With top players from United States, England, Ghana, Scotland and Kenya already confirmed for the four-day championship, with the star prize pegged at N1.2m ($8,000), while winners in each category will smile home with mouthwatering prize money.
Winners in the intermediate and opens categories will get N.5m and N1m respectively, while the top 10 players will get cash reward.
Aside countries like United States, England, Scotland, Ghana and Kenya that have confirmed their participations; Ethiopia is the latest nation to join the fray for the championship.
Confirming this yesterday, Chairman, Lagos State Scrabble Association, Dayo Alao, said Ethiopia is the latest country although Uganda has signified interest to be part of the tournament also.
Among the top players expected at the competition include Nigeria-born United States’ Sammy Okosagah, a two-time winner of the Akpabio tournament as well as Nigeria-born Scotland Lukmon Owolabi.
Also, a special invitational category for professionals who are expected to pay participation fee of N50, 000 will be part of the event while the proceeds going into a developmental programme.
“We are not only looking at the tournament alone, but to look at how we can develop the sport at grassroots level and that is why we will be having the special category for captains of industry with the proceeds from the participation fee going into a developmental programme in schools. The winner of this division will decide the school that will benefit from the initiative. For us, we are trying to encourage support from this professionals,” Alao said.
The tournament will kick off on January 23rd to 26th with players competing in three events – masters/international, intermediate and opens.
28 games will be played across the three categories as all foreign internationals (and Nigeria-based Masters players) will play in the Masters category while the two other categories will be for non-masters local players. The dictionary for the championship will be Collins CSW12 only.