UPDATE - 9:11 AM PST: Following our report of WCG CEO Brad Lee's email, Korea's Daily Esportsreports they were contacted by a Korean staff member of WCG who refutes part of his statement, saying that the WCG name and brand cannot be used freely by partners. "For 13 years WCG brand has been built therefore there is no way it will be freely used by anyone", the anonymous source told Daily Esports.
Original Story: onGamers has obtained the email WCG CEO Brad Lee has sent out to WCG's partners, stating that the longstanding esports organization will no longer hold tournaments in the future.
This year, World Cyber Games Inc. will not organize tournaments and events, including the World Cyber Games finals world.
Accordingly, each partner can use brand WCG in your country from this point. This decision was made by the WCG committee after considering the current global trend as well as the business environment.
This is a shocking news to you, we know, the entire staff of the WCG was surprised.
In 14 years, all you have to do what makes the best WCG become the greatest events in the world.
There are many great moments based on your dedication. Although the brand has disappeared but WCG spirit will remain forever in the hearts of each player and fans.
This moment is very difficult and painful for me. However, I must say goodbye to the WCG.
I appreciate the passion and enthusiasm of you in 14 years.
I hope your company will grow, prosper, and we will soon meet again.
World Cyber Games Inc. CEO.
onGamers has reached out to the World Cyber Games for additional comment.
The World Cyber Games began in 2000 as the 'World Cyber Game Challenge', sponsored by the Korea's Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Ministry of Information and Communications, and Samsung. Games selected in 2000 were Quake III Arena, StarCraft: Brood War, FIFA 2000, Age of Empires II. Since launching in 2000 nearly two dozen games have been featured, including highly competitive sought after championships in WarCraft 3 and Counter-Strike 1.6. In recent years, StarCraft 2, League of Legends, and Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition were highlighted as event mainstays.
Since the news broke, players, team owners, casters, managers and those involved with WCG over the course of its 14-year history have spoken out with fond memories of their time there.
"Even though the WCG that we had seen in the last 3 years was not very impressive, WCG stood for something greater than life and it's a wonderful chapter in the history of eSports," multiple-time WCG champion Manuel 'Grubby' Schenkhuizen told onGamers. Schenkhuizen won the gold for WarCraft 3 in 2004 and 2008, prompting WCG to induct him into their Hall of Fame which highlights players who have won the grand finals two or more times. "The last good WCG in my opinion was 2008, and 2009 was impressive due to huge audience numbers in Chengdu, although their traditional strict rules and adminning became lax. I can't say that WCG 2010 and beyond was really an indication of what WCG used to stand for! WCG 2003-2008 in my heart forever."
"Winning 2 WCG was definitely a highlight in my gaming career," said Ronald 'Rambo' Kim of the legendary American Counter-Strike squad Team 3D. Kim led Team 3D to two championships in 2004 and 2005 for Counter-Strike: Source, prompting an inclusion of the entire team to the WCG HOF. "During the events we knew we were also representing our nation so there was an extra level of pressure added, but that's what made the event feel more prestigious. There was no event that came close to making a tournament feel as grand as the World Cyber Games."
Many players also used WCG as a stepping point in their esports careers. StarCraft's Geoff 'iNcontroL' Robinson used his win at the WCG 2007 USA qualifiers to earn himself a spot on Evil Geniuses, where he's still there today.
"In 2007 as a young broke college student I took my otherwise "time wasting" hobby and spent my own money to travel to qualifiers for WCG USA finals," said Robinson. "After taking top 2 with FroZ (after beating him) at my qual I was qualified to go to the USA finals in Orlando. With no money I turned to my parents. My dad saw this as a waste and told me he couldn't understand spending money to go to another lan.. my mom? Skipped rent to make it possible. This single tourney eventually qualified me for invitationals in NY where I won, got on a reality TV show, and eventually a job offer by EG."
On December 3rd, the World Cyber Games released numbers stating that 155,000 spectators showed up for the Grand Finals in Kunshan, China, joining 400 journalists from 30 countries including China's major broadcasting station CCTV (China Central Television).
WCG says the final WarCraft 3 match between legends Jang "Moon" Jae Ho from Korea and Huang "TH000" Xiang from China - as this is the last year for WC3 at WCG - was the most packed match during the weekend, filling up the 12,000 sqm hall. Huang's victory over Jang awarded him a special WarCraft 3 trophy made for the event.