World Cyber Games Ending World Finals Tournaments
One of the longest standing and most prestigious tournaments in eSports has quietly shut its doors. The World Cyber Games, designed as a sort of Olympics equivalent for eSports, will no longer be running any tournaments and is not holding the annual WCG final going forward.
In an email obtained by eSports news website onGamers, WCG CEO Brad Lee said, “This year, World Cyber Games Inc. will not organize tournaments and events, including the World Cyber Games finals world.” While this part of the email doesn’t explicitly close the door for the return of WCG, the tone of the email sounds like the World Cyber Games are no more.
Some events may still be run under the WCG banner this year as WCG is allowing national partners to use the branding for their events. However, there will not be any big international events put on by World Cyber Games Inc.
While the WCG has slipped in relevance in recent years, it was the biggest and most prestigious eSports tournament in the world at its peak. It received backing from major sponsors. The prize pool topped out at $500,000 with upwards of 800 players attending representing over 70 countries. At one point in time, WCG was the most prestigious tournament for games like StarCraft, Warcraft, FIFA, Halo, Counter-Strike, Age of Empires and more.
The WCG’s most unique drawing point was that the players represented their countries rather than themselves or their professional team. With the Olympics starting tomorrow, it’s almost a sad juxtaposition that one major international sporting event build around representing your country starts as another one dies.
Perhaps the appeal of the WCG to both gamers and fans is best summed up by StarCraft II pro Marc-Olivier Proulx, better known as desRow:
As for me, it was a 9 year long dream since Warcraft 3 to one day represent Canada at a WCG. It sounds cliché but I broke down after qualifying for China last September. There’s something powerful about trying to make your country proud. Competing for your country against the world was and is an appealing concept to me.