One year ago today: Seoul, Korea celebrates inaugural WBSC Virtual Cup World Finals

One year ago today: Seoul, Korea celebrates inaugural WBSC Virtual Cup World Finals
The final stage of the WBSC Virtual Cup, the WBSC’s first-ever eSport competition, was staged on 27 November, 2022 in Korea after the Preliminary Rounds were held in September and October around the world.

Korea's Hwanhee Kim and Chungyong Kim were crowned as the winners of the inaugural World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Virtual Cup on this day, 12 months ago, celebrating not only the first ever WBSC Virtual Cup champions but also the most-participated event in WBSC history.

The first edition was ground breaking in many ways with the tournament taking place in Korea, Japan, Mexico and USA in partnership with Newdin Contents, using the Seoul-based company’s Strikezon technology.

The Opening Round, which began in September, was open entry, with a record 4,073 teams (8,146 players) participating and 47 teams (94 players) playing in the Super Round.

A total of 12 teams, featuring two players per team, advanced to the World Finals in Seoul, Korea, where they were divided into four groups and competed in a round-robin format. The winner of each group advanced to the finals to compete for the title.

WBSC Virtual Cup champions, Hwanhee and Chungyong, were awarded with the champions’ trophy, a digital trophy in NFT format, a Gold Ball Park Gold Impact White Edition bat, helmet, gloves and guard as well as US$10,000 in prize money.

The WBSC approved the inclusion of eSport as a discipline of baseball and softball in 2020, while the WBSC eSport strategy is based on three pillars – eSport mobile, eSport virtual and eSport pro with the WBSC Virtual Cup being staged for the first time in 2022, setting a record for the number of participants in a WBSC World Cup.

An announcement regarding he next edition of the WBSC Virtual Cup is expected early next year.