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Revyy's Dreamhack Experience

By Revyy - 30th November 2010 - 03:08 AM

While writing this I am sitting on a really uncomfortable chair surrounded by empty soda cans and sweaty guys screaming Hallå!!!! (Hello translated to English.) In the background you hear the constant beat of trance and disco music that has been going on for the last 3 days coupled with the occasional outburst of joy when someone lands a kill or whatever they have a reason to be happy for.

My ass hurts, my back hurts, my legs hurt and my head hurts, I am overdosed on caffeine and I will probably have to pee about a 100 times before the night is over. Despite all of this I am still enjoying myself, the atmosphere here is nothing short of legendary and if I wasn't so afraid of the scary Dreamhack crewman with the very muscular arms I would probably get up on my table and start dancing. This is something that I probably share with the rest of the 10.000+ people here and it really brings people together. Dreamhack is awesome!

This said I would like to share with you my experiences of Dreamhack from a competitive perspective, from our arrival and first couple of games to the phenomenon that is the Dream Arena Finals. I have been to Dreamhack and other lans before but never as part of a competitive team playing in a tournament and so I didn't really know what to expect.

Arrival


Druidz were one of the first teams to arrive, myself and pepp3 started our journey Wednesday night with a 13 hour train ride and we then met up with Louie` and Twista who came and picked us up at the train station. Meeting my teammates for the first time was really fun and something I recommend to everyone. Meeting someone in real life beats talking to them from behind a screen by a mile.

After entering Dreamhack and finding our seats we found ourselves bumping into Team Wahlin and had a quick chat with them. They turned out to be a great couple of dudes. When Fnatic arrived we headed over to their booth to check them out, and I have to say that those guys are simply amazing. They all have a great sense of humor and it's really fun to be around them. Meeting all the teams in real life gives you a perspective on the whole internet hero thing, there were some people that I expected to be jerks who actually turned out to be really nice guys when it comes down to it.

The Tournament Begins


The tournament was set to start at 17.00 CET and so it did. The first part of the tournament was a BYOC group stage (Bring your own computer,) FnaticMSI and MILF were automatically qualified due to a wildcard and last tournament winner.

We had some technical issues regarding some of our PCs and because of that we were allowed to play on the Tournament PCs in the HoN tournament area. We were joined by TCM who also had some problems and Fnatic who were just killing of some time and preparing for the playoffs.

The group stage was over quickly and I don't think that any of the seeded teams had any problems advancing from their group. As the playoff grew closer we learned about the seeding. If I am not mistaken the seeds were as following.
  1. FnaticMSI
  2. MILF
  3. Wahl
  4. TCM
  5. B3V(Lack)
  6. Drdz
There was a lot of debate about the correctness of the seeding but there was not much to do about it. We were pretty satisfied with our position in the bracket, especially since we weren't on Fnatic's side. I think most of the teams felt the same way we did about having to play Fnatic before the finals considering the tournament was single elimination and they were clearly the favorites to win.

Playoffs


Our first playoff game was against a Swedish team called BHG and we quickly deposed of them. Looking at the brackets we knew that our only real opponent would be Team Wahlin which we would have to face already in the quarter finals.

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The game against Wahlin was played at 11:30 CET Friday and it was a really intense and interesting game. We were really psyched about this game since they managed to knock us out of the GosuGamers tournament. We wanted revenge, and we delivered it. Around this stage of the tournament people started to show up at the tournament area to watch the games.



This was my first experience of playing with a crowd watching your every move, one might think that it shouldn't be that big of a deal considering that all teams participating have been on livestreams on multiple occasions but it is not the same. It can be a bit disturbing to play when you can hear people commenting and talking about every little move you make. We managed to keep focus on the game however and moved on to the semifinals.

The semifinals was against a mix of Reason gaming and some in real life friends of theirs and after losing the first game in the best of 3 series due to bad play and picks we managed to win the series 2-1 after pretty much crushing them the last two games.

Our goal before going into the tournament was to reach the grand finals and we had now fulfilled that. The finals were to be played against Fnatic as expected.

Grand Finals


Going into the finals I really didn't know what to expect. I knew that there was probably going to be a lot of people there watching but nothing could have prepared me for the truth.

Game-wise we knew that winning would probably not be realistic since they are probably the best team in the world right now coupled with having experience in lan tournaments. We did have hopes of stealing one game from them or at least put up a good fight but that did not go as planned.

After meeting up with Fnatic we were escorted backstage and told to wait. At this time we could only see the main stage and the first few rows so we had no idea of how many people were actually there. We were told where we were going to sit and then headed out.

I will never forget the feeling I got stepping onto that stage seeing all those people sitting their screaming and clapping their hands. The arena can hold about 1200 people and it was totally filled up. The sight was breathtaking and the sound deafening, right about now I started getting pretty nervous.

Some technical problems arose while we were trying to plug in our gear and get everything set up for the game. I really think they should try to find a better system to keep this from happening as much as possible; having to deal with technical issues breaks your concentration.

After dealing with the the tech issues, we had to wait a little more while they prepared the streams and to be introduced. While standing backstage for like 20 minutes while they were trying to fix various issues you kind of lost your concentration and focus on the game ahead. The game itself did not feel as important anymore compared to the rest.

Fnatic was first out to be announced and the crowd went absolutely mad. The same happened when it was our turn and the walk towards your seat seemed to take forever while you were being mentally battered with impressions and emotions.

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Team DrDz


When finally seated, some more technical problems arose and we had to remake the game several times due to it bugging out. When the game finally started my focus had shifted from the game at hand to everything that was going on around me. It did not help that hardly anything was working for me, I was unable to bind my hero and courier due to some issues with my keyboard and the game camera had locked itself to my hero. I played like shit after this and we lost the game after losing top lane badly.

The second game was not any better, we had close to zero communication and we ended up getting stomped in that game as well. The whole situation with the massive arena and media coverage coupled with technical issues really threw us off our game.

I am not here to make excuses, but I kind of envy Fnatic for their experience with these kinds of things and their ability to handle it much better. It was a necessary step to take however and I can't deny that it was really, really cool to be up there playing in front of all those people. It gave you a taste of what real E-sport is like and made you more motivated. Sitting here now, looking back at these last few days I am really pleased with what we accomplished. There is no shame in placing second. I am really looking forward to the next big lan tournament. I have dipped my feet into the pond, now it's time to strip down butt naked and throw myself of a cliff into the ocean.