The Academy unanimously decided to add an Emmy Award for Outstanding Esports Coverage. The Emmy Awards began 70 years ago as a way to recognize excellence in acting, writing, music, animation, and now, esports journalism.
First reported by the Washington Post, the Academy added an award for Outstanding Esports Coverage on Monday. According to the Post, the category and award will “recognize the craft behind the delivery of coverage and presentation of competitive, organized video gaming to the viewer during a championship or final event.” Justine Gubar, the executive director of Sports Emmy Awards Administration, stated that the Academy’s biggest partners were already big names in the esports world, which factored into their decision.
The Academy’s decision emphasizes the recent growth of esports as a whole. The esports industry often struggles for recognition from those not already involved. From an outside perspective, it’s just playing games. But recently, major media names like ESPN have decided it was worth investing in—the sports networked covered the Overwatch League earlier this year.
This isn’t the first time esports have been featured in the Emmy Awards. Previous esports related nominations were for graphic design and art direction. These previous nominations did not focus on esports, but rather the creation of the game or animation presented at an esports event.
While it may seem odd to some that Fortnite tournament coverage could earn the journalist an Emmy Award, it increases the validity of the industry. The category makes sense when sports events are also eligible for Emmy Awards. Esports may be electronic, but the competition is just as real.
The first nominees will be shown next year.