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Opinion: The alternative esports awards for 2019

As esports grows, the number of parasitic organisms stuck to the various extremities grows with it and among that subspecies is, of course, the awards show. For the uninitiated, an award show is an event where invitees pat themselves on the back, drink free alcohol, and clap while a set of prizes is handed out to an arbitrary and seemingly random list of nominated participants.

This year was no different, really, except now esports is bigger and we have more fans, meaning that there are more people to celebrate the winners and whine about the losers.

Normally, that would be an expectable and easily ignored phenomenon, but when the Esports Awards and Video Game Awards were over there were a few names mysteriously omitted, so we decided to shout them out here.

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Console yourselves

Chief among the ignored parties when it came to the video game awards were members of the FGC, with the recognition more what you’d expect from a national newspaper paying lip service to a sector it has been told has a lot of potential customers in.

While the ever-popular SonicFox won console player of the year, it was arguable there were more deserving names in his category, the leader of which is probably Pakistan’s Arslan Ash, a man who has put his nation on his back when it comes to the FGC.

Elsewhere nominations for Tweek and MKLeo in the rookie of the year list were laughable, with both men having long careers behind them already, as was the complete failure to recognise the incredible iDom story.

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Over at the Game Awards things weren’t much better, but with only a single esports award to hand out it was always going to be hard for the organisers not to jump on the Bugha bandwagon, which brings us to…

PC Problems?

In the world of first person shooters, one man has had the sort of year that makes it easy to ignore abuse, which is a great thing for Sentinels Bugha.

The Fornite World Cup winner has had to deal with all sorts of slings and arrows, not just from internet idiots but also from folk who only follow a single (normally Valve-made) game, and don’t believe Fortnite is an esport, which they use as the stick to beat the winner of the biggest FPS event esports has ever seen.

Realistically, though, it is a bit odd to think that one of the true rookies to top level play and a man who might be in contention for HLTV’s top spot in 2019 didn’t get the newcomer award. We wouldn’t say Bugha was an unfair winner of PC player of the year, but once he’d got that it made perfect sense to recognise the insane talent that is Vitality ZywOo, and the fact he basically carried four other men through his debut year at the top level.

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There are other notably slighted names, not least the OG Dota roster that won their second consecutive TI and the Astralis team that took both CS:GO Majors this year.

According to the Esports Awards neither of those was as impressive as G2 getting banged out at League of Legends Worlds in the finals, but we’re sure there are other compensations for the OG players at least, who have won tens of millions in the last 24 months between them.

Honestly, when it comes to the Game Awards this isn’t too much of a big deal for esports, as it is very clear the inclusion of the e-word is nothing more than ceremonial there, but it would be great to see the Esports Awards diversify the panels rather than just try and ask the biggest names what they think and ignore smaller scenes. With any luck that will happen as esports grows, and one day we’ll have winners that most of the esports world can agree on, if not all of it.

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