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China Wins Gold at World Cyber Games Finals
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Chinese player Li Xiaofeng struck gold in the game Warcraft at the 5th World Cyber Games Grand Finals, which closed in Singapore on Sunday night.


The US won the overall championship title when their gamers bagged two golds and a silver. South Korea was second with two golds and a bronze.


More than 700 gamers from 67 countries competed for prize money worth US$435,000 in the past four days at Singapore's Suntec Convention and Exhibition Center.


"Apart from its entertainment and fun element, digital games can also be a positive tool to promote inter-cultural interaction, breaking down traditional barriers such as physical distance and cultural differences," Singapore Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts Lee Boon Yang said at the closing ceremony.


He added that digital games as part of the whole entertainment and media ecosystem is big business and a growing contributor to the global creative economy.


The global interactive entertainment market is estimated to grow from about 28.5 billion Singapore dollars (about US$16.7 billion) in 2005 to some S$42 billion (about US$24.7 billion) in 2010, according to Lee.


The next World Cyber Games Grand Finals will be held in Europe for the first time in Monza, Italy.


In 2003, China hosted legs of three world-class eSports tournaments; World Cyber Games (WCG), Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL) and Electronic Sports World Cup (ESWC). The State General Administration of Sports inaugurated a China ESport Games (CEG) the following year.  


The first eSports national team was founded in June 13, 2004. Over 200 matches were held nationwide in 2004 and more than 1,000 enterprises got involved in the industry. The first CEG championship attracted 2 million participants and the China leg of the 4th WCG tournament attracted tens of thousands of applicants.


(Xinhua News Agency, China.org.cn November 21, 2005)

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