We came for shiny little metal people and ended up with a glowing green box. But esports took a few awards for itself. Read more below.
Last night marked the annual celebration of The Game Awards 2019. On a night of trophies, celebrities, and big reveals, esports shined bright with six awards dedicated to the continually-burgeoning category of gaming.
Esports award winners
Other award winners
Big announcements for the esports fan
In perhaps the most surprising moment of The Game Awards, viewers were treated to a vivid gaming display on dreams. Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft Gaming, then took to the stage to announce the next generation of Xbox consoles, the Xbox Series X. Taking a unique approach to console design, the Series X reminds one of a skyscraper if most skyscrapers came with a glowing green roof.
Never you mind the Tesla car-naming standard that seems to have been adopted here. This system is playing for keeps.
The International Olympics Committee previously made a comment that competitive video games “could be considered sports.” So naturally we all hoped that would mean games like League of Legends and Fortnite would make their way into the global spectacle. However, after their 8th Olympic Summit earlier this month, the IOC has updated their stance on esports.
Change of heart: In their latest statement, the committee indicated that it would prefer to focus on video games that simulate traditional sports. Why is that? Because traditional sports build habits that “promote physical and mental health.” Games like League of Legends or Call of Duty raised concerns among the IOC because “violent video games and other explicit content could run counter to Olympic values.”
What it means: This isn’t good news for most of the established esports community. But it does mark the start of an exploration into a relationship with video games that could make the Olympics more appealing to a younger demographic. It may take a while still for esports to appear on the Olympic stage, but in the meanwhile, competitive gaming continues to grow in its own respective area.
A recent panel was held, called “Global Impact of Esports — where are we and where are we going?” during the first day of Regional SportAccord Pan America. The panel included Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) director Philippe Gueisbuhler, who had much to say about the direction of esports.
Some highlights: He commented that esports is already a train that cannot be stopped, and that “We need to have a look at how people can use it as a balance between real sport, work and have a bit of fun, as well as making a competition out of esports.” One of his concerns is that young people and professional players alike might become addicted to the very games they play. Rather than take a course like with China and restrict gameplay, he believes we should “work together with governments, national, and international federations.” Why punish an entire country of players over an activity because it is addictive in some cases? The target of video games is entertainment, after all.
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Apex Legends isn’t even a year old and one of the biggest stars of the competitive scene has already retired. Dizzy was the first player for the game to be recruited by an esports organization, NRG Esports. The Apex Legends world first became aware of Dizzy when he became the first player to hit level 100, whereas most average players were around level 20.
History lesson: Apex Legends gathered 50 million players in the first month, which made everyone sure there would be a pro scene. However, many players started to leave after a few months due to the lack of content and a hacking epidemic. This continued until Season 3, when everything turned around. Season 3 Meltdown fixed many of the problems with the game.
A flesh wound: But now that things are starting to look up, Dizzy’s departure from the pro scene is certainly a hit to the competitive scene. Apex just lost one of its biggest stars in the game, and now risks losing many more pro players. Dizzy plans to now stream Apex rather than compete professionally. This is a similar action done by CS:GO player Shroud. But Shroud had a longer history in his respective game before going full-time streamer.
Will Dizzy find the same success? The only way to see is to watch his stream obviously.
According to FunPlus Phoenix, South Korean-native Kim “Doinb” Tae-sang has been granted residency in China’s LPL. This makes the mid-lane player the first ever in the league’s seven-year history to be granted residency. Now this frees up an import slot for the team to explore more international talent, if they so choose.
About the player: Doinb was critical to FPX’s success in the 2019 season, helping the team blitz through the summer season with a near-undefeated record. He is best known for unconventional champion picks, continuous roaming pressure, and shotcalling, all of which led the team to the finals of Worlds, where they then beat Europe’s G2 Esports.
How to get residency: Players can typically get residency after spending four years in the league. Other players like Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg and Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong gained residency in the LCS through similar methods. In comparison, LPL residency is the most difficult to get and has prevented many players from accomplishing the task. Days spent outside the country are literally deducted from the required four years. Doinb has been in China for the last five years, which makes him an ideal candidate for residency.
How long you have been active rapping/DJing/Gaming?
I’ve been rapping for around 10 years overall but only made recordings in the last 5 years. My music is available to check out here: https://djjy.lnk.to/TheBeginningEP.
What is your favorite game of all time?
This is hard, perhaps GTA San Andreas or Skyrim.
What’s been the major difference for you between rap/DJing and gaming?
It’s been great to see people interact in real-time with my gaming videos, one thing my music as a recording artist never had was real-time interaction and I love being able to talk to my viewers and fans in-person as it were. I’m lucky that my music has seen me in the public eye a few times and it feels awesome to be able to join the gaming community and have a few people know who I am from the start. I feel very lucky.
What are some unique things about you?
I am verified on Twitter (@DJJY), I have had national and international radio plays of my music and I’m a freestyle footballer (in reality) lol.
Anything else you’d like to share?
SlashShout is delivering a service I think is totally unique, the team are awesome and I look forward to my weekly updates.
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