Baby's First Blizzcon
written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)
This year has been full of exciting and new experiences, one such new experience is making the trip down to Anaheim for the biggest party for Blizzard games. Friends and fans, I made it to Blizzcon!
While I've always been aware of and played Blizzard games, they honestly sat mid to low on my list of most played games. I've dabbled in World of Warcraft, bopped around in StarCraft, and grinded for loot in Diablo. Honestly, it wasn't until Overwatch came around that I fell head-first into the Blizz Soup. This year was incredibly special and one that I soon won't forget... this is my personal account of my very first Blizzcon.
Firstly, my main attraction was seeing all that Overwach had to offer at this show. Overwatch was one of the big reasons I came to the show, also to see the Overwatch World Cup live. This year was a landmark year, with the World Cup featuring much of what will shape Overwatch, and possibly other games, going forward in e-sports. With the Overwatch League set to begin, the World Cup featured the first look at how spectating Overwatch e-sports will differ from previous professional Overwatch matches. Team uniforms, both home and away, and colored effects that make spectating matches that much easier to follow for the viewers. They've been teasing it weeks in advance, but it wasn't until I actually saw it live that I realized how positive of a change this would be.
Each team felt unified and following the action was incredibly streamlined for the viewers. It felt like a step above what I was used to watching with pro Overwatch. The World Cup was a blast to experience, I was torn between rooting for my own team USA and my personal favorites South Korea. In the end, South Korea won the whole damn thing (again) but not before giving me hands down the most exciting match of the whole show when South Korea just barely squeaked by Team USA. I was sure that Team USA would have taken the whole thing if it weren't for South Korea. The rest of the matches had their high points, but after the USA vs South Korea match... the rest of the World Cup ended up being a “who will South Korea beat in the finals” sort of show.
Being a two-day con, I needed to manage my time as best as I could. I chose to spend most of my time watching the World Cup. When I did get out on the show floor, I spent my con checking out exhibits and demos. Trying out Overwatch's new hero and map was my main goal when I wasn't watching the World Cup. Thankfully, the major panels were all broadcast live and even when I was waiting in line for a demo I was able to take in much of the con.
Exploring Blizzcon was a very different experience to what I am used to when it comes to gaming conventions. Here in Seattle we have PAX West, a convention that hosts damn near 85,000 enthusiasts a year. The convention center is packed wall to wall, something that rarely happened at Blizzcon. Lines were very user friendly and rarely did I have to wait for more than 30 minutes to get in to a demo. I could line up for a couple hours at PAX just to get a 15 minute demo. It was quite refreshing and while the show was only two days, I felt like I really got my fill of the con.
This being my first Blizzcon, I wanted to make sure I did absolutely everything humanly possible that I could have done. From admiring all the amazing cosplayers, demos galore, the amazing World Cup, and of course being surrounded by like-minded fans. This was a year to remember, I will be back again next year at least to get that awesome Blizzcon goodie bag! I had a blast at Blizzcon, and even though I spent most of my time at all things Overwatch related, I still feel like I took in everything the con had to offer.