Another year means another Wizard World Chicago at the Donald E Stephens convention center just outside the city limits in Rosemont, Illinois. Being one of the largest comic con type events in one of the largest cities in the country means that a lot of talented guests, actors, and artists alike make their way to Chicago. The event itself is much like many other conventions you’ve been to, but lacks much of a gaming presence.
In years past we’ve covered Wizard World Chicago quite a bit. This year is no different as I attended the event hoping to see an expanded Gaming section. While the event did have a greater presence in the sense of gaming, it was just more of the same as years past. There was plenty of things to do and see in terms of tournaments, watching pros play Fortnite, or even purchasing and testing out some Razer gear at the trailer that Razer had in attendance. This, while great considering some other events I’ve attended, didn’t seem to be all that amusing. I’ll spend the next few paragraphs talking about the few things they had, in detail.
The tournaments at the event were great. They had tournaments for Dragonball FighterZ, Super Smash Bros. Deluxe, and, you guessed it, Fortnite. Each tournament had varying prizes from games to gaming gear. Watching these tournaments were a lot of fun to me. While I’m not as competitive as those who were playing, I appreciated all the Smash players and Fortnite players alike as they attempted to come out on top and win some prizes. While the prizes not that great, it was great to see a group of gamers come together with common interests and meet one another.
In terms of watching the pros play there were a few options. With Fortnite dominating video gaming in social media all around, it makes perfect sense that some Fortnite streaming pros would be in attendance and have quite the crowd. Other than that there was also a Madden professional player who was charging $5 for 5 minutes of gameplay against him along with a few Overwatch pros who were entertaining to watch. This full list of professional gamers at the event were as follows: Mattstergamer (Madden), Kayuun (Fortnite), BrandonTV (Fortnite), Kenith (Fortnite), Cloakzy (Fortnite), Cizzorz (Fortnite), and Babybay (Overwatch).
While this is not necessarily a con for games, I think that what Wizard World Chicago does year after year meets the bare minimum to qualify as a partially gaming convention. In order to make this aspect of the event much better it would be nice for the organizers to get some game devs involved in showing some of their games. Even having some smaller indie devs in attendance would make a world of a difference. This, in my opinion, is a huge missed opportunity since Chicago really doesn’t have any type of “gaming convention” for fans of games to attend.
Overall the event went great. The cosplay, artists, and vendors all made my time at Wizard World Chicago 2018 a great experience. Aside from the lack of gaming at the event, everything seemed to be just as strong as ever. If you’re ever in Chicago around the time of the next Wizard World, it should definitely be on your list of activities.