epic.LAN - Fun UK LAN Gaming at its Best

epic.People - "We do Magic!"

Published 17/05/2016 22:05 by gitsie

Last time, we spoke to the eSports team about what it's like to work under Gumpster, organise our competitive participants, and be the 'bratty teenager' of the epic.LAN family. This time though, it's everyone's favourite onesie-wearing, Barrowman-loving red-head's time to shine. More than usual anyway. That's right, Gunmens kindly sat down with me to talk about exactly what it's like to be part of epic.LAN's much loved Front of House Team. The team that provides everyone with support, snacks and sweeties just like any good Nan would. A very foul-mouthed, modern kind of Nan.

Gunmens has been attending epic.LANs since the very beginning, having been at every LAN since epic.NINE and helping out where he could since epic.THREE. Officially the Front of House Lead since epic.FIFTEEN, there isn't much he doesn't know about what it's like to staff an epic event, and there's no doubt that most of you will also know him from his incredible Werewolf games that he mods every night at epic.LAN.

So Gunmens, you're no stranger to staffing at epic.LAN. As Front of House (FoH) Lead, what would you say a typical day is like on FoH?

We do magic. That's the only way to accurately describe what we do; FoH don't do just one thing. Because our role varies so much there's no such thing as a 'typical day'. We're the first point of contact and customer service at the event, which means that one minute you might be selling snacks and drinks and the next you might be helping someone with a technical issue. We help Event Team to keep the venue clean, we check everyone in, we help people find their seats, give tech support, keep the 24/7 shop stocked and clean, make sure everyone knows what's on the timetables for the day, support all other teams if they need extra hands on deck, and we make sure that any issues or problems are highlighted to Management ASAP. It's much more than that, and sometimes you wonder how it all fits in to one weekend, but like I said - we do Magic.

Being such a varied role, this might be a tough question. What's your favourite part of being on FoH?

The people are my favourite part. Seeing everyone come in, enjoy themselves and go home happy is what makes FoH so much fun and so rewarding. I worked in the Retail Industry for 12 years and I can honestly say, working at epic.LAN has been the only time that I have been able to provide the service I actually want to give. I can be myself 100% whilst also being part of a hardworking, dedicated team that genuinely enjoys making the events the best they can be for everyone.


I think being able to be yourself is the best bit about the epic.LAN community; we're a very welcoming bunch! With that in mind, if someone wanted to help staff on FoH, what skills would you say its important to have?

The epic.LAN community is very welcoming and accepting, and that's why having a personality is the only real skill you need to have on FoH. The role isn't easy, it's a lot of work and can get very busy, but as long as you enjoy talking to people and helping them - that's all you need. Skills can be taught, but being a people person and having a sense of humour is most important. Having said that, staffing at epic.LAN does help build up confidence, so if you're normally a quiet person you might find that FoH will help bring you out of your shell. It's always going to be handy if you have a retail or sales background but with my previous experience, and the fact that our manager, Nivek, has a long background in retail it's not essential.

Speaking of Nivek (FoH Manager, Kevin Wilson), what is he like to work with?

Nivek can throw around a lot of banter, which is typical of FoH as a team to be honest, but he is actually very supportive of his team and will always do what he can to help you out if you have any problems or need extra support. He has a long history in retail, something which really comes across at the event. It's not 'all work and no play' with Nivek though - he knows how to have fun with his team.


And what kind of experience can someone pick up from being part of the FoH team?

Well, in addition to the retail experience that you'll pick up naturally, being the 'front line' of customer service at the event means you get to meet a lot of new people. Most of us at epic.LAN have made some long-lasting friendships through being a staff member, and it all starts with getting to know the people who attend the events. You get to find out about new games, other eSports and social events, and you'll no doubt pick up some skills in tech support. FoH really is a great team to be on when you start staffing because you're constantly on the go when you're on shift, so you learn fast. 

One of the unique things about epic.LAN is that it caters directly to both social and competitive gamers. Do you feel like there is a divide betwen the two? And if so, how does that affect your role on FoH?

There is a difference, but no divide. The differences stay at desks though, as the way participants are supported throughout the event doesn't change based on where they sit or what they play. It's not uncommon now to see some of the participants from our tournaments joining in with boardgames or the nightly games of Werewolves that I mod. Recently, some of the teams who have been knocked out in the early stages of their tournaments have stayed on for the full weekend and gotten involved in the social games and fun tournaments. You also see a lot of the participants who sit in the social hall watching the tournaments on the central stream. It's nice to see, and it means the gap is closing. 

Favourite game?

Final Fantasy Seven - the music was WAY AWESOME!

Favourite quote?

Bitch please, I'm fabulous!

Favourite FoH team moment?

At epic.SEVENTEEN, when the entire FoH team asked people whether they were a cake person or a creme egg person. We had so many arguments about which was better. Obviously, it's creme egg!

Finally, who would be your dream team member?

Urm, me? I'm fabulous! Okay it would have to be Brian Cox. His great mind and my fabulousness would be an awesome combo.

So, we've met the tourettes-riddled Nan of the epic.LAN family. Next time, we meet her over-worked and sometimes under-appreciated daughter - the Mother of the epic.LAN team, the Event Team.