In December 2019, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) announced that esports will have its own category in the Sports Emmy Awards. NATAS recently released the nominees for this new Outstanding Esports Coverage category. The six programs that made the list were revealed via a Twitter post.
The #SportsEmmys nominees in ESPORTS are…
EXP APEX Legends Pro Am │ @ESPN_Esports
Road To The Rocket League World Championship │ @TurnerSportsPR@FortniteGame World Cup │ @YouTube
EXP Invitational │ @ESPN_Esports
FIFA eWORLD Cup │ @FOXSports@LeagueOfLegends World Final pic.twitter.com/XiyfMdyCoG
— Sports Emmys (@sportsemmys) March 26, 2020
Breakdown of the Outstanding Esports Coverage nominee list
The list features a handful of game titles ranging from Fortnite to League of Legends. It comes as no surprise that the League of Legends World Finals is among the nominees for outstanding coverage. The 2019 Worlds finals hit 44 million peak viewers with mind-blowing live performances.
Furthermore, another expected event in this list is the 2019 Fortnite World Cup Finals. Aside from the prize pool attached to this event, a lot of fans praised Epic Games’ handling of the entire tournament. Also, Epic Games did an amazing job with documentaries covering the top players’ lives from pre- and post-Fortnite World Cup finals.
The FIFA 19 eWorld Cup grand final is another not-so-shocking Outstanding Esports Coverage Emmy nominee. The event featured a lot of big football stars and a packed live audience. The close finals between Mohammed “MoAuba” Harkous and Mosaad “Msdossary” Aldossary gave fans a lot of action. Finally, TBS coverage of the Rocket League World Championship made the list, along with two different slots for Apex Legends across broadcasts with ABC/ESPN and ESPN2 respectively.
All nominees of these events produced good out-of-game production. However, there are a lot of notable absentees from the nominee list. Dota 2‘s The International 2019 finals tops the list of unrecognized outstanding coverage. Also, some Overwatch League faithful will argue that the San Francisco Shock versus Vancouver Titans finals deserves a spot on the list.
Regardless of these omissions, the addition of an esports category to the Sports Emmy Awards shows the continued growth of the industry. The Sports Emmy Awards event was scheduled to hold on April 28 but got postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. As things stand, there is still no new date for the event.