GamePlan Game Anime Expo (GAX) 2017

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On the 23rd and 24th of September 2017, the MAGIC RAIN team had the opportunity to attend GamePlan Game Anime Expo (GAX) 2017, which was held at Berjaya Times Square, Kuala Lumpur. Hosting the eagerly anticipated FV Cup 2017 (featuring CAPCOM Pro Tour: Street Fighter V and Tekken 7), top professional players from around Asia and even from USA flocked to the venue in order to test their might and prove themselves worthy of being called the champion! Other than the FV Cup 2017, the event featured other e-sport titles including Marvel vs Capcom, Overwatch, King of Fighters, FIFA 17 and Guilty Gear. Want to know what we thought of the event? Read on!


Venue

The event was hosted on the centre court of the G and LG floors, with the LG floor focusing on the many competitions ongoing and the G floor focusing on Mobile Legends as well as the anime/cosplay aspect of the event. The whole venue was definitely bustling with activity, what with all the performances and competitions planned out.

First things first, the venue was obviously insufficient to cope with the large-scale activities especially in regards to the competitions. There were too many things going on at one area which made it really, really hard to focus on what was being offered. If you wanted to make your way to the centre, you’d have to squeeze your way through and that’d be extremely difficult if there was a large crowd.

Depending on which competition you wanted to spectate, seats and space varied. For the FV Cup 2017, several rows of chairs were provided as well as the Overwatch tournament (albeit a lesser amount), that didn’t leave any space for the other spectators and you’d have to stand behind the players to watch. That actually caused a lot of human traffic congestion at the venue. Thankfully, the area wasn’t too confined so you wouldn’t have been stuck inside there for too long.

On the other hand, the venue allowed for the public to watch and witness the activities and competitions that were going on, which I felt was awesome and educational as it gave public exposure to the e-sports scene. The location was really convenient too as it was accessible by public transport (namely the Monorail) and there were plenty of food and drinks available if you ever felt hungry or thirsty.

Spectators for the OverWatch competition!


Activities

As mentioned before, there were a lot of activities going on on both floors of the event. The LG floor focused mainly on the various e-sports competitions which was very interesting. The experience could have been better though, as there were a lot of technical problems such as the unclear audio from the commentators, volumes not adjusted properly and so on.

Not only that, the event had small booths for you to view products and  try out some games such as a Virtual Reality game, Street Fighter V (PS4) and also a racing car simulation game with the entire setup ready. If you’re not too sure how the racing car simulation game is like, just imagine those racing car games in the arcades, but with equipment set up as if it’s a real racing car such as the weight of the steering, etc. Learning this fact was actually pretty intriguing and who knows when you will ever get the chance to experience something like this?

As for the cosplay aspect of the event, YingTze, Rikka Blurhound and Kazumi Noomi (Taiwan) were invited as cosplay guests. Throughout then event, they conducted meet and greet sessions, and also judged the contestants of the cosplay competition! Other than that, both singing and dancing performances from well-known groups such as The Crestfall, M’Moments, and others were also held which definitely hyped up the crowd attending the event on both days.

Kazumi Noomi, YingTze, and Rikka Blurhound during their Q&A session.


Conclusion

GamePlan was a pretty great event, in my opinion, especially if you’re an avid fan of the e-sports scene. As someone who has not been exposed much to the e-sports scene, I couldn’t appreciate it as much but this experience made me feel that there are still so much to discover in the ACG community in Malaysia. Many things definitely could have been improved such as the scheduling (whereby the schedule was only released on the night of Day 1), technical issues, and space issues. Overall, though, I’d recommend anyone and everyone in the ACG community to attend as this is something you may not have experienced before.

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