Nickels was joined by Mr. Hank Jeong, chief executive of International Cyber Marketing, global organizer of the world’s largest computer and video game festival. “Hosting the World Cyber Games in Seattle is a fitting tribute to our thriving video game industry, which has over fifty game development companies in the Puget Sound area,” said Mayor Greg Nickels. “We welcome the opportunity to host participants from around the world and show them our Seattle hospitality.”
Renowned for its youth oriented culture, technology leadership, and for being a window onto the Pacific Rim, Seattle will be only the second US city to host the WCG Grand Final. San Francisco hosted the event in 2004, the first time the final was held outside of Korea.
Last year, nearly 700 finalists from 67 countries competed in the Grand Final event in Singapore. Over 55,000 people attended the five-day festival to cheer on their respective countries, participate in new game demonstrations and meet people from all over the world they had previously only talked to online.
The WCGC moved quickly in announcing the city’s successful bid for the Grand Final in order to give officials the time to properly prepare for an event of this scale. Before making their decision, the WCGC reviewed competitive bids from other candidate cities, including Cologne, Germany; Montreal, Canada; and Busan, Korea.
Strict criteria such as location, facilities, infrastructure and promotional efforts all played a role in the committee’s decision.
While all candidates showed a great desire and capacity to host the event, Seattle was selected for receiving the highest scores in city government support, willingness for joint business development and suggested venues, including Seattle’s Convention Center and Qwest Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks.
“The WCG recognizes the great opportunity for e-Sports among US gamers as well as their fans,” said Mr. Jeong. “We appreciate the efforts by Mayor Nickels and the city of Seattle to bring this global event back to the United States next year.”
Started as the World Cyber Challenge in 2000, the WCG was first officially held in 2001 and continues today under the slogan, “Beyond the Game.” It has grown into the world’s largest computer and video games festival with more than 1 million competing in 2005 in local, regional and national qualifying tournaments.
Organizers expect up to 700 of the world’s best gamers will travel to Monza, Italy, in October, 2006, to participate in the Grand Final of the most prestigious e-Sports competition and enjoy a well-rounded festival designed to promote culture and social harmony among world gamers.
Samsung Electronics is the worldwide sponsor for the World Cyber Games.