I’m An Intern In Charge Of a $100,000 eSports Event

Andrew_Wu_Readyforce_intern_LANHAMMERReadyforce, a college career networking company, has given me, a summer intern, $100,000 and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to put on something huge, the eSports gaming tournament LANHAMMER 2013.  Alex Mooradian, CEO at Readyforce approached me and said, “here’s a budget for LANHAMMER, here’s what I want to do with it, make it happen” and tasked me with the challenge of combining the elements of a career fair with a gaming tournament.  Thus LANHAMMER was born – a two-day, free-to-enter $25,000 gaming tournament designed to connect engineering students and interns with some of Silicon Valley’s top tech companies and startups.  LANHAMMER will take place August 17-18, 2013 at DogPatch WineWorks in San Francisco, CA and expects to attract over 2,000 participants.

My Journey as an eSports Pioneer

esports_Readyforce_UCSD_Winter_Game_fest

UCSD Winter Game Fest 2013.  Photo Source: Fanboygaming.com

The first eSports event I ever planned was UCSD’s Winter Game Fest which started 8 years ago as a small gathering of 40 people with half a dozen TV’s playing for a couple Target and Jamba Juice gift cards. After five years under my leadership, Winter Game Fest grew into a three-day free-to-play gaming extravaganza attracting over 3,000 participants across the nation.  My organizational hustle, troubleshooting, and marketing experience landed me this opportunity with Readyforce, and I am one of those lucky few that Day[9] refers to that has turned eSports into a career opportunity.

Breaking Barriers

When you think of career fairs, eSports generally isn’t the first thing that comes to mind, and that’s why it is such a challenge to work on LANHAMMER. It’s different but untested and companies take a little more convincing to jump on board the LANHAMMER train.  I had only two months to attract sponsors, get companies to come play in our tournaments and recruit, and lock down a venue. Not only that, getting enough bandwidth to support 300 computers and game consoles proved to be a great challenge as well.  But still, I’m lucky to have this opportunity to be one of the pioneers of eSports events in the Bay Area and highly value the job experience Readyforce has given me.

ESports and LANHAMMER

ESports has been on the rise with recent tournaments such as EVOMLGThe International, and LCS hitting record numbers in attendance, prize money, and online spectatorship. And in recent news, Riot Games has made breakthroughs with the United States Government as League of Legends players are now eligible to apply for internationally recognized athlete visas.

ESports’ recent surge in popularity can be used to help foster connections for job seekers in a positive way.  We’ve been through it before, churning out resumes day-to-day each one only to be glanced over and dismissed by companies who get thousands of applications from people more qualified than you. The fifty you sent out this week nets you one callback, you go through the stages of the interview in well-tailored clothes that you really couldn’t afford, and you get do it all over again if you don’t get the job.  All-in-all, a very stale and generic process.

However, once you put a name to the face, established direct contact with a real person from the company and have shown some personality, your doors open much wider. LANHAMMER is there to bridge the gap in a unique way – eSports.

LANHAMMER is giving away over $25,000 in prize money and features tournaments in five of the most popular games in today’s competitive gaming world: StarCraft II, League of Legends, Dota 2, Street Fighter, and Marvel vs. Capcom.  We’ve presented companies with the unique opportunity to reach out, network, and connect to the engineering student and intern demographic in a fun, social, and innovative way.  We’re hoping for some great competition and moreover some greater connections to be formed at our event.

If you want to support my cause, nothing would me happier than if you came to LANHAMMER to see what it’s all about. My eSports journey is really just beginning.

Interested in coming to LANHAMMER? Click here http://lanhammer2013.com

Have suggestions or questions for me? Please comment over on Hacker News.

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