18/02/2024 4 Minute Read

20 Days To Go: Four fierce competitors seek WBSC eBASEBALL™ Series 2023 World Finals title

Four WBSC eBASEBALL™: POWER PROS players are looking to make history by becoming the first world champion in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The WBSC eBASEBALL™ Series 2023 World Finals will take place on Saturday, March 9, at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne from 14:00 local time, featuring four of the best players in the game, each with different backgrounds and experience levels in the POWER PROS series. The four contenders will vie For The Title of World Champion to make their mark in one of the biggest tournaments so far in the game. (Apply for a media opportunity)

Here's a look of these four fierce competitors who will take the stage in Lausanne after defeating over 15,000 eBASEBALL™ players in the qualification rounds:

Shoma Mori – SHORA

Shoma Mori, whose gamer tag is ‘SHORA’, is currently ranked as the No. 1 eBASEBALL™ player in the world and one of the most dominant players in the WBSC eBASEBALL™: POWER PROS universe.

The Japanese native is coming off two consecutive major tournament victories – the Olympic Virtual Series 2021 baseball event in Japan and the Olympic eSports Series 2023 in Singapore – and won an exhibition event at the Tokyo Esports Festa in January this year.

In the second WBSC Open, which took place from 9 to 15 October, Mori amassed a 248-7-5 (win-loss-tie) record in 260 games played, earning enough points to qualify for the first online qualifying match for the World Finals, where he defeated DOLLS 7-3. 

In all in-game competition, Mori has a 96.18% winning percentage with 1,989 games played, and has the highest career batting average (.639) and OPS (2.551) of all participating competitors in the World Finals. However, he has the second-lowest ERA9 (2.67) and ERA5 (1.48) of the four finalists.

Prior to the WBSC game, Mori played for three years (2018-2020) in the professional eBASEBALL™ League for eBASEBALL™ Jikkyou Pawafuru Puruyakyu, the Japanese video game series WBSC eBASEBALL™: POWER PROS is based on, where he was the leading batter in the league in 2020.

The 23-year-old’s journey in POWER PROS began in elementary school, as his interest grew in playing a baseball video game. He played softball from elementary school through junior high school and had the opportunity to compete for a national championship in junior high. He joined the baseball club in high school and continued for three years until graduation.

He began to “get serious about competing in POWER PROS” in 2016, then began playing the WBSC game also because of the international competition aspect in 2023.

“I started playing WBSC eBASEBALL™: POWER PROS because I had been a professional POWER PROS player and wanted to compete in WBSC’s tournaments,” Mori said. “Most importantly, I thought that the game system, where you choose your favourite players within the given ‘cost’ (points) and form teams to compete, sounded like the most fun.”

Mori said his goal for the 2023 World Finals is to become the world champion.

Takato Fujishima – fujito

Takato Fujishima, whose gamer tag is ‘fujito’, is another top player in the world in WBSC eBASEBALL™: POWER PROS, having also made an appearance at the Olympic Esports Series 2023, where he tied for fifth in the baseball event, just missing out on the semifinals.

In the FIBS Cup, Fujishima took home first place, tallying a 282-15-13 record in 310 games played, qualifying him for the second online qualifier, where he defeated another tough competitor, Antimon, in a close 3-2 win to qualify for the World Finals. 

In all in-game competition, Fujishima has a  89.76% winning percentage with 1,582 games played, with a career batting average of .561 and the second-highest OPS (On-base Plus Slugging) of all four competitors at 2.185. Pitching-wise, Fujishima has an ERA9 of 2.54 and an ERA5 of 1.41, which is the lowest of all competitors.

A native of Japan, the 24-year-old began playing the POWER PROS series as a way to learn more about baseball.

“I started playing POWER PROS because it looked fun, and I didn't know much about the rules of real baseball. From there, I learned the rules of baseball through POWER PROS and became interested in actual baseball and started watching professional baseball games,” Fujishima said.

Later on, Fujishima became interested in the competitive side of the game, having watched the professional eBASEBALL™ League in Japan. The WBSC eBASEBALL™: POWER PROS was the game to further that interest.

“I am very happy to be able to participate in the WBSC eBASEBALL™: POWER PROS tournaments and to have a chance to become the world's number one eBASEBALL™ player,” he said.

To be the number one player, you must defeat the best players, and Fujishima said his main goal for the World Finals is to defeat Mori and “become the best in the world.”

RJ Calderon – yabeGaming

RJ Calderon, whose gamer tag is “yabeGaming,” has made a quick rise to become an elite WBSC eBASEBALL™: POWER PROS player.

In November, the 22-year-old American had the crowning moment of his playing career, defeating Jacob Park (KangGang), the fourth-place finisher in the Olympic Esports Series 2023, on a walk-off single in extra innings to win the USA eBASEBALL™ Finals in Durham, North Carolina by a final score of 1-0 and qualify for the World Finals.

In the USA eBASEBALL™ Cup, the online qualifying tournament for the USA Finals, he had a 103-31-21 record in 155 games played in the competition, entering the tournament in Durham as the No. 3 seed. He defeated the second-seeded Compass in the first round of the tournament 4-1 to make it to the finals against top seed KangGang.

Calderon has played the most games out of all four competitors in WBSC eBASEBALL™: POWER PROS, amassing a 67.70% winning percentage with 3,963 games played. In all in-game competition, he has the lowest career batting average (.417) and OPS (1.416), and the third-highest ERA9 (4.15) and ERA5 (2.31) of the group of four competitors.

Calderon said he began playing POWER PROS after watching YouTube videos about the game, including ones about WBSC eBASEBALL™: POWER PROS, and becoming interested in the series from those videos.

His goal for the World Finals in Lausanne is to “do the best I can.”

Wei-Chung Yu – Hazuremon

Wei-Chung Yu, whose gamer tag is “Hazuremon,” will enter the World Finals as the final qualifier for the tournament. He was the top non-Japanese finisher in the Final Global Qualifier tournament held from 29 January to 4 February, posting a 235-29-7 record in 271 games played.

Yu, from Taiwan, was also a participant in the baseball event at the Olympic Esports Series 2023, but did not make it out of the group stage of the tournament, tying for fifth place. He had qualified for the Olympic Esports Series 2023 by taking first place in the first global online qualifier for PlayStation.

In his time playing WBSC eBASEBALL™: POWER PROS, Yu has compiled a record of a 81.25% winning percentage in 1,472 games played, with a career batting average of .491 and a 1.695 OPS. He also has the highest career ERA9 (4.32) and ERA5 (2.4) of the participating players in the World Finals.

The soon-to-be 45-year-old said his first experience with the POWER PROS series was in 1995, when he played JIKKYOU PAWAFURU PURO YAKYU 2, and fell in love with the series due to its realistic operating system and “smooth” gameplay.

“The release of WBSC eBASEBALL™: POWER PROS in 2023 allows players from around the world to compete online, fueling my desire to achieve good results in this game,” Yu said.

During his time playing POWER PROS, Yu finished first on the overall leaderboard in online play with 2009’s JIKKYOU PAWAFURU PURO YAKYU NEXT.

Yu’s goal for the World Finals? “I will definitely do my best and strive for the world championship,” he said.

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