Alex Jebailey was a special guest at DreamHack India 2018 who supervised the fighting KO gaming areas. He annually organises the Community Effort Orlando, a fighting game event, which is one of the more popular events when it comes to the fighting game community.
DreamHack is the first major BYOC event in India. How has your experience been?
It’s been great. I’ve been to almost 15 DreamHack events now and everything has been awesome, very impressive for the first time. When you come from a country like US to a foreign country like India, which I always wanted to visit, it’s full of surprises. The people were so prepared to make this event happen, the staff has been awesome and I think the attendence has been great for a one-of-its-kind first event in the country. Not even the organisers knew what to expect with this kind of event but just seeing everybody happy, walking around enjoying themselves, gamers coming from all over the country for this event, its a success. The opening ceremony was beautiful, so overall for me the experience was great. I’m here to run the fighting game tournament, the KO Fight Nights, and all the people have been really happy. I come from a competitive background so I’ve been giving the gamers some advice. Personally, I don’t have a single complaint.
What were your expectations with KO Fight Nights? Did they come to fruiton?
Our expectations were just to have a nice decent tournament. We were also hoping to bring in some international playrs, but because of the christmas week coming up and the tournament season for Street Fighter and Tekken just ended so most of the people wanted to take a break. The players that were available came out. We had about 90 people for Tekken, 40 for Street Fighter and 30 for Super Smash Bros. Nintendo is not very big in India so the 30 people coming for Super Smash Bros was a big deal for us.
Which of the three fighting games was the most successful in the whole event?
Tekken was the most successful out of the three. But I expected that, since I’ve heard that Tekken is pretty big in Asia, especially India. When we have fighting tournaments in America like the CEO, we have like 8-12 different games, so to have these three games have a dedicated community and having people show up for them, it’s a success for me.
How does the Indian FGC look from your perspective?
Pretty much like any other scene. There is not much difference here. People just want to play the games, they want to have fun. It was nice to see everyone have access to arcade sticks and fight sticks to play the games, but since they are pretty hard to come by, we had a community member outsource them from Dubai. But yeah, it is not very different here. Everyone is really passionate and honestly, I think the players could do really well if they could travel and play in other countries as well.
How do you think can this be improved?
I guess by getting more promotions. I know Viacom 18 is a huge support to this event, but I would like for more people outside of India to see this as well, so maybe if Twitch could be of some help here is maybe the only thing I can think of. I may release videos on demands to help with this but for the first time, it couldn’t have been better. You have to keep in mind that India has a huge population, but I wanted to show the world what India is really about, but I didn’t get to the way I wanted to.
Do you have any plans to improve it?
Yeah, I mean, I’m very good at giving feedback because I run my own conventions, so since everyone is pretty busy during the event, it’s not plausible to discuss what went wrong in the event. But I believe they were taking feedbacks from the attendees which was really great, so maybe they could think upon it, bring back things that people loved, the things people didn’t like, maybe fix them. That’s really how we can make such events better by the year, through communication.
Do you plan to host any such events in the future in India?
That’s really not up to me, it’s up to DreamHack. But I think it’s safe to say that the organisers are really happy and impressed of the response they have got. I thin this was a great first step and we would love to do it again next year.
Hey, I’m Shubhang. I love to write about games and esports. I aspire to eventually become a Streamer and an ESports Athlete, and play all sorts of games for my audience. My gaming alias is Majnoo, and I mainly play CSGO, FIFA, PUBG, GTA V etc.