COVID-19 has affected everything this year, and the 2020 Esports Awards were no different. Despite the struggles that COVID may have brought to the occasion, the event not only happened, but went surprisingly well.
This is the fifth year of the Esports Awards, which are usually held in person, with awards physically given out to players, and people in the venue watching and cheering. This year, things had to be different. Instead of a big arena with thousands of fans, the awards were broadcast live via Twitch. While there were some in person events, the majority were broadcast online, and even those in person used safety protocols.
Michael Ashford, managing director of the Esports Awards, summed up this year’s event, and highlighted the key differences.
“It has been a milestone year, not just for the Esports Awards, but for the Esports industry. We have been faced with many challenges and hurdles as well as opportunities to showcase how resilient and talent led our industry is,” he said. “As we conclude our fifth year with more votes, more viewership, and more mainstream partners than ever before I am pleased that we were able to put together an ambitious virtual event to celebrate those who have really made a difference and continued to push our industry forward.”
These changes paid off. Despite turning the event into a virtual celebration of the players who have done so much for the industry, more people watched this virtual event than ever before, with over a million in viewership. This rise in views and votes was directly correlated to the hard work and dedication of not just Ashford, but everyone in the industry. People hyped up the event, and proved just because COVID-19 is affecting events, doesn’t mean the celebrations need to be less fun.
The event was hosted by Eefje “Sjokz” Depoortere, with presenters including WWE Superstar Xavier Woods, DJ Steve Aoki, Tottenham footballer, and even Excel Esports brand ambassador Dele Alli.
The success of this event only continues to show that when we put our heads together, and really work to find ways to celebrate in a world ravaged by COVID-19, we are able to find working solutions. If you need more proof, the fact that this year’s Esports Awards had the most viewers its five years existence is proof enough.