|Nigel Richards (5th title) |
The World Scrabble Championship (WSC) is played to determine the world champion in competitive English-language Scrabble. It was held in every odd year from 1991 to 2013; from 2013 onwards, it became an annual event.
The most successful player in world championship history is Nigel Richards from New Zealand, who won a record five titles between 2007 and 2019.
Sponsorship of the World Scrabble Championship (WSC) formerly alternated between Hasbro and Mattel, the North American and global owners of the Scrabble trademark, respectively. However, after Hasbro declined to sponsor WSC 2005, Mattel has organized and sponsored all championships. Mind Sports International (MSI) began sponsoring the event in 2013 after successfully organizing their own major Scrabble tournament in Prague in 2012. As of 2018, it has been sponsored by Mindsports Academy.
On May 17, 2013, Mattel announced that the event would be renamed the Scrabble Champions Tournament, and the tournament would be held annually as part of Mind Sports International's Prague Mind Sports Festival. MSI introduced a 'Last Chance Qualifier' tournament, giving players a last opportunity to qualify for 5 places in the main event if they failed to achieve a place on their national team. A four-way knockout stage was introduced for the top four finishers, which consisted of a best-of-3 semi-final followed by a best-of-5 final. Nigel Richards became World Champion here, making him the first player to defend his world title.
In 2014 the Scrabble Champions Tournament continued in London, but it became an open event, with all players invited to compete. A quarter-final stage was added, meaning that the top 8 progressed to the knockout stages. Craig Beevers won the event, making him the first British World Scrabble Champion since Mark Nyman in 1993.
In 2015, following cancellation of the SCT, Mattel and MSI agreed to allow WESPA to organize the 2015 WESPA Championship (WESPAC). It was held in Perth, Australia and followed the invitational format of pre-MSI WSC events. 130 players qualified to play. Wellington Jighere of Nigeria emerged as WESPA Champion after beating Lewis Mackay 4–0 in the final.
In 2016, the tournament was split into two divisions based on players' rankings. MSI also hosted world championships in other languages, including French, German, Spanish and Catalan, alongside the French Duplicate Championship.
The 2017 MSI World Championships followed the same format as the 2016 event. This was won by Australian David Eldar.
The 2018 World Scrabble Championship was organised by Mindsports Academy. The main event was held in Torquay, Devon, but the best-of-5 final was held in London to celebrate the game's 70th anniversary. The event was won by Nigel Richards.
In 2019 Nigel Richards went on to defend his title (and win his fifth championship) against David Eldar at the Riviera International Centre in Torquay.
Since 2015, WESPA Championships (WESPAC) have been held every two years. The 2015 event was an official World Scrabble Championship, but since 2017 the WESPAC events have been denied permission from Mattel and/or Hasbro to be official World Championships.
|Year||Winner||Runner-up||Location||Entrants||Winner's prize||Total prize pool||Sponsor|
|1991||Peter Morris||Brian Cappelletto||London, United Kingdom||48||US$10,000||US$19,000||Spears|
|1993||Mark Nyman||Joel Wapnick||Plaza Hotel, New York City, United States||64||US$10,000||US$24,950||Hasbro|
|1995||David Boys||Joel Sherman||Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly, London, United Kingdom||64||US$11,000||US$29,550||Mattel|
|1997||Joel Sherman||Matt Graham||Mayflower Hotel, Washington, D.C., United States||80||US$25,000||US$50,100||Hasbro|
|1999||Joel Wapnick||Mark Nyman||Carlton Crest Hotel, Melbourne, Australia||98||US$15,000||US$34,200||Mattel|
|2001||Brian Cappelletto||Joel Wapnick||Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas, United States||88||US$25,000||US$50,100||Hasbro|
|2003||Panupol Sujjayakorn||Pakorn Nemitrmansuk||Corus Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||90||US$17,500||US$40,000||Mattel|
|2005||Adam Logan||Pakorn Nemitrmansuk||Marriott Regent's Park Hotel, London, United Kingdom||102||US$15,000||US$30,500||Mattel|
|2007||Nigel Richards (1)||Ganesh Asirvatham||Taj President Hotel, Mumbai, India||104||US$15,000||US$30,500||Mattel|
|2009||Pakorn Nemitrmansuk||Nigel Richards||Zon Regency Hotel, Johor Bahru, Malaysia||108||US$15,000||US$30,500||Mattel|
|2011||Nigel Richards (2)||Andrew Fisher||Hilton Hotel, Warsaw, Poland||106||US$20,000||US$50,000||Mattel|
|2013||Nigel Richards (3)||Komol Panyasophonlert||Andel's Hotel, Prague, Czech Republic||110||US$10,000||US$25,000||Mattel, MSI|
|2014||Craig Beevers||Chris Lipe||ExCeL Arena, London, United Kingdom||108||£3,000||£7,000||Mattel, MSI|
|2015||Wellington Jighere||Lewis Mackay||Gloucester Park, Perth, Australia||130||A$10,000||A$28,400||WESPA (1)|
|2016||Brett Smitheram||Mark Nyman||Grand Palais, Lille, France||72||€7,000||€40,000||Mattel, MSI|
|2017||David Eldar||Harshan Lamabadusuriya||Nottingham, United Kingdom||77||£7,000||Mattel, MSI|
|2018||Nigel Richards (4)||Jesse Day||Torquay (final in Westfield London), United Kingdom||75||£6,200||£15,500||Mattel, MSA|
|2019||Nigel Richards (5)||David Eldar||Riviera International Centre, Torquay, United Kingdom||46||Mattel, MSA|