Here’s a CONQuest 2022 review for you, folks. Don’t expect the typical “this was good, this was bad, this was meh” format, as I intend to take you, readers, on a roller coaster ride.
It’s been a long time since I wrote about esports, gaming, or their associated intersections. Or maybe not, considering that my work on gaming and esports was published in a UK-based literary magazine in 2021. Hmmmmm.
Without further ado, here’s my CONQuest 2022 takedown!
The Good about CONQuest 2022
Here’s the good thing about CONQuest 2022: Since they are among the first big-time conventions out there, all they had to do at the bare minimum was to flip the switch from 0 to 1.
And oh boy, they did not just turn on the lights once again. They cranked it up all the way up to freaking eleven! From esports to gaming, from peripherals to NFTs, from the metaverse to retro gaming, from tabletop to hobbies, from P2E to L2E, from cosplay to influencers to meets and greets with new-generation household names, there’s simply something for everyone!
Furthermore, the sounds did not mix up, and no booth dominated the internal acoustics of the venue, which meant that everyone had their time in the spotlight without having to worry about being overpowered by their respective neighboring booths!
Finally, it was great to see a lot of communities under one colossal roof. It’s been a while since this happened.
Of course, if I didn’t put something terrible that happened (in this CONQuest 2022 review), this would be quickly marked as a hack job, a heavily modified press release, or, God forbid, propaganda (though I’d like to be someone like George Orwell. At least he changed the world, right?)
To be fair, these only represent 0.5% of the total experience – but these are still points that I think are worth considering.
First, the internet at specific booths was sometimes, well, awful, to be honest. As a result, I had to use mobile data and shift locations to send pictures and other stuff; also, I couldn’t try one of the games at the Metasports booth because there was no connection at all. Second, there were some issues regarding crowd flow management (notice that I had to use the precise term here). Third: this is not directed to the organizers, but it’s regarding the venue: Oh boy, here’s to hoping for better ventilation.
Finally, I wish they could arrange more interviews (i.e., press conferences). It would have been interesting to see not just what they think and how they speak but to get some insights on different topics (i.e., esports, life as a campus-based player, etc.) – though I am aware that there are many much better ways to do it.
Since this is a CONQuest 2022 review/diary, it wouldn’t be authentic if I did not put my subjective feelings about this event, right? Needless to say, there are a lot of interactive activities in the various booths and on stage – and there are just a metric ton of things to try at the convention!
Also, there was just so much color and variety that would fit a massive part of the interest spectrum of the current generation. From advocacies to startups, from established brands to up-and-coming ones, from the pang-masa activities to the premium lounge (though it could have been packed with more drinks and snacks), and from simple candies to five-digit value loot, this convention had everything for everyone.
I personally enjoyed the Coins.ph booth (Nerf blasters, anyone?) and the Metasports booth (P2E FPS, P2E RPGs, P2E all around, what’s not to love?) Overall, after participating in the various activities, I got a lot of stuff myself. Nice!
The Message (and the Gossip) from CONQuest 2022
We are now coming to the spicy part of this CONQuest 2022 review, folks.
Here are some nuggets of wisdom that I got from one of the top crew at CONQuest 2022. According to THIS GUY, he says that next year’s CONQuest is GOING TO BE INFINITELY BETTER – because they’re hell-bent (emphasis mine) on taking this supercharged convention to the next level…and they’re doing our best to listen.
He further mentioned that what they want to do is to empower people and their communities, by extension, in the best way possible (through what AcadArena is doing right now via education, upskilling, and basically allowing students to participate in their respective interests and having a bridge to the real world). The way the original quote was stated was way more badass, but you get the meaning.
Also, here’s one thing he said that resonated with me: “You’re going to miss some hits, that’s for sure, but you are going to totally miss 100% of the swings you don’t take. So, go out there swinging and swing as much as you can – you will hit something.”
Another quote-worthy soundbite: 2/10 (author’s transliteration: 20% potential) may be enough (in real life – and for many teachers, that was enough to get to where they were at that particular moment). But why not harness that remaining potential (and acquire more skillsets) and go to 10/10? Even though it’s going to be 8/10 at the end of the day – there’s just so much you can do – I believe that it’s still a worthy goal to have (not just in AcadArena or education, but in real life as well).
(Take note that these are just approximate paraphrases of the original statements – but the sentiments remain the same. Great lessons indeed!)
The Wild Stuff at CONQuest 2022
It’s just wild to see endless crowds of people at the venue. The entrances were jampacked, the alleyways were full, and you had to steer away from the stage during peak hours (i.e., tournament finals) – such is the endless wave of crowds that is CONQuest.
Another wild thing is that there are long queues for the food. No, seriously, those food vendors might have had an enormous bank selling their wares at CONQuest.
Finally, while the numbers officially say 10,000+, I think it is safe to say that there was a tsunami of people at CONQuest. Anyone with basic geolocation skills and estimation abilities (plus the basic blueprint of the SMX Convention Center) could easily make a very educated guess on the actual number of attendees.
It’s fantastic to see these crowds again – and here’s to hoping that people will stay healthy after such a hectic convention!
The Work and the Craft
I only met and saw a few people from my old esports days. I didn’t even get the chance to meet others, though I was happy with my work. Lots of hydration in the media room – the quintessential essential even in this new normal.
The press conferences were great. I’m also happy that my questions and research were relevant (and well-appreciated, though I need to finish those news feature/news/commentary articles fast). I’m happy that there were people who appreciated my craft, even though I felt rusty coming into CONQuest (my last real-life media coverage as a correspondent of any sort was back in late 2018).
I’m happy that I could still be myself and work well while being able to take in all the sights, sounds, smells, and textures at the venue. There’s traditional art, NFTs, and that fiesta and chill vibe provided by the white palms, the booth designs, and the sound of drum bands at the convention!
I also observed the staff during my rounds at the event: With very, very few exceptions, the team and the crew were friendly, approachable, and professional. And human: One could see the light in their eyes during their respective downtime when talking with friends, co-workers, and acquaintances. Many would call this a cordial and passionate atmosphere – I hope they keep it up (and do more) next year.
Let’s not forget the grass – maybe we should call it GRASSCon next time!
The End of the Ride
If AcadArena (and its partners) wanted the event to be a one-of-a-kind showpiece, then they’ve ultimately succeeded in this goal. I hope they’ll be able to make it into a constant household name in the coming years – and they’ll be able to show the transformative power of, well, students.
Here’s the end of the CONQuest 2022 review. Stay safe and stay fabulous, folks!