A Response on our Minor LAN Cancellation

We would like to address the reaction to our announcement on cancelling this past weekend’s ‘Minor LAN’ for Call of Duty in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth. At the same time, we would like to explain further why we host these events.

Lack of pre-registrations

It is important to note that we do not make decisions to cancel events lightly but at less than 24-hours before the scheduled start of the LANs in those three cities, we had not reached the minimum entry requirement of four teams per venue to proceed. Only Durban had achieved this requirement, meaning it was not affected by the cancellation announcement.

Could we have waited before saying it was off? No. It is unreasonable to expect to keep our operations teams, venues and others working on the event waiting for an indefinite period of time for those who had failed to pre-register within a reasonable time. Set up needs to be completed and at some venues this has to be done before 4pm on the Friday.

Pre-registration itself does not guarantee entries either. At the previous weekend’s FIFA 18 and Injustice 2 events, actual attendance was well below the pre-registered numbers on the site, and in some cases resulted in event cancellation on the day at the venue.

There are costs incurred in any event we plan and cancellations before or on the day are not ideal. Lower than expected numbers have an equal financial impact, and is one that companies cannot be expected to carry indefinitely. These events are not sponsored. They are essentially self-financed by your participation.

It was with that in mind we offered the early bird discount options to our LAN events to ensure we knew exact entries to make advance planning easier for us and improve the event for you.

Why the Minors?

The two owners of ACGL have been operating tournaments and events for well over ten years, and we have always seen South Africa as a unique demographic in the international esports scene. We cannot simply pick a working model overseas and bring it wholesale to South Africa. Raw numbers dictate this won’t work.

Alongside the premium events we have had the privilege of working on, we are focused on how to get more players involved in the competitive scene locally. This has included outreach programs, school events, work with City of Cape Town and more.

The Minors were intended to be a way of ensuring costs (flights and accommodation) were not an entry barrier to attend competitive LAN events. To achieve this, we needed partners in other cities who shared our vision so that (almost) no matter where you were, there was an event near you.

We never expected full teams to participate in each city (unless all four members were based in said city). We expected more pick-up teams with friends, free agents and even first-timers teaming up and competing with a view to planning their step onto the next rung on the ladder – whether that be at an AfrEsports, EGE, rAge or other major event.

In fact, the ‘Minors’ are part of a much larger ecosystem we have developed, that starts well before the city LANs even happen. However all inter-connected events – both online and LAN – are tied together by the XP which is ultimately the seeding and ranking system that determines your placing at the bigger events.

The road ahead

This weekend was not a cancellation of anything other than three events due to lack of potential attendees. The programs continue and the Minors will happen. Dates will be announced soon, and we will be looking at adding other titles.

We will be doing a further strategy discussion to fix things that we believe aren’t working, but that will be with an eye to improving things for you as attendee. We are also open to hearing from you, so feel free to comment on the article or message us via social media.

In the meanwhile, we suggest that you book 27 to 29 July in your diaries, because EGE is coming, and those that know us, know what that means. We also have a few other announcements incoming about a few events which should appease many of you, not matter the title you play.

Thanks for the ongoing support. Without that, we – as proven this past weekend – can’t make things happen.

Clint, Nick and the entire #ACGLFamily