Our top 5 takeaways from Dreamhack Melbourne 2023

Dreamhack is Melbourne’s newest gaming festival, a three-day event was held at the Melbourne Parks precinct focused on all things E-sports. Competitions, leagues, B.Y.O LAN parties and cosplay competitions were all present, along with the chance to get some serious advice on how to get started in the gaming industry from professionals.

5. Cosplay Competition

A whole range of cosplayers both new and experienced took to the festival to showcase their interpretations of various iconic pop culture characters. While they are often seen around the festival grounds, the main event is the cosplay competition held each day with a cash prize. There were a variety of different skill levels from amateur to professional, who each put in so much love and care into their creations. The big showcase on the main stage in the Rod Laver Arena is simply one of the best things to watch and is easily the best-organised and most exciting cosplay competition I have ever watched.

4. Industry Panels

Listening to professionals in the gaming industry shell out their advice about varying stages of how to get into the gaming industry, along with E-sports eligibility and more. The highlight for me was the streaming panel and how to build a community on Twitch in 2023. The panel was made up of some expert streamers like 8bitElliot, who were only too happy to talk about their journey and how they built a community online streaming games, chatting, cooking and engaging with what they love. It was a fascinating insight into an industry that seems incredibly out of reach.

3. Archery Warz

Probably the biggest surprise of the festival was Archery Warz. It is an interactive experience that was best done with as a bigger group of friends as possible. You enter a huge arena with padded barricades and use a bow and velcro arrows to take out your opponents one by one. Over the three day festival, it consistently had the longest line of anything on offer. The weather was beautiful and the chance to have some fun with an interactive game was a crowd favourite. I hope it’s back next year!

2. E-Sports Competitions

Prior to Dreamhack Melbourne I have never watched an E-sports event live before. Watching a bunch of gaming professionals put their heart and soul on Margaret Court Arena was incredibly thrilling to watch and as the matches went on and things got more intense, you could really feel the tension and excitement from the crowd. The commentary across all of the events provided a lot of much-needed humour and relief from the intensity of the matches and it was great to see the different teams and leagues that are out there.

1. Rainbow Road

Having this event at the Melbourne Parks precinct was able to create a connection between the inside and outside through a rainbow coloured track leading from Rod Laver Arena to the building where the industry panels were held. It was the perfect place to catch cosplayers, dancers and entertainers. There was so much joy and happiness pulsating from this area of the festival, as the festival went on, the outside area added in food trucks, a juice van and Archery Warz, all of which created a separate outside area that allowed attendees to bathe in the Melbourne sun as the temperature turned icy cold for this weekend.

And that’s a wrap on Dreamhack Melbourne 2023! Make sure to stay tuned to The AU Review for all the latest in gaming events and news.