I arrived at the Austin Convention Center on Friday afternoon with my photographer, Jake. It was uncharacteristically humid for Austin, but once you entered the event center you were greeted by some very welcomed blasting from the AC. After checking in with the registration desk we headed into the event to experience DreamHack Austin in all it’s glory. We entered the North end of the event near the Bring your own Computer (BOYC) area and headed through the event towards the CS:GO stage. When we arrived there, it was Bud Lite Happy Hour so we got wristbands that entitled us to one free Bud Lite a day. I’m not one to complain about free beer so I won’t. We got our free beers and sat down to watch Gambit and Heroic begin a triple overtime slug-fest. Gambit eventually took the match 25-23. It was really awesome seeing this match go into triple overtime since it was my first time seeing a professional CS:GO match in person.
After the match ended we decided to take a walk around the entire venue to see all the booths and locate the discussion panels. Once we got our bearings we started visiting all of the attractions that DreamHack had to offer. The first area was the BYOC and Free Play PC’s. The BYOC area had some really kick ass PCs, but we didn’t go into that area until day 2. The next area was the tabletop game section. Here there were daily Pokemon, Magic the Gathering and Hearthstone tournaments, not something I was particularly interested in, but there for those who were. There was a desk where you could rent various board games to play with your friends while at the event, which is something I plan on taking advantage of at my next DreamHack. Next was the Main Stage that had various performances and eSports played on it daily. Then there were the other eSports stages which included: StarCraft II, Smash, Street Fighter, and Hearthstone all lined up next to each other. Behind the crowd seating for those stages was the Console Area. There were various consoles and tournaments available for all attendees to play on. The final area aside from the CS:GO stage was the Expo. Here various manufacturers, promoters, developers and vendors.
After taking a brief overview of the entire event, we headed back to the CS:GO stage to G2 and Cloud 9 face off and to root for our NA boys. Cloud 9 actually won the map against tournament favorites G2, meaning they would play again that night for a chance to progress directly to the play offs. By this time it was getting late and we were starting to get hungry so we decided it was time for a dinner break and we would come back later to watch the 2nd Cloud 9 Match. We headed back to the house I was staying at for the weekend to change into some more comfortable clothes and decide what we were going to eat for dinner. My friend suggested Iron Works BBQ because it was right next to the Austin Convention Center. After gorging ourselves on smoked meats we headed back to the venue to watch some more CS:GO.
Cloud 9 gave Immortals a good fight, but in the end, Immortals won the match and advanced to the playoffs, leaving Cloud 9 to fight for their playoff position on the next day. After the CS:GO match was over, it was around 9:30 pm so we didn’t have much to choose from to do for the rest of the night. We were able to get on the Free Play PC’s and booted up some Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds.
While we were playing a “music” act started on the Main Stage. Now, I’m sure many of you are unaware that I played bass guitar for a shitty band for a few years, yeah we sucked but we weren’t obnoxious about it. The “music” artist on stage was none other than GrimeCraft and the music he was playing was downright offensive. He was destroying beautiful video game music with awful fucking brostep shit noises splattered all over it. We did our best to ignore the shit-fest on stage and continued on the Free Play PCs. After the GrimeCraft set, which seemed to go on way longer than needed, an actual decent artist known as MegaRan performed his set. For those of you unaware of MegaRan, go check his shit out now on YouTube. He’s a great rapper who rhymes over video game beats. He also had a horn section performing with him during his set, making for one hell of a concert. By this point it was starting to get late and we wanted to get beer before it got too late. So it was at this point we concluded our Day 1 adventure and hightailed it to the gas station to get some Dabney Juice.