Dreamhack hits London with a bang
Last weekend London welcomed the ESports giant DreamHack to the UK for the first time. The event took place in the Copper Box at the Olympic Park, with various elite-level tournaments to watch and a fistful of things to see and participate in on the show floor.
While there were several other tournaments, the main draw of the weekend for many was the Counter Strike: Global Offensive action. 8 of the world’s top teams, including one home team from the UK, and two of the top 5 elite, played over the course of the two days for a top prize of $20,000 and the Dreamhack London trophy. There were also big names both casting and analysing the action, with a slick production backing them all up.
The two big names of the event were teams EnvyUs and TSM. While challenger teams fought hard in the group stages and the semi finals, and the home team EZSkinz.com defeated the far better ranked Renegades in the group stages to the delight of the crowd, there only ever looked like being one final.
What a final, too. The grand final between EnvyUs and TSM was an electric, tight, close affair. At first glance, EnvyUs’s 2-0 victory didn’t show how well matched the two sides were, but the game was filled with last second-gasps, ridiculous shots and small victories snatched from the jaws of defeat that sent the crowds wild. You can watch the entire final day’s action here on Dreamhack’s official twitch page.
The event was not without minor annoyances. Uncomfortable and sometimes cramped seating, delays on the first day meaning the last group stage match didn’t finish until gone 1am in the morning, and an uninspiring Call of Duty tournament involving only a fistful of teams on the second stage, certainly gave the feeling that if it wasn’t for the CS:GO the event would have been a bit of a damp squib.
With the above said, those who attended certainly did get a good show, whether they watched the CS:GO action or the equally thrilling Smash and Street Fighter games. I just hope that DreamHack sees the potential and comes back, as the UK calendar desperately needs more events of this size.