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Inside the Biggest LAN Party Ever: DreamHack Winter 2013

The Origins and Evolution of DreamHack

Dreamhack 1999

DreamHack's story is a remarkable testament to the growth of digital culture. Beginning as a modest gathering in Malung, Sweden, in 1994, it was initially a platform for school friends to share their passion for gaming. This small event quickly caught the attention of the wider gaming community, evolving into an annual festival that celebrated the rapidly expanding world of digital entertainment.

By the early 2000s, DreamHack had already carved a niche for itself in the gaming world. Its unique blend of gaming, technology, and culture drew participants from all over Europe. Each year, the event grew in size and scope, adding new elements like eSports tournaments and digital art showcases. This evolution reflected the changing landscape of gaming, transitioning from a hobby to a significant cultural and economic force.

DreamHack Winter 2013 was the culmination of this growth. It was not just a gaming event but a digital festival that celebrated the vibrancy and diversity of the gaming community. Held in the Elmia Fair in Jönköping, a city known for its fusion of natural beauty and technological innovation, the event transformed the venue into a mecca for gamers. Over four days, from November 28 to December 1, 2013, the fairground buzzed with the energy of thousands of gaming enthusiasts from around the globe.

The scale of the event was unprecedented. Not only did it attract 22,810 visitors, the largest LAN party ever recorded according to Guinness World Records, a record that still stands today, but it also featured an array of activities that went beyond gaming. There were workshops on game development, discussions on the future of eSports, and showcases of the latest gaming technology. The event was a celebration of the gaming culture in its entirety, offering something for every kind of gaming enthusiast.

DreamHack 2013

The Core of DreamHack 2013: Technology and Competition

DreamHack 2013

DreamHack Winter 2013's network infrastructure was a marvel of modern technology. The event boasted a lightning-fast internet connection with a speed that set new standards for gaming events. This high-speed network was crucial for the smooth running of the massive LAN party and the live streaming of eSports tournaments to a global audience. The network's capacity to handle thousands of concurrent connections without a hitch was a testament to the meticulous planning and advanced technology that went into its setup.

DreamHack 2013

The gaming areas were sprawling hubs of activity. Participants set up their gaming stations, with rows upon rows of computers and consoles stretching as far as the eye could see. These areas were divided into sections for different purposes. One section hosted casual gamers, who engaged in friendly matches and explored new games. Another section was dedicated to the hardcore gaming enthusiasts, where intense battles in popular games like League of Legends, Dota 2, and Counter-Strike unfolded. This event is one of the most important in CS:GO eSports history, as it was the setting for the first ever major held in CS:GO.

The eSports tournaments at DreamHack 2013 were a spectacle in themselves. The event featured several major tournaments, including the DreamHack Open, which attracted some of the best eSports teams from around the world. The competition was fierce, with teams battling for substantial prize pools and the honor of being crowned DreamHack champions. On the Counter-Strike side, Fnatic ended up taking the top prize of $100,000. The tournament featured competitors from over 12 different countries with a prize pool of $250,000. In the StarCraft 2 tournament, Taeja from Team Liquid walked away with the top prize of $30,500. The event also featured tournaments for Dota 2, Quake, and League of Legends. The excitement of these tournaments was amplified by the live commentary and large screens that broadcasted the action, making it an immersive experience for the spectators.

CS:GO Tournament

Workshops, Presentations, and Expos

EA Expo

DreamHack Winter 2013 was not just about gaming; it was also an educational and technological showcase. The event hosted a variety of workshops and presentations that provided attendees with insights into different aspects of the gaming industry. The Expo area of DreamHack 2013 was a tech enthusiast's dream. Major gaming and tech companies from around the world showcased their latest products and innovations. Blizzard, of course, was one of the main exhibitors, with players enjoying Hearthstone, WOW, and Diablo III.This area was a hive of activity, with attendees trying out new gaming hardware, software, and accessories. The Expo provided a unique opportunity for gamers to experience the latest advancements in gaming technology firsthand. Other exhibitors included Electronic Arts, showcasing Need for Speed Rivals and Fifa 14, as well as Logitech, steelseries, and Eizo.

Steelseries Expo

Entertainment and Live Music

Darude Performance

As the day turned to night, DreamHack transformed into a vibrant festival of music and entertainment. Concerts and DJ sets featuring popular artists kept the energy high, providing a perfect end to the gaming-filled days. Some of the artists that performed include Darude, Altego, Bright Skies, and Dirty House Guys, and Niello. The event was a 24/7 affair, with activities and gaming continuing through the night. This non-stop schedule was a hallmark of DreamHack, embodying the spirit of a true digital festival. Attendees could take a break from gaming to enjoy live music, socialize with fellow gamers, or just soak in the vibrant atmosphere that only an event like DreamHack could offer. Attendees could also meet their favorite streamers and Youtubers at fan signing booths and pose for a picture or get an autograph.

SivHD Taking Picture With a Fan

Reflection and Legacy: The Impact of DreamHack 2013

Blizzard Expo

The DreamHack Winter 2013 event was more than a gathering; it was a landmark in the history of digital entertainment. With its record-breaking attendance and diverse array of offerings, it demonstrated the incredible power and potential of the gaming community. The event's success was a clear indication of how gaming had evolved from a niche hobby into a significant cultural and economic force. DreamHack 2013's impact extended beyond the boundaries of the event itself. It set new standards for what a gaming festival could be, blending competition, technology, education, and entertainment into one cohesive and dynamic experience. The event was a celebration of the diversity and creativity of the gaming community, showcasing everything from the thrill of eSports to the artistry of digital media.

Blizzard Expo

LAN Party Splashscreen

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