Beachcon took place at the Thunder Esports Center in Long Beach, CA on April 14 and 15. This is a long running LAN and video game tournament that began at CSU Long Beach and has grown into a larger event. Beachcon offers a small, friendly environment for competitive gamers to enter competitions and play for fun. The laid back feeling of a college con continues with Beachcon in its new location making it a very different kind of gaming competition event.
One of the first things you would see upon entering the convention space is the small set of booths that were run by groups, events, and sponsors. This area had booths for various college level pro-gaming teams as well as a booth for the local college convention Titancon. This area had some screens set up for playing Dragonball FighterZ and it also featured several giveaways. Across from that area was a covered area with benches where not only did people eat or take a break, but they also set up some older TVs to play Super Smash Bros.
Near the bench area was the entry into the indoor PC area. That section had a whole LAN zone for people to link up and battle. Additionally, this area was used for the two PC competitions: Counterstrike GO on Saturday and DOTA 2 on Sunday. This area had some annoying lighting that made it difficult to watch the main screen, but it was also a nice place to hide from the sun. The competition announcers did a fair job of covering the event, which was a nice touch. This area was also connected to a VIP lounge and a secondary sitting area.
The back area held the artist alley, stage, and tourney tent. The artist alley was modest, but good sized for a smaller event. Most of the booths featured game related art and tchotchkes that drew in a large amount of patrons. The tournament area had several screens set up for various fighting games like Tekken 7, Dragonball FighterZ, and Street Fight V. The tournaments were well run and even had alternate controllers if your controller wasn’t compatible. When the matches were over the area had free play for those who brought controllers.
The stage area was used for the costume competition at the end of Sunday. It was a comic convention style walk on competition. The cosplayers would go on stage, say something into the mic, then walk down a ramp to a small photo area near the judges. Most of the cosplayers were game based, but there was also representation from other franchises such as Hawkgirl from DC who won top honors. Some of the other contestants came from series like Overwatch, League of Legends, and Dragonball. It was a surprisingly fun competition that had far more quality than one would expect from a small gaming convention.
Beachcon is the kind of event that will appeal to a very specific demographic. If you are looking for a dealer hall or panels then this event won’t give you what you want. However, if you are looking for comradery, friendly competitions, and watching a few good matches then this event will you’re your money’s worth. This is the kind of event you can hit for a few hours and still have a good time. If you bring your own controller, joystick, or laptop you can get even more out of those hours. Overall, the time enjoyed their time at the event and will be returning for more gaming action.