G.A.T.E. which stands for Gaming, Animation and Technology Expo was the first event held by Chrono Fantasy Entertainment for Trinidad and Tobago fans of the aforementioned communities.
It had attractions such as local gaming demos, animation corner, technology showcases featuring virtual reality technologies, exhibitor floor and even a cosplay competition. All of which are interesting ways to spend your time at an event like this, but the main attraction that sets G.A.T.E aside from most other events was V.S. 2016, a gaming tournament that was held at other expos over the years and is now a G.A.T.E staple. It featured tournaments in Street Fighter 5, Super Smash Brothers, FIFA 17, Naruto Shippuden: Ninja Storm 4 and Mortal Kombat XL.
The event was held at The Banquet & Conference Centre in Movie Towne, Port of Spain on October 29th 2016. The first thing one would have noticed upon entering the venue were the exhibitor booths with all sorts of gaming and anime merchandise for sale including t-shirts, hats, masks, action figures (dolls) even weapons and pillows. The organizers also opened their doors to youth clubs around Trinidad and Tobago as to influence the next generation of gamers, technology enthusiasts and otakus.
With it being a technology expo the HTC Vive were on display and participants had the opportunity to try it out. I unfortunately did not get a chance to try it but I know Altaïr most certainly enjoyed putting his assassin skills to use. Other technology on display was 3D Printing from Fojo 3D Printing. Cosplayers utilized this technology more than everyone else to make 3D models of themselves in costume.
For those looking to just kick back and play some games the conventional way the expo had you covered. It had a free play area where causal players could relax and have fun playing some of the latest video games. It also had a practice area for tournament contestants to practice their skills before the tournaments officially started.
Despite the late start to the tournaments, they were entertaining with lots of close calls, crazy comebacks and big wins. Both Barbados and Guadeloupe won first prize in each of their respected tournaments, displaying their dominance over Trinidad and Tobago. In addition to the cash prizes, winners of Street Fighter 5 and Super Smash Brothers won belts (WWE style) that will be defended at the next V.S. tournament.
By the end of the day everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, especially the children from the youth groups. The idea to invite them was a good move by the organizers and I hope other expos in Trinidad and Tobago do the same to bring awareness of this type of culture to the next generation to guide them away from other negative influences. Chrono Fantasy Entertainment also announced G.A.T.E. 2 that will take place next year and will feature EVO 2016 Street Fighter 5 finalist L.I. Joe who will challenge the winner of this year’s V.S. tournament.
There is room for improvement with regards to scheduling and it could’ve had a bit more technology on display, but ultimately it was good. Here’s hoping next year’s event will see even more success. If you’d like to keep up with information on the next G.A.T.E, you can check out the official GATE Facebook page.
Disclaimer: This article was done in collaboration between the G.A.T.E founders and The Buttonsmashers. It was written by Johnny Henry who is affiliated with G.A.T.E, and edited by Qudduws Campbell of The Buttonsmashers.