The KLASK World Championship is BACK!
2023 was bigger and better than it has ever been. For the first time in the competitions history, the final of the KLASK World Championship was going to be best of 5. After a full playing schedule, this was going to be tough on our 2 finalists, but that's why they're in the hot seat an we're not, they have the stamina!
If you're here for the money shot like we think you are, watch the video above and let us know what you thought in the comments on Youtube. However if you're more of a words person, there's a few below this video about the event as a whole!
Without further adieu, let's jump straight into the final match here between the then reigning World and Polish Champion, Tomek Preuss and Italy's Champion, Luigi Raone.
Each year we find a super special part of Helsinki to sail the players, the guests and our staff over to a mystery island for a player get together the evening before the championship. There are saunas, there are smiles and there is plenty of KLASK, often all at the same time. There are many pictures we cannot share on here but the ones we took before clothes were discarded, show just a glimpse of how special the island is.
It's a great way to thank the players for their commitment to KLASK each year and their desire to better the competitive scene by running local tournaments and talking about us online. It also gets everyone in one room for the group stage draws, where they learn who their opponents will be on championship day.
Championship Day - Group Stages
After a traditional Finnish breakfast at the hotel, it becomes a militant operation getting everyone to the venue. Well, less militant and more like herding cats. Nevertheless we manage it and it's off to the studio for player and referee briefings before the big day
We had 23 players randomly drawn into 4 groups with 6 players in each (except for one group of 5) and group games were played simultaneously. Each player would play KLASK against everyone in their group once and the top 4 players would advance to the next stage for the knockout rounds
If you want to see all the results from the group stages, head to the link below (it will open in a new window so you can continue reading all these lovely words I've written especially for you)
Before getting onto the Knockout rounds I want to say a huge congratulations to the 7 who didn't make it past the group stages but were all well worthy of their place at the World Championship. The competition this year was CRAZY good, like noting we've seen before. We had 9 new nations competing this year and a special mention must go to 1 of those players, the Lithuanian champion, Naglis. Competing as a debutant at the age of 12! What a hero. He wasn't just there making up numbers either, he put in a really good showing but unfortunately for him was drawn in the toughest of groups which had both Finalists in, had the draw been kinder to him, I'm convinced we would've seen him in the knockout stages.
Championship Day - Knockout Stages
Right, onto the Knockout stages we are. The top 16 players. The crème de la crème!
Some of these players have been waiting for their moment since the last KLASK World Championship in 2019, others are relatively new to the hobby and are experiencing this event for the first time. Either way, the competition is fierce but we're all friends here. Bonding over a game of KLASK in a sauna when nobody is wearing a stitch of clothing is partly responsible for that.
The stage was set and the spot lights were on the single KLASK board in the middle of the room. We set the cameras to rolling and out amazing team of commentators and our host began to introduce the 2023 KLASK World Championship to the 10's of millions of people tuned into the live stream*.
We'll leave you with the first round of match ups and point you in the direction of the full live stream because words cannot do justice to the skills on display!
BONUS - Wooden Spoon Award
*didn't actually check the exact numbers but that seems about right?