No side eyes here—even if REV Major 2023 was held at Function Room 5 of SMX Manila during the weekend of September 30 to October 1, it still packs quite a punch.

As I was constantly thinking about VTubers (given that an adjacent event was being held alongside this year’s REV), I need a different perspective. Organizer Gariath Concepts gave keepsakes. an opportunity to explore REV Major 2023 as media, so I tapped into my colleagues to help deliver this feature story.

By this time, we’ve already had discussed the event on the Events Circuit Preview podcast with The Reimaru Files, which you can watch first on Facebook.

What’s Inside REV Major 2023?

REV Major 2023 also hosted several major brands such as Samsung, SVGA, PlayStation, Globe and Asus Republic of Gamers. There’s even an area reserved for those who bought their VIP tickets, where you can play games and get a bit tipsy.

Last year, spectators and players were encouraged to bring their controller—this year, they’re encouraged to bring their own console. That means you can have your Plash Speed 5 router plugged into an available monitor within the perimeter of the assigned area.

Rev Major 2023

As a spectator, the crowd is amazing: At one side you can see multitudes of players duking each other out, surrounded by crowds of fellow spectators (so much that they’re asked to set a distance the next day).

At another side you can see the audience roaring at each K.O. landed at the main stage. The choice of food booths the event has was adequate for spectators and players alike to stay inside—and did we mention they got McDonald’s to set up a booth there with food coming in from time to time?

If there’s one thing that Rumble Royale did right at this year’s REV, it’s to set up a Melty Blood tournament with a complementing toilet setup. Toilet seats as chairs, and tables, plus an upside-down toilet photobooth setup was chef’s kiss for me. The meme was an idea which came from overseas, adopted by REV Major in 2019 with a video skit—and now, it’s finally real. With that, REV Major 2023 felt much complete for me.

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Several visitors at REV Major 2023 did show up in cosplay, some of whom I have shown on the slideshow atop.

A New Experience for Artists at REV Major 2023

Merchants who got used to exhibiting at cosplay events experienced something anew at REV Major. We spoke to some of the artists exhibiting at this year’s edition:

Rev Major 2023 - Aricranz

Arianna Cranz (Aricranz) started creating art in 2013 using a brush, with her first art being Sona from League of Legends. She first drew the character on a whim as someone asked her to do so. She’s also experienced in drawing using charcoals aside from colored ones.

Her first convention was Globe Conquerors Manila 2019. She was motivated to set up a booth upon the invitation of the organizers. Since then, she became a regular exhibitor. Her first-time experience selling at REV Major was kind of similar to that of cosplay cons—she got busy during the second day. She recalls someone buying her art merch as it was cute, even though they didn’t know who the character was or where they came from.

You’ll know she’s into games as she showed her illustrations of game characters from League, Genshin Impact and Tekken—she started playing games following her graduation in 2017. During that time, she diverted her attention to playing LoL for her mental well-being.

She plans to add characters from Valorant to be sold in her next booth setup soon—that would be at the upcoming ESGS this November if she gets accepted into it.

Rev Major 2023 - Papercut Tavern

Lyrae of Papercut Tavern sells art merch related to Pokemon and Avatar, as well as other game titles. We spoke to Lyrae, who specializes in creating art inspired by Nintendo titles, as well as Honkai Star Rail and select anime such as Mob Psycho 100, Soul Eater, and Jujutsu Kaisen. The Tavern is composed of Coconutbiko, Lyrae, and JuiceUrLemons, who started boothing together last year.

Her journey as an artist started with her father and brother, who helped her draw some of her homework. Talent runs in the genes, indeed. She was inspired by her friends to set up art booths at events.

Just like Aricranz, REV Major was something new for Lyrae, as she told us it’s a good event—the people who pass by their booth are very supportive, and they are also fans of the characters they draw. There were so many characters in their booth that you can’t find in any other artist tables. Of course, it’s a big compliment for them and they were happy that they could provide what the congoers like.

Aside from the kind treatment she received from the organizers, the event was fun to watch, making her first REV Major experience a refreshing one.

All Star Cast of Players and Personalities

Rev Major 2023 - DRX Chanel

If you were too focused on the hype, chances are you’ve missed out on the following personalities who graced this year’s event:

  • Coyote from the Kemono Friends VTuber project (yes, that’s real and it has existed for two years). Little did I knew that she’s into Tekken so much that she came all the way from Japan to play Tekken at REV. Wow.
  • Cosplayer and !rregular Programing mainstay Cholo Tolentino, who reportedly scored a satisfying huge bargain on a microphone and at the SVGA booth while he was creating content for said event.
  • DRX Chanel (in photo, with a fan), who ranked 33rd in this leg of the World Tour.

Wrapping up this post, I have other photos from REV Major 2023 as well as short updates posted on Tiktok, Reels and Shorts. That said, we thank Gariath Concepts for letting us explore REV Major 2023. We hope to be part of this great experience next year.

—with additional reports, interviews and photos from Marvic Dan Caramay and Joshua Geronimo