Dreamhack masters main stage

Malmö is back at it again, establishing its grip on nerd Sweden. This year we had the return of Dreamhack Masters (Oct 4-6), a Counter Strike tournament with a 250 000 dollar prize pool. Almost filling the entirety of Malmö Arena it was the experience of a lifetime!

The tournament had 16 teams going in going in and only one coming out on top. The tournament we saw during the weeked was the quarter, semi and finals. Being in an arena and feeling the enthusiasm of the crowd, made even a guy like me, that doesn’t really care about CS (Counter Strike) get hyped up.

If the huge tournament going on wasn’t enough, there was a visitor experience all around the main stage entrances. With an official Dreamhack store, a fan zone that had meet and greets and even some team booths! There were also partner booths such as Monster energy drinks, CS.Money, Gigstep and Purple Scout to name a few.

There was even a side tournament called Gymnasiemästerskapet. It was a tournament where students from schools in and around Malmö represented their schools. The winner of Gymnasiemästerskapet was none other than the Malmö school of NTI Gymnasiet!

So how was the experience as a whole? It was incredible! I had some basic understanding of CS when I got there and the gaps got filled in quickly. After a few moments of not understanding what was going on I understood enough to be a part of the crowd. Match after match, I got more and more invested and by the finals I had become a fan.

The finals was one of the most intense things I have ever attended. The Swedish underdog Fnatic stood against the French Vitality. I can now understand why football fans get so riled up. Every missed shot, every lost round for the Swedish team felt like a gutpunch. With intensity, me and my colleague followed the final rounds. Then just like that, Fnatic had won. The underdogs had won!

Dreamhack Masters is proof that Esports can be a legitimate thing. It is not a mere nerd thing anymore. As Esports grow so will the money, fans and general knowledge about it. Who knows, when we’re pushing our parents age we might be the ones, sitting at home yelling at the tv about that bullcrap kill in CS.

A counter strike match
One of the many matches we saw