Fortnite was named Esports Game of the Year at the Golden Joystick Awards today.
Hosted at the Bloomsbury Big Top in London, the Golden Joystick chooses its winners by popular vote. Millions of people participated in the online voting over the last 12 months, making their picks from Best Storytelling and Best Multiplayer Game to Best Esports Game and Best New Streamer.
The nominees for Esports Game of the Year included Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, FIFA 19, Fortnite, League of Legends, Overwatch, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Rainbow Six Siege.
The live YouTube coverage sparked a debate in the live comment section, with many people arguing between League of Legends and Overwatch, the latter of which had won the award the past two years.
When Fortnite was announced as the winner, many in the comment section were quite displeased. The screen was bombarded with messages like “NOOO” and “ew.” But the winners were all chosen by popular vote, so many gamers viewing from home were probably excited with the results as well.
Epic’s director of European marketing, Sean Denny, took to the stage.
“Thank you so much for everybody who voted for Fortnite and played it competitively. Playing the game online aginst other people is competitive. Even though I’m a horrible Fortnite player, I can play competitive. Everyone gets to enjoy it,” Denny said.
While Season X and the B.R.U.T.E. may have caused quite a negative response from Fortnite players, the battle royal still had a major impact on the esports industry this year. The Fortnite World Cup’s $30 million prize pool had shaken up the scene when it was first announced. 16-year-old Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf was also a hit with mainstream media for snagging $3 million of that for himself when he won the Solo Finals.
Across YouTube and Twitch, 2.3 million viewers tuned in to the Solos competition at the World Cup Finals, making it the most-watched esports event of all time until the 2019 League of Legends World Championship Finals surpassed it later in the year.
The World Cup was Epic’s first major esports tournament for the popular game, but it wasn’t their only contribution to esports in 2019. The developers stated that they’d be committing $100 million to the competitive esports scene throughout this year, including Cash Cups and the Fortnite Champion Series.