ACON4 – Shanghai, China

By Burt Carver

ACON4, a computer gaming tournament, held the first annual World Championships in Shanghai, China June 6, 2004. The culmination of months of preparation, ACON4 went off without a hitch, featuring interludes such as a kung fu demonstration and folk dancing. Contrary to other popular gaming tournaments, ACON4 is focused on one title: Warcraft 3. While this may seem contrary to the tournament trends of first person shooters, Warcraft 3 is extremely popular in the Asian market and several competitive leagues have sprung up.

ACON4 held qualifying events all around the world and has flown in the winners from these regional events to participate in the finals in Shanghai. This is the first ACON4 finals, and the sponsors include

Western Digital,
Viewsonic, and
Logitech to name a few.

Jonathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel was in attendance promoting the Fatality line for professional gaming, but did not participate in the event.

The format for the eighteen player event is a single elimination playoff, with matches being decided by the best two out of three wins. The games are simulcast on projection screens, but the lack of any commentary made it difficult to follow. The local crowds were enthusiastic and vocal as they cheered for their favourites.

The semi-finalists included Chun Jung Hee “SK.Sweet” from Korea, Matthew Anderson “mTw-Wizard” from United States, Andrey Sobolev “DeaDman” from Russia, and Hao Su “Yoliny.suhO” from China.

One of the early favourites, Chun Jung Hee from Korea, made it through with relative ease to the semi-finals where he faced off against Andrey Sobolev from Russia. The first match was an upset, with Andrey Sobolev taking out Chun Jung Hee in a prolonged match. In a surprise the Russian ended up sweeping the match 2-0.

The consolation match saw “SK.Sweet” take third place with “Yoliny.suhO” settling for fourth place.

Reminiscent of the Cold War days, the final came down to “mTw-Wizard” from the States and “DeaDman” from Russia. Rocky 4 all over again, baby!

A quick bio – DeaDman is the youngest contestant at the event, weighing in at 15 years of age. In one of the great ironies, first place is a KIA car and he will not be able to drive it for three years as the driving age in Russia is 18.

His opponent? mTw-Wizard hails from Lexington, South Carolina. He arrived at the competition with a keyboard that dwarfed the others both in size and weight and featured built in speakers. It is about ten years old and as solid as the Rock of Gibraltar.

Both players played the NightElves race, and the first game of the final was a victory for mTw-Wizard when DeaDman lost his hero. In the end mTw-Wizard prevailed in a 2-0 sweep.

Thanks to ABIT and the rest of the sponsors for making events like this possible and for pushing the envelope further for gamers. Without the support of the sponsors, events like this that give gamers the opportunity to compete for great prizes and fly people in from all over the world would never happen.