Last year, Xavier Woods helped organize WWE’s first official foray into eSports, an exhibition between WWE Superstars and eGames pros that featured broken controllers (thanks, AJ), decimated beach balls (thanks, Cesaro) and a pie to the face (thanks, Woods). And now, the event is officially an award winner.
Woods’ WWE x IGN eSports Showdown took home the Games Event of the Year at the MCV Awards, the United Kingdom’s only computer and video games awards ceremony. The trophies recognize achievements in retail, games publishing, distribution, marketing, PR events and media. WWE x IGN beat out events such as Jagex’s RuneFest 2017 and Attention Seekers Productions’ Xbox at Gamescom Live for the honor.
"UpUpDownDown has always been something that I believed would work. There is a huge crossover between WWE fans and video game fans and I believe that we were able to show that with this event," Woods told WWE.com. "With the help of IGN and [production company] AD+D, we were able to bring the robust personalities of WWE into the world of eSports and it worked … We won the MCV because I fully believe in this idea."
According to Woods, the event, which teamed clinical e-pro gamers with boisterous WWE Superstars like Sasha Banks and Kofi Kingston, was only the beginning of an ambitious vision that blends the lines between sports-entertainment and eSports.
"I believe that people attach themselves to personalities, and that's what makes events such as this one so exciting," he said. "My grand idea would be to bring eSports athletes to our WWE Performance Center and have them learn our ways of bringing out the personality within yourself that is already there. Being able to do that on a regular basis in interviews and at tournaments would allow more casual fans the opportunity to have something catch their eye and bring them into the scene. The more casuals that come in due to more robust personalities, then hopefully some of those people turn into pros. [Then] the community grows even larger and has even more support than it currently does."
To the former Tag Team Champion, the award is a signifier of his idea's success, but less a final goal than a jumping-off point en route to achievements that have yet to be unlocked.
"This was only the first step to making that idea a reality," said Woods.
Check out some photos from the show below, and congratulations to Woods on the recognition! See you for Round Two.