Poland’s Przybylski is 2nd & Russia’s 19 yr-old Demina is 3rdA 36 year old South African, Martin Naude became the first African winner of the Loyalty and Gamification World Championship. At the other end of the spectrum, Daria Demina of Russia became the youngest award-winner at the tender agoe of 19 years. In an extremely tight finish, Naude held off the ‘King of Play’ Krzysztof Przybylski (Warsaw, Poland) to take the top prize of $2,000. After a split judging decision, Naude was adjudicated winner on countback across the 12 World Leading Judging authorities. Both Naude and Przybylski have educational backgrounds in computer science, with Naude a Loyalty Rewards specialist and Przybylski a Gamification experienced professional. For Naude this was never about the money.
Naude is known as ‘The Technologist’, a Johannesburg-based CTO of Entellect Solutions and md of Encentivize, with almost 20 years of experience.
After his win, Naude noted the personal and professional significance of simply making the World Finals, let alone winning.
In a stunning result, a 19-year-old Russian student, Daria Demina was announced,as the recipient of third place, as well as winner of the Top Student award.
Participants had to ednure a four-hour presentation lus a 20 minute submission for World Top 12 place.
Overall, more than 1,500 participants, judges, companies and community partners from 100 plus countries took part.
Eventually, it came down to Martin Naude’s ‘Pin’ concept and Polish Gamification specialist Krzysztof Przybylski’s Mask Heroes as the two standout participants for the 2014 Finals event.
Johann Odou, executive director of LoyaltyGames, commented, “The World’s Top 12 Finalists showed us this weekend the importance of celebrating Loyalty Rewards and Gamification skills as one of the most exciting and innovative disciplines in Professional Services today.”
He continued, “We see irony that the LoyaltyGames teaches more mature industries that ‘age’ is only a state of mind – our 1st and 3rd place are 17 years apart,” commented .
He added, “We’re really pleased with the inaugural LoyaltyGames. We look forward to creating a bigger, better and bolder championship in 2015 – and expect standards and overall performances to continue improving significantly in 2015.”