• Jighere is MVP as Airpop Alpha wins Mindgames Premier League
Thrilled by scrabble’s growing awareness among youths and the country’s outstanding performance globally, chairman of Lekki Scrabble Club, Ebikeme Adowei, has urged government at all levels and the private sector to invest in the sport.
Adowei said the sport could be used to create employment for Nigerian youths, as it offers different championships within and outside the country.
Speaking on behalf of the teams that participated in the Mindgames Scrabble League (MSPL) at the grand finale of the tournament at NEBO Hall, NA Ordinance Barracks, Lagos, at the weekend, Adowie congratulated Airpop Alpha team for winning the league. He noted that his team, Lekki Bombers, which came second, as well as other teams’ involvement, showed that people can engage in a brain tasking and productive sport like scrabble throughout the year and get rewarded for their efforts if government and corporate Nigeria invests in its development.
“MGL has created a platform to empower people through participating in the sport they love.
“If more sponsors invest in scrabble competitions, it will provide jobs for the youths.
“The game of scrabble is brain tasking and also highly educative, which can add value to people’s intellectual well being. On behalf of other team members, I thank the organisers of the Mindgames Premier League for giving a new phase to the development of the sport in the country,” he said.
Also speaking on the sport, convener of the league, Lukman Owolabi, while commending the winners of the championship, Airpop, said that the Premier League, which is designed to keep players busy all through the year with financial benefits, has helped to create more awareness for the sport across the country.
“The Scrabble Premier League, which was introduced in 2019 as a team championship where top players organised themselves into groups to compete across selected cities in the country over four weekends, has helped to promote the game in Nigeria.
“With the Patrons Cup also added to the event to give individuals who don’t belong to any team opportunity to play in the championship, I believe there is more value in the tournament.
“People have to be engaged in scrabble all year round to be outstanding in the sport.
“Apart from scrabble, Mindgames is also focused on developing chess in Nigeria,” he said.
The former world number nine scrabble player also pleaded with corporate sponsors to involve their company in the Premier League.
Lagos, Benin and Abuja hosted games in the league’s A and B divisions.
Airpop Alpha got N1.5 million top prize, Lekki Bombers came second and got N800, 000 for their efforts, while Brainiacs earned N500, 000.
In Division B of the League, Southern Crowns emerged champions and gained immediate promotion to the elite division. Team Anagrammer came second, while Bayelsa Virtuosos won the third place.
Other monetary awards, trophies and medals were given to outstanding players and teams in the tourney, with former world champion, Wellington Jighere, who featured for Lekki Bombers in Division A winning the MVP award.
Timi Olaitan won the Patrons Cup, which was played at the same venue alongside the MGI League.