On November 8th the esports world learned of the passing of Dennis “INTERNETHULK” Hawelka, a man who worked for Team Liquid as an Overwatch coach before moving to League of Legends when Liquid dropped their Overwatch squad.
Tributes poured out to Hawelka’s family and friends and the Team Liquid organisation last week, with the community calling for Blizzard and the Overwatch League to honour a man who “helped forge the foundation of competitive Overwatch worldwide”.
The developer took heed, and has announced that the introduction of The Dennis Hawelka Award. The award is in memory of Dennis, and will be presented at the end of each Overwatch League season to the player that was deemed to have had the most positive impact on the community.
The announcement included some heartfelt words from the Overwatch League and Blizzard. It read:
“To the esports world, Dennis was more than just an accomplished player and coach – he was a friend, a confidant, someone people looked towards for guidance and support. He reached out to those around him, drew them in and built them up. In doing so, he not only helped forge the foundation of competitive Overwatch worldwide, he changed countless lives for the better, in game and out.”
Although Team Liquid do not hold an Overwatch League spot, the impression that INTERNETHULK left on the wider community is clear to see from the incredible out-pour of reaction and emotion in reaction to the news. Brazilian Counter-Strike coach Wilton “zews” Prado donned a Team Liquid shirt with INTERNETHULK on the back during their IEM Oakland group stage matches earlier this week.
Esports Insider says: This is a lovely gesture from the Overwatch League. Our thoughts go out to Dennis’ friends and family at this tough time. His legacy will live on through the annual award.