It’s like we have a Cologne obsession! Two weeks ago we went on a holiday there and amongst other things visited the zoo, and this week we hopped on the train again for Gamescom 2014! Gamescom, held in the Koelnmesse, is one of the biggest gaming conventions of Europe, and attracts thousands of people every year (340,000 people went to the one last year). There are giant stands and demos and giveaways and competitions and dozens of other fun things to do.
The first thing to do is of course, scout the grounds. Well, there are about 7 exhibition halls full with stands to explore, and we walked through all of them, grabbing some free stuffs where they were giving it away (we got some beta keys mostly, but there are also raffles for bigger things like shirts, graphics cards and mouses and keyboards). As I’ve also been to the 2012 Gamescom I knew it was going to be pretty massive and pretty busy, but it’s still kind of baffling how many people are walking around in those halls.
If you’re really excited about a new release, there are a lot of opportunities to queue up for games and play them for 10 minutes or so. Since the Gamescom is so busy, it can take hours until you get your turn. Especially games like Assassin’s Creed Unity were really popular. We’re more walking around kinds of people, so that’s what we mainly did.
My boyfriend and I are quite into the game League of Legends, which has an active pro-scene and a lot of esport tournaments. One of the really cool things is that the LCS EU Regionals (basically a big match for European League teams) are being held at Gamescom on a really big stage with commentators and everything. It’s such a big change from how things were two years ago, when the spectators would just sit on a few rows of folding chairs, while now they built a whole studio. We were lucky enough to get some really good places, and we watched three games from there.
The games are also broadcast through streaming channels on Twitch and Azubu, and after games they do interviews with the players and stuff. And guess who is standing right there in the background, between the interviewer and the interviewee…
That awkward wave? That’s me! 😀 Honestly, you should watch the whole sequence of me waving. It’s hilarious.
After that exciting adventure we walked the fair a bit more, and checked out the merch stands. There are a lot of cosplayers walking about, and in the cosplay village they have tons of stands selling all kind of geeky stuff like comics, action figures, pillows, Magic the Gathering cards… Gamescom caters for a quite diverse public, from hardcore gamers to the casual kind, and even just people that are into general geekery. The best thing is that it’s not expensive at all, I think we paid €8 for a ticket because we ordered online. Gamescom is a really fun experience if you happen to live in the neighbourhood. I’d love to visit some other gaming conventions some time to see how they compare.