Thousands of fans gather up for one of the most popular annual conventions that occurred from September 27th to 29th at the San Diego Convention Center: Twitch-Con. For those who aren’t familiar with Twitch; it’s a live video streaming platform that allows gamers and others to chat and communicate with their fans. Twitch’s original focus was mainly on video games, but its popularity has grown to talk shows, music, artwork, and so much more.

I had the opportunity to attend the event on September 29th with USC’s Summoner’s School Club on the last day the convention was occurring. Even though they ran out of the surprise merchandise they gave out for the first two days, I still had a fantastic time exploring the events Twitch-Con had to offer. I realized it became a place where this global online community became a reality for both fans and streamers. Personally, my main goal was showing up for the meets and greets, where I could stand in line for hours to finally meet my favorite streamers face-to-face.

USC students meeting streamers in real life. (Photo by of Kim Do)
USC students meeting streamers in real life. (Photo by of Kim Do)

Other events were happening as well, such as workshops and the rival games. There was even “The Loot Cave” for us to buy purple hoodies and new, fresh TwitchCon merchandise. Panels helped provide advice and techniques for streamers to improve their streams and develop their brand. Examples include tips on how streamers should work with game publishers and developers where they explain how to build partnerships with game companies streamers wants to work for. One specific panel that occurred Sunday was called “I Need Healing! Improving Mental and Physical Health for Gamers” where it explore tips on how to be a healthy and happy streamer because sometimes streamers face stress and mental illnesses that require attention. Most panels were built based on advice on how to grow and improve their streaming business.

The Art Alley was a realm of creativity and inspiration as people would buy artwork to support the art streamers. I saw thousands of unique arts that I wouldn’t have otherwise found elsewhere. Although most of them were expensive, the details and aesthetic quality, the streamers provide made them worth it, primarily if the art was related to what you admire and love. Most art pieces were graphically designed as posters, for example, to illustrate gaming and anime characters.

“TwitchCon 2019: Paint the Town Purple.” Artist Alley displayed many artworks for fans to explore and buy. (Photo Courtesy of Twitch)
“TwitchCon 2019: Paint the Town Purple.” Artist Alley displayed many artworks for fans to explore and buy. (Photo Courtesy of Twitch)

Despite the long drive to San Diego, it was a dream come true for many USC students to be in the same location with the people they’ve been watching on screen for years. There was so much excitement around. I saw my friends getting ready to take pictures and have the streamers sign anything from badges to even their foreheads.

TwitchCon Badge (Left), Streamer Autographs (Right) (Photo by of Kim Do)
TwitchCon Badge (Left), Streamer Autographs (Right) (Photo by of Kim Do)

One of the most iconic events was “Twitch Rivals,” where each day featured games that were played by popular streamers on the arena. Fortnite tournaments were held on Friday, while League of Legends dominated Saturday.

The last day presented one of the newest and popular games: Apex Legends. Flashing lights surrounded the arena as both streamers and the audience were immersed in the gaming world. Cosplay was also everywhere, where most people dress up from a variety of different video games.

Photos of TwitchCon. (Photo by Kim Do)
Photos of TwitchCon. (Photo by Kim Do)

One of the most mesmerizing moments was entering the expo hall, where it was full of different booths that represented various activities. Well-known tech companies such as Alienware and Logitech came to let everyone try out their products. There was an esports LAN section that brought people together to play a variety of different games. There was also a streaming workshop that allowed anyone to try out streaming or advance their streaming skills. Pro-Gaming Teams such as Team Liquid and Team SoloMid from League of Legends were represented to enable fans to connect with them. Allowing hands-on activities and seeing more of the online world turn into reality allowed everyone to create memorable experiences.

Members of USC's Summoner's School Club attending TwitchCon, including me. (Photo courtesy of Kim Ko)
Members of USC's Summoner's School Club attending TwitchCon, including me. (Photo courtesy of Kim Ko)

You never know when you would bump into a streamer, even as you walk by. It wasn’t uncommon to spot a famous streamer because they are exploring TwitchCon just like everyone else. At the end of the day, the community between fans and streamers got stronger. Even though twitch-con only lasts for a short amount of time, we will see each other again in an online convention that never stops.