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DreamHack Mumbai 2018: The Good and The Bad

DreamHack Mumbai 2018 - Image Credits to NODWIN Gaming

DreamHack Mumbai 2018 was announced back in September 2018, and was finally held this week at NESCO Goregaon from 21st to 23rd December. The three day gaming fest had many eSports Tournaments with a total prize pool of 10,000,000 INR (1 Crore INR), A BYOC LAN Party where gamers brought their gaming PCs & consoles and played all day long, competitions for PUBG Mobile & Mobile Cricket Championships, A KO Fight Nights Championship with games like Tekken 7 & Street Fighter V stand-up comedy, and music performances.

We attended the event on all three days and talked with many of the professional eSports athletes, BYOC Gamers, streamers and attendees present at the event. They told us about their overall experience, their thoughts on how it went, the issues faced and how everything could be improved.

Kingston HyperX, Corsair Gaming, Dell Alienware, and BenQ Zowie all had booths showcasing many of their latest products like gaming keyboards, mice, headphones, laptops, and monitors. There was also a flash sale by HyperX and Corsair, where they offered amazing discounts on their products. They also conducted some community events at their booths.

Corsair’s booth at DreamHack Mumbai 2018

Monster Energy served their energy drinks to everyone on the house, fueling everyone with the monstrous energy they needed for the 72-hour long gaming festival.

Monster Energy’s booth at DreamHack Mumbai 2018

The BYOC Gamers brought their own gaming rigs, laptops or consoles for a massive LAN Party held on all three days. Tickets started from 3,000 INR and went all the way to 14,999 INR for the ‘Legendary Gamer’ Premium BYOC Pass, in which the gamers were given a high-end gaming setup, food vouchers, a catering service and access to VIP areas. All of the BYOC Gamers could also participate in various tournaments for many eSports titles that had a total prize pool of 700,000 INR.

The BYOC LAN Party at DreamHack Mumbai 2018 – Image Credits to NODWIN Gaming

There was also a PUBG Mobile Skirmish Championship, with a prize pool of 700,000 INR and gamers could compete in either squads or solo. In addition to this there was a Mobile Cricket Championship with a prize pool worth 800,000 INR. Gamers played World Cricket Championship 2 and Sachin Saga Cricket Championship. Both these tournaments were a huge success, especially the PUBG Mobile Skirmish Championship and it was open for all the general attendees.

PUBG Mobile Skirmish Championship at DreamHack Mumbai 2018 – Image Credits to NODWIN Gaming

The KO Fight Night Championship had Alex Jebailey, DreamHack Global Fighting Game Director as its special guest host. Street Fighter V Arcade Edition, Tekken 7 and Super Smash Bros Ultimate were the games in the tournament and the prize pool for this championship was set at 12,35,000 INR. Abhinav Tejan won at Tekken 7, Hugo Randez won at Street Fighter V, and Ayaan Biswas won at Super Smash Bros.

KO Fight Night at DreamHack Mumbai 2018 – Image from dreamhack.com/mumbai/kofn/

FIFA 19 Tournaments were also present at the event, with a prize pool of 150,000 INR. In addition to this there were some VR Football games and some gaming stations for challenging your friends for a FIFA 19 Match.

There were also Retro & Table Top Games which had a prize pool of 400,000 INR. Gamers played classic games like Contra, Mario, Pac-Man and several card & board games.

The PC Modding Competition included many popular professional PC Modders & Hardware Enthusiasts that showcased some insane mods and competed to win from a prize pool of 165,000 INR. The winners were Bilal Moojli & Mukul Sabhani for the first day, Pramod Hambir for the second day and Nishikant Bhavsar for the third day.

PC Modding Competiton at DreamHack Mumbai 2018 – Image Credits to NODWIN Gaming

The Cosplay Competition showcased many interesting & cool looking outfits by several popular cosplayers. Famous cosplayers like Han Jones, Lily On The Moon and Cinderys were judges for this Competition.

Cosplayers at DreamHack Mumbai 2018 – Image Credits to NODWIN Gaming

The Meet & Greet event allowed attendees to meet with the elites of professional gaming including Team Bravado who won CS:GO Invitational Tournament, Chai “Mushi” Yee Fung (a popular Dota 2 player), Team Mineski who won the Dota 2 Invitational Tournament, Harley “DSN” Örwal who was also an analyst for the CS:GO Invitational Tournament, and many other prominent eSports personalities.

Meeting with Team Bravado, Winner of DreamHack Mumbai 2018 CSGO Invitational Tournament

There were streamers & professional eSports athletes like Ankit “v3nom” Panth, Shagufta “Xyaa” Iqbal, Mohit “SuperMaD” Rajgaria, and several others that streamed from the event at the Streamer’s Area.

Meeting with Mohit “SuperMaD” Rajgaria at DreamHack Mumbai 2018

DreamHack Mumbai 2018 made it possible for many gamers to meet their favourite professional eSports athletes, streamers and even just online gaming friends – and for some people, this was the best part of the entire event.

