Are you never bored with board games? Are you a button mashing master? Then it’s time to level up your fun in the Gaming Zone!

Whether you’re hardcore or casual, digital or analog – we have something for you. Featuring organized play, tournaments and freeplay for all the hottest new games, retro favorites and can’t-miss classics, the Gaming Zone is the perfect place to take a short rest away from the show floor.

It’s dangerous to go alone so grab your friends and head on over because we’re ready to play!

Where? On the Show Floor Gaming near Autographing and at Chicagoland Games: Dice Dojo’s Booth 248! South Building Gaming: Level 5 in S501-ABC. Can’t see us? Listen closely for the sound of your favorite team taking the W.

When? Show Floor Gaming: Friday – Saturday 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM, Sunday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM  South Building Gaming: 10:00 AM – 12:00 AM

What’s Happening in The Gaming Zone?

Free Play and Tournament Console Gaming

Plug in and power up because we’re offering free console gaming all weekend long! Whether you want to test your skills against a friend or go head to head in a king of the hill style tournament, console aficionados of all types will have something to enjoy.

Arcade and Retro Classics

Arcade and retro classics can be a lot of fun to play, whether you're looking to relive some nostalgic memories or discover old games for the first time. Stop by Galloping Ghost Arcade to fulfill your arcade dreams.

Board Games, Card Games and More!

There are so many different types of board games and card games out there to explore. If you're not sure what to try, the staff at Booth 248 Chicagoland Games: Dice Dojo will be able to offer some recommendations based on your interests and experience level!

RPG Adventures

Calling all Bards, Wizards and everything in between! Dungeons & Dragons returns with dedicated DMs to and plenty of different modules for your party. Baldman Games and Rough Magic Games will transport you into a new world!

Who Will Be in the Gaming Zone?

CMSA eSports 

CMSA eSports exists to provide a safe space for LGBTQ+ individuals to participate in online and in-person organized eSport play. CMSA eSports aims to provide a diverse, social community of gamers that encourages camaraderie, sportsmanship, and a lightly competitive atmosphere.  

Join us at the CMSA eSports Lounge within the Gaming Zone to learn about our FREE weekly LGBTQ+ eSports leagues. Make new friends by participating in our various “Friendship Tournaments” including Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros! BONUS: Every visitor* will get a special rainbow “Gaymer” or “Ally” ribbon for your badge!   
*While supplies lasts.

Friday, March 31, 2023 

  • 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM 
    LGBTQ+ Dead by Daylight Meetup (Allies welcome!) 
    Join us to play Dead By Daylight and meet fellow killers and survivors! Learn about our upcoming DBD LGBTQ+ eSports league.
  • 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM 
    Battle Bonnie Mi: Super Smash Bros Tournament  
    Battle iconic drag superstar, Bonnie Mi, and a giant Pikachu in Super Smash Bros and earn the chance to win a 2024 C2E2 weekend badge! Will you slay or be slain? 

Saturday, April 1, 2023 

  • 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM 
    LGBTQ+ Overwatch 2 Meetup (Allies welcome!) 
    Do you LOVE Overwatch 2? So do we! Learn how to sign up for our free weekly LGBTQ+ Overwatch 2  eSports league and make new friends to play with! 
  • 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM 
    LGBTQ+ League of Legends Meetup (Allies welcome!) 
    Get grouped up in a team of 5 and compete on the Howling Abyss in an ARAM! Beat the enemy team in the quickest time and earn C2E2 2024 weekend badges! BONUS: Learn how to sign up for our free weekly LGBTQ+ League of Legends eSports league and make new friends. 
  • 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM 
    The Bros’ Present: Mario Kart Race 
    Join local heroes Mario and Luigi and race your heart out for a chance to win a C2E2 2024 weekend badge! It’s all fun and games until the shells go flying!  

