DreamHack is an institution in the games industry — a 90s LAN party that grew into a massive event network spanning multiple continents. One of its newer branches is DreamHack Dallas — 2023 marks only the third time the event has been held. However, it’s already drawing large crowds: This year’s event drew around 44,000 attendees … one of them being me. I got to see some of the bigger events

The first DreamHack event in Dallas was held in 2019. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the in-person event didn’t return in 2020 and 2021. However, it returned to the city in 2022. For the 2023 event, DreamHack held several high profile gaming tournaments, a concert, a cosplay competition, a LAN party — there was a wide variety of attractions on offer.

The expansive show floor featured the HCS Global Invitational, the ESL Impact Dallas Finals, the Collegiate Rocket League event, a Fortnite tournament and of course the multi-game DreamHack Fighters event. It also had a large artist and shopping area as well as a section for the younger gamers to attend.

I spoke with Shahin Zarrabi, DreamHack’s VP of strategy and growth, about the growth of the Dallas event and DreamHack’s future plans. “Definitely we want to create something for the Dallas and Texas communities first and then fill it in with international top-tier content . . . We believe a lot in the power of content creators. [The event] is a great activation that lets content creators meet their fans and interact with them in an authentic way that you just can’t do in front of a screen. We also have a creator hub where micro-influencers and smaller creators can meet their communities and other creators. That is an area of investment we’re always looking into and will definitely be a focus for us going forward.”

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DreamHack Dallas happened from June 2-4. DreamHack’s summer event begins later this month.

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