EGLX 2018

Brooke and I represented Rogues Portal at EGLX this past weekend! This was my first time attending, and the second time this event took place in Toronto this year. The whole event was geared towards more competitive, hardcore gamers, which is understandable since they did host the Canada Cup and WESG this year. Despite that, I feel they could have had more to offer casual players.

The event book had nice cover art, and I liked the simplistic layout for the featured articles, which included an interesting piece about gaming addiction. The upcoming games section was a nice touch, providing a brief overview of the dates of games coming out next quarter. The event book was printed on good quality paper and you could tell they spent a decent amount of money on making these books. Oddly though, it didn’t contain the schedule for what was going on for the weekend at the various stages, so you had to go to the website or walk around the event to the different boards to see the schedule. The material on the bags they gave out also rubbed off on your hand. While not a huge deal, it was a bit of an inconvenience.

Overall, I liked that there wasn’t too much of one thing and they had a nice variety of booths to visit from artists, indie games creators, tech companies and more. As I said, I would have liked to see some specific attractions or events geared towards the casual gamer. If you’re not interested in speed runs or competing in tournaments, there wasn’t really much else aside from the usual booths.

Nintendo had a nice setup to display Smash Bros Ultimate and Pokemon Let’s Go! It wasn’t anything massive, but it didn’t need to be. As expected, the Nintendo lines were long on Saturday, but it was at most a 30 minute wait, which isn’t a terrible. It’s not like they had much competition anyways. Microsoft was there, but only showing off some hardware and Minecraft. They didn’t have anything for Xbox. Sony didn’t even have a booth despite having a pretty big profile at FanExpo.

Waiting in line at the Nintendo booth

One side of the hall was taken up by stages for WESG and the Canada Cup, which had a decently sized section of chairs for the audience with large LG UltraGear screens to see all the action. However, they had the main stage on one end of the space and the wall of stages for the Canada Fighting Cup and WESG on the other. At times, the sound of both would compete with each other and you couldn’t hear either of them very well.

For the majority of games that were being showcased by companies, there wasn’t a lot of labeling, you just had to know what game it was. For the Canada Cup and some booths that were showing off different games, I had no idea what they were presenting and had to ask. There was also so much Fortnite. Most companies showcasing computers or gaming chairs were all demoing with Fortnite. I understand that it’s a popular game, but if you aren’t a fan of it like me, then it got repetitive to play and made me skip checking out their battlestation setups. I’m sure it was the booths decision of what game they would showcase and most played it safe with Fortnite, but I admired those that went with something different. Still, some companies didn’t take advantage of EGLX’s lower profile, compared to a larger event like FanExpo where they might get drowned out, to showcase themselves and get better one-on-one interactions.

There were ads everywhere for Warner Brothers’ upcoming game Lego DC Super-Villains, but they didn’t have a booth there themselves. Sadly, half the retro arcade games they had were off or not working on Saturday.

With the unveiling of the Toronto Overwatch League’s team name (Toronto Defiant) and logo at a launch party on Wednesday, I was hoping for a bit more information about it. There was the Toronto Overwatch League Team Introduction panel on Saturday where the team’s general manager Jaesun “Jae” Won and head coach Beom-joon “Bishop” Lee answered questions from the audience. However, they didn’t really have many answers since most of the team’s roster is under wraps and they weren’t willing to disclose too much information about what they have planned. They did reveal two players, Kang-jae “Envy” Lee and Se-hyeon “Neko” who were picked up from other Overwatch teams. I felt Blizzard also could have done something for EGLX in honour of the new team being announced, and on top of that, there was only one booth I saw that even had Overwatch as an option for people to to play!

Overall EGLX was a great show! There’s room to improve, like bringing in more events for casual gamers, but I had lots of fun. I must say, I don’t understand the need to have the event twice a year. Having it annually would have more of an impact. I’m sure EGLX just gets better each year, so I’m looking forward to seeing how it evolves further as eSports take root.

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