Wings Gaming Win TI6
via Valve

Esports Awards: Winners for 2016

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82
via Valve

To cap off 2016, Dota players, teams, and personalities were honored through three sets of awards: LiquidDota, Gosu Awards, and the Esports Industry Awards. LiquidDota and Gosu are Dota-specific, while the Esports Industry Awards covers all current esports titles.

LiquidDota

The full list is viewable here, but here are some notable ones:

  • Best Mid: w33ha. W33voker is certainly a cherished memory from 2016, and he’s proven himself to be pretty damn good on other heroes as well.
  • Best Support: JerAx. Remember when PPD was the best support ever and always? Well, JerAx quietly stole away the spotlight this year. He’s known for being godly on Earth Spirit, but his performance during the Boston Major was absolutely outstanding.

  • Most Innovative/Boldest Strategy: “MVP [Phoenix] 5 Melee with Void Vs. Timbersaw.” Quite a mouthful, but certainly my favorite nomination. This game basically assassinated OG at TI6 as OG had no idea what to do with this unconventional draft from MVP. Many of us (myself included) were expecting OG to place in the top 3 at TI6. Losing to MVP sent them down to the lower bracket and eventually to a disappointing 7-8th place finish.

Gosu Awards 2016

GosuGamers picks two winners for each category. Their staff chooses one, and the second is determined by a community vote. Full list here, highlights below:

  • Breakout Player of the Year: Gosu – Wings.Shadow, Community – AdFinem.Madara. Shadow, definitely. His TI6 performance alone was enough to win it. Madara was Gosu Staff’s runner-up and the community choice. No denying he was great at Boston, but I think the temporal proximity of the Major to the vote gave him a bit of an edge. Recency bias can be rough.
  • Team of the Year: Gosu – Wings, Community – OG. I’d…. have to give it to OG here, personally. Yes, Wings won the biggest tournament of the year and The Summit 5, but OG won three Valve events as well as Dreamleague and ESL One. The community vote actually has Ad Finem as the runner up and Wings in third place.
  • Drama of the Year: Gosu/Community – Team Secret [the Eternal Envy Exposeé]. Yep, no surprise here, move along. Runner up: “James is an ass.”
  • Best Host: Gosu – Machine, Community – Sheever. This was surprising, as I thought ReDeYe had this award on lockdown. Perhaps viewers were getting tired of seeing him on stage, although he always delivers.

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The Esports Industry Awards

Google-searching these awards brings up fancy engraved crystal statue things and “red carpet” photos, so I guess they’re pretty legit.

Tobiwan at the Esports Industry Awards 2016
via DotaBlast

Fancy, eh? 

The Esports Industry Awards covers all esports, but here are the Dota winners:

  • Esports Publisher of the Year: Valve. With both Dota 2 and CS:GO attracting huge audiences throughout all of 2016, this is no surprise.
  • Rookie of the Year: Miracle. Well deserved. Miracle was one of my top picks for breakout players this year.

  • Live Event of the Year: The International 6. Again, no brainer. The International really is the gold standard, in my humble opinion, of everything that an esports tournament should be.

I agree with most of the choices, although I do think that awards like these favor teams and players who performed well in the second half of the year i.e. more recent memory. I mean c’mon guys, the Shanghai Shitshow Major was actually in 2016 despite feeling like ancient history.

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Kara Jacobacci
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Kara has been following professional DotA2 since the TI4 qualifiers. When not watching matches on Twitch, she can be found working (or attempting to find work) as a geologist and enjoying nature.
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