Popular PC gaming festival Dreamhack is coming to India for the first time. The inaugural Dreamhack India event will take place from December 21 to December 23 at NESCO in Goregaon, Mumbai. Dreamhack features LAN parties, e-sports competitions, a bring your own computer section (BYOC), as well as cosplay championships, panels, and more. The Indian edition of Dreamhack will be live streamed via Voot and is being organised by Gurgaon-based e-sports firm Nodwin. What's more is, it will be a ticketed event, which means if you want to see what Dreamhack is about, you'll have to pay at least Rs. 399 for the privilege. It's an interesting approach in a country where events like this usually have a free entry. However Nodwin feels that India's gamers are ready to pay, citing the success of local events like Comic Con.
"If Comic Con is ready [to have a paying audience], we are too," says Akshat Rathee, CEO and Founder of Nodwin to Gadgets 360. "We are the new pop culture sensation."
This also marks Dreamhack's first outing in Asia and naturally the company appears to be optimistic of its India prospects.
"We are excited about entering another continent as DreamHack open its doors to the first DreamHack India event," said DreamHack CEO, Marcus Lindmark in a prepared statement. "The partnership with Nodwin Gaming helps us redefine professional gaming in India where we can offer something exciting and for millions of gamers across the region. This, we believe, will give the pro gamers the right setup to play at their full potential. Our goal is to build a healthy gaming ecosystem, and we look forward to helping build a successful and competitive event."
For its part, Viacom18's Voot is equally positive on India's prospects as a gaming audience. "There is an avid gaming community in India and with Viacom18’s presence across live, digital and broadcast media along with a strong connect with the Indian youth, we are uniquely poised to leverage properties such as DreamHack in India and take e-sports to a larger audience base," said Sidharth Kedia, Head - Corporate Strategy Viacom18. "We look forward to introducing this exciting property to Indian audiences."
Aside from the usual fare of Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive for e-sports, the Dreamhack India website mentions a whopping Rs. 1 crore prize pool too. A prepared statement from Nodwin makes mention of a 'Mobile Cricket event' though details are sparse.
Safe to say, it could possibly revolve around a game from World Cricket Championship studio Nextwave as both Nodwin and Nextwave share the same parent company, Nazara. Standup comedy and a classic arcade section would be a part of Dreamhack India too. A quick check on the Dreamhack India page also suggests a PUBG Mobile tournament may be in the works as well. Considering Tencent's own PUBG Mobile tournament ends in October, it will be interesting to see if we'd get yet another one barely a month later.
Furthermore, there would be international e-sports teams making their way to Mumbai for Dreamhack, though details of which ones exactly are yet to be ascertained.