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Last Updated: Monday, 9 July 2007, 11:07 GMT 12:07 UK
E-Sports World Cup diary
UK gamers Team Dignitas are competing at the grand final of the E-Sports World Cup in Paris. The team is keeping a diary over the next four days as it bids for glory against competitors from around the world.

DAY FOUR

Gaming crowds
The house was overflowing for the men's Counterstrike final

It is Sunday and today will see the finals of the rest of the tournaments in this year's Esports World Cup.

First up was the ladies CounterStrike final between the American SK.Ladies and Ehonor from China. The main arena was packed out as the ladies final started on the main stage. Several large screens showed the action from all ten girls. The Americans were too strong for the Chinese and took the gold medal with a score of 2-0 in maps.

South Korea won their first medal of the World Cup in the Warcraft III tournament, when Seong Deok Lee defeated his Norwegian opponent on the main stage.

In South Korea professional gaming is a fully recognised sport and televised regularly sport. This young man can certainly expect a hero's welcome when he returns home to Seoul.

Pro Evolution Soccer 6 was an extremely lively final as Germany took on France.

Virtual soccer is great to watch as everyone knows the game so well. The final was a tense and exciting one with the match drawn at 2-2 nearing the end of the game. German Sven Wehmeier scored the deciding goal in the last moments of the match to the disappointment of the home crowd.

The Quake IV final was next with 16-year-old Maciej Krzykowski taking on the older more experienced 21-year-old Russian Anton Singov.

Prize winner
Cash prizes were on offer for the tournament winners

The crowd's early favourite was the Pole but after he called a couple of timeouts during the match because of sound problems the crowd started to back the Russian. The youngster held on to win the match 2-0 and win the gold medal for Poland.

The Grand Finale of the ESWC 2007 was the men's Counterstrike final between Denmark's Team NoA, who had defeated our team earlier in the competition, and the hot favourites PGS Gaming from Poland. The main arena was packed and extra chairs had to be bought in to seat the overflowing crowd.

The Polish side started strongly winning the first map. The support in the crowd for them was immense.

On the second map, the Danes fought back through double overtime to even the score at one map each. The Polish side dominated the third map and the noise when they won was unbelievable. Their win secured another gold medal for Poland, meaning they topped the medals table.

Overall for Team Dignitas and the United Kingdom squad this event was a great experience and we will be back next year to compete again in Paris.

We hope that our Sport can soon be recognised as a true Sport in the United Kingdom as it is in other nations.

MEDAL WINNERS
GOLD SILVER BRONZE
POLAND 2 0 0
GERMANY 1 0 1
NETHERLANDS 1 0 1
SOUTH KOREA 1 0 0
USA 1 0 0
FRANCE 0 1 2
CHINA 0 1 0
NORWAY 0 1 0
RUSSIA 0 1 0
DENMARK 0 1 0
SWEDEN 0 0 1


DAY THREE

Compared to yesterday, today was an absolutely fantastic day for Team Dignitas as it has produced our first world champion of this event. The day started with our Counterstrike 1.6 team back in action in Group A of the second group stage, last 16.

Our first match of the day was against the Danish side NoA and the team felt confident of a win. We started off badly losing too many rounds. It meant that we were playing catch-up for most of the match.

Stress was certainly starting to show in some of our players and that did not help. We went on to lose the match 11-19. We had to win our remaining two matches to stand a better chance of progressing to the next round.

Our next match was against one of the favourites to win the event, NiP from Sweden. I think nerves got to the guys at the start of the match as they were playing against some of the best and most famous players in the scene.

We lost the first half 3-12 and by that time a large crowd had gathered to watch the Swedes in action. The second half started badly again. With the score at 9-15 the best we could hope for was a draw.

E-Sports World Cup
Team Dignitas secured its first world champion of the event

Somehow the guys managed to pull through to rapturous applause and tie up the match and keep us alive in the competition with a point. Our third game was not only a must-win but we had to win by a nice margin against the French team Emulate just in case the NoA team defeated NiP.

We made hard work of the match losing the first half 3-12. Our team did themselves proud by winning the match 16-14, the team exploding into screams of jubilation. This was short-lived though as NiP lost to NoA and we were pushed into third place.

Our team should feel proud of their campaign as they have proved themselves to be a top team in the scene and the UK again has a top Counterstrike team. This is the highest position an all-English line-up has achieved at a tournament of this stature in a few years.

Rob McClean from Infused Gaming continued his run in the Pro Evolution Soccer 6 tournament in the second group stage. Rob finished fourth in his group after a couple of defeats to Indonesia and Germany. The competition was over for him and also the UK squad.

We headed up to the second floor to watch the Trackmania semi-final and grand final. The main stage at the event is huge and the arena holds several thousand spectators.

In the semi-final were Team Dignitas Trackmania drivers Pascal Jaeger from Germany and Freek Molema from Holland. Also in the semi-final were two French players and they had a lot of support in the crowd.

Freek and one of the French players made it to the grand final, with Pascal missing out by one point. So we had our first finalist of the event, facing three Frenchmen in the final showdown.

