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Esports and gaming award ceremonies are important for the industry and here’s why cover image

Esports and gaming award ceremonies are important for the industry and here’s why

#Opinion

It’s more than just a pat on the back, it’s about recognition, diversity and a reflection for the past-faced industry.

Over the past couple of weeks, we have had two big award functions in the gaming and esports industry. Some of the biggest names in the industry were in attendance and some of the best players, content creators, and publishers were among the nominations. But amidst all the celebrations, there are some questions about the reason for these awards. There will be criticism on the way something is done, but I firmly believe esports and gaming awards, even though still very new, are very important for the growth and maturity of the industry

Brand Awareness and Exposure

We are increasingly living in a digital world where research into any company or category often leads consumers to brands they are associated with. F

Competition

Esports is a very competitive industry with the number of stakeholders increasing by the year. There’s very little separating two teams and quite often orgs resort to unique methods to stand out. We have organizations like 100 Thieves that are focused on apparel and content creation. 100 Thieves also launched an energy drink, one that was advertised at the Esports Awards. Their selling point? The energy drink has only 5 calories making it a healthy alternative for calorie-conscious users. 
Then there are organizations like FlyQuest who adopted an environment-friendly theme for their organization. With the regular planting of trees and other actions that do not harm the environment, FlyQuest continues to set new standards within the esports industry.
Probably the easier route for many orgs is content creation. We are increasingly seeing esports orgs improve the quality of their content output. It might take the form of videos, podcasts, internal team voice comms, backstage videos and much more. But all of these efforts are basically a bid to stand out from the crowd and distinguish themselves in the eyes of a more generic audience.

Morale

One of the more obvious reasons is to boost employee morale. While the business perspective is often to stand out and gain recognition in a very competitive industry, awards also act as a way of recognition and boosting internal morale.

Esports awards are often a way of recognizing of all the talent and creative depth in the industry. The nominations for the 2022 Esports Awards included some really skilled artists and creative pieces. While LOUD won the most Creative team of the Year Award, the efforts of many other teams did not go unrecognized. 

Celebrating Diversity


Awards are not just about statistics and numbers. Awards recognize excellence and the esports awards also featured a similar theme. Recognizing the talent of rookie players in the PC and controller scene are crucial to help develop young upcoming talent. 
G2’s mONESY won the title of PC Rookie of the year, while Seikoo won the controller rookie of the year.
Despite esports having players from all across the world, there is a geographical east-west divide. There are also many underrepresented regions that may not always receive recognition in the broader sense of things. With organizations like S8UL esports from India and LOUD from Brazil receiving awards and nominations, many viewers who were oblivious to these names will now be more aware of orgs outside their region. 

A celebration and reflection

Another aspect of the esports awards (and other awards) is also to look back at the year - to highlight some of the incredible performances by athletes.

Esports is a very fast-paced industry and as one event concludes, there’s always another in a couple of days or weeks. As such, it becomes difficult for fans to sit back and reflect on the year that has gone by. An event that took place in February often becomes Ancient history in December. The esports awards help highlight key moments from the year, 

The industry is much bigger than just one title

And finally, the awards are a way for people from different game titles to come together. As viewers watch gaming and epsorts talent walk down the red carpet, they get a better understanding of just how diverse the entire industry is. 
It is often very easy to be secluded within your game’s community and not realize that the esports industry is much much bigger than just one title. 

So is there no downside?

Well… there are a few downsides, maybe quite a few as well. As we have seen from awards in other industries, they run the risk of becoming a cycle. Certain publishers’ contributions and close ties might make them more likely candidates to win the awards.
However, despite the potential downsides, awards are an excellent way to portray the esports industry to the external world. For a non-endemic view, the esports awards (or game awards) offer guidance on which games or titles to try out. 
The Games Awards 2022 also featured the trailers of several new games including Final Fantasy XVI, Wayfinder, Death Stranding 2, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor and more.
Rohan
Rohan
Editor | Twitter @rohan_esports
Started esports with Dota, moved to CS, then OW, back to Dota 2 and now a bit of Valorant. I love city-building games, have spent hours in Cities:Skylines only to have the traffic defeat me. Love travelling, an admirer of fine movies, writing a sci-fi novel in spare time and coding (Javascript)