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Culture / Entertainment

Disneyland for Gamers Takes Over Dallas’ Convention Center — Your First Look at the DreamHack Madness

More Than $2 Million in Prize Money, esports Stars and Nonstop Gaming Await

BY // 05.30.19

The biggest ultimate gaming lifestyle festival, DreamHack, is making its Dallas debut this weekend. The three-day fest is open 24 hours a day at Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center from Friday, May 31 to Sunday, June 2. With everything that’s included at the festival, it’s basically like Disneyland for gamers.

In addition to the fest, this will be the first DreamHack event to add on the CORSAIR Masters tournament, which is included in badge price. The weekend will be packed with $2 million in pro esports tournaments, collegiate matches, a world famous LAN party, cosplay championship, panels, art, activities, expo, screenings and live music.

PaperCity got a sneak peek of the event Thursday as the crew was putting the finishing touches on the largest DreamHack festival in North America. When all of the overhead lights go out and what looks like hundreds of gaming computers boot up, it’s going to be quite the event.

First off, esports. Besides the CORSAIR Masters, which we’ll get to later, gamers will compete in various tournaments for prize money. There’s a Madden NFL 19 tournament with prizes totaling $25,000 and Rocket League with a $100,000 prize pool.

Fighting Game Championships include BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle, Brawlhalla, Mortal Kombat 11, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and more, totaling more than $25,000. And for fans of Halo, there will be a Halo Championship Series Grassroots with a prize pool of $50,000.

To throw it back a bit, DreamHack also has old TV monitors set up with “vintage” gaming systems like Nintendo GameCube. And for those who like tabletop games, there’s an entire section just for boardgames.

In the very back of the room, check out the BYOC (Bring Your Own Computer) section. It’s open all night for gamers to play and apparently, people also find some interesting ways to nap in between games. BYOC tournaments include Overwatch, League of Legends, Starcraft 2, and more.

After dark on Friday and Saturday nights, there will be live music. Popular EDM artists, Seven Lions, Kuuro and Grant, will be on the main stage Friday night. And for “Metal Night” on Saturday, Trivium, Cane Hill, and Hyro the Hero will perform. All music starts at 8 pm.

A new addition to DreamHack is the Mobile Series. There will be a set-up just for mobile esports like Brawl Stars and Clash Royale with a prize pool of $20,000. There will also be speedrunning marathons, which is where players compete to finish a game the quickest.

An Indie Playground shows off a ton of indie game developers offering a sneak peak at new games before they hit the market. And Version Alpha will be the first Gaming-Focused Hackathon in Dallas.

The expo will also be filled with exhibitors presenting new hardware and software, games, gadgets, and swag. One that stood out is Neuro Rehab VR, a Fort-Worth based company that uses VR for physical therapy after neurological issues like strokes.

Biggest of all is the CORSAIR Masters. I got a sneak peak of the arena, and even as a non-gamer I thought it was pretty awesome. Photos couldn’t be taken, but there will be a fog machine and lights as 16 of the best Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams compete for the crown. And oh, also $250,000.

Tickets can be purchased for $37 per day and $89 for the weekend.

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