The Los Angeles Kings Will Make E3 2012 Interesting

The Los Angeles Kings just defeated the Phoenix Coyotes 4-3 in overtime, solidifying their spot in the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals against either the New Jersey Devils or the New York Rangers.

Wait a second…this is a gaming blog, why am I writing about this?

Simple: the Stanley Cup Finals schedule dictates that Games 3 and 4 will be held in the Staples Center, home of those Kings, on Monday, June 4th and Wednesday, June 6th.

What’s significant about those dates? Not a whole lot, except for a major video game industry event happening the same week. The biggest one of the year, too.

That’s right, the LA Kings are looking to make things interesting for the video game industry at E3 2012, as they’ll be playing their first home Stanley Cup Finals games since 1993 a stone’s throw away from the Los Angeles Convention Center, where the entire industry will be gathering for a full week.

Now, this isn’t a big deal for the most part, aside from some extra congestion around the stadium come game time. What I worry about, though, is a similar experience to the one I had at E3 2010.

On the last night of that show, a friend and I decided to catch Video Games Live! at the Nokia Theatre behind Staples Center (where Nintendo holds their conference). During the concert, the clock ticked to zero on Game 7 of the NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics…and the Lakers won.

Suddenly, L.A. Live turned into a scene from Cloverfield. Joyous fans flocked into the streets waving towels and shouting beyond all recognition. Police SWAT teams gathered in the streets, marching in perfect form in order to keep the peace. Helicopters flew in all directions above me, both TV news and police choppers. It was insanity in the purest form, unlike anything I’d ever experienced (and seeing as how I’m a Philly boy, I can honestly say that. Broad Street in ’08 was TAME compared to this.)

Now, the only way the Lakers scene recreates itself is if the Kings sweep whoever they play next round, winning the Cup in Game 4 on Wednesday. However, the Kings have only lost twice in these playoffs, and they motored through the #1, #2, AND #3 seeds in the Western Conference to get there. A sweep is NOT out of the question. Furthermore Laker fans, though they were crazy that night, weren’t as title-starved as Kings fans are. The Kings have NEVER won a Stanley Cup.  Ever. The Lakers celebration may have been tame compared to the ruckus Kings fans could cause.

We game industry folk could be in for quite a ride, but it’ll be damn fun to see how things play out.

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