In partnership with Insomnia 64 – for more information and to buy tickets, go here.
Insomnia 64, the UK's biggest gaming festival, kicks off at the Birmingham NEC on Friday, April 19.
With the opportunity to play the big upcoming games, compete in esports tournaments, and catch the cosplay competition, there promises to be plenty to keep gamers entertained over the upcoming Easter weekend.
But what can you absolutely not afford to miss? Here are five things you must do at Insomnia 64 before the festival finishes on Monday, April 22.
1. Visit the BYOC area
BYOC, or Bring Your Own Computer, is a staple of Insomnia. For 20 years, players have been packing up their PC and hauling it to the festival to play on their own setup in what the organisers call the UK's biggest LAN Party.
Throughout the weekend, gamers will be able to take part in multiplayer battles, and also compete for cash prizes in more serious esports tournaments (see below). After a day of competitive action, there is evening entertainment provided, including a pub quiz on the Friday night and Laser Tag on Saturday.
Those who can’t bring their computer can still take part as Insomnia provide rental services so you won’t miss out on any of the action.
2. Check out the esports tournaments
As well as the fun multiplayer battles, the BYOC Arena also hosts big Rocket League, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, and Overwatch esports tournaments. These are all BYOC exclusive, and you need to register to take part to be in with a chance of winning a cash prize.
These four tournaments are billed as the headliners, but the Community Esports Tournaments that take place on the Saturday and Sunday should also prove popular, especially with duos tournaments in big battle royale games Fortnite and PUBG also taking place.
As well as these BYOC tournaments, you can watch The Game Belong Arena Clash finals at Insomnia 64. These will feature teams from Belong centers across the UK facing off in the grand finals of Tekken 7, Rainbow Six: Siege, FIFA 19, Overwatch, and League Of Legends competitions.
3. See some amazing cosplay
Cosplay is also a big part of Insomnia 64, and if you want to check out the best costumes and discover how they were created, you can meet the pros in the Cosplay Zone.
On Saturday, the Cosplay Championship takes place, with professional cosplayers taking to the stage and hoping that their costume will be crowned the best at the event.
On Sunday, the Community Masquerade gives everyone the opportunity to show off their own costumes, and is definitely an event you will not want to miss if you're a fan of cosplay.
4. Meet your favorite YouTuber
Some of Britain’s biggest YouTubers will be attending Insomnia 64, including gamers like Tom ‘Syndicate’ Cassell and Elizabeth ‘LDShadowLady’ Dwyer, as well as entertainers such as Niall ‘Pyrocynical’ Comas and Will ‘WillNE’ Lenney.
Creators and influencers will be hosting meet and greet events throughout the weekend, ensuring that you should have a chance to see all your favorite internet stars.
5. Visit the Expo
Insomnia Expo is the largest in the United Kingdom, and gives fans of gaming and popular culture the opportunity to take a look at some incredible new items and games, and make a purchase from the vendors who attend the event.
Both PlayStation and Nintendo will be in attendance at Insomnia 64, with PlayStation offering players the chance to test out their PlayStation VR headset and new games like Everybody’s Golf VR, while Nintendo will be hosting a number of gaming tournaments throughout the weekend, including Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Splatoon 2.
Tickets for Insomnia are still on sale, with standard weekend tickets and tickets for single days all still available.
The event kicks off on Friday April 19, with doors opening from 10:30am.