DreamHack has announced CEO Gaming’s Alex Jebailey will be its fighting game tournament organizer for next year’s events.
Jebailey will be in charge of event planning for the recently revealed trio of United States DreamHacks — Austin, Atlanta, and Denver — as well as providing support for DreamHack Montreal, Sweden, and Winter.
— Alex Jebailey (@CEOJebailey) October 31, 2016
DreamHack tapped Jebailey to organize its Pokken Tournament event earlier this year at DreamHack Austin and he had a positive experience with the organization, which also hosted a Street Fighter V tournament on the Capcom Pro Tour.
“They only had Street Fighter V, Smash Melee, and Pokken Tournament at DreamHack Austin but wanted to expand to more events and loved the FGC,” Jebailey told Yahoo Esports. “My goal is to expand the FGC and I’m not afraid to team up with other companies that mean well.”
The tournament scene has exploded in the last couple of years for the FGC and Smash. This year, the Capcom Pro Tour featured 72 events, including stops at DreamHack Austin and DreamHack Summer. Jebailey saw an opportunity to help a major esports event organizer looking to expand into the FGC in the right way.
“Esports companies are challenging us TOs to step up,” Jebailey said. “I felt at some point those companies would come in and if they don’t use us, they’re going to do it on their own.”
It’s still too early to know what games will be featured at the DreamHack events, but Street Fighter V and Smash Melee seem like sure bets, while the FGC keeps an eye on upcoming games in 2017.
“They want me to bring in games that will have a good turnout. We don’t have a final list but I wouldn’t expect it to go the traditional FGC route of eight to ten games,” Jebailey said. “It will be more focused. It might be four or five tops but with games like Tekken 7 or Injustice 2 coming, you never know.”
Jebailey started Community Effort Orlando back in 2010 and the event has since grown to become the largest FGC spectacle behind Evo. Next year’s CEO will be its last in Orlando, as the event will move to Daytona in 2018.
“My confidence in CEO being profitable didn’t happen until this year,” Jebailey said. People want to see Evo-type events. If there’s anything you can learn from my growth from a small-time player/organizer to organizer of one of the biggest FGC events in the world, it’s network, make friends, and put yourself out there.”
“We’re really excited to bring on Jebailey to help plan and co-ordinate all our efforts for the FGC in 2017,” Mike Van Driel, Business Development at DreamHack told Yahoo Esports. “Since DreamHack has existed, our goal is always to be an umbrella that every gaming community can fit under, and so catering to the FGC is an obvious place to focus for us. We’re very excited to capitalize on Alex’s expertise and make sure DreamHack events are the place to be for fighting game fans.”
“I run a video game tournament. If it isn’t fun, why the hell do it? It’s supposed to be about fun,” Jebailey said.
DreamHack Austin will take place April 28-30, DreamHack Atlanta runs July 21-23, and DreamHack Denver closes out the U.S. tour October 20-22. You can get more information about those events and more at DreamHack’s official site.
Michael Martin covers Street Fighter V and the Capcom Pro Tour. Follow him on Twitter @Bizarro_Mike.