The DreamHack Sweden Event Experience
I’ve been getting increasingly into eSports, Twitch, and in particular the game ‘Heroes of the Storm’ over the last year. Never having actually been to an event specifically geared to eSports I really didn’t know what to expect. I was surprised, but delighted at what I found.
If you’re going to do something, do it right. For my eSports live action cherry popping we went for the Dreamhack Sweden weekend event pass. Held at the tardis that is the Elmia in Jönköping, (‘yon-shopping’) the good vibes flowed freely around the halls (that just went on for miles) as I made my way around on an initial recce of the site. Armed with hours of airports security checks and experience of other arena events, i was pleasantly taken aback at how “open” and inclusive it all felt. No bag checks, no throwing bottles or food into bins on entry. Event goers were walking around freely! I soon realised why.
When veteran eSports participants go to these events, they are prepared! They look ready, pushing state of the art PC towers balanced on their pro gaming chairs. Sleeping bags wedged in for those that decide they do want some sleep. multiple trips are needed back to their cars, for the crates of caffeine induced *insert energy drink here*. I even saw a couple of microwaves being pushed about, for those not wanting to move as far as the food stands. I loved the fact they were allowed to do this, despite the ‘gamers need breaks’ warnings flashing up at the back of my mind.
I did vaguely wonder if online sales for adult nappies had gone up a few percent the week prior to the event, but never got the opportunity to bring that query up with a fellow gamer.
Once settled and set up, gamers were happily entrenched for the next couple of days. Whilst the demographic was largely young males as I expected, there were far more females there than I anticipated, and the age ranges were quite diverse. The tech on display was eye watering, and once the lights went down the halls took on an eerie quiet, with thousands of rainbowed lights illuminating the players. It had its own beautiful quality, to see hundreds of people in a space and yet for it to be almost possible to hear a pin drop. In the unlikely event folk did want to get some fresh air, you could step outside and give the fair a visit that had been set up at the entrance, or pay a visit to the reasonably priced donut stall.
Handily there were plenty of merch stands for not only showing off the latest gear in development, but for the gamers to actually buy new tech if they were feeling a little cowed by the circuitry pissing contest on show in the halls. As well as these merch tech stands, there were several gaming contests going on live in which event goers could sit and become part of the live audience. This was where I ended up spending most my time, watching the Summer Global Championships for HOTS. I got my geek on seeing some of my favourite Twitch casters wandering around, and sitting with the teams who were waiting to battle it out in the group play offs. Shout out here to the Blizzard crew on standby throughout the event, they were awesome even when experiencing tech difficulties. They amazingly noticed that we’d gone to every single match and came and gave us a little thank you gift too. #Feelsgoodman
Towards the end of the weekend the atmosphere was tinged with more than a little BO, but also with a little sadness it was coming to an end. It was clear I’d stumbled into a well established and positive community that completely negated the baby rage viral videos you often see of gaming fans. I saw little of the Twitch trolls that spam chats with their keyboard crap, and more a celebration of video games. If I were to sum up the experience I’d probably say… If Monster energy drink did the dirty with a weed infused Yankee candle, you’d get the hyped, yet chill vibe that was Dreamhack Sweden.
To share the love, Tech Scorpion are running a competition to give away some of the HOTS hero codes I was bestowed with during the weekend. head on over to our Facebook page to find out more!
I’ll leave you with some photo highlights of the event, let us know if you spot yourself somewhere amongst the depths of screens!