LVL UP Expo was back this previous weekend in Las Vegas for 2020 and it was bigger and better than ever in its fourth year. Doubling its anime, video game, technology, and comic presence from the previous year. Its exhibit hall area has now almost doubled in size from what it was in 2019 Meaning there was now a lot more things for attendees to check out. Cosplayers, exhibitors, artists, wrestlers, tournaments, panels, and indie video game developers were all back for LVL UP Expo this year making for another fun and exciting weekend.
The heart of LVL UP Expo is anime, video games, technology, and comics along with all of those who attend LVL UP and love those things. How do those that attend really show their love for the things that make LVL UP Expo? By cosplaying. And cosplayers once again had a presence at LVL UP Expo. Rocking the costumes and looks of some of the characters from their favorite anime, comic, and video game series. The weekend once again ended with a cosplay competition where the participants truly brought out their best cosplaying.
Tabletop Gaming once again had a sizeable representation. From Dragon Ball Super to Magic the Gathering, there were a number of card game tournaments that could be entered for those feeling up to the challenge and these tournaments continued throughout the weekend.
Outside of tabletop tournaments, there were tournaments for PC, Console, and even Retro gamers. Gamers could see if they were the best at CS: GO, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, or even retro games like Halo or Pokemon Stadium 2. While talking about Pokemon Stadium 2, it might be easy to forget that this is a 20-year-old game that originally released back in 2000. The fact that LVL UP expo has tournaments for 20-year-old games and appeals to retro gamers is something that makes LVL UP Expo stand apart from some other gaming conventions.
LVL UP Expo also has Side Quest. Side Quest sends participants out to complete various tasks or “quests.” Such as finding a cosplayer cosplaying as a specific character and then taking a selfie with that cosplayer. When participants complete quests they receive a stamp on their Side Quest card and are given another quest. There are bronze, silver, gold, and diamond quests along with easter eggs that participants must complete in order to receive special ribbons for their LVL UP Expo badge. Side Quest gives participants a more interactive experience that gives them something to keep an eye out for.
Pro Wrestling is a big part of LVL UP Expo and considered one of its main events. Every year attendees can watch exciting wrestling matches between wrestlers. This is a unique experience to LVL UP Expo as many other expos that feature video games, comics, anime, and technology completely overlook the wrestling fandom. This gives wrestling fans something to be excited for at LVL UP Expo as they can get up close and personal with wrestlers from Versus Pro Wrestling. The best part is the wrestling go on all weekend, so if you ever attend LVL UP Expo be sure to catch a match or two between all the panels and everything else LVL UP Expo has to offer.
The vendors and artists at LVL UP Expo also have a lot to offer and this year there was more vendors and artists than ever before. Whether it be pins, clothing, retro video games, wallets, purses, replicas, etc. If it has to do with anime, comics or video games, you’ll probably see something here that will start burning a hole in your wallet.
Panels are a part of any convention and it is no different at LVL UP Expo. LVL UP Expo has various panels that are informative to attendees and allow attendees to have interaction and listen to some of their favorite people in the gaming industry. One panel on the first day of LVL UP Expo 2020 actually allowed attendees to be creative was the Pokeball Making Contest. Hosted by Gaymer and cosplay drag queen, Anyonka Virgon, the Pokeball making contest allows participants to paint a Pokeball that would then be judged on creativeness and originality. Other panels saw Q & As with the voice cast of Dragon Ball Z, Overwatch, and Uncharted. Nolan North and Troy Baker from Uncharted and The Last of Us fame actually had Q and As on all 3 days just in case you wanted to see them and missed a day or two.
For those gamers attending that wanted to get their hands on something new and upcoming, they were able to do just that as there was various indie video game developers on site so attendees could check out their creations. From 2D indie games to VR experiences and even a game that reacted when players shot real airsoft guns at the screen. There was something for fans for all types of video games. Microsoft even had a booth where attendees could go and play games Xbox One games for as long as they like.
With LVL UP Expo having both a successful and bigger 2020, it’ll be interesting to see if the growth continues next year during LVL UP Expo 2021. One thing that is for certain, is that its success will continue as anime, video game, technology, and comic fans both new and old will continue to come and see what LVL UP Expo has to offer.