It's traditional to spend this time of year lamenting holiday excess - pounds to shed, borderline alcoholism to kick - but to hell with that! Let's go to Vegas and watch Counter-Strike! Following a successful opening bow in Malmö last year, DreamHack Masters returns this February as 16 of the best Counter-Strike teams in the world descend on the MGM Grand and Garden Arena in Las Vegas to fight over a $450,000 prize pool. Thinking of going? Want to win some tickets? We've got you covered.
What is DreamHack Masters Las Vegas?
Taking place February 15-19 at the MGM Grand and Garden Arena, DreamHack Masters Las Vegas will see 16 teams compete for $450,000 in prize money, including a massive $200,000 prize for the team that comes out on top!
The initial group stage will be held on the MGM Grand casino floor and will be open to the public for the first time ever. 16 teams will compete over three days from February 15-17, after which the remaining eight teams will advance to the bracket stage and compete in front of over 16,000 people in the MGM Grand Garden Arena. This is a venue with serious pedigree – teams who make it to the bracket will walk the same halls and fight over the same ground where Mike Tyson once took a bite out of Evander Holyfield! (Fortunately teams will be seated apart, so their ears are probably safe.)
Last year's DreamHack Masters had 12,000 visitors and over 32m stream views, making it the most viewed tournament outside the Valve Majors, as Ninjas in Pyjamas overcame a near brush with group-stage elimination before clinching their first big title in over a year. With professional Counter-Strike in one of its most competitive states in recent memory, there’s no telling which team will come out on top in 2017!
Who's playing at DreamHack Masters Las Vegas?
DreamHack Masters Las Vegas will be contested by eight invited teams and eight teams who make it through regional qualification. The eight invited teams are:
Ninjas in Pyjamas (defending champions)
North American qualifiers take place January 14-15, but Asian and European qualifiers have already concluded, giving us the identities of five of the eight qualifiers:
What else is there to do at DreamHack Masters Las Vegas?
Plenty! Away from the competition stage, fans will be able to take part in meet-and-greet and signing sessions with players (maybe Cloud9 will sing you "happy birthday"), check out the booths in the DreamExpo, where top esports brands like HyperX, Monster and Republic of Gamers will be in attendance, grab some loot from the merch shop and DreamStore, and stay refreshed in the Garden Arena's many restaurants and bars (21+).
DreamHack Masters is also a great place to meet fellow Counter-Strike fans away from the blood, sweat and tears of matchmaking. Grab a drink together and swap war stories, or get scribbling in the Creative Zone - best chicken picture on stream wins a StatTrak M9 Bayonet! (Just kidding - not even we can afford that.)
Plus, of course, you're at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. If the ultimate CS:GO fan experience isn't enough to keep you busy during your stay, Vegas has a few other attractions dotted around. (Maybe Google it? Or watch Ocean’s 11?)
How do I get DreamHack Masters Las Vegas tickets?
Tickets for the bracket stage of DreamHack Masters Las Vegas are on sale now and come in a few different packages:
General Admission - $30 - Two-day entrance to the event, free seating in your ticket area, and access to the merchandise shop and concessions
Premium - $150 - Two-day entrance to the event, assigned seating in the premium ticket area, priority access to the venue and merchandise shop, an exclusive premium signing session with teams, and a premium goodie bag
All In - $300 - Two-day entrance to the event, free seating on the floor, exclusive entrance to the venue, priority access to the merchandise shop, priority access to signing sessions with teams, private bar with waitresses taking orders to your seat, evening buffet on Saturday and Sunday, an exclusive DreamHack Masters Las Vegas hoodie, premium goodie bag and a booklet with team photos for signing!
The group stages of DreamHack Masters Las Vegas take place on the casino floor at the MGM Grand from February 15-17 and are open to the public, so if you're in the casino you can check them out for free, although be aware that seating may be limited.
Full scheduling information will be announced closer to the tournament, and for any other questions in the meantime, make sure to check out the FAQ.
Win tickets to DreamHack Masters Las Vegas!
Already excited about DreamHack Masters Las Vegas? Want to win some tickets? Then you've come to the right place! We've got multiple packages to give away for the finals on February 18th and 19th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena:
5x General Admission Package - each package includes four tickets, so if you win you can bring some friends!
1x Premium Package - assigned premium seating and priority access to merch and signings for you and a friend, as well as premium goodie bags
To win, all you need to do is tell us who you think will win DreamHack Masters Las Vegas and why. You can comment on this article or just tweet with the hashtag #DHMasters. The most convincing and/or creative contributions as judged by the organisers will win ticket packages! (Competition closes January 31st, winners will be notified directly.)
To find out more about Las Vegas tickets, which are on sale now, check out the DreamHack Masters ticket page. See you in Vegas!