2023 has been the year of VTuber award ceremonies.
The medium’s great creators are slowly being rewarded for their efforts. Whether it be dedicated categories in the Streamer Awards or wins in broader competitions like thegameHERs and BIPOC Streamer Awards, mainstream recognition is growing.
Even more insularly, three award shows were revealed within mere days of each other: Filian revealed her VTuber Awards coming in December first, before Takahata noted his in the works for August. VShojo’s Ironmouse is also planning a night of nights for virtual stars.
Among all the big stars getting their time in the spotlight, smaller creators wanted a share of it too.
That’s what prompted Petri, a smaller VTuber herself, to host the Hidden Gems: Small VTuber Awards, this Summer.
“There were common concerns amongst smaller creators that these shows often only focus on large creators and this common feeling of being overlooked, excluded, and underappreciated,” she told NewsDrop. “I feel that too as a smaller creator.
“I also strongly believe if there are no opportunities for you, then you gotta make them for yourself, so I did.”
Every streamer, no matter their size, remembers what it was like during the start of the grind. And during those early days, you create some of the most innovative content possible just to garner some eyeballs.
For that reason, “the little people deserve to be heard, seen and appreciated,” according to Petri.
“There's an insane amount of talent and entertaining content in small creators, they just haven't been discovered yet! I just want to help people find each other and feel that joy of being celebrated.
“I don't think size defines the quality, innovation or creativity of a creator. Absolutely anyone can do it if they give it a good go.”
Petri processed 3000 applicants across the 16 categories to settle on a shortlist of 96. She did it all solo, which was an undertaking in itself around her regular schedule.
But in doing so, she got to see sides of the VTuber community she never imagined before, and was exposed to a number of stunning creators. That’s part of the joy of the Small VTuber Awards—uncovering those hidden gems.
“The sheer number of VTuber accounts I've looked at over the last month has been insane,” she laughed. “Some were too large to qualify, such as MoistCritikal— seriously this was a nomination at least three times.
“There're insanely talented VTubers in every category of content, such as SuRge who does an amazing rendition of Aerosmith's Dream On. Or AtlasAnarchy, an artist with a paper VTuber model. Or uwu_to_owo, who does science experiments live on stream—that's one of the craziest!
“The limits are honestly endless when it comes to the creativity in the small VTuber community!”
The Small VTuber Awards doesn’t have a set show date yet, but voting is open for all categories until July 20.
The amount of nominations far exceeded expectations, making it a bit harder for Petri who took the first run on by herself. But she has plans to expand it into a bigger yearly production after the success of this first rendition, and let the spotlight shine brighter on these upcoming stars.
“I'm just one small little guy making this happen on my own,” she said. “The award show itself will not be a large flashy event with lots of sponsors and high production videos.
“I am looking to reach out to some large creators to contribute a video message to help inspire and encourage small creators.
“The goal is to highlight as many amazing small creators as possible. We have 96 creators you can vote for and I hope that each of them feel celebrated even if they do not win their category.”