23-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps, - an avid Call Of Duty player - called Esports pros "fellow athletes" when introducing the award for Esports Player of the Year during The Game Awards 2016 at the Microsoft Theater on Thursday night.
Brazilian Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player Marcelo "Coldzera" David won the fan-voted award, beating out Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok, Hyun "ByuN" Woo, Lee "Infiltration" Seon-woo and Juan "Hungrybox" Debiedma.
"Thanks to all my fans, especially Brazilian fans, and thanks to my team. Without them I wouldn't be here. I had to leave lots of things behind to be here, so I'm really happy," Coldzera said through an interpreter.
Additionally, Blizzard's Overwatch, released just more than six months ago, won several awards including the overall Game of the Year and Esports Game of the Year. Also, North America's Cloud9 just beat out Europe's SK Gaming for Esports Team of the Year.
The second annual Game Awards honored the best in video game creation, competition and talent in a wide-ranging show simulcast online. The Game Awards also served as a platform for new game announcements, including esports-related updates like an upcoming Rocket League expansion.