On-Site: LVL UP Expo 2019 – Day 1

If you’ve never heard of Las Vegas, Nevada’s LVL UP Expo, it’s totally understandable as it is a newer video game expo having only been around three short years. For only being in its third year, LVL UP Expo has a good amount of things to see and do if you’re into video games, anime, technology, and comics. There are a large number of vendors and exhibitors who sell everything from custom fan-made merch to comics to retro video games. There’s plenty to see, look at, and purchase at the Vendor and Exhibit Hall.

Moving outside the Vendor and Exhibit Hall there are many other areas to check out, one of those areas is the Indie Game Devs area where visitors can try out indie games and talk to their developers. LVL UP Expo is also the place to go for those who feel competitive, as LVL UP Expo contains multiple tournaments. There are PC tournaments for games like Minecraft, CSGO, and League of Legends to console tournaments for games like Tekken 7, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Dragon Ball FighterZ. The prizes are fairly nice as well, as the first place winners for some tournaments like the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament wins a LVL UP Championship Belt. If for some reason a visitor is feeling competitive but isn’t into the current E-Sports scene, visitors can instead play in a retro tournament. Today on the first day of LVL UP Expo there were tournaments for both the retro Mario Kart 64 and Balloon Fight. Tomorrow LVL UP Expo will have even more retro tournaments for Tecmo Bowl, Super Smash Bros 64, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, and Marvel vs Capcom 2 along with the Grand Finals for each respective game.

For visitors who enjoy retro games but do not wish to compete in tournaments, there is the Arcade Alley which has many popular retro arcade games and best of all they’re all free play, so visitors never have to worry about running out of quarters. Also available in the Arcade Alley is Fooseball, A soccer/billiards hybrid, and a giant “Battleship” type board game.

Tabletop gaming also has a big presence at LVL UP Expo as tournaments for card games like Yu-Gi-Oh!, Dragon Ball Super, 9DKP, and Pokemon are all taking place throughout the weekend, and speaking of Pokemon, the Pokemon Center is also at LVL UP Expo. Players of Pokemon could go over, meet, trade with, and battle each other. At one point during the day in a different part of the expo, there was a Pokeball making contest.

Possibly the greatest part of any expo is the number of panels that take place throughout the weekend. LVL UP Expo is no exception, as there were panels throughout the day that let visitors see and listen to their favorite voice actors, and internet celebrities talk about the industry. One panel, which was more of a presentation, was hosted by Lady Avianna and educated viewers on the History of Horror in video games, and how it has changed over the years. If you’ve played a horror video game, chances are at one point or another it was brought up during this presentation. The panels will continue all weekend long and even have one with the voice actor for Super Mario, Charles Martinet on Sunday, Day 3.

Stay tuned tomorrow for our LVL UP Expo Day 2 coverage as we take a closer look some of the Indie Game Devs, vendors, exhibitors, and wrestling scene at LVL UP Expo!

Photos- Joe Vincent Castro (@joevincentcastro)