Dreamhack is a household name in Esports events and Dreamhack Valencia has become a major rendez-vous for players from Spain and around. They chose Toornament.com to manage their BYOC tournaments.
We met with their head of eSports, Jesús A. Canales. Read his great insights on the pressure of running both a top tier Esport event and a large scaled LAN Party!
Can you introduce yourself?
Hi everybody! My names’s Jesus. I was born in Mallorca in 1985, but I’ve been living in Barcelona since 2008. I’m an IT enthusiast who has been working as a developer for more than 10 years. I’m a big fan of video games (especially shooters) and I a have a very competitive mind. This is one of the reasons I love eSports: the Competition.
Now I’m working in a Spanish Social Point, the largest Spanish studio for mobile video games. I work besides at DreamHack Spain as the Head of eSports, focusing on the yearly event and managing the streaming throughout the year.
How did you start working in Esports?
In 2009 I joined a startup called Fandroid as Technical Manager. For two years and a half I developed and maintained the website, while helping as much as possible the eSports Manager during all the tournaments.
After two hard-working years we launched the first national eSports league, LVP. We produced 3 LAN events in 6 months and it was how I started in eSports. LVP eventually become the leading eSports company in Spain, and I decided to leave and keep growing in other companies.
Is the pressure high when running a Dreamhack labeled event?
An event like DreamHack requires so much work over a lot of months, especially the last 2 ones. We are a small group which works for months to prepare the event. The month before the event, the Crew joins us and we have to coordinate all the sponsors and partners communication, all while the Crew sets the activities and booths up.
All the people involved in the event wants to contact us and wants a response as soon as possible and we end up receiving more than 100 mails/day, all of them requiring a quick response. Prioritizing is a challenge.
What motivates us is the feeling of creating an place for more than 30,000 people who wants to enjoy a LAN party or meet their favorite pro-players. We have to do our best to give all the people who trust us the best experience possible and make them want to come back next year.
What are the main challenges you face?
I want to push DreamHack to one of the most attractive tournaments for international teams, not just Spanish or Portuguese ones. I think Spanish teams can reach the level other europeans teams and DreamHack Valencia must be the place where can showcase their skill on as much games as possible.
I would like to bring console tournaments and fighting games back. In the past, we had Street Fighter and Call of Duty for XBOX, but these last years, the lack of players made it almost impossible to keep those games in our line up.
My main challenge is to give all the Spanish players the content they want, and make DreamHack Valencia the most interesting LAN Party in Spain.
Let’s talk about Toornament: what are the main features you use?
We mostly create bracket tournaments and manage results. Online registration is also a key feature.
Your favorite one?
The possibility to use the platform as a register platform. We used to use email to register players before and all this hassle being handled through Toornament saves us loads of time.
Wishlist time: is there something you’d like us to add?
– Add notes only visible by admins and players/teams
– Add match name and time in the bracket view
– Allow to configure multiple matches in a row (day, hour, box, f.e)
– Add an option to allow teams to change their roster until a specified time (1 hour before, 24…)
– Notifications to teams/players about their next match or match changes.
– Increase the limit of participants in Swiss tournament (now is 512, we needed more).
I’m very happy with Toornament.com. We tried some others but this is the more complete platform I’ve used so far, and the support that all the team gave us was incredible – They even come to our event to meet us. I will use Toornament.com for our next events for sure.