Live Music was run by several DJs like Shaan, Spindoctor, Sartek, Zenith, DJ Skip and DJ Ishani. The music was great and always kept the mood going. In addition to this, the Funny Side Up event had comedians like Azeem Banatwalla, Saurav Mehta, Sorabh Pant, and Nivedita performing on stage.

Lastly, there was also a Merchandise Store with exclusive apparels from major eSports teams like Astralis, fnatic, and Ninjas in Pyjamas. There was also many DreamHack T-Shirts, Hoodies, and keychains at this store.

Major issues with the internet, match scheduling and streaming platform were faced by everyone

The most reported issue by everyone was the internet. The Bring Your Own Computer (BYOC) LAN Party had tickets ranging from 2999 INR all the way to 14999 INR for the Legendary Gamer Premium BYOC Pass, with VIP Privileges. There were a total of 1000 seats available for the BYOC Section of DreamHack Mumbai.

Akshat Rathee, Founder and CEO of NODWIN Gaming said that entire event had 5Gbps (5000Mbps) Internet, backed up by multiple ISPs. DreamHack Mumbai’s website says the BYOC LAN Party had 1000+ seats. So, the 5Gbps Internet present at the event translates to at least 4Mbps (400KB/s) of internet speeds for every BYOC gamer playing from the event, and the remaining 1Gbps could be used for other purposes.

Gamers were extremely upset with the internet facilities provided at the event, including the people who paid 14,999 INR for the Legendary Gamer Pass.

They reported that the internet had severe latency issues when connected to in-game servers, making the game quite unplayable. Gamers weren’t getting the desired speeds and the connection stability was really bad, said many of the BYOC Gamers, steamers and professional athletes at the event. Clearly, the internet connection provided to the BYOC Gamers was not at all sufficient.

Another big issue faced by everyone was scheduling of the matches. Disorganization led to many of the Dota 2 & CSGO Invitational matches being delayed. A gamer quoted “It wasn’t just the matches that were delayed, but many big things were happening at the event and people just didn’t know about it because of the lack of announcements or updates.”

The streaming platform Voot used for streaming the CSGO & Dota 2 Invitational Tournaments had issues like unstable & low quality streams. It was also not available in several countries. I believe for an international gaming tournament of this scale should have been streamed on a more matured platform like Twitch or YouTube.

Lastly, the streamers who were present at DreamHack Mumbai 2018 said they wanted to stream the event on their social media profiles, but bad connection to cellular networks with no WiFi at the event itself prohibited them from doing so.

Many fans, who had bought the passes at the original price, before they were slashed by a huge amount, were promised vouchers from BookMyShow. But according to various reports, they have not yet received any.

The most damning allegation came from Gadgets360, who accused NODWIN Gaming of using pirated software to run retro games.

We’ve reached out to NODWIN Gaming, the organiser of DreamHack Mumbai 2018, for a comment.

Final Verdict

DreamHack Mumbai 2018 was not a failure, in fact it was a success. The three day long gaming festival had so many things happening for everyone, and people loved to watch international teams compete at the event. Most people who had actually attended DreamHack Mumbai would agree that the event was amazing.

Team Neon eSports playing for the Dota 2 Invitational Tournament at DreamHack Mumbai 2018 – Image Credits to NODWIN Gaming

But, the issues faced were real and did disappoint many, especially the BYOC Gamers. Better internet connections and network management systems should have been employed at the event, especially for an event of this scale.

Here’s the thing – DreamHack in its entirety has always been about the BYOC LAN Party as its main highlight and DreamHack Mumbai just wasn’t it.

The streaming platform Voot used for the event clearly wasn’t the right idea. Again, a more matured platform like Twitch or YouTube should have been used for a tournament this big.

Finally, everyone would agree that the DreamHack Mumbai team had serious organisational issues that led to scheduling problems of the Dota 2 & CS:GO Invitational Tournaments. This can be solved with better overall management, and a much better plan of solving technical issues that could arise during the event.

Apart from the issues, the overall experience everyone had at DreamHack Mumbai was phenomenal. Being at DreamHack Mumbai 2018 was a sensational experience and a big thanks to Mohit “SuperMaD” Rajgaria, Saad “Captain Syntax” Naseem, Ankit “v3nom” Panth, Manasvi “Mansvivi” Dalvi, the BYOC Gamers, and the attendees present at the event for all their amazing inputs about DreamHack Mumbai.

The last point that I would like to add is that generally everyone that we talked to, still ended up with the statement that they thoroughly enjoyed DreamHack Mumbai a lot. They gave constructive criticism about the issues, how they can be resolved, and in the end agreed that DreamHack Mumbai 2018 has been a great event.

India’s first major international gaming event was still overall a success despite the issues, which will hopefully be worked upon in future events. DreamHack Mumbai 2018 has truly helped a lot in maturing the Gaming & eSports scene in India!


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