Blizzcon 2017 Was The Best Convention All Year
I remember that fateful day in 2002 when dear geeky friends of mine told me that I just had to join them in gaming at a local Cyber Cafe by the name of Cyber Zone. There they introduced me to Diablo 2, Warcraft 3, and Starcraft. The needle entered my twelve year old veins and injected the sweetest of gaming drugs that would haunt me for all of my days to come. I remember coming home that night from losing every single match I played with eyes so swollen from exhaustion and just sitting there looking that the Blizzard logo flash across my screen and said under my breath, I love this company.
Since that day I have given countless hours of my life to travel the plains of Azeroth, engage in epic space battles in Starcraft, and fought minions of hell in Diablo. Almost every year Blizzard would advertise their convention, Blizzcon and every year I would swear to attend but would back out in fear of finances, travel, and lodging. When this year’s Blizzcon reared it’s head I settled with the notion of not being able to attend. However this time I had the (unwelcome and hostile)motivation of dear friends Schrei205 and Game2Hype to commit and attend. Sure enough, I found a way to gather the money, time, and energy to go.
Holy shit, it was the best convention I had ever been to.
Blizzcon 2017 blew every other event out of the water and is now the standard to which all other events will be measured.
The Anaheim Convention Center is one of the best convention centers that I have ever attended. It has a huge amount of space on the inside, multiple levels, and on the outside you have plenty of beautiful places for photo shoots. My personal favorite area is just beyond the entrance where a sea of food trucks reside! For other conventions such as WonderCon, they cram the convention center with vendors from wall to wall. For Blizzcon they sectioned off areas for their own separate games to give them all the love and affection they deserve.
If you were only a fan of Overwatch you could wander that area and get to play the new champion, watch the championship game, watch videos on panels of the game and so much more.
I was spoiled at this convention because of the World of Warcraft expansion announcement: Battle For Azeroth. I spent so much time gazing upon the art, statues, game play footage and more in that section. You could also participate in an art auction for incredible pieces signed by influential staff members from Blizzard and the proceeds all went to charity. They had something for everyone at Blizzcon!
If you got tired of the main exhibtor hall area, you could lose yourself in the mysterious Darkmoon Faire that offered games of chance and the ability to trade pins for other ones either privately or at designated booths. They also offered panels where you could go and ask whatever question your heart desired about your favorite game! I was blown away by the amount of care the put into every section. With the purchase of a Blizzcon ticket, every attendee received an awesome goodie bag filled with pins and figures that they encouraged folks to trade with one another and some patches or pins were exclusive to certain aspects of the conventions. Cospayers got pins, trying out demos offered another and so on!
Obviously cosplay is a hobby that we adore and Blizzcon really caters to their cosplayers. At other conventions the cosplay aspect is somewhat overlooked but at Blizzcon it is one of the main attractions. The first night of their event is dedicated to an entire masquerade where contestants walk in front of giant crowds to show off their hard work! At the end of the event winners and honorable mentions are announced. Every single cosplayer that walked the stage had such fantastic costumes and they each came from all around the world! I absolutely loved praising someone on their costume and them responding in a foreign language or thick accent.
I do want to mention that during Blizzcon I met up with CheshSmiles, who is a fellow staff member. She informed me of a cosplay malfunction where the bottom of her D.VA suit had ripped open. We hurried her off to the cosplay repair station where cosplayers gathers to touch up their costumes or just to relax. There she worried she would have to go to the bathroom and undress in order to repair her costume, it was then a saint appeared! A wonderful cosplayer and woman by the name of Inanimate Cosplay volunteered to help her sew her suit. We could not believe how kind she was and thanked her profusely!
In the cosplay repair station tables were laid out with tons of supplies along with staff who were bilingual to assist anyone in need regardless of what language they spoke. I think this is so fucking cool of them to go that far to make sure their cosplayers were appreciated and taken care of.
There was so much to do and see at Blizzcon from championship games, panels featuring revered voice actors from Blizzard games, demos of upcoming gameplay, cosplay masquerades, and a ending ceremony featuring Muse! I got to attend the Heroes of the Storm finals between Fnatic and Black. As a Heroes fan, I was swept away by the hype of the best of five series and loved seeing just how much attention and care the game received.
My favorite aspect of all of the events was not the events itself but the hard working staff. Speaking of which…
I have never been to a convention where the staff where so informed and hardworking. Every single person I asked for help knew exactly what and where my goal was. If crowds got out of control they rushed to help establish order. If anyone was caught harassing others in game or out, security stepped in and dealt with it swiftly. Security checked bags efficiently and thoroughly to ensure nothing harmful would be brought in. Despite the scary events earlier this year at a convention, they still allowed a majority of props in and around the convention center so cosplayers could strut their stuff in all their glory!
An unexpected aspect of the convention was the people themselves. Fans of Blizzard games from all over the world came to celebrate their love of the games with spend too much time in. I had so many casual conversations with random people I stood next to in line about what we loved about World of Warcraft or Overwatch. The vibe was so positive and uplifting! Not to mention such major influencers from YouTube or Twitch came down to have fun as well and were all in good spirits! I geeked out completely at Jesse Cox.
The best cosplayers were also there and chatting it up with other members of the community as well as fans alike! All year I spend my time admiring and supporting these human beings and finally, at this one event all of them were crowded around dressed in costumes from my favorite game and welcomed fans. It was an experience!
Admittedly, I am bias because I am such a huge fan of Blizzard and it was my first time attending but I swear to everything that this was the best convention I had every been to. For the price of a ticket you got goodies, access to exclusive high quality events, you were surrounded by the best cosplayers in the world, could see your favorite YouTubers geek out at the convention as well and so much more.
The experience of Blizzcon is a wonderful one. I highly recommend this event to any fan of Blizzard! The price point and journey is worth it! The only way that it could not be incredible is if you are not a fan of their products but then again why would you ever attend if you weren’t a fan?