Review: RTX London 2018

RTX London

RTX first announced it was coming to London last year and I was over the moon – until I realised that I’d actually be in New York the weekend it was coming. Absolutely typical. But obviously I had an amazing time in New York and when the dates were announced for 2018’s RTX I was happy. I’d been worried they’d be announced for a similar time to last year and would be on whilst I was in Japan but luckily it was two weeks before I go so I booked myself a ticket.

Booking the ticket wasn’t as much of a nightmare as I’d thought it would be, I booked them at work and it took literally two minutes. The autograph code however? Absolute nightmare. I sort of already anticipated not getting who I wanted (Ryan & Jeremy) but I’d assumed that’d be because I’d tried my best and they still sold out. I was disappointed that on the day I couldn’t get an autograph because my code was one of the ones that didn’t work. You literally just had to be lucky and have a code that worked to get through on that evening. I tried for 40 minutes until I eventually had to give up and go to my brother’s girlfriend’s house to look after her dog. When I logged back in my code finally worked but everything was gone.

So we didn’t get off to the best start. I was part of a Facebook group who kept trying to reassure people that impromptu signings did happen and you could grab anyone you wanted to meet if you say them walking around. This low-key irritated me because I know it was meant to be comforting but I knew for a fact my anxiety would be way too high to stop anybody if I saw them. Having a signing meant that yeah I’d still be nervous but at least it was in a sort of controlled atmosphere so I wasn’t worried about bothering or irritating them.

I decided to travel down to London the day before the convention because I think the hall opened at like 8AM on Saturday or something silly like that. I booked the afternoon off work and travelled down on the train. I also decided to see a show on Friday night because I can’t go to London without seeing a show and after much deliberation I settled on ‘42nd Street’ because it was one of the few shows I haven’t already seen.

42nd Street

When I got there my ticket had been upgraded, I assume this was because I was on the top circle and they hadn’t sold enough tickets to justify people sitting right at the top so I was moved down to the Royal Circle in Row C so the view was fantastic. On one side I was sat by a really nice couple and on the other was another couple who were also nice but the man got a bit drunk and way too enthusiastic about the show. Overall I did enjoy it but I feel like it was more about the spectacular dancing rather than a solid storyline because this was a bit flimsy and didn’t really seem to go anywhere. I’m glad I saw it but I wouldn’t be in a hurry to see it again.

I got back to the hotel quite late, had a shower, watched an episode of Friends and then got into bed ready for an early morning the next day.

Everyone in the Facebook group had been stressing me out as they’d talked about how long they’d had to queue to pick up their badges so I decided not to rush there because I wasn’t really sure what to expect anyway. I had breakfast at a Wetherspoons near the hotel then hopped on the tube for the hour long journey to the Excel Centre.

I got there at about 9:30AM and the queue to pick up badges was non-existent by this point, I wandered over and got mine pretty much instantly. With the badge we were also given a PE bag with ‘RTX 2018’ written on it and inside was a programme letting us know where/when signings and panels were happening. At this point I was a bit confused so headed into the main hall and found the centre stage.

At 10 something was happening called ‘XBOX’ so I kind of sat down to watch because I wasn’t sure what else to do. The panels in other halls didn’t really appeal to me at that time and I wasn’t sure what else was available. I was really surprised when Jeremy and Ryan from Achievement Hunter came out along with Lawrence from Funhaus and I’m not 100% sure on the other guy’s name.

RTX London 2

I’m gonna put it out there now, I’m only really a fan of Achievement Hunter. I’m not trashing any of the other channels, I’ve just never really watched them. All I’ll say is that RTX is probably a lot better if you’re a fan of everything Rooster Teeth related instead of just one area of it.

They each had their own computer and played a game, I’m not sure of the name of it but it was a car game and they raced to see who could get the best time. Then they invited fans on stage to see if they could beat their times – I could’ve volunteered for this but I’m not exactly good at video games and the thought of Ryan and Jeremy watching me was too much. It was a lot of fun though.

Once that was finished I decided to take the chance and head to the room for the Achievement Hunter panel to see if I could potentially be let in. The one thing I’m grateful for is that the RTX Facebook page gave me realistic expectations and I knew queuing for panels, especially those with Achievement Hunter, were always long, stressful and most people got turned away. The queue was horrendously long but I decided to take the chance because why not, right?

It was like joining the stampede of hyenas in the Lion King, all of us desperate to get into the hall. Eventually 100 people were taken into the overflow queue which was cut off when I was literally the next person in the queue. Frustrating at the time but I now see it as a blessing because I don’t think the overflow queue made it into the panel, they just had to queue an extra hour in the hopes they would get in.

I decided to get lunch because it was midday by this point so I grabbed a chicken strip meal deal (£11? Are you serious?) and then headed back into the main hall. There was a ‘Let’s Play Panel’ at 2 but the guardians weren’t letting people sit down so we had to stand in a square and wait until 1:30 when we’d be allowed to grab our seat. I was one of the first people there but it wasn’t really a queue as such, there were three large squares and we just had to stand in them. At 1:30 we were given strict instructions not to push, run or generally be a dick. Luckily I made my way forward and managed to grab a pretty good seat.

