Merry Christmas everyone! We hope you’re enjoying the holidays wherever you are in the world this year, but if you’re looking for a break from all the festivities, we’ve got just the thing for you: The Loadout Awards.
2020 has been one of the strangest years in living memory and, as a result, we’ve been treated to some absolute corkers from the esports and streaming world over the last 12 months. From the monumental rise of indie games like Among Us and Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout to the incredible amount of showmanship and pure skill shown at some of the biggest esports tournaments this year, 2020 has had it all.
So join us as we reminisce about the year and hand our our lovely lime green awards to some of the best games, teams, content creators, and more.
The Loadout Awards 2020
These awards are given out to the best of the best in the esports and streaming world.
Best Esports Game: League of Legends
This was certainly the easiest category to pick for us. Watching the competitive world of League of Legends roll on almost seamlessly, despite the countless obstacles 2020 threw at it has been remarkable.
Regional leagues continued with very few issues and complaints, epic storylines were created, and we even got a LAN event with Worlds 2020. Whether you’re a LoL fan or not, seeing over 6,000 people cheering on DAMWON Gaming and Suning in Shanghai was an amazing moment for esports fans starved of offline competition.
To top that off, the game itself was in pretty good shape meta-wise by the time Worlds rolled around. Sure, the meta is never perfect, but the games were intense, and the grumbling from the community was minimal.
Esports Team of the Year: DAMWON Gaming (League of Legends)
Whoever won League of Legends Worlds this year was always in with a shot of scooping this award. But it’s the efficiency of play DAMWON Gaming exhibited to lift the Summoner’s Cup that impressed us the most.
Maybe there’s some recency bias here, as the first half of DAMWON’s season was average. But from the summer onward, the team’s performances have been nothing short of outstanding.
Best Online Multiplayer: Call of Duty: Warzone
Yes, there are bugs. Yes, it has a hacking problem. And yes, weapon balancing has been a tough task for the game’s developers. But despite all of this, Call of Duty: Warzone’s replayability means it’s always fun to drop in with friends.
Even with just one map until earlier this month, Warzone has remained an amazing experience where its focus on a free-to-play model has hooked millions of players.
Plus, you can almost guarantee that any time you load up the front page of Twitch, there are always more people watching streamers playing Warzone than there are watching the Call of Duty’s main releases, Modern Warfare and Black Ops Cold War. Impressive, right?
Streaming Game of the Year: Among Us
Launched in 2018, Among Us shot to the top of the Twitch charts earlier this year as streamers starved of social contact looked for a new way of playing games with friends. Everyone from the biggest streamers to politicians like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have played the whodunnit game at some point this year, breaking records in the process.
While it might be an old game, it’s certainly captured the hearts of streamers and their followers this year, while holding off stiff competition from the likes of Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, Phasmophobia, and more.
Best Twitch Streamer: Tim ‘TimTheTatman’ Betar
Whether he’s playing Call of Duty: Warzone or Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, TimTheTatman’s technical ability in games never fails to make us laugh. His Fall Guys winning moment is undoubtedly one of the best things to come out of the game’s release this year, but more on that later.
He’s seriously upped his streaming game this year, gaining nearly two million followers in 2020 – not bad when you consider who he’s constantly up against.
Best YouTube Content Creator: Rachell ‘Valkyrae’ Hofstetter
In a year in which people have felt isolated and alone, streamers like Valkyrae have been there to provide entertainment to the masses. The 100 Thieves content creator signed an exclusive multi-year contract with YouTube Gaming in January and has since had her popularity skyrocket.
Now boasting more than two million subscribers on YouTube, thanks to her Among Us and Minecraft videos, Valkyrae has not just found international success, but critical acclaim. That’s because as well as winning The Loadout’s award, Valkyrae also snapped up The Game Award’s Best Content Creator award too – beating the likes of TimTheTatman, NICKMERCS, Alanah Pearce, and Jay Ann Lopez.
The Loadout Alternative Awards 2020
This year has also been full of surprises, so here are the ‘other’ awards designed to commemorate some of the more interesting moments 2020 had to offer.
Best Twitch moment: TimTheTatman finally wins a game of Fall Guys
This was a hotly contested category, with the likes of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Among Us stream or Dayton ‘Broxh’ Taputu getting stream sniped by New Zealand’s prime minister as nominees. However, TimTheTatman will be picking up his second award of the night for what was one of the most intense moments of the year: his first win on Fall Guys.
After weeks of Ls, TimTheTatman finally got his first Fall Guys crown in front of 347,000 viewers – his biggest audience ever on Twitch. The memes were silenced overnight. It was such a momentous occasion, that the term ‘HE DID IT’ began trending on Twitter. Truly incredible.
WTF Moment of the Year: Mixer shutting down
After more than four years of trying to play catch up with the likes of Twitch and YouTube Gaming, Microsoft announced it was going to shut Mixer down in June this year. The platform’s demise has to be one of the most bizzare stories we’ve covered this year – mostly due to the fact this decision was reached without the consultation of its staff or streamers.
Mixer was often the butt of the joke in streaming circles, but no one actually expected this to happen, especially considering how much money Microsoft had spent to land the likes of Michael ‘Shroud’ Grzesiek and Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins as exclusive streamers.
Most Tilting Game: FIFA 21
We all like to think we’re quite good at FIFA 21, but there’s nothing more rage-inducing than its Ultimate Team mode.
Whether it’s losing to a team who has the club nickname of the ‘Biggest Snakes’, missing a sweaty sitter, or being forced to sit through that last-minute goal celebration – there’s nothing quite like it.
While the game definitely has its moments, FIFA 21 can at times make you feel like you want to snap your controller and deck the halls with its wiry insides.