Garena says goodbye to virtual LAN feature for several countries

Garena has apparently removed virtual LAN from Garena+ client without any notice. All games including Warcraft 3 TFT/DotA, Counter-Strike and Age of Empire etc. are no longer supported. Users around the world are unable to join game rooms as loading gets stuck at “Auth in Main Server”. Also, new Garena+ update is being rolled out in which LAN Games button is completely removed.

What will be the Damage ?


Garena’s main forums are also put under maintenance. A week has been passed but there is no official announcement from them. According to some reports, Garena is short listing countries for LAN support meaning that only selected countries can access it. In the next Garena+ update, we may see significant changes to Garena+ client.

The sudden removal of LAN feature is indeed frustrating because a huge number of players have spent a great time on this platform and most importantly you can’t play your favorite game DotA. But don’t worry, until the things get sorted out you can play DotA on the following clients:
  1. Ranked Gaming Client – has a hostbot feature and automatic leaver ban, good community
  2. GameRanger – client configuration is a bit complicated at first but plays DotA fine
  3. ICCup – Similar to RGC, has hostbots, anti-hack support and ladder
  4. You know more? tell us in comments!
It would be unwise to assume that Garena is shutting down, no it is certainly not going to happen because Garena+ is still in collaboration with many other games such as Fifa Online, League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth and Path of Exile.

Through a very surprising and unannounced move, the virtual LAN feature of the Garena+ Client has been blocked for the users of certain countries. These players will not be able to use Garena+ for games such as Warcraft III, Call of Duty or Left4Dead.


Why Garena took this decision ?


Back in 2008/2009, Garena was one of the main platforms for several multiplayer games and their associated eSports. The reason was Garena’s virtual LAN feature, which allowed players inside the game ‘rooms’ to view and join the lobbies created by the room members, just as if they were connected locally. The fast and simple process was very appealing to gamers back then, especially at a time when actual matchmaking was almost non-existent for multiplayer games. However, as of May 2014, it seems that the virtual LAN feature has been removed from the Garena Plus client for several countries, showing the door to the respective  communities that preferred Garena instead of official servers or other similar platforms.

One of Garena’s most played games was Warcraft III, mainly due to DotA1. For a large period Garena was the most used DotA platform along with, and it played a significant role in developing the DotA competitive scene. This was accomplished by broadcasting games through GarenaTV, or interviewing and presenting professional players in the forums. The rise of other platforms such as Dotalicious, Ranked Gaming Client (RGC) or ICCup, combined with the release of DotA2, drew people away from Garena. The rooms devoted to DotA started going empty, but many players still trusted Garena (now Garena Plus) for their daily dose of DotA.

No official announcement has been made for the reasons behind the selective removal of the virtual LAN feature. There are claims that vLAN was only blocked in countries with a small population of Garena users, but more and more countries are expected to lose the ‘LAN Games’ button through upcoming client updates. The official Garena forum has been down for several days now, so people can only wonder what lead to this massive change by the Garena organization. It should be reminded that games such as League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth and Path of the Exile are still supported by the company, with thousands of players using the client every day.

We will provide more updates soon, stay tuned!

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