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DreamHack AB
Founded1994; 27 years ago (1994)
HeadquartersHägersten, Stockholm, Sweden
ProductsEsports tournaments
Gaming convention
ParentModern Times Group (merged with ESL)
WebsiteOfficial site

DreamHack is a Swedish production company specializing in esports tournaments and other gaming conventions. It is recognized by the Guinness Book of Records and Twin Galaxies as being the world's largest LAN party and computer festival with the world's fastest Internet connection, and the most generated traffic.[1] The Internet connection record was beaten in 2012 by the second largest computer festival in the world, The Gathering in Norway.[2] Since 2015, it is part of digital entertainment company Modern Times Group.[3][4] It usually holds its events in Western Europe and North America.[5]

Events summary[edit]

DreamHack calls itself the world's largest "digital festival".[6][7][8] Its events include local area network gathering with live concerts and competitions in digital art and esports. The first DreamHack event was held in Malung, Sweden.[9] DreamHack held several gaming events throughout Europe: in Stockholm and Jönköping, Sweden, Tours, France, Bucharest and Cluj, Romania, Valencia and Seville, Spain, London, England and Leipzig, Germany. In May 2016 DreamHack held its first event on the North American continent in Austin, Texas.[10] In August 2016, it held its first event in Montreal, Quebec.[11] The winter event consistently has approximately 10% more visitors than the summer event, but in other respects they are quite similar. Both events are 72 hours (stretching over 4 days), and have scheduled activity around the clock, every day.[12]

As of winter 2011, the event covers the entire Elmia Exhibition and Convention Centre as well as the neighbouring ice hockey arena and racket sports centre. The total number of participants were 27,000, of which ≈800 were crew.[1]

Attendees' ages range from elementary school to senior citizens, though the average age is 16–17. People arrive from all over the world to participate.[13]

The event consists of five major components: the festival, the gaming competitions, the digital arts competitions, the live concerts and the expo.

Component Description
Festival Every seated participant gets a table (60 cm deep and 83 cm wide), a chair, a power socket and a LAN socket through which DreamHack supplies one of the fastest Internet connections in the world as of 2011 .[1] To this place they bring their own equipment of choice, usually a display or TV and a computer or console. Some bring their own office chairs to substitute the ones supplied. Since there is activity around the clock, participants can sleep in the adjacent sleeping halls, to which they bring their own sleeping equipment.
Gaming competitions With a total prize pool of over 3 million SEK, the DreamHack esports competitions attract professional players from all over the world, most notably South Korea. From DreamHack, about one hundred different video streams are broadcast over the Internet, of which most cover the esports competitions. 21 of them are produced by DreamHack crew, the rest are independent and include Swedish national TV. These are watched by people from all continents in the world, and at DHW11 the number of unique viewers were over 1.6 million, which is another record.[14]
Digital arts competitions In the DreamHack Kreativ competition participants compete in creating all things digital, including photographs, drawings, music, 3D-models, demos, games, animations and movies. It is for many the most important part of the event, since competitions of this kind are very rare, and places where these artists get to meet their audience in person are even rarer. Some participants spend the entire event producing a creative works, such as a movie or piece of music. The hours-long final ceremony, during which all submissions are presented on the huge screens and sound system of MainStage, draws a big crowd and is highly appreciated by the audience.
Live concerts Every evening and night there are big musical acts on MainStage. This aspect of DreamHack has increased dramatically in popularity and is a major factor in the rise in sale of daypasses, hinting that future concerts are likely to be even grander. The technological direction of the festival is reflected in that MainStage is unusually visual for a stage of this size, with a sophisticated setup of lasers, lights and professional video broadcast equipment.
Expo Many companies present their products in the expo area and it is common for big game development studios to allow visitors to play the games currently under development. There are also various seminars and lectures, as well as a shop selling computer equipment.
The Dreamies A yearly award show introduced in 2020, where a jury gives awards to the best games, characters, eSports teams, and content creators in multiple categories.

DreamHack is arranged with the help of about 800 volunteers, set up in "Crew Teams". They work in shifts to provide service for the visitors around the clock, like the support crew that have a helpdesk where the participants can address their technical problems. The organization also relies on local police and security officers who patrol the area.


Computer screens illuminated at DreamHack Winter 2004.

