Every day, esports gets closer to being as recognized as its physical counterparts. We constantly see massive prize pools, parents letting their children train to become pro, and even major broadcasting networks airing tournaments. That is, when they're not bowing to political hysteria. Yes, it's a mostly great time to be an esports fan. That holds doubly true for Swedish esports fans, who might soon see their hobby win a major entertainment award.
Kristallen is a big Swedish television awards ceremony, often compared to the Emmy Awards in the U.S. This year's nominations recently went out, and a surprising production was included in the "Best Sports Production" category. It was the eAllsvenskan, a competition where players represented football (soccer) clubs in a FIFA competition. The event was broadcast like a traditional sports league, keeping up with twelve teams from March-May of 2019.
This was actually the inaugural season of the eAllsvenskan, which was produced by DreamHack in cooperation with Discovery Networks Sweden and Svensk Elitfotboll. It had a 500,000 SEK (about $51,000) prize pool, which was taken by Malmö FF. And just in case anyone keeps track of these things, the particular game played was FIFA 19 on the PS4.
The Kristallen nomination is the first for any esports production, making it quite a historic moment. Unfortunately, we at TheGamer don't really follow Swedish television, so we can't say with authority if it has any chance of winning. Based on the how the Emmys work, this could have just been a slow year. With not too much to put on the ballot, someone might have wanted to throw esports a bone. It is also very possible that DreamHack really knows how to put on a show and wowed the Kristallen panel with an amazing program.
DreamHack has been doing a lot for esports lately, with a touring program of events all over the world. The company just announced that DreamHack is coming to California next year for DreamHack Anaheim, right in the same venue that hosts BlizzCon. Let's just hope they avoid what happened at EVO this year...