During the past week, the SXSW Conference took place in Austin, Texas, and among the rich content that was featured at this conference, there was also the announcement of the Game of the Year within the eSports industry.
On Saturday night, at the final event of the Conference, Overwatch was awarded the title of the Game of the Year. For many fans and other people involved in the eSports industry, this came as a huge surprise because rarely anyone expected that Overwatch could seize the prestigious title this year. However, the fans and those who play Overwatch professionally have no doubts when it comes to whether the title is well deserved.
Outlasting Tough Competition
However, the fact is that many people did not expect Overwatch to win the title especially after seeing the lis t of this year’s nominees. Besides Overwatch, games that were nominated for this title were Call of Duty: Infinity Warfare, Killer Instinct: Season 3, Gears of War 4, and Street Fighter V. The fact is even the nominations caused a lot of controversies because of the biggest names in the eSports world have not been included, the likes of Dota 2, League of Legends, Starcraft II, Hearthstone, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
The award for the Game of the Year at this conference is awarded to the game that has the best online competitive scene as well as the potential to grow even bigger. Besides that, one of the requirements for the Game of the Year title is for the game to have a big entertainment value. The decision on which game will take the title is reached by the SXSW Gaming Advisory Board as well as the general public to a certain extent. However, one of the biggest requirements for the Game of the Year title at the SXSW Conference is for the game in question to have been released during the last year.
In fact, this last requirement might be the biggest reason why games like Dota 2, League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, or Hearthstone were not included in the nominations for this year’s Game of the Year.
Despite this criterion, many former and current eSports professionals have condemned the SXSW Conference. One of those professionals was Bad Hombre Lazer who questioned the criterion of the game being released during the last year saying that it will be very counterproductive for the eSports industry in general.
He was not the only one, as many other eSports professionals have joined the criticism of the SXSW. No one is actually questioning the fact that Overwatch is a great game or trying to deny the success it had during the first year it was released. Over the first twelve months since its release, the game has attracted more than 25 million players that played the game on different platforms. What’s questionable is the SXSW decision only to include the games released during the last year.
Despite the vocal criticism for the decision to give this prestigious award to Overwatch, it can’t be denied the game has been growing increasingly popular with each day, with more and more players and fans joining the ranks. Hence, while SXSW’s logic may not be fully justifiable, there were certainly plenty of reasons to declare Overwatch the Game of the Year.