The Electronic Sports and Gaming Summit or easier known as ESGS is a long running event that started on 2014 – usually being scheduled by the last week of October.
ESGS was a new event on top of a long list of annual events and truly it really did need to prove itself apart from the other cons that were considered veterans at this stage – some of the events even are problematic even with the given age it has.
As far as my memory reaches back – 2014 was rough year for conventions in the Philippines, This marked the start of old events raising their prices up and also the birth of new events that made the 400-500 peso standard. ESGS would still create its own mark on its first year and would be a success story that beat out other annual events after settling down on its 2nd year.
ESGS 2017 Problems
ESGS quickly found its way on the annual calendars of congoers due its great price to feature ratio and also the settled ticket price that as per the organizers would less likely be increased in the future. The event features a huge amount of big names and it’s only increasing at this point. ESGS haven’t really changed anything major in its layout but more of just adding more and more exhibitors in the same area space they’ve been doing.
ESGS 2017 drew problems from using a standard convention layout leading to walking area congestion and blockage due to long lines on demo booths which the exhibitors couldn’t do much about due to limited space between booths.
ESGS 2018: The Rebirth of the Legend
Even before the start of Day 1, we noticed something new from the event – It’s the layout. It turns out they created a layout to combat possible long lines and also exhibitor booth congestion; this allowed major exhibitor areas which are expected to have more activity to hold lines around their booth rather than have lines protruding on the walking areas.
Due to having the entire bottom halls under their disposal – It made more room and this is seen through the huge walking areas. From day 1 to day 3, even with the bump in con attendees – it never wasn’t too full to move through and I think this was a success on the event’s end.
It was a bit annoying that there was only 1 designated entrance and exit – which was positioned with a huge gap in between. It did remove the bottlenecks near those areas somehow
Artist’s Alley and Merchandise Area (The Lasons)
The organizers made a smart move to have the official event merchandise, artist’s alley, and 3rd party merchandise sellers all in separate areas – They really want to remove the crowding problem as far as we know.
The Artist’s Alley was significantly larger and more organized compared to past ESGS years. they also made it to a literal alley. I’ve passed by the Alley a couple of times on different days and times – It was surprisingly not crowded even with the high volume of people passing by and buying at the same time.
The event merchandise area was located next to the event quest area which made sense as you can opt to purchase the official merchandise upon starting the event experience.
The merchandisers area is a bit more crowded but good thing it had enough walking space to accommodate buyers and passer bys.
Major Exhibitor Areas
The ASUS ROG area stood out the most for me due to being one of the larger booths in the area but also because it was so well planned and drafted – it had different sections and it never had an over crowding problem despite the huge number of attendees passing by. ASUS ROG showcased all of their products (literally) from phones, to laptops, to peripherals and PC hardware – they took every effort to properly showcase it in their area. They even have their ROG Phone available in their booth
The HyperX booth was a bit smaller than the ASUS counterpart but it did handle maximizing their area well by cramming a selling area, display area, and mini stage. HyperX manages lines well and the deals and demo area is something that everyone was checking out. The new RAM and SSD modules was also displayed properly in the Rakk cases at one side of the booth.
The Logitech area handled their area by separating the selling and merchandise section with the media and demo area. It did annoy me that they didn’t handled the line well in the merchandise area enough that it just blocked the hallway entirely. Logitech was one of the more active booths due to Rumble Royale handling the always live demo area with their talents
The Predator area was a bit new because they had an area which was elevated (talk about maximizing) They’re booth mainly catered to VR experiences. however, they also had an auction during day 2 and day 3. Predator had a futuristic vibe going and due to their area and 2nd floor partition it made the booth very intimidating to look at
Booths that Stood Out
AOC Gaming booth was surprisingly an efficient booth. It was in the middle of everything but never did have a congestion problem no matter how many people line up for their booth – it could use a bigger play area but it did what it could to maximize their area. They had their monitors at the side which was perfect and also the selection of monitors for beginner and hardline enthusiasts made it welcoming to any congoer
Zotac had a corner booth – not that huge but very open which is good for their RTX display. The PC setup they had in the booth was also perfect for the design of the RTX card they featured as the seamless theme matched the design of the card. I have to be honest that among all RTX card designs, Zotac didn’t strike that much for me – their booth made me change my mind.
Galax had a small booth to begin with, but they had so much stuff available to see such as the new RAM modules and RTX cards they have. I have to say that the RAM modules were extremely minimalistic but never did it miss out in the show off department. Galax also had cool giveaways in their booth.
Fantech is like a scaled version of the Logitech booth but they have a more controllable crowd and instead of a demo area, they have a Crossfire tourney area by the side they partnered with which was a cool addition to their peripheral lineup.
Food area isn’t a booth but I’d like to appreciate the effort they did to organize and put a separator between the food stalls and hallway – It looked like it stood pretty well with the volume of people as well
The Playbook Arena took a huge chunk of space by the far left of the event halls. It handled the fighting games well and anyone was free to play the available games. They had a huge and highly visible stage with the whole area setup well enough to take space but not walking space to block people
Project Xandata takes attention mainly because of the utterly loud speakers. It is a cool game that also made an appearance last year. This year they handled the lines really well and from checking everyone had their fair share of gameplay time in the booth
What could be Improved
The speakers of different booths we’re fighting each other. one of my friends even had an awful time between the ASUS and Xandata booth because both we’re just raising their speaker volumes to fight each other. the case is similar to some booths as well but more noticeable between the Xandata, ASUS ROG, Main Stage, and Tier One booth. I wish next ESGS that the organizers could release regulations for speakers.
Internet quality is utterly important for any tech event. We received reports that the main ISP of the event had an unruly connection leading to some tournaments in the halls to have bad latency and also had some trouble at times in the media room. I know that the ISP of the event might be a major sponsor but with this big event maybe it’s wise to have a backup ISP in case the main one fails.
The area between the HyperX, Logitech, and DMC demo area was a bit hellish to pass by. I wish they could have created a better line system or briefed some booths in maximizing space to avoid lines fully blocking the walking space. HyperX did have their lines run with the boundary of their area. However the ones in Logitech and DMC demo booth just fully blocked the hallway – Good thing the other side which was the Predator area was clear enough to pass through
Conclusion and Final Thoughts
ESGS 2018 for me raises the bar for conventions – this is a general statement and not only limited to the specific genre of events. For the first time, I’ve witnessed an event do something about crowd control in the hallways. The event staff we’re also nice and professional unlike some other conventions. The price you’re paying for the ticket really gets you more than what you pay for. With maximizing the whole area meant they also got control of the meeting rooms in the 2nd floor. The event didn’t lose flare for even a second – It wasn’t the ultimate perfect con. but it does solve almost all the problems of all the other conventions out there. It truly is on the way to being the Philippine Computex – just a few more steps though.