The Best of 7Smoke Awards (so far)
By Mauritsio

It's been well over a month since we held the ceremony for the 7Smoke Awards of 2018, where we celebrated our big 7th anniversary. And even now, we're preparing for 2019 through the Event of the Month polls, and hoping it'll be even wackier than this year. But the Awards weren't always as fancy as they were now. When did we even have the first one? And what do we remember from our previous winners? With this article, we'll be looking at all our past 7Smoke Awards and going over the winners of each one, what stuck with us over the years, and more - they are quite important to our group history, so stick around!
A quick refresher - the 7Smoke Awards is our way of celebrating the year behind us for the group. In the days leading up to the group's birthday on January 22nd, members can vote for certain things that were prominent in the previous year in a set of (usually seven) categories. Categories could include "Event of the Year", "Member of the Year" and "Custom Map of the Year". Once all the votes are counted, the top 3 votees from every category will be chosen from once again in a live "Awards Ceremony" taking place near or during the group's birthday. Then we will know the winner of each category and they'll be eternalised in our imaginary hall of fame! But, the Awards weren't always quite as fancy as they are now...




Our very first real 7Smoke Awards wasn't actually called that at all. It was known as "7Smoke's Best Event of 2015", and as you can probably tell, it started out near the end of 2015 - which technically makes it the first 7Smoke Awards we ever had. Although this was one was much less ambitious in size. For one, we only had the single category, namely for that best event of the year - and since we didn't have Event of the Month polls beforehand, we had to go back and list every other event from that year again. Once a winner for every month had been decided, that's where the process starts to look much like how Event of the Year works now - the winners from every month take a stand against one another to claim the grand title. But here's where my search for this old ceremony got a little (bogus) detoured. Everything had been hosted on the old 7smoke site (7smokegaming.com), which naturally is now gone to the ages. Luckily our old server host, The Raven, was careful enough to make frequent server backups, and with the help of nano I was able to find this article. What most people will remember from this round of voting was the grand winner - The 7Smoke Chainsaw Massacar for TSE, which we actually wanted to do a replay on to commemorate its victory! Or, shall I rephrase this, *I* wanted to do that. However Chainsaw Massacars have a bit of a legendary status within our group - play them too many times and they lose their special status. So in the end that event was cancelled, but as the first official Event of the Year winner, it sure got the recognition it deserved. Even without a ceremony to back it all up and everything - we just straight up announced the winner when January 1st of the next year came around! They were quite some different times.

Commercial Break Fun Fact!
Did you know that 2015 wasn't our first time trying an "Event of the Year"? It was the first formal one, but our admin team previously unanimously decided that 2014's annual Moonbase Alpha event would be remembered as its Event of the Year! This choice was just never made all that public for an obvious reason.


Next year is where I luckily have a lot more to tell you, as the unaltered (that means unrigged) results for 2017's 7Smoke Awards have been kept intact. We started out with a very humble 28 votes in our modern Awards - much less than the current amount we get nowadays. For this year we stepped up our game a lot and introduced multiple categories for the first time - Event of the Year was split into "Serious Sam Event of the Year" and "Non-Serious Sam Event of the Year", both categories speaking for themselves. We also had "Member of the Year" and "TTT Traitor of the Year" to honour the people who keep our group alive - the latter a tribute to the insane amount of Trouble in Terrorist Town events we had during this period. "Mod of the Year" and "Modder of the Year" served the somewhat flourishing modding community in the last days of BFE, and the last category, "Rigger of the Year" - had a pre-conditioned winner: it was our joke category, a meme born out of the extents to which Roy would go to rig a game of Cards Against Humanity or that one poker event. When we had the nominees decided after a voting period similar to the first year's, which lasted a week, on the 22nd we held the Awards Ceremony - in Steam chat! Although technically Steam had always supported voice chat, that never took flight until we had fully moved our group to our Discord server - which was only half a year old at the time. So instead we made use of admin chat locks to announce the last nominees with noone else interfering in between - for some categories, the announcements were met with huge hype! In particular, Modder of the Year had a dispute between Harry 2K16 and NSKuber - the so-called "best modder in the world" with maybe one or two sound replacements, versus an actually good modder who made a lot of unique and extensive mods - yet people were mad when they almost tied and the win went to Kuber! That was not a happy moment. The other category is Traitor of the Year, where I, the awards host, made a mistake in announcing the actual winner for this category - Pan - which I then had to correct Steve Harvey style afterwards - and this great meme video was born out of it. Other winners were bench for Member of the Year, Tennis 4 as Mod of the Year, and not so surprisingly... Roy O'Bannon as Rigger of the Year. This is definitely the one that turned the Awards into such a grandiose occasion.


The next Awards Ceremony, for 2018, once again stepped it up a notch in several places. Notably, we had merged the two Event of the Year categories into one, and the question of what your favourite event was no longer open-ended. Rather every month in the year before, we held an "Event of the Month" poll to gauge the best event from that month in particular. And every winner of this poll would also automatically become a nominee for Event of the Year! This is the same system we're using right now, obviously. We also took it upon ourselves to shuffle some categories around - "Underground of the Year" to replace the Non-Serious Sam Event Award, "Meme of the Year" as the annual joke award, and for some reason, we thought it'd be a good idea to include a "7Smoke's Game Award". Shocking nobody in particular, a Serious Sam game won that one. Not so shocking was the other new category, "7Smoke's Movie Award". Viewing movies together in cytube, a video player that syncs the view time to everyone watching, had become quite popular in this year so we made a category to commemorate all the movies we watched - and it became quite a show when we got to the Ceremony! Once again hosted by yours truly Mauritsio, parading as "Mauritsio Harvey" to recognize the mistake from last year - but this time all through Discord with a studio-quality microphone booming his voice through to you (it was really quite loud - I should have turned off the mic boost).

The ceremony was preceded by a trailer for Event of the Year and a compilation of all the movies we watched in the 7Smoke Cinema that year. Afterwards, it was onto announcing the winners through voice chat with some blues music playing in the background. Luckily the entire session was recorded so remembering the great stuff about it is easy - the "Cow Race" underground event took the winning place in its respective category, having to fight off three other undergrounds including the notorious Ace Attorney Online, which is very much up there in humorous value. Modder of the Year had yet another Harry/Kuber dispute (guess who won again?), and the final category, the movie award, was highly anticipated and the other movie-goers. It ended up being a neck-to-neck race between Death Wish 3 and The Naked Gun - which the former eventually won, resulting in quite the emote spam. And just to settle the conflict, we had a bonus category - "Bully of the Year", Roy vs. Bench, which proved the former to be the greater bully once and for all. Roy had been trying to prove that it is bench who provokes the problems in the group - yet as it turns out, bench is clearly the crowd favourite.

This entire Awards Ceremony was the first time we held voice chat on such a scale and to me, it will always be one of my favourite 7Smoke moments. Of course, next year we held the Awards for 2018, but you already know this story.