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Branding + Design: DreamHack

The dust never settles

The new DreamLeague identity is made to move, celebrating DreamHack’s remarkable 25 year devotion to bringing people together to play and create. With big plans for 2021 DreamHack is hosting the 14th season of DreamLeague – the most prestigious and entertaining Dota 2 league in the world. To mark the occasion DreamHack and parent company ESL Gaming decided to give the tournament a grand makeover. Lovers of fire and dust, unite.

Sound editing, SFX and a 2021 revamp of the classic
DreamLeague tune, all by Hector Ljud.

To welcome, guide and dazzle DreamLeague viewers we knew we needed to create a sparkling and coherent graphics system, with a design that stands out yet is also deeply connected to the DreamHack master brand.

We went straight for bright colours that pop on any screen. And we didn’t shy away from fire, smoke, light phenomena, spells or explosions either. Behold, the unruly love child of fast-paced e-sports, talkshow glamour and live Dota smackdowns.

Flirting with the architecture of the Dota map, the DreamLeague “D” symbol creates a clear visual connection to the game for the consecrated. Its body and heavy outline creates a great surface for storytelling — Inside the “D” the dust never settles.

To bring together the enchanted world of Dota 2 and an effective and accessible graphics system for all screens you need a magic portal.

The two worlds were destined to collide; The new DreamHack brand and the fantastical world of Dota. To broker this merge we introduced a portal, making the transition mysteriously pretty. The DreamLeague portal is highly evolved, connecting all dimensions. It takes us between the 3D game world and the needed 2D layer of readable and sleek graphics – a vivid combination of 3D and 2D we’d like to call 2.5D. The portal is an exciting tool throughout the whole identity – it opens up a connection between what’s real and what’s even more real. Because when hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize money are at stake, it’s all very real.

Nothing to get you in the mood for battle like a fiery title sequence. The new opening establishes the portal as the epicenter in the story of DreamLeague. No single weapon, character, attack or scene can fully capture what Dota and the league is about. However, the circumstantial evidence of a good fight is compelling: Dust, fire, dirt, and smoke. No dragons were hurt during this production.