WCG 2006 Grand Final in Monza, Italy, starts on October 18 with the opening ceremony on a main stage erected on the Formula 1 track at 6:00 p.m., local time. The opening announcement will be offered by Jong-Yong Yun, co-chairman of WCG Committee and Vice Chairman and CEO of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., beginning the 5-day long world’s largest gaming festival, held in Europe for the first time. The spectacular opening ceremony will feature the march of the national flags of WCG 2006 participating countries, the players’ and referees’ oath, and a special live concert featuring top local singers like Carmen Consoli, Max Gazzè and Italy’s favourite female singer, Gianna Nannini.
The WCG tournament officially kicks off the following day with a StarCraft® : Brood War™ match by Yoen-Sung Choi of Korea and Ivan Velikov of Bulgaria on the paddock stage, which is the tournament dedicated stage. Approximately 1,360 matches will be played in eight official game titles as well as some special tournaments such as PangYa, a Quake4 Invitational Tournament, and Carom3D. In addition to official sponsors such as Samsung, Microsoft, AMD and ATI displaying their new products, various events such as mini-racing, sumo-wrestling and an international food court will be presented so that general spectators can enjoy the world’s best e-Sport festival.
However, the most remarkable characteristic of this year’s Grand Final is the efforts organizers have made to make the tournament more fun to watch for those who can’t make it to Italy by significantly strengthening the broadcasting access through television channels as well as the Internet. For the first time in gaming history, real-time live broadcasting of 18 stage matches will be offered via satellite to Korea and China. The Korean host broadcaster, OngameNet, will air the major stage matches for Korea in real-time for six hours daily and Chinese TV channels including GTV and SiTV will also broadcast the same contents in Korean so that Korean and Chinese game fans can enjoy WCG 2006 as if they were there.
An additional 109 matches in four cyber spaces dedicated to on-site broadcasting for spectators will also be broadcast on the Internet at NeoTV.com in China (www.neotv.com.cn), Global Gaming League (www.ggl.com), and the WCG official website in English, Italian and Chinese.
In addition, satellite broadcaster SKY TV will join as the host broadcaster. It will feature the major events including the highlights of the opening ceremony, interviews with players and stage matches.
Hyoung-seok Kim, CEO of International Cyber Marketing (ICM), the organizer of WCG, said, “As the premier worldwide e-Sport festival for a generation, the WCG has become a pioneer in growing e-Sports as a spectator event over the years.” He added, “This year will generate even more momentum for the gaming competition by featuring real-time satellite broadcasting of the tournament as well as multiple Internet broadcasts in English, Italian, Chinese, and Korean.”