Gothenburg to Stockholm via Jönköping (Dreamhack)
This is your first and final warning. If you are not really interested in thousands of nerds playing computer games then save yourself the time and look at the next post. The first and last paragraphs might be the only things of interest for you. Consider this the disclaimer so no one can sue me for wasting their time.
I had to get up about 6. I had breakfast and a shower before checking out and heading for the trams. I got to the bus station with about 10 minutes to spare. I sat down and waited for the bus. It arrived, I got up and I walked over to the bus. I put my luggage on the bus. I got onto the bus. I showed my ticket to the driver of the bus. I sat down in one of the seats on the bus. We left and arrived in Jönköping on the bus. Ok I will stop that now… Just not a very interesting trip.
When I arrived, I put my baggage into storage and found the local bus that would take me to the place where they were hosting Dreamhack. Now, for those many who don’t know what Dreamhack is, it is essentially a lan party. I learnt while I was there that it is actually the largest lan party in the world. They also have an exhibition centre area where they have booths for computing equipment and games and everything related. They even had the army people there. I knew about it when I was in Perth. They have a Starcraft competition (Starcraft is a game that I like to play and watch professional games of and is huge. As in the national sport of South Korea) that I watched last time it was on and now I happened to stumble on it when listening to some guys talking in the hostel in Gothenburg. Starcraft was the main reason I was going but I also wanted to see what else they had there.
When I arrived, I went in with my little day pass thing that I had. I had been talking to Tim and he told me that I needed to go see one particular cast quickly. I found the wrong one but it was ok because one of the guys commentating is amongst the most famous out of all the Starcraft people in the world (outside of Korea), Day9. He was there with MrBitter who I had never heard of before. There would have been 50 people in the ‘stadium’ watching. I had arrived at about 10:30 and I watched the games that were coming up. I honestly don’t remember who I was watching (as in the players) but it was still pretty cool. After watching that series (they play best of 3) I watched the next one in that same room and then left to have a look around to see what else they had at Dreamhack.
I found a room that almost knocked me back when I saw it. It was like a hanger bay that was almost in complete darkness with hundreds of computers. I would guess 500-700ish. I really don’t know. I just walked through them all, just looking at what everyone was playing/doing. This was the second day of Dreamhack and there was so much junk food everywhere. Boxes of coke that people had brought. Redbull, lollies, chips….actually, that was about all. Coke, lollies, Redbull and chips is all people need to survive for several days. I got myself a burger to eat and tried to get out of this area. It was really hard because there were no lights other than computer screens and the exit wasn’t obvious. I eventually found my way out into the exhibition area. This was lit up and there was heaps of different things going on. Areas selling hardware and software. A lot of booths that had games that you could try out from racing games to first person shooters to Worms and games that had not even come out yet. I actually found the Starcraft booth where they were commentating other games. In this booth was dApollo and TotalBuiscut who I had seen before doing other casts including the last Dreamhack. I actually met another Aussie guy from his VB beanie that he was wearing and we started talking to some other guy that was working at the event who got us free cokes.
During a break between games, I went up to the stage (as it really was just a booth) and asked to get a photo with them which I got. I also got Apollo to shout out to Perth. Which he did in the next set of games. What a guy! Crap, I forgot to mention that when I was heading from the arena where Day9 was and the dark hanger room, I found one of my favourite players, TheLittleOne, aka TLO. Now I didn’t actually recognise his face but there was 2 Asian girls getting a photo with him with their Starcraft gear so I stopped and had a look at what was going on and quickly figured it out. I got a photo with him and we (the 4 of us) had a quick chat before he had to go off and do some casting (I just realised that I keep saying casting. The reason for this is that that is what they call it commentating in the professional gaming community, when they present a game and commentate on it.) back to before I interrupted myself, I watched 2 series of games with dApollo and TotalBuiscit before having a bit more of a look around. I found another room, pretty much the same size as the first one that was again, filled with hundreds of people on computers. I think this room was even bigger as well somehow. It was crazy.
