The Game Awards is an annual awards show, celebration, and launchpad for the entirety of the gaming industry — an entertainment sector that is larger than the common person may realise. With celebrities in attendance, new games being announced, and everything in between, it’s fair to say that the night is a big deal.
Now, esports is a niche of gaming. As a result, naturally, it’s smaller. In fact, in most cases, esports is simply just a marketing activity for many games developers. Valve don’t have any meaningful input with CS:GO beyond the two annual Majors, for example, whereas Riot Games have gone all-in on esports as a means of promoting League of Legends and ensuring it stays in the conversation year-round.
At this year’s iteration of The Game Awards, esports decently represented in terms of the categories it was involved in; five of almost-30 awards that were handed out on November 10 — albeit virtually — were focused on competitive gaming.
So, as we tend to do in esports, it’s time to reflect on how we’re being represented and received by those outside of our ever-growing industry. Were the right winners chosen? Let’s take a look.
Also, if you want to see the entire list of categories and subsequent winners from this year’s awards, you can find them here.
Best Esports Game
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (Infinity Ward/Raven/Activision)
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (Valve)
- Fortnite (Epic Games)
- League of Legends (Riot Games) – WINNER
- Valorant (Riot Games)
It’s hard to argue against League of Legends in this category, truthfully. Not only is it the biggest esport in terms of viewership, but it also has the most comprehensive global structure and a player count that’s always impressive. Almost everything is in place for the MOBA to thrive. Specifically in 2020, I feel there was a somewhat unfair advantage in Riot’s corner.
With events and travel restricted on a global basis for much of the year, only one of the major tentpole events was carried out in-person: the League of Legends World Championship. Not only is the event an absolute behemoth in any normal circumstance, it stood out from the crowd more than ever due to the circumstances. However, this is down to Riot’s determination and immense planning to make it happen so they can’t be discredited on that front. They took a chance and it paid off tenfold.
Valorant is too new, having only just had its first set of major events in First Strike, Modern Warfare wasn’t one of the good Call of Duty instalments by any means, CS:GO is facing plenty of obstacles and has been for a little while, and Fortnite hasn’t done anything particularly noteworthy in 2020. This is a deserved win for League of Legends esports.
Best Esports Athlete
- Ian ‘Crimsix’ Porter / Call of Duty
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