Another DreamHack passed us by in the blink of an eye.
Oceanic gamers reunited at Melbourne’s Olympic Park in full force over the last weekend of April in a massive celebration of gaming, creativity, and esports.
It’s already been seven months since DH’s last iteration, but the crew behind it managed to pull it off–even bigger and better than last year.
Walking through the orange gates on Friday morning with the music blaring loudly, the Rainbow Road paved the way for the weekend ahead.
We didn’t have to wait very long before we ran it back, did we?
There was so much to see and do.
The very first Artist Alley was both a highlight and downfall for bank accounts. The BYOC drew in its own crowd creating memories. The physically neighbouring esports crowds shouted across Margaret Court Arena to prove their game was better than the other. The carefully crafted cosplays were on full display.
I mean, I even got to dance with Snorlax on Rainbow Road.
- Ducky (@dvckyVT): “This DreamHack was unlike any other OCE esports event for me. I didn’t spend the majority of my time in the arenas watching the games. I was there for the wider community – the artist alley was an amazing edition, and the live Trash Taste episode was a treat. It’s great to have a broad appealing event on the calendar where all the niches can be ticked in a high-quality manner, and I cannot wait for the next rendition.”
- Harry (@ImHarryTaylor): “Nothing beats the Australian Esports crowd – the passion, the intensity, and the love for the game and the players that they give for 3 days straight is something that is unmatched anywhere else in the world. Valve, ESL – do the right thing, give us the Major!”
- Shhlee (@Shhleebo): “Hallzerk’s mullet.”
- Swifty (@swift_y): “Always love seeing the Snowball family altogether over some KBBQ. Also, meeting friends face to face, old and new.”
- Taffy (@TaffyAU): “You won’t see a packed-out stadium of die-hards barking for the home team, yet graceful in defeat and supportive of the international squads further in the event, anywhere else on the planet. Throw on the sense of community for everything else outside esports this weekend, and DH Melbourne just can’t be beaten.”
Once again, it was a weekend like no other.
With friends like Taffy, Ducky, and ChrisTheCaster to cheer us on, Snowball was there to capture as much of the action as we could.
Well, most of us.
Our entire CS:GO coverage from the weekend involved Ashley Whyte working remotely as he was unable to attend the event–but you never would’ve guessed that, right?
He knocked it out of the park with his awesome ESL Challengers coverage, gaining some raw insight into some of the challenges the players face. Aside from this, he maintained our ESL Challengers 2023 coverage hub throughout the weekend.
- Grayhound Vexite: “It’s really comfortable being able to play without jet lag”
- Vertex BRACE: “We’ve been making a lot of international events, but then we have a rough run”
- Complexity Hallzerk: “We either win or we learn”
The tournament–which ran past midnight on the first day–saw Movistar Riders blowing everyone out of the water despite all odds.
Having only been invited to play at DreamHack Melbourne mere days prior, they played the game and owned it, leaving the event undefeated.
In the League of Legends realm, Harry Taylor crushed it on the LCO Split 1 Grand Finals Predictions (even though he tipped the wrong way!)
After an intense finals series between The Chiefs and Team Bliss, the Brisbane Derby was settled as the blue-and-white took their back-to-back LCO titles.
I wrote numerous pieces during the weekend and lead-up to the All-Stars show match and subsequent finals.
- Danteh & Dragku discuss LCO All-Star show match at DreamHack
- Bliss Whynot: “I don’t see a need to be anything but humbled by [our PCS experience]”
- Chiefs BioPanther: “My family is going to be [at DH]. I don’t want them to be disappointed in me.”
- The Chiefs win back-to-back LCO titles at DreamHack Melbourne
One thing that I’ll never tire of is the passion of these competitors. I had the pleasure of interviewing numerous CS:GO and League of Legends players representing a total of seven unique orgs.
Despite all being so different, the fire that they all possess is so contagious; I’m proud to be part of a team that can share that with the world.
Anyone active on Twitter probably sees the bi-monthly discussion of: “OCE esports is dying. How can we save it?”
But I swear, during events like these, everyone’s flame is rekindled in unison–and it spreads like wildfire.
As long as people still care, there’s plenty of room for it to grow.
Oscar Lupton is living proof of this. All of the images featured within this editorial were taken by him, an aspiring esports photographer; he lived alongside us in the Media Room all weekend.
By the end of it, he gained the first piece of his lanyard collection.
People like Oscar–the 25,851 people that found themselves at DreamHack over the weekend–are shouting out that OCE is still thriving.
All in all, the weekend felt much like a fever dream. For some of us, the fever came afterward as a lot of people (including myself) recover from the claws of the con flu.
Per tradition, we found ourselves in the depths of GGEZ and Fortress every evening, alongside old and new friends from all around the country, toasting to
Shitball a weekend to remember.
While we missed a few members of our Snowball family, I’m keen to reunite with them all again soon.
All of these are integral in our region’s identity: an entire crowd watching someone open cases between games, wandering through Artist Alley with a hole in your pockets, Maccas on a cold Autumn night with the best nuggets you’ve ever eaten chasing your GGEZ bevs.
I know I said it all last year, so I’ll paraphrase: no one does it like OCE.
GGWP DreamHack 2023.