I was down at the World Cyber Games 2005 Singapore Championship Finals to soak in the exciting atmosphere both before and during the opening night itself! Here’s my report on what transpired throughout Day 1 at WCG Singapore, happening at Suntec Exhibition and Convention Centre Hall 401.
I arrived at Suntec Exhibition Centre Hall 401 at about 2.30pm. Early, partly to give myself more time to settle into the environment, but mostly because some of the marshalls had asked me to keep them company until opening time. Preparation work was almost completed, with the staff from Rapture mainly just doing the final touch ups as well as clearing out the rubbish left over from yesterday. In fact, most of the activity was from the performers doing last minute rehearsals. From where I was sitting, I could hear the trombone choir playing “Fly Me to the Moon”. The boys from the Chung Cheng High School Chinese Drums troupe were taking a break after some quick practices. I also saw the guys and girls from the Nanyang Polytechnic Lion Dance Troupe bringing their equipment out to the hall entrance. Looks like opening time is nearing fast!
Just after 5pm, the entrances to the hall was opened to the public, some of whom were already eagerly waiting outside for almost half an hour. As expected, they were wowed by the first thing that greeted them inside – the simple, white lines and colourful but tasteful lighting of the Samsung booth. Of course, the beautiful Samsung girls in white also played their fair share! The other thing that really had the crowd going was the competition area. Many people gathered at the A-boards outlining the competition area trying to get a closer look, approving of the innovative fan-shaped layout of the competition systems and islands.
At 5.30pm, the guest of honour, Mr Chan Yeng Kit, CEO of the Infocomm development authority of Singapore arrived. Mr Herman Ng, managing director of the main organizer, Rapture Gaming, was on hand to receive him. The VIPs were then treated to a spectacular display from the Nanyang Polytechnic Lion Dance Troupe, and were also led into the hall and to their seats by the two lions. Herman then gave the opening address. Following that, the guest of honour, Mr Chan addressed the audience. Following performances by the Chung Cheng High School Chinese Drum troupe and the trombone choir, as well as a video presentation of what has transpired at the WCG Singapore so far, the World Cyber Games 2005 Singapore Championship was finally declared opened.
There was an orderly rush to the goodie bag collection counter. The queue was expected to be long, as I was told that about 800 people would be collecting the goodie bags on the same day, but seeing is believing as they say. The sheer mass of people queued up was an eye opener for me. I had never seen so many gamers so densely concentrated in one spot before! When distribution of the goodie bags finally commenced, the counter descended into what could only be described as organized chaos. The game marshalls from Rapture Gaming worked hard, and overall, there were no hiccups in the goodie bag collection process. Many gamers were seen leaving with more than one goodie bag, as they helped their friends who could not make it this down to Suntec this evening collect their goodie bag. Most gamers then proceeded to the competition area after collecting the goodie bags to enjoy the free gaming opportunity.
At 8pm, the Cyberock 2005 rock concerted started. First up to play was Heritage. They are legendary figures in the Singapore music scene, being one of the oldest bands around. They really rocked the house with their unique brand of folk rock. Crossbred showed off their extreme skill in handling and playing their instruments, and with great vocals to back up great playing skill, the crowd really got into the mood. Ronin, legendary for their stage antics, wowed the crowd with their stage presence, and of course the antics of Levan Wee, the lead singer of Ronin, ending off with Black Maria, their chart topping single.
Tomorrow, the competitive segment of the World Cyber Games 2005 Singapore Championship Finals will begin. May the best cyber athletes win!