Scott “Custa” Kennedy, captain for the Los Angeles Valiant, was awarded the Dennis Hawelka Award for 2019. Blizzard cited his leadership, positivity, and community presence as the primary reasons for awarding him.
“I just want to be someone who had an impact, someone who did something for Overwatch that made it better.” –@Custa
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) August 31, 2019
Mitch “Uber” Leslie and last year’s winner, Pongphop “Mickie” Rattanasangchod, presented the award. A short video outlined the outstanding contribution of the award’s namesake, Dennis “INTERNETHULK” Hawelka, before going on to Custa. Teammates Young-seo “KariV” Park, Indy “SPACE” Halpern, and general manager Mike Schwartz all spoke to Custa’s character and worthiness. A notable quote came from KariV, who said, “If we didn’t have Custa, the Valiant would have a lot less smiles. It would feel very empty not having him by my side.” The video also outlined Custa’s huge contribution to charity.
Congratulations to our very own @Custa for winning the Dennis Hawelka Award!
The Overwatch community is better because of you, thank you for everything. pic.twitter.com/18R5AH3wdX
— Los Angeles Valiant (@LAValiant) August 31, 2019
Custa began his esports career very early on in Overwatch history, joining Code7 in 2016. He quickly made a lasting impression, seizing wins within a month of his signing. Custa would go on to play in multiple teams at the various pinnacles of competitive Overwatch over the years. This all culminated in joining the Los Angeles Valiant for the inaugural season. Even while not a starter, Custa was the heart of the team, showing up to every game and scrim and pushing the team through their darkest moments.
While with the Valiant, Custa raised ~ $6200 on his own for St Jude Children’s Research Hospital with his Team Australia jersey and a charity stream. He played for Team Australia at the 2018 World Cup as their captain and star player. He also had a friendship with INTERNETHULK, playing against him in multiple matches but also working alongside him.
@INTERNETHULK you are missed
— Scott Kennedy (@Custa) August 31, 2019
For more Overwatch content, see our coverage of Fanatics continuing to disappoint fans of the Overwatch League. Or for more general esports news, check out our piece on Shadowverse‘s Love Live collaboration event.
I fell in love with Tomb Raider for the PS1 as a 4 year old and have gamed ever since. While I’ve meddled with the pro scenes of a couple games, I only really got invested with Overwatch for which I’ve been a pro player, coach and analyst in the tier 3 scene. Nowadays I mostly just play Overwatch, some Pdx Grand Strategies and R6 Siege but my favourite video game will forever be Star Wars Republic Commando. RIP Sev, you’ll always be remembered.
Disclosure: I’ve been a tournament admin and writer for The NUEL. While I am unlikely to cover the UK collegiate scene I still believe it important to disclose.