Ctrl+Alt Gaming 2018 (CAG 2018) Fostering Healthy Gaming

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Over the weekend on March 31 and April 1, a community-based gaming convention of epic proportions was held in Jeffrey Cheah Hall, Sunway University. Boasting to be Malaysia’s first community-based gaming event, Ctrl+Alt Gaming 2018 (CAG 2018) was jam-packed with activities and geeky merchandise.
If you couldn’t make it down to CAG 2018, fret not! We shall be attempting to cover every single detail about the convention.
CAG 2018 being the brainchild of GamesFusion. We managed to pull Syaz from GamesFusion aside for an interview. “We’ve done a lot of things with Sunway Esports Club and one day we decided, let’s do a gaming convention. At first, we wanted to do one of those typical gaming tournaments. But, we wanted to do something special. (However) with the budget, we would never be able to compete with events like ESL or MCG.” Syaz goes on to explain that he felt the market was missing something. We lack a gaming convention that is less focused on the competitive aspect and something more fun. He wants to bring the community together.

Go hard! Or don’t CAG 2018 has it all

With many mini tournaments and free-play stations, CAG 2018 caters to the myriad of gamers. There was something for both competitive crowds hungry for glory and the casual players. Upon entering the hall, guests are met with a stunning display of various free-play stations. These include Tekken 7, Monster Hunter World, Rock Band, Super Smash Bros, Splatoon and so much more. Gamers of all ages and genders were enjoying themselves at these free-play stations. Even VR Labs Sunway set up a booth to let guests experience virtual reality first hand. The most popular free play station had to be the Just Dance 2018 station. Guests, exhibitors, and even cosplayers were found showing off their moves there throughout the day!

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Convention-goers gathered in the hall awaiting the commencement of events.

Throughout the event, you could find several mini-tournaments being held around the convention floor. The Hearthstone booth was fairly crowded with fans trying to unlock exclusive Warlock hero portrait for Nemsey. Casual players challenged one another to friendly duels while competitive players prepared their deck for the mini-tournament.
The card-slinging action wasn’t the only action that was going down. Adrenaline pumping fighting game tournaments such as Tekken 7, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4, Guilty Gear and Dragon Ball FighterZ were in full swing at CAG 2018. Monster Hunter fans, on the other hand, could participate in the timed challenge on the side.

Mobile Legends stealing the spotlight

One of the many highlights at CAG 2018 was the Mobile Legends tournaments. Professional casters, KBCSensei and MrCocan lent their expert commentating during matches.

KBCSensei and MrCocan

They were great at hyping up the crowd besides providing masterful analysis. Pro players within the Mobile Legends circuit also took part in an exhibition match. KBCSensei and MrCocan built their ‘dream team’ with the pro players that attended.
To up the ante even more, MVP Mobile Arena brought their technical expertise on site. Apart from having the final matches of projected in the hall, they also got the matches to be streamed live. It was great to witness such high-value production for the convention. The whole ordeal definitely brings the convention stage to life.
Many of the convention guests could be found chilling on bean bags. They eagerly watch the tournament finals, cheering on their favorite contenders. A huge addition like this really helped engage the audience.

More than just a game tournament

Let’s move on to a less competitive topic. Outside the hall, industry experts, Johnson Ting and Joseph Sng held workshops regarding professional careers in gaming. Nina Sharil from POPCON also held a workshop to promote their platform. The intention was to encourage growth amongst online content creators and social media influencers. Workshops like this are able to give convention guests some insight into working professionally within the industry.
Malaysian gamification experts, Gameka had also set up a booth at CAG 2018. Gameka is known for their Best Multiplayer award nominated game. Kluno: Hero Battle was a nominee at Casual Connect USA. The game takes a twist on the generic match-three genre. Players have to compete in real-time, going up against their opponent. The goal is to destroy each others base using special heroes and power-ups.
Head of Marketing Communications at Gameka, Narishvin, said they saw CAG 2018 as an opportunity. When they were invited, they knew it was a chance to share their vision for their games. Narishvin continues to explain that Gameka loves to see such events. It really helps build a healthy platform for gamers.

Is that Sombra I see?

No event organized by The Magic Rain is complete without some amazing cosplay. Collaborating with AniManGaki, a video game themed cosplay competition was put together. Characters from League of Legends, Overwatch and even Monster Hunter strutted across the stage. Guests and media alike had a blast snapping photos of their favorite cosplayers. Memorable ones include Sombra from Overwatch and Jinx from League of Legends.

Sombra cosplay!

Staying on the topic of cosplay, CAG 2018 also had a maid and butler café named Save Point! The café was set up in a classroom outside the convention hall by Her Majesty’s Mansion. The fee to enter the café was inclusive of a homemade dessert and drink. Patrons of the café were treated to excellent service by the several cosplayers dressed up as ‘anime like’ maids and butlers. In the café, patrons are encouraged to play activities, such as board games with the maids and butlers. Thi was to help ‘save’ them from being trapped in the video game. However, according to Kah Chun, the secretary of Sunway Esports Club, the maid and butler café intended to cook food. But, the university didn’t allow cooking due to safety reasons.

Merch and Plushies

As for gaming merch, several vendors had set up stalls around the convention. Rukia Plush Haven was selling a variety of different plushies from Pokemon and Monster Hunter plush. Vanilla Tea was selling key chains. They even had keychains of Overwatch characters morphed into cats! Super Tee was selling quality anime related tees while Kyo’s Game Mart had their full display of new and second-hand PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 games for sale.

CAG 2018 was a hit

Once again, we managed to get a hold of CM Char, the founder of The Magic Rain. He shares with us some of the inspirations and goal behind CAG 2018. “The idea behind CAG 2018 was to always promote it as the first ever community-based gaming event in Malaysia. It’s because there are a lot of communities that people don’t really know about and it would be great to meet like-minded people.” Char explained further, “We want to grow the smaller games or scenes which are not really popular here. We want to also push the community to come together and have fun.”
Overall, CAG 2018 was an awesome convention to attend. It was a great effort towards promoting gaming as a healthy hobby. With all the controversy with video games causing violence – we say nay! CAG 2018 has contributed towards proving that gamers do not get violent from video games. We are able to come together peacefully and just chill out and hang. People of all races and genders were seen laughing and having fun. Gaming is a strong connector when it comes to bringing people together. Kudos to GamesFusion, The Magic Rain, Sunway Esports Club and MVP Mobile Arena! Let’s hope we get to see more of such wholesome gaming events in the future that can further benefit the gaming scene in the public eye!

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