Yesterday saw the first ever GamerCon event happen from the Convention Centre in Dublin and oh boy, it was a mess. Not just from a ‘booking’ perspective but from the event itself. It was lackluster!
First of all, let’s address the elephant in the room, the queues and the capacity!
As far as we (the general public) is aware, the Convention Centre Dublin (CCD) has the capacity of about 7,000! Yet, GamerCon was expecting over 20,000 people. That is nearly (if not more) than 3 times the capacity of CCD. Could you have not had this in a better location? Like the RDS or Croke Park?
Anyway, the major problem here is the ticket availability and booking.
According to this tweet on February 25th, ALL Saturday tickets were sold out and ONLY Sunday was available.
— moonbeam (@weemocky) February 25, 2017
But yet, I managed to secure a Saturday ticket quick easily on the Monday night before the event! (13th March)
So, what happened in that 2 week period…magically there was capacity for lots of other people or was GamerCon trying to push the boat out? I don’t know who’s decision this was to make the tickets available and it should have been noted with someone at CCD. I bet you a pound to a penny that CCD didn’t know the numbers that GamerCon were expecting!
I arrived at about 9:40am and entered the building at 10:25am or so after the long and unnecessary queueing. I could have explored half of Dublin in the time I was queueing. It was terribly planned out and I don’t think the stewards knew what was going on.
My 1st friend arrived at about 11am and took him a full hour to get to the door where the staff were scanning tickets and he was stopped. “We are at full capacity” said one of the staff members. There was at least 100 – 200 people (if not more) with kids behind him.
At one point, one of the staff members said to another “If they start storming in, let them…we can’t stop them”, which showed how much interest CCD staff had in the event.
It took him another 45 mins before he would get in.
My 2nd friend was a bit behind him and took him ANOTHER 30 mins to get through the door.
My 3rd friend arrived at 1pm and just walked through the front door…no ticket scanned, no security, nothing! Yet, there was people still queuing at the door.
When I actually got in, there was full queues for everything and it was difficult to know where to start. There wasn’t any paper information about what was where or what time was what…You were forced to download their app in order to view this information.
I first queued for the Razer bus. The wait time was anywhere from about 30 – 45 mins but we can safely say there was a massive queue for not a whole lot. You sat along with 7 other people and played either Rocket League, Call of Duty or Street Fighter for a few mins and then you head upstairs in this bus to sit at a station with a Razer Blade Stealth hooked up to monitors, Blackwidow X Chroma keyboard and Deathadder Chroma mice with Battlerite being played.
(THE ONLY GOOD THING ABOUT THIS EVENT IS HERE)
The new Razer Blackwidow X Chroma keyboard felt nice and Battlerite is a very nice game. I have even picked up Battlerite on Steam and I am about to place an order for the keyboard soon.
After about 10 mins, we were quickly escorted from the bus.
I walked around a bit, but couldn’t get to the stands nor any of the merch stalls because they were in chaos. All of the stalls (especially Gamestop) was nuts. I had to force my way to get to the counter to see anything and items were VERY expensive (Simple black t-shirts with a Horde logo from World of Warcraft costed €18) and figures costed about 10-20% more than what they really should have!
Gamestop was a nightmare. Lots of pushing and shoving (which seemed to be a normal thing at the event (again, I think we are about 13,000 – 15,000 people over the allotted capacity of CCD) and halfway through looking at the stuff, I bailed.
The Creative SoundBlaster X stand had 1v1 CSGO tournaments going on, so I decided to join it for the craic (Another 45 mins for this queue). When I got to the front, I couldn’t play because the last round of that particular tournament was finished and that I would have to wait another 45 mins before the next tournament started…After 45 mins of waiting, I was not going to be awaiting another 45 mins to play…So I said, “I’ll just play for the 4 mins and go” – 2 mins later, the guy said that there were going to start a new tournament right away.
(Why was there a 45 min wait in the first place???) I played one game, won, went to the other side of the booth, played again and lost. “Thanks for playing, here is a badge).
After that, I needed to get some food and drink, so I proceeded up to the first floor where there was, you guessed it…Another queue for the the ‘coffee station’. (I would have accepted if there was a few people queueing, but there was upwards of 30 people queueing)
Another 20 mins of queueing and hey…no food…Only crisps, a ricebar and a coffee. How disappointing. No sandwiches or light finger food.
(Btw, I should point out, you can’t leave the CCD to get food or else you won’t be allowed back in…How stupid).
As my friends and I explored the 1st floor which had the eSports & Console floor (We’ll get back to this), there was a League of Legends tournament and a CSGO tournament. I wasn’t that interested in League of Legends, so I looked around as my friends watched League. Nothing else on the 1st floor besides this and on the 2nd floor was the “Omen by HP” floor. There was an ampitheatere. I wanted to go in and check it ou- “Full Capacity” screamed a staff member.
I was turned away from this thing (I don’t even know what it was) and all the staff would say to me was “Full Capacity”…ok…fine then so.
Back to the first floor and in typical League of Legends style, matches were delayed, so my friend and I decided to look at some of the console stuff.
I couldn’t see any of the screens due to sheer amount of people queuing and blocking the vision. Apparently there was a ‘For Honor’ stand, a ‘Ghost Recon: Wildlands” stand, and Rocket League/Street Fighter V area and the CSGO area (Along with a couple of other uninteresting titles)
At one point, there was this one kid (About 11 or 12 years of age) going around shutting off Xbox’s while people were playing and started to disconnect the Xbox’s from the power. People were lifting PS4 controllers from tables and walking away with them.
Myself and my friends left and proceeded back up to the 2nd floor of the CCD where there was actually HOT FOOD! Whoo hoo! Now, it might have just been either a Chicken Burger or Nachos and Chilli, but it was still hot food and it was very nice for the money (This was provided by CCD and NOT Gamercon staff). Granted, I had to wait 15 mins for this, but was indeed worth it.
After we had the food, we decided to leave. I couldn’t put up with it any longer. My friends agreed and it was just a shambles of an event.
Overbooked, under whelming, staff didn’t care!
It might have been the first year but this should have been planned better and the manager for GamerCon needs to address this properly going into today (Sundays) event and hopefully then can resolve their issue going into their London/Berlin GamerCon’s.