One of the biggest gaming lifestyle festivals in the country is returning to Atlanta this weekend.
DreamHack Atlanta, a multi-faceted esports event, will be making a stop in the Georgia World Congress Center with tournaments, concerts, cosplay and more until Sunday. DreamHack has been happening around the world for the past 25 years.
More than 35,000 people are expected to come out to DreamHack Atlanta, which is at least 10,000 more than the first-ever event held in the metro area in 2017.
The venue space has expanded from last year’s spot in Building A to Building C of the Georgia World Congress Center to match the festival’s high demand.
To accommodate the crowds, security checks have become more streamlined so that attendees can spend time gaming instead of standing in a line for hours, according to Michael Van Driel, the chief product officer at DreamHack.
Among the visitors, he said there are 2,000 unique competitors that will be participating in games ranging from Madden to Halo.
More than $1 million collectively will be awarded to winners of the nine esports competitions over the course of the weekend. There are also free play gaming options available for attendees.
“There’s almost more activities to list, whether you’re into console gaming, virtual reality, mobile gaming, PC gaming, whether you’re into tabletop gaming, music. There’s just really a huge content offering here,” Van Driel said.
It took more than a year of planning to pull off this year’s event, he said, and the plan was based on feedback from the community.
“Putting on [the] event really takes a good 18 months of planning between the content that we want to host here, the marketing, making sure we staff it up and then working with a ton of different help suppliers to put on the events,” he said.
With more crowds coming to DreamHack Atlanta each year, Van Driel said he sees the event expanding even more within their current venue in the future.
“That’s one of the reasons we came here, because we want to build that annual predictable event that fans can kind of consider their second home,” he said “So the goal for us is to stay here as long as we can.”
If you’re planning to attend DreamHack Atlanta, day passes can still be bought online for $40. Parking can also be bought ahead of time through ParkMobile, and be sure to use the code DH19 during checkout.