An Ode to DreamHack Melbourne 2022

For the record, Nadette is banned from the use of the word "angle" henceforth.

In case you missed it, DreamHack 2022 took place at Melbourne’s Olympic Parks over the weekend, and many attendees currently find themselves recovering from the claws of a three day celebration (bender)—one with no regrets.

The best teams in the region and a few international guests graced the stage in heated competition at the first major LAN since the Melbourne Esports Open in 2019.

An enthusiastic Oceanic crowd welcomed them back with open arms, feeding electricity into the air with their vocalised passion to demonstrate even a lengthy pandemic isn’t enough to douse their flame.

Equipped with a Monster Energy fridge, not enough sleep, and some Industry Beans (@Ducky), Snowball Esports was in full-force to tackle the three day spectacle with the crew sprinkled everywhere, from the stands to the press room.

It was our absolute delight to cover the event: in the end, armed with laptops, iPads, and even a few notepads (editor’s note: Nadette’s notepad certainly got a run at 2am at GGEZ as she drafted one story) we delivered 21 pieces in the lead-up and throughout — and there’s still more cooking in the kitchen.

League of Legends — LCO Split 2 Playoffs

CS:GO — ESL Challenger Melbourne

Other — HCS Melbourne, Editorial & Guides

But that wasn’t the full weekend.

Not even close.

I had the pleasure of meeting and catching up with so many people over the weekend. From my surprising arrival at Avalon (editor’s note: rookie mistake) Airport on Friday night, I headed straight to Margaret Court Arena for the conclusion of Pentanet’s series.

The moment I stepped inside, being met with the blinding lights, booming speakers, and rows upon rows of fans—I was home. From absorbing the electricity of the crowd to holding hands with Kitty, I found myself chasing after those unforgettable moments all weekend.

Here are some of the highlights from Snowballers who attended:

  • Alex (@Alexicon13): “Seeing teams you’ve watched for years playing right in front of you and hearing the crowd roar alongside you for every crazy play was an extremely special moment.”
  • Wray (@AWray7): “For me – it would easily be seeing everyone back together after three years. With live esports events, it’s great to be back and just see how it’s become bigger and better this year. With all the international Counter-Strike and seeing League of Legends with a live crowd is so awesome.”
  • Isaac (@isaacmcintyre): “Watching the tight-knit world of Australian and Oceanic esports come together again after so long isolated was incredible, like everyone had been holding a deep breath and finally had the chance to let it out⁠—DreamHack came at just the right moment for our competitive gaming scene.
  • Taffy (@TaffyAU): “Hearing the Aussie crowd roar—not just for our own, but for each and every player and team competing. We just love our esports, and to have everyone back together again after so long is the best feeling there is.”
  • Harry (@ImHarryTaylor): “Being back with people once again who are all brought together for their shared passion for esports is an amazing feeling I had dearly missed. The chats, the laughs, and the deep discussions are the foundations of our community and doing them in person is even better. The hard work that we have done as a team before, during and after is immensely satisfying and I want to keep it going. F**k, I love esports.”
  • Ties (@TiesAU): “The roar of the crowd. When Vertex was coming back on Imperial. When BalKhan stole the baron. Chills.”
  • Ducky (@dvcky_): “Getting to meet everyone I had interacted with over the last three years but never were able to see in person was the real highlight. Three years ago I only really covered Overwatch and League of Legends, but this gave me the chance to see friends from the Valorant, Siege, and other gaming scenes all at the one event. Without that community, there would be no esports in Australia.”
  • Swifty (@swift_y): “A Father’s Day present from my Snowball Esports children when I got to the press room on Sunday.”

There was something in the air⁠—and it wasn’t the huffing of copium.

Whatever it was, it was contagious, and brought everyone closer together. 

The moments that really bring esports to life.

The reminder that LAN is not just an event—it’s a feeling—and it cannot be replicated.

The crowd erupts at a Baron steal during an intense League of Legends series. 

The crowd sits in anticipation in a nail-biting reverse sweep in Halo. 

They roar at the clutch plays, 1vX retakes, and one taps in Counter-Strike.

These stories are happening right in front of us on that Melbourne stage, and suddenly, everyone is intoxicated on the feeling.

And it’s contagious.

There’s something magical about watching a man drink a beer from his shoe for the first time in three years. Chanting a team’s name, knowing they can hear your support. Looking a few metres away from the stage and watching the casters in their element, thriving on the energy of the room. Watching the person next to you leap from their chair in a mix of disbelief and excitement about the play they witnessed.

But, even after the games, we’re not quite done. 

No, the authentic LAN experience includes being surrounded by family and strangers (who are technically extended family), bonding over a common love, regardless of which title they follow.

People answer Friday night’s hangover from GGEZ with another drink at Fortress, and then run it back again on Sunday, all whilst donning the merch of their favourite teams.

When they wake up on Monday morning, the post-con depression hits like a truck as everyone trickles to the airport and goes their separate ways.

But hell, does it feel good anyway.

Without LAN, it’s been years since people have seen one another; with the pandemic, this may even be their first time meeting face to face⁠—and there is so much to catch up on. It gave the perfect angle for reunions: friends and family, players and fans, Melbourne, and of course live esports again.

Faces were put to screen names and attached to newly cherished memories. 

Oceania is a smaller region by default, and the international competition has a nasty habit of underestimating what OCE can do; the electricity of an Australian crowd is unmatched. The community is notably smaller, but that just brings everyone closer.

DreamHack 2022 brought in gamers from all across Australia and the world (source: Alexicon1) who all reconnected offline to celebrate their combined love of gaming. 

Whether they were on the stage, in the stands, behind the camera, writing about the matches, drafting socials, mixing drinks, or witnessing people fail time and time again at the Intel Booth claw machine (that must surely be rigged otherwise I would have absolutely won); every ingredient is essential to the unique OCE esports experience. 

The over 21,000 attendees and staff made a show to be proud of.

GGWP, DreamHack 2022.

After being dormant for so long, it felt good to be back.

We can’t wait to see you all again⁠—and let’s make it a little bit sooner, right?

Bernadette Wong

One of the youngest contributors of the Snowball team, Bernadette "Nadette" Wong is a resident Lux ‘Support’ main with a recently ignited passion for esports, specifically in League of Legends.

Bernadette Wong
Bernadette Wong
One of the youngest contributors of the Snowball team, Bernadette "Nadette" Wong is a resident Lux ‘Support’ main with a recently ignited passion for esports, specifically in League of Legends.



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