Sunday, April 2, 2023 

  • 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM 
    LGBTQ+ Fortnite Meetup (Allies welcome!) 
    Get grouped in a squad of 4 and compete in a no build tournament! Get a Victory Royale your squad will earn a chance to win C2E2 2024 weekend badges! BONUS: Learn how to sign up for our free weekly LGBTQ+ Fortnite eSports league and make new friends.

Instagram: @CMSAeSports  
Twitter: @CMSAeSports  
TikTok: @CMSAeSports  
Chicago Twitch:  

Galloping Ghost Arcade 

The largest Arcade in the World is coming to C2E2! Come play a collection of games from the classics you know to obscure rare games you can't play anywhere else! All the games will be set to Free Play! To make our appearance at C2E2 even more memorable, we will be hosting a high score tournament at for the C2E2 ARCADE CHAMPIONSHIP BELT, as well as unveiling a game you can't yet play at the Galloping Ghost Arcade, showcasing the Galloping Ghost Productions game DARK PRESENCE and much more!   
The C2E2 Championship belt - The exclusive C2E2 Arcade tournament! Come play in a 7 game high score tournament at the Galloping Ghost Arcade area for the C2E2 Championship Arcade Belt! Scores tracked by Arcade! Who will walk away as the champion?  

Murder Mystery Co. 

 Death of a Gangster: A 1920's Mafia Marriage Murder Mystery   
Friday, Saturday, Sunday | Free | Sign Ups Required | Room S501-D   
Lucky you! You’ve been invited to the Dunn Speakeasy for the wedding of the year! In this “married to the mob” event, you’ll never know who to trust. With the two families merging together, someone is bound to lose power, which means someone else will lose their life! Get on the trolley and solve this case with your fellow detectives. Dress like the cat’s meow for this mafia wedding! Flapper dresses, zoot suits, feather boas and headbands, pinstriped suits and fedoras are all appropriate. Traditional wedding attire is nifty too! 

Pop-Up Escape Rooms 

POP-UP Escape Rooms creates portable escape room experiences. These experiences are brought to a variety of events, such as conventions or parties, where they are set up and run by our team. POP-UP Escape Rooms was born out of a desire to create fully immersive adventures that can be brought and shared with people at almost any location or event. 

 Room Themes:   

The Last Masquerade
The Red Death has infiltrated Prince Prospero’s masquerade ball. Can you escape the deadly plague by finding the masks of those who died tragically, learning the stories and finishing a secret ritual?
Ticket Registration:

Detention: Escape from the Cursed High School
Classmates are sentenced to detention! But now you’re trapped in a haunted classroom by a tortured spirit. Will you solve the riddles to free the ghost, or find a way to destroy it? Multiple endings!
Ticket Registration:

Secret Aboard Starship Astraeus
Your ragtag group of space scavengers have found a derelict Galactic Concordant Starship ripe for the taking! But the unusual cargo on the Astraeus makes it a target by the ruthless Urbraxians.
Ticket Registration:

Dungeon & Dragons: Baldman Games 

Welcome to D&D @ C2E2!!!   Baldman Games is the Premiere Organizers for Wizards of the Coast and D&D. For over two decades we’ve brought the joy of playing the World’s Greatest Roleplaying game to hundreds of thousands of players around the world. Come join us for a quick demo on a pirate ship, a longer learn to play session, or if you are already familiar with the game start to delve into what the Red Wizards of Thay are up to (hint – it’s not good). Follow us on Twitter @baldmangames or our website ( to stay up to date on all the cool things we are doing throughout the year. 

D&D Demo (15-20 mins): High seas, sailing ships, danger, water, and maybe some more water? Join us in the main hall for a quick D&D adventure. Grab a pregen, some dice, and adventure awaits. Running continuously from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM each day (10:00 AM – 5:00 PM Sunday)

Learn to Play D&D (90-120 min): Want to learn to play D&D? New, returning after some time off, or introducing others to the game this is your event. Play in our second 90-minute learn to play adventure for 1st-2nd Level Characters, legal for D&D Adventurers League play and brought to you by Baldman Games. From here continue to our full length Dragonlance games for an entire weekend of fun and excitement.  

