Starting on a blunt note; I had a hell of a time at Dreamhack Denver 2017 and I’d love to see the convention return next year. If possible for you, I definitely recommend checking it out next year if you have the chance. There were rumors about plans for the convention to return to Denver next year but I haven’t seen that in writing yet. But I hope the rumors prove true.
For those of you who don’t know about the event, allow me to explain. Dreamhack is the world’s largest digital festival. Originating in Sweden in December 1994, the event has grown to massive proportions in the soon to be twenty-three years since. In plain terms, it’s the largest LAN gaming gathering in the world. Beyond gaming, Dreamhack now features live music, cosplay competitions, digital art competitions, and eSports tournaments.
The event grew in popularity year by year but didn’t extend out of Europe for over twenty years. Then, in 2016, Dreamhack finally debuted in Austin for the United States and Montreal for Canada. Evidently, the turn out was enough to bring Dreamhack across the Atlantic again this year. I can’t speak for everyone who attended but Dreamhack Denver 2017 lived up to the expectations I had for it. Hosted at the National Western Complex, the event was massive and full of tons of excited attendees.
The bottom floor of the complex held the main stage, where the biggest eSports competitions and cosplay contest were held, as well as the BYOC area. The BYOC area was absolutely massive. I’ve never seen so many screens in one place before. Fun bit of knowledge, the National Western Complex also is where many of the rodeos of Denver are held. A fact that may have been a little obvious in the BYOC area. We even found the scale that’s apparently used to weigh cattle down there (which I’m certain was inaccurate.)
The ground floor was a great mixture of things, with the exhibition hall was the main point of entry. There were a wide range of things available, ranging from clothes, to art, to even full PC rigs and parts. Nearby was the Indie Games area, where Indie studios from around the country gathered to show their newest projects. Beyond that were the freeplay areas for PC and console, where I had my ass kicked in a Blazblue tournament. Finally, there was the stages for the fighting game tournaments. I’ve always watched fighting tournaments from afar, so I really enjoyed seeing one in person.
Finally, there was the upstairs and secondary complex. The upstairs was pretty devoted to the three day Hearthstone competition. If there was anything else there, I missed it. The secondary complex was devoted to the FPS competitions. I was able to catch part of the CS:GO, Halo, and Quake Champions tournaments there. They were all very impressive and good reminders that I am painfully average at shooters.
Overall, I had a fantastic experience at Dreamhack Denver 2017. I’ve never been a gaming convention before, so maybe I was viewing everything with a fresh, bewildered look. But I don’t think that was the case. Everyone I met and spoke with was friendly and the whole convention seemed to be having a great time. I’ll say it again; definitely go if you have the chance to attend a Dreamhack event next year. I know I will.Tweet