I went back to the arena where Day9 and MrBitter were casting and watched I think only one more game before they were going off for lunch. I am not really sure what I did in the break. I guess I walked around for a while and looked at stuff. When I came back to the arena, There was 2 different casters. We had Tasteless and Artosis who are a famous duo that cast lots of Starcraft. Tasteless is actually Day9s brother and had also been quite sick for the day previously and had to go to hospital but he was back to cast some games of Starcraft. As the games started, the guys that I had found out about Dreamhack from arrived. We watched some good games for a while actually before I think the commentators went for dinner. As we were about to leave, some guy came up and asked us if we wanted to do an interview based on Tastosis (the name of Tasteless and Artosis when they cast together). Now I had never seen these guys cast before. I had heard of them but I never had the time to actually watch them however I still jumped in there and joined the group of about 6 others. There was 2 Swedish people who were married are were obsessed with Tastosis where they watch their live stream instead of actually playing the game. And the other guys were also ridiculously into them. And then there was me who hadn’t even seen them before and I got up there and did an interview with a guy that was making a documentary about the duo. I think I pulled it off. The guy making the doco said he would use the material we provided and the others seemed to believe what I said so I could be famous. I could be in the credits of this doco if it ever comes out. Its called Sons of Starcraft. Look out for it.
When we finished the interview, I went out and got some more food. The plan was to get food and bunker down in the arena for the rest of the night. I had done plenty of walking around, mainly because it was impossible to navigate your way around. Come to think about it, it was a nerds idea of heaven. Dark room so that you can not keep up with what time it is even if you wanted to, computers and enough sugar to make a million litres of Coke. Even I was struggling to understand what time it was and I was watching the clock pretty closely. Time just didn’t even seem significant anymore. I found some wok for dinner (It was only dinner because it was the third meal of that day) and a sandwich that I would bring into the arena itself. While I ate my wok I watched some of the Starcraft players actually playing. The thing is that they don’t actually play in the arena but in a separate area next to the second large room full of computers. I had been there earlier where I watched Idra (a player knowing for his bad sportsmanship quit in a fit of rage) and I was back again. Just having a look. The speed at which these players move their fingers is crazy. There is no way I could even press buttons that fast let alone in a logical order. When I went back to the arena, There was Tasteless and dApollo casting. It might have been 7pm by the time I got back and I stayed there until 11:30 watching games. It was a pretty good night. Lots of Zergys doing well.
I decided to leave at that time and I went to the toilet before walking out at 11:40 and…. OH CRAP! The train station where I had dumped my bags closed at 12:00. I knew that but I just forget completely that I needed to factor it in to my plans. I blame the lack of being to see outside. As soon as I realised this, I bolted to the bus stop next to where the event was being held. I got there at 11:45 and the next bus didn’t leave until 11:59. Cutting a little too close to the point of me arriving after it closed which would mean I had no access to mu stuff and I had a bus that was leaving at 1:45. I did however get very lucky and a taxi was just going past with its light on. I waved it down and jumped in. He went the wrong for a few seconds before we picked someone else up that he seemed to know. We then headed back towards the train station. The taxi driver wanted to drop the woman off first but I just said NO I needed to be at the station right now. He stopped nearby (He could have got closer. Prick) and I paid my fair of only about 11Euro with about 4 minutes until it closed. I sprinted over and found it still open. I collected my stuff up at my own pace. I figured they wouldn’t lock it all up if I was still in there. I then walked over to the bus terminal side (it was all one building) and started to wait. At about 12:15, a guard came around and said he was locking up and I needed to wait outside. So I did kind of not need to stress out so much but at least I made it. Had I taken the bus, The guard would have decided he would not wait until the next commercial and lock up on time. I had to wait out in the cold for an hour and a half. And it was cold. I tried sitting down but I just froze without moving and the sitting on the cold ground. I didn’t prepare myself for the cold so much because I was planning on being indoors all day so no thermals and only one shirt, one jumper and my ski jacket. I just paced up and down for the hour and a half until the bus came. I got on and pretty much as soon as we left, I fell asleep. I think that is where I will end this post and call it a day.