  • Schedule – Fri/Sat 10:00 AM, Noon, 2:00 PM, 4:00 PM, 6:00 PM, and 8:00 PM. Sun 10:00 AM, Noon, 2:00 PM, 4:00 PM

DRW-INT 01 – Big Problems (90-120 min): The town of Daggerford is in over its head, and needs heroes to solve a really big problem. Things will get worse before they get better.Part One of the Red Seeds series of adventures. A Two-Hour Adventure for 1st through 4th-Level Characters. 

  • Schedule – Fri/Sat 10:00 AM, Noon, 2:00 PM, 4:00 PM, 6:00 PM, and 8:00 PM. Sun 10:00 AM

DRW-INT 02 – Watchers of the Trollclaws (90-120 min):  Caravan merchants traveling the Winding Water speak of a ruin that has risen from the muck of the Trollclaws. Its walls are covered with carved eyes that glow in the moonlight and weep an unnatural fog during the day. What treasures await you within? Part Two of the Red Seeds series of adventures. A Two-Hour Adventure for 1st through 4th-Level Characters. 

  • Schedule – Fri 6:00 PM, and 8:00 PM, Sat 2:00 PM, 4:00 PM, 6:00 PM, and 8:00 PM, Sun 10:00 AM, Noon, 2:00 PM, 4:00 PM


Amtgard, a free-to-play world-wide organization dedicated to safe, inclusive, accessible medieval and fantasy combat sports and recreation, featuring a wide array of interests including combat, magic, role play, leadership, and various arts.  Amtgard combat takes place using foam-padded replicas of medieval weapons, fantasy and historical clothing, and imagination to immerse players in a world of heroic combat, magic, monsters, quests, crafting, artistry, and more; to bring to life the tabletop or video game experience many are familiar with. Amtgard provides an atmosphere to allow you to role play to whatever extent you like.


Come by I Play Games! in the Gaming Zone for free-to-play console games on the Nintendo Switch, PS5 and Xbox Series X. Not looking to play, check out the tournament schedule below to cheer on your favs! 

TOURNAMENTS: Chicago High School Esports Exhibition

This year in C2E2 Gaming Zone local Gaming Company I Play Games! will be hosting the Chicago High School Esports Exhibition.  Five different Chicago Public Schools including Walter Payton Preparatory, John Spry Community School, Uplift Community High School, George Washington HS, and Englewood Stem High School will battle it out in the popular multiplayer game KnockOut City! Come cheer on your favorite team at 1:00 PM on Friday in the section of the Gaming Zone! 

Friday, March 31, 2023

  • 12:30 PM Chicago HS KnockOut City
  • 4:00 PM Smash Bros

Saturday, April 1, 2023

  • 1:00 PM Rocket League
  • 4:00 PM Mortal Kombat 11

Sunday, April 2, 2023

  • 12:00 PM Goldeneye
  • 3:00 PM Mario Kart 8


Come by the Paint-and-Take Arena and paint a free miniature from our sponsors. You can also win some awesome prizes as well. Big thank you to Wizkids, Monument Hobbies, Privateer Press, Army Painter, Death Wish Coffee, Wyrd, Catalyst Game Labs and many more!


As gamers ourselves, we are dedicated to the gaming community and can offer a vast knowledge of all things related to gaming! We offer the best variety of games in the Chicagoland area. Stop by Booth 248 for some free tabletop gaming opportunities!


Stop by for a free gaming sesh with your squad or find like-minded gamers to build out your team. From VALORANT to Goat Simulator – we have an extensive library of games! Jump into Discord or load-out solo. Remember to have fun and play responsibly. Parents – not looking to join your offspring's game? We got your finest chairs and tables available for waiting.