Dallas, Texas was recently the host city for the very first OP Live esports event.
Produced by eGency Global in collaboration with SMU (Southern Methodist University) Guildhall and powered by Team Envy and the Dallas Fuel, this family-friendly video gaming event was thoughtfully designed to feature something for everyone. There were esports competitions, including the largest collegiate Overwatch tournament as well as the Bounty Royale Brawl Featuring Fortnite. There were talks for college students on how to start and support a campus esports program. There were educational sessions for parents who may be unfamiliar with the gaming and esports industry, and so much more. The event was designed to have something for every person in attendance.
“We didn’t want to be exclusively esports centric,” said Marcos Suarez, Marketing and Esports Strategist at eGency Global. “We wanted to make the event have a comprehensive gaming focus. It’s not just esports, it’s about the gaming industry as a whole.
“We had industry experts from Twitch, GameStop, Epic Games, the Dallas Fuel, and more…people from really big names in the gaming industry who gave presentations on how the industry is growing as a whole and how anyone, regardless of who they are, can be part of that growth. We had lectures for parents as well – to help break the misconception that a kid who plays video games is not going to amount to anything. We wanted to let parents know that’s not true. They are becoming a part of a larger community and have educational and career opportunities available to pursue in something they are passionate about. Career opportunities in gaming range from programmers/developers, to artists, to event planners and business professionals, and the list goes on.”
Aside from presentations, OP Live had art exhibitions, vendors selling swag, local and well known streamers, developers demoing their latest titles, and free play areas. With so much to do and see at OP Live, the event’s organizers wanted to make sure that attendees were made aware of everything that was available. Instead of simply posting the information and hoping that folks stumbled upon it, OP Live used technology to turn that information – and the event itself – into a game: the OP Live Odyssey.
“The OP Odyssey is our attendee event experience app,” said Suarez. “It was designed to engage every level of attendee, from the person who never attended a gaming event, to the veteran of hundreds of gaming events. The core concept was to make it similar to a video game. A lot of video games contain quests or tasks, so that when you complete these quests, you are rewarded with an achievement.
“We wanted to bring that same concept to OP Live – bring it into real life so to speak. The app gave attendees a list of 39 quests that they could complete. It would give hints like, ‘Find the art gallery, and check out some of the cool video game art.’ The attendee would find the art gallery, and there would be a QR code that they could scan that would signify completion of that task, and they would receive an achievement for it.
“After they completed so many quests, they would be eligible to win prizes. If they unlocked 15 achievements, they could go to the Odyssey Hub and be rewarded with anything from a brand-new gaming desk to gaming apparel to OP Live swag.
“We found that most everyone who participated in the Odyssey hit the 15-achievement milestone. What we were really impressed with was that some of our attendees went above and beyond and managed to complete the entire experience – unlocking all 39 achievements and hitting 100 percent completion. Personally, I didn’t think anyone would be able to finish them all. Some of the achievements on there were pretty tough, like for one you had to eliminate a professional player in Fortnite. I didn’t think anybody was going to actual do that and to my surprise, we had quite a few attendees reach 100 percent completion. It was really great to see how many people participated.”
While achievements ranged from easy (such as visiting a particular event location) to hard (the aforementioned “beat a professional Fortnite pro player”), they were always intricately tied into the OP Live event.
“One of the fun ones was an Easter egg. In video games, Easter eggs are secrets that are hidden by developers that are just meant to be fun things to find. So, we had an Easter egg achievement that would move around throughout the day, so attendees would have to go to different places to try to find it. One hour, it might be under a desk hidden away. Or maybe one of the cosplayers has it at a particular hour. It jumped around and really made attendees have to go the extra mile to try to find it.
“For another achievement, we had a volunteer in a wizard hat, and he would walk around and ask attendees riddles. If they could solve the riddle, they got an achievement. We really tried to make it so that a first-time attendee could experience the Odyssey and have some fun with it, while someone who was familiar with gaming events, or video games in general, could take it as a challenge and try to get max completion.”
Feedback for OP Live has been overwhelmingly positive – and that includes the attendees’ experience with OP Odyssey.
“We had many attendees who had never been to a gaming event before say that they really appreciated the Odyssey helping them journey through the things they could visit and do. It acted as a roadmap for the attendees to make sure that they weren’t just standing around waiting for the next competition. They were really engaging with everything that was going on at the event.
Due to the success of the inaugural event, the future of OP Live is promising. One thing is certain, when the event returns, OP Odyssey will continue to play a significant role.
“We most definitely want to keep the Odyssey as a part of OP Live,” said Suarez. “We feel that it is a good guidebook for first-time attendees as well as a challenge for veteran attendees. We want to keep it fresh every time; so we will change up the achievements for next year and the years to come. We want to make it challenging each year. If an attendee who came to OP Live 2018 comes back for 2019, they will find new and different things to do. We’ll keep the atmosphere, but give attendees a fresh experience every time they come to OP Live.”
If you are interested in sponsoring or hosting an esports tournament – or would like to holistically weave some gamification elements in your next event – the experts at eGency Global are ready to help. Give us a call at 972-323-6354.