Report from the world championship in “escape room” games – ER CHAMP 2023
On October 7, the final of the seventh ER CHAMP 2023 escape room world championship took place in Wroclaw, Poland, which was also visited by the Enigmarium team, with the goal of registering as many teams from Slovenia as possible for the ER CHAMP 2024 championship. At a similar championship (Red Bull Mind Gamers, which unfortunately no longer exists) in Budapest in 2017, we Slovenians were the first in the world to win, and it’s time to win another trophy, right?
What is ER CHAMP?
ER Champ is an international “room escape” game competition where teams from all over the world compete. Every year, thousands of participants from all continents of the world (except Antarctica) compete in online qualifications, and this number is increasing every year. Only the ten best teams compete live at the final event, in rooms specially made for this purpose. This year’s event took place in the mysterious atmosphere of the Hydropolis museum, where we were greeted at the entrance by the inscription ER CHAMP, made of water, or a water curtain. The atmosphere was absolutely fabulous and I highly recommend the Hydropolis museum to all visitors to Wroclaw (also, don’t miss the best-rated escape room in Poland (Terpeca ranking, first also on the Lock.me ranking): “Abandoned hotel” by Exit19, where 10 others await you tense games).
(photos: ER CHAMP) The organizers created two 20-minute tests especially for this occasion. Ten best teams from all over the world, who ranked best in online tests, took part in the competition. The competition took place in two “rooms.” Each of the ten teams had 20 minutes for each room, for a total of 40 minutes. Their efforts were watched live in Hydropolis by about 100 visitors, and the championship was watched online (livestreaming) by as many as 16,000 escape room fans from all over the world. The excellent commentators, Olga and Pawel, perfectly coordinated the event for more than 6 hours, commented and discussed challenges and impressions with the players after the game, the broadcast was exceptional. You can watch the recording of the transfer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSun6Jxz88I
Interesting fact 1: We learned that one of the final groups met online, where they played escape games together, took part in the qualifiers and made it to the finals. Only here, on the day of the event, they saw each other live for the first time (they don’t even live in the same country) and what’s more, they played an escape room live for the first time. We bet he wasn’t the last!
Interesting fact 2: None of the teams managed to solve the first room – THE CUBE – to the end. It was also very tense in the second room, some teams barely made it through the initial tasks, and the rest were eliminated during the game, but still two teams managed to make it to the end.
That’s how we got the world champions: Riddler Sukiyaki from Japan!
They received enigmatic medals that together make up the whole, a very interesting trophy and a Steam Deck for each team member. Second place went to Les Wyrds from France, and third were the winners of the online tests: 6 Keys from the USA. This was followed by a party also dedicated to celebrating the tenth anniversary of escape rooms in Poland. After a brief overview of the development of the games, a moment of silence in memory of the accident that happened in Poland years ago and caused the escape room industry to unify important measures to ensure safety around the world, followed by a chat with the finalists, with the organizers, visitors and players and with the creators of the first escape room in Poland.
Interesting fact 3: We also met the founder of the most important ranking of the best escape rooms in the world: Terpeca – Top Escape Rooms Project Enthusiasts’ Choice Award. (It should be noted here that already a few days before this meeting, our Peter Arčon became the second Terpeca nominator in Slovenia (next to Nataša Potočnik); after all, they played most of the games together).
Thanks to the organizers of the event: “Lock.me” is a recognized international portal for finding, booking and rating escape rooms. It is especially useful in Poland, where there are 500 different games, and here you can check the “room ranking” in one place, whether they can be played in English, and also book them (and later also rate them). “Lock.me” is also the co-creator of the best-selling “Escape Tales” tabletop escape game series.
Invitation to participate in a future competition:
The Escape Room Enigmarium team will continue to monitor and report so we don’t miss next year’s qualifiers! Stay in touch, stay playful and play escape room games! Nataša Potočnik, Peter Archon and the Enigmarium team