Olivia R. June 11, 2019
Esports Insider inducted three new esports influencers to their Hall of Fame.
Former OpTic Gaming CEO Hector "H3CZ" Rodriguez, Counter-Strike professional and Dignitas' VP of markting Heather "SapphiRe" Garrozo, and former broadcaster and current director of creative development at Twitch Marcus "djWHEAT" Graham all received the award at the Nixon Peabody in Los Angeles.
"We're over the moon to be recognizing three icons of the esports industry," Esports Insider co-founder Sam Cooke said. "They've helped shape, develop, and push forward esports. And have already left a lasting impression on the esports landscape."
The first inductee was djWHEAT, who commentator Chris Puckett said has been "shoutcasting before the internet could support video along with his voice."
djWHEAT has been in esports since 1999, where he got his start creating content for Sarcraft 2.
"I didn't prepare a speech because I love passion and want to give a speech in the moment," he started.
After thanking everyone he's ever shared a desk with, and anyone who has ever listened to him "rant and bitch," djWHEAT said, "I'm just a goofy kid from Nebraska who was able to make an impact because I fucking loved Quake so much."
SapphiRe was the second individual to be inducted in 2019 and the first woman to ever receive the award. She's a previous women's world champion and one of the game's top professional observers.
"From the moment I started watching CS I knew it was something special that I wanted to share with the world. And I've spent every waking moment doing just that. I'm not going to sop. I love it. Esports is one of the greatest things in the world," SapphiRe said.
The third speech was given by H3CZ, who first left his insurance account analyst job to lead OpTic Gaming in 2007. Esports Insider states that he has changed the rules of engagement for everyone, as well as rallying more casual gaming fans to the forefront of esports as he created one of the largest fandoms in the scene.
"Thank you for inviting me up here despite me being a console player," he said. "I do it all just to make people smile."