The home crowd erupted when their countrymen were introduced, but the Dutch squad and Team Dignitas tried our best to cheer on Freek. The final was tense and extremely loud as the crowd cheered on and blasted the arena with fog horns.

The crowd was soon silenced, though, as Freek managed to hang onto an early lead to grab his title as Trackmania world champion. A media circus had followed the final, and journalists from around the world then mobbed Freek in the press area.

A short press conference was held then he did a few television interviews and a video interview for our sponsor Intel. Tomorrow will be the finals for the rest of the competitions and we will be back to watch those.

DAY TWO

Today has certainly been a marked contrast to yesterday's performance by Team Dignitas and Team UK. One word describes the day: disappointing.

Friday started with Trackmania and our player in that event, Ramesh Singh, who continued his campaign in the second round of the lower bracket. He took on players from Canada, India and the Caribbean.

ESWC competition, Team Dignitas
Day two was "disappointing" for the UK's top gamers
Ramesh was nervous as it was a make or break round, but even with his team-mates support in the background he could not pull it out of the bag and ended up in fourth place. This means a finish in the top 24 in what is his second consecutive E-Sports World Cup.

Team Dignitas has three other players here competing in the Trackmania event; Pascal Jaeger and Florian Stern from Germany and Freek Molema from Holland. All three progressed today to the last eight and are confident they will go further.

The UK ladies CounterStrike team played their last two matches and even though they won both, beating the Dutch and the Serbians, they ended their group in fourth place.

Warcraft III player Ben Baker also failed to make further progress and ended in fourth place in the second round of groups.

Gareth Marshall, the UK's top Quake IV player, began his group stage today and picked up easy wins in his first two matches.

Screengrab of E-Sports World Cup homepage, ESWC
The tournament runs for four days
He also suffered a bout of nerves as he had what is described as a "group of death" that contained four good players. A must win game against Hunter from Ukraine went to three maps but Gareth lost on the last map.

Gareth then had to beat the second favourite Cooller from Russia to stand any chance of moving into the next round.

The match was all the harder for being played on one of the mini stages that has a 200-seat grandstand so people can watch the match on big screens.

Even though Gareth had beaten the Russian two weeks ago in an American tournament he could not repeat that feat and bowed out of the event.

Rob McClean, the youngest member of the UK squad, and is representing his country in the Pro Evolution Soccer 6 tournament.

He too was nervous but he recovered from a 7-1 defeat to the European champion to finish third in his group. A position which means he progresses to the next stage tomorrow.

Today the ESWC has been much busier. Several thousand people are here and the din is constant. I hope tomorrow we'll have a better day but overall we are doing pretty well and the ESWC Finals have been awesome so far.

DAY ONE

It has been a successful day so far for the team and especially the CounterStrike 1.6 squad who have qualified for the next round under nail-biting circumstances. Our group had the top teams from both China and Germany in it so we had a tough job before we even started playing.

Our CounterStrike team is made up of the Team Dignitas squad of Luke Green, James Smale, Sam Gawn, Pete Wright and James Wilson. Our first match was supposed to be against the Algerian team noT, but unfortunately they failed to show up so we received a default win.

Team Dignitas
Concentration is everything - UK gamers in action
This meant that we went into our second match against the German team Mousesports cold having not played a match. The Germans won their first match and we lost against them by six rounds.

Our third match was a formality with a big win over the Austrian team Plan B 27-3. This restored a lot of confidence as we moved on to play the Chinese team, TR Victory.

The Chinese are real professionals and they even own a house where they train full time. We exploded into the game and took the first half 12-3 and held on in the second half, winning the match 16-14.

Our last game in the CounterStrike tournament was against the Slovakian side FU.SK and we needed to win by as much as possible as we knew round scores could decide the group places.

We won the match 22-8 and while we were playing, the Chinese and Germans were playing each other.

TR Victory won the match and sent the Group into a three-way tie. For 10 minutes we waited for the referees to give us the final group results as they added up each teams round scores. The Chinese team topped the group with 35 rounds and we took the second qualifying spot by just one round over the Germans.

ESWC
The event is being held at the Paris Expo - with more than 750 gamers in competition
The team is now into the last 16 and this will be another group stage with four teams of four.

In the Trackmania tournament UK representative Ramesh Singh from Team Dignitas finished 27th in the qualifying round. This was enough to keep him in the tournament and that will continue tomorrow against a high class field.

In the Warcraft III competition Ben Baker from 4Kings won his first two matches in the tournament. The third match was a tough one against one of the Korean players WE.lyn and Ben lost that one.

His fourth was a make or break match and he pulled through taking down the very good Bulgarian SK.Insomnia. Ben qualifies for the second group stage and that will contain 24 players in four groups of six.

The Quake IV and Pro Evolution Soccer 6 events start for the UK on Friday with players Gareth Marshall from Team Dignitas and Rob McClean from Infused Gaming involved. We will all try and sleep well and wait for the UK team manager Philip Wride to wake us up in the morning.


SEE ALSO
Video gaming world cup hits Paris
05 Jul 07 |  Technology
Face-off in gaming olympics
07 Oct 04 |  Technology
Koreans playing the game of life
03 May 06 |  Technology

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