The SXSW Gaming Awards recognizes the greatest titles, teams, and individuals from across the gaming industry. Since its premiere in 2014, the show has exploded in attendance to become a must-see stop for thousands of attendees during SXSW Gaming.


Photo by Thomas Tischio

About Gaming Awards


In addition to highlighting the best that the gaming industry has to offer, the 2017 SXSW Gaming Awards sponsored by IGN and Imaginary Forces also provides great entertainment with a star-studded lineup of hosts and entertaining performances. Previous emcees and guests include Jacksepticeye, Rachel Quirico, Markiplier, Janet Varney, Starbomb, Cirque du Soleil, and many more.

Whether you work in the industry or are simply a fan who loves games as much as we do, we invite you to take a look at how you can be a part of the magic at the 2017 SXSW Gaming Awards.

The 2017 SXSW Gaming Awards will take place at the Hilton Austin Downtown on Saturday, March 18 from 8pm – 10pm.

SXSW Gaming 2017 takes place in the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas from Thursday, March 16 – Saturday, March 18.

2017 Gaming Awards Hosts

Xavier Woods and OMGitsfirefoxx

Xavier Woods

WWE® Superstar Xavier Woods® is a two-time WWE Tag Team Champion alongside fellow New Day members Big E and Kofi Kingston. An avid gamer, Woods is also the host of his own YouTube gaming channel, UpUpDownDown, where he’s known by his gamer tag Austin Creed. The channel, which has secured nearly 1 million subscribers since launching last June, is the home to popular shows like Gamer Gauntlet and Superstar Savepoint, and continues to be a must-watch channel for gamers around the world.


OMGitsfirefoxx, the self-proclaimed “full-time dragon slayer, part-time sniper,” aka Sonja Reid, holds the Guinness World Record as the most popular female broadcaster, boasting just under 800,000 followers on Twitch.

Pre-Show Entertainment: I.C.U


I.C.U. is an asymmetrical multiplayer horror game in which one player must survive a dystopian TV show that’s controlled by their live viewers! In I.C.U. your audience decides your fate as the player’s live Twitch chat votes for events that’ll affect the player’s experience in-game. Performance is key as your life expectancy is tied directly to how well you can entertain your viewers! The game is a project of creative director Keenan Mosimann, who is widely known as “Criken” on YouTube and Twitch.

Halftime Entertainment: Rockit Gaming

Rockit Gaming

Rockit Gaming is the first video game music label to create commercial-grade pop music with lyrical and visual content centralized around video games. With a crew of 5, they take their emerging genre to new heights incorporating Rock, Rap, and EDM to their catalog. Rockit Gaming is setting the new standard of artist-fan interaction when compared to traditional musicians. They are at the forefront of the latest video games and character releases and give their fans the ability to interact with the artists daily not only building memorable relationships, but a tight-knit community of fans and friends throughout the world. Rockit Gaming combines the video game and music industry, in a revolutionary new experience that you have to see to believe.

Gaming Awards Hosts photo by Thomas Tischio, Pre-Show and Halftime Entertainment media material courtesy of artists.


Attend SXSW Gaming 2017

Grab your SXSW Gaming wristband for access to industry insider secrets, in-depth conversations on the latest gaming trends, star-studded showcases, and exclusive access to the newest games around! Gaming Wristbands on sale now in limited supplies.

Learn More

2017 SXSW Gaming Schedule

Learn more about the dozens of new experiences enjoyed this year at SXSW Gaming, and browse our 2017 lineup of unique sessions, panels, and meet ups that all attendees got to see.

View Schedule



Video Game of the Year
Awarded to the game that exemplifies overall excellence and creates a distinct gaming experience across all platforms and genres.

Tabletop Game of the Year
Awarded to the game that exemplifies overall excellence and ingenuity of any tabletop game in any genre.

Mobile Game of the Year
Awarded to the game that exemplifies overall excellence and creates a unique gaming experience on any handheld device.

Esports Game of the Year
Awarded to the online game that has the best competitive scene or potential to grow one, and most entertainment value.

Trending Game of the Year
Awarded to the game that consistently entertained and kept us watching on social platforms with its humor, stories, and more.

Fan Creation of the Year
Awarded to the most compelling fan-made piece of work across all games and platforms. This includes, but isn’t limited to, artwork, writing, videography, special effects, and more.

Excellence in Gameplay
Awarded to the game with the best gameplay mechanics.

Excellence in Art
Awarded to the game with the most expressive and creative artistic style.

Excellence in Animation
Awarded to the game with the most outstanding animation effects and graphics.

Excellence in Technical Achievement
Awarded to the game that pushed the capabilities of technology and programming.

Excellence in Visual Achievement
Awarded to the game with the most well-designed and stunning visuals.

Excellence in Narrative
Awarded to the game with the best storyline and dialogue.

Excellence in Design
Awarded to the game with the best overall design concept and best execution.

Excellence in SFX
Awarded to the game with the most outstanding and impactful sound effects.

Excellence in Musical Score
Awarded to the game that best exemplifies artistic excellence in musical score and how it progresses the narrative of the game.

Excellence in Multiplayer
Awarded to the game with the best player-to- player interaction experience.

Excellence in Convergence
Awarded to the game that excels in crossover to other entertainment mediums such as film, music, toys, animation, sports and more.

Most Memorable Character
Awarded to the best game character that left an overwhelming impression.

Most Promising New Intellectual Property
Awarded to a new property that risked creating something fresh and that excelled within its genre or category for the year.

Most Fulfilling Community-Funded Game
Awarded to the game that was primarily produced via crowdfunding platforms and had excelled beyond the expectations set before it.

Matthew Crump Cultural Innovation Award
Awarded to the game that best challenges the “norm” of everyday gaming and offers a culturally innovative view of a game world, character, or gameplay.

Gamer’s Voice: Single Player and Multiplayer Awards
Awarded to the top fan-favorite indie games found in the Indie Corner, as chosen by Gaming Expo attendees.

Entry & Judging Process


Gaming Awards

Judging is a two-step process once all entries have been received. First, there was a private judging process for all entered titles in which the SXSW Gaming Advisory Board and staff selected the top five choices in each award category. The advisory board for SXSW Gaming is comprised of over 40 industry experts who are well-versed in everything gaming and geek culture. Once the final nominees are chosen for each category, we invite the general public, along with the advisory board and staff, to cast their final votes to determine the winner of each award.

Gamer’s Voice

The Gamer’s Voice category shares the same entry and selection periods as all the other categories, but it is unique in that it is purely focused on indie developers and teams with titles released in the 2016 or 2017 calendar years.

The nominees for the Gamer’s Voice award, as selected exclusively by the SXSW Gaming Staff that play every entry, receive an exclusive space on the SXSW Gaming Expo floor to exhibit their nominated title. From there, Gaming Expo attendees will have the chance to play each nominated title and vote to determine the winner of the award, which will be announced during the SXSW Gaming Awards ceremony at SXSW 2017.

Hotel Information


If you are selected as a Gaming Awards finalist, you have access to a limited number of rooms being protected for finalists through SXSW Housing & Travel. Rooms are limited to one per registrant and will sell out fast, so be sure to make your hotel reservation as soon as you are registered. Requests can be completed in your Shopping Cart or SXsocial account. In the meantime, check out SXSW Housing & Travel for more information about our hotels, pricing, reservation policies, and travel information.

Spotlight on SXSW Gaming Awards

Relive the magic of the 2016 SXSW Gaming Awards ceremony with hosts Jacksepticeye and Rachel Quirico!


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