Dreamhack Melbourne 2023 is almost on us and to quote Big Kev, I’m excited! There’s so much to see and do over the three days that I could spend from now until then talking about it. But there’s one thing in particular that I’m really looking forward to.
With my ownership of a couple of different LCO team shirts you might think I’m deadest keen for the LCO Grand Final. Or maybe even the chance to see international teams go up against OCE’s own Grayhound and Vertex in the CS:GO ESL Challenger series. But you’d be wrong.
Maybe it’s the BYOC LAN event, with cash prizes for the best players in Valorant, Fortnite, COD and many more? Not that.
Then you might think “Oh there’s some amazing music acts like Mashed N Kutcher, Godlands, Jade Zoe and Brambles! Surely that’s what this guy is looking forward to the most?” Not that either.
The cosplay competition? The first ever Dreamhack Melbourne Artist Alley? Couch Warriors and their fighting game tournaments? Nope, nada, nein.
No, what I’m looking forward to most at Dreamhack Melbourne 2023 is the Student’s Day on the Friday.
Admittedly that’s probably not high on most people’s list of things to see. While universities have some good esports programs, they haven’t really found their way into high schools. But this is where the focus needs to be if esports are to grow in Australia.
My involvement in esports in pretty limited, mainly due to the number of hours in a day and a powerful need to eat regularly. I co-host the Game On Aus esports podcast Nuts & Bolts and have been a keen supporter of the World Of Tanks ANZPL since its inception, but I have no in depth involvement with any esports leagues.
What I do have is some experience with helping to run my local hockey club. I’ve been involved in some shape or form of support role for the last five years. Yes, I know we hate it when we compare esports to traditional sports. Yes, they are different. But where they’re not different is needing a young player base interested in improving so they can compete at high levels.
Seeing high schoolers being supported by teachers at Dreamhack Melbourne 2023 makes my heart soar. These students are what’s needed to take OCE to the next level.
The more people that play a game, the better the top players will get and the more we’ll improve as a region. It’s such a simple concept. While the implementation of that concept is tricky I’m super happy that Dreamhack Melbourne 2023 has a place for a Student’s Day.
The more we can promote esports in schools, the more accepted by the general public it becomes, the more watched the higher-level leagues become, the more sponsorship dollars become available. That in turn means more in more investment in esports.
If you grow your player base from the grassroots, you’ll reap the benefits.
So that’s why I’m the most excited for Student’s Day. What are you looking forward to the most at Dreamhack Melbourne? Let us know on social media. We’ll see you there at Dreamhack Melbourne 2023, running from Friday the 28th to Sunday the 30th April. Tickets are available now.