The Daily Texan’s recap of the best, most entertaining events at RTX Austin

Reagan Richard, Life and Arts Reporter

Media company Rooster Teeth’s annual convention, RTX Austin, provides those interested in the vast world of podcasting, gaming and animation an opportunity to build community and interact with their favorite creators in one action-packed weekend. This year’s convention, which took place July 1-3 at the Austin Convention Center, marked the triumphant return of the beloved event after a two-year hiatus. Despite the reduced scale of the weekend, the convention still offered a catalog of exciting, entertaining and educational events. The Daily Texan staff explored RTX 2022 from top to bottom and gathered a list of this year’s most intriguing, awe-inducing and downright nerdy events. 

“Achievement Hunter” Live Wrestling 

Achievement Hunter, a subset of Rooster Teeth Media, is a coalition of gamers who amassed a large fanbase from their online gameplay streams. At this year’s convention, a few hundred festivalgoers cheered on their favorite Achievement Hunter streamers, whose online personas battled in digital wrestling matches. The gamers, arranged in a row at the front of the room, cracked jokes and poked fun at the characters, causing the audience to erupt with laughter. Watching the Achievement Hunter gamers suplexing each other in the digital squared circle left fans going berserk with every takedown, face-breaker and knee-drop. 

Cosplay Contest

The RTX cosplay contest offered competitors a chance to showcase intricately-detailed and often handmade creations to gain recognition for their dedication to the art. From anime to sci-fi, characters from numerous fictional universes showed out on stage. Daxton and Jet, teenage brothers and RTX convention regulars, competed with identical Spiderman suits and said they made sure their costumes were in pristine condition for the competition. There wasn’t an empty seat in the house, as colorful characters wielding swords and paper mache weaponry waltzed across the stage to present their work. 

Puppy Parties

Sweet little canine friends visiting from Austin Pets Alive! and Rescue Pets set up camp in the middle of the exhibit hall, advertising free cuddles. Naturally, a line of puppy-loving attendees quickly formed around the circular enclosure. The sight of fully-costumed individuals sitting cross-legged on the floor of the exhibit hall with tiny dogs perched in their laps proved to be a high note for the weekend. Not only does an RTX Puppy Party provide that wonderful image, but it also allows convention attendees a moment to take a breath and relax while holding a precious furry creature. 

Live Magic Lesson

“Scam School” podcast’s Brian Brushwood enthralled audiences with an unforgettable show, managing to swallow at least 10 balls of flame, teach the audience a few magic tricks and drive a 5-inch long nail into his nasal canal within the span of half an hour. The magician and comedian pulled several audience members onstage for his magical demonstrations, and even taught a delighted fan how to “breathe smoke,” a magic trick involving quickly inhaling chemicals from a lit match and slowly exhaling to create a dark cloud of smoke. 

Exhibit Hall Extravaganza!

One could easily spend an entire day lost in the rows of colorful knickknacks, posters, T-shirts, comics and action figure vendors in the RTX exhibit hall. Whether a Game of Thrones weapons cache or a Pikachu Squishmallow, the exhibit hall offered booths for any attendee to enjoy. At the front of the exhibit hall, with blue strobe lights illuminating the center stage, sat the Gaming Pavilion. The Pavilion was constantly surrounded by chattering crowds watching their favorite internet personalities duke it out on screen. The RTX exhibit hall buzzed with excitement, and exploring its merchandise made for an absolute adventure.