Three gamers compete in last year’s local area network gaming tournament at UW’s Half Acre Recreation and Wellness Center. This year’s tournament will be held virtually Saturday, Oct. 24. (UW Esports Club Photo)

The University of Wyoming ESports Club is virtually hosting the biannual local area network (LAN) gaming tournament Saturday, Oct. 24.

It might not be in the traditional room, but the free, friendly video gaming experience will still be held, according to club organizers. To join the server for a chance to compete, click here, or email Anthony Pappas, event coordinator, at apappas@uwyo.edu.

In the past, the tournament has been held in Half Acre Recreation and Wellness Center, but it is moving to a virtual format.

“This event is for anyone and everyone,” Pappas says. “We’ve had players who haven’t even touched games before and try their hand at it during the LAN event.

Although eSports have come a long in a short period of time, the idea is nothing new, especially in university labs and dormitories. On Oct. 19, 1972, the Laboratory for Artificial Intelligence at Stanford University organized the world’s first eSports tournament, named the Intergalactic Spacewar Olympics. Twenty-four players met to compete playing Spacewar!, a rudimentary spaceship battle game that utilized real-world physics initially developed by Steve Russell, Martin Graetz and Wayne Wiitanen in 1961.

The winner of the Intergalactic Olympics received an annual subscription to Rolling Stones magazine. 

Fast forward 50 years and champions of eSports competitions receive a little more than magazine subscriptions.
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