I’d been naive and assumed it would be the Achievement Hunter members but it was only Geoff from Achievement Hunter, there was a mix of different people from different channels. I’ll be honest the first 30 minutes or so didn’t particularly interest me because it felt like they were just having a conversation with each other and the crowd almost weren’t there. For the last 30 minutes Geoff came into the crowd to take audience questions so this was more interesting.

Once this was over I had a look around at some of the stalls but with my trip to Japan coming up I couldn’t afford to buy anything. The queue for the Rooster Teeth merch store was literally a mile long so I couldn’t even browse that unless I wanted to queue for ten years. There were also stalls where you could play video games, most of these were full and I felt like I couldn’t sit at the ones that were available because I didn’t know anything about the games and I was worried I’d look like an idiot. I know that’s stupid but most other people at the event were serious gamers and although I’ve played some with Jess the only game I’ve ever really been invested in is the Sims.

I was considering going to the 4:30PM centre stage event which just said ‘XBOX’ as I’d been lucky enough to see Ryan and Jeremy play earlier. RTX tweeted that the people playing would be Alfredo, Trevor, Geoff, Jack and Michael (all from Achievement Hunter) so I decided I would give it a go. We ended up queuing in the boxes again but as before I managed to get a decent seat.

This one was good because they showed us a preview of a Let’s Play for an unrealised game (I think? I’m not video game expert, I was just there to have fun) while they commentated which was really funny and then Alfredo played Tomb Raider while the others made fun of him which again was hilarious. It was really fun and finished at about 5:30PM so there was only about 30 minutes left of the event so I decided to head back to my hotel as I’d had a late night the night before.

I had dinner at the Wetherspoons up the road from my hotel, came back, watched some episodes of ‘The Mighty Boosh’ and then got into bed for like 8:45 because I was just absolutely exhausted.

The Mighty Boosh

I was a bit more chill the next morning and made it to RTX a little bit later. To be honest it might just be me but it felt like there wasn’t an awful lot to do. It was almost impossible to get into any panels for people I wanted to see and there weren’t tons of stalls so it didn’t take long to look round them. The impromptu signings that people had mentioned were always capped quicker than you would believe. You literally had to be there the second it was announced like if you were on the other end of the centre then you had absolutely no chance. I saw Alfredo doing a signing that I would’ve loved to have joined but unfortunately it was already capped.

Jack did do a ‘Jack-off’ where anyone cosplaying as him could come and meet him on both days but I couldn’t tell if this was open to anyone or just for cosplayers. I wasn’t cosplaying so I decided to leave it because pretty much everyone would be there anyway and as I wasn’t cosplaying I would’ve felt like a bit of an imposter.

I went back to centre stage and watched some guys play that game with the car and you have to shoot the ball into the goal, I can’t remember the name of the game or who was playing but they were really funny. If anyone knows then let me know, I wouldn’t mind checking them out.

At one point I sat on the floor and every Achievement Hunter member walked past because they were headed to a panel so that was pretty cool – I got to see people I hadn’t seen at panels like Gavin and Lindsay so that was pretty cool!

I went to centre stage again and saw Ryan and three other guys (I forgot their names, I’m so sorry) play Sea of Thieves and then Human Fall Flat which was actually hilarious. After that I wasn’t really sure what to do and at 4:30 I made my way to the Euston so I wouldn’t miss my train home.

Overall, I don’t think I’d go back to RTX unless one of my friends suggested it – I wouldn’t go alone again. It felt like unless you were in one of the panels or at a signing then there wasn’t much to do. However, if you’re into pretty much everything Rooster Teeth related then it’s probably a lot more enjoyable as I mentioned on because there were plenty of panels that were easier to enter it’s just that they didn’t particularly appeal to me. Also I’m still a bit disappointed about the autograph code thing but that is what it is.

The positives were that it was awesome to see my favourite YouTubers gaming in real life even if I didn’t get to meet them. I loved all the cosplays that were around even though I personally didn’t have the courage to cosplay and I have no idea what I would’ve gone as anyway. All the guardians at the event worked super hard and were some of the friendliest, nicest people I’ve ever met – can’t have been easy considering most people ignored them when trying to enter panels but they did an amazing job.

I didn’t have a bad experience at RTX because I went in with realistic expectations thanks to the Facebook group and I enjoyed what I did see, it just wasn’t quite what I’d expected. It was a case of having to queue ages in advance if you wanted to see any of the panels, even the ones at centre stage. The one thing it did do though was make me want to watch more Rooster Teeth content and not just Achievement Hunter.

If you went over the weekend then let me know what you enjoyed or didn’t enjoy! Or leave recommendations for other Rooster Teeth content that isn’t just Achievement Hunter.

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