In 1994, DreamHack began as a small event gathering schoolmates in the school cafeteria after a few years holding the event in the school’s basement. Little did they imagined that this Swedish brand would go international and become the most extensive digital festival regarding esports. Recently, esports has become the spotlight of every event of DreamHack which attracts more and more gamers and also contributed largely to the internationalize process of the company.
Since the company put the importance on developing esports festival, it has announced the latest plan to combine two big events in 2019. CORSAIR DreamHack Masters Series, the CS:GO tournament with the total prize of up to $250K, will become a special part of the annual DreamHack Dallas festival.
“That generation doesn’t have the same connection to PC gaming as the generation of, I’d say, 15-30-year-olds.”, said Tomas Lyckedal. The CSO (Chief Strategy Officer) of DreamHack AB expressed his idea on the importance of esports competitions to his company in a recent interview with Esports Observer. He even disclosed the tendency of the company to focus on esports rather than to be a pure event organizing company.
Lyckedal pointed out that it was esports that directly pushed the profit of the company. The revenue came in two main sources: copyrights fee from the media and sponsorships. The effectiveness of the efforts spent in holding esports events was proved just by looking at the audiences. Esports fans always come first in any events as they have been following the tournaments for many years. It is one of the motivations for DreamHack to expand the festivals.
Earlier this month, DreamHack signed a broadcasting deal with TV 2 from Denmark, which enhances the popularity of the DreamHack events. Yet, the company still has a lot of issues that need to be improved.
Esports is known for the young audience that it targets, thus attracted more and more sponsors and investments. This, however, seem to be not enough for Lyckedal, as he said the company is aiming at even younger audiences.
“If you think of any other festival, like a music festival, those years that you aren’t allowed to go are actually the most exciting years. The critical challenge to DreamHack is the young generation below, aged between 0-15. That generation doesn’t have the same connection to PC gaming as the generation of, I’d say, 15-30-year-olds.”
He analyzed that the kids do not usually have access to a physical PC or computer. They use heavier devices instead, like phones or tablets. PC gaming is something quite irrelevant to them as mobile games take up almost all of their time. From his point of view, DreamHack needs to take steps in order to deal with these audiences in the next decade. This, for him, is a “massive potential” for DreamHack to develop more.
The number of 300K visitors to DreamHack events in 2018 seems to be desirable, yet Lyckedal felt that it is not enough. The dreaming mark for him would be 1M audiences. He placed the importance on DreamHack’s goal of keep on expanding the viewers:
“We feel that DreamHack has the potential to be the dominant, lifestyle, event brand for all gamers around the world. There’s 2B gamers or something like that around the world who have access to the internet and can play video games in some capacity, but esports is still attracting around 300M or something like this.”
He expressed his positive outlook of the future of DreamHack. Instead of being a brand for esports fans only, the aim ultimate aim of the company in the long term is to establish a lifestyle brand for every gamer worldwide.