DreamHack Winter 2012 will be my third time attending DreamHack, and my second time travelling there by bus with the Intel Pack4DreamHack crew. It started as somewhat of a pelgrimage, feeling it was one of those things you just had to have done at least once in your life as a gamer.
DreamHack’s highlight for me was the StarCraft 2 tournament. Not that surprising, seeing as I play the game quite a lot at a decent level myself and I have been involved in the Dutch E-sports scene for a while now. DreamHack however completely trumps any E-sports event here in the Netherlands, attracting professional players from all over the world, providing ultra-high quality livestreams and some of the best casters and hosts in the scene.
The climax of this tournament of course is at the finals. Regular matches between players are played at the player area where spectators can sit down and literally watch over their favorite player’s shoulders. For the finals, however, this is of course not enough. At the winter event, DreamHack uses the Kinnarps Arena, a large hockey stadium which offers seating to thousands of spectators. At summer events the main auditorium of the Elmia Convention Center is used, but this always completely fills up so more space is required, seeing as the StarCraft 2 tournament at DHW12 will be the conclusion of the DreamHack Eizo open series they have been running for the past year.
Besides just having more room for spectators in the Kinnarps Arena, the venue gives something special to the whole experience. Fourthousand gamers cheering on two guys that are going head to head in a virtual game. These are scenes that might be normal in South Korea, but we haven’t seen much of those in these parts of the world. The only thing you can compare it with is going to a soccer match (or football for you Americans) and cheering on your favorite team with all those people around you.
I shot a bit of video last year which shows just how many people can fit in there and just how special these finals are:
The Kinnarps Experience is one that you must check out if you are in the neigbourhood. It’s something else, it is exhilarating, it’s a DreamHack Production. The DreamHack crew has held top-production quality events in Stockholm, Valencia and Bucharest now and they are constantly improving, I have zero doubt that these finals will be absolutely top-notch and as such have already bought and reserved my seat at the finals. Wanna come say hi? I’ll be in seat A1-1, that’s right, all the way at the front .
- Jeroen ‘Weiman‘ Weimar