, which we believe gives ample time for teams to develop their form and practice together, while also keeping any rankings in our leagues accurate, with room for growth.
While G-LAN is a great event for the players, we’re also very conscious of the spectators and supporters who come along to enjoy the matches and support their friends. We are working very hard for these people too, to keep them entertained and occupied throughout the duration of the weekend.
We do this by offering free-to-play console rooms, TCG/VGC tournaments, Table-quizzes, and community games vs the admins of G-LAN in League of Legends, etc. We’ve already expanded on this offering for WinterLAN, which we’ll be announcing quite soon, but what I can tell you here first on Cloth5 is that we’ll be hosting a retro gaming tournament, which promises to be a lot of fun!
The Guys Behind The Fun
Theo Goyvaerts – CEO
Theo is the current CEO of Gaming Leagues of Ireland. He’s very involved in the daily operations of GLOI and working on an ongoing basis in the planning of our events. Theo has a passion for gaming and developing eSports here in Ireland, which makes him an ideal person to head up our group. Working with our event partners and securing new sponsors is the work of the day for Theo when he’s not too busy getting his ass kicked in League of Legends, which he does very well!
Bryan Mc Namara – Community and Events Director
Bryan manages our online community and works with the team to both set up and run the online tournaments before bringing them to the LAN. While working full time and studying for his chartered accountancy, Bryan is always trying to bring a new twist to G-LAN to make the event run as smoothly as possible and to keep it unique and a solid measure of success.
Kevin Lynch – Call of Duty & UK Coordinator
Kevin comes to us from DubLAN, which has merged into what is now commonly known as, G-LAN. Kevin spends most of his days (when not busy at work) dealing with all of the Call of Duty fans on Twitter. Kevin is also part of DBGaming who are based in the UK and work with us to deliver the biggest and best Call of Duty tournament anywhere in Ireland. Kevin spends a lot of time working with teams and helping them get what they need in order to come along to the LAN to compete.
Hyeong-Jin Oh – Chief Referee
‘Jin’ comes to us from Korea and heads up our team of referees. Jin was the former Assistant Manager and Chief Referee at the Korean eSports Association, more commonly known as, KeSPA. Needless to say, Jin brings a wealth of experience and integrity to our event and we’re delighted to be able to work with him on an ongoing basis. He is very well recieved by the community and garners a great amount of trust from players and supporters alike. Jin is currently in Ireland to develop his English speaking skills, which he is excelling at!
David Jaffray – Staff Manager
David is curently studying at AIT for a BA in Social Studies. This, coupled with his bubbly personality, makes him an ideal choice to manage our diverse team over the weekend of our LAN’s to make sure that they know what it is that they need to be doing, as well as making sure that they have what they need and are enjoying their experience. While not feeding his Pokémon addiction or feeding in Top Lane, ‘Jaffa’ is always trying his best to meet the needs of our volunteers for the next LAN in order to keep the stress levels low and the fun levels high.
Huge thanks go out to all our sponsors who have been instrumental in making our LANs happen! DBGaming, Squidgrip, JMods, Astro Gaming, Bizzaro Cupcakes, ABeadsCStart & ComicVault.ie
If you’re building a League of Legends community project like Gaming Leagues of Ireland then Cloth5 would like to know! Get in touch by dropping me a message on Twitter: @C5Fridgecake!