For the first time on American soil, Austin hosts LAN festival Dreamhack
For the first time on American soil, Dreamhack, one of the world's largest digital festivals makes its way to Austin. Aaron Kappes is one of those competing this weekend with his team Temperal Star. “Dreamhack is huge in Europe, so the fact that it's over here for the first time is massive.” He’s a professional gamer, “It's a full time job, we get winnings, we get sponsor money, and we go represent the sponsors,” he said.
Kappes said being a professional gamer is no easy task, and requires practicing every day. “Anywhere between 4-10 hours a day depending on what we need to do. It's what we are paid for,” he said. Come game time, the pressure is on, “We're being watched live by an audience of about 200 to 300 people depending on who shows up for the match and usually online, there's usually between 40,000 to 100,000 people watching,” he said.
Dreamhack has been around since 1994 and is the World’s largest LAN or Local Area Network party in Sweden, and this year for the first time it's in North America. Gary Briggs is one of the event’s organizers, “They decided it was finally time to jump over to the U.S. and so they decided Austin was a good place to do it. Friendly atmosphere accommodating people, really helpful,” he said.
Briggs said bringing Dreamhack to the U.S. was a gamble, but with more than 12,000 tickets sold each day, it's paid off. “That meets our expectations, we've sold out most of the days,” Briggs said.
For Kappes he said this is his first Dreamhack event, and it's a gamers dream come true. :”I love video games, who doesn't love video games? And if you get good enough to play them and get paid to do it, why not? People never believe when I tell them that I make a decent living doing this and I do,” he said.
The event is sold out Saturday, but they still have some tickets available for Sunday.
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