CHANGZHOU, China, Feb. 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/. The Grand Finale of the 2016 World Electronic Sports Games (WESG) was held from January 12-15, 2017. Through four days of battles, Philippine team TNC took home the championship trophy in the game DOTA 2. A Filipino player, Staz, and a South Korean player, TY, earned the championship titles for Hearth Stone and StarCraft II respectively, while the French team EnVyUs won the last and much-celebrated game, CS:GO. The winning teams shared US$5.5 million in prize money.
WESG, backed by more than US$14.6 million investment from Alisports, has sent a shock wave through the e-sports industry since its launch in March 2016, not only due to the size of the investment, but also as a result of its innovative worldwide open audition and promotion mechanism and the "Spirit of Sport" that is based on fairness. Other than the World Cyber Games (WCG), WESG was the first e-sports competition to select players and hold competitions worldwide, opening a new chapter for the industry.
Through open auditions attended by tens of thousands of competitors at all skill levels, WESG has become the largest comprehensive competition attended by both professional and non-professional gamers. The competition also awarded winners with, in the aggregate, a generous US$5.5 million. Over 60,000 competitors from nearly 200 countries and regions, with an average age between 22 and 23, applied for entry. The final competition drew 6,000 spectators, a full-capacity audience for the venue.
To view WESG's promotional video, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPLKCYPHP60
During the WESG Final Opening Ceremony, the competitors took to the stage carrying their respective national flags, demonstrating the pride they have in their countries. The competition results were calculated based on the performance of each team, reflecting Alisports' efforts at experimenting with the concept of an "E-sports Olympics".
When commenting on the competition, Loda, a professional DOTA 2 player from Sweden and former head of the TI3 Alliance, a world champion team, said, "Unlike all the other competitions I have ever participated in, all the WESG competitors came here with the intention of proudly representing their country, rather than solely for their clubs' benefits and the prizes. WESG is very different."
Alisports CEO Zhang Dazhong gave the first WESG a 90-point rating (on a 100-point scale) and disclosed that the next WESG will increase the number of events and be even bigger than the first one.
In addition, WESG launched its first anti-doping initiative for e-sports games, formally borrowing the concept of "Fair Play" from the traditional sports community and making it the fundamental rule for e-sports events. Despite challenges in the standardization and implementation of the approach, the effort to do so is expected to assure the development of a healthy environment for e-sports and pave the way for the sport to eventually become a part of the official Olympic Games.
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