Newbury Racecourse. It doesn't sound like the sort of place that one thousand avid gamers would gather to blow chunks out of one another, does it? But, for as far back as we can remember (three years), Multiplay's I-series LANs have drawn huge numbers of people to this most peculiar of venues. And pizza. Lots of pizza.
If you live in the UK or within hopping distance of Newbury, you will certainly want to consider taking in a long weekend of death and destruction on March 14th to 16th for i15. The event, it was announced late yesterday, is to be sponsored by Ubi Soft in the name of Raven Shield. Unfortunately the latest Clancy FPS isn't due out until March 21st, but that isn't stopping the game's publisher from putting up £2,000 (as well as Radeon 9000 graphics cards) as a prize to the team which triumphs in the Raven Shield demo tournament.
"Ubi Soft was delighted with the overwhelming response that Raven Shield received at i14," said brand manager Jim Hill, who we'd say probably isn't used to working on games of the awesome calibre of Raven Shield! "This was the first opportunity for the public to play the game (via the demo) and over 60 teams entered the tournament." Proof positive that gamers will stop whinging in forums (which, entertainingly, we do still do in a LAN party setting) if there's a significant cash incentive.
"Attendance at the i-series has always been high, but at i15 we are hoping to top the 1000 mark, which will be a UK first for this kind of event," said Craig Fletcher, Multiplay MD. "The response to Raven Shield last year was fantastic, and with Ubi Soft again supporting the event we are sure that i15 can be the perfect launch-pad for the release of Raven Shield."
I15 runs from March 14-16, and if you're interested in attending, there's plenty more information here. Previous supporters have included Microsoft (because what better way to advertise a console-which-is-not-a-PC than to go to a PC LAN party?), Codemasters and various hardware firms.