Otakuthon: my first artist alley

I was really hoping to be able to get a table in the artist alley at this year’s Otakuthon, Montreal’s biggest anime convention, but my work situation wasn’t sorted out in time for the application. I sadly put that hope away and would try again next year.

Until, a month before the convention, a little angel called Genystar posted in an artist group that she was looking for a table mate. HeyGuys.

So here I am! Living it up, going to my first convention as an artist! Going to check that off my bucket list ✔

My first artist alley table at Otakuthon

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I practiced my table setup before the con and I’m super happy with it!

The convention itself went by super quick, it was just a blur of awesome people! Everyone at a con is just so happy to be there and it feelsgoodman to be surrounded by people who love the same stuff as you. I met a lot of Overwatch fans and we talked about our favorite heroes and everything we love about the game, including Jeff haha.

I was so stunned that a few con-goers actually recognized me as IDDQT from my Overwatch team Sailor Scouts. It makes me so happy to know that our team is a project that people feel a connection to. But even more humbling is one girl recognized me as the girl that she voted for as Team Canada’s community lead. I wanted to cry when she asked me if I had won, haha 😭😭😭

Overall, I’m super proud of what I was able to accomplish with only 4 weeks to get ready for the con and I had an excellent experience, 10/10 want to do it again.

If I could give any tips to someone interested in getting an artist alley table for the first time, it would be:

  1. Sharing a table for your first con is an excellent idea!
    I’m so happy to have shared the table with a super friendly person. We watched each other’s stuff while the other took bathroom breaks and helped each other bag the other’s sales while we interacted with customers. It was also a lot less lonely to have someone to chat with when the crowds were smaller.
  2. You are going to need a lot of water and snacks!
    Do not underestimate the quantity of water you are going to need! You are going to talk to over 1,000 people and some of them will want to stick around and chat! So stay hydrated to keep your saliva supply in check. Also, unless you have a few friends on hand to bring you food (thank you Jessie and Sara!!), you are going to want to bring snacks with you to keep you from being hangry.
  3. Keep your cash on you and only on you!
    There were a few thieves at Otakuthon, that had been previously been spotted at past cons across Quebec and Ontario. So better be safe than sorry. You cash should always be held on you in a fanny pack or crossbody bag and then tie wrap that to your body. I, myself, used a crossbody bag and tied it to my belt loop on my shorts. Good luck stealing my money without taking my pants.
  4. Keep a record of everything!
    You are a business person so obviously you need to know what you sold throughout the weekend. Not only can you keep track how your money but what items sell best so that you are ready for your next con!

Can’t wait to see you next year Otakuthon,
IDDQT ❤

Sailor Scouts invade Saguenay’s Saggeek convention!

The team was invited last weekend to attend the 3rd annual Saggeek convention in the beautiful Saguenay, 5 hours from Montreal.

One of our players, Quake, is actually a local from there and her parents still live nearby with their tiny little Yorkshire puppy. Since Quake is a native of the area, I hopped in her car for the long ride to the convention. We karaoke’d the road trip classics: Taylor Swift, Britney Spears and Katy Perry.

Arriving at Saggeek, we were part of their inaugural geek game where invited guests were separated by gender to play a reenactment of the popular Quebecois show; La Fureur. The Scouts were paired up with Valerie from Le Bento à Valérie (Quake and I totally grabbed a copy of her super kawaii cookbook!) and across from us were popular Youtubers; Steelorse and Luduc and friends. I’m sad to say we lost but I honestly had no clue about the theme: shows from our childhood. We totally didn’t have the same childhood as between the contestants, we probably had almost a 15 year difference!

Afterwards, we hosted a panel to discuss women in esports, similar to the one at Montreal Comiccon that we did the week before.

