Last weekend saw almost 26,000 people descend on Melbourne & Olympic Parks to attend DreamHack Melbourne 2023. This three day event was a veritible buffet for esports fans. Along with the LCO split 1 2023 Grand Final and the CS:GO ESL Challenger tournament, attendees were treated to amazing fighting game tournaments and a bring-your-own-computer LAN with a prize pool of $40,000.
It was an amazing event, further cementing Melbourne’s place as the gaming capital of Australia. Natty and Str8JaktJim got together to bring you the top 7 highlights from DreamHack Melbourne 2023, in no particular order.
LCO Split 1 2023 Grand Final
On the second day at DreamHack we saw the League of Legends Circuit Oceania (LCO) grand finals. The best of five match up had the top two teams, The Chiefs and Team Bliss, go head to head at the biggest esports event in Australia.
The grand final was an absolute treat. Fans saw the best of oceanic LOL gameplay live at Margaret Court Arena. The Chiefs took an early 2-0 lead, including a pentakill by Chiefs’ bot laner Raes. It was a score line that masked how close the games were, with many team fights going the way of a coin flip.
Team Bliss struck back in game three and the hopes of a reverse sweep were alive. In a see-sawing game four, both teams had opportunities to get the win but in the end it was the Chiefs that emerged triumphant, becoming back-to-back LCO champions.
Congratulations to The Chiefs and to Biopanther for taking home the Dare Iced Coffee MVP for the grand final.
The CS:GO Crowd
If you want proof that Aussie Counter Strike fans can always be relied to bring the noise, look no further than day three of DreamHack Melbourne 2023. Even with an early start the three games that day had action on and off the stage. From meserising chants going back and forth between fans, beach balls and even shoeys, the crowd were as much a draw card as the matches themselves.
Even after local team, Grayhound Gaming, were eliminated in the semi finals, the CS:GO Arena was packed with fans right until Movistar Riders found the kill onto Bad News Eagles’ Sener1 to seal the Grand Final 2 maps to 0. Congratulations to Movistar Riders on their win!
DreamHack RPG Quest
DreamHack did not disappoint with the incredible prizes available for the participants of the RPG Quest. During DreamHack, attendees hunted for QR codes located around the event venues – each scan earning them points, and 10 points equaled a scan of the prize wheel. There were prizes from Rode, LG, Aorus, Razer and other companies, with lucky gamers taking away laptops, monitors, headsets, mics, mouse mats, hats and more!
The RPG request was a fantastic way to investigate the venue, check out the booths, and earn a Monster energy drink on the way! That, along with the sheer amount of giveaways makes this one of our highlights from DreamHack Melbourne 2023.
As always, the cosplay on show at DreamHack Melbourne 2023 was on point. Despite the rain on Saturday, the community was out in force during the multiple cosplay events including one of my favourites: Cosplay Iron Chef. This is as crazy as it sounds. Competitors set a secret ingredient they must include in their cosplay as they work to build the Keyblade from Kingdom Hearts.
Many cosplays could be seen along Rainbow Road, the pathway between Rod Laver Arena and the expo hall.
Experiencing Amazing Tech
DreamHack Melbourne is more about esports and experiences than interactivity, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t new toys to play with. MSI, LG, Intel and more had their finest wares on display, including a magnificent LG curved monitor that Str8JaktJim absolutely fell in love with.
Laptops, monitors, components, any hardware you could think of was on display and available to be tested. Gamers were able to try out a variety of games including CS:GO, League of Legends and Rocket League to see how the many laptops and computers handled these much loved games.
Investment In Youth
One of the things that Str8JaktJim was very excited for in the leadup to DreamHack Melbourne 2023 was the school day on the Friday. Students from many different schools took a trip to Rod Laver Arena to not only see the amazing esports on display, but also learn about some of the realities of becoming an esports athlete. With panels such as ‘Balancing Life & Gaming’, ‘Working in Esports’ and ‘Online Safety’, burgeoning esports participants got a glimpse into the esports life.
This initiative is an amazing way to foster the next generation of esports stars.
Freeplay Arcade Cabinets
Scattered around DreamHack Melbourne 2023 were arcade cabinets. Ranging from pinball machines and Time Crisis 4 to a basketball game and In The Groove dance machine, there was something for everybody to play at their leisure. The best part? They were all free!
What were your highlights from DreamHack Melbourne 2023? Let us know on our socials!