There’s a lot flow at the DreamHack video game and digital entertainment festival, which has opened its doors at Feria Valencia, from this Friday to Sunday, after two years of absence due to the virus. There is a lot of desire, assure the organizers; in fact, 75,000 visitors are expected to an event where the strong point will be in the international competitions of eSportsa growing phenomenon.
The energy flows everywhere: there are 6,000 internet points in operation at the festival and the level of downloads early this Friday has made them the main download point in all of Europe. In addition, the five stages installed have a production that has nothing to envy to the concert of a well-known singer: “Here is an audiovisual production costing more than 4 million euros,” says the director of DreamHack, Javier Carrión.
The event has two well-differentiated areas: the LAN zone, a pavilion with more than 3,000 people, with their computers and activities, who sleep in tents; and the exhibition area, with more than 50 brands, which offer visitors the latest in video games, products for gamers, merchandise of series and games, virtual reality and a retro zone with more than 30 arcade machines from the 80s. “If you like to watch competitions, you can watch it, but if you like to play or learn about the new video games, there is an endless supply”, the organizer points out.
The eSports It is a phenomenon that continues to grow, according to the director of DreamHack Valencia. In this edition there are, for the first time, five professional competition scenarios, with four different games and one with finals of about 20 games from all over Spain. “There are 1,300 professional players from 23 different countries who come to Valencia, in person, to compete. If we add up all the competitions, there are 20 million people who follow him on the Twitch platform. on-line in six different languages”, specifies Carrión.
It is a spectacle to watch them play. There are clubs from the US, the UK, Korea, Spain… from all over the world. “Sometimes an eSports player comes with a staff (or team) of 10 people, who is in charge of accrediting him, giving him medical attention, nutrition…, because they dedicate themselves to competing and forget about everything else”, explain the specialists. They are players who do not train at home but in their offices, in the gaming housewhere they train their eight hours and have a team of strategy, communication and psychologists.
Will they overcome eSports one day to the classic sports leagues? The answer is complicated, says Carrión, because, in his opinion, they have two very different metrics, one is on-line and the other is governed more by television right now. But the competitions eSports they already equal or exceed the ACB league, cycling, tennis, —except when Rafa Nadal reaches a final—. “Soccer is in another galaxy, for now, but I am sure that at some point they will be on par”, considers the organizer.
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The event is a world showcase of the eSports as the only stop of the CS:GO women’s circuit in Europe before the finals at DreamHack Sweden and the only European stop of the Halo Championship Series.
In addition to the women’s CS:GO circuit in Europe and the Halo Championship Series, the ESL Challenger tournaments will also be held, the only dispute in Spain of an ESL Pro Tour tournament; Starcraft 2, the only ESL Pro Tour SC2 Master in Europe; and the Clash All Stars by Universe, which will bring together the best Clash Royale players in the world. Prizes for these tournaments will range from $500,000 in the CSGO women’s circuit, $338,000 in the Starcraft 2 and $100,000 in the Halo Championship Series.
The star test of the previous edition of DreamHack accumulated 1.3 million live views, it was the semifinal of one of the championships and there are very few games in the conventional league, except for those of the teams at the top of the League, which achieve that hearing, concludes Carrión.
The word flow it is heard everywhere throughout the venue: everything flows. Juan, 29, and Sandro, 30, stroll through the shopping area, where T-shirts featuring their favorite video game heroes are on display. They are from Valencia and Castellón and have come to the LAN zone with their devices to play four days on the console and whatever happens. “You meet people, you share a game but, above all, you come to play. I see people who fall asleep on top of the keyboard”, explains Juan. “We play four or five hours but then we go out, we go for a walk because so much, so often, it’s not good either.”
Sandro has repeated six times in Valencia. The facilities are good, with air conditioning, and the organizers always bring “new things”. In addition, they are known streamers Y youtubers and that attracts a lot of young people. “We are noobstrookies, we do not participate in competitions, we just come to have fun but there are people who take it very seriously, “they say.