The ‘Tournament of Champions’ pit eight elite UK-based Scrabble players in head-to-head Scrabble GO matches to show fans of the game how the pros strategise and spell their way to the top.
Every participant of the tournament earned a £1,000 donation to NHS Charities Together, with the top-three players earning significant donations in their name, courtesy of Scopely and Scrabble GO.
Wayne Kelly of Cheshire, the 2011 UK national champion, earned the grand prize donation of £10,000 with a final score of 474 points. He defeated runner-up and reigning UK national champion Phil Robertshaw of Nailsea, who earned £3,000. Nationally ranked Natalie Zolty of Solihull finished in third place, earning a £2,000 donation.
The final match between Kelly and Robertshaw was fierce, with six bingos – the term for playing a word using every tile on the rack. Wayne’s highest-scoring play of the game was sublate, which means to deny, for 91 points.
The tournament matches featured analysis and commentary from experts Will Anderson, the 2017 North American Scrabble champion, and Cornelia Guest, a nationally ranked US player and tournament director. Breaking down each players’ moves and the strategies behind them, the Tournament of Champions pulled back the curtain on the world of elite Scrabble, giving fans of the game a chance to learn from Britain’s best.
Scopely partnered with the Association of British Scrabble Players who were delighted to be involved in the launch of the UK ‘Tournament of Champions’.
"The ABSP is proud to be participating in Scrabble GO's Tournament of Champions to benefit NHS Charities Together, a cause near and dear to all of our hearts," said Mike Whiteoak, chair of the Association of British Scrabble Players. "Especially now in this time of great need, we are thrilled to be able to play the game we love and give back to our communities across the UK."
Ellie Orton, chief executive, NHS Charities Together, said: "Thank you Scopely, Scrabble GO, and the Association of British Scrabble Players for bringing people together from afar over a beloved pastime to support NHS Charities Together. We have been so moved by the support we have received in response to our Covid-19 Urgent Appeal, and every donation helps us make a difference in supporting the NHS staff, volunteers and patients impacted by coronavirus."
Scrabble GO launched worldwide on 5 March as the number-one most-downloaded word game, becoming the biggest mobile word game launch of all time. With 2.5 million daily active users around the world playing for an average of 100 minutes each day, Scrabble GO is particularly popular in the UK where it sees the third-most downloads and active users. UK players fare well against others around the world with an average word score of 11 points. Outside of the United States, UK players send 20 per cent more game invites to their friends than the rest of the world, and 60 per cent of all daily active users play seven days per week.
Scrabble GO connects players of all skill levels, backgrounds, and familiarity with the iconic word game, offering a customisable experience that appeals to both casual social players and the fiercest competitors.