Dreamhack began as a small gathering of schoolmates and friends in the basement of an elementary school in Malung, Sweden, in the early 1990s. In 1994, it was moved to the school cafeteria and became one of the larger regional demo tech and gaming events at the time. This event was also the first to be called DreamHack.

In 1997, the event took place at Arena Kupolen in Borlänge and became the largest LAN party of Sweden and the third largest party in Scandinavia at the time. Furthermore, DreamHack 2001 and the upcoming events were held at the Elmia exhibition centre in Jönköping, where it has been since.

In 2002, DreamHack had events twice a year. DreamHack Summer in June was focused on computer games. DreamHack Winter was more focused on computer program demos and was held during the last weekend of November. Today, Summer and winter events are about the same.

In 2007, the founders of DreamHack received a diploma of honor from the municipality of Jönköping, Sweden for being important to business, education, and society of the local community.

In 2011, DreamHack AB went through a corporate reform, renewing the company administration. DreamHack winter 2011 hosted League of Legends season 1 World Championship. The next year's League of Legends World Championship was held independently.

It was announced on November 15, 2012, that DreamHack would be partnering with Major League Gaming (MLG) and Electronic Sports League (ESL) to help facilitate the growth and development of the North American and European esports scene. These partnerships included universal rankings, unified competition structures, and more.[15]

In 2013, DreamHack AB grew into a corporation. Later they added a third event during the late summer in Stockholm. It was hosted at Globe Arenas in 2014

In November 2015, Modern Times Group bought DreamHack for 244 million Swedish krona.[16] At the Winter 2015 event, commentator Richard Lewis and Alliance Dota 2 player Jonathan 'Loda' Berg had a physical altercation,[17][18][19] which resulted in Lewis's permanent ban from future DreamHack events.[20]

In 2020, on the 30th of September, ESL announced that it had merged with DreamHack. The two companies are functioning as one, but the two brands are operated separately.[21]


  1. ^ a b c "DreamHack news" (in Swedish). Dreamhack AB. Winter 2011.
  2. ^ "Fastest in the universe". Gathering.org. 1 March 2012. Retrieved 27 Nov 2012.
  3. ^ "MTG acquires DreamHack | MTG". MTG. Retrieved 2017-11-14.
  4. ^ "Modern Times Group acquires DreamHack AB". Retrieved 2017-11-14.
  5. ^ "Dreamhack brings eSports to Denver". My Met Media. 2017-10-25. Retrieved 2017-11-14.
  6. ^ "Guinness World Records - News - KEEPING IN TOUCH". Archived from the original on 20 March 2009.
  7. ^ "Guinness World Record - Record for largest LAN party". 1 Dec 2007. Retrieved 10 Mar 2013.
  8. ^ "Dreamhack 2018 Mumbai". BookMyShow.
  9. ^ "Dreamhack on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  10. ^ "DreamHack Austin".
  11. ^ Andrew Robichaud (7 April 2016). "DreamHack Montreal scheduled for August". TSN. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  12. ^ "Schedule". Dreamhack AB. Winter 2011. Retrieved 27 Nov 2012.
  13. ^ "Dreamhack 2015". Dreamhack. April 2015. Archived from the original on 1 May 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  14. ^ "DreamHack and Twitch.TV Announce Record Breaking Online Viewership". DreamHack AB. Winter 2011.
  15. ^ "DreamHack, Electronic Sports League and Major League Gaming Partner to Unify and Elevate eSports Globally". Major League Gaming.
  16. ^ "MTG acquires DreamHack". MTG. November 12, 2015. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
  17. ^ Thursten, Chris (November 30, 2015). "Richard Lewis "initiated physical contact" according to DreamHack". PC Gamer. Retrieved January 7, 2016.
  18. ^ Bago, John Paolo "Brightroar" (November 29, 2015). "DreamHack Releases Official Statement Regarding Physical Altercation between Loda and Richard Lewis". Inquirer.net. Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved January 7, 2016.
  19. ^ Good, Owen S. (1 December 2015). "Backstage fight at esports tournament reignites in social media". Polygon.
  20. ^ SHIVELY, NICK (December 3, 2015). "LEWIS BLACKLISTED". All In Magazine. Archived from the original on 2016-03-23. Retrieved January 7, 2016.
  21. ^ "ESL and Dreamhack announce they will merge". ESPN.com. 2020-09-30. Retrieved 2020-12-12.

External links[edit]