#ESGS2019 Review: A Surreal Three Days

Tech and Esports fans came in droves last October 25 to 27 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City for the Electronic Sports and Gaming Summit 2019 (ESGS).

Admittedly, I’m not the biggest fan of video games or esports. My knowledge of video games are limited to Super Mario, WWE and the occasional dip into Assassin’s Creed.

Jude and I were shocked to discover an email that was sent to use about two to three weeks ahead of the event inviting us to cover ESGS2019. Last year, we were mere attendees covering the event for our blog. What came next would change the way we saw how conventions were run. Here’s our review of ESGS 2019:

Bear in mind that we had media access thanks to Ripple 8 Management and PLDT Smart. We would like to thank them immensely for the invitation. I’ll also be using Asiapop Comicon as the main comparison point because it’s the biggest event I can think of that is on the same level as ESGS.

Crowds

I attended Day 1 at 4:30pm and everything was moving smoothly. There were no long lines and the venue wasn’t too packed. There was a ton of space to walk. I was talking to one of the hosts of the PLDT Booth and they said Saturday was packed as heck. Sunday was quite crazy too.

An interview with Dexie Diaz

Due to the fact that PLDT had celebrity guests, it was expected that there would be crowds surrounding the talent holding area. The esports athletes got in and out easily however, the celebrities did not share the same experience.

On Day 1, we had the opportunity to talk to Dexie Diaz, Myrtle Sarrosa on Day 2 and Alodia Gosiengfiao on Day 3. It’s still surreal that we got to interview these personalities.

An interview with Alodia

After our media scrum, we had to leave the holding area immediately because there were so many fans waiting. As I was leaving the talent holding area, there was an enormous crowd just waiting for celebrity guest Alodia Gosiengfiao to come out.

It was a crazy experience for a first-timer such as myself. However, I’m glad that everyone at Ripple 8 and PLDT got every security detail ready to get us, the media, and the guests out safely.

Venue & Booths

Man. This is what I wish APCC was like.

The 2nd floor was kind of unnecessary to be honest. Use the entire space on the 1st floor. They would have been able to save tons of money that way. The layout for artists was much better this year. It wasn’t a literal artist alley where you can barely see anyone because of some hidden barriers. Indie Games were set together in one area which was nice. I wish it was a bit bigger though.

Asiapop’s cancellation really caused a huge influx of artists in ESGS. Last year, ESGS had fewer artists in their lineup. Many of the artists I talked to said that they would not usually attend ESGS at all.

However, this year was different. I had a feeling ESGS sensed that there would be a large number of artists looking for a different avenue to sell their work and the event found a way to accommodate everyone.

I found multitudes of games in the area. You didn’t just have PC and console games. Attendees could also find mobile games and tabletop games which are all the rage, thanks to the rise of Dungeons and Dragons in the Philippines.

We haven’t even started with the gigantic Nintendo booth. Thanks to their exclusive Asian distributor, Maxsoft, Nintendo had a humongous display to show off the Switch.

I also want to talk about the space given to the independent games. It was a small rectangle. However, I feel like their area could have been a little bit bigger. You see, there was an area of the hall that featured a mini ball pit. Just like Dashcon.

Artists

From celebrities to artists, there was an abundance of people to talk to.

We talked to artist Avenoire about her experience in ESGS and more.

We talked to Avenoire about her Connor Cosplay and the ESGS Experience.

We even had the opportunity to talk to Gio Custodio aka Loser Mangaka about his video game Loser Man Goes Running:

An interview with Loser Mangaka

ESGS 2019 truly had something for everyone. Whether you’re a casual player such as myself or a more serious player like Jude, you would find something to your liking. The addition of more artists gave the even variety from all of the video games and helps you take a break from the chaos of the exhibitor section.

Lining Up

The media line was pretty quick. We both had to make a few calls first before actually getting our passes though. Also, we had a paper pass, not a plastic one because the passes ran out. Not complaining though. It was still fun.

Pros

Almost every feature of the event ran efficiently. No issues whatsoever. Whenever a delay occurred, the organizing team was at the ready to adjust the activities accordingly.

Cons

Maybe a little bit of crowd control would be nice. Attendees were bumping left and right in certain sections of the convention center on Sunday.

Friday was fine though. I heard Saturday was the most packed day of all.

My only major concern would be the sizing of the tables for the artists. I get it. This isn’t a convention for artists but, it would have been nice to give them more space to showcase their work. That’s all.

A wonderful weekend

This was probably the most organized convention I’ve been to. It might even be inches better than APCC in my personal opinion. Three days after ESGS 2019, I still can’t get over how organized the event was. ESGS gave me a new perspective on how events are run.

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