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TwitchCon 2015: What it is, and what to watch

This weekend, on Friday, Sep. 25 and Saturday, Sep. 26, Twitch will hold the first ever TwitchCon, a convention devoted to livestreaming game videos and the people who make them. Since it's the first time this event has happened, we decided to round up all the information we have that you might want to know.

So what is TwitchCon?

From the outset, TwitchCon seems quite a bit different than other gaming conventions like E3 or Tokyo Game Show, or even other consumer-focused stuff like Penny Arcade Expo. Though it will feature a good mix of game developers and publishers showing off upcoming games, the focus at TwitchCon is 100 percent on the streamers themselves.

Most of the panels and major events at the show will be hosted by or about streamers and streaming culture. There will probably be some news coming out of TwitchCon — particularly regarding games that are eSports or streamer-friendly — but don't expect a flood of big announcements.

You can see a comprehensive list of Twitch broadcasters who will be attending TwitchCon on the show's official site.

Twitch booth E3 2014 photo (Poly wm) 1280

What should you watch?

TwitchCon has a fairly packed schedule for its two days, and naturally everything will be streamed live on Twitch. Here are some of the biggest events to check out:

TwitchCon Keynote - Friday, Sep. 25 at 10 a.m. PT - To kick off the festivities, Twitch's CEO Emmett Shear will be taking the stage. There's a good chance this is where you'll find out any major news about future updates or changes to the service. So if you watch streams on Twitch often or are a streamer yourself, this is probably something you'll want to tune in for.

Blizzard Entertainment: StarCraft 2 - Friday, Sep. 25 at 11:00 a.m. PT - Blizzard is promising to show "exclusive new content" for StarCraft 2 here. If you're excited for the upcoming StarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void, be sure to check it out.

Can We Just Play: The Legality of Let's Play Video and Streams - Friday, Sep. 25 at 1:00 p.m. PT - Another one for people who watch, create or are actively interested in gaming's ever-popular Let's Play videos. This panel will see several streamers who have knowledge of copyright law tackling the difficult gray areas of whether streaming gameplay footage is entirely legal or protected.

Live demo of Larian's next RPG - Friday, Sep. 25 at 2:00 p.m. PT, Saturday, Sep. 26 at 12:00 p.m. PT - If you read our reveal feature on Divinity: Original Sin 2, or if you watched our video preview of the game, you know that this is an RPG to watch for next year. But if you still need convincing, Larian will be doing several live demos of the sequel at TwitchCon.

Getting Games for Free: PR and New Media - Friday, Sep. 25 at 5:30 p.m. PT - If you have a growing Twitch or YouTube channel and have ever wondered how to reach out to publishers about getting copies of their games for showing off on your channel, this panel should help. It will include public relationships managers from Microsoft, 2K Games and more, who should be able to provide plenty of insight on what they're looking for when they decide who to send games to.

Partner Spotlight - Fred Durst - Saturday, Sep. 26 at 10:30 a.m. PT - Did you know that Limp Bizkit vocalist Fred Durst is a Twitch streamer? It's true! Twitch hasn't said much about what this panel will include, but the interview should be interesting just for curiosity's sake.

Women in Gaming - Saturday, Sep. 26 at 11:30 a.m. PT - Five of Twitch's most popular women streamers take the stage to discuss overcoming stereotypes and how their gender has affected the process of growing a community on the service.


Speedrunning on Twitch - Saturday, Sep. 26 at 1:00 p.m. PT - If you've ever watched Awesome Games Done Quick or Summer Games Done Quick, then you know that speedrunning on Twitch is increasingly popular. This panel will cover the ins and outs of doing speedrun streams, and it will be hosted by Romscout, the event director of Games Done Quick and one of the quickest Castlevania players in the world.

Twitch Fight Night: VGCW - Saturday, Sep. 26 at 2:30 p.m. PT - Video Game Championship Wrestling is amazing. We've written hundreds of words on why it's so incredible. We don't know what VGCW creator Bazza has in store for his TwitchCon special, but it's sure to be hilarious.

Telltale Games: Minecraft Story Mode - Saturday, Sep. 26 at 3:15 p.m. PTMinecraft has been huge on Twitch for years, so it's only fitting that Telltale Games show off Minecraft: Story Mode, its soon-to-be-released narrative-focused Minecraft spin-off, at TwitchCon.

Twitch Hall of Fame Awards Show - Saturday, Sep. 26 at 7:00 p.m. PT - What does a Hall of Fame look like for Twitch? We're not sure, but we're eager to find out! The company is calling this their "inaugural" Hall of Fame ceremonies, so they're expecting to keep adding to it as the years go on. It will be interesting to tune in and see who gets top honors for contributing to the massive growth Twitch has seen over the past few years.

What if you want to attend yourself?

Watching on streams not good enough for you? If you happen to be in the San Francisco area, tickets are still available for TwitchCon. You can purchase a ticket it for Friday for $50 or Saturday for $60. Combo tickets for both days are sold out.

Sadly, tickets to the TwitchCon After Party are also sold out. That party will include a performance by Darude, a Finnish electronic music producer whose track "Sandstorm" has become a viral hit in Twitch streams. Hopefully the party will be streamed too!

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