This past weekend I attended the Enthusiast Gaming Live Expo (EGLX). This event is Canada’s
largest gaming expo, filled with various exhibitors/artists, panels, cosplay, and of course eSports competitions! EGLX brought in a large crowd of video game lovers and the event was packed starting on Friday night. For a new convention, EGLX managed to bring in some big sponsors such as MSI, ESL, G2A, World Gaming and Twitch.
There were many eSports competitions to choose from, including Hearthstone, Super Smash Bros, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Halo 5, Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Street Fighter V, League of Legends, Dota 2, Community Tournaments such as Super Smash Bros, Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 and Mortal Combat
The MSI Hearthstone Tavern Tournament room was by far my favourite. It was beautifully set up with a main stage designed as a tavern complete with a suit of armour and crafted barrels. Competitors were playing face to face, with the presenters on a separate stage in the middle of the audience. Large screens were around the room showcasing what cards the competitors had in their hand. Canadian player ‘Prelude’ ended up winning the 128 player tournament.
The event had over 50 exhibitor booths, ranging from artists and indie developers to retail and guest studios. This was a great experience as you could not only play some of your favourite games at thee booths, but you had the chance to see some developers showcase their upcoming work and purchase merchandise from your favourite games.
One of the top booths was by far Toynk (Booth #124) who stole the show with their mystery boxes. Visitors could purchase companion cubes, or Mario boxes for $50 which held mystery video game related products such as t-shirts and Funko pop figurines. They were also selling larger Tardis boxes for $75 which held doctor who themed goodies, and large plushies. Some boxes even gave you the chance to win grand prizes such as an Xbox One.
The Oddbird Studio booth also stole the spotlight at this year’s EGLX. They are a game design team made up of Sheridan Bachelor of Game Design students. I went to Sheridan as well, so of course I had to check them out! They were showcasing their new game Arrow Heads, a multiplayer battle royale that had players eagerly lining up to get a glimpse of the game. Players had a choice of 4 different bird characters (Red, Blue, Yellow & Green) – you then used your weapon of choice (currently Bows & Arrows) to kill your opponents. Arrow Heads is available for free on their website: www.oddbirdstudio.ca
EGLX hosted a gaming-themed cosplay contest and handed out ten spot prizes throughout the whole event. The event went all out, and even had “The Art of Cosplay” which was a costume repair centre. There were a ton of Pokémon themed costume, but Meg Turney took the win in my heart with her Guild Wars 2 cosplay.
The cosplay highlighters included:
Meg Turney, Kudrel, Azzyland, Mrs. Violence, Zombie Bit Me, Yume, Kitsurie, Dex Morgan
Meg Turney was definitely one of the most popular of the EGLX celebrity guests – and I was in awe getting to finally meet her. Her Q&A Panel was hosted on Saturday, April 30th, and the community in that room was incredible. She started the panel hilariously trying to sit down in her chair wearing the tight corset and then proceeded to answer questions about youtube, cosplaying, and Rooster Teeth.
There were many other panels to choose from, whether you wanted to attend a celebrity Q&A, or an information panel like “How to build a live stream for your gaming community”.
EGLX had its own app which showcased the latest floor-plan, schedules, as well as hosted a scavenger hunt throughout the event. The app would give you hints as to where QR codes were hidden all over the convention, and you were sent off to find them. Once you had collected 5 of the 7 QR codes, you were entered to win a grand prize: a NEW Nintendo 3DS XL.
Overall, it was a very entertaining and interactive gaming event for the Toronto area. This convention is exactly what we had been missing, and I am excited to see EGLX grow in the upcoming years.