The Dublin Games Festival took place on November 24th at the RDS, where up to 3,000 gaming enthusiasts attended the convention, making it the biggest event of its kind in Ireland.
The festival featured a variety of multiplayer video games such as Fortnite, League of Legends, Overwatch, Rocket League, CS:GO and Smash Bros. 4. Teams of players competed on the day for cash prizes of up to €2000.
John Romero, creator of games such as Doom and Wolfenstein, made an appearance at the event. Romero held a Q&A and meet-and-greet before challenging fans to beat him at his own game in “Doom Deathmatches”.
The main event festival-goers watched the various tournaments play out live, as up to 100 gamers battled it out for cash prizes. Tickets for the Fortnite and Overwatch tournaments sold out in advance of the date itself, the former filling up within a week of box office opening.
For those interested in the pageantry and roleplaying aspect of it all, prizes for best cosplay were handed out across four categories – Pro, Intermediate, Beginner and Judge’s Choice – with winners taking home a €1000 prize.
In a novel showcase of domestic talent, over 30 Irish streamers played live to an audience, demonstrating not only their individual aptitudes but the appetite for gaming-based entertainment and esports in Ireland.
The Dublin Games Festival organisers seem committed to fostering this potential, having held the more industry-focused Dublin Games Summit in July of this year.
The rise of esports as not only a phenomenon but a legitimate sport has escalated in the last few years, facilitated by streaming services such as ‘Twitch’ which allow for an interactive experience in which professional gamers can broadcast their skills to a vast audience.
ESPN featured streamer Tyler Blevins, otherwise known as ‘Ninja’ to his fans, on the front cover of their sports magazine.
This marks the first time an esports personality has received such mainstream coverage.
Blevins rose to prominence playing Fortnite, a free-to-play online multiplayer game, on Twitch and broadcasting it to his followers, which now number over 12 million.
Fortnite itself attracts around 78.3 million players per month, according to publisher Epic Games.
Image credit: BM.Iphone