However, it would be wrong to assume this event is just about these two esports tournaments. The level of interactivity within this festival has made it something of a winter mecca for gamers.
Although Jonkoping is unremarkable in many ways, the city has become a hotbed for esports gaming over the years. It’s as sub-culturally recognizable as Barcelona or Milan for soccer fans.
There is a total of seven different esports tournaments taking place across the weekend across the following sports:
- CS:GO – Dreamhack Astro Open (also known as DreamHack Winter 2017)
- Dota 2 – DreamLeague Season 8 Finals
- Arena of Valour – Non-Pro Tournament
- Quake Champions – Invitational
- H1Z1 – Elite Series
- Hearthstone – DreamHack Hearthstone Grand Prix
- Super Smash Bros. Melee – DreamHack Smash Championship
In addition to these seven events, the weekend’s Nordic Championship will gather all the Scandinavia-based players across different esports events.
How big are the DreamHack events?
The original DreamHack event took place in November 1994 when Kenny “K2-Ice” Eklund and Martin “DH_Admin” Ojes decided to rent a school cafeteria in the Swedish city of Malung. They invited their computer-enthusiast friends over to enjoy some coding and hacking. This original event had no internet connection, and a total of 40 people attended.
Since this inauspicious start, DreamHack has grown into the world’s largest digital festival with two held each year — DreamHack Summer and DreamHack Winter. In addition to esports, the events are home to creative competitions, musical acts, lectures from game developers, cosplay, and much more.
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In 2007, the DreamHack event received an official World Record certificate from Guinness for the most competitors in a Local Area Network: 10,455 devices. By the Winter 2015 event, that number had grown to 23,425 devices on the network.
In 2016, 12,000 people visited the two DreamHack events in Sweden. The events regularly attract over 100 million unique viewers via live streaming services.
What’s at DreamHack 2017 apart from esports?
Non-esports events include performances and presentations from YouTube stars and DJs. These include:
- Dada Life
- Anis Don Demina
- Dr Disrespect
- Bass Modulators
In addition to the Main Stage area, the event houses a Stream Zone and Fan Zone. Here, visitors can meet top esports gamers, software developers, YouTube stars, and others within the esports/digital gaming community.
Cosplay fans can also take part in a Winter Cosplay 2017 competition. There is a 30,000 SEK top prize for the winner.
Don’t forget the Casemod Championship, which has a 10,000 SEK top prize for the person who has modified the design of their PC Gaming case in the most creative, striking, and imaginative way. Modders will share their expertise in special open classes prior and following the contest.
The most exciting aspect of DreamHack for many visitors is the BYOC LAN. The Main Hall at the Elmia Fair will be taken over and another huge LAN. Visitors bring their own computers (BYOC = Bring Your Own Computer), plug into the network, and then participate in a huge number of games and tournaments. Will they beat the 23,425 unique devices in the largest DreamHack network ever built from 2015?
What is the cost?
Of course, organizing an event with so many different facets and tournaments costs DreamHack plenty of money. That’s recouped partly through sponsorship deals with companies but also through ticket sales. Like most festivals, DreamHack offers a range of tickets, and the prices of these are very reasonable, especially when compared to the cost of tickets for music festivals.
- Day Pass Tickets (Friday, Saturday, or Sunday) – 200 Kronor – £17.72
- Eventpass Tickets (Friday to Sunday 24/7 access) – 600 Kronor – £53.13
- BYOC LAN Seat (24/7 availability) – 990 Kronor – £87.67
- Camping Ticket to stay on site – 1,200 Kronor – £106.33