RAID LAN 2018, the company which will operate the esports side of events at Dublin Games Festival.

Dublin Games Festival announced – What we know so far

Credit Paul Ivanov for the photo from RAID LAN 2018

Dublin Games Festival, a newly announced gaming festival in Ireland, will be taking place in the RDS on the 24th of November this year. The occasion will mark one of the biggest gaming events so far in Ireland. What’s more, popular esports titles such as League of Legends, Fortnite, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch and more, will be showcased at the event.

Esports is an ever-growing scene worldwide. Since the name was first coined in 1972, esports has been a topic of discussion and fascination for many – even those who aren’t involved. Ireland has been no stranger to its growth. Events and organisations such as OneTapLAN for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and EStars for League of Legends, or RAID for multi-game events, have become reputable names to gamers across the country.

Dublin Games Festival

Seeing as this will be the first Dublin Games Festival, the organisers have decided to outsource certain aspects of the event to more reputable and accomplished event hosts. RAID has been put in charge of organising the esports aspects of the festival, in the hope that the day will run as smoothly as previous RAID tournaments, such as RAID LAN 2018 back in March. Having hosted weekly “Skirmishes” for different games online, rotating to a new game each week for the past 2 months, it’s safe to say that RAID is one of the most experienced organisers for hosting eSport events in Ireland.

That being said, the grounds that the Dublin Games Festival are built on aren’t new foundations. The co-founders, Graeme Moore (COO) and Theo Goyvaerts (CEO), successfully hosted Dublin Games Summit back in July of this year. Theo Goyvaerts himself used to be involved in the running of G-Series, (which has since been superceded by RAID) which hosted several successful Irish esports events in the past. Graeme Moore is also the founder of 8-bit Conference, which is regarded as the best Irish gaming event in the last 2 years. The duo has also revealed that they’re in the planning stage for Dublin Games Week, an occasion expecting over 50,000 people across 30 events next year.

What games will we see at Dublin Games Festival?

A poll was held on the Dublin Games Festival website several weeks ago, where gamers voted for their choice as to what games should appear at the event. It has since been decided that the following games will be showcased:

  • League of Legends
  • Fortnite
  • Overwatch
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO)
  • Rocket League
  • Smash Bros 4

Several of these games will have an online qualifier in the weeks leading up to the event, with only the finals being played at the festival itself on the 24th, in front of an audience.

The event promises to bring esports, experiences, expeditions, business and marketplace all under one roof. This, unfortunately, may bring horrifying memories back to those who had the misfortune of attending (or rather, trying to attend), GamerCon Dublin back in March of 2017. People who had purchased perfectly valid tickets were refused entry, even players competing in organised tournaments at the convention. This was due to extreme overselling of tickets, and insufficient planning for an event of this scale. Hopefully, Dublin Games Festival will eliminate any lingering thoughts of the disaster that was GamerCon 2017, thus eliminating the fear in the heart of Irish gamers at the mention of a “Gaming Convention”.

Attractions present at Dublin Games Festival

We spoke with Graeme Moore, the co-founder of Dublin Games Festival. He outlined the aims of the event as to have “big emphasis on our customers”, and that “experiences are key and creating them for our customers in the best possible way is the most important thing to us. We want people to come and not want to leave and when they do have a smile from ear to ear.” He also gave us a list of all the attractions that will be present, such as:

  • Unique Gaming Experiences both created by DGF and Expo Partners
  • Large Expo Area
  • Retrogaming Zone (8-Bit Conference)
  • VR Zone
  • Indie Developers
  • Streaming Pods
  • Large Monster Energy Activation
  • 20ft x 20ft 2 floor RC Mario Kart Racecourse
  • Community Gaming Zone (Multiple Games on-show)
  • Business Zone – Keynote Speeches, Jobs Fair, Business Stands
  • Emphasising on education in gaming for both parents and kids
  • Full support for people with special needs including early access from 9 am – 10 am and sensory rooms present throughout the venue

Tickets for Dublin Games Festival come at a much fairer price than previous gaming events in Ireland. Spectator day tickets start at €20, and esports tickets for gamers competing start at €30.

Dublin Games Festival should be a soaring success given its location, the specifics of the event, and the interest shown by gamers potentially attending the event. The prize pools are enticing, and the competition will be fierce. Good luck to all competing or planning on competing, and to those who are there to learn too!

Musician, tech enthusiast, gamer, journalist and web designer
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