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The comeback of NBA 2K League pro Timothy “oLARRY” Anselimo was awarded the inaugural Esports Moment of the Year award at the 2019 ESPYS Wednesday evening. Maria Taylor honored oLARRY with the award on the ESPYs red carpet.
The fan-voted honor had 16 nominees in a bracket-style tournament at the beginning of voting. The moments covered multiple leagues including League of Legends, Overwatch, and Dota 2. oLARRY’s comeback defeated Tyler “Ninja” Blevins and musical artist Marshmello winning the 2018 Fortnite E3 ProAM in the final vote.
oLarry’s story is one of incredible tragedy and triumph. After competing in the inaugural NBA 2K League season, oLARRY began playing Madden. He attended a small Madden tournament in Jacksonville in 2018 when he was shot four times. A pair of bullet wounds in his hand left oLARRY with a tremendous rehab to return to competitive esports. In less than a year, he went from facing death to returning to the 2K League stage in 2019 with Cavs Legion GC using a modified controller to assist his reconstructed thumb.
The story of oLARRY’s comeback received national attention after the shooting. The esports athlete was featured on a special SportsCenter segment. Watch the feature below.
The ESPY vote
Voting on the final began Tuesday morning with oLARRY and Ninja/Marshmello’s moments neck and neck. The Fortnite duo led most of the afternoon. Ninja mentioned early on Twitter that he did not want to win against oLARRY and his comeback. The NBA, NBA 2K League, and members within the esports community began showing support for oLARRY late in the afternoon.
At the end of voting, 231,465 votes were cast on Twitter (plus more on ESPN’s website) for the match-up. The NBA 2K star’s return received 60 percent of the votes on Twitter. After the polls closed, fans waited until Wednesday night on the ESPYS Red Carpet to find out the winner because of the hidden vote on ESPN’s website.
Vote here on Twitter!
More info here: https://t.co/QKrnXBo5VM
— ESPN Esports (@ESPN_Esports) July 9, 2019
The return of oLARRY to competitive esports was one of two NBA 2K League moments nominated for the award. His return defeated Chiquita Evans becoming the first woman to be drafted and play in the NBA 2K League in the semifinals of the bracket.