It’s already been 3 months since Blizzcon 2017 and I’m only writing about my experience now! I had such an unforgettable experience so I still wanted to write this down for anyone who is curious about how it went or anyone going to Blizzcon this year for their first time.
I arrived a few days ahead of Blizzcon to explore LA as it was my first time on the west coast and I wanted to do as much as I could while I was there. If it’s your first time in California, you definitely have to go check out Disneyland beforehand, it’s just down the street from the Anaheim Convention Center so you can stay at the same hotel you already have booked for Blizzcon.
I went to Disneyland early Thursday morning and left around 5:00PM to walk over to the convention center to pick up my badge and do my shopping.
There’s beautiful glass displays of every item on sale before you enter the shopping lineups, which is perfect to make sure you know what you are getting beforehand.
Also there is a small area where you can try on apparel to find your size.
Tip: You really need to do this on Thursday! Getting your badge is fairly fast (took me less than 30 minutes) but if you are buying anything from the store, be prepared!
There’s two ways to get your merchandise at Blizzcon. Either you wait in line with a physical paper catalog, check off everything you want to buy and at the front of the line, an employee will ring up everything for you. This is the longest way.
Or you can purchase everything you want on the Blizzcon app on your mobile phone, queue in the Blink store line and pick it up. Although this was the fastest way, it still took me around 2 hours to get my stuff because of the sheer number of people in line. It would probably have been faster in the morning.
Don’t wait until Friday to get this done, you are going to miss out on a lot of panels.
Friday morning, I woke up bright and early to get a good spot in the lineup. I arrived 2 hours before the convention opened its doors and as you can see on the left photo, there’s already a big crowd. But that’s nothing! The photo on the right was taken 20 minutes later!
Tip: You are probably going to be waiting outside for quite a while, so dress in layers. I thought California would be warm in November so I only wore a sweater over a dress, big mistake. It’s cold in the morning, cold indoors and hot at night when you leave so bring a backpack to store your extra layers when needed.
Most people around me were nice and easy to start chatting up, they all love the same things you do 🙂 so that’s a start. While waiting in line, I also managed to trade some of the blind pack goodie items I didn’t want to keep myself busy. If you are less social, bring yourself a DS or something to do while you wait.
Around an hour to opening, the Blizzcon staff brought out inflatable beach balls to toss in the crowd and that really got us hyped! Only a few people got hit in the face n_n;;;
The number 1 thing I wanted to do at Blizzcon was to watch the Overwatch World Cup live, so I rushed to the Overwatch arena, where I watched the opening ceremony on a screen (as opposed to live on the main stage).
Before entering the arena, there was a World Cup jersey booth. Originally, I had picked up a Korean jersey but then I thought it would be better to cheer on my home country and I returned to exchange it for team Canada. They actually didn’t mind switching at all, because the Korean jersey was already almost sold out!
Inside the arena, the stage was so spectacular. Exactly what you’d expect from watching previous Overwatch events. I got an amazing spot in the second row on the right from the players entrance. I chatted up the girl sitting next to me to turned out to be Chipshajen’s girlfriend teehee! (that’s why you see the back of IDDQD, he popped in the row to say hi to her and I totally missed my opportunity to say hi i’m IDDQT ;___; rip my life)
But since I had a great spot, I got to meet a lot of the players when they were walking in for pre-game setup.
I had made an xQC / team Canada sign the night before (which was pretty hard to drag around all weekend) and I absolutely had to get a photo with my favorite Winston player. He loved my poster and we took a couple of selfies, but I honestly don’t remember what I said to him lol. Controversies aside, xQC was very genuinely nice and thankful to all his fans and always took the maximum amount of time between games to take photos and autographs, before the stage handler rushes him to the backstage. He even got off stage once to go shake hands with a fan in a wheelchair, He is nice deep deep down inside!
The whole Canadian team were so friendly and were more than glad to spend time with their fans. Which I can’t say for all the other countries, where some players outright refused autographs and photos.
I also got to talk with Mangachu, who is hilarious! I asked him for a selfie and he said sure, why don’t you come on stage lol. This is probably one of the most epic fan photos ever! I watched one of his streams a month later and he remembered taking that photo teehee.
I ran into Alphacast inside the arena, and obviously we spoke french together. He was the captain of team France at the World Cup 2016 and this year he is on the french committee.
I mentioned I was friends with Drift and Kensigton, two french casters who now live in Montreal and of course he knew them. All french people know each other!
Last but not least, I met Seagull. Everyone knows him as a nice guy, and this is a huge understatement. HE IS SO SO NICE!! He was in front of the Omen by HP booth, playing some games and chatting with fans. I ran up to him and he wasn’t freaked out at all, he must get this all the time. There was so much I wanted to talk to him about but in the moment, the only thing that came to mind was ‘why are you wearing so much Lucio outfits this weekend?’ to which he replied ‘my Genji clothes didn’t come in time’. Totally understandable. My only regret at Blizzcon was not asking Seagull more questions.
Tip: Do not bring your selfie stick to California at all! I had mine confiscated at Disneyland and it was thrown away. I also saw several people get theirs taken away at the convention.
Other than cheer at the Overwatch Arena, I did explore the other parts of the convention. There was an enormous play area where you could try out the new hero Moira and the new hybrid map Blizzardworld, both announced at Blizzcon.
I thought it was super cute that they had a real life ‘solo queue’ where players who didn’t mind playing with strangers could line up and find a game much faster. It took me about 10 minutes to get in game this way. The whole thing was run very smoothly.
I watched a few panels: The future of Overwatch, What’s in the Lootbox, Voices of Overwatch and the Overwatch League.
Tip: To get a decent seat at a panel, you might need to arrive 20-40 minutes before it starts. Since the rooms are huge, you might not even have a direct line of sight with the speakers and have to watch on a big screen.
The rooms for the panels are usually booked back to back, so you might need to sit in a World of Warcraft panel while you wait. Which means, most of the seats are already taken and as soon as the current panel ends, you hurry to find an even better spot.
Food wise, there’s a lot of places to chose from. There are little food stands inside the convention center to grab quick sandwiches, salads, fries, burgers and ice cream. Or if you are in no rush, head outside in the courtyard or at the front entrance for a variety of food trucks. Food in LA is delicious!!
Tip: Bring cash! Not everybody accepts cards and my Canadian credit card had some trouble at the convention stands.
That pretty much sums up my extraordinary weekend. If money were not object, I would definitely come back next year, but more realistically, I think I wait two or three years before returning.