DreamHack Cancels 2020 Events Over COVID-19 Concerns
DreamHack has announced that they are canceling the rest of their 2020 events and moving them into 2021. This is just another effect of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has dramatically changed the face of esports and shifted everything back to the online world from whence it came.
Which Events Were Canceled?
DreamHack ironically was one of the last esports events to be run fully normally in the U.S. before COVID-19 hit the western shores. DreamHack Anaheim, a smaller DreamHack in the grand scheme of things, saw fans flock to the famed Anaheim Convention Center where tier 2 CSGO teams squared off and several small to medium-sized FGC events took place. Fortnite and several other Blizzard games also featured at that event.
However, now that COVID-19 still has a firm chokehold over the U.S. and hasn’t been completely eradicated from Europe, the following DreamHack 2020 events have been canceled:
- DreamHack Rotterdam – originally scheduled for Oct. 16-18
- DreamHack Hyderabad – originally scheduled for Oct. 31-Nov. 1
- DreamHack Atlanta – originally scheduled for Nov. 13-15
- DreamHack Winter – originally scheduled for Nov. 27-29
- DreamHack Madrid – originally scheduled for Dec. 11-13
“The goal for all of us at DreamHack is to provide great experiences at our events, which thrive by bringing communities together for these shared and beloved festival weekends all around the globe,” said Marcus Lindmark, DreamHack’s co-CEO. “We have never had to postpone events like this before — but these are extraordinary times, and the safety of our attendees and staff has never been more important than now.”
These events have been postponed into the 2021 calendar year, joining DreamHack Dallas, DreamHack Summer, and DreamHack Montreal.
“This has been a very different year for everyone, but we are fully committed to bringing our festivals back in 2021,” Lindmark said. “DreamHack will continue to follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Public Health Agency of Sweden (Folkhälsomyndigheten), as well as other national health authorities for guidance on resuming our festivals. Until then, we will continue to innovate so we can connect with our fans through great content.”
What Is Dreamhack Doing Instead?
Instead of live events, DreamHack’s staff have been keeping themselves and fans busy by offering online events, as many esports companies have been forced to pivot to this model.
“We at DreamHack stay committed to offering the best esports events for our fans and followers, even if it needs to be in an alternate format for now,” said Michael Van Driel, DreamHack’s chief product officer. “In order to bring these events to our fans, DreamHack’s tournaments will continue to be offered online. It is very important that these tournaments still be played, which provides esports players with great opportunities while also giving viewers entertaining esports to enjoy from all around the world.”
DreamHack has been offering original programming, online events for Fortnite, Regional Major Ranking tournaments in CSGO, the DreamHack Open series in CSGO, and the Northern League of Legends Championship, among other events.
COVID-19 Concerns Continue to Make 2020 a Wash in Esports
While the esports industry has been able to adapt faster than traditional sports, some have questioned the legitimacy of results in this era. After all, with no LANs, everything is being played online, and entire swaths of results simply aren’t playing out the same way they would otherwise.
While it’s excellent that esports has been able to entertain millions of people worldwide during this pandemic, it’s not a year that people will look back to with any fondness or with anything except for a giant asterisk next to the results.