Known for its style of combining the look and feel of a traveling festival with the professional competitive edge of esports, Dreamhack is a worldwide staple that is now being forced to deal with the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Sweden-based tournament group announced today that its upcoming slate of events, including DreamHack Summer, Dallas, and Montreal will all be postponed to 2021. Meanwhile, the upcoming DreamHack Valencia, originally scheduled for July 3-5 is rescheduled to October, with all Q4 2020 DreamHack events going forward as planned.
In a statement about the delays, Co-CEO Marcus Lindmark said, “This was not an easy decision. We have never had to postpone events like this before—but these are extraordinary times, and the safety of our staff and attendees has never been more important than now.” DreamHack events are more than just esports tournaments, as they also encompass cosplay, local gaming, art panels, live music, and more. The delays are yet one more in a growing list of events in 2020 that are either seeing postponements or outright cancelations.
To stem some of the sting from tournaments being postponed, DreamHack is moving some of its esports offerings online. The rescheduled games will keep their prize pools and still be available for viewing online. Michael Van Driel, Chief Product Officer said, “DreamHack’s tournaments are now being moved online—it was important to allow these tournaments to still be played, which provides esports players with great opportunities while also giving viewers entertaining esports to enjoy from all around the world.”
The delay of DreamHack events also has the potential to harm the moment of games attempting to release this year, as many use the tournament as a promotional opportunity. One such game, Dead By Daylight, will appear at Dreamhack Atlanta to promote new IPs as well as a mobile version of Dead by Daylight.
In light of canceled events globally, Geoff Keighley announced Summer Game Fest, a season of game announcements and celebrations. While it won’t exactly replace what DreamHack offered, it’s a worthwhile replacement in a time when physical gatherings are made impossible.
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