This past weekend in one of the largest LAN parties ever, over 12,000 video gaming guys and girls showed up to demonstrate their skills. The Winter 2011 DreamHack turned out to be a blast for all included; and the fact that it is hosted in Jonkoping, Sweden only adds to the awesomeness. Everyone showed up with a desktop packed into a backpack, under his or her arm, or the occasional suitcase. Regardless of your past notions, this is one of the most unbelievable sights to behold, thousands and thousands of gamers all coming together for one amazing party. In fact there are only three main halls for all of the LAN, one of which holds almost five thousand computers and players in itself.
Playing video games alongside foreign gamers is not the only reason this many people showed up… some of the most prestigious tournaments are held at this location and DreamHack was no exception. Many of the final rounds of E-Sports tournaments are held during the four day duration of this event. Don’t let the seemingly long duration of the occasion fool you, most people put off sleeping, and other normal functions to make sure they can view each and every single event that is showcased. Note, the last sentence was not meant to deride the event goers, on the contrary I was trying to demonstrate the sheer amount of content and mini-events that were taking place at random times throughout DreamHack.
Another one of the gamer favorites is the video game cosplaying that can be found throughout DreamHack. People just love to dress up as their favorite League of Legends champion, or maybe a Battlefield 3 sniper, but the general consensus seems to be almost any female dressed in a costume is a favorite among the male gamers. Interestingly enough one of the main problems that needed to be addressed was providing a sufficient amount of web bandwidth to all of the players. The local ISP named Telia and Cisco reportedly produced over 120 gigabits of internet bandwidth for the gamers at DreamHack alone, a monumental figure.
“DreamHack Winter 2011 had the world’s fastest Internet connection from Cisco and Telia. The record crowd – 20,984 participants – were invited to push the network to the max and also managed to break records in capacity utilization – a total of 23.4 gigabits. It is just as much capacity is required to watch over 2000 high-definition TV channels simultaneously.” Via: DreamHack Official PR
All in all, Dreamhack this year did not disappoint, and provides an extremely fun event for all gamers to attend, though the airfare and rooming in Sweden may prove to be expensive, we would definitely recommend checking out this great LAN party next year if you weren’t able to attend.