British esports legend Michael "ODEE" O'Dell receives Lifetime Achievement in Esports Award

British esports legend Michael

25 October 2023

Monday, October 23rd, 2023, will forever have a special meaning for Michael “ODEE” O’Dell, the living British esports legend. Why? Because on that day, he was officially included in the Lifetime Achievement in Esports Class of 2023, together with the likes of legendary Quake player Shane “rapha” Hendrixson, President of Games for Riot Games Marc Merrill, and Team Liquid founder Victor “Nazgul” Goossens. As part of the Esports Awards, the Lifetime Achievement in Esports Award serves as recognition of those who have truly dedicated their professional life to the world of esports. Therefore, the inclusion of ODEE is great news for everyone who loves esports in the UK, as it recognises a major local talent and gives upcoming esports professionals something to strive for.

Who is “ODEE” exactly?

Michael “ODEE” O’Dell is a true esports veteran, having been active in the industry since as early as 1999. He rose to particular prominence as the founder of esports organization Dignitas back in 2003, when he oversaw the merger of two top Battlefield 1942 clans. About thirteen years later, the organization was purchased by American businessmen Josh Harris and Devid Blitzer, who are also the owners of the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team in the United States.

Between 2003 and 2016, when Dignitas was sold to the Americans, “ODEE” booked several major successes in the world of esports. These include a FIFA world championship in 2005 when Chris Bullard won the FIFA Interactive World Cup, victory at Quakecon 2007, and a nomination as “Esports Team of the Team” for the 2007 Esports Awards, just to name a few prizes and accolades. In other words, “ODEE” was and is a trailblazer for esports in the UK if there ever was one.

Lifetime Achievement in Esports Award

The Lifetime Achievement in Esports Award is one of the most coveted awards in international esports today. Each inductee was nominated by a member of the Esports Awards panel and must fulfil three official criteria:

  • a substantial and enduring impact on the advancement of esports throughout their professional journey,
  • a significant and sustained dedication to the industry’s progress,
  • a distinguished status as a longstanding advocate who has achieved widespread recognition through their contributions.

Joining the Lifetime Achievement in Esports Class of 2023 means joining an impressive list of professionals in all areas of esports. Past classed included the likes of Stephanie “missharvey” Harvey, winner of five Counter-Strike world championships, Ralf Reichert, founder and chairman at ESL FACEIT Group, and of course, Dennis “Thresh” Fong, the first professional gamer in history.

“All of these individuals have laid the foundation for the current generation of esports”, explains Michael Ashford, CEO at, “Through their hard work, dedication and perseverance, they have been instrumental in shaping the esports industry into what it has become today”.

All Lifetime Achievement in Esports classes, including the Class of 2023, are invited to a dedicated mixer event on Friday, November 29th.