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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Southern California

TwitchCon A Convention For Video Gamers Who Play For Pay

20,000 fans came to meet their favorite video game celebrities and watch them play in person.

Streaming video games has become a serious form of entertainment thanks to the website, Twitch. 

The website, which launched in 2011, is made up of skilled video game players who are also TV personalities. According to Twitch its first-ever convention for live video game streaming packed in 20,000 attendees in the West Moscone Center in San Francisco last weekend. More than 1.9 million viewers watched online.

West Moscone / Desiree Desario
West Moscone / Desiree Desario
Considering that the entire convention was aired on the website’s homepage, TwitchCon was successful in pulling thousands of online subscribers and streamers away from their monitors, getting them into cars and planes, and filling up all three levels of Moscone West. 

Subscriber and attendee Victor Garcia came to watch a tournament and support Twitch streamer, SxyHxy. “I drove roughly about seven and a half hours to get here and see my favorite streamer battle it out,” Garcia said.

Many of the subscribers, streamers and attendees came from different parts of the world. Twitch subscriber Snir Aharon came to TwitchCon from Israel to network with popular professional streamers; while one of Twitch’s Top 10 professional streamers, Summit1g, said he flew to the convention from Colorado. Another streamer, Sp4zie, flew in from Stockholm, Sweden.  

The inaugural event offered a chance for video game broadcasters and subscribed viewers to engage in one-on-one interaction for the first time. Fans conversed with broadcasters in person, and broadcasters were excited to meet supportive fans that came to the convention in order to meet them. 

H1Z1 Tournament Setup / Desiree Desario
H1Z1 Tournament Setup / Desiree Desario

Professional Twitch streamers Nester and Natasha, a duo from Minnesota who play Nintendo video games as a couple on their channel N_Squared, were happy to discover that they had a fan base. “We are not partnered yet, so we were excited to have people come up to us and say ‘Hey, we recognize you from N_Squared’ and want to take a picture with us,” Nester said.

Other Twitch broadcasters came to the convention to promote their channel to attendees. Mr. Belial, a Twitch host who dresses as “the Demon from Heck”, came to the convention to promote his Tuesday show. 

“I am getting as many connections as I can, and this is most certainly the place to do so,” Mr. Belial said. 

Although the convention consisted of 40 different panels, which included how to broadcast and promote a channel, the main attraction of TwitchCon is the self-made celebrities that are paid to do a job they love—playing games.

READ PREVIOUS ARTICLE HERE: TwitchCon To Highlight Video Gamers Who Play For Pay

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