12th Annual BeachCon Gaming Festival to Celebrate Long Beach “Geek” Culture


Photos courtesy of BeachCon. Photo by Allen Au of alumni Ben Kray in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament in 2015.

Brace yourselves, more than 1,000 gamers from across Southern California are expected to descend on Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) for BeachCon 2017.

The large-scale festival is set to take place this weekend at The Pointe at the Walter Pyramid on Saturday from noon to 2:00AM and Sunday from 10:00AM to 8:00PM.

The annual gaming event is part of the CSULB eSports Association’s efforts to propel the prominence of competitive eSports/video gaming and “geek” culture in Long Beach, according to the release.

BeachCon is free to the public and will feature activities that celebrate gaming and “geek” culture, including eSports Computer and Console tournaments, a SoCal Keyboard Artisan/Artist Meetup, an Artist Showcase, Cosplay Contest and live Virtual Reality demos from Sony PlayStation.


Photo by Allen Au. The tournament/lounge room where BeachCon’s LAN and PC games are typically held.

Cat Tompkins, president of the CSULB eSports Association and chief event director for Beachcon, said artists of all kinds will be showing their work.

“The variety is wide, and you can expect artists to display fan art of the games featured at Beachcon, but not limited to it,” she said.

Students from neighboring collegiate organizations, including UCLA, USC and UC Irvine, are expected to attend, as well as representatives from Sony Playstation, Microsoft, EVA, AmazonStudent, Twitch and more.

Mark “Garvey” Candella, director of Strategic Partnerships for Twitch.tv, Stephanie Martinez, director at Microsoft Los Cerritos Center and CSULB President Jane Conoley are also expected to make an appearance.

Garvey and Conoley will discuss on Saturday at 1:00PM the expanding the influence of eSports at CSULB, said Tompkins.

“Garvey’s appearance is part of an initiative by Twitch to create more opportunities for passionate collegiate gamers in campuses across the United States,” she said. “This will also mark the first time that the president will be visiting a gaming/esports event.”


Photo by Vince Mai. The CSULB Esports Dota 2 Team at Beachcon 2016. Currently, they are ranked top 10 nationally, competing in a national collegiate esports/gaming league called Collegiate StarLeague

BeachCon has partnered for the first time with Anxiety Gaming, a local nonprofit that provides mental health resources to the gaming community. Proceeds from the suggested donation box on the website, as well as raffle ticket purchases during the event will go to the organization.

For more information, visit the website here.

CSULB is located at 1250 North Bellflower Boulevard; the entrance to the The Pyramid can be found on Atherton Street and Merriam Way, visitors can park in Lot 13 all day for $7.

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Asia Morris has been with the Long Beach Post for five years, specializing in coverage of the arts. Her parents gave her the name because they wanted her to be a world traveler and they got their wish. She has obliged by pursuing art, journalism and a second career as a competitive cyclist.