You’ll be at least passingly familiar with DreamHack – the grand LAN event that twice annually fills the convention building, racket sports centre and ice hockey arena of its Swedish home city of Jönköping.
This Friday will be the first day of a third event – a takeover of Stockholm’s Ericsson Globe designed to position Sweden as the leading eSports nation in Europe. I’ll be there, absorbing the sights and whiplash-fast wi-fi speeds. And the best of it will be streamed on Twitch.
“DreamHack is already known as the world’s largest computer festival and one of the top organizers in eSports worldwide,” DreamHack CEO Robert Ohlén has said. “Creating an event where we combine all that feels like a natural step.”
There’ll be a tech expo, keynotes from Swedish developers, and the frenzied mass coding sessions of Scandinavia’s biggest Hackathon. But the headline business is the eSports.
DreamHack Stockholm will host the final leg of the DreamHack Open 2014, before the grand finals at DreamHack Winter.
There’s a $200,000 prize pot for Heart of the Swarm, appearances from Swedish CS:GO stars like Ninjas In Pyjamas & Fnatic, a spot of Blizzard-backed WoW PvP, and an Ultra Street Fighter IV tournament feeding into Capcom’s Pro Tour.
The most compelling bit will be the European Hearthstone Finals – a young, exciting eSport for a young, exciting event. 130 veterans of ranked ladder play and smaller tournaments will compete for one of four Hearthstone World Championship slots.
You can watch the group stages playing out over at the DreamHack Twitch channel, or on Blizzard’s Heathstone stream if you prefer. Do you think you’ll tune in for the main event on Friday and Saturday?