BlizzCon 2019’s Community Night is definitely one of the biggest highlights of the convention. It is a night full of the biggest passion, talents, and craftsmanship the gaming community has to offer. The event features four different contests that showcase a wide variety of creative abilities of the participants. Between the costume contest, art contest, talent contest, and movie contest, there was no shortage of entertainment as day one of the conventions wrapped up.
MC for the event was Darin De Paul, the voice of Overwatch’s Reinhardt and a crowd favorite. He was joined by three judges: professional cosplayer Jackie Craft and two members of Critical Role and Blizzard voice actors Matthew Mercer, Overwatch’s McCree, and Laura Bailey, World of Warcraft’s Jaina Proudmoore. Monte Krol, the Lead Software Engineer at Blizzard, rounded out the team as the PA announcer.
Community Night has a unique way of presenting the acts. Instead of presenting each contest from start to finish and then moving on, each contest was presented in a round-robin fashion. One round of each contest would be shown and winners would be shown at the end. De Paul even gave the audience a way to remember the order in case they got lost. The C (costume) A (art) T (talent) tried to jump on the table but he Missed (movie). Cheesy of course but definitely set the tone for the laid backness of the event.
Not to be confused with the cosplay exhibition, the costume contest featured 25 of the best cosplay competitors the Blizzard community has to offer. The contest was split into five categories: artisan, large fabrication, weapons and armor, group construction, and outstanding creation. The winner of each of the five categories would go on to be considered for the overall contest winner.
Artisan: Anna Ormeli: Sylvannas Windrunner
Large Fabrication: Jonathan: Fel Reaver
Weapons and Armor: Ashley Oshely: Andiun Wyrnn
Group construction: – Fin as a Protos
Outstanding Creation: Cinderys – Prime Evil Diablo
Participants brought in designs from all walks of Blizzard properties but only one would reign supreme. The five winners from the categories were fantastic. In the end, there was only one true winner. With the hype of Diablo 4 at the convention, it seems only right that Cinderys would take home the overall award for her Prime Evil Diablo creation.
For the art contest, participants sent in their original artworks based on Blizzard properties. Work was submitted from around the globe but only five were made the cut to be presented at Community Night. The overall winner was Crazy Jn with his artwork called Thrall in the Tavern. The artwork depicts former leader of the Horde Thrall having some bad luck in a hand of Hearthstone and he’s not happy about it.
The talent contest consisted of four of the final acts for the competition. To enter, participants sent a two-minute video of their act to be presented at the convention. The contest had returning acts and some new ones but everyone was different. Returning 2018 contest winners Have No Fear looked to win back to back with a rap performance of original songs based on World of Warcraft.
Singer Sharm delivered a chilling but beautiful performance as she sang “Teldrassil Burns” with the Burning of Teldrassil cinematic playing in the background. Following Sharm was the Gaudium Quartet playing their song “Enjoy Itself”. The talent competition concluded with another contest returner Bah Ram You. The nerd-punk band played a pirate shanty about World of Warcraft: Classic. In the end, Bah Ram You would come out on top. They had all of hall D clapping and laughing through their performance. The citizens of Booty Bay would have been proud.
The movie contest has been a staple of the contest as long as the costume contest has been. Contestants sent in a video that was no longer than three minutes and was whittled down the top entries in the same way the art contest was. The movies were all different and featured live-action, animation, in-game footage, or a mix between them all to create projects based on Blizzard products. Just like the talent contest, the entries were diverse.
“Game On” mixed live-action and in-game content for a Hearthstone skit. “Zerg Solution” was a completely in-game Starcraft II movie with voice over. “Ode to the Widow” was also an in-game movie. However, the World of Warcraft inspired movie featured a solemn song about war and losing loved ones to it. The first-place winner was a live-action skit of a normal guy who bought the Helm of Damnation from a yard sale. All the videos had the caliber to be winners but with Sylvannas ripping the Helm of Damnation apart in the Shadowlands trailer, “The Lich Steve” was a worthy winner.
Community Night was one of my favorite moments of the convention and I haven’t really seen anything like it before. It has motivated me to get back to cosplay myself and show my passion. If you weren’t able to attend the convention or didn’t have a virtual ticket, Blizzard but together a great recap that you can see for yourself. You see glimpses of the great performances and be just as amazed as I was.