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 SXSW Gaming Expo

An Outfox Outing to SXSW

The SXSW Gaming Expo grew from its roots in the 2006 SXSW Interactive scene into a fully-fledged conference of its own. Now, the Expo takes over the Austin Convention Center for a massive 3-day exhibition of the latest games, gadgets, and gear. With a reputation drawing the likes of notable industry professionals, YouTube personalities, break-out Indie developers, and esports teams from across the globe, the Outfox team just had to check it out.

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Exploring the show floor led us to discover promising VR demonstrations, tabletop adventures, and even a spacious center filled with classic arcade games. Best of all, we felt the palpable excitement around the tournament stage. The Arena of Valor Collegiate Showdown, Injustice 2 Ground Zero, and the Clash Royale Super Magical Cup all came to fruition at the Expo this year, pitting top players against each other for prize pools approaching a cool $20,000.

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At this epicenter of all things gaming, we discovered “authenticity” was the buzzword accompanying most philosophies this year. As mentioned in previous blogs, esports has transitioned from basement LAN events to filling up stadiums. Working with doctors, coaches, nutritionists, and other professionals like traditional athletes creates a vast opportunity for growth in esports. Publishers, agencies, and new official leagues from the NBA, NFL, and NHL are now connecting brands with fans in more meaningful ways. Teams and favored players who participated in these panels made it obvious they are in tune with what their audience expects, and the signs we saw point toward corporate partners and community leaders respecting this unstoppable convergence without losing the spirit of what makes esports so appealing.

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The SXSW Gaming Expo also began an Awards ceremony back in 2014 for excellence in new releases. This year, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, one of our absolute favorite games here at Outfox, took home Excellence in Multiplayer, Trending Game of the Year, and Esports Game of the Year. The Outfox team offers our congratulations to Brendan Greene, aka PLAYERUNKNOWN for the sweep.

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We learned a great deal from our journey to SXSW this year. Follow us on Twitter and join our forums to get the latest updates on our next adventure.