Best eSports writing 2017

eSports intersect the Kunkels with the big leagues.

For the first time in Kunkel history, all three judges agreed on their top placements.

Excellence in eSports Writing is a brand new category with a lackluster opening night. There were only seven entrants, but despite that the judges found three they felt were more than deserving of a placement.

They all agreed the eSports category was broad — it allowed both feature and news stories. That broadness was a benefit.

“eSports definitely benefited from not having a feature and news divide,” said out judge Gideon Grudo. “Same content, very different. eSports seems to be one of the highest grossing things in the gaming world, so mainstream newspapers are putting more resources into it. We may see more mainstream publications entering into these categories.”

Those mainstream publications Grudo’s talking about include The Rolling Stone and ESPN.

The broadness also benefits people submitting entries — one thing we learned from the Excellence in News Reporting and Excellence in Feature Writing categories is that some entrants honestly don’t know the difference between the two. As one judge points out, “Seeing the diversity in entries in the category may encourage readers to understand why there is a news/feature divide in the first place.”

Overall, the judges were pleased with this new category.

“We got really cool stuff to dig into and I’m really glad we did it.”

Before we dig into the winners, I have to acknowledge a potentially-perceived conflict of interest. For the sake of transparency: One of our judges, who at this point remains anonymous, had a brief working relationship with the second place winner of this category in the past. More explanation on that transparency here.

Fortunately for our judge, there’s no monetary value in winning a Kunkel Award — meaning there’s no incentive for being biased. That is, unless you count the certificate we give to first place winners.

So without further ado, the winners for the Excellence in eSports Writing are…

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