DreamHack Mumbai: Recipe For Disaster

DreamHack Mumbai was the first time an event with a big international name had an event of such a scale in India. However, things might not have been as expected from an event carrying such a big name so let’s take a look at DreamHack Mumbai.

DreamHack has been known to have large events filled with energy, smooth operations and the best experience for gamers and participants. Sadly, this was not the case for DreamHack Mumbai which had its fair share of issues that hampered the experience. Let’s start with the esports part of it.

While DreamHack has usually been an event that has been PC centric, this one was a little different. The focus was more on Mobile Games like PUBG Mobile and not games usually played at esports events. Furthermore, the misorganisation of the tournaments led to teams leaving before the end of the tournament because of delays in match timings which went on till late into the night.

Courtesy: Dreamhack India FB

Our colleague who attended the event as a Streamer had quite a few grievances about the PC that was provided and the Internet. The Legendary Gamer ticket which costed Rs 15k featured a “Gaming Rig” which had a GTX 750Ti GPU, a 4-year-old mid-range GPU. The Internet was not up to standards at all, disconnects were frequent which led to a lot of dropped frames in streams or the stream straight up dying.

A lot of people came to side with DreamHack stating that this is the way the internet is in India which is not an excuse for such a big event. Not to mention that there are ISPs out there which provide stable and fast internet. The tables and chairs provided were not up to standard, especially for a place where most of the people would be sitting and playing.

Some tickets got you vouchers for food but the food itself was marked up by a lot and was expensive so for students and youngsters attending the event on their own, it would not have made sense to get food from there.

Now let’s talk about something that was brought to limelight by Rishi from Gadgets360 who reported that DreamHack Mumbai was not using legitimate consoles for their Retro Gaming Zone. While most DreamHack events use the actual consoles, it seems that here they were using clones of NES console. Rishi reached out to DreamHack and Nodwin and got this response from Akshat Rathee, CEO and Founder of Nodwin:

“You ask and you ask again, and you keep asking till the time either someone says ‘no’ or says ‘okay if it’s just a community thing, go for it. The fact that it is for the community, the fact that it is something which is there, it helps their brand. I’m not monetising any of those, it’s not a commercial license. It’s not like there’s a coin-operated machine that I’m going and taking any kind of a revenue from them.”

Courtesy: Gadgets360

“It is an emulator — Open Internet Project has gone and talked about it and, Creative Commons is a great example to go ahead and talk about it, this is not about licensing. This is about building this [Dreamhack Mumbai], and if they tell me tomorrow not to do it, I won’t”

They further stated that they were using Raspberry Pis for emulation which doesn’t seem to be the case as seen from the image taken from Gadgets360. Mr. Rathee also states that they are not monetizing it but the only way to gain access to the consoles is by buying a ticket which starts at Rs 500. They also advertised it on their website so this whole Retro Zone seems very fishy and is pretty much Piracy since they don’t own the console or the games. Not a good showing for an event with such a huge brand name attached to it.

Visitors of the event were also not happy with the flash sales for tickets which offered discounts of up to 70% a few days before the start of the event. This left people who had purchased the ticket beforehand frustrated as they had bought the ticket for full price. Not to mention, Comic-Con Mumbai attendants also had access to DreamHack with their ticket and according to the report from Gadgets360, the organisers were also letting in those who had made purchases at a nearby food court.

Now let’s talk about entertainment. There were 4 stand-up comedians and 6 DJs. Was this really necessary for an event with the main focus on celebrating video games and the community? The event was lacking in a lot of areas so would it not have been better to use that money to strengthen parts of the core experience like the seating, the internet, and to get even more personalities?

Courtesy: Dreamhack India FB

The event wasn’t all bad. Fans got to meet their favourite streamers, personalities and got to watch some of their favourite teams in action. Many people got to witness their first large-scale gaming event which will help pave the way for other events that come along after this. However, this was still much left to be desired.

People have taken to social media to air their grievances but have been shut down by others because “They should be happy with what they’re getting and should be thankful about a big brand name coming to India”. That’s not the attitude to have and that would just further lower the standards of future events because organizations will feel that people are satisfied with the bare minimum.

India has a huge gaming community which is slowly coming together and if we don’t raise our voices to help make our community better then there won’t be progress and growth. So share your concerns and your praise, talk about it but don’t stay quiet. Let us know your thoughts about the event and how your experience was at Dreamhack Mumbai.

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