Chicago, IL, August 25, 2023 – These awards honor exceptional individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to shaping and advancing the industry in various roles and sectors. Esports Trade Association Founder, Megan Van Petten shared, “It is an honor to be part of a community with so many talented, dedicated, service-minded individuals. We celebrate their contributions to the sustainable growth of the esports industry.”
The award categories and recipients include:
Beyond the Game Award: SHI International Corp.
SHI International Corp is recognized for its outstanding contributions to the esports industry. As a technology concierge, they provide comprehensive IT solutions and services to support organizational growth. Their expertise in modernizing workplaces, cybersecurity, cloud optimization, and software portfolio management has played a pivotal role in transforming learning spaces for esports in schools.
Brand Maverick Award: The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company is honored for its significant contributions to the esports landscape. Their endorsement of esports through their partnership with Riot Games and their commitment to engaging both casual and competitive audiences through ESIX Gaming with Six Flags highlight their innovative approach to fostering growth in the competitive gaming community.
Data Hero Award: YouGov America Inc.
YouGov receives this award for its exceptional contributions to the esports industry through comprehensive data intelligence, empowering esports businesses with insights that inform strategic decisions and drive success.
Esports Agency All Star: The Story Mob
The Story Mob is celebrated for its unique approach to strategic communications in gaming and immersive entertainment, showcasing innovation and mastery in a rapidly evolving industry.
Game Changer of the Year Award: Six Flags
Six Flags Fiesta Texas is honored for revolutionizing the theme park industry’s approach to esports through the introduction of ESIX Gaming, a cutting-edge competitive gaming campus that redefines industry standards.
Gaming in Healthcare Award: Extra Life Program at Lurie Children’s Hospital
The Extra Life program is recognized for harnessing the power of gaming to raise funds and awareness for children’s hospitals, exemplifying the positive impact of esports on healthcare.
Mover and Shaker Award: Dr. Amy and Dr. Tom Czyz, Intent Brands
Dr. Tom and Dr. Amy Czyz are acknowledged as true innovators in the esports industry, introducing groundbreaking products with Intent Brands that enhance the holistic health and performance of gamers and esports athletes.
Pixel Perfect Award: UBEX, Lightware Visual Engineering
UBEX is an unrivaled AV-over-IP device that delivers pixel-accurate 4K60 video in real-time, from live events to esports to XR applications with Dolby Atmos capabilities for the ultimate immersive experience.
Rising Star Award: Gina Johnson, iGameUSA An RPG World Corp.
As the founder of iGameUSA and a dedicated Gamer & Diversity Advocate, Gina Johnson has made significant contributions in various areas. iGameUSA is an educational nonprofit which seeks to change the negative perspective the public has had on the video game industry.
Social Impact Award: Kyle Schulz, World Business Chicago
Kyle Schulz is recognized for fostering collaboration and growth in the esports sector, emphasizing the positive social impact of esports, particularly in the greater Chicago area.
Social Impact Award: Gordon Hinkle, College Esports International (CESI)
Gordon Hinkle is commended for his significant contributions to college esports, promoting healthy competition and training programs that benefit athletes in multiple sectors.
Ambassador of the Year Award: Danielle Rourke
Danielle Rourke is celebrated as Ambassador of the Year for her exceptional contributions in esports education and fostering strong relationships within the industry.
Member of the Year Award: Dexter Carr, Game4Good & G – Haven Esports
Dexter Carr Jr, MHA is honored as Member of the Year for his outstanding contributions to the gaming and esports community, showcasing his roles as a business strategist and social entrepreneur.
Member of the Year Award: Christopher Silbernagel, Premier Travel Media
Christopher Silbernagel is acknowledged as Member of the Year for his exceptional achievements in writing and editing within the gaming and esports industry, as well as the production of the EsportsNext 2023 magazine.
Finally, the winner of the Elevator Pitch Competition was awarded to Rick Tett, CTO and Co-Founder of Glydr. Glydr is a next-generation foot-operated video game controller designed to radically change how gamers move around and interact with their environment in video games and VR, which aims to reduce the load on the hands and increase the sense of immersion.
EsportsNext 2023 proudly commends these winners for their remarkable accomplishments and contributions to the gaming and esports industry. Their dedication and innovation continue to shape the future of this dynamic field.