Esports Awards 2020: Daigo Umehara's Win Is A Victory For The FGC
Daigo's win at the Esports Awards 2020 is a big deal for the fighting game community
Daigo Umehara is arguably the greatest Street Fighter player ever to exist. Understandably, there will be people that will disagree with this assessment; however, what cannot be denied is that he has been pivotal to the growth of the esports scene all around the world.
The 39-year-old was announced as the first inductee into the lifetime achievements in esports class of 2020 yesterday to a lot of fanfare as colleagues, fans, and even some neutrals congratulated him on the win. It is believed that there would be more names announced, but having Daigo as the inductee of the year is a huge deal.
Please welcome the first inductee to the Esports Awards Lifetime Achievement in esports class of 2020 @daigothebeast, a legendary fighting game player who’s career spans across multiple decades at the top. pic.twitter.com/m6djOWTjAJ— Esports Awards (@esportsawards) August 27, 2020
The Esports Awards was established in 2015 to celebrate the biggest, brightest, and best that the global esports gaming scene has to offer. The 2020 edition is the 5th iteration, and in its relatively recent history, the Esports Awards have seen several winners along with an expansion of the awards to accommodate new categories. The lifetime achievement in esports is one of the more recent categories with the first set announced in 2019 where Marcus "djWHEAT" Graham, Hector "H3CZ" Rodriguez, Ralf Reichert, Scott "SirScoots" Smith, and Sundance DiGiovanni all came out as winners.
According to its official website, the lifetime achievement in esports award is a recognition of individuals who have dedicated their lives and careers to the growth of esports and have caused it to be a better place than it used to be. Also, the individuals considered for the award are people with whom the esports scene won't be the same without. Without a doubt, these are all criteria that Daigo meets as he contributed to the popularity that Street Fighter currently enjoys and the global esports scene in general.
A clear example of Daigo's influence is the comment of this Twitter user, who explained that while he had never played or watched a fighting game, he is aware of who Daigo is.
The 2020 Esports Awards are still ongoing, and the winners aren't out yet, but you can check out the official Twitter account of the Esports Awards to check out who else is on the list.
Why Daigo's win is a big deal
Okay, so some people will not care about The Beast's win as it means nothing to them. Even within the FGC, there are many who will not be interested in the exploits of 'The Beast'; however, it can be argued that this is a win for the entire fighting game community as it is a section of the entire gaming community that sometimes doesn't get the recognition it deserves.
Therefore, seeing Daigo, a legend for many people on the scene win in the 2020 Esports Award indicates that the FGC is also seen and considered a valuable part of the wider gaming community.
On another note, it's personally lovely to see the Asian gaming community getting a mainstream award such as this. A cursory glance at all the winners of all the winners at the Esports Awards from its inception in 2015 shows very few Asians, and while this doesn't point to some nefarious plot to keep them underrepresented, it certainly warms my heart to see such a deserving individual getting the accolades he deserves.
If you are confused as to the reason for all the fuss over Daigo's victory at the 2020 Esports Awards, may I point you in the direction of the infamous Evo moment 37, which featured the legendary 'Daigo parry' in a crucial match against fellow industry veteran Justin Wong? If that doesn't convince you that Umehara is deserving of this recognition, then I don't know what will.