EGX’s decision to swap London for Birmingham was not as good as Football Manager’s one to include VAR

EGX, the UK’s biggest video games event, took place last week and was missing one important ingredient… me.

It’s was the first time in about seven years I hadn’t attended the conference, from its earlier incarnation at as the Eurogamer Expo at London’s Earl Court to its current branding as EGX at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre.

The change of venue to Birmingham was one factor. London was convenient for me, while I found the extra hours involved in heading into Peaky Blinder territory making the day feel more of a grind than a pleasure.

But the queues are what made me vow last year never to attend another EGX . . . my God, the queues.

As the event has grown in popularity over the years, the time spent waiting in line to get a 10-minute go on an upcoming unreleased video game grew too.
At the NEC a couple of years ago, I spent about four hours queueing at the EA area to have two quick goes on Titanfall 2 and Battlefield 1. Fun as they were, it wasn’t worth the time or money to sample games that were due for a full release in a month or two anyway.

As a gamer, the idea of trying out the big new games before the general public is still very appealing. But if I ever think it might be fun to go to EGX again, I remember the time there was a stampede to secure a Call of Duty: Ghosts special edition package for the first 100 people at the stall. And someone in a wheelchair fell over in the rush and people just jumped over him.

Or the time a gamer tried to chat up my female friend my showing her screenshots of his Counter-Strike kill-death ratio.

Or the time I stood around in a queue for hours on end, when I could have been sat on my sofa, actually playing video games.

The growing crowds at these events suggest I am in a minority, but until I can get hold off a pass that lets me skip all queues, I won’t be attending any more video game exhibitions.

ENGLAND’S march to the World Cup semi-finals this summer had a lot to do with VAR.

The video assistant referee helped England get three spot-kicks at the tournament and proved a big talking point amongst fans and in the media.
And the feature is now going to be part of the hugely popular series Football Manager when its 2019 edition launches on PC and Mac on November 2.

The pixelated ref will run over to the sideline after a penalty box incident, watch back footage on a screen and come back and give his decision.

It’s a genius touch. Not only because it provides football management sim fans with extra detail and emersion. But also because, for a very small feature, it has got everyone writing about Football Manager 2019.

LONDON SPITFIRE are coming home, they’re coming home, they’re…
What’s that? London’s not their home and they have never even been there before?

Well, fair enough, the South Korean players that make up London Spitfire aren’t coming home as such – but they are visiting the city that has taken them to their hearts.

The inaugural Overwatch League champions may be Seoul boys rather than London lads but that won’t stop fans wanting to see them in the flesh when they take on the Houston Outlaws in a showpiece match on October 20.

Going by the catchy title “Overwatch Gilded Gala presented by the London Spitfire and the Houston Outlaws”, the event will see “three to four” of the teams’ star players playing 1v1 matches and also teaming up with the fans.

London Spitfire owner Jack Etienne said: “The amount of support we’ve gotten from out hometown fans continues to be phenomenal and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have the team in London.”

A location for the event hasn’t been announced yet but expect a high demand for tickets.

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