Happy 2018 everyone! It’s January 1st and that means it’s time to hand out some awards! You might be thinking, wait – has League Crawler ever given out yearly awards before and with what authority do they have to give out such an award? The answer is clear – we’ve never done a full blown year end award like this and yes, we have tons of authority. My legal department (also me) has given the green light to this whole thing so that’s all the authority I need. Actually, this site is all about the community. As a former commish I know how much hard work and dedication it takes to run a successful league so I made it my mission through this site to highlight and promote the very best the Sports Gaming community has to offer. I gave out the first and only (at that time) league of the year award in April 2016 to Madden Bomber League after a well deserved rise to the top. Since then I’ve kicked around the idea of doing a more full approach to the awards and making it an end of year thing. As 2016 year end came and went I decided to wait until the end of 2017 to give it a clear cutoff and so here we are. The major difference between now and then is – there are a LOT of great leagues out there on both PS4 and XBOX and League Crawler has been used more than ever too. In fact, it’s gotten big enough that it’s hard to keep up with but I promise that we will keep the lights on and going as long as people use it and find it valuable. It’s a weird thing though – as the collective bar has been raised in the sports gaming community, the need for a site like this changes a bit as more and more leagues are upping their game and requiring their members to do the same. Gone are the days of leagues recruiting just anyone and watching players come in and wreck their leagues by rage quitting, etc. Ok, maybe not entirely.
Anyway, the awards to be given out this cycle are going out to some very worthy recipients. Their commissioners are to be congratulated as well as their members. Many of these leagues have massive teams of members that do a TON of behind the scenes from graphics to chasing games down to moderating chat to rules committee to social media, videos, podcasts and so much more. The footprint that leagues leave on Twitter alone is astonishing. From just what I re-tweet alone I can tell you that there is some awesome stuff going on in the Gaming community and I’m happy to be a part of it.
So, enough of my talking, here are the awards for 2017 and the winners:
League Crawler MVP
If you like League Crawler as much as I do there is a lot of thanks to spread around. It’s true I run this site myself but it wouldn’t be what it is without the many friends I’ve met over the last four years I’ve had this site up and running. From our good friends at MBL to old friends at NEFL and other sites that support our tournaments – SGO, Gamer Gloves, etc – we have a lot of friends here and wouldn’t be the site we are without them. With that said, none have been more important and helpful to us over the last year than Matt Iannarilli who most of you know at Synergy League Recruiter. Matt has donated money to this site, bought our shirts (even though I offered them for free) and has been a tireless advocate for what we do here as if he was me. Last year when we were pushing hard to get to 1,000 members, Matt was telling everyone he could about our site possible. In fact, I changed up the registration form for the site so I could get a referral comment on how many people found out about League Crawler from Matt. To say his impact on League Crawler is massive is an understatement. If you like this site and enjoy seeing it grow, Matt is one MAJOR reason for it and has been a teriffic friend and ally that I cannot thank enough. For that, Matt – you’re the 2017 MVP!
PS4 League of the Year
OMFL – Nate and his crew do a teriffic job over at OMFL. They run several leagues across multiple games and do all of them at a very high level. Very active on Twitter with how they promote all their league activity and a consistent and calming voice in the overall community. Commissioner Nate has even led several meetings with leaders, commissioners, etc in the community to discuss the direction of Madden for devs to hopefully listen to and take notice. Respected by others in the community as well as a consistent presence on our site, OMFL is our PS4 League of the Year for 2017!
– XBOX1 League of the Year –
Madden Bomber League – Like there was any question. Winner of our only other League of the Year as described above, MBL sets the bar for Madden League Gaming in a way that is tough to compete with. That doesn’t mean other leagues can’t compare to some of their content because with any league as consistently good as MBL, there will be competition. From their massive team of content creators to their presence on social media, MBL set the bar early on and continues to raise it. They also have a consistent product that is one of the hardest things to do in Sports Gaming. Add to that their Madden 18 kickoff tournament where they handed out prizes throughout the tournament as well as a signed jersey from of one of the best (even though I HATE his entire team) players in the NFL – Antonio Brown – and you see why MBL has a product that very few leagues can compete with. Congrats to Neil and everyone at MBL, The Grid, MBLN for kicking serious butt in 2017 and winning our XBOX1 League of the Year!
Honorable Mentions – XCFL
– Best Graphics/Design –
DaDynasty – For my money, nobody comes close to quality graphic design for their league that consistently comes out of this league. It takes a lot of time, effort and talent to produce good work and DaDynasty does some of the best work out there. I’m always impressed when I scroll through Twitter and see their overlays for video, promo images like their High Stakes season promo and more. They have a great team that do really, really nice work at DaDynasty that should serve as inspiration to everyone in the community!
– Best New Comer of 2017 –
Recap Wizard – For leagues looking for a quick way to post some sweet, professional looking graphics to Twitter, Reca wizard is the best and FREE tool out there. If you aren’t using it and don’t have a ton of time to manually make graphics like they can through their wizard, this is the tool for you. In my opinion, Daddy Leagues and Twitter are the tool best tools out there for leagues so having something to use that makes it easy to post high quality content is paramount to the success of a league.
– Biggest Surprise of 2017 –
PX1 shutting its doors – For anyone that watched the fallout on Twitter earlier this year, it’s no secret that PX1 and LC don’t see eye to eye on everything. That said, I never like to see a long standing league close shop and although not my cup of tea, PX1 had a loyal following and it sucks to hear they shut things down. Different strokes for different folks as it’s said in my part of the country and I know PX1 was enjoyed by their loyal members so I hope that maybe they come back at some point and recapture the mojo they had going.
– Biggest Disappointment of 2017 –
Madden 18 – Maybe not the whole game but the lack of attention to CFM is the most disappointing thing to happen the this community since the dev team thought it was a good idea to shut down the CFM website and access to Daddy Leagues last year. I’ve been a big fan of Rex and his crew at EA for a long time, especially compared to the former team and head clown Ian Cummings. Their willingness to listen to the community and jump in to fix stuff is awesome and not to be taken for granted. That said – the giant middle finger given to all the loyal fans of CFM and continued middle finger to anyone that gets upset at how much love MUT gets is beyond frustrating. When you add in the Long Shot story mode that draws away from the one thing that sports games do best – replayability – Madden 18 is the biggest disappointment of 2017 by a Long Shot, pun intended. The biggest problem here is that with no competition, EA can do whetever they want so it’s more important than ever for #FranchiseNation and #CFMMovement as well as every other CFM loving voice to be heard. If you want more of the same game, Madden 18 has you covered but here’s hoping Madden 19 will be the reaction from the devs that CFM gamers expect and actually move this mode forward, not backward.
Honorable Mentions – The Bengals. Real Life Bengals. Yes, I live in Cincinnati.
So that’s it for 2017! Here’s to an awesome 2018 for eveyone out there. Thanks for reading and supporting this site and I wish everyone all the best this year!