Monday, July 15, 2013

2013 R16 B-Boy World Championships

The 2013 R16 World B-Boy Masters Championship was held on July 13 & 14 at Seoul's Olympic Park complex; sponsored in a large part by the Korean Tourism Organization, KTO Supporters were offered tickets to attend both days or only one. Unfortunately, I was only able to attend the second day, but I ended up having a great time despite the downpour of rain on the way to the event. The KTO was kind enough to give me three tickets, one for myself and for two friends. My friends and I arrived at Olympic Station just as the heavy rain started in so we were not able to browse the tents and "markets" that were set up, instead we picked up our VIP tickets and headed inside. 
The venue was really comfortable, we had pretty good seats, but with the layout I imagine there wasn't really a "bad seat" in the house. There was also a standing section, but the event lasted roughly four hours, so I'm glad I had a seat. This year's competition was MC'd by MC GO, and MC Snipa, and they did a very good job keeping the crowd energized in both English, and Korean, which was really appreciated it.

On Sunday, it was the day for the crews to battle it out. The event started out with crews from countries like Japan, USA, Russia and of course the host country, Korea, taking the stage individually and showing some amazing skill. After the crews performed, it was time for the crew vs crew battles.  At this time the crews had the opportunity to not only show their talents as a team, but individuals in the crews were able to have their moment in the spotlight. My favorites were Taiwan, and Russia. They seemed to really have a lot of fun, and were engaging with the crowd. As good as everybody was, there could only be one winner, the last two teams standing were Japan- Body Carnival, and Korea- Morning of Owl. Second place was Japan and they were awarded a check for $5,000 and first place was Korea, and they were awarded a check for $15,000. 

After the contest, came what I think a lot of people were waiting for.. a hip hop performance! The lineup consisted of Dok2, Beenzino, Jay Park & Korea Assassins. The first ones to take the stage were Dok2 and Beenzino, I'm not very familiar with them, but it was something new and good to listen to, second Jay Park took the stage and he was a hit from the start. As soon as he came on stage he was jumping around, being super energetic and getting the crowd pumped up. The event finished off with Korea Assassins, a local b-boy crew, who were joined halfway through their sets by two 6 year old b-girls from Europe. 

My overall opinion of this event is really good, definitely a new experience for me but something I enjoyed and will have fun talking about with my friends. It did seem to go on for a long time though, we were in the venue from 6:00 p.m. to a little after 10:00 p.m. But with as many battles as they had, I'm not sure how they could have made it shorter. I really enjoyed the Hip Hop performance at the end, and I can definitely say that the staff at this event were super friendly and helpful. If you have the opportunity to stand next year's R16 I suggest you do it, even if you're not familiar with the B-Boy culture, it's definitely something worth checking out. 

entrance to R16

KTO ticket booth

With my friends during the event

KTO CEO announcing the winners between Korea & Japan

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