The 3rd Annual Button Smash gaming convention was held this past weekend at its new venue, the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. As well as holding its inaugural Cosplay Competition sponsored by Madman Entertainment, we at Beyond Cosplay were there to see it all in its gaming glory.
Button Smash is still a relatively new event on the con calendar, growing enough for it to be held in such a central and suitable location. It’s a gaming tournament looking to grow even larger in the form of a con.
This was my first experience at a Button Smash event.
Games? What games?
Button Smash specialises in fighting games tournaments, and has separate competitions for each fighting games including Tekken, Super Smash Bros, Marvel vs. Capcom, with many others loaded up on Xbox360 and Wii (with GameCube controller) setups.
There was three “versions” – what they call the competitive setups (on which matches for the tournament are played out on)
- the big screen setup, where you would watch the bigger final matches;
- exhibition matches and lastly;
- the casual setups, in which anyone can play, including those who paid for the spectator pass.
In order to play (for those not in the know, like I was when I walked in, those who do know, bear with me for a paragraph) regardless whether you’re competing or not:
Your own controller is essential.
Yes, many of the competitors and fellow spectators were nice enough to lend theirs when having a break (that’s how I managed to get my hands on a stick – the kind of controller that looks like the controller board part of the old school arcade machine). It’s somewhat easier to have your own that you can take to each setup.
Most players favour two kinds of controllers – the aforementioned stick which generally will plug into the XBox360 setup (however there is a brand that allows the stick board to plug into PS3, Xbox360 and PC) and the other being the easier to come by, GameCube controller.
In terms of the tournament itself, much of the gaming side takes place on the first day with the first few rounds being duked out from morning to 9pm at night. Those who purchased the Spectator/Casual Pass were welcome to participate in a beginner’s version of the tournament in the form of the Ultimate Street Fighter IV competition.
The one issue with coming along to the first day, if you’re not competing and would like to play a game between watching matches, was the difficulty in identifying the casual setups and the competitive ones. I found out later, that on the Saturday there is virtually little to no casual setups till the Saturday night after most of the matches were played out.
The tournament competitions’ prizes were certainly worthy of participation as well as the enjoyment of a good fight. Through the form of entry costs, this would create the overall prize pool to be won by the tournament winner as well as a trophy to put in your nerd cave to awe everyone who comes over.
The second day would be more of interest to newcomers and spectators, as there were tons of casual setups available, all the finals were being played out on the big screen and, of course, the newest competition to be added to Button Smash, the Madman-sponsored Cosplay Competition.
The competition was hosted, organised and judged by major cosplayers, Katyuska MoonFox, Kiara Kirameki and Dat-Baka Cosplay. I also had the pleasure of meeting all three and one of the event organisers, Mr. Bill Giang, all of which are really lovely professional people just trying to make this the best event it can be. I even got invited to join in the competition, and who could refuse them?
As you can see for yourself, the cosplay level was both high quality and fun.
The prizes on offer from Madman Entertainment were two volumes of the Art of Capcom tomes and an array of DVDs and Blu-rays. Certainly not prizes to be sneezed at.
On-site to take photos of the proceedings as well as the event organisers and the Brisbane Tekken group, were cosplay photographers Dreamcoat Photography and Cassa’s Cosplay Shots. So be sure to check out all their sites and pages as well as ours for more official photos and cosplay shenanigans.
Overall, this is an event that has potential to become bigger especially by means of extending activities around the tournament competitions whilst still related to gaming and the fighting game genre theme. Considering the attendance observed this year, it could be easily speculated at the very least, it’s going to need a bigger room. Give this a shot guys, and for next year’s event, my advice is to look over the setups carefully and decide which controllers to bring if you want to have a play.
Cosplayers, the fact that in their first cosplay comp, they had managed to gain Madman’s sponsorship should alone show the potential in this competition becoming a bigger one. So get playing some fighter games and get inspired to make your entry for next year!
By Sarah ‘Gallifreya’ Minazzo