Lagos to host inaugural Ultimate Scrabble championship in July

Africa’s number one and World number two English scrabble playing nation, Nigeria, is to stage a first of it’s kind competition tagged The Ultimate Scrabble Showdown in July this year.

The Ultimate Scrabble championship which is a two player event will involve two top players; current NSF Green Jacket holder, national number two and Africa champion, Enoch Nwali and Nigeria’s number one, current West African champion and the Most Valuable Player of the NSF Inter Club Challenge finals 2024, Oluwatimilehin Doko.

It’s a three day event and players are expected to arrive on Friday the 19th of July while the competition will end on the 21st of July with the closing games and presentation ceremony.

The two players selected for the maiden edition of The Ultimate Scrabble Showdown are the finest wordsmith in Nigeria and on the continent.

Both players who are students of the University of Lagos belong to the same scrabble clubs, UNILAG Scrabble Club in the NSF Inter Club Challenge and Hurricane SC in the MGI Premier League.

They are also the highest ranked Nigerians by the Pan African Scrabble Association (PANASA), ratings. Doko is rated 11th with 2030 points in the world while Nwali is occupying the 16th spot with 2012 points.

The two players will each get N70,000 as appearance fee and will be accommodated and fed in a service apartment through out the three days of the grueling 21 rounds of games that will be played.

The 2021 Collins Scrabble Word Dictionary is the reference material for the competition while it’s 10 points deduction for failed challenge of word during play.

This first of it’s kind competition, is the brain child of Nigeria’s Champion of Champions, multiple National Sports Festival gold medalist and winner of the IGP opens, Olatunde Oduwole, and it’s has the blessing and seal of Nigeria Scrabble Federation (NSF).

The winner of the competition will pocket N250,000 , a trophy, designer wrist watch and designer shirt along with other souvenirs of the historic event from the organizers while the loser gets N150,000, a plaque, designer wrist watch, T-shirt and souvenirs.

Besides the cash prizes, the winner will get full sponsorship to an NSF rated national championship while the loser gets 50 percent sponsorship to an NSF rated national championship.

Olatunde Oduwole, the man behind this unique initiative is also footing the bill of the competition alongside appearance fee, the prize money and all the logistics.

Alagbada Babajide has been appointed as event Logistics Director while Joseph Okere will handle live coverage of the competition, handle all the social media handles of The Ultimate Scrabble Showdown as well as live streaming of the event.

The competition will be directed by a very passionate and dynamic stakeholder in the scrabble circuit in Nigeria and Africa, Hakeem Olaribigbe.

Oduwole, a multiple national champion, explained that, he put together the event to help encourage scrabble players to aspire for excellence and reach for the very top of their game as only the best in Nigeria and Africa will be selected in all editions of the Ultimate Scrabble Showdown.

Olatunde Oduwole, the author of Scrabble Evolution text book, further stated that the competition which is completely different from any other competition is a game changer and a path way for healthy rivalry among elite wordsmith.

“This edition is just the beginning of many more events and programs to help accelerate the growth of scrabble in Nigeria and Africa.
Players will not be asked to pay registration fee, they will be accommodated, fed and dressed through out the competition and above all appearance fee is the icing on the cake,” Oduwole a former NSF Green Jacket holder added.

The competition Director, Hakeem Olaribigbe and logistics Director, Alagbada Babajide, as well as other members of the Organizing Committee have been meeting to finalize the choice of service apartment to be used for this unique initiative.

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