More than 150 thousand spectators were present at the Digital Throne – World Esports Championship, an event that took place in Iasi from August 24 to September 3. Only on the evening of September 1st, when Armin van Buuren took the stage at the closing ceremony of the Championship, 22 thousand people enjoyed the show of one of the most famous DJs in the world. The matches of the Romanian national teams and the finals of the competitions were watched every day by more than 7000 people present in the Palas area behind the Palace of Culture in Iași, who enjoyed the show offered by the best national teams or esports players in the world .
Over 150 thousand spectators at the World Esports Championship in Iasi
The Esports World Championship meant over 600 players from 111 countries from all continents, who fought in Iasi in the 7 competitions for total prizes of 500,000 dollars: CS:GO, CS:GO Female, Dota 2, PUBG Mobile, eFootball, Tekken and Mobile Legends Bang Bang. The Championship stream was picked up and watched worldwide on the platforms of the national federations of the countries participating in the competition. After only 5 days of the event, the World Esports Championship matches had generated over 8 million views on the YouTube and Twitch platforms. Final audience numbers will be announced soon.
The finals of the competitions took place on the weekend of September 1-3, when Armin van Buuren, Lost Frequencies, JP Cooper, Tujamo, Tom Odell, BUG Mafia, Delia, Carla’s Dreams, Alternosfera, Subcarpathi, Spike, The Motans, Connect-R & Johny Romano, Deliric x Silent Strike w. Muse Quartet & CTC and the “Moldova” Philharmonic from Iasi.
“For 10 days, Iasi hosted the biggest esports world championship ever organized in Europe. Over 1000 players and delegates from 111 countries on all continents, 7 competitions, hundreds of matches. The event combined esports and entertainment for the first time and attracted enormous interest from tens of thousands of Romanians who supported the Romanian team or sang with their favorite artists”, said Mihai Chirica, the mayor of Iași.
In the first weekend of the event, August 25-27, fans of famous series such as Stranger Things, La Casa del Papel, Supernatural and American Horror Story could see their favorite actors at Comic Con, organized for the first time in Iasi. The visitors could take pictures and have discussions in the talk sessions with Sebastian Roche from Supernatural, Luka Peroš, the actor who played Marseille in the phenomenon series La Casa de Papel, Naomi Grossman, known from the horror anthology American Horror Story, Nikola Djuricko from Stranger Things and Manu Bennett from Spartacus.
The last day of the World Esports Championship, on Sunday, September 3, also brought the most finals in the competitions: Mobile Legends BANG BANG, Dota 2 and CS:GO named their gold medalists.
Mobile Legends BANG BANG
The day started with Mobile Legends, where the grand final was contested between the teams from the Philippines and Indonesia. The Philippines reached the finals by dominating the playoffs of the competition where they defeated even their eventual opponents 2–0 against the United Arab Emirates, 2–0 against Indonesia and 2–0 against Saudi Arabia. On the other hand, Indonesia had a tough road to play in the gold medal match and even though they hoped to get revenge, it was the Philippines who emerged victorious 3-1. Gold for the Philippines, silver for Indonesia and bronze for Saudi Arabia.
Next, the finalists of the Dota 2 tournament, Myanmar and Mongolia, took to the stage of the Amphitheater in the Palas area of Iași. Even though the Myanmar players were the first to get the advantage, Mongolia came back into the match and managed to turn the score around. 2-1 final score for the Mongolians who get the gold, silver for Myanmar and the podium was completed by Kyrgyzstan.
The last but not the last Esport to name their world champions was CS:GO. In the small final, Serbia crushed the biggest surprise of the tournament, Uzbekistan, 16-6/16-2, thus taking the bronze medal.
The grand finale couldn’t have been stronger. Both teams, Sweden and Germany, were coming into the final stage without having lost a map the entire championship. The match started evenly, with the Nordics and Germans needing overtime on the first map to be tied. In the end, the Swedes went 1-0 on maps after 19-17 on Mirage. On the second map, it was difficult for the German team to keep up with the opponents. Sweden, the team that also eliminated the Romanian national team in the quarterfinals, won convincingly with 16-9 on Inferno and they got the gold medals.
PUBG Mobile was the only Esport where Romania reached the podium. Kyrgyzstan 1st place, Turkey 2nd place, and the tricolors completed the podium in the grand final.
In the women’s CS:GO, where the final was the match between the Netherlands and Argentina, a game that needed all 30 rounds on the deciding map, the Dutch national team prevailed, Germany finished in second place, and the bronze was awarded to selected by the United States of America.
In Tekken 7, Pakistan dominated the grand final and took the gold against the Philippines, while the 3rd place went to the player from Peru after a victory in the small final against the representative of South Korea.
At eFootball, the Esport that brought together the most countries represented in Iasi, no less than 97, the final was played by Iran and Japan. Iran won the gold medal after an emphatic 3-0 victory that saw Japan settle for silver. The representative of Mexico, who prevailed in the small final against the player from Spain, also climbed the podium.
After winning the Mobile Legends competition and placing 2nd in the Tekken competition, the Philippines was named the grand winner of the 15th World Esports Championship.
During the awards ceremony, Saudi Arabia was announced as the future host country for the 2024 World Esports Championship, as part of the country’s strategy to develop a strong gaming ecosystem, in which it will invest more than $38 billion by 2030 , according to Bloomberg.