This is the coolest part though: we then split the Scouts into two teams of 3 and invited con goers to join us for some custom games! We shotcalled and encouraged the players, some new to the game, and just had a blast. For some of the guests, it was their first time playing in a team setting with a little bit of structure and I think they really enjoyed it 🙂

Afterwards, our duties were over at the convention and we got to walk around the exhibitor area, get temporary tattoos, buy some cute souvenirs and head off to the local gamer bar Le Versus. WHICH WAS SO FREAKING AWESOME BTW. Le Versus is a gamer and board game bar with themed drinks and food. I loved it so so so much, I recommend anyone within a 2 hours driving radius needs to go now!! For non-alcohol drinkers like me, I especially appreciated the variety of virgin cocktails. Try the Pikachu!

We played a bit of Mario Kart, the Fabulous / Quake rivalry was pretty intense! And then sang along with the table next to us to Queen. The night ended perfectly with line dancing to Shania Twain’s I feel like a woman. I tried my best to follow haha – video from le Versus here. We took a few dabbing photos on the sidewalk and then headed back to Quake’s parents for some beauty sleep. The next morning, we set out early on our drive back home.

Thank you so much to Saggeek for inviting the Sailor Scouts, it was an amazing experience that we will never forget. Fingers crossed that we get to come back next year!

xoxo,

IDDQT ♥

Montreal Comiccon Sailor Scouts panel + meeting THE Charlet Chung

My competitive all female Overwatch team, the Sailor Scouts hosted their first panel this past weekend at Montreal Comiccon! And to be honest, it couldn’t have gone any better!

Team Sailor Scouts Overwatch panel of women in Esports at Montreal Comiccon, photo by Jessica Turcotte

Photo by Jessica Turcotte.

Annie, Quake, Fabulous and I did a presentation on our team and women in esports. At first, I was a bit nervous than no one would show up; 5 minutes before the panel, only our friends were sitting in the room. But thankfully, a little over 30 people showed up once we began the conference. What a relief XD

Team Sailor Scouts Overwatch panel of women in Esports at Montreal Comiccon

Pre-dabbing show for good luck.

After our panel, we took a few Q&As and thanked everyone for coming. Unexpectedly, people came up to the stage to ask for photos and autographs from the team! How crazy is that?? It kind of put things into perspective that we are not just playing Overwatch and going to compete at LAN tournaments for fun; our team also represents local women who want to enjoy their hobby and passion. Young girls were among the attendees at the panel and we definitely have to set a good example for the next generation of gamers.

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See more amazing cosplays at Montreal Comiccon on the Facebook album.

Ok so here’s the next crazy part of the weekend: Charlet Chung was at the con!

We have two D.Va mains on the team so we obviously had to see her Q&A panel (in which she was adorable AND hilarious) and get in line for her photo and autograph sessions. We brought her a team jersey to sign and she was super super excited about it (although staffers didn’t seem to be XD) and we must have talked like a thousand words a minute in the little time we got to spend with her. But Charlet Chung seems to be genuine 10/10 amazing person.

The autograph on the jersey reads: ”Go Sailor Scouts! Nerf this! Love, Dva. Charlet Chung”.

I’m pretty sure Annie was on the verge of tears (who btw is ranked #22 D.Va in North America, just saying). You cry if you want, Annie!

What a great weekend! And we are already on the road again this Friday to Saggeek, as official guests of the con!

Follow your dreams, people. I can’t believe all the things I am currently doing with the Sailor Scouts. If you want to play video games, you do your thang as long as you are getting out there, meeting good people and having fun.

xoxo
IDDQT

 

Bucket list: ✓ Go to Blizzcon

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.

IDDQTPIE Blizzcon 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.

IDDQTPIE Blizzcon Lineup

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;;;

IDDQTPIE Blizzcon OVerwatch World Cup 2017

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)

IDDQTPIE Blizzcon Mangachu Alphacast Seagull xQC

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.

https://clips.twitch.tv/embed?clip=NiceArtsyEggKeyboardCat

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.

IDDQTPIE Blizzcon Convention 2017 Jonny Cruz

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.

❤ IDDQTPIE